I recently went through the daunting process of moving. Aside from hauling all my worldly possessions upstairs to my new place, dealing with forwarding mail, setting up utilities and waiting through gaping “installation windows” (yea, I had nothing to do between 10am – 4pm…I’ll just wait for you cable dude…) is a total pain.
Ironically, the same day that I’d called the cable company to inquire about services and prices, I received a letter in the mail from the cable company’s direct competition. As a business, you reached me at the perfect time. I’m in the market to make a change with my cable and internet and because moving is expensive, I’m definitely looking to save some money. So a letter that usually goes straight from mailbox to recycle bin was suddenly of interest. I opened the envelope ready to find some information about what this competitor could provide me that the cable company I’d just called couldn’t, and much to my dismay, I found none of what I was looking for.
While the mailer had caught me at exactly the right time, it provided me with none of the right information, so the money and time spent on this piece of marketing was worthless. Of course, with something like cable services details can vary by area making it difficult to get into specifics through mass mailing, but all I found in the letter was a bunch of fluffy marketing talk highlighting a few incentives for signing up and of course that super official looking signature from the president of the company. But in my situation, what I needed to know was what you could provide me and how much it would cost. Even giving me a price range or example of services would have peeked my interest enough to make me track down more information, but instead, I was frustrated, tossed the letter and continued on with the company I’d spoken with earlier in the day.
There are more choices facing consumers today than ever. Even just the sheer volume of choice and data processing that goes on in our everyday lives is immense. That’s why when it comes to products and services, don’t make your consumers think! Tell them exactly what they need and how to get it. Tell them what it will cost them and why it will help them out. It may sound basic, but in today’s world of ever increasing information sources, and less and less time to process them, direct authenticity and transparency are becoming more and more key to successful marketing. Take the time to step back from your own product and provide just the information people need to act. Don’t make the cable company mistake. It’s hard enough to catch your consumer at the just right time, make sure you’re not gonna blow it when you get there.