With so many people fighting for our discretionary income, you would think that nobody would ever have to write about bad marketing or bad customer service. Yet, every six months or so, both of those themes surface here at No Facilities. It’s not like I’m passionate about stamping out bad marketing. It’s not like I’m anti-marketing.
Note: Scott Adams (Dilbert) might be anti-marketing. We’re guessing that he had a bad relationship with a woman in marketing. Seriously, search on “Dilbert marketing” or just click on this link. See what I mean?
I am actually pro-marketing. Our daughter is a marketing professional, and I am one of those people who appreciates a good ad campaign or a good commercial.
On the other hand, I have a real problem with bad marketing and bad ideas. I see them and I wonder: how they made it through any sort of review process without someone saying: “what were you thinking?“
Recently, GoDaddy changed the login screen for their web-based email access. They changed it from something that was very GoDaddy-ish to something that looked like, well, nothing. In fact, it looked so much like nothing that we thought that someone might have hacked GoDaddy and was trying to skim our password. The funny thing is, we were pretty sure it was the real site, because those evil-doers usually do a better job. Seriously, the new GoDaddy site wasn’t as good as what a hacker would have built.
I called GoDaddy customer service, and I had the most amazing conversation:
“Hi, I’m calling because we seem to be getting a really odd looking login screen when we try to access your web-mail service.”
“Yes, we’re in the process of changing that screen.”
“The one that we get, doesn’t have any GoDaddy branding at all, it looks like it might be a scam.”
“A lot of people have shared that complaint with us. I’ll let the developers know.”
A few days later, it went back to the old site. Then, late last week, GoDaddy added a “we’re changing this screen” message to the old site with an option to preview the new, ugly site. On the new site, if you scroll all the way down to the bottom, to a section not normally visible in my browser, you see a tiny GoDaddy logo.
Maybe in next week’s Super Bowl ad, instead of Danica Patrick standing next to her black and green Indy car, GoDaddy will have an elderly man standing next to a white Buick. Maybe bland is the new sexy.
While I’m on a marketing bashing roll, let me share a few tips to the companies who are, at this very moment, trying to get my online attention:
To the folks at Starbucks and other coffee places, including those without a presence in New England:
My recent comments about Dunkin Donuts coffee do not indicate a general, exploitable interest in coffee. They indicate an interest in Dunkin Donuts coffee… period!
To my (former) car dealer:
The fact that I recently complained about the car I bought from you and the service you provided on that car, should not be taken to mean that this is a good time to try and sell me a new car. (Seriously, not only have I seen Google ads and ads on Facebook, these people actually called me to try and sell me a new car.)
To the marking knuckleheads at NFL, MLB, NBA and NHL headquarters:
Because the demographic information you’ve collected about me indicates that I live in New England doesn’t mean I’m a fan of the Patriots, Red Sox, Yankees, Giants, Bruins, Mets (the Mets? seriously?), Jets (unless they’re playing the Patriots), Islanders or the Knicks. I’m all Steelers, Pirates, and Penguins. I don’t follow NBA basketball at all, but, If I did, I’d root for the Celtics – I’m not completely anti-Boston.
While I’m at it, to the college sports knuckleheads:
I graduated from West Virginia University and The University of Pittsburgh, you know, the former Big East teams. I am quite capable of living in Connecticut and not being a fan of UConn sports.
To Amazon, the king of online marketing and sales:
The stuff I searched for before Christmas has either been purchased or scratched from the list. That microwave I searched for last week, it was for the office. I was actually only looking for dimensions. I bought one at Target ‘cuz people couldn’t wait another day.”
To every online travel site:
The fact that I asked for directions to Washington, D.C. doesn’t mean I’m going there. It means a friend in India wanted to know how far last week’s epic snow storm was from Connecticut.
Last, to the marketing department at Sleepy’s:
Don’t wrap your ad around the Sunday comics if you ever hope to have me read it.