MARKETING HORROR STORIES A Lesson in What Not to Do
• In the 1990s, Hoover Company in the United Kingdom offered two round-trip plane tickets with the purchase of a vacuum. Unfortunately, even in the ‘90s, most vacuums were still cheaper than plane tickets, and Hoover lost 50 million pounds in what remains the biggest promotional disaster ever. CARTOON NETWORK CAUSES A BOMB SCARE Guerrilla marketing can create valuable word of mouth — think about the success of the movie “It” last year. The marketing for the film included simple red balloons tied to storm drains. But Cartoon Network didn’t have quite the same luck in 2007 when they tried to promote their show “Aqua Teen Hunger Force.” When the network put electronic devices featuring a character from the show all over Boston, city residents thought the strange contraptions looked like bombs and called the police. This triggered a terrorist scare that ultimately cost the general manager of Cartoon Network his job. successful over time and being worn down and defeated over time. They may seem relatively insignificant, but they’re actually game changers. One of the most effective “small advantages” that can quickly become a game changer for your firm is raising your call-to-conversion ratio. I have a guide that details how this is done, and I’m happy to send it along if you’d like. Some attorneys have even used the information in the guide to convert 60–70 percent of incoming calls into paying clients. Visit this link to request a copy: speakeasymarketinginc.com/ convert-more-incoming-calls-into- paying-clients
locked themselves in their homes. A few days later, another letter arrived, revealing the identity of the “secret admirer” as the new Fiat Cinquecento. Yes, the creepy letters were part of a marketing campaign by the Italian car company. Fiat apologized and ended the campaign after criticism from consumer protection groups, Social Minister Cristina Alberdi, and the 50,000 women who received the letters. KFC AND HOOVER CAN’T DO MATH A shocking number of companies hold giveaway promotions without calculating exactly how much they will cost. Here are a few examples. • Back when “Oprah” was the biggest show on television, KFC ran an ad offering a free two-piece chicken meal with two sides and a biscuit for anyone who went to their website and downloaded a coupon. Over 10.5 million coupons were downloaded, and KFC had to give away $42 million in free food.
Every marketing professional wants their campaign to be memorable. They want consumers to take notice — or take the bait — and make their company a big profit. But sometimes, things don’t go exactly as planned. The campaigns below certainly won the attention of consumers, but in each case, what started out as a marketing dream quickly turned into a nightmare. FIAT’S DIRECT MAIL DISASTER In 1992, women across Spain received anonymous letters inviting them to go on a “little adventure.” The letters stated, “We met again on the street yesterday, and I noticed how you glanced interestedly in my direction.” Fearing a stalker, many women
...continued from page 4 COMMANDING BIG WINS WITH SMALL ADVANTAGES
How does this all relate to marketing for attorneys? Well, we may talk about big game-changing strategies a lot. But some of the biggest wins actually come from some of the smallest advantages — like a few extra reviews each month or a minor increase in fees across the board. These advantages don’t seem like much at first. However, just like in those real-time strategy games, having one or two small advantages like these could tip the balance between being
The valuable lesson is this: Sometimes, at a critical moment, having one small advantage can tip the balance toward success or failure. For example, you might have one extra minion at your disposal, which means you can mine gold a little bit faster, raise an army sooner, and eventually repel the invasion of orcs. Or perhaps your army is just a few men too small, and all you can do is helplessly watch the orcs destroy your village, stockpiles, and ability to rebuild in the aftermath.
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