OK, I admit it. I love Men’s Health Magazine. When I read an issue I feel like there’s still hope for me–still time to create chiseled six-pack abs, land that perfect job, take an epic trip, generate untold wealth, attract hordes of smoking hot babes just dying to please me–you know, the basic stuff a man of my stature deserves. It’s full of useful tricks and tips, style advice, fitness regimens and human interest stories, sort of playing the role for me that Cosmo does for the ladies. I tend to enjoy staying plugged in to the younger set because I feel better when I do.
So when they offered me a chance to get some email alerts once a week or so on fitness and style, I signed up for a few. It was a way to stay plugged into that content between issues and get some good advice on whatever manly activity I was currently weak in.
EVERY single one I have received so far has been marketing spam. I was HOPING for, and expecting, blog-style columns driving me back to the site where I would be happy to consume advertising while I read invaluable posts about advancing my career and or 99 sex tricks certain to drive her crazy. Instead, I’m getting pummeled by teasers for $79 nutritional supplements and workout CDs. There has not been one single link to useful advice that I didn’t have to buy. VERY disappointing.
Look, content marketing won’t work well unless you surface valuable content. You have to provide information worth consuming that folks will want to share and that will enhance your reputation as a trusted provider of whatever it is you provide. All this tactic did was get me to unsubscribe from those emails as fast as I possibly could, with the additional side effect of undermining my desire to return to the site on my own. It was a classic bait and switch that altered my point of view on the publication from trusted source to spammer.
Another brand I cared about, forever tarnished. Sad. Very sad indeed.