Next Directory has been calling at various times of the day, for weeks. (I know this because I’ve been on paternity leave, generally screen 08xx numbers and this particular number was becoming familiar).
At a particularly bad time (boys bath and bed time) , the phone rang again so I answered it. The guy explained where he was from and asked if it was a good time to call. I said it really wasn’t and asked what it was regarding. He said “It’s just a marketing call.”
As a marketer, I was actually really offended. Here’s why?
1. It wasn’t marketing, it was poorly disguised, badly executed, short term selling. Stands to reason that ringing a house with children at 6.30 at night isn’t the best time to sell them something.
2. It wasn’t targeted. I’ve never been a Next Directory customer, and never had a catalogue agreement with any other company. In fact, we generally only shop at Next twice a year during the winter and summer sales. And I’m a marketer, so by dismissing the call in that way was unlikely to ingratiate me his offering.
3. I hadn’t given permission for them to call me at home during my private time. This is perhaps the biggest faux paus yet businesses just like Next are committing it day in, day out. Brands trying to use social media tools like Facebook and Twitter are falling particularly foul of blurring the lines between acceptable customer engagement and their personal space.
4. It demeaned marketing, a profession and speciality I’m passionate and proud about. The words used implied marketing was deemed insignificant, at least in the eyes of this Next ‘ambassador’.
I imagine Next top brass would be mortified to see marketing disregarded in this way. I would if I were them, but then I’d hope I’d done my homework, researched, qualified prospects, warmed them up, and executed a much better approach.
One thirty second call. A lifetime of damage and a big call out on this blog. There’s no such thing as ‘just a marketing call’.
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