Web Marketing: How to chase away customers using your website

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Toronto is a big city with multiple telephone area codes.  Someone came up with a great idea that makes a 7-digit phone number work in all these area codes.  Wonderful idea, but it is amazing how some marketers can even screw up simplicity.  Apparently, this system only works from landline phones, not cellular, and not phones from outside the geographic area (such as someone using their US cell phone in Toronto, um, like me).  Oops.  I guess this would work… if this was 1985.  So, I got a little peckish last night and wanted to call to order a pizza from the closest pizza place.  This is what I encountered:

“From a land line”?? Are they serious?  You guessed right: calling using my Toronto cell phone didn’t work.  There’s no area code or alternate number to try to call via “regular” dialling with an area code prefix.  Their “contact us” page includes only the corporate 9-5 Monday to Friday phone number.

Apparently, this company doesn’t want to be bothered dealing with the generations and hundreds of thousands of consumers who are dumping landline phones as fast as people bailing water out of a leaky lifeboat.  There’s lots of pizza companies out there.  Please come to the kitchen prepared.

Oops Part 2:  The title of all their pages says “Order Pizza Online.”  Except you can’t order online.

I was finally able to locate the local pizzeria phone number on the “locations” page, but that was so graphically intense with maps, that it took much too long to load over a 6 MB/second DSL line.  Because some wannabe web designer thought it would be cool to load Google Maps for all 26 locations on the same page instead of quick-loading thumbnails tied to a Google Map popup.  And, if you leave the location page and then go back to it, get ready to wait another long time for the whole thing to load again.  I shudder at the page load time for folks using cheaper and slower Internet service.

This ain’t rocket science.  But, for some marketers, shooting oneself in the foot is just too easy.  Sigh.

Jonathan Blaine

I've always called myself a "Marketing Guy." If I had a brand and logo, perhaps that would be my slogan. Measuring ROI is huge. Just because you're now using "new media" does not mean marketing fundamentals should be discarded. Customers' desires do not change. I'm a "right-brained creative analytical" guy (if you can fathom such a thing) who looks at a project several different ways. My first instinct is usually the correct one. I'm a "doer," and often a "diplomatic fixer;" someone who gets things done and still gets a thrill out of customers actually buying something because of something I mailed to them, or an ad I placed. Most of my success has come from strategy, writing, how ideas are presented to the potential customer and the actual thoughts that somehow originate within the ether between my ears. As a fan of DM guru Denny Hatch, I believe that the brand should never outweigh the message, and that art should never win over copy. The mix has to be “just right.” And continually tested. I have solid ryttan, err, written and verbal communication skills, and a reputation for consistently producing cost-effective quality work.

One Reply to “Web Marketing: How to chase away customers using your website”

  1. I couldn’t agree more! I have been in the new media business for a long time and always amazed when I encounter situations like this. The web is supposed to make access to information and buying decisions easier, not more difficult.

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