An Enterprise Marketing Fiasco?

I have been doing some work for a while now with LEGI practitioners in Leeds looking at the quality of marketing that we use to promote enterprise services and the people that might respond to it. Below is a piece of (non LEGI) marketing collateral that is currently doing the rounds. I think it originates from Business Link – and is featured on their website.

All, the following FREE events are happening on:

14th July 5pm to 9pm at Met Hotel, Leeds
15th July 9.30 to 1.30 at Agbrigg/Belle Vue Community Centre, Wakefield
22nd July 5pm to 9pm at Leeds Media Centre
8th September 9.30 to 1.30 at St Roberts Parish Centre, Harrogate
18th September 9.30 to 1.30 at The Tower House Hotel, Halifax
29th September 9.30 to 1.30 at the Town Hall, Bridlington

Title:
Explore! – Motivational events for the BAME (Black and Ethnic Minority) and Diverse communities

Motivational events are aimed to enthuse, inspire and excite BAME and Women groups into exploring the world of business. These events will also offer further information on what to do next and how to move your idea forward.

Who should attend?
Individuals from BAME and Diverse communities who are looking to start-up in business and who will be inspired to make their business ideas a reality.

What will it cover:

  • Why you want to start your own business?
  • How to generate more ideas
  • Where to find customers
  • Building Confidence
  • Gaining inspiration from success
  • Learn from inspirational key note speakers
  • Showcase of successful entrepreneurs
  • Information sources and networks
  • Friendly people to talk through your idea

To find out more about these FREE events or to book a place immediately you can call on 0845 xxxxx or email xxxx

For more information about these and other events visit www.businesslinkyorkshire.co.uk and click on ‘Events’

Well it’s another piece of lovely piece of ‘enterprise’ marketing.

When you go the Business Link website (as instructed in the e-mail) to try to find more information about these events it takes a while to find exactly the information that is given above – no extra information at all!

When I rang the telephone number I got a loud piece of ‘Dire Straits/Mark Knopfleresque’ guitar music – almost painful on the ear – and I like Dire Straits!

At the third attempt I was successfully transferred to someone who worked on the events team who promised to e-mail me some further information. I am still waiting…watch this space…

The piece is written in a very passive and remote style.

It talks about BAME and Women Groups in one line and then BAME and Diverse communities in the next.

It talks about these communities rather than to individuals from these communities. (Is it just me or is this (close to being) insulting?)

I am not a marketing copywriter – but I can recognise this as BAD! It is unlikely to motivate anyone to want to attend the events.

What qualifies as a ‘diverse community’?

Are we really happy to group BAME/Women and Diverse communities into a workshop? Seems to me that only Caucasian men from ‘non-diverse’ communities need not apply!

Has it become ‘OK’ to use this sort of language in tokenistic efforts to be socially inclusive?

I don’t think so!

Or am I the one who is losing the plot?

ADDENDUM

I am delighted to say that I did get my e-mail from Business link – with exactly the same information that was on the website. They also gave me the name of the organisation that is running the programme and told me that one of the dates have been cancellled.

Comments

  1. I couldn’t agree more Mike, but we see it not just in badly written (and ill-conceived) stuff as above, but also in more mainstream things from big, major organisations in the sector. An SSE Fellow was telling me recently about a BAME workshop they’d been invited to attend…which they found thoroughly useless. As they put it, “The only thing we had in common was our background, not our work, our enterprise, our needs in relation to our organisation (or ourselves). and there was nothing of value for us: we were just brought together to have information taken from us”.

    Box-ticking that’s probably having the opposite effect of what was intended.

  2. Good to know that I am not the only one who is not ‘indifferent’ to this sort of stuff. I am pretty sure that this originated from Business Link. It is certinaly on their website. Don’t get much bigger or mainstream than that. And they have armies of copywriters and marketers (overly) concerned about ‘the brand’ (at least they used to when it was run out the DTI rather than through the regions).

    As a way of segmenting the market this is clumsy and ineffective. As a way of trying to engage indiviudfals from diverse backgrounds it is at best incompetent.

    But hey ho, it is only our taxes they are spending.

  3. Good post Mike. Marketing of enterprise support is one of my (many) bugbears. You rightly point out that this kind of thing completely fails to engage with individuals. It’s lowest common denominator bums on seats nonesense. But if the output is “bums on seats” then there’s a good chance that they might “succeed” as I would suggest that there are enough people out there who want some form of support – and hope that this may be for them – so will go along.

    I’m amazed by how polite people are – I’ve been to far too many poor quality events like this, which have left me fuming, whilst other people seem happy because they got a few limp sandwiches and a goodie bag. It’s really not good enough, and it’s good that blog posts like this one are pointing that out.

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