The Anti-Marketing Hall of Shame - Preying for Customers

The Hall of Shame hosts editorials and rants on negative corporate and societal trends.
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Preying for Customers

The shameful practice of deceiving customers is growing at an alarming rate, as companies and individuals push the envelope in an attempt to lure and snare their prey. Recent and pervasive online trends include email address harvesting, clever email subject headers, opt-OUT mailing lists, forcing people to UNcheck boxes to avoid signing up for services or to cancel recurring billing, the always annoying pop-up window, and indiscriminate buying and selling of personal information.
This trend has the effect of creating a state of animosity between marketers and customers. The customer/prey feels attacked, abused, insulted, and downright annoyed. Such practices are so widespread that they are now the norm. People are becoming conditioned to ignore anything resembling an advertisement. This would suggest that the less an advertisement or marketing approach looks and smells like an ad, the better chance it has of drawing the interest of the customer. A good strategy is to give something to your customer in advance as a gesture of goodwill -- a simple approach is to start with truthful and useful information. Companies who practice responsible marketing techniques will stand out from the crowd and will be much more likely to forge honest and loyal relationships with their customers.

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