2016-fall-momma-imageIf you’re like me and the companies I work with, you probably get unsolicited emails pitching goods and services every day. Some are worthy of your consideration, but most aren’t.

I’ve seen clients asked to sponsor Bears radio because they’re headquartered in Chicago or to pay to participate in a holiday promotion on an obscure culinary cable channel because they sell a food product.

Some of my clients find it challenging to say no to unsolicited marketing opportunities, especially the ones that sound pretty cool and take advantage of the latest and greatest technology.

This is one a client received a few weeks ago:

Hi Fred (client names have been changed),

This Holiday season, we have 10 openings for brand advertorial posts on MommaCuisine.com, where your content has a syndication reach to one million twitter users and shared on Momma Cuisine Facebook and Instagram pages. This is a great time to promote Name of Fred’s Product holiday recipes!

We are offering this opportunity for exposure of your brand for only $250, discounted from $500. Your post will be live on the site during November or December months, just as families are celebrating the holidays! 

We are offering this rate only until October 14, 2016. RESERVE YOUR SPOT NOW AND JOIN OTHER AMAZING BRANDS! 

Read more about Momma Cuisine here: http://mommacuisine.com/about

At the risk of sounding jaded, I’ve been receiving similar solicitations for over 20 years, and while the technology might be different, the opportunity is awfully similar.

My goal is to help my clients not to waste their precious time chasing after the futile solicitations and to teach them how to do a rapid initial strategic assessment in case there is an opportunity that is not only exciting but relevant.

This is my email response to Fred when he asked me about the Momma Cuisine solicitation:

Hi Fred – You will get a million opportunities like this at Name of Fred’s Company. Here’s a checklist for you to go through before starting an internal discussion about the opportunity:

 1. Do the demographics of the audience match those of our specific target as laid out in the positioning document?

If YES, go to #2

2. Does the opportunity clearly support at least one of the strategies in our marketing plan?

If YES, go to #3

3. Is the opportunity a good fit with our brand’s personality, tone and manner?

If YES, go to #4, 5 and 6

4. How much would this program cost? (I can tell you that to research this for every random opportunity that comes your way is likely going to be a waste of your time, but it is totally your call as to whether or not you want to spend your time that way).

5. What would you recommend removing or reducing in our marketing plan as it exists now in order to pay for this new tactic?

6. If the opportunity still looks good after answering these 6 questions, then let’s discuss further to decide if we want to dig in deeper!

Thanks –