Is the newest direct marketing also the most annoying?

Is the newest direct marketing also the most annoying?

The jury is out on the latest form of direct marketing to hit. You may have been targeted over the ‘Black Friday’ period. (FUN FACT: Black Friday was traditionally when bricks and mortar shops started making profit – so between Thanksgiving and Christmas, the plan is to sell as MUCH as possible as it’s ALL profit – interesting strategy, right?)
 
We’re all used to receiving unsolicited marketing emails. I even have a separate email address I use purely to sign up for things that I think will send me lots of email. However, there’s a new direct marketing tactic that I only saw for the first time recently: unsolicited calendar invitations. The beauty of these is that many people have invitations set to go directly into their calendars – which means that, all of a sudden, your own calendar is reminding you to buy Ray Bans or “shop the latest look”.
 
So what do I think about this? I admire the ingenuity. It definitely creates cut-through as there are far fewer messages coming in through that channel. However, it does feel like an intrusion and a betrayal of an unwritten agreement: my time is MY time. My calendar is mine alone. I accept that by providing my email address I will receive emails – however, sending me a calendar invitation seems like an imposition. 
 
I’d love to see the results. I guess with mass marketing, it’s possible that they’re getting a good result. I bet that many people find it as annoying as I do though. 
 
What do you think? Marketing genius or the most annoying direct marketing tactic yet?
 
Sybil Williams
Founder and Growth Catalyst