When "aggressive marketing" really means spam?

Recently I heard of an industry competitor planning some “aggressive marketing campaigns” that would be launching today. They did, in fact launch, but not in the “aggressive” fashion that I expected.

What the person telling me meant was not an aggressive marketing strategy, but an expanded strategy.

Reach or spam?

To me, when someone tells me that there is an aggressive campaign coming, it means that they are going to the edge. Maybe they’re targeting a competitor and really going after them. Aggressive means they are taking some chances and pushing the envelope.

What they meant was they are getting aggressive and putting out a lot of marketing. Ads, banners, web ads, you name it. They’re getting aggressive by making sure you can’t turn around without seeing them…whether you want to or not.

How is that different than spam?

If you’re going to “get aggressive,” then get aggressive. Call out a competitor. Showcase your advantages. Try something new or different. Take a chance.

Don’t just churn out more crap marketing and call it aggressive. If you believe that’s the way to succeed, then I’ve got an email explaining how you can claim an inheritance in India.

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When "aggressive marketing" really means spam?

The secret to recommendations and word of mouth

It’s no secret that it’s cheaper and easier to keep current customers than to find new ones.

An extension of that for many businesses is that their most successful form of marketing is through their current customers. Call it recommendations, word of mouth, even viral…the concept’s the same. People will trust their friend’s (your customer’s) opinion far more than any piece of marketing you send them.

This leads numerous companies to figure out how they can “get” their customers to talk about them. Many times this looks like trinkets/cards or other collateral that they can pass on to their friends.

It seems to me that a better tactic would be to give them something worth telling their friends about.

Make their experience with your company so great that they can’t help but tell their friends.

It’s probably cheaper than a bunch of keychains.

The secret to recommendations and word of mouth

Why design is the beginning of trust

I read this post today by Todd Henry at Accidental Creative. (As an aside, if you’re not listening to his podcast or reading his blog…you should be!)

He references the following picture that he saw while driving around his town the other day.


His contention is that, when you are asking for a great level of trust (such as turning your kids over to someone) you need to present an image worthy of that trust.

I couldn’t agree more. I think that the first step toward earning this trust, no matter the context, is quality design.

Too often, people/companies create something like that sign for their website, their marketing collateral, their tradeshow booth, or numerous other things. They make something functional, rather than appealing.

Is that sign functional? Absolutely. It tells you the number to call if you need childcare with weekend pickup. It functions to give passerby the message the owner wants to distribute. But, by simply being functional, the sign fails to build a level of trust necessary to achieve the outcome the owner may hope for.

It’s the same with all other parts of your business. You can build a website that “gets the job done.” Or, you can put the time in to make something that presents the image that you can be trusted. Plus, that same level of design can go beyond simply trust and become desire. It can take someone from feeling comfortable at the thought of working with you to wanting to work with you.

Sure, there’s more to it than than as the relationship builds, and you’ll have to keep earning that trust, but that’s the first step. Like they say, you only get one chance to make a first impression. Do you really want that impression to be “functional” or “good enough?”

Why design is the beginning of trust