Six Marketing Gifts I’d Like to Return


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Two weeks past Christmas, and people are still returning that thoughtful gift from Aunt Betty that, well, just wasn’t quite right. “Rampant returns plague e-retailers,” The Wall Street Journal reported in late December, 2013. Not everyone was moping. UPS had already forecast a 15% jump in SGB, or Stuff Going Back. Ka-ching!

According to a recent MarketTools study, 62% of returned items were clothing and shoes, followed by toys and games at 16%, and consumer electronics at 14%. The Christmas Sweater became a cliché well before Jimmy Fallon’s now-famous giveaway schtick.

This year, thanks to the convenience of gift cards and still-popular paper checks, I will not be among the consumers in line at the service desk. But I have a pile of marketing stuff I’d like to return. I realize that might not be easy. I don’t know where to send some of these items, but I thought I’d give it a try:

Item: holiday e-cards
Reason for return: perfunctory and insincere; no better than spam.

Item: storytelling
Reason for return: Mea culpa! I had this on my gift list, but I found out that while salespeople are clamoring for stories, prospective customers aren’t. They want much more.

Item: Klout scores
Reason for return: Again, mea culpa. Even though Jay Baer wrote “companies desperately want this kind of data point,” I have recently been deluged with other things to worry about.

Item: Twitter
Reason for return: Extremely dangerous; no instructions or user safeguards; I’m worried that someone I care about could end up being the next Justine Sacco.

Item: TrueTwit validation service
Reason for return: Too much hassle. I just like to ‘follow’ interesting people without an email ricocheting back, asking me to complete yet another form.

Item: Robo marketing calls.
Reason for return: Sent to me in error – never requested in the first place.

To be candid, I really, really wanted a couple of these items, but once I took off the wrapping paper and got them out of the box, they just never lived up to my expectations. And a few truly worked perfectly fine, but I just got impatient dealing with the instructions. I admit—it’s not completely the vendor’s fault!

I don’t want to sound ungrateful, but if someone—anyone—could take these gifts back, that would be great. But first, please wait until I’ve tweeted this blog.

Republished with author's permission from original post.


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