Welcome to the Marketing in the Wild podcast. I’m Julia from Stratos Creative Marketing, where we are obsessed with finding real life examples of the good, the bad, and sometimes wild, in marketing.

Guys today, I am going to talk to you about something that I usually don’t talk to people about. They’re usually just conversations limited to my team at Stratos or potentially to my husband, who is obligated to listen to me complain, but we’re going to talk about my three marketing pet peeves. I’m sure I have more, but I’ve narrowed it down to three that I’m sure that you can relate to. You are obviously not obligated to please me with your marketing, but perhaps you have some marketing pet peeves! And if you do, I’d love to hear about them. 

So to start off, we have to all agree that we have pet peeves, whether of marketing maybe, or in your industry, you might have some pet peeves. I mean, I even have pet peeves at home. Like how do the dishes make it to the sink, but not into the dishwasher? Like seriously, it makes me so frustrated. 

But these three pet peeves that we’re going to talk about are marketing-related. I obviously notice these because it’s my industry. So you may have never noticed these or maybe they don’t bother you at all. That’s why it’s cool that we’re all different and I can be honest and own my pet peeves and you can be honest and own yours. So without further ado, here they are.

Number one. When people send you emails that are sales emails after they haven’t sent you any other emails. It really bugs me so much because they’ve skipped to the sales without doing the nurture. 

There’s a particular influencer who I will not name, but if you message me privately, we could talk about it. But this influencer stopped sending weekly emails. I had actually semi-enjoyed reading their weekly emails, and so I noticed that they weren’t doing it anymore. And then sure enough, two months later, I got an email. And then it turned out to be a series of emails selling a particular conference that this person is trying to fill up.

I totally get that this person wants to fill their conference and that they’re using their email list as leverage. And I have absolute respect for it, but it just felt really slimy to me that, all of a sudden, I was asked to spend money when they hadn’t been sending out their weekly emails. And I was actually missing them!

So the lesson to me and to maybe all of us is to continually serve people without asking for the sale, rather than just shooting straight to the sale and making people feel like they’ve been forgotten. 

Number two is what somebody on our team, Kelsey, named “persistent spam.” It is one thing to get a spam email. Those are obviously always annoying, but persistent spam takes it to a whole nother level. She recently got this email that was super weird. And then she noticed that she had gotten it before, this was actually the second time. I noticed this on LinkedIn and I have friends who advocate for cold messaging through LinkedIn. And if you do that, and that works, that is awesome. But I find it absolutely obnoxious to get one message, not respond to it, and then two days later, get a second message and I still haven’t responded to it. And then I get a third, fourth, fifth! I have mad respect for persistence, but when it comes to spam, I just want to tell people, “Can you please stop?” Because it gets to be a little bit much, honestly. Because if I haven’t responded to you on that first, second time, like really, I’m probably not going to respond to it, especially if you haven’t taken a chance to get to know me. 

So a lesson for us to learn is maybe if you’re going to do some cold calling, get to know the person better. Personalize your message maybe, and maybe give up on some persistent spam. Maybe just do it once or twice, and not five times. 

Number three. I honestly don’t even know what to call this. It is basically two pieces of marketing from two separate veterinary clinics, both featuring my dog, Lucy. So for those of you who’ve been around for a while, you know already, I have a dog named Lucy. She’s about six years old. She’s an adopted dachshund and she is basically half cat.  I love her and when we first got her, I took her to a vet in Wisconsin. They were great. Just absolutely marvelous. And they took a picture of her, as vets do. And then they used this photo on a postcard to send me appointment reminders, which I honestly loved… at first.

Then I just kept on getting them and they would send me one every few months, either as a reminder, to set up a new appointment or a reminder that there was a new appointment coming. And so eventually I just started giving them to my family. Cause I figured, duh, everybody wants a picture of Lucy on their fridge. 

But now I have 20 of them. I mean, I have given a lot of them away. If you want one, let me know. Even as we moved and the post office updated my address, they have continued to send me them. I’m in Utah! It’s been three years and I still get them every three or four months. It’s a really cute picture of her. But honestly, it just really drives me crazy because they’re wasting their marketing dollars on people who have left.

The second one that I have gotten from a vet is, they took a picture of Lucy and I’m looking at it right now. I promise I’ll put pictures up for you guys to see. They put a picture of Lucy on a magnet with their phone number and their name. Great in theory. I mean, everybody wants a picture or a magnet with their phone number on it. And what better thing to do than to put your pet’s picture? 

My pet Lucy looks possessed in this photo. Her eyes are shining from the flash. It’s just an awful, awful, awful photo. And I get that that was the only one that they had, but it’s really, really bad. And there’s no way I would ever put this up on my fridge.

So it’s just one of those things that, again, there’s not like the thoughtfulness that goes into it. The idea counts. I’d be curious to see if other people have better photos on their magnets. And the idea is great in theory, but practically, it’s super ugly and they defeated the purpose. They probably shouldn’t have even sent me one and they probably should have just given me a generic magnet because then that I would have actually put on my fridge.

So, again, I don’t really know what to call this third pet peeve other than just the lack of thoughtfulness. And I get guys that, honestly, like I said, at the beginning, we’re all different. We can all have different pet peeves. I can totally accept that. If you were like, “Julia, you are making a big deal out of nothing.” That’s fine. But these are the few things that bother me when it comes to marketing. Just the lack of consideration. Whether email marketing, persistent spam, these weird pictures of my dog. It’s just the fact that there was no thoughtfulness put into any of these things. And instead they just did what they did because it’s either a system or because they can. 

For the record, I do have a lot of grace for a lot of these companies. We’re all trying to do our best. And maybe you can look at my company and say, “Well, Julia, what you do is one of my pet peeves.” And if we do, I’d be curious to hear about it because we do want to make sure that we’re serving people all of the time. And I’m sure many of these companies are also in that same boat. So again, grace for all, we’re all doing our best. 

So I’d be curious to hear from you. What are some of your pet peeves when it comes to either marketing? Or maybe it also bothers you that the dishes don’t make it into the dishwasher? I’m always curious, like what bothers people, because yeah, we’re all different.

What bothers you probably doesn’t bother me and vice versa. Also check out our website to see the pictures of Lucy. If you want a picture of her from the vet that still sends us these postcards, let me know. I’m happy to slip one in the mail for you. In the meantime, I just want to thank you for putting up with me and listening to my pet peeves. I mean, at least three of them. 

I’m super curious to hear what bothers you about marketing or other things in your industry. So make sure you drop me an email or find us on Instagram and leave us a comment on one of our most recent posts. We want to hear from you and what bugs you and what doesn’t bug you about marketing.