Sunday, March 24, 2013

leave me alone with your frivolous segmentation

Two events recently have focused my annoyance on the phenomenon of market segmentation.The first involved an email from a popular mailing list service provider. They'd sent me an urgent email explaining how updates to their system involved changing how certain aspects of their segmentation worked. It's a service that adopts a chummy, familiar tone, which does actually generally work in reducing the colossal annoyance of composing, analysing and maintaining mailing lists. But in this case, the chirpy apology for using the marketing jargon caused a wearying explosion of annoyance. "If you don't understand, please pass it to the person on your team who does deal with such things," oh ho ho. There's a sort of self obsession here which probably makes perfect sense from their perspective; after all, I'm sure they do have a department which deals in segmentation. But for those using their service, is this always the case? Is it not vastly more likely that their customers are juggling not just segmentation, not just this product, but the entire concept of online marketing with a host of other responsibilities and duties? Tread gently when you mock our ignorance of your specialisms; lest you discover where priorities truly lie.

And speaking of lying, the other vast explosion of annoyance at segmentation occurred as a mailing list I had been previously signed up to split into some fifteen-odd sub-lists, most of which I still needed to read. A sweary run through repeated triple-verified sign-up processes ensued as I tried to follow their reasoning (and the lack of a "just send me everything" tick box. Leave me alone with your frivolous market segmentation; mostly if I have signed up to it, I'm interested in it; and if something does fall a touch flat for me, hey, I really do have a nice handy right-there delete button.

Thursday, March 07, 2013

the arrogant assumption of dedicated time

Great news! A popular online service tells me. You can now achieve [a list of a variety of things] with all the brand news features in our product and analysis tools. Learn all about it in our new webinar series! Hmm. Let me consult the vast wasteland of my diary. Let me consider all those afternoons that would stretch out in bleak silence, washed with bored and lonely tears.

Don't get me wrong. I'm a vast fan of progress. I love the fact that every item, service and product, no matter how small or slight, has or would benefit from having the careful focussed attention of intelligent individuals improving it. What I resent is the assumption from some larger services that there will be teams of dedicated and specialist people looking after their product. There is simply too much to do for any one service to command such attention, particularly as the gains in using these services are light, and that they cannot be delivered in isolation by anyone attempting to reach a universal audience.

You will get some attention, but frankly anything that requires a webinar series to learn is unlikely to be adopted by any but the most overstaffed and obsessive. Put it in a to-do list please. We'll get to it when we need it; and not before.