Hey, here’s a flash. I disagree with Steve Rubel about something. A post on Steve’s blog from a few days ago suggests that Gmail messes up email marketing content by including news stories. The most hilarious line, “At a minimum Google really should label these so-called ‘related pages’ what they are – Google News editorial.” Now I’ve heard lots of people mention that marketers and broadcasters need to clearly identify product placements in television and movies for what they are: advertising. This is the first time I’ve ever heard someone suggest the opposite – that content displayed alongside marketing materials isn’t advertising.
I’m a marketer. It’s what I do for a living and truthfully, I enjoy the hell out of it. I like coming up with items that my customers will find useful and I enjoy putting together inventive ways to inform my customers about those useful things. Because of this, I can see where Steve’s coming from. Yes, it is harder for marketers to clear through the clutter and Google’s placement of editorial alongside marketing content doesn’t make it any easier. Steve uses an example of an email for new Apple products that also has a link to a news story that talks about Apple “…discounting the prior line by $200.” The marketer in me says, “oy.” That said, there’s an obvious solution. If the computer that Apple presents in its email marketing provided better value to their consumers than the discounted, discontinued product, then the $200 probably is meaningless. And if it isn’t, than Apple should go back to the drawing board with the product in the first place.
P.S. – For all my griping about Steve and though I often don’t agree with him, he’s still one of the first sites I check every day. You probably should, too.