Into the Pool #5: Push Marketing

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This month, Ian Truscott has been hanging out with Photofy CEO John Andrews. And push marketing is the subject of their wrath. Don’t agree with what they’re saying? Tell us why.

I’m seeing a pattern, our marketing rock stars do not like anything that’s easy, cheap, driven by the machine and annoys 99.99% of the people it touches. We’ve already chucked out retargeting and programmatic and in this issue, inspired by our backstage chat with John Andrews from the last issue, we're casting an eye over push marketing to see how many of us it will take to lift it off the balcony.

In John’s opinion: 

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Push marketing. It’s dead, dead, dead. Unwanted messaging is simply spam, in any format. Stop it.

I think the keyword is “unwanted”. Personally, I love it when Lufthansa push a message that tells me about a gate change or… 

Hang on. I can’t actually think of another good example from my own life right now. 

The pizza delivery company of choice for my family is a dumbass; I order pizza every Friday for pizza and movie night, have done for years and my business is split between two services, depending on the whim of the family, although I would say it’s 80/20 in favor of one. 

I make a buying decision every Friday, to the point that I am surprised that when I don’t order from our regular that one of the delivery guys isn’t knocking on my door concerned that we’ve been abducted. So, why am I, like bloody clockwork, getting push SMS messages from our regular on a THURSDAY?

Maybe 0.01% of people that have pizza on a Friday can be tempted to order extra pizza on Thursday (assuming it’s that sophisticated they have figured out I order on a Friday), maybe this cheap-as-chips marketing delivers a return that’s off the charts, but for 99.9% it is spam.

Maybe this cheap-as-chips marketing delivers a return that’s off the charts. But for 99.9% it is spam.

Worse than spam. In fact, today my email does a pretty decent job of filtering, not just junk but what’s not important, which is why these bastards are now on my phone. Push to my phone, it’s an interruption. SMS applications have no intelligence to filter and when you hear the beep you have no idea if it’s the dumbass pizza dudes – it gets your attention.

I’m invariably flying on a Thursday, I hear the beep, check my phone in case Lufthansa or my wife had something useful to tell me, see the sender, get marginally irritated, remember I wanted to write a blog post about this shit and that is the entire extent of our brand conversation. 

I have not, by any measurement actually received the offer or engaged with it. I have no idea if the deal they are pushing is valid on a Friday or if it’s a great offer, it doesn’t matter. I am not in the pizza buying frame of mind.

In the high falutin’ words of modern marketing I am not in that mobile moment, it is the wrong context, it is not relevant.

All that said, it’s a tough call on whether I help John to heft this over the balcony and stand back for the splash. If we lose push marketing, do I lose the ability to know my gate number some crucial minutes before it appears on the boards?

I don’t think so, push is cool as a service, as a thing I want. But as a marketer I agree with John, it’s an interruption none of us need.

So… You lift that end…

<SPLASH!>


Ian Truscott

Ian Truscott is an accomplished B2B content marketer, having held marketing leadership roles within global software vendors in both the US and Europe, before growing a content marketing practice within an international agency, developing a methodology that enabled clients such as Nasdaq, General Motors and American Express to realise the value of content marketing. Ian is applying this same passion for content as head of marketing for censhare AG.

Go backstage with Ian here, or read more of his articles


More from the August issue...

We cross over to the wrong side of marketing town with STRAIGHT OUTTA COMPTON, as our usual gang of marketing rock stars pound the pavements alongside some new kids on the block - Christine Bailey, Tom Wentworth and Stephen Kelly - exploring profanity, humor, and a slightly skewed moral compass in our marketing efforts. Read more


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Ian Truscott

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