Is Modern Marketing Intrusive?

This question was asked by my co blogger Shackman as the topic for this week’s Friday 2 on 1 posts.You can read about his own thoughts on the subject at his blog.

My answer was instantaneous – “Yes, of course it is.” And I would like to add here that it is inevitable too. Let us just learn to grin and bear it.

I was a Marketing professional for most of my life and have handled a great deal of marketing methods including intrusive marketing as it is now so elegantly called. During my active days however the kind of intrusive marketing that took place was in-your-face kind, of loud and overt variety, unlike the modern subtle subliminal targeted messaging. For instance, most of the advertising that used to happen was the shot gun variety, where it was hoped that some percentage of the people exposed to it will register it and buy the product or service. Today however, marketing is more focused and can appeal to the correct audience without too much wastage.

Today, a great deal of marketing takes place on the web via email, social networking sites and via hand held telephone devices that keep beeping announcements. Television and movie hall advertising is active but more the shotgun variety and less efficient than the other kinds, as advised to me by a much younger Marketing Professional. And the beauty of the hammering is that it is consensual! In other words, we agree to be bombarded by advertisements when we install applications in our computers and cell phones by agreeing without reading the fine print at the time of installing / downloading the applications. Let me give you another example. Being dissatisfied with yahoo group’s current level of efficiency I recently had to set up some email groups on the net and accessed emaildodo for the groups. While this site offers all that one can expect from a group mailing system offers, it comes at a price. If one does not want to pay the price, one has to accept that the mails on the site will be subject to advertising messages at the bottom. Since we did not want to pay we agreed to see the ads and so get to see some very interesting messages on our mails!

Another aspect of modern Marketing is how mechanised it has become. For instance, if I went online to read a review of a book that I have heard about, I keep getting the book advertised on facebook every time I go there. Similarly, when I wanted to investigate a pair of sandals about a year ago, I went online to find out what would be the choices available. I still keep getting advertisements on my page on facebook whereas someone else on it at the same time, does not get the same advertisement. This is called focussed advertising and is supposed to be more effective but, I find it intrusive and annoying and hence do not buy the product thus advertised.

And as I just finished writing that paragraph, I got an alert on my mobile phone and when I opened it I found this very attractively produced message – “Mend your broken heart; Music heals everything. FM Channel xxxx” Do you think that I will ever listen to that channel which presumes that my heart is broken? You can’t get any more intrusive than that can you?

Crossword Puzzles.

My readers know that I am a crossword puzzles buff and so this post should not come as a surprise to them.

They also know how much synchronicity plays its part in my life and so these two events closely following each other should not surprise them either.

An old friend who I had not seen for near four years came to visit me yesterday and brought this wonderful gift!

You can also gauge the idea she has of my age as, she has very considerately got a book with larger print!

She left and within a few minutes, another friend who is aware of my passion sent me this clip. I hope that you enjoy the very British humour.


I was inspired to suggest this topic for this week’s 2 on 1 blog post by a statement that I blogged about in my post Book Review – Mark Manson.

“The only way to overcome pain is to first learn how to bear it.”

Like everyone else, I have had my share of both physical and mental pain. Some major and many more minor ones. In fact, as I write this, I am in some discomfort due to a pulled muscle which is quite painful. I however am blessed with a stoic nature and all my life have been able to bear pain of both kinds and eventually overcome it.  And it is also very true that every time something painful happened, I changed.  I think, for the better.

And that is all I have to say on the matter. Please go over to Shackman’s blog to see what he has to say on the same subject.

Office Equipment.

To understand the reason for this post, please go to my post Miscommunication and read the fascinating exchange between Catherine and me on the subject of working in offices.

It was in 1967 that I was first exposed to a manual calculating machine which helped in preparing invoices.

From that very versatile machine which some clerks could use at lightening speeds, we moved on to electric calucalators.

At the same time we were still using manual typewriters;

And electric typewriters were provided to the secretaries of the top honchos.

And what would we have done without the telex machine?

Then came the handheld calculators which were status symbols.  I still use one which is kept in a drawer in my table for my desk top computer.

If that was status symbol, the man who had a personal digital assistant was considered as having arrived.

In my time, I have used all these gadgets and was quite proficient too. Today’s youngsters cannot even understand how offices worked those days.

And then the era of computers, and cell phones came about which will take another post some other time.

Wasting Time.

Friend, writer, Management Guru and fellow alumnus of Business School has written something very interesting in one of the articles in an anthology of his writings in various News Papers and Magazines.

Average Life Expectancy – 75 years.
We sleep for – 22 years.
We work for – 32 years.
We are in the toilet – 2 years.
We eat for – 4.5 years.
With family etc, – 3 years.
We socialise for – 3 years.

That leaves a balance of about 8.5 years, which he says is what can be classified as Time Wasted by us!

Very interesting!

I worked for a living for 40 years. That means that I have wasted only six months of my life!  I am already 75 and expect to live for a few more years.  So, may be I will catch up with the wasting part of it.