August 28, 2009 – NPR’s Morning Edition reported that the FTC has recently banned most automated telephone calls today in a story listed on the NPR website. This is good news whose time has been coming for a while.
From the NPR website: “Government regulators issued a new rules Thursday banning telemarketers from sending out prerecorded phone marketing pitches. As of next Tuesday, robocallers face up to $16,000 in fines, unless they have your written permission do so. There are several exceptions including calls that prorvide airline flight information.” (More online)
It’s time that marketers of all stripes realize that they should put some thought and strategy behind marketing messages to people. Whether it’s the duplicate catalogs or unwanted email, the technology is in place to tailor our messages to inform, remind and not anger folks when we need to communicate a product or service. But the “robo-call” people have sent it over the edge leading to a contraction of the service. And good thing.
These messages are sometimes misleading and take advantage of people’s time and patience by plying messages when one might otherwise be relaxing. One thing marketers should know is that people aren’t sitting around wondering about health care options when they’re interrupted at the dinner table. That’s why a real person asking permission for your time is the time-honored and effective way to communicate with a person. We live in an on-demand world, where marketers are best served by making their message available in an “on-demand” format.
The same message vilified by many, may be welcome to others if the prospect can get it when they want. That’s why building rapport with clients (whether you speak to them face-to-face or not) is so vital today as it ever was. We can create and promote systems that allow “easy-in, easy-out” systems, that allows folks to get the information they need, when they need it. And let this be a lesson to the increasingly out-of-work robo-call marketer.