Sunday, February 27, 2011

even for free - it's poor value

I was doing some research into integrated marketing and wanted to check the claim of offline ads against the advertiser's online offerings, and found myself on the website of - so I decided to take up their offer of a free valuation of my car. But found myself stuck at this point:

You see, the system allowed me to select my car as being in a group made from '04 onwards, but then limited the exact year to '08 or '09 - mine was registered in 2004.

When I checked, there was another option before this page for my specific car, so in part is was my fault - but why did the system allow me to choose this option when it clearly isn't an option. As it was, I could choose the correct option because I knew the bhp of my car - I wonder how many other people would have been able to do so? [I suspect many don't even know bhp stands for 'brake horse power'].

Friday, February 18, 2011

hotel pricing small print

Over the years I have been a regular visitor to Athens - the one in Greece - and one of my favourite hotels is the Sol Melia [formerly the Hotel Georgio]. 

I am scheduled to go back this summer and I hope to stay there again - part of the reason why I signed up for their newsletter [it is actually a chain of hotels]. The newsletters are generally quite good, but in the one that came today, I noticed this in the small print:
Whilst the first four points are valid, why send out a newsletter which includes featured prices and yet says that the prices might not be valid? I can only assume that this is to cover the fact that some folk might take a while to open the email, but it does say on receipt, not when you read it. And if you are going to feature prices, why not fix those prices for a few days?  Just seems strange to me. 

Thursday, February 17, 2011

credit where credit is due

I have had a PayPal account for [probably] longer than most people. I find it incredibly handy for online purchases, and tend to shop only on sites that take it [there's a marketing message in there] - in fact, I can't remember the last time I typed a credit card number onto a web page.

Anyhoo, as I have mentioned in earlier entries [see 1, 2]I have been switching my primary email address to my Gmail account [I've also had a Gmail account for longer than most - it comes of doing a lot of reading about the whole 'Internet' thing] but despite changing my address with PayPal, I still got a message at my 'old' address.

It is a bit more complicated than that as the message was about a credit to my account - it is easy to accept online payments via PayPal also - and the message was 'from' the company making the payment to me. As I had also informed that company of my change of address, it was not clear who was at fault.

So I put this onto PayPal's online form - and within 24 hours got a reply which included comprehensive instructions on how to sort the problem [by deleting the old address rather than simply letting it remain 'dormant' in my profile].

If I want to be picky; the email came from PayPal's office in Luxembourg and so the English was a bit, well ... 'second language' [eg "please be informed"] - making it border on the sycophantic rather than 'friendly'. But hey,  that really is being picky :) .

Saturday, February 5, 2011

try doing something right today

Following a theme from previous entries [see 1, 2, 3] - here is online confirmation when I decided to unsubscribe from Sainsbury's email list.
So ... how much do you thing the retailer spent on the development of their logo? And how many hours went into deciding on the text and font for the 'try something new today' tag line? So who came up with the unsubscribe message, the cleaner? No, I retract that - it is unfair on cleaners. This looks like another example of a techie's handiwork. 

It is not only so wrong in marketing terms - it is also very poor grammar.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

nice idea, poor execution

One of the elements of social media is product reviews. And an element of social media marketing is to generate reviews for any products you sell. Hence, this email from DIY outlet Homebase has been sent with the best of intentions.

Sadly, this email is the result [I assume] and an automated system - for the product I purchased was a light bulb.  Not really much I can say in a review other than: 'it lights up when connected to electricity'.  And would you look for reviews before buying a light bulb?