28 Jan Dear Marketing: You’re Doomed (If You Don’t Change)
Working as a CIO and as a technology columnist, I see both technology PR and IT vendor marketing heading in the same, dangerous direction. In summary, those who do not seek ongoing, permission-based connection are doomed to send out perky little missives that get swatted away before they’re seen, in an endless robotic arms race between marketers and anti-clutter, attention-defending bots. And lest you get smug that you’re in IT and don’t have to worry, let me assure you that you do.
The volume of irrelevant tech-related PR pitches that I get is far higher than the IT vendor marketing pitches that I get, but the quantity is rising on the marketing side.
The grim stereotype of IT pros is that we’re sworn enemies of vendor marketing, but in fact many IT folks receive pitches with a fairly open mind. If you stick your head in the sand about new tech, you’ll learn nothing and have nothing to leverage as a competitive advantage in your business. So, smart practitioners want to receive relevant info, as long as they can control the flow of information.
There are two problems. First, marketers have moved beyond the magic of mass email lists to the robotic and automated world of CRM, where “blind” (meaning without any indication of interest or permission) follow-up and “relationship-building” messages abound. (Leading me to want to shout: I DON’T HAVE A RELATIONSHIP WITH YOU. STOP PRETENDING THAT WE DO.)
Second, there are more tools than ever before to reach out to more contacts than ever before. There are those in the marketing world who reason, “More is better, right?” Wrong.
We live in an age of over-communication, where we have to spend hours digging through hundreds of emails a day. To add insult to injury, if you dare to send back a well-meaning “I’m sorry, this isn’t relevant” response, you get at least two more messages back from that person and cement yourself as “someone who responded!” It’s blood in the water to an algorithm that will simply target you for another attack.