Now More Than Ever

‘Tis the season of sales alerts, event invitations, and fundraising. Understanding and appreciating your audience is always important, but as the holidays and the accompanying obligations hit, it’s more important than ever to not get lost in the noise.
We all enter into it with the best of intentions. As consumers we think monitoring the sales will help us be more efficient, as marketers we think a sale will make us stand out. We agree as consumers to be added to the newsletter in exchange for a discount, a discount we marketers have carefully crafted with clients to make sure it’s enough, but not too much. Charitable donations take the edge off spending hangovers, and end-of-year goals push non-profits to reach for whatever last gifts they can.
There seems to be a kind of collective amnesia that it all becomes too much right about NOW. We hiss at another Gap email, roll our eyes at the second West Elm email of the day, and the capsules make us wince. December and January we clean house, but by July we’re jumping back in to saying yes.
How do we fix it, both as consumers and as communicators? If you ask me it comes back to consideration. You don’t have to sign up for every email. Say no to the club, don’t give your email to every clerk that asks.
Wait, what are you saying? Are you saying stop accepting new information?
Trampoline is an agency, but that doesn’t mean we aren’t people. We have always believed in doing what works, not just copying what everyone else is doing.
What is the goal?
How do we make it easy for people to do what you want them to do?
How do we not panic?
We consider—don’t broadcast a message, share a story. Don’t cut prices, enhance value. Don’t build a list, grow a network.
Is this all just industry spin? No, it’s the difference between saying something to someone over the phone and saying something to someone over the phone as you smile. Creating communications that are built around an idea that is mutually beneficial are more sustainable and defensible then blind marches toward hitting goals.
Perhaps the answer is instead of a perfunctory, end-of-year thank you, we brainstorm a vibrant and compelling message for mid February. We really think about how the person opening the email is going to feel. Are we doing this for them or for us?
We ask it of ourselves as an agency every day, is this design for our client or is it for us? The answer is that when we do the best for our client, that ends up being the best for us, and, with any luck, these are efforts that pierce the noise and put messages in hearts, heads in beds, and kids in the classroom.