Since When Did Blatant Bribing Become Marketing?

Let me get this straight: all I have to do is get a bottle-cap from a Pepsi product, even if I didn't buy it, enter the code on it, and I stand to win $1 billion - with a "b" - dollars?

Hold on, wait… I hear tell AOL is giving away Apple iPod's if I sign up for 1099 free hours of usage and refer my friends to do the same.

It appears that large marketers have thrown so many things at consumers that the proverbial kitchen sink - the bribe - is no longer taboo. Not that I care, of course, unless you're describing this as marketing; and marketing as professional all in the same sentence. It's insulting to think that the sort of antics that passes for marketing strategy today are the best companies can come up with. I'm terribly disappointed that such sophisticated marketers allow their marketing departments to run amok of the valuable relationships that consumers have with them.

By training consumers to respond to free money and not ask for a purchase intent in return is ridiculous. It's no wonder why so many senior executives disdain "branding"; these sort of gimmicks are disguised as branding when all they really are doing is pissing valuable resources away.

It's almost as if thinking were hazardous to your health in marketing departments. Here are some recommendations: fire a bunch of people from your departments so they wouldn't spend all their time justifying their salaries with silly ideas; keep senior-level promotions to a minimum; stop basing decisions on ego and stop copying your competitors - consumers really don't notice you when you do that; and have everyone use technology to track expenditures and results on a desktop dashboard instead of having purchasing managers manage costs. In no time flat, you'll improve and enhance your relationships with your customers and actually convince non-customers to give your product a try with the intent to buy.

Write to Al Berrios at editor@alberrios.com

Disclaimer: The recommendations, commentary and opinions published herein are based on public information sometimes referenced via hyperlinks. Any similarities or likeness to any ideas or commentary from any other sources not referenced is purely coincidental. al berrios & co. cannot control any results occurring from advice obtained from this publication nor any opinion(s) conveyed by any reader of this publication.

(c) 2004. All Rights Reserved. al berrios & company, inc. Published by al berrios & co. This Report may not be reproduced or redistributed in any form without written permission from al berrios & co., subject to penalty.