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Not great marketing

I suppose that, having some resumes out there in the public domain, some of which contain dates, opens me up to targeted e-mail marketing. Prior to relegating such e-mail to the spam filter, however, I usually grant it a cursory assessment of its value as a marketing tactic. I’m open to being blown away by brilliance. More often, though, I’m baffled by bullshit.

Such was the case with an e-mail from one Peter B. Niles, whose signature identified him as Senior Advisor, Personal (Business) Advisors, LLC. (Yes, I briefly thought, which is it? Personal or business?)

It was one of those “We-know-who-you-are-and-think-we-have-something-you’d-be-interested-in-knowing” e-mails, which typically hesitates only briefly prior to its trip to the spam filter. But this one had an attachment.

I selected “View” (as opposed to “Download,” which is like a dinner date compared with a lunch date). A document blossomed open on my screen. The title of the document was: “Unemployed and Older, and Facing a Jobless Future.”

I needed to learn more about the brilliant minds behind this campaign. Turns out, Personal Business Advisors® (with a registered trademark symbol, as befits hyperbolic nonsense—and again, is it personal or business?) is headed by Chairman and CEO Uwe Brettmann, who “has 15 years of domestic/international experience in directing a 30-country franchise operation, consisting of 200 employees, with $118 million in annual gross revenue.”

Uwe Brettman, who has 15 years of domestic/international experience in directing a 30-country franchise operation, consisting of 200 employees, with $118 million in annual gross revenue.

Uwe Brettman, who has 15 years of domestic/international experience in directing a 30-country franchise operation, consisting of 200 employees, with $118 million in annual gross revenue.

OK. Here’s the staff meeting:

Uwe: “How about we come up with a document that we e-mail blast to everyone over age XX, reminding them that they’re old, jobless, and broke? Sound good? Great! Our intern Beatrice will come up with a first draft by EOD.”

Beatrice: “Sure thing, Mr. Brettmann!”

Does that work on anyone? Even if they are old, jobless, and broke? Don’t at least some of them look like this?

Happy, healthy-looking baby boomers, who probably don't think of themselves as old, jobless, and broke (thank you very little, Beatrice).

Happy, healthy-looking baby boomers, who probably don’t think of themselves as old, jobless, and broke (thank you very little, Beatrice).
Photo from Answer My Health Question.

Here’s a marketing basic, based on my 150 years of experience: Don’t start by insulting your target market. Got it? Peter? Uwe?

Beatrice, you can come work for me. Or I can recommend other agencies that may rely less on the creation of baffling bullshit as a marketing strategy.

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