Saturday, March 13, 2010

Roadkill Marketing

My Twitter and Facebook networks saw me throw a hissy fit this week when I proclaimed a strong negative reaction to a short cartoon marketing video. I'm not reposting a link to it, figuring I've probably already driven more traffic to it than they ever expected.

The final scene showed a little cartoon humanoid hit a brick wall at high speed, shattering the wall, pancaking him/herself and splattering on the ground, only to be gawked at by his fellow humanoids. The point was to explain how to make your digital mailroom more compliant with regulations.

Oh, I get it. Nice little piece of content there... shame if anything were to happen to it.

Now there were a couple of defenders of the piece, appreciating the unique approach, liking the graphics, and in that respect I agree. If nothing else, debate got stirred - not a bad outcome for a marketer.

But it played to the most wretched message of Fear. This is what has disturbed me greatly over the past few years about the evolution of the Compliance message in ECM. It smacks of veiled threat, assuring your personal or professional damage if you don't buy a certain tool. The message encourages rigidity and conformity when what successful businesses need today is agility, critical thinking and the courage to toss out broken stupid processes. It's why the "New ROI = Risk of Incarceration" LOL line wasn't actually funny after 10,000th vendor repeated it.

Seriously, aren't companies sick and tired of the scare tactics yet? Where's a vendor with grace and vision and shares this optimism with their customers and partners?

Compliance is an outcome of doing good business. It's not an objective in itself. It can't be. Other than for vendors and consultants who thrive on selling fear.

1 comment:

  1. Cheryl, you are not alone in your despair. I sat in a town hall session at a conference this past May (you know, you were there) where the only argument that I heard for doing good information management offered by the panel was to facilitate compliance. It made me sad at first, then I moved on to quite irked.

    I used to shrug it off as, "well, at least they're trying", but honestly it's starting to offend me. It's offensive to those of us who's primary goal for information management is to make our companies stronger and better by facilitating collaboration, leveraging information to generate competitive advantage, making our co-worker's day less about trudgery and filing and more about productivity and innovation.

    You nailed it - compliance is an outcome of doing the right stuff up front. An important outcome, sure, but an outcome nonetheless.