23 August 2008

Praise for Common Sense

I recently read an article in Marketing Magazine where the marketers of the New Democrat party were being applauded for targeting the names of the major party running mates, Steven Harper of the Conservative Party and St├ęphane Dion of the Liberal Party through Google Ad Words.

If you don't know what that is exactly, there's this place full of giant tubes called the interwebs and you can target your advertising to what people type into search engines... know what? Go here: https://adwords.google.com/select/Login

Was this really a stroke of genius though... targeting other candidates? Seems like common sense to me, not news. Heck, we were doing that for clients 10 years ago with keywords on web sites. A lot has changed since then, but it's the same principle.

And, sure, it's a good idea - not exactly a news story, but a good idea nonetheless. Unfortunately for most of us, a lot of our industry magazines read like press releases and these are the types of stories you get.

If I was running for office (which I plan to once I learn how to not keep promises), I would target every competitors' name along with the buzz words of what's hot in politics that day... or hour - that's right, it would be monitored all the time. If you want to maximize online marketing efforts you can't approach it like a print ad - "well it's in the paper, let's wait and see what happens" - you have to continually massage the message, fine tune the triggers that will reach the target.

The continuous monitoring and tweaking of an online marketing effort could be a story, unfortunately, most people approach these types of campaigns the same way the do print. If you're planning an online campaign you or your agency needs to monitor the results regularly - it takes time and time ain't free.

Some projects, like these, are best left to internal marketing people and some aren't. Either way, the person monitoring and tweaking needs to be fluent with the brand and know it intimately. Only then will the extra effort translate into positive results.

It's not news to me, it's just common sense.

12 August 2008

Communication Breakdown

Well, here's a great example of how the right hand doesn't know what the left hand is doing...

I purchased an iPhone the day they were released in Canada resulting in starting a new cell phone account with Rogers (that's a whole other story). And, after 4 years with Telus, I was ready to try something new... other than sit on hold for hours on end.

So, the next day I phoned Telus to cancel my account. This by far was the most pleasant interaction with the company I have had (on personal accounts that is, on the business side - we get great service). The telephone was answered by a real human after a couple of rings which I got to by going through 5 or 6 of the robot prompts.

The gentleman that took my call was very courteous and in no way did he sound rushed. I explained that I was canceling my service to which he replied, "may I inquire why?" (Bravo Telus, I hope you guys do something with the responses) to which I responded, "I just purchased an iPhone!"... he said, he understands but that they were sorry to see me go. He explained the process for last billing and when the service would be cut off and as I said it was the most pleasant interaction with their cell or personal side of the business yet.

So, skip ahead 4 weeks... my cell phone service is cut off, the last cell bill squared away and I've all but forgotten about Telus as I'm now a happy iPhone customer (note that I didn't say Rogers customer? That will be another blog).

In the mail yesterday, I received a letter from Telus. On the outside of the envelope it says 'thank you', shows their logo and tells you that the future is friendly. Well, I opened up the envelope; I got a card that said "Enjoy your gift."

Inside the card was a coupon for a night at the movies with the following message:

"Thanks again. Here's your gift! Enjoy the latest summer flick with a night out at the movies. It's our way of saying a warm 'thank you' for being one of our best clients."

Being on of their best clients??? (shakes head)

If I got things figured out, to get good service and for Telus to respect you as one of their best clients, you have to cancel your service with them. Hmmm. Now having said that, I still have a residential account and maybe this is part of their retention program - if a client quits one service, maybe they'll quit another... but I doubt it.

I guess the future is friendly, as long as their mailing lists are taken from the past.