Monday, August 22, 2016

Would You Hire this Lawyer After He Lies to You?

Is this lawyer lying or innocently stretching the truth?

This ad in the Yellow Pages is titled “I Can Address All Of Your Legal Needs”.

The quotes imply that the words come directly from the lawyer. The lawyer’s name is in the ad but I’ve blocked it to protect the guilty. This appears to be a solo lawyer firm because there is no firm name – only the lawyer’s name.

The point is that this individual lawyer claims that he can address all of your legal needs. That’s simply ridiculous. No individual lawyer could possibly address ALL of the legal needs of every viewer.

A major law firm might justifiably claim that because they have hundreds of lawyers specializing in all aspects of law.

The three bullets list real estate, family law and civil litigation. Then there’s a strange stew of commercial litigation, wills, powers of attorney, corporate and commercial law…

My questions are:

  • What do you specialize in?
  • What are you really good at?
  • Who is your best prospect?
  • What problems can you fix?

The nagging question is “Why did you lie to me?” “Why did you claim that you can address ALL of my legal needs?

Would you hire a lawyer whose first message to you is a lie?

This Yellow Pages ad is as believable as the yard sale notices that claim “something for everyone”.

George Torok Keynote Marketing Speaker Co-author of Secrets of Power Marketing Get your free copy of "50 Power Marketing Ideas" Power Marketing on FaceBook Marketing Zoo on Twitter Share/Save/Bookmark

Friday, August 19, 2016

Harvey's made a Beautiful Hamburger but they messed up their Marketing

You might remember the old advertising jingle, “Harvey’s makes a Hamburger a beautiful thing”.

It seems they’re not so good at producing beautiful or even truthful advertising.

I’ve been a fan of Harvey’s for more decades than I care to admit. So naturally I was interested in the flyer that arrived with the newspaper. When I’m riding or driving around in the summer I often look for a Harvey’s to grab a bite.

This flyer was a four-page insert. Look at the front page and notice what messages stand out the most.

The first message that might grab you is $1.99. Why? Because it is the near the top left of the page and more importantly it’s the largest font on the page. It’s also orange with a white online on black - which is attention grabbing. Nice colour scheme.

As you scan the page, the next message that might grab your attention is “2 Weeks Only!”
It’s heavy font of black on white and emphasized with an exclamation point. When you look under that heading you’ll see the time frame of June 27 – July 10, 2016.

Before you open this flyer you might be thinking “I only have two weeks to take advantage of these specials.”

The top of the second page features “Summer Drink Deals”. Under that heading, it states, “All Summer long”. But what does that mean? If you read the previous page you’ve been programed to expect only two weeks of specials.

If you examine the fine print with a magnifying glass you’ll discover that the All Summer Long” ends on Sep 11 even though you know that summer really ends on Sept 21. Apparently Harvey’s definition of summer is different than the rest of the world. That means “All summer” was a lie. Ouch!

Below the summer drink deals are eight coupons. Naturally, based on what I read on the front page, I assumed that these coupons were only valid for two weeks. However, if you are persistent enough and pull out your magnifying glass you’ll discover that these coupons expire on August 21, 2016.

I was confused at this point so I understand that you might be as well. Apparently Harvey’s didn’t consider the downside of confusing or lying to their customers.

The coupons are difficult to read because it’s tiny black font on orange background. There are more difficult combinations but this is onerous enough to discourage people to read it.

Under the tiny print about expiry date was even smaller print which I was unable to read with my magnifier.  Who knows what it said.

Top of the third page features “Three Cheese & Bacon”. The middle of the ad states “Limited Time Only” but it didn’t define the time frame. You might wonder “When is this available and when will you tell me?”

Bottom of this page features another eight coupons. At least these are on a white background which is much easier to read then on an orange background. But the font is tiny again. The expiry is Aug 21, 2016 and under that is the nano-font that wasn’t meant to be read by regular people. Where is Ant Man when you need him?

The back page was a repeat of the Summer Drinks Deal – claiming to be all summer long – but not really all summer long because it ends on Sept 11. Do the people at Harvey’s know when summer starts and ends? Do they know that most people know when summer ends? Why are they lying?

Perhaps we can look forward to their pseudo “All Fall” “All Winter” and “All Spring” promotions.

Well Harvey's, good thing I still like the hamburger. But, your marketing stinks. It's annoying, deceptive and confusing.

As Dr Phil might say, "How's that working for you?"

George Torok Keynote Marketing Speaker Co-author of Secrets of Power Marketing Get your free copy of "50 Power Marketing Ideas" Power Marketing on FaceBook Marketing Zoo on Twitter Share/Save/Bookmark

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Fast Food Flyer Distribution

These flyers with coupons arrived in my mailbox last week, (early August). Often we immediately discard these flyers. We kept these because there are the occasional summer jaunts and we might enjoy a sandwich, burger or breakfast.

When I examined them I discovered that all the coupons expired months ago.

And yes, I did need to examine then with a magnifying glass while also wearing my reading glasses. The fine print was that tiny. Imagine my embarrassment or indignation if I had presented one of these expired coupons to the cashier at the fast-food restaurant.

When I pulled them out of the mailbox I remembering thinking, “These promotions usually arrive in January or February.”

There were at least two flaws in this promotion. The first is the timing which I will address in this post. The second issue is the design of the flyer, which I might address in another post.

These coupons expired May 8, 2016 – three months ago.

Mr. Sub
These coupons expired April 24, 2016 – more than three months ago.
At least you could read the expiring date without a magnifying glass.

Burger King
These coupons expired Feb 28, 2016 – more than five months ago.

These coupons expired February 7, 2016 – six months ago.

What are the questions that might pop into your mind while examining these coupons?

Did the flyer distributor screw up? Did they hold on to these flyers for at least six months and then decide to distribute them six months later?

Did A&W, Mr, Sub, Burger King and McDonalds discover that they had left over flyers – then decide to distribute them even though the offers had expired?

Where those fast-food restaurants using the same ad agency that was trying to get an extra bump from this promotion?

Why didn’t any of the parties notice that the coupons had expired? Did they even consider the backlash of those embarrassing exchanges?

You might even wonder, “How could the people at A&W, Mr Submarine, Burger King and McDonalds have been so negligent?

George Torok Keynote Marketing Speaker Co-author of Secrets of Power Marketing Get your free copy of "50 Power Marketing Ideas" Power Marketing on FaceBook Marketing Zoo on Twitter Share/Save/Bookmark

Tuesday, June 09, 2015

Bold Marketing from Canadian Concrete Masonry Producers Association (CCMPA)

Bold marketing from CCMPA

It’s never easy to take advantage of someone’s disaster. But sometimes that might be the right moment to reach out to your market with an important message.

This was a half-page ad in the Globe and Mail on May 29, 2015. It’s bold, provocative and effective.

It’s bold and provocative because it shows images of the devastating fire that consumed a construction project and the neighbouring condo complex in Langley BC 12 days earlier. More than 150 people lost their homes.

It’s bold because in a case like this there is the possibility of negative blowback – from the public, media or social media. Those are the chances you take when you act boldly and embrace controversy.

I believe it’s effective because it’s visual, emotional and simple. The photos of the flaming buildings sear us emotionally.

The message is effective because there are only three elements to this ad:

  1. The headline with the location and date
  2. The two photos of the burning buildings
  3. The message from CCMPA which is clear to understand…

This is why you should build with Concrete Block

I wonder how much debate ensued at the office of the Canada Concrete Masonry Producers Association before placing this ad.

Association marketing is more difficult than business marketing because:

  • There usually isn’t a measurable return
  • Some association members will be unhappy no matter what you do

This ad is a good example for marketers to pay attention to the news. Look for opportunities to tell your message. Always be prepared to grab opportunity when it knocks.

In this case it could have been a matter of watching the news and asking the question “Could our products, services or expertise have prevented or mitigated this disaster?

Effective messaging is dependent on relevance. Before the fire this ad would have been meaningless and long after the emotional proximity would have been lost. The biggest challenge is to decide how close to tragedy to send your message.

George Torok Keynote Marketing Speaker Co-author of Secrets of Power Marketing Get your free copy of "50 Power Marketing Ideas" Power Marketing on FaceBook Marketing Zoo on Twitter Share/Save/Bookmark

Wednesday, June 03, 2015

Embarrassing Questions for BMW Motorrad Canada about charitable donation for demo rides

I hoped to test ride a BMW motorcycle but received confusing messages from BMW Canada. I found their request for a charitable donation combined with their no-receipt policy strange.

I reviewed the BMW Canada website, called the dealer rep and read the email from the BMW Canada marketing rep. There were some holes in their story and the messages didn’t ring true -which raised the followings questions for BMW Motorrad Canada.

Questions for BMW Motorrad Canada about Charitable Donations

Purpose, Policy and Procedure

Why do you charge a fee to test ride your motorcycles? What’s the real purpose?

Do you also charge for a test ride of your automobiles? If not, why the different practices?

If a person buys a motorcycle after a test ride, will their test-ride fee be refunded?

The Myth of the Charitable Donation

Why do you call the fee a charitable donation?
Your practice and the email from your marketing rep suggest otherwise.

Are you aware that a charitable donation is normally recognized with a charitable receipt?

Why do you believe that a fee to test ride your product is similar to a hospital selling lottery tickets?

Fee to Ride

If it’s not a donation it must be a fee for service. Why not call it what it is?

Why do you not issue a receipt for the money collected? Is that normal practice at your dealerships? What else don’t they issue receipts for?

Do you accept payment by cheque, debit or credit card? The dealer rep emphasized cash payment. As we all know cash is harder to trace.

Official Charity Recognition

Is your intended charity aware of your fundraising? How are you working together? Is there a link on their website to accept donation for your ride?

Did you ask them to provide official charity receipts?

Why was there no link from your site to the charity website to make it easier for people to donate?

The Money Trail

When there are no receipts issued how do we know where the money goes?

Is the money received recorded as taxable income by the local dealer or BMW Canada?

What is the difference between the money paid by demo riders, the amount reported by the dealer, the amount reported received by BMW Canada and the actual amount submitted to the charity? Those are four different transactions.

How much of the money donated by riders is used for coffee, refreshments and other promotional activity (as suggested in the email from your marketing rep)?

When and how are those numbers reported to all the parties involved? Who can I contact for that financial report? Are the numbers from last year available yet?

Who gets credit for the donation?

If an individual gives you money why doesn’t the individual get credit for his/her donation?

Your website states that you donate on behalf of your dealers. What does that mean? Do the dealers each receive a charitable receipt?

Does BMW Canada claim the charitable donation against their income tax?

That might appear to be a lot of questions. When something doesn’t smell right it raises questions. The stranger the smell – the more questions.

Here’s that email from the marketing rep at BMW Canada

“Hello Gentlemen,

Just to clarify the test ride donations, the reason we do not give receipts is because you are receiving something in exchange for the donations.  In this case you are getting a ride on a new motorcycle and also lunch or a refreshment.  It is just like if you buy a hospital lottery ticket, no receipts because you are getting the chance to win something.  If you donate directly to the COC then yes you can get a receipt because you are not getting anything in return for the donation.

Our test ride program is not set up for you to donate directly to the COC and then to show us a receipt.

If you are interested in riding a new BMW, please follow the regulations we have set up.  We pool all the money collected during our rides and donate it on behalf of the Motorrad retailers at the end of the season and make an announcement on the total when done.”

Here’s the text from the Website
All riders must arrive at least 15 mins prior to your scheduled ride time in order to:
• Complete the Test Ride Waiver
• Pay your charitable donation
• Participate in the Rider’s Meeting

Click here to read part one of the BMW Demo Ride charitable donation issue.

What other questions spring to mind? Add them below.

George Torok Keynote Marketing Speaker Co-author of Secrets of Power Marketing  
Get your free copy of "50 Power Marketing Ideas" Power Marketing on FaceBook Marketing Zoo on Twitter