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Market Responsibly

Market Responsibly

When the moon is in the seventh house and enough calendar weeks have passed, you will receive a certain type of email. We all will.

“It’s payday! Treat yourself!” 

“It’s a Payday Party"

“Payday is here!”

“Your wallet will thank you”

“Go all out this payday”

“The only thing better than payday: Sale”

“What are you doing spending your hard-earned money on food and shelter? Spend it all! Here. Now”

I may have made that last one up - the rest are very real - but are they responsible?

To market, to market

Email marketing can be great. It can be used to spread the word about a product, a service, a movement or even an idea. The question is not whether we should all be using the power of email to shout about the great things we’ve been working on, we most certainly should - the question is "are we doing so responsibly?"

Modern advertising dates back to the 19th century and now we may laugh at the old newspaper ads that bluntly told readers they were frail, stupid, smelly and useless but this new product or service would change all of that. In this, the 21st century, we like to think that we’ve moved past the bullish world of ‘Buy my product, or else’ marketing, especially as we have so much choice now. We’re not restricted to one brand of soap, one broadband provider, one estate agent - we have options. 

Burning a hole in your pocket

So a lot of B2C marketing has changed tack. Now that a department store may not be the only place locally that you could purchase a new t-shirt and they can’t claim that it’s the best t-shirt you’ll ever own, there’s an ongoing trend of ‘why not?’ You just got paid, you may have some disposable income, why not buy this t-shirt from this department store?

One may argue that the customer doesn’t have to sign up for the emails and they certainly don’t have to buy the product but is it right that every time pay day rolls around, we should be inundated with messages that amount to ‘I know you have money, send it our way’? 

Vote with your £

Many people have a limited budget each month and they are voting with every pound they spend. Each email is a rallying cry of ‘vote for me!’ Throw in a limited time offer and many are powerless to resist, but is that good for the company? The customer may have money now but what about when they don’t? Will they stay loyal to a brand when they purchased purely for the sake of it?

Can a company truly say that it has faith in its product if it markets not on the strengths of that product but on the customer’s access to funds? 

Is it fair to ask someone to buy from you purely because they can?

Playing to strengths 

If marketing focuses on the strengths of what they are selling first then the customer can properly weigh it up against other options. If you’re offering something and you’ve clearly demonstrated why it’s great and your direct competitor's only message is ’Spend it here!’ Then you’ve offered the more compelling argument. 

Hopefully then we’ll arrive at a place where we all shout about the merit of our products and services, not merely that we know the customer has money. 



Frances Smolinski

Created on Wednesday July 31 2019 08:00 AM


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