Archive for the 'Marketing Mistakes' Category

The Internet? Bah! Why cyberspace isn’t, and will never be, nirvana

Wow, this guy was so wrong…

I bet he regrets writing this article for Newsweek in 1995. This is clearly a case of a guy lacking any foresight.

Below are a few choice comments:

“Visionaries see a future of telecommuting workers, interactive libraries and multimedia classrooms. They speak of electronic town meetings and virtual communities. Commerce and business will shift from offices and malls to networks and modems. And the freedom of digital networks will make government more democratic.

Baloney. Do our computer pundits lack all common sense? The truth in no online database will replace your daily newspaper, no CD-ROM can take the place of a competent teacher and no computer network will change the way government works.”

“Yet Nicholas Negroponte, director of the MIT Media Lab, predicts that we’ll soon buy books and newspapers straight over the Internet. Uh, sure.”

“We’re told that multimedia will make schoolwork easy and fun. Students will happily learn from animated characters while taught by expertly tailored software… These expensive toys are difficult to use in classrooms and require extensive teacher training.”

“Then there’s cyber business. We’re promised instant catalog shopping–just point and click for great deals. We’ll order airline tickets over the network, make restaurant reservations and negotiate sales contracts. Stores will become obsolete. So how come my local mall does more business in an afternoon than the entire Internet handles in a month? Even if there were a trustworthy way to send money over the Internet–which there isn’t–the network is missing a most essential ingredient of capitalism: salespeople.”



Technorati becomes irrelevant

First, an apology. I’m sorry for the lack of updates to this blog. I’ve been focusing on work and consulting on other blogs. But I’m slowly starting to get back into the swing of things. Thanks for your patience!

Now on to the topic of this post.

Technorati has become irrelevant. Why? Because of spam. It’s true. According to Technoratie founder David Sifry, spam blogs account for over 99% of all the updates they get.

How did this happen? How can the once giant, #1 search engine for blogs become this way?

The 1st sign of this happened back when Technorati decided to include MySpace blogs in their search results. This was a bad move because it severly hurt the number of relevant search results. Instead of returning quality posts, you got useless tripe from 13 year old girls and college boys. The 2nd, and perhaps biggest blow, was when Technorati started to include Twitter posts in its search results. Now you got even more useless tripe!

As a result of these terrible decisions, Technorati has now become a search engine for spam not relevant thoughts on topics.

It all goes back to that basic marketing rule; focus on your core audience, not on everyone. By trying to appeal to a larger crowd (everyone) instead of its core (quality bloggers, the ones that are pushing the medium forward) they have become irrelevant.

What marketing is not…

Some people just do not know marketing. They think they know but they really don’t. Take one of our clients. He called our office and said he wanted to do some marketing. He said he wants permission to use our logo on some materials he plans to hand out to his cutomers.

My response: “Sure. What are the materials?”
His response: “Office pens and nightlights.”
Me: “Nightlights?”
Him: “Yeah, nightlights… for the kids.”
Me: …long pause…

For the record, I work for an Internet business referral company. Why a nightlight? When will people learn that marketing is more than just simply putting a logo on anything and everything. Putting a logo on a pen is not marketing – it’s simply putting a logo on a pen.

I denied his request for a nightlight.

Marketing fluff of the day

From Marketing Operations Partners,

“Marketing Operations is a thorough, end-to-end operational discipline that leverages processes, technology, guidance and metrics to run the Marketing function as a profit center and fully-accountable business. It reinforces Marketing strategy and tactics with a scalable and sustainable enabling infrastructure, as well as nurturing a healthy, collaborative ecosystem, both within and outside the Marketing department, to drive achievement of enterprise objectives.”


Clearly the person who wrote this forgot the #1 rule of writing for the Internet; keep your sentences short and don’t use buzz words. Why? You should never put the reader in a situation in which he must figure out what you are trying to say. They should be able to read your text one time and know exactly what your company is all about. Buzz words make the reader jump over unnecessary hurdles.

Let’s list the buzz words used in this paragraph: leverage, scalable, sustainable, collaborative ecosystem, enterprise objectives.

Did I miss any?

Ebay’s Paypal vs. Google Checkout

This week’s publication of Marketing News contains an interesting article on Paypal versus Google Checkout.

This past June, eBay pulled all its keyword ads from Google’s U.S. site in response to a major Google blunder. What blunder? The Google Checkout team planned a party during eBay’s annual “eBay Live” event in the same city. Google called its party “Let Freedom Ring” – a reference to the fact that eBay’s Paypal does not allow Google Checkout as a payment method.

After eBay pulled its advertising, Google canceled the party but eBay has yet to relent its boycott. That’s bad for Google because eBay spends tens of millions of dollars a year with Google.

Lesson for the day: Don’t try to take screw over one of your biggest clients.

Lying in advertising

Some people just don’t get that fibbing in advertising is an awful idea.

An Internet ad popped up on my screen this morning disguised as an error alert message. When I saw the ad, I was shocked, not by the ad itself because this type of ad isn’t new. In fact, it’s been floating out on the web for about ten years now. What shocked me was that there are companies that still use this bait-and-switch form of advertising.

My department leader and I encountered a bait-and-switch method of a different kind when we went looking at a house he was thinking of buying. The house was pictured in a magazine but, when we drove to the address given, we noticed some glaring differences. While the house itself looked the same, the land around it did not. The real estate agent had obviously paid someone to edit the photo to remove the cattle fencing around the property and remove the huge, slopping hill in the front yard.

Why do this; why would you lie to potential customers? I understand you feel the need to get people to your website and feet to the property you sell but don’t lie to get them there. If you do, you’re telling your potential customer that you’re willing to lie. They’ll then wonder what else you’re willing to lie about including the benefits of your service, the effectiveness of your product, your willingness to price match, etc. Don’t forget, these people have friends and they’ll tell them of your deceptive tricks.

The problem is that you’re thinking only two feet out in front of you while you should be thinking a hundred feet. Do you think my department leader looked at any more houses listed in that magazine? He did not. Do you think that I will go to the company that displayed the error alert ad when I need anti-virus software? I will not.

Why would we do business with a liar?

Deterring Traffic = Huge Mistake

There’s a great sandwich shop about three blocks from the office called Lenny’s. Their sandwiches are some of the best I ever tasted and their service is rockin’ like Dokken! However, it’s a real hassle to get to because the highway becomes too congested with cars during the lunch rush. So I, and other savvy commuters, found a short cut. To take the shortcut you must go through a backstreet, then through a small local business’s parking lot, which connects with another backstreet that takes your right to the sandwich shop. It worked great for a while, that is until the owner/manager of the local business started purposefully blocking the entrance to the second backstreet from his parking lot with his car. I guess he was tired of the excess traffic.

He’s making a huge mistake and wasting a great opportunity.

First off, the small business isn’t on a high traffic street and doesn’t get much exposure to passing commuters. Most businesses want extra traffic but apparently this guy either doesn’t need it or is too short-sighted to realize he’s telling possible customers to kiss-off.

Second, the owner is missing a great opportunity. He could capitalize on the extra traffic by putting up a sign that said, “Show me a Lenny’s receipt with today’s date and receive 10% off your purchase!” Give that extra traffic a reason to stop by your business and a chance to buy your product.

If you’re a small business, it’s never a good idea to deter traffic.

Who am I ?

My name is Michael Morton. I believe in bringing energy and professionalism into the office, that knowledge is power, that leadership trumps management, that customers are more influential than advertisements, that content is king, and that two heads are better than one. I currently lead the marketing efforts of the Strategic Alliances department of my company. Let’s talk marketing!

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