Last year, I donated (PING—NEW VOICEMAIL). Last year, I donated blood during a blood drive. Now don’t begin to make me out as a saint, the whole affair was Simona’s idea (PING—TWO NEW VOICEMAILS). Having my fluids drained in an RV never makes the cut for my weekend plans, but Simona is apt at lulling me into generosity. PING.
My experience was admittedly positive. Th e staff worked judiciously and kept me at ease. Keeping me at ease was vital because there’s over 300 reasons why I typically refuse to walk into any hospital adorned with turn signals. After stepping out of the completely legitimate blood collection van, I felt I had made a small yet meaningful contribution by suffering a bit of queasiness for 15-minutes.
Little did I know, I would soon find myself on the receiving side of “no good deed…” Two weeks later (PING) the voicemails began. And now they (PING) simply refuse (PING) to stop! PING. Stop! PING! Seriously! PING!!!
I have rare blood, the multi-purpose kind that hospitals prefer. And now that the blood bank has a taste for it, they are thirsty for more. So thirsty, these vampires call me four times per week to remind me how desperate they are to tap that precious oil pipeline running through my veins. Normally, cold calls this high in frequency are enough to leave anyone squeamish. But they come from a non-profit organization with an aspirational mission against which few people can argue.
Of course blood donation is vital for hospitals and the health of our nation at large, I get that, we all get that. However, just like blood itself, one mustn’t let their holier-than-thou mission rush to their head.
Bloody Ends, Bloody Means
I am on the receiving end of a numbers game. This non-profit believes that ends justify the means, a pitfall of marketers in any well-meaning organization. To them, beating me over the head with automated calls and elbowing their way into the guiltiest parts of my brain are crass, but necessary tactics to achieve their lofty goals.
Grandma doesn’t care how guilty you feel as long as you finally pick up the damned phone and call her once in a while—she won’t be around forever, you know? This non-profit continues to make a classic marketing blunder: they forget about you, and they forget about me, they forget about the customer. They forget that you and I lack the same level of enthusiasm for giving as they have for taking. They forget the person who, while sympathetic to their goals, requires at least a shred of carrot to go along with the stick.
As marketers, we must always be of two minds. The first mind is internal. The internal mind understands the value we offer, the advantages customers gain from our services and products, and how exceptional we are. The first mind is natural, the second mind less so.
The external mind sees us through the eyes of the customer, which means this mind can only know what the customer knows and feel only what the customer feels. When we project the internal mind onto the external, we start making mistakes.
Internal thinking convinces us to launch a guilt-tripping robocall campaign that spams Type-O blood donors four times per week because God dammit, it’s the right thing to do. Wrong. Your cause, your solution, your world is number one only to you; it’s rarely, if ever, as meaningful to your customer.
With a recession approaching, interest rates hiking, and a war in Ukraine, there are thousands of things your customer may be more concerned about than your prerogative. Remember that when a person takes the time to listen to you and consider your message, they give you a precious gift: their undivided attention.
Don’t (PING) waste it.