Monday, March 03, 2014

Marketing 101

I was trying not to stew about something for a couple of days and then I realized I could poke fun and rant about it at the same time - voila! The reason for blogging.

But first, let's do a little marketing 101. I have worked in marketing before, but - fuck me! - even if I hadn't, some shit should be really, really basic.

Such as: don't send an invitation for someone to try out for a Miss Teen 2014 Pageant if the recipient is a man in his 30s. (Yes, this really happened to my good friend Mike D!)

Seriously, there are some basic tenets of marketing - particularly business to business marketing. Among them:
- Know your audience
- Know your product
- Don't assume the audience will buy your bullshit
- Don't waste your audience's time

So I propose to add one more to this, namely: Don't piss all over my tiny nonprofit and then try to tell me you're watering our garden.
In a nutshell, this is regarding a company that went from local to corporate last year, in the process losing its founder (who was a really cool guy and became a friend.) Moneywise, this means their sales jumped from $3 million to $53 million.

When the founder left, they made a huge song and dance, contacting us and reassuring us that they'd be there to support us, blah blah blah. They requested a meeting and said they wanted to work with us on policy issues and have a presence at more of our events.

Then, after I spent a lot of time on preparing a proposal, they proposed to piss all over us - and try to make it look like they were doing *us* a favor.

This is the second time a company has tried this snookery on us, and it fucking pisses me off. Mind you, we help people - including the employees of both of these companies, where we are part of their employee assistance plans - for free. We don't charge anyone for our services, and both of these companies have called us in many, many times for help.

Therefore, when we do get event sponsors, there are benefits, e.g. advertising.

Companies X and Y had the balls to send me emails that started with, "We are proud to support your organization once again this year," and then continued to read, "Instead of a monetary sponsorship..."

And all of this involved - surprise! - their "sponsorship" consisting of a tiny donation of product (they have done a much bigger one every year before this, in addition to money) and of "having a presence" (read: free advertising) at our events "so people know we still care about mental health."
Clearly, I was born yesterday.

With company X, my boss ripped them a new asshole, because they're the biggest provider of mental health services in our region and we are constantly getting complaints about them and helping their clients find resources that they should, but won't, provide. You could call them Miser.

On company Y, instead of spitting (OK, before spitting) I politely noted in my reply email that we couldn't provide the free advertising, since it was a benefit for cash sponsors. I noted the reason that they had received this advertising in years past was because in addition to a (bigger) product donation, they also did a significant cash sponsorship.

I don't understand greed. I really don't.


LL Cool Joe said...

I don't understand greed either, but it appears to be the way most companies function. Love that second photo.

Elephant's Child said...

I might not understand greed - but I am very skilled at recognising it. Hiss and spit.
And I love both of those cats.

Vanessa Morgan said...

Oh, I hear about this all the time. Or agreeing to sponsor at the very last minute, having your ad printed in a catalogue, and then refusing to pay. Common practice.

Rock Chef said...

I think you are very mean - they have to think of their poor shareholders who might not be able to afford a new Porche if you go taking money away from them! I think you should start paying these companies for their contributions instead of expecting them to give you money! :-)

Debra She Who Seeks said...

Rock Chef has nailed it! Bastards.

Jonathan said...
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Granny Annie said...

Ron always said that every problem in the world can ultimately be traced back to greed.

Cheryl said...

We have become a society where corporations have gone "extreme" on trying to up their profits. That wouldn't be the worst thing IF it wasn't that they are screwing customers and in your case, sponsorships. Can't they figure out how to be money smart and still be generous, and ethical?

I hope both of these companies rethink what their priorities should be and work that into their budgets.


(BTW...that last poster is hilarious. I should make tons of copies and hand them out like favors.)

Lee said...

I, too, hate greed in all its forms. And, unfortunately, it seems to be spreading faster than a pandemic.

Riot Kitty said...

Joey: It's really too bad, and IMHO, it costs them in the long run. I know people that started buying this product just because they heard about it through our events, and wanted to support people who support us.
EC: Hiss and spit is right! And I thought the lolcats were just perfect.
Vanessa: Wow, no one has pulled that one on me. I suppose it's because I can nag paint off of a wall. Once they commit, they're in!
RC: Yeah, I'm a real Scrooge!
Debra: Yes they are!
GA: I completely agree.
Cheryl: Extreme is right - here we have companies sitting on huge profits and burning people out that work there, rather than hiring people and also improving the economy. Yet they continue to get away with it. Assholes.
Lee: I just don't understand it.

Lee said...

More and more humans these days think only of themselves, RK....they care little for others. And unfortunately there are some amongst us who want what others they think it is their right to do so....that's another very low form of greediness.

G. B. Miller said...

I can see that shooting from the lip is not their forte. It seems that when they shoot from the lip, all you get is drool and spit.

Lynn said...

I LOVE your response. Good for you. And good also that you know how to use the word "snookery." :)


OldLady Of The Hills said...

BRAVA, to you, my dear!
Greed! It seems to be an epidemic that is getting worse and worse. Frightening, in fact. And, do these people think everyone is too blind or stupid to see what they are doing??
LOVE those cats---particularly that second!

Charles Gramlich said...

I'm with you on greed. It sure is everywhere, though.

Mike_D said...

I would have totally rocked that pageant, though....

Abby said...

Sadly, I think I at least somewhat understand greed. Not for ME, mind you. I understand, but don't condone. Talking to you like you're STUPID, though - that happens all to often, and I have zero tolerance. It's a fundamental tactic that my father-in-law in-laws use on us, and I don't even bother arguing. Let my husband continue to roar.

Ileana said...

Your kitty comments/photos are so fitting with this post. lol

Why greed? I have no idea why and what's worse is when they try to make you believe they're doing you a favor when it's the opposite.

Birdie said...

Argh! I have been trying to leave a comment but could not get the box to open but then I discovered that the box opened behind the main window.

And now I forget what I was going to say.

lotta joy said...

Two comments from me: (uh, you're not charging per comment, right?)

FIRST: My bank shorted us $600 in checking. My register was perfect. I gave it to the bank. THEY said it was correct. I said "Then you owe me $600"

They actually laughed and said "Banks aren't known for GIVING money away."


Second: It makes me mad when movie stars (I'm thinking Brad and Angelina) show up for a benefit. Beg for money. Then get paid for showing up.

Lazlo Salieri said...
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Riot Kitty said...

Lee: Is it really new though?
GB: Excellent point!
Lynn: Snookery should be in the dictionary.
Naomi: I loved the cats!
CG: Depressing at times.
Mike: Yeah you would have!
Abby: Yes, it's exactly that combination that pissed me off.
Ily: Yes! Don't pretend you're being beneficent when you're fucking me over.
Birdie: Boo!
Lotta: WOW. You are fucking kidding me!

Anonymous said...

These guys are clearly not contributing to your mental health either! Tsk. Tsk.

Betty Manousos said...

i'm with you on greed. sadly, greed is destroying us/humanity.

love the cats!

happy friday~ big hugs

Riot Kitty said...

LG: Good point!
Betty: I agree and thanks!