Taking Technology Further

CTO INSIDER BLOG:
USING TECHNOLOGY TO IMPROVE HOW YOU DO BUSINESS

SUBSCRIBE

What Marketing Earns Business? Not This.

by Steve Knutson on August 17, 2017

As the CTO and CIO at Marco, I get inundated – I mean inundated – with marketing solicitations. It used to be primarily mail, some email and the occasional call. Now, I can spend a good chunk of my day siphoning through it all. It’s almost become part of the daily duties as a C-level executive.

As our technology has become more sophisticated, marketing has become more rampant. It’s easy to send a mass email, even make it look personal and target and track your audience with cookies. In the first 20 minutes of writing this blog, I received five marketing emails. And to the left of my computer, there actually is a stack of marketing gizmos and gadgets.

Some marketers will do just about anything to get a click or a call. I’ve received “keys” to drive a Lamborghini or a construction toy with an invitation to drive an actual one at an open house of a new facility - with strings attached, of course. 

As a sales-driven organization, I understand where they are coming from. It’s not easy getting the attention of a C-level executive, let alone engaging one. But I don’t always agree with the approach. In part 1 in this marketing technology series, I share some of the tactics that drive me crazy:

  1. Gift Card for a Survey
    CTO_GiftCard_0817.jpg
    It’s becoming rare for me to receive simply a flyer. Most come with a gift card. Once I go to the custom URL, enter a pin and complete a survey, I receive a promo code for an Amazon gift card. It sounds like a sweet deal. But you can’t buy me for $25. You may think as a user you are simply giving feedback on the product. It’s actually a fielding technique to help identify potential leads to market to. It opens the door to a barrage of communication.

  2. Subject Line: Call Tomorrow
    When the subject line of the first email I receive simply states “Call Tomorrow,” I do want to click. I will give them that. But it is misleading. I am thinking that I got set up on a call for tomorrow that is not on my calendar. It’s really a marketing ploy. While they may get me to click, they won’t earn my business. Integrity in marketing always wins.

  3. “Did I do something wrong with my approach?”
    The last email in a recent two-week string from one salesperson simply read, “Did I do something wrong with my approach? What is the best way to get in touch with you or your team?” I laughed out loud. I almost wanted to reply. Instead, I saved it as content for this blog.

  4. Drip campaign that feels like a typhoon.
    Drip campaigns have become more common with the infuse of new e-marketing technology such as HubSpot, Marketo and Active Campaign. The application can be effective. But lately, more of these campaigns have felt like a typhoon. In one case, I received 11 emails in two weeks and many of them contained the same information. Sometimes they did not even get my name right. I can crank up my spam filter to try to limit these, but I also miss some “good stuff” in the process.

  5. A Tablet Sleeve
    I opened an envelope in my stack of mail and pulled out a sleeve for a tablet. As I read on, I learned that if I logged on to listen to their marketing message, they would send me the tablet to slip inside. There are strings attached, I promise.

  6. Name Drop
    A name drop can build credibility. I just listened to a message before starting this blog from a gentleman who said “Jennifer Mrozek referred me to you.” It does pique my interest. She’s a trusted colleague and a member of our leadership team at Marco. What I’ve found in most cases is that the salesperson cold called my colleague and got directed to me because it was related to technology. They call it a referral. But it’s really a call transfer.CTO_Glasses_0817.jpg

  7. Champagne Glasses, Construction Toys & More 
    I feel like the Little Mermaid in a sea of gizmos and gadgets. Every week at least one new one arrives on my desk from another technology provider trying to sell something. The 3D marketing craze is in full effect with champagne glasses “congratulating” me on something, keys to test drive a fancy car or piece of machinery and the latest piece of technology – just to name a few.

  8. Spoofing a Local Number
    I get calls at work and on my cell phone from what look like a local number. I naturally answer, thinking it is someone from my community, only to find myself in the middle of a marketing message. Does this drive anyone else crazy? A call from a spoof number will never earn my business.

  9. Trying to sell me something that Marco provides.
    I get quite a few calls or emails offering to provide me with the very same products and services that Marco sells. They didn’t even take the time to see what our business is about before contacting me. 

I could go on and on – unfortunately. Marketing ploys or toys don’t earn my business. Personal, value-driven marketing does. I’ll share some of the best practices I’ve seen in my next blog.

The Benefits of Having An NJPA Contract - Download eBook

Topics: Network Security, Marketing

How Can Business Continue After a Disaster?

In the wake of the devastation caused by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, questions have been raised about the potential for a business to continue after a disaster. Is it even possible? Yes. But it does...Read more

5 Smart Marketing Moves

What’s the best marketing pitch you’ve received lately? I bet it did not feel like a pitch at all. I prefer to not feel like I am being sold to – or sold out – when someone’s marketing to me. ...Read more

What Marketing Earns Business? Not This.

As the CTO and CIO at Marco, I get inundated – I mean inundated – with marketing solicitations. It used to be primarily mail, some email and the occasional call. Now, I can spend a good chunk of my...Read more

How Employees Can Protect You from a Cyber Attack

Security threats change every day. Are your employees ready to fight against them? It’s a question that’s often on my mind. Today, hackers do not hack systems; they hack people. A recent IBM study...Read more

You Might Need Managed IT Services If… (Thanks Jeff Foxworthy)

A friend recently asked, “What are key ways you know you need Managed IT Services?” Instantly, a rendition of the Jeff Foxworthy redneck one liners started running through my head. They were not...Read more

2 Tools for Faster Collaboration

The meeting is scheduled. Everyone shows up on time – some even early. The agenda is set. You check off all the calendar and meeting etiquette steps, we’ve talked about in recent blogs....Read more

Take Back Your Calendar: 7 Ways to Better Scheduling

In any given week, I will pull up my electronic calendar and find myself double or even triple booked. It’s become laughable. How can this be? Isn’t technology supposed to prevent this? I spend the...Read more

7 Ways to Improve Your Meetings

Technology is supposed to make us more productive – especially in our meetings. We have electronic calendars, e-communication tools and can start a meeting with anyone – anywhere in the world – with...Read more

What’s the Future of Data Centers?

In communities where the construction of new manufacturing facilities once adorned the headlines, we’re seeing a new economic player: data centers.  We’re creating and storing more information...Read more

When Customer Service Goes Wrong

I recently had one of my worst customer service experiences, if not the worst. It all started with the inability to connect to the Internet at a business that my family operates. It meant the...Read more

Does Your Security Have Enough Layers?

When I was in the U.S. military, I learned about the power of “defense in depth.” This defense strategy, that dates back to beginning of time, involves employing multiple layers of defense to resist...Read more

How Are You Looking for Opportunities to Improve?

As I walked with the Marco team into the airport to return home from a recent trip to Costa Rica, my first thought was, “There has to be a better way.” Some passengers walked straight to the...Read more

We’re Building Factories. Should You?

We’re building factories. While that’s a sentence I never expected to say as Chief Technology Officer of Marco, it’s not what you think. I am not talking about the traditional bricks-and-mortar...Read more

A Futuristic Notebook Is Here

I have piles upon piles of notepads of my handwritten notes filed in my desk drawer. Some of them date back quite far and yes, I still pull them out and refer to them. Sometimes, it takes some...Read more

Key Technology Services Go À La Carte

As a technology provider, we have to change our business model constantly to stay relevant and deliver value to our clients. That means being willing to update the products and services we sell and...Read more

How Technology Shifts Change Us

As Chief Technology Officer, I have helped provide the strategic direction of the technology and related services that Marco provides. In recent years, that role has become more demanding due to the...Read more

Futuristic Self-Service Arrives: Are You Ready for This?

I remember when my oldest daughter was two. Like many kids her age, she desired to do things herself. It didn’t matter if it took her longer to do it. As she grew older, it meant I waited patiently...Read more

5 Tech Trends That Will Impact Business in 2017

I’m often asked to pull out a crystal ball and talk about where technology is going. Preparing for the future and identifying the right technology for it is a main role I play as Chief Technology...Read more

Proximity Marketing Increases with Wi-Fi Access Apps

You know the saying that there is no such thing as a free lunch. The same is true when it comes to Wi-Fi. It’s become so common to jump on a network - for free - after quickly clicking “I agree” to...Read more

Password Alert: Your Account Could be Compromised

If you’re using your birthday, anniversary, kids’ birthdays or any information that can be found online – including your social media account – in your passwords, your account could easily be...Read more

Have Your Heard of the Dark Web?

Have you heard of the Dark Web? I bet not and I encourage you to resist the urge to Google it and start clicking. It is called the Dark Web for good reason.  The "Dark Web" is the encrypted...Read more

Where Are You On the Technology Curve?

My job is to stay ahead of the technology curve. That used to mean looking out three to five years – or even 10 years when I first started my career. Today, we expect some technology to be obsolete...Read more

What Do the Russian Hacks Mean to Your Organization?

There has been quite a bit of talk – and jokes – about the “Russian attackers” in recent days. So is the threat real and how does it impact your organization?Russian hackers claim they will try to...Read more

What Technology Do Small Businesses Really Need?

Acquiring technology is among the first steps any entrepreneur takes when starting a small business. It may start with a computer, printer and software before quickly growing to storage, networking...Read more

What is Your Client Satisfaction Data Telling You?

As we recently implemented a new sales software system, the company pressed into us, asking, “What really is your value differentiator?” What they really were asking was “What do we actually do...Read more