Defending The Telemarketers
from the cry-me-a-river dept
Someone over at Salon has decided to write up a piece defending telemarketers against the ever-popular “do not call” list. You almost have to wonder if the piece was penned by the telemarketing industry itself. It simply parrots their arguments with little critical thought. The biggest argument is that it’s going to put all these telemarketers out of work (followed up closely by the fact that these telemarketers are often female, disabled, just off welfare, or some other category that is supposed to make it okay for them to bother us constantly). The reason this doesn’t matter is that telemarketing has the model wrong. They don’t understand advertising. They think advertising is a shotgun approach, and for every person they call who doesn’t want to hear from them, they’re wasting their time and money. Sure, they may need fewer operators now, but the calls should be focused on people who actually care. The telemarketers respond that people are lying when they say they don’t want telemarketing calls – and the fact that people buy from telemarketers suggests that might be true. However, having someone buy something doesn’t mean they want to be bothered all the time. It should be their right to opt-out from being proactively bothered in their own home. The comparisons to TV commercials don’t matter because turning on the TV is a choice. Your phone is always on, and proactively calls you to attention. Finally, all of the telemarketers claims assumes (incorrectly) that once telemarketing dies, advertisers won’t find other methods to bug you and get their message across. Hopefully, they’ll realize there are more productive ways to advertise, but the simple-minded telemarketer is likely to simply move on to other methods, such as direct mail and spam.
Comments on “Defending The Telemarketers”
Customer Relationship Management
This is such an interesting topic, and I agree with Mike that those companies that rely heavily on telemarketing bombardment really just don’t get it.
I was at a Financial Services Industry Council retreat recently in Washington where one of the topics was better customer communications management. Now, the retail financial industry (think credit cards) has been lousy with telemarketing and direct mail. The speaker at this event, however, showed that he truly understood the issue. There was a great deal of grumbling at the event about the Do Not Call list and how it was expected to hurt business. But the speaker in the communications management session hit the nail on the head: how bad of a job have we been doing building relationships when our customers are so adament that they don’t want to hear from us that they will look to the Federal government to keep us from bothering them? What more of a clue do we need that we need to change the way we do things? In general very critical of the shotgun approach and the specific communication methods.
Now, if only the telecommunications industry would get the same clue…
“Yes, I am interested in long-distance savings. *Very* interested.” -The pimply-faced kid on “The Simpsons”
Sound Truck solutions
When phone calls were more expensive, agressive marketers used to go around neighborhoods with trucks blaring pitches from loudspeakers, drop flyers from airplanes (why are they called flyers?), fill the sky with ad balloons. We could also make use of technology to project images on windows, clouds, even thin air. Full moons will be nights when the moon become a mobile infomercial in the sky.
telemarketers' bad reasoning
Arguing against banning unsolicited telemarketing calls because it will put spammers (uh, I mean telemarketers) out of work is like arguing against banning heroin because it will put drug pushers out of work.
Contraversal Article to Market the Site
I think this piece was purposely put on there to generate “buzz” (no such thing as bad publicity). You mentioned them here, it probably mentioned elsewhere, etc. It is a topic where being on the “wrong” side will generate discussion without protests and boycotts (like, say, an article against affirmative action)