I recently attended a conference and the host had the “traditional marketing materials” set out for the taking by anyone who had interest. My first thought was what a waste. My second thought was I wonder if participants are interested in the material.
Upon looking around I discovered that not one person who was passing by the “material” table was actually taking the material. Being curious I decided to see if the material had any valuable content in it.
Sure there was some pretty graphics and slick pictures all printed on high gloss bound paper with a high stock cover. By he way, the content was all about them. I decided to ask someone about these materials. I found someone who looked official and engaged in a conversation. The questions and answers were as follows:
- How did these materials get here? Answer: We shipped them (Cost)
- These are nice looking. How much did it cost to print them? Answer: We run lots of 25,000 so we keep the pricing price down to roughly $3 per piece (Cost of $75,000 per run)
- How often to your print material like this? Answer: Probably once a quarter so we can keep the content fresh. (Cost of $300,00o a year)
- Do your customers, suppliers and partners like this material? Answer: I really don’t know, people usually don’t comment whether they like it or not. (No feedback loop?)
- Can I get this information off your web site? Answer: Yes, it is in the section called Products and Services” and all you have to do is log into or site and you can download the material. (Now why would I want to do that?)
- How many people download this material? Answer: I have no idea. Someone else manages the web site. I am in charge of marketing and events. (So your web site has nothing to do with marketing and events?)
- Just curious but has the economy hurt your sales? Answer: Yes, business is terrible and our entire market segment is down 20% over last year. We’ve had to cut budgets and layoff people. We’ve even cut marketing and advertising. I hope this economy turns around soon. So how is your business and what is it you do?
- My answer was, I am in social media. The response: Oh yeah, I am on Linkedin, Facebook and just started Twittering. Seems like a lot of wasted time to me.
Am I Living On A Different Planet?
Sometimes I wonder if I live on a different planet. How could can company spend $300,000 a year on printed material that no one is interested in? How could someone in marketing and events not be concerned about the traffic on their web site? How could printing out hard copy material once a quarter be considered “fresh content”? How could any company spend $300,000 a year in hard copy material that doesn’t add any value while having to layoff people?
How could they? They do because they don’t know the difference. Simply put they lack the knowledge and understanding that the “market as changed” and they wonder why profits are down. Instead they waste time, money and effort. Please kill the waste.
Does this sound familiar or am I the only one living on a different planet?
What say you?