Today’s Best of 2009 Blog Challenge prompt is:
Ad. What advertisement made you think this year?
This prompt got me thinking about the difference between advertising, marketing, and spam. As an independent musician, I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about this stuff. The internet has obviously made it very easy to communicate and self-promote…for free. Most definitions of “advertising” include the word “paid.” But, is advertising always paid for?
In his book Permission Marketing, Seth Godin defines advertising (without using the word “paid”) as “the science of creating and placing media that interrupts the consumer and then gets him or her to take action.”
When someone leaves this in the comments section of my Myspace page…
…is it called advertising? It costs them nothing to do this. I mean…I know it’s spam. But is it also a type of advertising?
By the way – this kind of spam is the most despicable of all. Who would actually be interested in checking out this spammer’s music? The only action they’ve inspired me to take is to hit the delete button as fast as possible. If you can commit this type of spam offense and feel no remorse, than you have a serious problem.
Although I would never do this type of thing on Myspace, I must admit that I have been guilty of mass-emailing people to promote an upcoming gig. And I think that’s spam. If the people you’re mass emailing didn’t sign up for it, then it’s spam.
be classy about how you advertise/market/whatever…
This year I started from scratch, vowed never to mass email anyone in my contacts ever again, and set up a proper mailing list that is opt-in only. Even though there is an option in this mailing list service to import all of my contacts from my email account, I would never do that. To me, that’s just not classy. I’d rather send notices about upcoming gigs to 70 people who gave me their permission to do so, than to mass-email 500 and hope that I’m not pissing off too many people.
2009 was the year I began to practice squeaky clean email etiquette, which has extended to all forms of communicating about my music.
How do you define advertising, marketing, and spam?