Entries Tagged 'Advertizing' ↓

Landmines

Used to be you could click on a link and actually land on the site the link proclaimed. Noways the proclaimed sites are becoming harder and harder to recognize. Mainly because of google banner ads. These banner splashes are ‘in your face’ , unwelcome, distractions often advertising ‘the other guys stuff’ in a way that could easily trick the unwary into selecting unwanted, time wasting information.

That was my experience in a recent search on the web for multimedia software. After taking several promising leads from a well known search engine, leads touting xyz software company, I was presented with a large color banner proclaiming a link to zyx software company, a competitor to xyz.

Can’t help but wonder if xyz knows that those nickel a click google ads are costing him customers by taking them to his competitor. I suspect he has no idea about how badly he is getting screwed by google. He probably has not logged onto his website in months.

I am pretty sure that I am not the only unsuspecting surfer who was taken to the wrong URL.

Things used to be much more civilized when google ads were restricted to right and left columns reserved for such nonsense. I just never expected some loud, gaudy, and unruly banner clown would jump out at me like an aggressive carney barker to keep me from getting to the site I was seeking. And to do that in the center column as the first entry that shows up when the desired URL is opened is just an intensely rude and inconsiderate tactic. It is like getting spamed in real time with no defenses.

Most people know how much I love and respect spamers. Yeah, these google banner ad morons are not getting my business either and I will go out of my way to educate everyone I know.

Professional Services

Here is a copy of an open letter to Professional Service providers that do direct mail marketing.

We thought you might find it interesting.

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This is an open letter in response to your recent inquiry or mailing.

The number of unsolicited offers of professional services to this address have increased over the years. Generally they originate from vendors unknown.

I am sure you realize that marketing professional services in such an indiscriminent way is somewhat less than professional. It is not unlike marketing door to door. Such marketing might work for selling magazine subscriptions or Girl Scout cookies but it is inappropriate for the services you seek to provide.

You might want to consider the following before continuing to present yourselves in a less than professional manner.

1. If we have never heard of you, your salutation will find a home in the dustbin. We are not referring to brand recognition only. By ‘heard of you’ we are referring to positive knowledge of your services, recommendations of your services from trusted friends who have been your satisfied clients, or really big brand name recognition.

2. You may very well be an excellent provider of services but making the assumption that EVERYONE will want those services raises doubt about your judgement. When it comes to providing professional services judgement is a very important factor. Poor judgement in marketing makes prospects suspect such poor judgement may spill over into the services you seek to provide.

3. Prospects who are smart enough to realize they need professional services are also smart enough to investigate those qualified to provide such services. Such investigation does not include unsolicited referrals submitted by the service provider.

4. There are entirely too many ‘offers by mail’ that are misleading, too good to be true, and downright fraudulent. If you want to be considered a reputable provider of professional services, you do not want to be using marketing tools used by folk out to defraud.

5. Some offers of real estate and financial services are accompanied by an invitation to a ‘seminar’ with the lure of a free supper or lunch. The majority of these offers deal with products sporting sizable price tags or serious investment requirements on the part of prospective clients. In short, these products are in search of people with deep pockets. Unfortunately, people with deep pockets do not spend their time at seminars in search of a free lunch. So here we have a marketing strategy good at attracting people who are not qualified to purchase the products offered.

6. Mailings, handbills, repetitious radio and TV ads, all disclose the possibility that those using these marketing means are desperate for business. It makes prospects wonder about reasons for such desperation. This is particularly true when is comes to professional services of ANY kind. Successful professional service providers already have a client base. They have no need to beat the bushes or offer services to uninterested parties.

7. Congradulations on your sale of the house next door. However; it is not polite to toot your own horn as loudly as you have in your recent mailing to us. It is also somewhat presumptious of you to think that everyone else in the neighborhood wants you to sell their houses as well.

Requests for Advertizing Space

I use Akismet to take care of any spam that might be directed my way and onto the blog. Akismet is pretty efficient and about 99.9 percent effective. However, I still get one or two bits of spam a week disguised as comments to posts.

Comments to posts are welcome but must be reviewed and approved before they are posted to the blog. If I did not do that, I would have all sorts of morons competing to spam my posts. Unfortunately some people are denser than others and still try to advertize through the comment feature.

I view these as requests for advertizing space. Even if you disguise your name and falsify your email address to gain access to the commenting feature, I still get your IP address. A simple click on that IP address discloses who you are and where you originate. So you cannot really hide by submitting false information. Your IP gives you away everytime.

Having your IP address allows me to chose several options. If I wish, I can contact your ISP and request that he deal with your misuse of bandwidth. Not all ISPs are responsible enough to discourage spamers, so I can always block your IP or even the entire range of IPs assigned to your ISP.

A very creative but labor intensive remedy is to send the offender a registered letter informing him that further spam events will be considered default acceptance of an offer to provide bandwidth and storage space for that spam at a rate of $100 per occurance. Future occurances are then billed. After a number of billings go unpaid and unchallenged they are taken to small claims court where the judgement is usually against the spamer.

Or, I can offer you advertizing space on my blog.

Rates are $30 per month per ad payable through paypal. Your ad will appear in a radio button similar to the one used for paypal. Interested prospects can click on that button and it will take them to your website where you can provide more information.

We reserve the right to refuse ads for certain products and services.

20% OFF

That is what the sales ad promised. Twenty percent off. Meaning that you would save 20% over the normal cost. So on a $100 item that would amount to a $20 savings. Sounds like a good deal but how do you know that the item is worth $100? Maybe it is a $60 item marked up to $100, being sold for $80 and your expected $20 savings is actually a $20 loss!

Maybe it is last years model or worse.  It could be seconds.  Seconds are flawed mechandise that does not pass quality requirements yet is not completely worthless so it is offered at half price or less.

This is why it is wise to shop around. See what other stores are charging for the same or similar items of equal quality.

I have always rejected most of the sales hype that we are deluged with. You can go broke at a 20% off sale saving money. If I don’t go at all I save 80%.

Pointless Ads

I have been noting an increase in the number of TV ads that try to sell automobiles based on their superior sound systems. One even claims to have a convenient MP3 player connection and cup holders.

They never mention any of the automotive characteristics, features, or claims about reliability or economy of operation. The whole ad leaves you with the impression that their marketing department has decided that they can sell a $20,000 cup holder, mp3 player power connection or radio.

Makes one wonder, if they have such crazies employed in their marketing department, what sort of insanity is occurring in their design and manufacturing departments. Must be pretty bad if they can’t talk about the car, just the accessories.

Smoking Ads

No, these are not hot, these are ads concerning the smoking of cigarettes. They are cleverly disguised as ads aimed at preventing kids from smoking cigarettes, but they mention that cancer causing product nonetheless.

Talk about a coup! I am told that those ads were court ordered as part of a settlement in the governments case against tabacco companies.

Can our government do anything right? Good call on making them sponser public service ads on the hazzards of smoking but allowing them to identify themselves just reminds people who made and still makes cigarettes.

Hey folks, they are still here and they are still a legal product. We still make them and you can still buy them at any store. So, if you are not underage, run down to the corner market and light up.

Okay, I know that is not in the ads but it might as well be, because that is what exsmokers hear.

Headlines

I just read about drawing readers by writing good headlines. The gist of the article is that if the headline is good, it will attract interest. We are also told that if a headline attracts interest, it is good.

I dont know if all that is true or not. Or if it works. My posts dont have headlines. They have titles. I always thought a good title was one that accurately described the content of the post. There was no goodness weighed on its attention getting ability, just on how well it described the content.

An attention getting title in front of a boring article is just going to make the reader angry. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. If reader dissapointment is extreme or if the reader thinks he has been fooled, he may remember who did it and not allow that to happen again.

Then you have the case of a really good title (or headline) with equally valuable content but it is only of value to a small percentage of the reader base.

My take on titles (headlines) is that they are not all that important. They take care of themselves as long as the writer focuses on good content and the title accurately announces that content. Finding content that has universal appeal is difficult to do.

How about ‘FREE MONEY‘? Talk about universal appeal? Go ahead, dont be chicken. Click on the link.

Newspapers

As long as the internet lives and people can log onto it, newpapers and magazines will continue their slow but definite decline.

I was getting a free newspaper each Sunday for some time. It was a promotion. A sample of the wares offered by the Dallas Morning News to entice me to subscribe.

At one point I was tempted to call them and insist they quit littering my lawn every Sunday morning. I decided the newpaper was still useful as packing material.

I get my news from the internet. Either Google or Yahoo. Is that good? I have no idea but that is what I do. It certainly is convenient. Each morning I get up, turn on the computer, check the headlines on Google to determine if I should go back to bed or stay up.

Newspapers no longer deal in news. They deal in history. Even then they sometimes get it wrong.

We have one paper, one editorial opinion, both giving a historical recap of what used to be news. Why should I pay money to someone who may be trying to propagandize me?

Okay, I will subscribe to the newspaper but only if they pay me.

Commercials

Commercials are everywhere. Radio, TV, Cable, now even the internet is ripe with ‘important messages’.

Seems that vendors who have desirable product dont advertize all that much. Oh, sure, they have to let people know what is available, but once people recognize the offering as a ‘good deal’, word of mouth takes hold and sales go up without the need for constant commercials.

So what does that say about the commercials that tout product every hour, on the hour for weeks and months? Sometimes it seems that they are trying to convince themselves that they offer something of value as much as they are trying to influence the marketplace.

It does not take a geat deal of intelligence to realize that the most advertized is the least desirable.

The following is a summary of products that receive generous attention by advertizers.

Medication: Everything from ED treatments to hair restoration. Emphasis on pain medication, arthritis remedies, gastric problems, hemoroid remedies. Seems that the ‘in thing’ is to create a malady for which a treatment can be prescribed. Designer diseases, some which you will not find in any medical dictionary, are actively presented and the consumer is urged to treat the fictious malady with the drugs offered. in most cases these miracle drugs are completely worthless except as applied to the imaginary malady. Side effects of the drug are generally worse than the malady and the only miraculous effect of the medication is the way it transfers wealth from the public to the drug companies.

Automobile Sales: Unbelievable deals on unbelievable cars. You know it is a sham when the rebate is more than a sane person would pay for the car. You can also bet that your leg is being pulled really hard when the primary reason they give for buying the car is the radio.
Home Loans: Finance companies with questionable reputation offering low interest second mortgages with no closing costs. These have got to be major rip-offs judging from how often these commercials air.

Marketing

I have heard it said that people who do marketing do so because they cannot sell. I have also heard it said that if you want to make money hire salespeople, not marketing people.

Over my short span of life, I have heard lots of things. Some are ludicrous and immediately rejected even when the BS filter is bypassed. The majority of what has passed by ears is awaiting processing. A few gems fit neatly into naturally formed repositories and beg to be shared. The opening remarks about marketing fit such repositories and should be shared in hopes that purveyors of snake oil have a less devestating effect.