Thursday, November 25, 2010

no gambling with these chips

Another long story for this entry - with multiple failings along the way.

It all started with a pack of McCain microwave chips. On the pack I noticed a promotion where you had to go online and enter the promo code from the pack your were using:

So I fired up the interweb and typed in the URL given on the pack - - and got this page:
Hmmm, so McCain didn't make sure they had registered the domain name they were using for the promotion. And then didn't bother to try and get hold of it - either buying or renting it. Or even paying for a message on that holding page which said 'for the McCain ping and win competition click here'.

Not to be out done I put into my browser and got this page:

Note that there is nothing on it about the 'ping and win' competition [even scrolling down revealed nothing]. However, the main message on this page was about the new website - on a different domain. I will assume that is a strategic decision, but give my experiences with this promotion, I'm not confident that it is.

So I clicked on the link to go to the 'all new site', and got this:
Or to be more accurate, after a wait of a couple of minutes while it downloaded, this was the page I got. Or, at least, I got some of the page - not that I needed to scroll both down and across to see the content. Note that scrolling across has been a no-no since ... well, since forever.

However, on that page there was a link to 'check out our latest competition' and got this page:
Again, note that scrolling was required - but still nothing on the ping and win competition.

So, McCain, no much how much I enjoy your chips, your online marketing is hard to swallow.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

the Kangol hat saga

Let me start this marathon story by saying that none of the following is the fault of Kangol's - they just make the hat in question.

I have said before on this blog that I often feel mine is a dying trade - that is, teaching e-marketing is becoming redundant because so many people know how to do it. And anyway, it's not rocket science is it? Fortunately, events like the one in this story give me hope of earning through to my retirement.

The prologue: I have a Kangol hat - one of those that actor Samuel L. Jackson has made famous. Someone I know enquired about the my hat, saying she wanted to buy one [for someone else] as a Christmas present. Same as mine, but size 'large'. I said mine was bought online and I would look into it for her.

So I typed "Kangol wool 504 large" into Google. Pretty explicit I would say: 'wool 504' is the Kangol product code [taken from my hat] - the only thing missing is the colour, but black was not essential for the present. And I got this SERP ...
e-Marketing error #1
Notice the add for for M&S? That means that someone at, or on behalf of, Marks and Spencer has bid on either all or some of the term "Kangol wool 504 large". Hmm, I thought, why would they do that - they don't sell kangol hats? "Men's flat caps" - yes, maybe a would-be-Xmas-present buyer might search on that term. But I have searched on a specific style of a specific brand - which would suggest that I know exactly what I'm looking for, and sorry M&S, Samuel L. and his like would gain zero street cred wearing a hat the same as their grandad. But then I thought: 'I'd best just check that M&S don't stock Kangol, so I clicked on that ad, and got ...
e-Marketing error #2
Yep, I wanted a specific style of a specific make of cap - and got a generic landing page. Had this ad link taken me to a cap of the exact same style [but not Kangol], maybe I might have considered it. Actually, that's still not true - but how many of you have ever been bought clothes by your mum that are 'just the same' as the branded attire you actually wanted?

So, anyhoo - I clicked on one of the e-Bay links and found myself on this page ...
e-Marketing error #3
Now, I know that the Kangol 504 has the Kangol logo on the back of the hat - or the front, if you where it backwards as is the fashion. So, I might already be suspicious if a 'Kangol 504' hat was advertised at half the price of other eBay sellers, but I would be even more so if the image didn't include a view of the rear of the hat showing that all-important logo. OK, maybe this hat was a genuine 504, but I wasn't going to take the risk. The error - when you are selling online, get the description - and picture - right.

So I went back to eBay and clicked on the link for a more expensive seller of the required hat - available, it said, 'in all sizes'. Except it wasn't ...
e-Marketing error #4
Maybe this was available in all sizes when it was first advertised, but it isn't now. eBay pages are easily changed - do so, don't sucker people in like this. Oh, by the way - that kind of advertising is against the law in the UK.

Like I said, not rocket science but - it seems - easy to get wrong.

Monday, November 15, 2010

targeted advertising: but targeted at whom?

I have signed up for the alpha version of a new search engine called Qwiki and here is the 'welcome' email.
Now, if you are reading this blog, you should already know that the ads on the right-hand side of this email [it is to my Gmail account] should be associated to the content of the email message. However, there is nothing in the email body which has any connection to 'love letter', 'valentines cards' [in November?] or 'iris plants'. So what keywords have the advertisers chosen for their ads to match up with?

I think it must be 'qwiki' - as in 'a brief sexual encounter'. Seems a rather vague connection to me - but I can't see anything else, can you?

Sunday, November 7, 2010

online requires the same attention as offline media

I think this situation is getting better - but this proves the problem is not solved. Take a look at the hi-lighted part of this web page from UK telecomms provider, BT. Note that I saved this image after reading the page a couple of days ago.

For those of you that don't know: the football season started around three months ago. I do not know the reason for this, but as this kind of thing wouldn't happen on another media - imagine BT running an ad for a Christmas promotion at Easter.

So whey does it happen? Someone, somewhere in BT should - if nothing else - have a note in their diary for the beginning of August that says 'change this web page'. It's just plain sloppy. But here is my worst fear - this kind of thing happens because either [a] the marketers simply do not understand the Internet, or [b] the Internet is still a junior partner in the promotional mix, so it does not receive the same resources and attention to detail as other media. Both stink.

Here's another example, this one hi-lighted by the excellent Bowen Craggs website -ExxonMobil : Sleeping at the wheel.