When Good Marketing Goes Bad

I’m constantly amazed just how wrong some marketing efforts can go. Even the big guys manage to mess it up.

Stock Photography - Canadian CoinsLast week we received an offer by mail from a large retailer. This retailer (who shall remain nameless) was rolling out a new shop-online/pickup-in-store service for groceries. To entice us to try it they were offering a respectable credit: $10.

This particular store is one we don’t shop at very often. We avoid them for a number of reasons. But my wife decided to give it a try, since they offered us a sawbuck and she actually needed a few things.

The first surprise was she had to create an account just to shop. That was a little weird. But she proceeded. Eventually she found a couple of things and clicked checkout. Whoopsie! Surprise number two. Only now is she informed there is a $30 minimum order for the pickup service.

Why wasn’t this mentioned right up front? The mailer should have included this information, instead of springing it on her late in the third act. Were they worried people wouldn’t take action?

Bottom line: She left perturbed, resentful, and even less enthused about this merchant than she was before (which is really saying something). So a potential marketing win took a drastic 180 to become a marketing loss. A zero. Considering the reputation of this nameless merchant is less-than-stellar in my wife’s eyes, it would actually constitute a major loss. Less than zero. A negative integer.

They essentially spent money to make her hate them more. And that’s a line-item nobody needs in their marketing budget.

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2 thoughts on “When Good Marketing Goes Bad”

  1. We’ve seen it lots of times before. Marketing decides what a good premium would be, but Operations/Finance decides what the minimum transaction cost will be, to allegedly cover the cost of a frictionless transaction….

  2. Unfortunately, this is how many retailers get (trick) customers to visit their website. It drives the SEO ranking up and makes it easier for people to find them on google and other search engines.

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