What’s the Future of Telemarketing?
List quality and a legacy system may be dragging it down.
Telemarketing seems to be getting more and more difficult.
It was not too many years ago when people had one, or possibly two telephones—one at home, and one at work. Then in 1983, Martin Cooper invented the cellular phone and started a movement that has led to many people having no phone at home whatsoever. And those that still have phones in the office often divert them to their mobile phone so you never really know where you are calling (I called a friend the other day to wish him a happy birthday, and he informed me he was in Turkey, of all places).
Caller ID is all well and good, but it may be killing the response. If I get a call that does not have caller identification, I ignore it. If I get a call that does have caller identification, and I don’t know who it is, I ignore it.
Telemarketers are doomed if they do, and doomed if they don’t.
The problem is further compounded by the fact that so many rented lists seem to have really bad names and numbers.
I do not want to tar everyone with the same brush, but compiled lists seem to be susceptible. Recently, we rented a list where over half the numbers did not even exist, and of the 50 percent remaining, most of the people attached to those numbers had moved on. We rented another list as a result, supposedly of people who had placed an order within the last 90 days, but here again, many numbers were no longer valid.
Time was when someone left a job, their replacement took over their office, desk and telephone extension, so at least you stood a reasonable chance of getting someone that might be interested—now, you don’t know where you are going, or who you are getting.
Telemarketers probably love me because I have three phones: one in the office, one at home and one Martin Cooper helped invent. But, the only reason I have three is that I cannot figure out how to divert the work and home phones to my cell.
If lists cannot produce results, then no matter how low the telemarketing company’s cost per order may be, people will look elsewhere because the cost of list rentals will become uncontrollable. I am not sure how to solve this problem, but it may not be too long before publishers have to increase their budgets to maintain circulation and or sales.