Marketing that doesn’t work

[Sound of telephone ringing. Sound of fork hitting plate.]

[Me muttering:] “Who the #$%@! is calling me on the landline? I put that number on the do not call registry. Normal people use cell phones…. Hello?”

[Scratchy recording of a man’s voice:] “Hi, this is Chris Gabrieli, Democrat for Massachusetts Governor, and my campaign to get results– ”

[Sound of phone being slammed down.]

When the telephone rings in the middle of dinnertime, and I pick up the phone, and I hear a recorded voice of a political candidate, I will be less likely to vote for him or her. Not more likely, but less likely.

On the other hand, when the telephone rang last week, and it was a young woman from the Religious Coalition for Freedom to Marry (RCFM), and she immediately identified herself by name, and politely asked to speak with me, and then told me that RCFM supports Tony Cabral in his re-election bid for state legislature based on his principled stands on marriage equality in Massachusetts, I listened carefully. She knew that I was interested in marriage rights issue. She knew I would be interested in hearing about Cabral’s voting record in the state legislature. I am now more likely to vote for Tony Cabral than I was before.

I am increasingly intolerant of scatter-shot advertising and marketing. If you haven’t done your research, if you don’t know what I am likely to respond to, your marketing is more likely to annoy me than anything else. Nor am I the only one who feels this way. Do I need to add that those of you who are involved in marketing your local congregation might want to take note of this social phenomenon?

4 thoughts on “Marketing that doesn’t work

  1. Abs

    We got the same recorded phone message from Chris Gabrieli –
    and I had the same reaction you did. “Just lost my vote,” I
    muttered to myself. What a waste of money.

  2. Ed Steinfeld

    You will receive unsolicited telephone messages from every candidate (if you are home to answer the phone)
    before this election takes place. I have received them from three of the candidates already and like you I hung up before they got out their pitch. These calls will not keep me from voting for the candidate I would like to see as governer. And I dobt you will really let that decide who you will vote for.

    Had I received the call from RCFM I would have hung up immediately. I have never heard of them before and not that I am against the frredom to marry (that is just a state contract between two people).

    P.S. Chris is one of the two better candidates.

  3. Administrator

    Ed — OK, I spoke hastily, and I’ll take another look at Gabrieli. But my point about marketing remains. In this day and age, there is little excuse for doing scattershot marketing when we have access to a whole host of tools that allow closely targetted marketing. The only reason I listened to the RCFM woman was that I had had previous contact with them (since I’m a minister who’s in the middle of the whole marriage debate), and I trusted their ability to do issue-related research. They’re good at doing targetted marketing, and I can’t imagine they would ever call you — because, yeah, you’d hang up on them like I hung up on Gabrieli.

    Jean — Yeah, maybe I should forward this to Gabrieli’s campaign. He could have had my attention if it had been a real live person on the phone — at this point, I’ll still listen to any nominee in my party affiliation. But a recording — and a bad one at that — yeesh. His campaign people need to attend a Marketing 101 class.

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