People in marketing are never satisfied with good results. Each marketing campaign is designed to get better results than the one before. Choices of colors, words and target audiences are constantly adjusted. Occasionally, completely new techniques are invented exclusively to assist marketing departments. Sometimes these new techniques work, and other times they are complete failures. Intensive personal marketing is one technique that fits into both categories.
Intensive personal marketing is a labor intensive way to encourage a person to purchase an item or service. It is usually used in large cities where there are plenty of people available. It involves a trained marketing person going out on the street and finding a person to speak with as they walk down the sidewalk or wait for transportation. The trained marketer strikes up a conversation with the person about an item they claim they have just tried or purchased.
As the two continue their conversation, the job of the marketer is to get the person to try the item. Generally, electronics purchases are the goal. Many people were very interested in trying a new electronic gadget on the advice of the person they just met. It was considered a successful way to steer people towards buying a product. No marketing department could hope for a better way to run a campaign for any device, or so they thought.
There are two reasons for this type of campaign to be a failure. The amount of time it takes to walk along and chat with a person was a problem. Trained marketing personnel are paid a wage to work. Even using actors was relatively expensive. The second reason this type of campaign can also be considered a failure is the anger people experienced when they found out a marketing person had been speaking to them. They turned against the brand as they felt they had been used and betrayed rather than shown a new product.