Spam, very frequently called a menace, but look closely and you might conclude that it is yet another ingenious idea of marketers. In that sense, telemarketing is nothing else but spam's dearest sister ( or brother if you like ).
Philosophy and ingenuity apart, both spam and telemarketing have reached such dramatic proportions that they have begun to look like Frankenstein's monster that is out of control. Many companies have been spending painless hours building solutions to filter out spam and stop telemarketing calls, but the success has been moderate at best, relative to the efforts that have been put in.
It is said that to catch a thief, you need to think like him and I guess that holds true for marketers as well. Recently I came across a company, BoxBe.com that has come up with this innovative idea of engaging the marketers in their own game. The idea is to build a proxy mailbox that shields the actual user mailbox from hordes of spam mail, at the same time giving the user the option of receiving spam mail and getting paid for it ( by charging the marketer ). That way, the marketer gets access to the people that he desires, at a small price, and the users get paid for reading the marketing pitches.
However, there is one catch. The popularity of email as a marketing medium stems from the fact that it is really cheap and that the results can be accounted for. Given that access to users is now chargeable, one would need to wait and see how many marketers bite the bullet. Too costly and marketers would shy away from it, too cheap and oodles of spam would continue to flow through the network. Lets wait and watch - only time will tell.