"Urgent: Time is running out". The title to an email today from Business Objects, an SAP company. I'm on their mailing list so I get emails once in a while.
But what was so urgent that I couldn't miss out on today? Perhaps they were informing me of a Christmas charity that needed donations to save the Congo children. Maybe a holiday offer of free software licenses? They say it is urgent so it must be important.
Where's the value
So what did I get that required me to jump out of my seat and click on the link in the email before time ran out? I have now "opt-in to receive emails from BO". Wow, time truly was of the essence (I'm trying to contain my sarcasm). I will receive "announcements, events, product offers, technical tips, and other vital information for SAP customers." [I thought I was already signed up, which is how I received the email in the first place??]
Anyway, this was a lame marketing campaign from BO's marketing department (maybe this is from SAP's marketing department...). Anyway the technique of inducing urgency and fear is decades old and rubs people the wrong way. Our time is valuable, so if it's "urgent", it had better be.
Fear within Business Objects
This could also point to a fear coming from within BO/SAP, although I cannot substantiate this claim. I base this on history where fear marketing comes from companies that are losing ground to competitors. Or they simply go delusional (like the automakers who continued marketing the same gas guzzling vehicles when the economy and environment were screaming for change). They are detached from their customers.
I suspect Business Objects has a strong revenue base from existing customers and services so I'm not trying to induce fear that BO will be asking for Federal bailout money. But maybe they are seeing declines in new customers and new license revenue.
For instance, I think it is safe to say they failed with their Insight Portal (sorry I can't find the link), failing with their Information On Demand, and I don't see them getting much uptake from their BI On Demand web portal.
Until something more substantial comes out, I'll wait for future correspondence from BO like a 7 year old child waiting for Santa on Christmas Eve.