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Customer Relationship Management and Marketing :: Campaign turns into a nightmare

No long post here, this time. Just go read this article from CRMGuru.com. Dick Lee relates a very scary marketing campaign with disasterous results.

Say “Hello” to Your Inner Customer (If No One Answers, You’re in Deep Trouble)

A recipient of the campaign had this reaction:

She noted that “speculation about who could have sent (the campaign’s promotional item) caused tremendous anxiety and fear. (She) had a heightened sense of attention to (her) surroundings at all times, started to carry mace and was looking into purchasing a new phone with caller ID.”

But wait, this wasn’t a Mace marketing strategy or one of their campaigns. Mace wasn’t the intended client to benefit from sales driven by the marketing strategy. They had nothing to do with it. And, I’m betting they wouldn’t want sales driven by this kind of campaign.

This may be the first CRM campaign – or marketing campaign of any kind – that so scared recipients it caused them to actually fear for their lives.

Yep, that’s a pretty bad CRM campaign.


  1. Robert,
    I just went and read the article “Say Hello to your inner customer” and I think it is terrible. I really don’t understand how flowers with a no name card can be scary though. The lady said she feels like she should carry around mace and change her phone number. I really don’t think that kind of thing would make me scared for my life. Anyway, the campaign was a pretty bad idea though. Whoever thought of this really needs to come up with some better ideas. I think I actually just laughed out loud when I was reading the article. Wow

  2. Hey Kristi,

    I understand how you feel. However, in a large city – like Minneapolis, Chicago or NYC – it may be a bit different. I can understand someone getting a bit scared by the anonymity of it. Also, we don’t know what else she’s experienced in her life. Who knows, she may have been stalked before.

    But, overall I think it does remind us to think of the audience and all the possible pitfalls that may occur.

    Just thought it was an interesting little case study.


  3. I think this campaign would have gone differently if only the florist identified itself. I received a card one time that was along the same lines of, “We miss you. Come back and see us.” It was a card from a local beauty salon.

    I felt special and that they probably got that card just for me (I am sure the card was mass produced), but in the end their strategy worked. When I got the card it reminded me that I have not gotten a hair cut in some time. When I was wondering where to go I decided to go to, you bet, the shop that sent the card…

    I believe that the florist was at fault for bad judgment. I mean what woman wants to receive a bouquet of flowers with a card that reads,
    [Your name],
    It’s been awhile.
    Missing you. I’ve changed …
    for the better. Done
    a lot of growing lately.
    Hope to see you soon.

    That has creepy written all over it. I would not want to give my business to that florist either. Bad, bad move. Let’s hope they learned their lesson.