A few months ago, in a post titled "The Complaint Department," I shared an aggravating personal customer service experience I had.
Basically, after purchasing a gift for my father, I discovered that I purchased the wrong item. I mistakenly purchased a different variety because the picture didn't match the product listing. In fact, it still doesn't. I didn't notice this because I arrived at the page through a Google search that correctly found the wrong picture.
When I politely emailed the store looking for help with my dilemma, they neglected to ever reply, ensuring that I'll never buy anything from this hometown foods site again.
Naturally, I forgot about this experience until I pulled one of their direct marketing pieces from my mailbox this week.
Personally, I think it's poor marketing to automatically send consumers junk because they made prior purchases. It's simply one of the dumbest marketing practices and certainly comes off as such in this particular case. Similarly, I can recall instances of receiving marketing messages from a company for the first time shortly after applying for a job.
Despite being poor marketing and discourteous behavior, why does it feel like companies helping themselves to a consumer's attention is standard operating procedure.
I believe the disconnect relates to maintaining an ideology that "reach" is paramount, as is the case when attention is purchased with advertising. However, these names aren't purchased (or at least they shouldn't be), they're earned. Therefore, it's time marketers start treating them as such because abusing earned attention has consequences far greater than forgotten noise.