Bringing Home the Bacon

As CTO, I may not be a marketer, but I sure am the target of marketing. Though not an expert, I can spot a marketing failure – especially when I’m the target. Case in point:

I arrived at work today to find a priority mail envelope of unknown origin. On opening it, I found inside a package of bacon, along with a letter from the company (which will remain unnamed) saying something about helping people bring home the bacon.

Now this was an ordinary pack of bacon – the kind you would find in the refrigerated section of your grocery isle. Indeed, it was clearly labeled “Keep Refrigerated” – it wasn’t one of those well preserved “Refrigerate after opening” packages. You can mail refrigerated foods, but to do so safely you need to put it in a Styrofoam case, pack it with dry ice, and send it overnight  guaranteed delivery with the knowledge that someone will be there to receive it.

In this case, the bacon was just dropped into a priority mail envelope. Thanks to the tracking number, I can tell you that while the shipping label was created on Monday, Dec 1st, it wasn’t actually mailed until Dec 3rd. It arrived on Friday Dec 5th. Even if they sealed the envelope minutes before shipping, this bacon was sitting unrefrigerated in the envelope for an absolute minimum of 44 hours and 21 minutes until delivery. If they sealed it at the same time as they printed the label, the elapsed time would be at least 92 hours and 15 minutes.

Now add to that the fact that I wasn’t in on Friday, and you’re looking at well over a week before I received my marketing promotion of spoiled bacon.

Spoiled or not, I can’t help question the wisdom of sending bacon as a marketing gift. You may not know (or care) if the recipient is Jewish, Muslim, Ethiopian Orthodox, vegetarian or vegan, but if they are, they might not appreciate a package of bacon and may, in fact, take offense at such a gift.

As for me, I certainly had a lot of fun showing it around at work before throwing it out. And we will remember the company that sent it to us. Not that they are a bad company – we actually like their product and may well use it in the future. So if the goal was to get noticed, they certainly succeeded.

I know marketing is all about getting noticed, and the experts may disagree with me, but honestly – I think they could have found a better way than sending me a package of rotten meat.

Dan Appleman

About Dan Appleman

As Full Circle Insights’ CTO, Dan Appleman brings a broad technology experience to our customers. In addition to having supported over 30 Salesforce.com implementations with technology solutions, Dan is also the author of the book "Advanced Apex Programming for Salesforce.com and Force.com" and has been a speaker at Dreamforce since 2012. Previously, he was the founder of Desaware, Inc. a developer of add-on products for Microsoft Visual Studio, a co-founder of Apress publishing, and the author of numerous books and articles.