MarComedy: Don’t make me laugh

For what tickles my fancy in media, communications and life in general.

You’ve Got Voicemail

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I recently received a voicemail from the good people at Ontario Consumer Credit Assistance (OCCA). They were calling to extend me an offer of a zero interest Mastercard. Anyone over 16 was pre-approved. They also offered me a free financial consultation having already helped 1000’s with their credit issues. They closed by wishing me a ‘stress-free day.’ Though kind of them, this did not make for a stress-free day.

I began wondering if they knew something I didn’t about my credit history. How can they offer a zero-interest credit card? Is this the kind of thing that a 16yr old should have? More troubling, however, was the fact that they didn’t call me directly to convey this important information. Nor did they call my home line. This message magically appeared on my cell phone’s voice mail. Now I’ve received these messages before from my cell phone provider. Generally, they tell me about exciting new deals or features they are offering.

This is the first instance I can recall where an outside organization imbedded itself in my voice mail. I began to wonder whether this type of activity is covered by the ‘ Do Not Call‘ legislation that is stumbling towards reality. A quick review suggests it isn’t. Perhaps I shouldn’t be surprised. I wasn’t called or faxed. I was just voice mailed. Is this a savvy marketer staying ahead of the curve? By the look of their website, I’d say no.

Apart from being rather intrusive, I have concerns that my cell phone provider is allowing this to happen. Is this covered in the terms of my service – can they just dump ads onto my phone without my permission (of course, I’ve long since chucked my contract)? I also question the value of this as a marketing tactic. They clearly haven’t done their research. I already have more credit cards than I need. I don’t have credit issues (that I know of). And I’m certainly not the type to respond well to invasive and impersonal mass marketing like this.

Technology is allowing the marketing industry and particular CRM to become much more personalized (good article in the June 5 Marketing on this – sadly you need a password/account to view it online). To build a relationship and sell me something you really need to understand who I am, what I need, what I look for in a product and what my buying triggers are. I’d urge the CCCA to go back to school before they do this again (and urge the unnamed cell phone company to re-evaluate who they do business with).

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Written by Jonathan Dunn

June 13, 2006 at 5:58 pm

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