In the Name of Marketing, please stop

I for one, am fed up with seeing crap thinly disguised as marketing. Please stop calling it marketing as you are giving marketing a bad name.

Marketing is consumer centric
At what point was it more important to REACH a prospect than to IMPRESS them? In this example am I more likely to do business with AWeber, or less? Will I tell my friends about AWeber? Will it be a positive mention or will I rant a little about their "me-first" desperate marketing tactics.

I will explain. I am scrolling through my Facebook wall and I come across this. (note the grey overlay had not yet appeared).

I am VERY interested in email marketing best practices and my primary business is bringing organizations into CASL compliance. So the headline "4 Free Templates + Email Marketing Master Class" sounds attractive. I see the post is from AWeber and know them to be a player in the email business.

So I click on it.

Keep in mind there was NO HINT of having to sign up for a free trial, which includes having to fill in your credit card.

So as a qualified individual who is going on this "journey", this puts an abrupt stop on my experience. I close the browser window and go back to what I was doing before being interrupted - my Facebook wall. Remember, that started my "journey" which AWeber, using a "click-bait headline" seduced me away from.

So now I am back on Facebook and immediately, a pop up appears saying "You saved an offer from AWeber. See it here."  (I captured this in my Notifications feed on Facebook which is why it says 37 minutes ago)

Now I feel like I am the opening of a Monty Python skit, thinking "No I didn't" only to have Facebook and AWeber say "Yes you did" and me coming back with "NO! I did not".

The fact is, no matter what AWeber's intention was, they have now crossed the line twice is this short journey. They completed disregarded me, their prospect, in this interaction. Remember I started this experience with a decent impression of AWeber based on all other interactions with the brand over the past few years. I see them frequently where people interested in email marketing hang out online. But it is sliding sideways fast.

Just because you can, does not mean you should
Facebook has a major hand in this as well. It looks to me like they showed AWeber how to do this. AWeber should have asked, "why would we want to". 

Marketing is thinking.
In our rush to track and measure everything and to drive conversion, we cannot as marketers forget there is a human being on the other end of these communication efforts.  

We can NEVER take our eye off the ball and for all marketers the "ball" is your consumer. When someone like Facebook presented this "wonderful" idea, a good marketer would ask themselves, "what would the customer experience be? Let's objectively put ourselves in our prospect's shoes." The very next thought would likely be "marketing is not about what we CAN do, but more about what we SHOULD do to respect and honour our audience".

Through that filter this exciting new technology would have been quickly placed in the round file (garbage can). Had a little marketing smarts beeen applied, AWeber's prospects would not have endured this VERY negative experience. 

Everything we do as marketers either add chips to our personal account with an individual or it takes chips away. It is like a bank account co-owned by the brand and their prospect. If a marketer gains chips for every interaction with a prospect and is careful not to do things to take chips away, when it comes time to purchase, that brand should make the short list for most consumers. While I am not ready to close my account with AWeber, they did remove most of the chips they had deposited in our account from earlier interactions. Another one like this and my account gets closed.

Marketers think. Slow down. Not everything that "sounds good when you say it fast", is. The consumer-first filter should be at the core of every marketer. Shame on Facebook and AWeber.

NOTE: When I went to AWeber's website to take a screen grab of their home page, this is the message they presented. No romance here. Open with a close. At least they are consistently desperate.

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