Like cans of gasoline in the hands of that “one uncle,” using automation to help spread your word can have unforeseen consequences. I don’t think automated marketing systems are necessarily a good thing, especially in some implementations. While there are great tools for helping to automate your marketing, great marketing still starts from a passion about your product or service. Period.
Now, do I use automated marketing tools? You betcha! You might be one of thousands of people who get my Monday Marketing newsletter delivered conveniently to your inbox through a mailing program. If not, you can remedy that here.
I also use tools like Hootsuite to take my personally-crafted messages and send them out to various social media destinations at times determined to be optimal for engagement. In fact I really like Hootsuite to help manage my social media, allowing me to see messages from various social platforms and respond right away all without having to go to those platforms. You see, I’ve got an addiction.
Even when I have the best of intentions to simply go to social media and check something, those plans go immediately astray when I get there. I love social media. I’ve told you that I had a dial-up chat board in the 1980s when the technology was very primitive. I’ve loved it since then and I love it as much today. No, probably more.
So I can’t just visit any social site without it consuming a good chunk of an hour, if not more.
The benefit of Hootsuite, for me, is that I only get my own feeds so I can take action or monitor traffic from there, rather than going directly to the belly of the beast.
But the message I am sending through these automation tools is one I’ve come up with personally and I send it to an intended audience. I feel that social media and communication with any of the people who follow me or agree to accept my messaging is a very privileged communication and I don’t ever use tools to barge in on someone when they’re not expecting me there.
In fact I get offers from people who want to pay me to convey their messaging via my voice and I always refuse.
At a place where I did some consulting one of the things that was considered is an automated text messaging system that reminded customers at specific intervals to come in for service or leave a review on line. According to the text messaging company this kind of tool gets incredible response from people. But this doesn’t surprise me.
Text messages are still somewhat uncluttered from a junk marketing standpoint. So when you get that notification that you have a new text message your response is almost immediate. This is also true when you’re in a meeting or at mealtime or even in church when you can’t shut that phone off fast enough. That’s the danger of text messaging marketing.
If someone wants your text messages, and the place that repairs our cars does updates via text which I like, getting that little notification isn’t a bad thing at all. But if your timing is unlucky and you hit someone at a time when they shouldn’t be getting text messages, that could inspire an almost immediate and unfriendly response in the form of a lousy review.
Recently I got an automated call from some car dealer telling me that the car I have is exactly what they’re looking for for their used car department. You mean someone out there needs a 1961 Chevrolet Corvair Lakewood? That’s odd, it’s a pretty specific collectible car. Plus you have to be just this side of cuckoo to love Corvairs as I do.
I called the number back and it gave me the opportunity to leave a message. I didn’t even get to speak with the offender at the local dealership who was interrupting breakfast on a Sunday with my wife. He did, however, call her a few moments after attempting to reach me. Well, his automated system did.
I also chose to leave a message with their system after the tone and, on the subject of tone, I politely invited him to subscribe to my own marketing blog and email newsletter. I shared that he might learn marketing tips and ideas and even see that his tactics are flawed, in my book. I’ll let you know if he takes me up on my offer.
To me all marketing is basically connecting with your customers and prospects on a personal level. While there are certainly ways to take your message and distribute it more efficiently, it’s still best to have your message appear as if it comes directly from you and is personalized toward the individual you’re targeting.
So marketing can be automated, it just should never feel like it is. Oh, and get that can of gasoline from that weird uncle please.