This morning I came in and found a big box on my desk. It was a ‘cookie bouquet’ from Vocus. Vocus is a company that provides software/services for the PR industry. It enables PR practioners to manage their relationships with media and analysts, track projects, conduct email campaigns, generate activity reports etc. It’s truly top of the line. Alas, its also very expensive. And, as a small firm, we simply can’t afford it.
The nice folks at Vocus continue to shower my staff and I with lovely gifts like today’s cookies and last year’s $50 gift certificates to Barnes & Noble. I estimate that in the last 2-3 years, Vocus has spent anywhere between $250-$350 marketing to my company.
I have spoken to a sales person and explained, on more than one occasion, that their pricing is just out of our league. (Maybe if they didn’t send all those cookie bouquets their pricing would come down a bit!) The company’s persistence and creativity are admirable. However, I wish they would listen to the prospect (me) – unless they are offering a lower-cost solution, they should save their marketing dollars. I am not going to buy.
Now if the Vocus execs want to keep their ‘luxury’ pricing and not offer a lower-cost service, that’s a valid approach to market positioning. Still, they need to know who is and who is not a valid customer prospect. Not everyone can afford to shop at Louis Vuitton, even if we all secretly want to. (That’s probably why I don’t get any direct mail from them – smart of them, heh?)