Thursday, February 24, 2005

Marketing Wars, Part VI: Revenge of the Pissed-Off Consumers

From the supplemental blog of radio station WFMU: Piss off telemarketers by acting like a retarded kid. (Another common technique I've heard of is to place an air horn or whistle next to one's phone, and simply blow as loud as one can until the telemarketer hangs up.)

The entry itself is funny in a very guilty, sick way, but brings up a larger issue worth discussing - namely, the growing trend among consumers to not wait for Congress to regulate telemarketing, but to instead take matters into their own hands, vigilante-style. I admit, I've gotten so angry at telemarketers before, I've contemplated starting a website featuring their names, photos and addresses, and encouraging sociopathic random citizens to go out and kill them. What does it say about your company when your customers are harboring such violent fantasies, or devising such elaborate plots to get back at you, like the scheme highlighted at WFMU's blog? Is this really the way you want to do business? Is this really the relationship you want to have with your customers?

As traditional advertising becomes more and more ineffective in our modern world, and the din of unwanted marketing grows louder and louder, this issue is going to become of more relevance than ever before. Businesses should really start thinking about the validity of cold-call telemarketing, before someone actually does start up a "kill these people" website concerning them.