Another item from the junk-mail files.
It’s amusing to observe how off-base some of this old-school dead-tree marketing can be.
I usually throw this stuff away without opening it, but what the heck, it was a slow mail day, plus this one was addressed to my business name, which was slightly unusual.
It was addressed to me as “manager” (that’s strike one, I’m the owner of this business, thankyouverymuch).
Across the top of the first page: “Give your business a boost with DirecTV.”
A boost? How nice. I can’t imagine how, though, so I read the first paragraph:
Dear Wendy Cholbi,
Running a business can be very rewarding–and also demanding, hectic and exhausting. DirecTV can help.
DirecTV can reduce the demands on my business? Give me more sleep? How exactly are they planning to help? I continued reading:
With the best variety of sports, shows and up-to-the-minute news, DirecTV will keep your customers entertained and your employees informed.
Oh, I’m starting to get it. They think I have a business with a waiting room and people in it. Nope, entirely virtual, no waiting room needed. And that bit about keeping my employees informed strikes an odd note. Not just because I have no employees, but because…television? Keeping people informed? Really?
And the paragraph continued (this is the part that inspired me to start dissecting the letter):
You’ll make wait times feel shorter, liven up your atmosphere and attract more customers.
So rather than, oh, I don’t know, actually serving my customers faster (again, assuming they were here in person, which they’re not), I’m supposed to trick them into thinking they didn’t wait as long…by forcing them to watch TV.
So many things wrong with that set of assumptions. Where to start?
I’ll just say that as a Highly Sensitive Person, I hate waiting rooms with a TV. This includes airports, by the way. Hate. Sometimes I have to plug my ears to stay sane.
DirecTV actually tells me that they’re “an affordable way to grow my business.” That seems like a big leap.
It’s one thing to trick the hypothetical customers doomed to wait in my nonexistent waiting room with forced entertainment. It’s another to assume that any of those customers chose my waiting room because other waiting rooms weren’t equipped with DirecTV.
Attract more customers? Really? I’ve never heard anyone say “Well, I chose my son’s pediatrician because they have a TV in the waiting room.”
I’ll give DirecTV a nod for creative logic and the chutzpah to blindly send this message to every business on the state rolls. I imagine that a direct-mail campaign like this costs more than they’ll get, but what do I know? I deal with instant, measurable online information. And sorry, but I don’t plan to ever have a waiting room.