Caffeinated ideas and views on marketing communications

marketing that works

Don’t Waste Your Marketing Dollars

Unless you are Verizon, a company that seemingly has no cap on the amount of marketing dollars it can spend promoting FIOS, you have a budget. Use your budget wisely. Sounds simple yet how many companies don’t get this?

You may be wasting your marketing dollars (and creating bad blood along the way) if:

  • You are sending enewsletters without permission or too many times a week or without a clear, easy opt-out
  • You are sending non-targeted direct mail
  • You are using robo-calls to mass dial anyone in an area code (this is not only stupid, it is illegal)
  • You are using threatening language
  • You are sending multiple pieces and none of them have the same offer
  • You are sending marketing pieces that contain typos, grammatical and/or spelling mistakes
  • You are sending marketing pieces that look home-made (and not in the enticing, chocolate chip cookie kind of way)
  • You are mistaking the fact that someone once gave you a business card for the opportunity to blanket him/her with marketing messages
  • You are using your social media platforms to sell, sell, sell…never bothering to interact/engage
  • Your marketing does not match reality (you say you offer 24/7 support but what that means is that you can hold for assistance for 24 hours or more)

Marketing that works is strategic and thoughtful. Sending out hundreds of letters to people who have no need for your service (like sending coupons for garage door openers to people who live in apartment buildings) is a waste. Use your dollars wisely.



About Deborah Brody

Deborah Brody writes and edits anything related to marketing communications. Most blog posts are written under the influence of caffeine.

Marketing that works and marketing that doesn’t

There are some people (agencies, businesses, etc.) that excel at marketing, and others, not so much. I want to share two examples with you–one of something that worked well and one of something that didn’t.

Alchemy Salon–Customizing the Experience (What Works Well)

A couple of weeks ago I tried a new hair salon. When I arrived, I was asked to fill out a form. I then got my hair cut/styled and all looked good. A couple of days ago I got a HANDWRITTEN card in the mail, thanking me for visiting Alchemy and inviting me to use their online appointments option. Also, they sent me instructions how to access the online “Alchemy Rewards Program.”

The good here:

  • Personalized response
  • Smart use of online options
  • Invitation to a loyalty rewards program
  • Follow up/thanking me for business

Everything But the Turkey Volunteer Program at the DCJCC (What Doesn’t Work Well)

The Everything but the Turkey programs asks people to sign up and pay $10 to prepare the side dishes (yams, etc) for Thanksgiving meals to be given out by a food bank.  Hundreds of pounds of sides are prepared and shipped to the food bank for distribution. I have participated at least twice in the past few years. This year, as part of the GENERAL DCJCC events email, I was told about the program. I did not receive any personal invitation. For various reasons, I didn’t choose to participate this year, but mostly, because I was not motivated enough to give up an evening.

The bad here:

  • Lack of personalization (no acknowledgment that as someone who volunteered before, I may want to volunteer again)
  • No follow up
  • No burning reason to participate

When you send out any type of marketing piece you are “touching” your audience. You can do so successfully or you can fail to leave a good impression.  Think about what you are sending out and what you intend the recipient to do. Now, are you doing something that works or something that doesn’t?

And lastly, many marketers do not measure success. In Alchemy’s case, if I join their online rewards program, they will have a way to measure whether I responded to their marketing. In the DCJCC’s case, clearly, they are not correlating the marketing to the volunteer database, so they have NO way of knowing if volunteers from last year signed up again.

I am interested in specific examples of marketing that works (or doesn’t work). Please share with me in the comments.


About Deborah Brody

Deborah Brody writes and edits anything related to marketing communications. Most blog posts are written under the influence of caffeine.


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