#21 was listed separately on Lategaming
If I were an advertiser today, I’d be nervous.
I’m talking from the point of view of being a producer or seller and that I have a product or service to advertise. There’s probably more choice in the methods of advertising now than there ever has been and to my mind they are becoming increasingly less effective.
I’ll tell you right now. Junk mail I receive goes in the recycler. I don’t look at adverts in magazines. I don’t look at billboards for product advice. I do look at billboards for event advice however, like a robot turning up at W5? My kids would love it. A Wedding Fayre? Her indoors will love it. A Tech conference? Yeah, sure, though my expectations will be low.
Unsolicited commercial email, and much of the solicited commercial email just goes straight into the trash. Being spammed with ‘articles’ written by small-time CEOs doesn’t inspire either. If you’re emailing me something, make it content and make it something I want, not something I might be interested in. I’m not interested in offers of free laptops and phones, performance enhancing drugs or business opportunities where I get a commission on vast amounts of money being transferred from one place to another. Figure it out.
Does anyone pay attention to commercials on TV? What about adverts on web pages? I don’t even process them these days. The only ads I watch on TV are Apple adverts because I’m a sucker for Apple. I don’t look at or click through on most adverts on web sites. Sponsors links are different however – so make your advertising targetted and relevant and make sure they’re relevant to the web site I’m on.
Advertising via Blog seems to be just dishonest in some ways. Sure, I might rave about Rickshaw but that’s because I’m using it every day. It’s a product created by me and my friends (my input is solely advisory). But what about companies that give free product to bloggers? Or pay them? Or for journo-bloggers who get paid to write reviews? I think there’s a line to be drawn. If it were me I’d provide product to a group of bloggers and tell them to be honest. Because if you’re not in this to be honest in your business then why even bother. Mr Mulley has a recent post about fakeblogging which is being seized by PR houses who see it as a quick way to generate some buzz. Is this much different to the online viral campaigns being created by movie producers to support their releases (Cloverfield had one)?
Something new and exciting?
It’s not my job to think of new and exciting ways to advertise? Uh, yeah, it is. Ways that would appeal to me? The biggest issue of any business is awareness. The number of people who told Mac-Sys they were so happy to hear about a Mac Service Provider in Northern Ireland but they’d never heard of the company before. And the number who were referred from PC companies was startling as well.
You also have to consider the potential damage that unsubstantiated word of mouth can cause and you have to wonder why people have such negative things to say. That’s why it’s important for a business to engage with bloggers who have an opinion. Not so bloggers can get special treatment but so the company can show that the rumour is false and that the real performance of the company cannot be judged by mutterings from a couple of guys. I have no idea why Andy’s friends told him not to go to Mac-Sys but I would hope that Andy’s experience with us has shown him a little insight into how we work with every customer. As it happened, Apple and Mac-Sys worked together to provide a solution that was palatable to all. Not every situation will play out like that but engaging a company directly should always provide some sort of palatable result. Not everyone may be happy with the results but there’s been a miscommunication if people are badmouthing you – you’ve obviously not communicated the message correctly (or, in many cases, the individual is too angry to listen and in my experience the anger is usually at themselves but directed at others.)
If I were an advertiser I’d not waste money on TV or Radio. If I were hosting an event I’d put the event on billboards. I’d definitely start a blog and do detailed breakdowns of the products and services. I’d provide free samples to bloggers and ask, not bargain with, them to write honest reviews. Engage with bloggers, challenge their assumptions, respond to their blog posts and take on board their criticisms.