Negative Marketing

Contrary to popular belief, it is possible to negatively market yourself. Take for instance the JetAirways 50% off Companion Coupon, available with the Jet-Citi Platinum Card.You can’t use it if you’re booking online, calling the Jetairways booking line, or even via a travel agent. The only way is to visit their office on JC road or at the airport! I think they designed this coupon to be hard to redeem. Which had the unsurprising effect of making me & my business – feel unwanted.

If you’re going to incent people to use your service, make it easy for them. Don’t forget you actually want people to use your service, even if its on-the-cheap. Making it unnecessarily hard isn’t going to win you any brownie points, if anything it’ll make your customer realise the actual value of the coupon – nil, because they can’t or (worse) won’t redeem it.

Update: just visited the JC Rd JetAirways office, these are the fares for a one way blr-bom ticket at 6pm Monday:
Counter fare: 6034 Rs
Using the discount coupon: 8276 Rs (2200 rs more!!)
The girl at the counter was kind enough to advise me that the internet fares on would be a least 5% cheaper than the counter fare.


Video Advertising on Steroids

I followed a random link through to the HearSaySocial website, at first I was confused, really confused. I couldn’t find a straight answer to the simple question: “What does HearSaySocial do?” Except for a video link there was nothing really meaningful, I’ve since filed the website, into my list of websites-not-to-use-as-reference-material.

The video link on the other hand, was exceptional. No, that’s under selling it. It was more awesome than any promotional web video I’ve ever seen. It very effectively communicated what the company does, but by that point I wasn’t interested. I wanted to know what creative geniuses developed the video, and the answer is EpipheoStudios (Their website is also a bit cryptic about what they do till you watch the video or click on the About Us button). I won’t rant about how good they are, go see for yourself.

I will however point out the fact that users accessing websites from low bandwidth connections (or mobiles) will struggle to download video content. So after you’ve spent your marketing dollars on a great video, remember to add a bit of old fashioned text for the people that can’t watch it*.

*This may not apply if you sell video content creation and really need people to watch your stuff to understand why they should buy your services.

(Don’t) Contact Me

For most businesses the key purpose of their website is to help drive sales. Yes it’ll have a variety of other purposes such as customer support, reviews, media information, etc. but the most important, overwhelming objective is to fill the sales funnel. Which is why it surprises me that many companies still don’t pay any attention to one of the most important pages on their website, the “Contact Me” page.

Web users are lazy, they don’t want to waste time wading through your website looking for a way to reach you. Your Feedback form simply isn’t enough, people need the satisfaction of actually having sent an email or called someone. If you’ve got a telephone number or email address please list it!

Depending on the nature of your business of course, you should have everything from
your telephone number, email, physical address, GPS co-ordinates, a (google) maps link, your twitter/facebook links, and if you’re lucky enough to have one, a live chat link. I’ve even seen a company that has a skype ID just for their reception! Just remember that the easier it is for your customer to reach you, the easier it is for you to generate leads.