Before You Send…Think

When you think about it, the art and science of human communications has really gone through some changes. And it’s always been work. The first communicators just labored to even get the point across and maybe the point was important like “don’t go near the water because…crocodiles….”  But they figured it out.

Comms SHOULD be work for the communicator. I don’t think it should be easy. And as we’ve moved into the age of digital communications, the tools have become so effortless that an organization really doesn’t even have to think about it.

And unfortunately, many don’t.

Case in point. This week, I received an e-mail that said the following —

We selected RobertsonComm to be included in our list of the Top Public Relation Firms in Chicago
Our website generates more than 400,000 monthly B2B visitors seeking to hire agencies.
This can help increase your visibility, leading to more requests for proposals from potential customers.
Simply reply to this email and we’ll help you sign up at no charge.

Wow, well, first of all, it’s an honor just to be nominated and I’m SO proud to be one of the best PR firms in Chicago.

Except that my firm is located in Phoenix. (Sad trombone sound effect)

So is my company’s new location a hidden mystery? Not quite. It’s all over the place — on my website, my Linkedin profile, FB page among many other places. So before they sent this out, this company could’ve easily figured out where I was and targeted their message better, right?

Here’s the thing — they probably don’t care. Through the modern wonders of lead generation and marketing automation, they just send out thousands of these e-mails in hopes of a standard 1-2 percent response/return rate. And as for the people who don’t respond or get offended — ahhh, we don’t measure that. Who cares? They’ll always be more “targets” for the NEXT automated round we send out.

Which is a good time to bring up the actual definition of marketing. Marketing is a three-phase process where we make the customer curious, then move to enlightenment—and finally to commitment. And you can’t rush the process with any amount of AI-generated, totally automated crap that helps you meet your “lead generation” goals. Relationships require an investment of time to be strong. Quick and easy might be a great way to clean your toilet, but it’s a terrible way to build marketing relationships.

Before I send anything out to any audience whether it’s for my company or my clients, I stop and THINK about them. (in this case, about YOU!) What are their problems? How can I help them? Or entertain them? And then I create a post or message to do that. It’s actually a lot more work. It’s hard, the way communications should be for the COMMUNICATOR. Because you’re getting ready to ask for the time and attention of very busy humans. So it needs to be great—or it shouldn’t be sent.  

In marketing, we’ve lost touch with this simple truth. Today, we don’t have to put any skin in the game to inflict our message upon countless, anonymous thousands whenever we choose. And like everything involving tech, just because you CAN do something, doesn’t mean that you SHOULD.

So the next time you’re creating a marketing e-mail, piece of collateral or even a blog post, STOP and think about THEM. Do this and you will be well on your way to creating AMAZING marketing that is trusted, respected and even welcomed when compared to junk e-mails that can’t even figure out your company’s location.