Marketing is not Playing Dumb and Think You Can Get Away With It

I was checking my emails when my wife pass by me and rumbles something about how obnoxious some hotels are. It’s not so common for her to say that (believe me) so I asked what’s happened? She then explained to me that she received a newsletter from one of those Groupon like sites about booking offers with flashy signals saying that it was a great opportunity and amazing deals. You know… the usual! ;)

But the woman I love is no fool and even though her expertise is outside the digital area, she have done her “homework” and searched the deal to find out how great of an offer was it indeed. So, she first look for the same hotel at booking.com and the hotel website as well to compare prices and conditions. So, at booking.com they had a call-to-action offer standing-out a price that was lower than the hotel website price but minus the breakfast. If you pay the breakfast it would be right the same price as the hotel website.

Then, she compared the groupon-kinda-like offer with the hotel website and it was indeed lower than the website, but they added a dinner for which you must pay an additional 10€ not counting with eventual drinks. So, in fact you could be paying much more than if you booked directly at the site.

This is calling people dumb. And many are! But please, don’t call it Marketing! This is not Marketing. Marketing is praising the best of your product/service in a way that relates to people and make them know about you. This is the opposite. Once they figure this out, you’re on a black-book. I will not trust your brand and surely will not trust your future endeavors to re-connect with me.

Short-Thinking Strategy vs Long-Term

This is thinking short-term. This is not having a long-term strategy to connect with customers and give them the best you can to become a trustworthy brand and one that they would love to use time and time again.

Having special deals to bring people over to your hotel can be an interesting strategy for them to know your place and service. However, it must be complemented with complete transparency, building trust from the moment they see the deal to the day they leave your establishment and eventually throughout the days that you still communicate with them through direct marketing. It’s a relationship. Between you and your customer.

Imagine that you’ve started your relationship with a wonderful girl and you’ve given her a great looking necklace. Then, she finds out that it’s a fake. What are your chances to have a following relationship with her after this experience. It’s rather the same with this kind of Marketing Approach.

You need to be completely transparent about what you’re offering.

My suggested approach is to be completely blunt about your intention when you’re doing this kind of promotions via Groupon or others, depending on your targeting and price range:

  • Give a REAL discount and claim right there on the offer that you’re doing that as an invitation to know your establishment and service;
  • Complement that with a surprise at the room (if you’re an hotel) with a bottle of wine and strawberries or whatever the region’s is most known for. The bottom line is surprising them even more;
  • Truly care about them every single day that they’re with you. Ask them what they need, what they want to do and suggest them activities. Make them feel truly welcome and that you care about them;
  • Be pro-active on their needs and be present;
  • Tell them in full disclosure why you’re doing this and your intentions;
  • Ask them suggestions on how you can improve and what would make them come back afterwards;
  • Tell them why you have that original price and how you need to stick to that price in the future to give the best service for them and reward your employees conveniently. People are not dumb no matter what you think. They know that a business needs to make money to be sustainable;
  • Don’t make this kind of promotion more than once a year, or else, they will think that they can enjoy it again for a smaller price – and tell them that before hand;
  • And the very last trick is: Make them feel that even at the standard price it’s still a bargain. That they would take (in experience and service) much more than what they’re paying for.

Do you want to know what’s more incredible about these tips?

Is that you should do this to every single customer that passes your door. If you do this to every single one, you’re on a roll to be successful and have that aspiring word-of-mouth as well as regular customers.

It’s not that hard right? And yeah, this IS Marketing!

 

Predictions for 2015 are Easy, Difficult is to Change Your Future

It’s that time of the year again. When everyone writes posts about what 2015 it’s going to be, and their wishes for the future.

I guess, this is what I’m doing right now but with a twist. It’s not a romantic version or even a depressing one. Maybe realistic.

Remember, this is due to my personal experience as living in Portugal and having a unique professional history. So, let’s wait no more: Continue reading

The Blindest is the One that Refuses to See/Change

I should be writing this down in Portuguese since it’s all based on recent events in Portugal, where I live. However, after a few chats, friends all over the world say that it’s universal and can relate with these subjects.

This post is focused about two main events or situations that are happening right now, as I write this. One is the absurd new tax on Digital Storage Devices that it’s going to be (supposedly) delivered to the Copyright Artists Association. The other is about the fight that cab drivers are doing against any new trend that comes to eventually change their way of life.

The two subjects can be discussed in this post since both are related on the same problem itself. Continue reading

I Couldn’t Write it Any Better: Three Kinds of Advertising

Direct response ads pay for themselves (at least they do when they work). Socially acceptable paid-for interruption leads to response, and the response (a sale, generally) generates revenue and you can run the ad again. Google’s business is driven by direct response advertising.

Trust ads are generally unmeasurable. “I’ve heard of these guys, somewhere.” Without consciously realizing it, we often choose to do business with the familiar, and ads increase familiarity. Particularly the right ad that runs in the right place. This is old school advertising, the first kind that appeared on TV. This is advertising that tells a story, advertising about belief, not necessarily action.

Demand enhancement ads remind us that on a hot day, we’d like a cold drink. They are ads designed to tickle and provoke, to increase the number of people in the market for what it is you sell. This is the best kind of billboard, the one that says, “next exit.”

Every once in a while, an ad does all three things, but that’s a foolish thing to hope for. Budget appropriately, because the very worst thing you can do with an ad is spend too little–it will get you the same results as spending nothing.

Source and Author: Seth Godin.

Making a Change in People’s Lives (Makes you Cringe or Strive?)

When You Create a Startup Based on Changing People’s Lives for the Better

It may seem a battered topic and nonsensical but bear with me a few more words.

Originally published at: Medium

Just Today, someone that I respect and leads a successful IT and Design Company just shared his thoughts about how reading another “Book of Intents” mentioning that “… they have started a Startup to change people’s lives in… (place your target here)…” makes him cringe in the spot. Continue reading

Are We Becoming Zombies or We Just Don’t Care Enough?

After seeing this hot summer and the supposed crowd (just 12 people, really?) expressing themselves against most of the latest governments in Portugal, one must think that actually all is OK. We’re not in some crisis or having a lot of difficulties to place food in the table according to what you see in day to day manifestations specially in summer time. It all dilutes facing the barbecues, sunny beaches and have a few drinks with friends or attending summer music festivals.

If we look at what’s happening in Portugal these days, one couldn’t complain about anything. It would be the only one!

Photo originally created by Tobias M. Eckrich. Thank you!

Innovation vs Real Business Opportunity

I’m reading a lot lately about having space in our work routine for innovation. To create new products, services or anything innovative that can make our life and our clients life more productive and enjoyable. This is really important and this might be what stands out our company or brand from the crowd. No question about it.

What brings me to write these words today is not about the importance of being innovative. It’s the value of handle innovative products or services with another angle.

Lets say that someone has created a brand new idea and its launching it to the market. The idea is really great and it can be disruptive as it should… But then, the approach and the way they’ve marketed it didn’t make the splash they needed. So, the idea is there, the product was made, but the demand is short for that or it’s stalling instead of rocketing sky high. Continue reading

How Teens and College Youngsters Can Possibly Have a Relationship

I was reading this piece from  and it really interested me. In paradox it was not about the way women relate into their sex lives, but in fact as teenagers and college students even consider a relationship. One of the quotes in that article, that really stroked me was this one: “Am I allowed to find the person that I want to spend the rest of my life with when I’m 19?…I don’t really know. It feels like I’m not.” originated from a previous article from the TimesContinue reading