Today I had lunch with my friend Don Buck of Buck Marketing. He owns a list brokerage. I was explaining why I had not yet installed the program he swears by, Trillian by Cerulean Studios. It’s a way to aggregate all of your instant messaging (IM) identities into one account. That way, regardless of which system someone wants to reach you in — AOL, MSN, Yahoo, Google (Jabber) or a less popular IM account — you can receive and send through one account.
Pretty clever. But it was a solution to a problem that I don’t have.
I only have Google IM, and that’s primarily to communicate with my team members. Few people beyond my coworkers are in my Google buddy list, and I have no need for other accounts. Don said, “That’s interesting but not surprising. I find that my contacts in the email marketing industry use IM to do their work, but those in direct mail use email.”
I have a theory why. Direct mail takes weeks to plan and execute, as do most other marketing projects nowadays. Passing information via email is sufficient to meet those types of deadlines.
Email projects are usually more immediate — at least when you are in the execution stage. We’re talking lag times of days instead of weeks. IM may be the only collaboration technology immediate enough to keep things on track and still keep a record of what’s discussed (otherwise you can just pick up the phone).
Or perhaps it’s something else that turns email marketers away from their lingua franca. Perhaps those who send emails for a living can’t bear to lean heavily on that medium to manage the projects. Sort of like the guy who makes donuts every morning never wanting to sample his own work.