Monday, February 19, 2007

Marketers, make it easy

What is the true mark of a great marketing campaign? Is it sizzling creative, the best laid strategic plans, enough measurement to make yours eyes bleed? I think those things are great, but seriously, isn't the best marketing campaign one that makes it easy for the target audience to actually make and complete a purchase?

Case in point, a few months ago I wrote in this very blog about this awesome house I saw advertised in Business 2.0 magazine. This home is truly amazing. It cuts your utilities by 85% a month and is about as efficient and eco-friendly as you can get! I think it looks cool too.

I went straight to the web site hell bent for leather trying to figure out how I could move into one of these homes ASAP. Well, here is where it gets rough. I go to the web site, get all of the information about how great this house is and how much it makes sense to have this "hybrid home" and I search hard and long for contact information so I can figure out how to get my hands on one of these homes. I finally find an email address and shoot out a message as fast as my stiff fingers can type. No response, for weeks no response. By now my excitement is waning a bit.

But wait, I finally got an email response. It tells me to call a number to speak with a rep. from the company that manufactures a lot of the great materials this home is made of. I call and leave a voice mail. I get a call back about 3 days later. I speak with a lady in Arizona about how great this house is. "How can I be the first guy in Indiana to live in one of these homes?" I asked. "Well, I do not know." she responds. She proceeds to tell me that I can contact a rep. from her company that resides in Frankfort, IN if I want their super efficient basement wall materials. I laughed and said, "You do not understand I wan the entire house. I have no need for basement walls - I want to build the house you advertised." She replied, "We did not advertise that house, BASF did. We just supplied the basement walls." I already tried contacting BASF and they gave me this woman's contact info. at this company's headquarters.

Let's review: BASF spent tons of cash on slick web sites, an ad campaign in multiple magazines, got me interested enough to call to inquire about building a house, and they could not or would not even take my call. They referred me to one of their suppliers who can't even give me direction other than contacting an area rep. that only sells basement walls. Might I ask what is the point? If I cannot go and buy BASF materials, or even have this home built, why are they paying all of this money to advertise to me? Am I stupid or is it a complete waste of my time and their money? Or is it their money and my time?

If they are going for awareness and not revenue, okay, but even then, why? Okay BASF can make a cool house that is efficient. If this house is not buildable in the markets in which they advertise, what are they going to do with it? Put it in a museum? When I contacted BASF and their partner, neither one had any inkling that they gave two hoots about getting these homes built or even selling their products to a home builder or buyer. I guess I am at a loss here. From a marketing stand point what is the objective? What are they trying to accomplish?


Anonymous said...

Hi, i'm not sure if you've found out any more information about this house, but I saw an advert for it in a Canadian business magazine. I found this link for information on the project:

Short attention span? said...

Yes, I found that site. I also found a local Indy builder that uses some, but not all of the materials on/in that home.

Unfortunately it was not easy at all and I still cannot find a local builder that will build that exact home. BASF would be doing themselves a favor if they promoted the actual builders that use the products used on that home, and where you could find them.