From the diary of Susan J Mumford:
It was a Friday evening. My partner and I were catching each other up on our work days and generally shifting into weekend relaxation mode over dinner.
AhhhThat Friday night feeling.
Bing! Incoming text.
As text messages are generally personal (and the work mobile stays in the office at weekends), I got my phone out of my pocket to see who had written.
“See my blue watercolours at this new venue. TOMORROW – WINE FESTIVAL @ Floral Winebar, wines up to 50% discount. 3pm til late. WC2B 4AY. Snacks on the house!!!!! I’ll be there 5-7pm – will you?”
No, I won’t.
In fact, I’m currently busy shifting into weekend mode, and spamming my personal mobile phone at 9pm at the start of the weekend while I’m relaxing over dinner is not the right time to get in touch.
Anyway, if you’re anything like me, probably tomorrow might sound a bit short notice? This weekend’s plans were sorted months ago.
Too late, sugar. And… you’ve succeeded in annoying me too.
After I politely replied to let the artist (who I know a bit, but not that well) to say that I wouldn’t be attending, I carried on enjoying my evening.
Later, this got me thinking about how marketing has changed in recent years.
Back in 2000 before smartphone days, sending round texts to contacts in advance of art shows was more of a ‘done’ thing. Mind, even back then, waiting until late in the evening the day before the event without any prior notification would have been equally ineffective.
Fast forward to today, and many people sync contacts on the computer with the phone. Rather than having perhaps a couple of hundred people on one’s phone, many have thousands. So mass-texting everyone from the cleaner to a lawyer you met at a networking event isn’t going to achieve much, and will likely annoy more people than it interests.
It’s high time that people who are still using text messaging for marketing up their game and move to more sophisticated and measurable technology platforms, using email marketing and social media.
Yes, it requires some planning, reasonable psychology basics, and a sprinkle of common sense, but no amount of work beats even one breezy minute of sending-your-prospects-away.
In the rare instance that you still send text messages to a select few – preferably with a personalized approach, the least you can do is be considerate about the timing of the message in the knowledge that most recipients will experience a sudden bing!
You want to delight and fascinate with marketing activities, not irritate.