I recently came across an advertisement in The Economic Times, a national daily newspaper arguably read by each and every businessman across the country. The ad started with the words :
Kind Attention CMD’s, CEO’s, COO’s and top management
Following the address, it had information regarding the program which was succeeded with a 2 line statement about advertiser’s background. Now I guess we can imagine how much information can be dispensed in a 3″x4″ ad. And hence as a result of which the ads are always suffixed with a website link, an email id and a contact no, assuming the advertiser and the addressed people have enough technology exposure. You must be thinking so what’s wrong in this ? Nothing ! Absolutely correct.
The website has a single page and that page contains nothing more than a 1 paragraph information of the company. There are 4 other links on the website, one of which links to a related external site, good enough. But out of the other 3 links, 2 do not work. The last one says “News”. Hoping that this will have information at least about the ad, I clicked that link. And guess did I see.
This post has been deleted.
I assume that, okay, the website might be having some problems so I pick up my phone to call on the given number. You can’t believe what reply I got,
Please check the number you have dialed !!!
What my first reaction was, I probably cannot write here. Still assuming that IT’S OKAY, there might be a printing mistake, I gathered some courage and clicked on the only link that was working (the linking to an external site). That website, though functional, also did not have any info about the advertisement. Somhow I found a landline contact no and I had full confidence that atleast this should be working. Alas! it was not to be. No, the numbers were correct, but none of them was recieved. I dialled both the numbers but to no avail.
Can you imagine what sort of impression would this sort of campaign do. It’s done more damage than you can imagine. The website’s not ready, has no information, the news section says post deleted, the mobile numbers don’t exist and nobody is bothered or responsible enough to recieve the landline calls. Waaaoow ! I am impressed. And in case you forgot, then I may remind you that the post was addressed to CEO’S, COO’S and CMD’S. No, I am not anyone of those, but yes I do own an organization or rather a startup I should say and the advertiser is connected to me due to previous background.
Things they lost from all this :
Trust : Confidence : Loyalty : Growth/Business (for a short term and with some concerned people at least) : and the most important BRAND VALUE, if they had any.
Lesson to be learnt : If your soldiers aren’t ready, don’t FIRE !
This is a perfect example why you should synchronize your advertising and marketing/branding campaigns. Probably they should have waited at least till the date the website is ready. Since a bad impression lasts longer in the human brain, I guess next time such or may be any ad from the same organization, wouldn’t be treated trustworthy or would get the response it expects.
By the way, after all this, I didn’t bother to try the email id.