Followup from Responsys – for your continued amusement…

Soon after the conversation I documented in my previous post, my boss and our CEO got the following email.  What was Responsys trying to accomplish?  Is this a proven sales technique?  Does this approach seem bizarre? I suspect this isn’t some rogue sales person, especially since it didn’t come from the person I spoke with, so it might illuminate the philosophy of some higher-ups.

BTW, I certainly don’t expect this, but if somebody at Responsys wants to to apologize to me, especially for misrepresenting the value I place on revenue, I will certainly post that apology.

The italicized comments wrapped in square brackets are mine, or are edits to protect the innocent.

Dear [my boss] and [CEO],

We just connected with Victor Nuovo from your team and are concerned about the direction that your marketing efforts are currently headed. Without hesitation, Victor confirmed, that the decision on choosing an email service provider will be based around pure cost savings, rather than maximizing revenue. [No, I told them that revenue, I believe I used the word “value”, was important but that I didn’t believe Responsys added value other competitive vendor’s couldn’t provide. If I were truly considering only cost, there are open-source email software tools I could use.] As the digital marketing space continues to shift, your main competitors such as [Company A], are choosing to increase their customer retention rate and their return on investment. If [my employer] continues to focus on price versus finding new ways to optimize their digital strategy, it will continue to fall behind its competitors. [Hmm, I wasn’t aware that we were falling behind our competitors.]

Within 3 months of implementing Responsys, [Company A] reached their first goal of increased online sales revenue by 27%. [We increased email revenue by 50% when we switched to e-Dialog, but read more about that in my previous post.] This is through the capability of having:

– Targeted marketing campaigns to enable more strategic marketing segmentation and decisions

– A customizable management console, offering a toolset for testing, accelerating the time to send value for customers

– The ability to leverage large amounts of both online and offline data to individualize messaging based on where they are within their customer lifecycle

Please feel free to also connect with your neighbor and current Responsys Customer, [Company B] —see video.

In summary, digital marketing can no longer have a “merchandise driven” strategy, but instead a “customer driven” approach. Your customer expects you to know about their web and email behaviors, their preferences, and what channel they desire to be spoken through. It’s our goal as marketers to leverage that data to deepen customer engagement and ultimately maximize revenue across the digital channels. Is [my employer] ready to shift to a customer driven model? We would welcome the opportunity to discuss.

Thanks,

[somebody person other than the person I spoke with]

  1. One last follow up to this amusing episode. I still get marketing emails from Responsys. I usually just delete them with a laugh, but I thought I’d do them a favor and tell the current sales person they were wasting their time. Here is the response I got…

    I am so sorry to hear about your past experience. I strongly believe in the ethics of our sales team and can assure you that their intention was not to get you fired. We embrace a method of selling called the “Challenger Sale” in which we challenge prospective customers to think differently through the use of insight and expertise. This selling strategy needs to be approached with finesse and has the potential to backfire if not used with respect and care. After reviewing prior communications, I believe this is what happened. For that, I apologize.

    I’ll consider that a half-apology, given that they see this as an issue of finesse instead of one of policy. Somehow, completely misrepresenting a conversation to cast one in a negative light to one’s employer seems like it goes beyond finesse.

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