I love to get birthday wishes. The more, the better.
This year, I also got a dozen of messages from companies who got hold of my email address and decided to send me a birthday wish on behalf of their company. Some of these messages sounded really nice. Most of them includd a gift which I would only get when I would spend something in their favor first.
This made me think of something I read in Predictably Irrational, the book by Dan Ariely which I have referred to in earlier posts. There’s a chapter about the difference between the social and the market world. And how the two of them don’t go together very well.
These birthday messages are a nice example of this discrepancy. Every company wants to be your personal friend. They want you to be part of the family. So they send you a birthday card. With a gift. But none of my friends would ever try to offer me a gift in return for a favour. A gift is a gift. Period.
Now your computer generated messages seem all the more ingenuine to me. You think you show me you care, but in fact you show me just the opposite.
You let a computer do the talking and use my birthday as an excuse to make me spend more money at your company. Which basically means …
You don’t care.
If you want to be truly remarkable as a marketeer, if you want to be my friend, then give a gift.
I’ll love you even more for it.