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Don't Call Me, I'll Call You

Relentless outreach has become an omnichannel issue.

Why it doesn't work and what to do instead.



Relentless outreach has become an omnichannel issue

Relentless Outreach Has Expanded Beyond Digital Channels


In today's hyper-connected world, the allure of omnichannel marketing is undeniable. The ability to engage with consumers across various platforms presents a tantalizing opportunity for businesses to expand their reach and drive growth. The excitement around omnichannel marketing lies in its potential to create seamless and personalized customer experiences. With the ease of reaching prospects and obtaining their contact information, omnichannel marketing can appear to be an easy tool for quick wins. However, all too often, this approach devolves into a relentless pursuit that does more harm than good.


The problem with many omnichannel marketing strategies is their reliance on quantity over quality. Businesses become fixated on the idea that the more they communicate with consumers, the better their chances of conversion. As a result, they inundate consumers with a barrage of messages, bombarding them with emails, social media ads, phone calls, and more.


But here's the thing: relentless marketing isn't just ineffective – it's counterproductive. Inundating consumers with messages only serves to overwhelm and annoy them, ultimately driving them away rather than drawing them in. It creates a negative brand experience that tarnishes the company's reputation and erodes consumer trust.


I've written about the pitfalls of relentless LinkedIn outreach before, highlighting how repetition won't generate leads and what to do instead (link).

Crossing into personal channels using repetitive, non-value-added messages is a recipe for disaster. Not only do you wind up getting blocked, but you have successfully tarnished your brand, and your employer’s brand, and you’ve failed to achieve the desired results.

What I've realized is that this tactic is not limited to social media in-mail. It's an omnichannel problem that is destroying brands and alienating potential customers.


Take, for example, the experience of receiving unsolicited calls on personal cell phones. This intrusive tactic not only violates the boundaries of consumers but can also be deeply offensive. Recently, I experienced this firsthand when a representative called my cell phone out of the blue, attempting to sell me a service for my company. Not only was I immediately annoyed by the unsolicited and intrusive nature of the call, but I was further frustrated when the representative proceeded to argue with me about my decision not to engage with her services. I experienced firsthand a clear example of how relentless marketing tactics can backfire, leaving a sour taste in the mouths of potential customers.


The ease of reaching prospects and getting their contact information can make omnichannel marketing seem like a straightforward tool. However, this convenience can lead marketers to focus on constant outreach rather than a well-thought-out strategy. When exacerbated by metrics typically used online – such as reach and impressions – marketers often end up bombarding customers to manage these metrics and achieve broad reach. As I discussed in another article, "The Metrics Conundrum: Move Markets by Balancing Data Analytics with Qualitative Understanding," relying too heavily on metrics can drive counterproductive behaviors and miss the mark on truly engaging with consumers.


Content Marketing Isn't Just for Digital Channels Anymore


If relentless outreach has become an omnichannel issue, what's the alternative? How can you engage with prospects across channels without resorting to relentless tactics?

The key lies in shifting from a push to a pull approach – from forcing yourself and your brand on consumers to drawing them in with valuable, relevant content. The key is content marketing brought to the world of traditional channels.

Instead of bombarding consumers with generic sales pitches, businesses should focus on getting to know their audience on a deeper level. This means leveraging data and analytics to understand their preferences, behaviors, and interests, and using this information to tailor their messaging accordingly. Content marketing isn't just for digital channels anymore. Its principles can and should be applied to traditional channels like phone, TV, and print to create a cohesive and valuable consumer experience across the board. Here’s how:


Rather than simply promoting products or services, businesses should seek to add value to the consumer experience. This could take the form of informative blog posts, entertaining videos, helpful how-to guides, or exclusive offers tailored specifically to the consumer's needs and interests.


By offering something of genuine value, businesses can establish themselves as trusted sources of information and expertise. They become more than just another company vying for attention – they become partners in the consumer's journey, offering guidance and support every step of the way. Businesses must respect the boundaries of their audience. Instead of bombarding them with messages, they should be strategic and selective in their communication. This means being mindful of frequency and timing, and ensuring that every interaction serves a purpose and adds value to the consumer experience.


Tips and Tricks For Content Marketing Through Traditional Channels


Personalized Phone Interactions:

Cold calling on a cell phone in B2B sales is generally considered intrusive and often unwelcome, but there are circumstances where it may be acceptable. In general, reaching out by phone should be preceded by other contacts and permissions. Try email or in-messaging; if you can get a referral from a mutual contact, that is even better. Otherwise, be cautious using a cold calling technique as you may destroy your brand by going too quickly to a private cell phone number.


When you do make the phone call, keep the following best practices in mind:


  • Do Your Research: Do your homework to understand the prospect’s needs and tailor your approach. Personalization can make the call feel less cold and more relevant.

  • Respect Their Privacy: Always ask if it’s a convenient time to talk. Respecting their time and privacy can improve your chances of a positive reception.

  • Use Professional Etiquette: Be polite, concise, and professional. If they indicate that they are not interested or that now is not a good time, respect their response and offer to follow up at a more convenient time.


When using phone calls as a marketing tool, ensure the conversation is personalized and adds value to the recipient. Before making a call, research the prospect to understand their needs and interests. Start the conversation with insights or offers relevant to them, avoiding generic sales pitches. Whatever you do, do not argue with your targets.


Engaging TV Commercials:

TV commercials have long been a powerful tool for reaching a broad audience, but to truly engage viewers in today's content-saturated environment, they must do more than just advertise a product. Creating content that tells a story, provides useful information, or entertains can significantly enhance the impact of your TV commercials.


Tell a Story

Narratives are powerful. Instead of a straightforward product pitch, craft a compelling story that resonates with your audience. This could be a customer success story, a behind-the-scenes look at your company, or an inspiring narrative that aligns with your brand values. Stories are memorable and can create an emotional connection with viewers, making them more likely to remember your brand and seek out your products or services when the need arises.


Provide Useful Information

Educational content can also be highly effective. Consider creating TV ads that offer tips, how-to guides, or other valuable information related to your product or industry. For example, if you sell home improvement products, a TV commercial that demonstrates a DIY project using your products can engage viewers and position your brand as a helpful resource.


Entertain Your Audience

Entertainment is another powerful tool. Ads that are funny, surprising, or visually stunning can capture attention and leave a lasting impression. Think of the most memorable commercials you've seen – they likely had an element of entertainment that made them stand out. By creating commercials that entertain, you can make your brand more appealing and increase the likelihood of viewers engaging with your content on other channels.


Drive Viewers to Other Channels

One of the most effective ways to leverage TV commercials is to use them as a gateway to deeper engagement on other channels. Here are some strategies to achieve this:


  • Include a Clear Call to Action: Encourage viewers to visit your website, follow you on social media, or sign up for a newsletter. Make sure the call to action is clear, compelling, and easy to follow.

  • Use Interactive Elements: Incorporate QR codes or unique URLs that viewers can scan or visit to access exclusive content, discounts, or offers. This not only drives traffic to your digital channels but also allows you to track engagement and measure the effectiveness of your TV ads.

  • Promote Multi-Channel Campaigns: If you’re running a campaign across multiple platforms, ensure your TV commercial ties into the broader narrative. For example, tease a social media contest or a YouTube series in your TV ad to encourage viewers to follow the story across different channels.

  • Highlight Social Proof: Showcase customer testimonials, user-generated content, or social media shoutouts in your TV commercials. This can prompt viewers to check out your social media profiles and see what others are saying about your brand.

  • Leverage TV to Build Brand Awareness: Use TV commercials to build brand recognition and trust, which can make your digital marketing efforts more effective. When viewers see your brand on TV, it can lend credibility and make them more receptive to your messages on other channels.


By using TV commercials to tell engaging stories, provide valuable information, and entertain, you can create a memorable brand experience. Moreover, by driving viewers to other channels, you can continue the conversation and deepen the engagement, leveraging the strengths of each platform to build a cohesive and effective omnichannel marketing strategy.


Valuable Print Materials:

Traditional print materials also still hold significant value, especially when integrated effectively into an omnichannel marketing strategy. Print media such as magazines, brochures, and direct mail can provide a tangible, lasting connection with your audience and can complement your digital efforts by delivering informative and engaging content.


Informative Brochures

Brochures are a classic form of print marketing that can be highly effective when used correctly. Instead of just listing products and services, create brochures that offer detailed information on topics relevant to your audience. For instance, if your business is in the healthcare industry, a brochure that explains recent advancements in medical technology or provides tips for maintaining health can be valuable to your readers. Ensure that the content is visually appealing, well-organized, and easy to digest.


Engaging Magazines and Newsletters

Creating branded magazines or newsletters allows you to provide a wealth of content in a format that readers can enjoy at their leisure. These publications can include articles, interviews, case studies, and customer success stories that highlight your expertise and build trust with your audience. By offering high-quality, in-depth content, you position your brand as a thought leader in your industry. Additionally, you can include QR codes or links to digital content, encouraging readers to engage with your brand online.


Direct Mail Campaigns

Direct mail is an effective way to reach consumers directly in their homes or offices. Personalizing direct mail can significantly increase its impact. Use data and analytics to tailor your messages to specific segments of your audience. For example, send personalized offers or invitations to events that are relevant to the recipient's interests or past interactions with your brand. Direct mail can also serve as a reminder of your digital presence, prompting recipients to visit your website or follow you on social media for more information.


Thought Leadership Pieces

Position your brand as an industry leader by creating thought leadership pieces in print format. White papers, research reports, and in-depth guides can be distributed through industry magazines, trade publications, or even as standalone documents. These pieces should provide valuable insights, trends, and expert opinions that your audience cannot easily find elsewhere. By doing so, you not only educate your audience but also build credibility and trust.


Customer Testimonials and Case Studies

Including customer testimonials and case studies in your print materials can be very persuasive. These real-world examples showcase the success and satisfaction of your customers, providing social proof that your products or services deliver tangible benefits. Highlight stories that resonate with your target audience and illustrate the positive impact your brand has had on others.


Integrating Print with Digital

To maximize the effectiveness of print materials, integrate them with your digital marketing efforts. Here are a few strategies:


  • Include QR Codes: Add QR codes to your print materials that lead to exclusive online content, special offers, or registration pages. This makes it easy for readers to transition from print to digital.

  • Cross-Promote Content: Use print materials to promote your digital channels. For example, feature snippets of popular blog posts, social media highlights, or upcoming webinars and encourage readers to visit your website or follow you on social media for more information.

  • Interactive Print Ads: Create interactive print ads that engage readers and encourage them to take action. This could include scratch-off areas with hidden messages, fold-out sections, or augmented reality (AR) elements that bring the ad to life when viewed through a smartphone app.

  • Personalized URLs (PURLs): Use personalized URLs in your direct mail campaigns to create a customized online experience for each recipient. PURLs can lead to landing pages tailored to the recipient's interests and past interactions with your brand, enhancing the overall user experience.


By creating valuable print materials that educate, engage, and entertain, you can effectively complement your digital marketing efforts and create a cohesive omnichannel strategy. Print materials offer a tangible, lasting way to connect with your audience, and when integrated with digital channels, they can drive deeper engagement and build stronger relationships with your customers.


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While omnichannel marketing offers immense potential for reaching consumers in today's digital age, its success hinges on a nuanced understanding of when and how to engage. By prioritizing quality over quantity, and by focusing on adding value rather than pushing products, businesses can forge deeper connections with their audience and ensure that they are remembered (and sought out) when the time is right.


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