March 26, 2009

Spam Scam Scram

There are more emails sent and received every day, than there are humans walking the earth.

We are officially overwhelmed by email, advertising, marketing, voice mail and gadgets. The chatter is deafening and the chances of being heard are getting tougher every day. And social media is the new petri dish for advertisers and marketers.

The attention span of hummingbirds

During one of our long phone chats about how we would change the radio industry for the better, my good friend Sean Demery asked, "What is the lottery jackpot in Toronto this week?" I said, "$10 Million". He quipped back, "And you think you are going to cut through with free concert tickets?" That was 10 years ago.

Those were the days, my friend...

If you have ever seen footage of an NHL game from the 60’s, you will notice how bare the arena looks. There are no ads on the boards, the stairs are clear of logos, it’s pure and clean. But as soon as one advertising agency, one PR expert, one savvy marketing person realized that there were ways to exploit any flat surface, that all changed.

Watch a European hockey game now and you can't see the ice or the players for all the advertising. It's gotten just a tad ridiculous. Then again, it seems to be working for NASCAR.

Shut it off..

If you decided that for just one day you were going to avoid all advertising, public relations or marketing messages, your only choice would be to sit still in a dark room with the lights off. And try not to hear thousands of those messages in your head whilst sitting in said dark room. When you emerge, someone will be hoping to catch your attention.

We are consuming (and often discarding) content and messages everywhere, all the time. Annual online advertising in estimated at $24 Billion in the U.S. and $1.6 Billion in Canada. In comparison, Obama & Co. bailed out AIG to the tune of $185 Billion. So, digital revenue streams have a way to go. Sadly, so does the clutter.

Spam vs. Conversation

If you work in marketing, advertising or public relations you have clients that want you to help them make more money. But how often are you interrupted by messages you didn’t ask for or calls from people you don’t know or flip up, pop up, drop down, auto email blasts, dancing avatars or skyscraper ads in your day?

We laugh whenever we get the Nigerian bank email or someone claims that it’s ‘no money down’, 'guaranteed' or 'a sure thing'. With the National No-Call List in effect for Canada and the U.S., telemarketers have had to look at other avenues for revenue growth.

Advertising on Twitter? Shock horror!

When I used to talk on the radio, I really had no idea who was actually listening. It’s the same with this post or any messages we send to each other. There are some great ideas and deals for us all to enjoy. Equally, there is no shortage of people who are happy to spam, scam and scram. Why do they do that? Enough people say yes to make it worth their while.

How do you cut through the noise and get your message to its intended receiver without it appearing like spam or an interruption?

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