Learn from Superbowl AdsFebruary 10th, 2014

commercialsWhile sports fans relish the Superbowl for the love of the sport, a large segment of the population likes to watch for commercials and halftime shows. With a huge worldwide audience, advertisers line up spend millions for 30 second spots. You can learn from advertisers hits, as well as their many misses.

I have been thinking about this since Seattle crushed Denver. Here is my take on this year’s commercials. I discuss four companies that scored big and one that fell woefully short.

  1. Budweiser – Once again they hit a homerun with the commercial featuring the golden retriever puppy and his friendship with the Clydesdale. They also scored with hero’s welcome.  Both left you with a good feeling about the brand and tugged at the heart strings.
    What you can take away: Having people feel good about your brand is important especially with customer retention. Companies like Bud don’t need brand recognition, as they have that. Before you try something on your website, be sure to think about it from your customer’s perspective. Will this portray us in a positive light?
  2. Audi – this made me laugh out loud. Doberhuahua was hit. Humor either works or it doesn’t. Audi scored big time. Hey, its the first time Sarah McLachlan spot about animals didn’t make me cry. Brilliant!
    What you can take away:  Getting people’s attention is so important. Audi did that by using humor and at the end they tell you the message, “Compromise Scares us too” & “Luxury without compromise”.  For your website project consider not taking yourself too seriously. Use humor where possible. BUT test what you are doing, comedy is tough to pull off. But if done right it can be effective at grabbing people’s attention.
  3. Coca-Cola – like Bud, they don’t need brand recognition, but they need people to feel good about the brand. After all soft drinks are not exactly popular among health conscious viewers. But their commercial sure made you feel good, patriotic.
    What you can take away: Similar to number 1, having people feel good about your brand is important, and this is so true on web projects where people can disappear in a click…
  4. Doritos – Once again they were right on with a hysterical new ads, Cowboy Kid & Time Machine.  They have gotten to the point that when you think nacho chips, no one else even comes to mind.
    What you can take away: Stick with what works. Doritos has year after year scored with great commercials and their brand recognition is stronger than ever. if you are hitting on all cylinders with your website, don’t get away from what is working. Newer ideas aren’t always better. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!
  5. GEICO – They used a recycled commercial. Nothing new.  Boring, and surprising for a company whose marketing has gotten them to where they are today.
    What you can take away: If you are having a big event go new, use imagination. Not the same old same old. If you are launching anew website, make sure it is fresh, up to date and rocking from a design and content standpoint.

Bottom Line: There were other hits and misses, but mainly a bore-fest. Shockingly a bunch of companies used ads that were weeks old.  Seems a poor media spend at 3 mil for 30 seconds. In the past we saw much more originality.

Fortunately, you can learn from their mistakes without writing a huge check. It is funny, at RooSites I spend quite a bit of time talking people out of overspending on ideas I know won’t be profitable. Though in the short term that probably doesn’t sound like a good business strategy,  in the long term it pays dividends as clients stay with us longer. In 2013 for instance we had a 99% client retention rate.


Ignore emails, form requests: Kiss business goodbyeFebruary 1st, 2014

Seems pretty elementary right? You should respond to all emails and form requests and you should do it very quickly. As a rule I try to answer every email the same day. But you would be shocked at how many companies actually ignore emails and form requests. Remarkable, right?

at-signCase in point, I have been looking at new car leases and have been emailing back-and-forth with various dealers. I actually had one dealer in the Florida area that I was very close to a deal with. We had agreed to a price and I just asked him how much more would it be to extend the lease for one more year. Now originally, he was being very receptive, and we had a deal just about in hand. He knew I was ready to pull the trigger, but suddenly disappeared off the face of the earth. Trying to think positively of the gentleman I sent him a follow-up email. “I have not heard back from you, wondering where we are. I’d like to finalize.” It has been two weeks and I have not heard a thing from my email or my follow-up. I have of course moved on. So what’s the result? Well the dealer lost a potential new client and a very good sale. So I can only think that either the guy was full of you know what and never had the deal, or he had some other angle he was trying to run. Regardless, he blew it. At very least he should of said, I can’t do that deal, but if you’re still interested, perhaps we can find a different deal that is acceptable. Okay, so maybe I would not have been thrilled but at least I would’ve respected him for getting back to me and telling me the truth. And I may have used him down the road or recommended him to my friends.

I can’t tell you how many times people come to me trying to increase their business. Almost always, I give them the same advice. If you want to do business via the web or social media you have to be responsive. People write you because they don’t have time for a call or just want to get a quick quote or perhaps an answer to a question. If you ignore your email and form requests, you’re basically kissing business goodbye.

So here is a good rule of thumb. Try and respond to all emails and form requests very same day. And, it doesn’t mean you have to solve their issue or even complete their request (if they’re current customer). But it just means you’re saying “hey I hear you, I am here and I’m on this for you.

A large percentage of business RooSites has gained over the years is due to our response time. People are shocked how quickly we respond to questions. Clients are amazed we turn around requests the same day on most occasions. This of course should be the norm, not the anomaly. Customer Service pays dividends, plain and simple.