spam

You know what the best thing about being in a relationship is? You don't get those annoying "Meet single 18 year old girls" ads on Facebook. Upon this realisation, it reminded me of an argument I once had with a tutor. The class discussion was about database marketing, and her advice to students was to never sign up to any competition because your details will be used to spam you. Perhaps it's the naive utopian young marketer still yet to be beaten out of me by the industry, but isn't the more knowledge a brand has about you the better? Of course there will be brands who sell this information on to others. But ideally, brands can use this to reduce the amount of spam you're receiving, not increase it. Ads become more targeted, personalised and therefore more relevant. At the end of the day, ads are inevitable. And I personally would prefer brands to know as much as possible about me to make these ads as useful and value providing as they can be. And by definition, they no longer become spam....

Joseph Jaffe just wrote a post saying every time your brand is mentioned on a blog you need to respond. But he's wrong. And I reckon Adam Ferrier might even be onto something when he said brands should just leave consumers alone. Just because someone mentions your brand name, it doesn't mean you have to go in and "engage". Just because someone says something about jeans on Twitter, it doesn't mean you have to follow them if you're Levi. And just because someone mentions something remotely related to your product, it doesn't mean you have to comment on my blog. This is called spam. And if you do it on this blog I have no problem tearing you to shreds. I'm all for monitoring the social media environment. But when it comes to responding, don't do it all the time. Only do it when you can provide value. If it's relevant, and you can answer a question, point someone in the right direction or even give them something free or discounted, then you may respond. And if you want to see somebody doing social media response well, the Body Shop is a good place to start. Joseph and Adam, I give you both permission to respond if you please....

Hello Zac, I’m with the DVR Research Institute. Tomorrow, on May 1 we will be publishing results from a research project we conducted among 200 leading advertising executives on their strategic response to the increase in DVR viewership. Since Pigs Don’t Fly has been recognized as one of the most influential marketing blogs, we would like to share some EXCLUSIVE CONTENT with you from our study. With the upfront negotiations coming up, I thought that it may be interesting for your readers to take a glimpse at our extensive study. Below the main body of this email I have included an overview of our methodology, key themes in the study and a few of our findings. I have also included a summary of one of our findings that we are sharing exclusively with a limited number of very influential bloggers. Please feel free to post it in Pigs Don’t Fly , or contact me if you’d like to get a bit more information on this. The email said I was free to post it here on this blog so I have. But seriously, what is this rubbish? Just because this blog occasionally talks about the change of media consumption doesn't mean I give a shit about the spam you send me. Other bloggers might be able to use it, but if I don't want it then it's spam. And just because it's personalised with my name doesn't mean it's not unsolicited and unwanted. If you've got an attention to detail like me you'll see they couldn't even copy and paste correctly with extra spaces around the words "Pigs Don't Fly". I normally wouldn't give a shit but I'm starting to get one or two of these a week. If you can't offer me genuine value then gtfo....

Bigpond started using Twitter. At first they sucked. But it appears they've listened and turned things around. However during this process some legal implications were raised, specifically the Spam Act 2003. After research of my own, speaking to the Australian Communications and Media Authority and getting in touch with Dr Melissa de Zwart from the Faculty of Law at Monash University, I have summarised the results...

We have a problem. Its realisation comes after Telstra Bigpond raised a legal issue over their Twitter account. They had worries about breaching the 2003 Spam Act. Currently, their legal department is trying to determine if their communications could be considered a commerical electronic message, in which case would be against the law. The Australian Government Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy has this to say about the issue...

Using banner ads is not social media marketing. They are simply a traditional, interruption media attempting to use a old practise that doesn't work in this new space on the Interwebs. The only factor that makes them better than spam for enlarging my penis is how they can be somewhat targeted on social networking sites like Facebook. So when I state on my page I am a fan of Arrested Development, I receive ads selling Arrested Development tees. Unfortunately technology is not at a place to realise I would never wear an Arrested Development tee, even if I love the show. So when Switched on Media describes social media as using banner ads, I'm going to have to call them out. If you truly practised social media, then you'll respond to this post and we can work on your strategy, or at least redefine that page to not include the words "social media"....

On occasion I work Reception. In fact I'm actually "working" right now so don't tell anyone. Part of my role is to sort incoming mail and then delivery it to the correct pigeon holes. Whilst sorting through the legitimate mail I find myself with handfuls and handfuls of tangible spam. Just now, I've thrown out 16 letters from the same organisation to different people who work here. And much much more. I don't even open the envelopes before turfing them into the recycling bin. I feel like writing to them to say that interruption advertising like this just doesn't work. Especially when you can't even get it through the Receptionist. I did find one exception a few weeks ago. A small tin arrived which was clearly spam addressed to one of the managers. But I didn't throw it away. The instructions said to open it and water it daily while keeping it warm. So I took it home that night and thus began a two week relationship with the brand and counting. After a few days a plant sprouted and somehow on one of the leaves were embed the words Thank You. It's still growing today. It's somewhat similar to this. What a great way to break through the clutter. I'm still interacting with the brand and I even feel like they are a little bit more environmentally friendly than I thought. I guess the only problem is I took it home and failed to pass it onto the manager. Like the rest of the junk mail, it never got passed the Receptionist even if for a different reason. ...