I don’t know how to feel about last night.  Best summarized as Low – High – Low – High – Neutral – Low – Great.  Allow me to explain: 

  • Stay at the office a little late – home at 7:30. <LOW>
  • Excited as the wonderful Washington Post shows the Phillies/Diamondbacks as being on the MLB Network! <HIGH>
  • Pissed when I throw on the TV to see the G-damn Giants/Braves game pre-empted my beloved Phightins’!  That cross-dresser Lincecum screws me again!!!!! <LOW>
  • Figured there’s NO CHANCE the Eagles/Steelers game would be on here in the land of cluelessness when it comes to fiscal policy (hello double-dip recession – love the ‘hope and change’ Barack – keep it up!).  On a whim, I hit the DirecTV guide button… what’s scheduled to be on Fox at 8:00???  Birds/Steelers – officially psyched at this point! <HIGH>
  • Temper my enthusiasm by thinking that I just got d*ck teased in the same manner by the Phillies/Diamondbacks listing… could I possibly fall for it twice in the same night???? <Neutral>
  • The Eagles game is on- YES!  They proceed to get taken to the woodshed after I talk a ton of sh*t on Twitter – NO! <REALLY LOW!>
  • I eat dinner with my gorgeous wife – thinking this would lift my spirits (it did!)… but lo and behold, did I posssibly forget it’s JERSDAY????  Hello ‘Jersey Shore Does Italy’!  I don my inner Pauli D, grab a shot of Sambuca and settle into my fave couch/position (see yesterday’s blog) for an hour of complete brain cell destruction! <GREAT>

I bet you’re wondering how I tie this to marketing… me too… I hope I figure it out by the time I get to the next paragraph.  Wait, got it!

So The Situation thinks he has a 3some in the works with a set of twins when next thing you know, his housemate Deena steps in and starts making out with one of them!  Poor Situation, right?  That”s what I’m thinking.  Well let me tell you… expecting something and getting something completely different (he’s now fighting with Snooki vs. ‘smushing’ with two blonde twins)  is where we’ll draw the parallel, il mio amico!

Expecting a certain list for a mail/email acquisition campaign and deploying to something completely different is an unfortunate bi-product of the direct marketing industry.  Fortunately, I can count on one hand the number of instances this occured in my 10+ years in the business covering thousands of campaigns.  But to say that there aren’t bad eggs in the basket would be a wild mis-statement.  I have been through some horrific experiences of major brands in search of very niche data to which to send offers.  I won’t name names, but there are vultures out there waiting to feed.  For starters, PLEASE adhere to the following red flags… and if you have questions, you need to comment here… I’ll call you… and we’ll go directly to Dr. Drew because you’re clearly addicted to sniffing glue:

  1. IF you are looking for niche data (e.g. a list of left handed Somali pirates who graduated from MIT) and the number of reputable list sources you’ve utilized over the years has like 5 records, but one list you never heard of has 500,000… probably a good idea to punt and live to fight another day.
  2. IF you have a client who even after warning them of ‘what’s available’ includes a few sources with which you have little/no history (in the spirit of due diligence) … and they still desire to utilize this ‘magical list’… and you remind them that you have limited experience with this source and recommend a VERY small test, if any at all… (next bullet as I’m exceeding the purpose of bullets…)
  3. and IF they still demand with wanting to use such list… even after your protestations…
  4. Recommend they order it from your worst enemy!!!!!!  Or if you are the client, sign a note to yourself saying ‘Self, I do not blame my data broker!’ (signed in blood).

See, the thing is that we all want the ‘big deal’ everytime the phone rings.  And the reality is that I probably have had as many of these types of deals, executed without incident, as I have had problems with what should have been great orders.  Net result = push.  That’s right.  If you factor my company’s and my personal income relative to the stress, time, and money spent on martinis to get beyond the problems, I might even say that I”ve lost money on such opportunities. 

Now for you marketers, listen to your damn brokers!  And if your broker isn’t strong enough to tell you ‘no, I won’t allow you to rent that list’, call me.  I’ve done it.  After suffering one of these experiences with a client who still wanted to rent a list of ‘one legged wide receivers who play for the Patriots’ from that same list source, I said ‘NO” (like the Situation should have said to those slores).  I gave the client my biggest competitor’s name/number and told her to order the list through him.  Guess what, she ordered the list… and she’s still my client today.

Thank goodness for Jersday!

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