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Right message, right person, right timing

Recently, someone came to my website and went to the trouble to paste this message into my contact form:


My name is Ben Bigelow and I am currently working with the Cisco TelePresence team. We are working in conjunction to create awareness for the recently launched â??Why I Want Cisco TelePresenceâ? video contest at

This new contest is designed to entice individuals from around the world to submit their ideas about why or how they would like to use Cisco TelePresence.

Winners in two categories, Productivity and Shaping the Future, have a chance to win $3,000 each. Winners will also receive 5 hours of Cisco TelePresence at a Cisco Location (www.ciscomeetingonus) to connect with colleagues, peers, friends around the globe.

It would be great if you are willing to post about the video contest and encourage your readers to create their own videos.  They donâ??t have to be Ridley Scott or Cecil B. DeMille â?? all they need is a home video camera, some passion and a tad of creativity.  Most digital cameras can record short form videos, and the site is set up for easy uploading and includes a simple pass along feature.  We appreciate anything you can to help raise awareness for Cisco TelePresence and how it benefits entire organizations.


They included their name and what appeared to be a real (albeit non-Cisco) email address. The IP address even resolves to the same town where Cisco’s headquarters are.

But what didn’t they do?

They didn’t bother telling me what Cisco Telepresence is.

They didn’t describe the problems it solves, reminding me of the pain I’m in telecommunications-wise, and why I should be interested in finding out more, much less spending some money with them.

Instead, they asked me to make a video about a product I’ve never heard of. Makes absolutely no sense.

It’s not WWII

If I was already a Cisco Telepresence user and perhaps a product champion in their eyes, this message might have made sense.

Instead, it just felt like a German WWII bomber flying over dropping plane loads of pamphlets from 10,000 ft that explain how I’ve lost the war (you know, as I march on Berlin).

Don’t do that.

Take a close look at the marketing messages you’re sending out, regardless of their cost.

Are you sending the right message to the right person at the right time?

Are you sending a message that is in context with the relationship you currently have with that person?

It doesn’t matter if the message is delivered via email, telephone, tv, radio, newspaper, magazine, Twitter or whatever – the problem is the same if the message isn’t fine tuned for the situation.