Golden RuleMarketers are looking for a way to get attention, to get their message across and ultimately to get an advantage over their competitors.

Marketing has become a bad word to many. As a marketer you may even cringe in certain settings when you are asked what you do. Unfortunately, you know the feelings toward marketing is sometimes justified. Even some of the best brands fall for the worst marketing tactics at times.

The Golden Rule

“Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”

When you, as a marketer, break the golden rule, we, the people, respond. We create new legislation, new technology or change our behavior. Whatever it takes, we strive to protect our experience if you do not.

  • Do you want unsolicited email? I didn’t think so. So stop sending it, and stop assuming asking for an email isn’t a meaningful barrier. Gary Thuerk, referred to as the father of spam, said “I never fill out any personal information on Web sites because it all goes into some kind of marketing database” in an interview with eSecurity Planet. And no, when someone fills out your form, they aren’t asking to be added to an email marketing list even if many, like Gary, know it will happen
  • Do you like receiving phone calls at dinner time? Probably not, and you are not alone. More than 200 million numbers had already been added to the Do Not Call registry in 2010. In contrast, at the end of 2009, there were only 672 million phone numbers, include mobile, business and toll free numbers, reported by the FCC.
  • Do you like pop-ups and banners that take over your screen? No. AdBlock claims more than 15 million chrome users (and is one of only a few extensions labeled as having 10,000,000+ users in the Chrome store). That’s only Chrome, and just one ad blocker. Popup blockers have been a standard feature of most browsers for years.
  • Do you want to see the same ad and hear the same jingle over and over again? No. Remember the Toyota “Saved by Zero” TV ads? Even in 2008, people turned to Facebook to complain about the annoying ad and its accompanying song. (I’ll spare you the link to the ad)

Even the most strident supporter of outbound marketing recognizes many of its most obnoxious or intrusive elements. Now it is time to recognize the inevitable backlash against these marketing tactics and find the more sustainable approaches.

Are you not sure how a new marketing opportunity may be received by your audience? Look to the golden rule. Would you really want your dinner interrupted by a marketer, even one giving you, in their words, a great opportunity?

Your Turn

Do you wish more marketers used to the golden rule to evaluate marketing opportunities? Share your view in the comments below or with me on Twitter (@wittlake).

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Read more: Leaders Need To Ignore The Golden Rule