*This is an independent examination of idiotic promotion practices of some marketers. Pepsi and Coke are not sponsors or co-sponsors of this examination. Pepsi is a registered trademark of Pepsi Corporation. Coke is a registered trademark of Coca Cola Corporation.
IDIOTIC PROMOTIONAL CAMPAIGNS
I received following email from a direct email marketing company. This is not first time I have seen someone use this technique in his or her direct promotion campaign. At first, I had deleted message for being spam that it was... Then I realized what a good article this would make. So I dug message out of my trash folder so that I could share it with you.
SUBJECT: Soda Taste Test
Today, we're gathering opinions and preferences about popular soft drinks. Your feedback will help us determine people's choice.
DOES PEPSI® TASTE BETTER THAN COKE®?
a. Yes b. No
THE REAL GOAL EXPLAINED
I understand what they are trying to do. They are trying to generate reader participation within their marketing campaign. And they are trying to do so within strategy of using a question everyone generally has an opinion about.
A good friend of mine has often told me about his first job as a telemarketing sales representative. It was his words that prompted me to write my article today.
Eighteen years ago at age of 19, my friend worked for a spell as a telemarketer. It was his first gig as a salesperson and it left a lasting impression with him.
It seems that his boss had read same book that our direct email marketer had read. It seems both have asked exact same question, although at different times and within different marketing mediums. Yet, I am sure that response will be same.
A HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE
In 1984, it took less than a week for my friend to see futility in this approach.
The goal of Pepsi vs. Coca-Cola question is to create an opportunity for consumer to interact with telemarketer or direct marketer.
This technique was born in sales teaching manuals that suggest that salesperson should stive to get customer to answer three of four questions with a Yes before moving into sales pitch.
Of course, basis of approach is legitimate in that you must create a dialog with customer before you can ever hope to introduce product or close a sale.
When dialing a number at random, telemarketer would have to introduce himself, "Hello, my name is Bill and I represent" such-and-such charity. "Let me ask you a question. We are interested in knowing whether you prefer Pepsi or Coca-Cola?" Then telemarketer was to insert a deliberate pause and await an answer.
Often times, inserted silence would generate a hang-up. Other times, it would generate a very hesitant answer. And even if question was able to generate appropriate level of interest in conversation, consumer was often lost when next step was to take consumer into a sales pitch totally unrelated to Pepsi vs. Coke equation. The change in direction was often rightly perceived as a deception on part of telemarketer.
THERE MUST BE A BETTER WAY
My friend knew that there had to be a better way.
He had read all of same books and had a desire to make more money while working this commission job. He was properly motivated to get most out of what was available to him.