Tag Archives: stop abuse campaign

Pro Bono Advice: Be Like the Watermelon

Marketers often turn to pro-bono or charity work to give back to the community, to use their skills for good or even just to get experience they can parlay into paying work.  I can’t tell you why you should volunteer.  However, if you do volunteer, I advise you to be like a watermelon: develop a thick but porous skin.

I am not even remotely above using pictures of babies to get you to read my blog

The watermelon analogy stems (sorry) from the realities of charities and not-for-profits.  Most often, people work or volunteer in this sector because they have strong feelings about the subject, whether it’s the environment, religion, an illness or civil rights.  Moreover, these people often have a difficult connection to that subject.  This connection both makes the work more meaningful and more difficult.

You need a thick skin to take on some of the more uncomfortable issues, yet you still need to let some of that discomfort in to remind you of why you take on the work.

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The Limits of Data

In my last post, I discussed an old saw of  data-driven marketing: more data are always better.  Today, I’d like to discuss another central tenet: marketers can reduce all information that matters into data.

Given a reasonably sophisticated marketing database, a marketer can record every interaction between customer and brand–every visit to the website (with permission, of course), every in-store purchase, every call to the call center.  Again, given the proper technology, the marketing database can make decisions based on those actions: send good customers first dibs on new offers, send reluctant customers offers to make them buy and so on.

Indeed, modern marketing databases generate so much data that many marketers start to see their customers as piles of data.  However, data have their limits. Continue reading