Desperate Marketing

stacy There are certain marketing techniques that just scream desperation. They move the retailer from “dignified and disappointed” to “creepy stalker.” It’s something that could happen to any retailer, us included, in tough economic times. When times get tough people start tossing around all sorts of ideas, searching for something – anything - to change their fortunes. Fortunately, I like to think we’ve avoided this so far, but I ran across one painful example of this yesterday.

Read on after the jump for the whole story…

So I visited a software reseller and after I closed the window, this little gem popped up:

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Let me just run down all the things that I see as wrong with this:

  1. It abandons all sense of dignity and professionalism. Just picture if you were at a brick and mortar store, and as you left the sales person chased you out into the parking lot begging for you to come back in.
  2. It offers me a discount that wasn’t offered when I was shopping initially! This doesn’t make me excited – it ticks me off. I mean, I came to the store planning to spend money – this tells me that folks who are loyal to the company get suckered into paying full price and folks that could give a crap get special treatment. Call me crazy, but I see that as the opposite of how things should get run.
  3. It’s a pop-up! EVERYONE hates pop-ups. What is worse, it’s a pop-up designed to bypass both Goggle and IE pop-up managers. When I left the retailer’s site its because I didn’t want to shop there any longer. Shoving a pop-up in my face is not the way to convince me to come back.
  4. The body language portrayed in the image tells me one of two things: either this person who I don’t know is trying to grab me, or they are pushing me away. Both of these messages cause me to recoil from the ad.

Yep, it’s a sad state of affairs. Once proud software resellers are being reduced to the type of advertising gimmicks previously reserved for bottom of the line webcams, discount furniture stores, and adult sites.

Fortunately, things are going well enough for us that we haven’t even had to think this way, but if that day comes I hope we can approach the challenge with a bit more dignity that some sites.

5 thoughts on “Desperate Marketing

  1. Dean Roberts

    I couldn’t agree more! They should provide the discount upfront! Companies should pay attention to the customers they already have as well as the new ones they want.

    I was glade when Best Buy started their Reward Silver program that recognizes people who spend a certain amount of money in their store on an annual basis’s and offers them additional rewards and extended benefits. I can return a laptop to best buy after 45 days and not pay a restocking fee if I needed to. I can do this because they recognize that I’m a valuable customer who spends allot of money in their store every year.

  2. Trevor

    My guess is that the technique probably came from an outdated marketing book. I’ve seen that backfire, where someone notices the discount if you navigate away from the page and then posts details about how to take advantage of the ‘sale’. But then you could argue that maybe the intent was to get people talking about the secret sale.

    Consumers might be getting used to this from all the ‘retention department’ tricks that people use to get discounts by pretending that they want to discontinue some service.

  3. articles

    I’ve seen that backfire, where someone notices the discount if you navigate away from the page and then posts details about how to take advantage of the ’sale’. But then you could argue that maybe the intent was to get people talking about the secret sale.

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