Thursday, January 31, 2008
Tuesday, January 29, 2008
Monday, January 28, 2008
I thought I might let the webmaster know that the site wasn't working, and ...
I wanted to email the company to see if the car was available in automatic.
So I looked for email addresses. None. The only way to contact them was by completing the 'enquiries' form - you get the same form by clicking on the links for 'enquiries', 'feedback' and 'call back'.
Now for both I had a simple message or question. And yet the form required me to give my full name and address, home, work & mobile phone numbers and my email address.
There were 'opt-in / out' boxes for promotional contact - but as I would select 'no' for them all, why did they insist on all the details? If they gave an email address they would have my name and email address on my email to them - and that's all they need.
And I'm sorry, "making it easier to sort correspondence" just doesn't cut it - just monitor your email in-box.
Oh, and by the way, I didn't want to give them my details - well, actually I couldn't be bothered - so, no message about a failing web site [possible lost sales] and no enquiry about automatic gearboxes [possible lost sale].
But look what happened when I clicked on the links for more details.
Imagine going to a showroom to be told "we have no more information, nor do we have a car for you to look at". Well guess what? I did just go to a [virtual] showroom, and there was no more information and there was no car to look at.
Wednesday, January 23, 2008
However, the tag line has raised some comments – and if that was the intention [which it surely was], then that too should have been exploited online. Sadly, no. On the day the 500 launched in the
Whilst this left the company open to both 'cyberbashing sites' (a dissatisfied customer seting up a site saying how bad the car is on www.youarewecar.co.uk, for example) or 'ad-grabbers' (a car supermarket trying to under-cut the Fiat dealerships' prices, perhaps), perhaps the company had decided to keep everything – including its tag line content – on its main fiat.co.uk site. So I typed the tag line into Google to see how Fiat had handled the search engine optimization and advertising. And what I got was this …
Not only was there nothing in the organic listings, but there was no sponsored ad either – an ad that would have cost only pennies in PPC. Ironically, the top organic listing (which showed how easy it was to attain that position) was an auto site that was making fun of the tag line.
OK, so registering the tag line as a domain name and putting a quirky, non–sales oriented site (that matches the quirkiness of the term itself - and even the entire fiat 500 campaign, which has a 'zany' approach) on it may not have sold many cars – but it would have raised the brand profile in the precise demographic at which the car is targeted.
But wait, it gets worse.
This is what I got when I put 'fiat 500' into Google with and without the quotation marks:
Getting two different ads is bad enough [one carries the message 'official site', the other does not ] but take a good look at the domain name it shows - www.fiat500.co.uk. However, when you click on the Fiat500 link you are taken to a flash-driven page on the fiat.co.uk domain. So being curious, I tried typing www.fiat500.co.uk into my browser, and got this:
Did nobody at Fiat look for/at this domain? The chances are they have the 'rights' on it - though I would consider it obscene to take it back from this obvious devotee of the original car [see nissan.com]. But I'm sure if you offered Vanessa a new 500 she'd consider turning over the domain - or at least put a notice on the top of the home page saying 'click here for the new Fiat 500 home page'.
I didn't even bother looking on social networking sites for 'you are we car' – I figured that if the Fiat marketers had not grasped domain names, they were unlikely to have got to grips with a strategy for social media marketing.
But do you know what bugs me most about all of this? Well certainly that 'my' marketing subject has been ignored by a global car manufacturer - but more importantly for Fiat, all of the above would have cost - I would think - less than one per cent of that car's marketing budget.
Take gun(a). Take foot (b). Shoot (b) with (a).
Footnote II : Just to show how easy it is to get the term listed on the Google SERP, only 12 hours after I posted this entry it is in at number 5 on Google for "you are we car".
Tuesday, January 22, 2008
Remember, these folks have paid for this ad (yep, sorry, I cost them money when I clicked on the link). Worse still, they're in the business of providing online marketing services. Ouch.
Friday, January 18, 2008
Saturday, January 12, 2008
Now, I just typed in '13', but I did consider typing in '1 and 3'. OK, so maybe I'm a thick, but when I did so I got a message that told me I couldn't count. Yep - what they wanted was for me to type '4' into the box. And worse, it wiped my carefully constructed reply to the article. No second chance with a note explaining what they really wanted. So guess what? I printed the screen for the image above, and left the site - the advice I was offering gone forever.
Surely I'm not the only person who was confused by the instruction? Even if I was, isn't one too many? Why not make the message [something like] 'enter in the box the number that is the total of 1 plus 3'?
Tuesday, January 8, 2008
However, Newcastle-upon-Tyne is in Tyne and Wear, not County Durham.
Furthermore - and it hits a raw nerve up in this part of the UK - Seaham Hall Hotel is in Seaham (in County Durham) which is much closer to Sunderland than Newcastle.
Local rivalries apart, for the casual hotel-seeker, this ad give the allusion that the featured hotel is in Newcastle - when in fact it is located about 20 miles away.