Earlier this year I began working from home as manager of marketing for a software start-up. Working from home is immensely beneficial for me — I don’t have to deal with the DC traffic (which guarantees an hour commute, no matter where you’re going). I can easily take care of parental responsibilities that must happen during business hours, and — this one might be the best — I don’t spend 45 minutes every day grooming myself into something appropriate for public view.
But since I’ve been working at home, I’m surprised by how many solicitors, salespeople, and grass-roots volunteers knock on my door every day. It’s constant. As someone who works closely with sales pros, I understand that these folks are just doing their jobs. And plenty of salespeople have told me that door-to-door work helps sales help build the tough skin they’ll need down the road.
But as a marketer, I question the strategy. As people become less sensitive to maintaining online privacy, they become more sensitive to maintaining physical privacy. I’m definitely in this camp. I find door-to-door sales and flyer-dropping aggressive and invasive. If I wanted to replace my roof or switch cable providers, I’d be online reading reviews and researching prices, not waiting for a stranger to give me an awkward pitch and try to politely ignore the fact that I’m in my bathrobe.
There’s no faster way to turn me off to your brand or flag your company as out-of-touch than to send a uniformed man to my door in the middle of the day, or, worse, dinner, or, worser, cocktail hour. Make a smart marketing decision and reinvest those dollars online. Your reputation and your ROI will thank you.
Am I wrong? I haven’t found a reputable recent study that shows a worthwhile ROI on door-to-door, but let me know if you’ve seen otherwise. I’m always on Twitter, @rikki_rogers.