Do Marketers Walk Their Talk?


One of the things I like to do is to conduct agency reviews or searches for clients.  I have conducted reviews for Toyo Tires, Jacuzzi, Jenny Craig and other companies.  I get to go on a great journey of learning that I generally share on my blogs.

Agency reviews are done very infrequently by clients and are not impulse actions.  They generally occur when there is some pain in their agency relationships and some performance shortcomings.  They may occur once in a decade for a client.

To promote my practice I often reach out from time to time to client prospects.  My expectations are low because of the cycle of reviews. I recently sent some e mails out to the Marketing Departments of one of the financial institutions I deal with. Later that day I got an e mail back from one of the marketing people asking me to delete her from my data base.  I complied.

Later that day I checked my bulk e mails in my inbox.  My daily e mail was there from that financial institution.  I get one a day every business day or about 20 in a month.  They stay in my bulk e mails. During one of my reviews for a company in the CRM space I heard many stats on how many e mails were sent out by marketers in a day as the world shifts to automated marketing.  The number was staggering.  Made the deficit seem like a small number and it isn’t.

I went home that night and checked my mail.  I probably get 2-3 direct mail pieces from the same bank in a week.  I think that they should save some money, but what do I know?  I am already banking with them.

I was with the same bank when the world melted.  I got a letter a couple of months after the banks started to falter.  They told me that my line of credit had expired.  They didn’t explain that to me when I opened the line of credit during the boom of the housing bubble;  I didn’t realize lines of credit were coupons.

I am kind of different because I like to go into a bank and talk to the tellers when I make a deposit.  I like to network in my community.  It is a better way to get the news. Lots of people behind the counters have come and gone.  Most of the people that worked there for a long time are now gone.  They are replaced by young people with smiling faces asking me, ‘how my day is going so far?’  I heard the same thing at Starbucks that morning. I don’t think anybody really cares.  It is all a corporate script and contest.    I ask them where the previous people are and they shrug.

I looked at some new posters at the bank the other day telling me that that I could count on a personal relationship with them. .  I don’t believe that for an instant. They said they were a community bank even though they are based across the country.

I am not sure that if the Marketer at the bank who told me to delete her e mail from my data base and avoid contacting her in the future was having a good day that day.  I am not sure if she designed the marketing program the bank was implementing. But I do know one thing:  Marketers have to learn that in today’s social media world the way they act at work and in life must be the same.

By the way, the name of my bank is…



You can connect with Hank on LinkedIn

Follow his updates on twitter @hankblank


Watch his video on YouTube on Why It’s Time to Change the RFP Process.

Watch his video on YouTube on Why It’s Time to Change the RFP Process.


3 thoughts on “Do Marketers Walk Their Talk?

    • Richard D'Ambrosio

      Hank. Poignant. I think you point out with such clarity the disconnect going on today between corporations and consumers. We’ve trained customer service reps to be kind, to read sweetly from a script, while they enforce policies that leave consumers very skeptical of the brand’s commitment to their customers. We spend millions with agencies to draft the next “perfect” DM piece that delivers a message no one reads (or if they do, they make no personal connection to it). And we accept the same old mediocre results, a public loyal to brands only when that company has found a way to make untangling ourselves more effort than it’s worth. You on the other hand sir, connect with us regularly. And I for one am grateful for that. Keep preaching the good word. Maybe we can get more marketers to listen.

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