Archive for the ‘Business & Marketing’ Category

Facebook ad fails #5

Thursday, August 30th, 2018 | Business & Marketing

Here is someone selling a “Default Description” chain.

This one is an interesting one. You can see what they are getting out trying to pique your curiosity. But they don’t even hint at what it is. And it’s for both runners and people who go outdoors, so how specific or interesting can it be? I didn’t request their free download.

This company did include a description. But it’s mostly HTML tags.

This one isn’t an ad, but while we’re on the topic of including code, here is an Instant Article from The Independent.

This advert for Bar Soba looks fine. However, as soon as you click it you get a “page not found” error on their website.

Castore’s Facebook ad

Wednesday, July 11th, 2018 | Business & Marketing

This advert popped up in my Facebook feed recently and I thought I would re-post it as it is an excellent example of an advert.

It’s great for two reasons. The first is that they pick a really specific pain point and promise to take that pain away. In this case, it’s literally a pain point: no more bleeding nipples.

If you’re a runner, which is their target audience, you will probably know how sore and painful your nipples get after a long run. And having to vaseline up. And forgetting to vaseline up and running along thinking “it’s just a matter of time until this gets unpleasant”. They promise to fix this problem.

They could have talked about loads of different things. The material is designed to keep you cool, to wick away sweat, dry quickly, etc. But they don’t get distracted by that. They keep it for separate adverts. They pick one specific point to get people hucked and then sell them on everything else later.

Second, it’s an excellent offer. Try it for 100 days and if you don’t like it, send it back. It takes all of the risk out of buying with them.

Digital Marketing for Restaurants

Friday, June 29th, 2018 | Business & Marketing, News

I’ve just launched a new course.

Given that I am a software consultant by background, and now a psychologist, you might imagine that courses on computer programming and mindfulness are my thing. And they are. But, surprisingly, my highest selling course is Get More Restaurant Customers.

It runs under the Restaurant Psychology brand, which given my experience as both a line cook, a critic and the author of Why Restaurants Fail has proved to be popular. So, I’ve followed it up with this one, combining my food, psychology and digital marketing knowledge into a single step-by-step course.

So far it is proving popular, with over 1,000 students in the first weekend and a 5-star rating.

I can’t imagine that many of the readers of my blog also fall under the “people looking to market their restaurant” category, but in case you do, you can check the course out here.

22 Immutable Laws of Marketing

Friday, June 8th, 2018 | Books, Business & Marketing

22 Immutable Laws of Marketing is a book by Al Ries and Jack Trout. It aims to present 22 “laws” which it says will cause you to fail if you violate.

The first law is that of leadership: it’s better to be first than to be better. It does seem true that often the first company to do something is the leader many years later. You can typically substitute “leading” for “first” to find out how created the market. And it’s true that I can’t name the second person to fly across the Atlantic. Although I was able to name the second person to walk on the moon (Buzz Aldrin).

Shane Show argues the opposite in Smartcuts, where he claims research shows only 11% of first movers go on to maintain their status as the market leader. He says the big advantage of being second is that someone else has already figured out how to fix the big problems.

The book then talks about the category law: if you can’t be first, come up with a new category you can be first in. This is similar to what Peter Thiel says in Zero to One, where he urges people to carve out a tiny market to dominate rather than taking a small percentage of an existing one. For example, eBay started by specialising in collectables, and PayPal started by targetting eBay power sellers.

In terms of differentiation, you need to pick something that will put you on the opposite view of someone else. For example, you can’t say “quality” or “honesty” because everyone wants to say that and nobody will take the opposite view. You need to pick a segment or a view that other companies will disagree with.

The book also suggests you should stay specific. They repeatedly use the example of Donald Trump, having no idea he was going to go on to be president 25 years later. They discuss how he was initially successful but then went on to put his name on everything. And when you do everything you stand for nothing. Which is why he was already in $1.4 billion of debt.

Many of the books on marketing are timeless: they talk about the basics of human nature and these things don’t change. You would expect a book that talks about “immutable” laws would be the same. But it isn’t. It has dated. It was originally published in 1993 and shows its age.

Some of the predictions they make were incorrect, for example. The book claims that USA Today is entering a market too late. But, 25 years later, they’re doing well. They claim that because the market is already owned by other companies, Microsoft will never catch up with Lotus spreadsheets or WordPerfect. Of course, now most people have never heard of these programs and everyone uses Microsoft Office.

The idea that line extension is doomed seems somewhat flawed, too. Richard Branson’s Virgin group describes itself as a “brand based capital house” and gets into every market it can stick its name on. Clearly, they have been incredibly successful. It may not dominate the markets it enters, but with £20 billion in revenue it is hard to argue that what they do does not work.

There is definitely some good food for thought in there. But whether the game has changed, or whether the knowledge was just misapplied, some of the ideas just don’t fit the facts. So, we can at least conclude that the laws here are not immutable.

Facebook ad fails #4

Saturday, May 26th, 2018 | Business & Marketing

This week’s lesson on crafting a good Facebook ad is to make sure that your image matches your sales copy. Take a look at this advert from Hunt Bike Wheels.

This ad is just confusing because it’s talking about disc wheels, but the wheels in the photo are clearly not disc wheels.

Compare it to this disc wheel from Planet X:

You’ll notice that this one looks like a disc.

Now, you could argue that I have misunderstood, and they’re actually talking about wheels with brake discs on them. Which, from the look of their website, which features a lot of wheels with brake discs on them, is probably the case.

But there aren’t even any brake discs on the image in the advert. All of this causes a lot of confusion for the user who struggles to work out what they are looking at. To avoid this, make sure your image makes sense with your sales copy.

Facebook ad fails #3

Tuesday, May 15th, 2018 | Business & Marketing

This week, I’m looking at a classic mistake people make when targetting their ads: not targetting it at the correct level of customer. To do it, I’m using this ad that popped up in my newsfeed.

Here’s what I don’t like about it: I have no idea what a “mumbler” is.

At first, I thought it was some kind of speech impediment group. I’ve got a lot of friends who have come through the McGuire Programme, which helps with stammers, so I assumed it was something similar at first glance.

But then it mentions babies, so I’m wondering whether it’s a mum’s group.

None of what they are doing makes any sense.

First, why am I seeing this? They could set the targeting to be people who have interacted with their page or visited their website, in which case it makes sense to go straight into your sales copy without explaining what your group is.

Or, if it’s a general ad, they need to explain what it is. Think of Eugene Schwartz’s levels of awareness. They need to tell me what their group is.

If it is a mums group, why am I seeing it? I’m a dad. They can set gender targetting on the ad to just include mums, or they could have a separate version of the ad, targetted at men, which makes it clear that dads are welcome too.

Conclusion

I’ve written before about how community groups should not use Facebook ads. Do it if you know what you’re doing. But you probably don’t know how to write copy or set the targeting, so you’re probably wasting your money. This ad is a good example of that.

If you do want to use Facebook ads, then make sure you know how to target your ads appropriately and come up with relevant ads for each audience segment.

Facebook ad fail of the week

Thursday, April 19th, 2018 | Business & Marketing

Live Strong is back with a new ad this week. They’re not suggesting I’m over 40 this week, but it still seems a strange use of your advertising budget to show me this.

More advertising fails

Saturday, March 31st, 2018 | Business & Marketing

Last month, I wrote about people wasting money on advertising. I said it happens a lot: and it does. Here are two more examples I found this month.

First, here is a Google AdWords advert by Treatwell. Except the page does not work.

And here is an advert from Live Strong. The link does work: it takes you to the article on tips for women over a 40. Bear in mind that you put the targeting parameters in when you create a Facebook ad. Facebook knows I a man under 40, so they could easily exclude me from seeing an ad I obviously have no interest it.

Facebook ad fails

Thursday, February 22nd, 2018 | Business & Marketing

Facebook ads cost money. Therefore, if you’re running them, you want to make sure they are converting. Rule one of this process is to make sure the links worth. It sounds obvious, but these people seem to have missed it.

Here is an advert by RaceCheck that produces a 404:

A funny one-off, you might think. But you would be incorrect. I see this kind of thing all the time. Here is an advert by Live To Tri that does the same thing:

By the way, if you ever wanted proof that people will interact with a Facebook post without actually clicking on it, notice that 12 people have liked an ad that does not work.

Here is another advert fail. Facebook allows us to target age. So, they know that I was not born before 1985. Why would they target someone born after 1985 with this ad?

Maybe it is some kind of clever tactic that makes people click out of anger? I’m not sure. But I didn’t click.

If you’re spending money on Facebook advertising, it is worth checking whether the links work. Otherwise, you are literally throwing money away.

Sportive Breaks ad

Tuesday, December 19th, 2017 | Business & Marketing

If you are interested in great advertising, take a look at this. The best hit potential customers with a specific pain point and promise to fix it. Which is exactly what this advert from Sportive Breaks does. It was freezing this morning and I would much rather be cycling on Mallorca.