A few years back the Better Business Bureau cancelled one of my client’s memberships because they thought his marketing was “too aggressive.” Particularly his web site where he clearly and specifically stated why a prospect should choose his company over every other IT service company in the area (which I wrote for him). His reaction was the same as mine: Nuts to them. If anything, it validated what we were doing. In fact, their complaint wasn’t that our claims weren’t TRUE (they were) or even that they were getting complaints about it—their beef was that they deemed it “unfair.” Um, last time I checked, business is based on securing the biggest competitive advantage you can over your competition and then beating them over the head with it. I’ll play fair and honest in my dealings with customers, but I’m not pulling any punches when it comes to taking business away from a competitor—and offering better, more attractive and more valuable service IS fair and honest in business. (On a separate note, I think the BBB is one of the biggest scams going. Very similar to Mafia bosses selling protection. Who appointed those nitwits to be the police of what is and isn’t “fair” in business anyway?)
On this same note, take a look at the e-mail campaign (below) forwarded to me by my staff from the folks at Axcient, a backup vendor that recently hired me to do a webinar for their clients. During one of our prep meetings, the Zenith bond default had just happened and came up during our discussion. I recommended they use that as the key message in a marketing piece to steal Zenith’s clients who were already unhappy with the service, and now rightfully concerned about having their clients’ data under their care. Much to my delight they actually took my advice and sent out the e-mail you see here. It’s nice to see someone willing to be a bit ballsy in their marketing when most are trying to be completely non-offensive, plain vanilla bland so they don’t rock anyone’s boat. Just remember if your marketing doesn’t arouse an emotion on some level, it’s getting ignored.