The anticipation of a game was almost too much to bear when my son first started playing Little League. He doubled checked his equipment, warmed up before we left the house, and couldn’t wait to jump out of the car when we arrived at the field. His team had their fair share of wins, but one stands out. The other team forfeited because they didn’t have enough players.
There wasn’t a celebration, only disappointment. The sadness in the faces of the boys from both teams was almost too much to bear. Winning is fun, but they were there to play the game. Win or lose, there were lessons to learn, experiences to remember, and stories to tell. A forfeited game provides nothing except disappointment and a statistic that no one will remember past that season.
Sometimes marketers forfeit because they don’t show up.
I know that I’ve done it with the marketing for my business. My newsletter has been postponed at times because clients come first. I totally understand how it happens, but I also know that it isn’t a good thing to do. My subscribers (and yours) joined because they wanted information. Failing to provide it is bad for the relationship and business.
Even worse is claiming that a marketing strategy doesn’t work when it fails because no one showed up. Examples pop up every day with different marketing strategies. Promotional emails aren’t sent on a regular basis. Catalog requests take weeks to fulfill. Social media networks aren’t updated. And, mobile marketing doesn’t move beyond capturing contact information.
A while ago, I wrote a post about Crocs adding mobile marketing to their mix. I loved seeing their text2save promotion in their stores. I even used it and spent twice as much as I planned. When asked, the cashier guesstimated that 20-30% of the shoppers were using it. By all appearances, it was a successful kick-off.
And, then it was done.
The signs disappeared from the stores. There were no follow up text messages. It was a one shot deal. What happened?
I have no idea why they didn’t continue, but I do know that they confused customers by inviting them to opt in to a program and not continuing it past the initial step. If nothing else, they should have sent a text saying thank you for joining, but the program is being discontinued.
No one can evaluate the effectiveness of any marketing strategy, channel, or campaign when there isn’t activity. If you are thinking of testing something new without making a commitment to show up, don’t waste your time or resources. Remember that showing up is half the game and forfeiting isn’t fun. Before you write something off as ineffective, give it your best shot. Even if it’s not successful, lessons will be learned.