Make Marketing History

The views of a marketing deviant.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

It's Not Easy Being Consistent.

The merits of consistency in marketing/advertising tone have been debated ad nauseam and, for the record, I'm fairly ambivalent because I think it's the viewer/reader who ultimately deciphers the tone of your message and does so on a personal, individual basis. You can be different things to different customers. The big problems only really arise when you are contradictory and that is why this effort from EDF Energy caught my eye at a friend's house.

As you see above, there's a big splash about being green on the envelope and they urge you to recycle it. Since that recycling involves opening the envelope in a slightly different way, it's a pity they give that instruction on the back and run the risk of the envelope being opened before the message is read. But that's quibbling isn't it?. But, then so is pointing out that each of these envelopes still contains one of these.

Of course, this ensures they receive their payment or meter reading slip and that's fine with me, but I'm not sure what it does for the environment. And yes I did say this was contained in each envelope, because here's a company who like all the rest uses CRM only for selling purposes. They don't use it to ensure that a customer who buys both gas and electricity from them doesn't receive two lots of meter reading slips and envelopes within two days. Every billing cycle.

Now perhaps these are small blips in the grand scheme, but small things matter. They matter both in terms of mirroring a genune conviction and in terms of appearing competent and capable of joined-up thinking. Customers expect that of you. No it's not easy being green. But it's surely easier not to contradict yourself.


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