Five Things Marketers Need to Stop Doing This Very Minute

I’m not typically prone to rants but sometimes it just comes flying out of you and you find yourself on that digital soapbox. This is one of those times.

I’m a born and bred marketer. But you knew that. What you may not know is that I have a love-hate relationship with marketing. I love what marketing can do for a product or service. Nothing makes me happier than when these guys get to help make organizations communicate better through their workshops. There’s a thrill when someone’s life becomes easier, more convenient or even just a little bit happier because of something I helped promote.

But. 

As with any field there’s a dark side. We’re not even going to talk about spam or black hat SEO because those things deserve to banished to marketing hell and never to be used again. Instead, let’s talk about less controversial but still offensive marketing tactics that need to stop now. 

1. Taking 10 days to remove me from your subscriber list

Why: Why, why, why do this? In today’s era of immediate removal, this makes you seem old, out of touch and incompetent. Even worse? The skeptical among us (and our numbers are high) think you’re just trying to squeeze out more sales even though we’ve made lack of interest known. 

2. Making me log into an account to remove myself from your list

Why: While this all-in-one system might be easy for you it’s much harder on your customer. Never a good thing. People who may temporarily wanted a break will remember what a pain this was and never resubscribe again. 

3. Link bait headlines

Why: Just look at the recent backlash again Upworthy and Buzzfeed. There’s also this downworthy plugin by Snipe that’s designed to decipher the spin. Enough of the "Mind blowing weird tricks and secrets you can learn from dead people" headlines.

4. Pop-ups asking me to subscribe now!

Why: Pop-ups work but users (including me) hate them. While they work their shelf life may be limited and you need to take care when placing them on your site.  And the sentiment is growing. Pop ups on smartphones are especially frustrating. You're reading an article when the screen goes gray and either you click to some site selling insurance or you have no way to remove the pop up so you have to abandon the page.

Pop-ups work but be aware, their shelf life may be limited and new tools are coming out to overcome these digital nuisances. Pop-ups may even harm your overall brand. 

5. Focusing on vanity metrics

Why: Vanity metrics do not always equate to what drives revenue. A while back I went to a blogging conference. Some of the bloggers boasted 100,000 twitter followers but when I dug deeper these folks were barely making ends meet. While I may have a tenth of their #’s I have something more important: consistent clients and money in the bank. 

As the internet grows to 1.82 billion indexed pages …and counting, the signal to noise ratio is tough to combat. You can almost understand why marketers employ these dirty tricks. The downside is that everyone has caught on so users are getting inundated which means a backlash is looming.  I believe in marketing and even the more controversial cousin, growth hacking but hate how it gets bastardized. Don’t be one of those people.

C'mon, admit it. Using these strategies makes you feel kinda dirty sometimes doesn't it?

What to Do Instead

Be authentic. 

Focus on what’s really important. 

Do good work, which naturally attracts people.

 /end rant

Why Technology Has Doomed My Dating Life

Scene: I'm all dudded up and ready for my date. As soon as I walk into the restaurant I immediately whip out my iPhone so I can begin checking in and recording the evening.

- Check--in on FourSquare to get points. Find out I won (or lost) a mayorship.

- Soundtrack my  new song so I can remember to buy it in iTunes.

- Fork my food on Forkly so the app can make recommendations for me later.

- Hash the three people I ran into on Hashable.

- Take photos of the great decor so I can Instagram it.

- Tweet an OH about the funny thing my date or the person at the next table has said.

 

Of course, then my phone starts to blow up with people on Forkly who "Want" my delicious drink or people who "Like" my photo of the beautiful bathroom or friends who make follow-on jokes about my OH. This is when I hide my iPhone in my back pocket and sneak it the bathroom so I can reply to those friends or write down a funny tidbit for my next blog post, And, of course, hope I don't drop the phone into the toilet.

In between all this digital activity I try to get to know the person next to me. Which I probably don't do very successfully. Unless they're a geek too and are as socially focused as I am. I'm not complaining about all of these digital distractions. I actually enjoy doing these things. I love the social connection, the creativity of the photos and pithy statements to go with them and of course...those points.

While the digital downpour stops about 1/4 of the way through the date,  it doesn't leave as much time for connecting with my date, who wants to get to know me. I'm guessing he probably doesn't appreciate it nearly as much. It probably feels like he's on a date with 30 people. Um. That's not fun. One date actually complained about this out loud. We weren't a match. But that was because he was Mr. Grabby Hands, not because of our difference in technology. But that's whole other story.

Back to this one. I'm sure other dates haven't loved it but were just too gracious to say something. It's no wonder I have a hard time dating anyone but the most understanding geek.

Yep.  Technology. My use of Technology has doomed my dating life.

The Dog Days of Summer

My beloved lab Maddie (aka Mads, Boo Boo Kitty, Madder, Madeleine Rose (when in trouble) and other assorted names) tore her ACL. Which...means no running or jumping all summer long while she heals. The only approved activity is swimming or what I like to affectionately call Aquatic Therapy. 

When you capitalize something it just sounds better doesn't it?

Today was our first day of Aquatic Therapy at the local swimming hole. She did well. Well, until she spotted a bird and I had to hold her back. It's going to be a long summer I suspect. Sigh.

Photo notes: It was taken using Hipstamatic with the Ina's 1969 filter.  Mad is the odd looking eel-like creature in the back.

What is Work?

I've been thinking a lot about the nature of work.  We can have very narrow definitions to what is work.There are both tangible and intangible parts to the work I do in the tech/internet industry. What constitutes work? Is it sitting a computer writing all day? Is it being out and meeting people? Is it when you're reading on an unrelated topic that suddenly sparks a good idea?

This is what work looks like right?

The way these guys were asking for money seems to mean this is work right?

Can work look like this--a big repository of minds?

 

Work these days is much more varied and increasingly lives in in our heads. So how do we know it's work? Is there always an output? Does it have to look a certain way?