Thursday, April 17, 2014
Tech Geeks Writing a Dumbass Article in The WSJ
My hope in writing this is that many of our clients and business partners actually take a moment and read this blog.
This might be one of the most important ones that I post this year.
I’m a strong advocate of the Wall Street Journal.
And, that’s the printed newspaper version, and not the online editions nor website. There are still a small number of us that still read the real print editions.
Despite my loyalty to the WSJ, this morning’s edition is actually the springboard for this blog — and it centers around an article that, quite frankly, is a junk story that I would more likely see in the local, Atlanta rag that goes by the name the Atlanta Journal Constitution.
The authors of the WSJ article go by the names of Khadeeia Safdar and Angus Loten.
My bet is that they are tech nerds that have an inner desire to be newscasters.
The title of the article is, “Search For Help With Web Ads, But Not Finding Much.”
No question, the headline did catch my attention.
Reason being that there are a lot… a lot… of web consulting firms out there in many of the cities I work spanning the globe from Seattle to Toronto to NYC to ATL. And there are many, many smart marketers that are using the art and engineering of the web to achieve some great sales.
When I got into the article, I was further surprised.
The article is not about large corporations, but instead about small business owners and how those featured have voiced frustrations about their using online and web advertising as a part of their marketing mix.
The authors are out to make those firms that claim to do web advertising to be slime, money-takers.
My surprise is that the “Marketplace” sectional editors actually allowed this article to be printed.
Below the article’s picture of a small business owner, the quip reads, “Business owner Dave Bennett says he didn’t get customers after spending $1,800 in an online-ad campaign.”
Before I even begin to read the actual facts about the case, two things struck me.
One… the man is standing next to what appears to be a very sophisticated shower stall.
Two… $1,800 might be a large sum of money to this man, but $1,800 is really not a large marketing budget — especially as I learn, it was for four months of marketing!
When I delved further into the article, turns out that Dave Bennett runs a company called Wasatch Chill Zone. It’s a whole body cyrotherapy firm. Based in Utah.
He was paying for listings in online business directories and search engine mechanics (SEOs).
This story is appearing on the same page with news about Home Depot, GM and Google.
There’s another story about a psychotherapist spending $2,200 on a campaign to market his service in New York City and another case about a firm called Ageless Karate in Las Vegas spending $1,000 to land students for classes.
With roots in NYC, I find it surprising that the psychotherapist isn’t aware that $2,200 in NYC barely gets you one poster up from one week on a subway stop over in the Bronx. But then again, we are talking about a psychotherapist.
And a firm called “Ageless in Karate” in Las Vegas … my bet is that the owner is a cousin of the whole body cyrotherapy firm over the border in Utah.
The reason why I encourage my clients and partners to read this blog… and to even go online and read the article is to gain an understanding that there’s usually a whole lot more to a story than what is captured in the tidbits of a headline or the viewpoints of “peer” commentary.
Yesterday afternoon as I was driving back home, there was a guy dressed up as a clown waving a poster to get people in the afternoon rush hour to come rent an apartment in a complex that needs a bunch of renovation help.
There are a lot of really dumb folks out there doing some very dumb advertising and marketing who spend small amounts of money and expect large groups of people lining up at the door.
Shame on the WSJ for printing the article. The authors need to go back to their techie programming venues. The editors allowing need to get fired.
A couple important points…
#1… Advertising alone does not a sale make.
#2… Simply wearing a nametag when you walk into a room does produce long lines of people that are ready to jump into bed with you
#2a…. Taking a date to a cheap fast food restaurant also does not persuade them in all likelihood to go have passionate sex either
#3… Fat people do not look good wearing bikinis or swimmer thongs… a simple listing on a search site or a simple click banner ad will not produce purchasers of large ticket, highly targeted product lines
#4…. If I say the word television, and the conventional thinking set is “get on those shows that have the highest ratings” to generate that high volume of reach, then how can you sleep at night if you then say, “target one-on-one through that highly targeted use of online ads?”
#5… How many sale closings are you getting from your Yellow Page ad listing? My bet is that these small business owners featured in the WSJ article actually spend more than triple the dollar amount highlighted in what they spent on the Internet on Yellow Page ads.
Please… Please… do not abandon the use of online marketing as we cruise quickly into the year 2015.
And if you ever receive a resume from a person that matches with the two geeks or their editors from the WSJ, trash it.