My view, for what it’s worth, is that marketing is an art form, and that targeted marketing rarely works, or certainly the marketing that is targeted at me.

An event that I’ve been to before sent me an email telling me that due to overwhelming demand for this “popular event”, they were extending their 2 for 1 promotion on their tickets. If the event was that popular, they’d already have sold out at the full price and they wouldn’t be promoting the discount.

As I’ve been before, I’m obviously targeted because they assume that I want to go again. However, it’s hard to work out why I’m in their line of sight for the promotion. Are they trying to say that they think I’m stupid and that I won’t notice the obvious flaw in their marketing?

Or is this a clever marketing gimmick? Do they think, perhaps, that their email will stand out amongst the hundreds of similar emails I receive, because there is an obvious flaw in it? At least I have noticed it, but that doesn’t make me any more inclined to go.

The other one that baffles me are the ones that send me emails telling me about their services, and then email me a week later to say how upset they are not to have heard back from me. I see so many people sending emails of this type that the automatic assumption is that it must work occasionally, which suggests that I’m simply not the right person for them to be firing them off to. I actually think they do themselves a disservice as even if they were promoting something I was vaguely interested in, this strategy would completely put me off.

Which brings me on to people that I meet at networking events, who immediately go in to sales mode. I get their cards, their “60 second elevator pitch” and then the follow up email telling me why I should use them, all before I’ve had a chance to say “where’s the bar?”. In my experience, networking is about getting to know each other, and how we might be able to help each other. It’s not about selling. But sometimes it’s about a nice glass of wine and it’s always about good company.

Of course, at the moment, networking all has to be done remotely and whilst there is no substitute for sitting round a table or propping up a bar, a Zoom call or a Skype chat is the next best thing. I’ve been involved in a number of group chats over the last few weeks, and have loved seeing everyone. If anyone fancies joining in, drop me a line and we’ll fix something up.

Happy and enjoyable on line networking to you all.