How to stand apart from the growing tide of telemarketing spam

Tired of receiving unsolicited (‘spam’) telephone sales calls…?  Then spare a sympathetic thought for the beleaguered consumers of India.

According to developers Truecaller, Indians receive an average of 22 spam calls each per month, making them the world’s most telephonically-intruded citizens.  US and Brazilian citizens fare little better, receiving 20 spam calls per month.  Chile (17) and South Africa (15) round out the top (bottom?) 5.

Annoying and unwanted spam calls are on the rise around the globe, according to Truecaller.  The most frequent types of unsolicited calls are nuisance calls and telemarketing calls.

Truecaller proposes consumers stem the growing tide of telephone spam via their app, which examines caller IDs and provides details on who is calling, even if the number is not stored in a local phone book. The app also enables blocking and reporting of calls, so that the community of users can build their collective spam avoidance over time.  

However, let’s think about this problem from the supply side, as marketers…

Telemarketing can be a powerful and effective marketing tool.  Yet, the growing clamor of outbound tele-spam maybe reducing the effectiveness of telemarketing for all of us.

Wouldn’t it be better for marketers to completely rethink their telemarketing strategies, and avoid being considered as ‘spam’ label in the first place…?

Consumers don’t mind receiving phone calls when the offers being made are personalised.  That is, the call is about something they genuinely care about, and the offer being made is customised and attractive to them as an individual.

That’s where marketing technology – such as IBM’s Watson AI – can help.   Real time personalisation of content is possible, as Watson learns through each interaction to deliver the right content and offers to each customer, within the context of their previous brand interactions.

AIs are mostly being used at the moment to personalise digital content.  However, customer service representatives and outbound telecallers are increasingly able to leverage the same approach to personalisation of call scripts and value-add offers.


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