Saturday, February 19, 2011

Motostrano, We Don't Snoop Your Cookies


or, "Motostrano, We're Not Creepy"

A funny thing happened this morning, which relates to you, to Motostrano and motorcycling. As it happened, I thought "how can I put a positive spin on this and relay a message to customers, highlighting differences in us vs our competitors", so here goes.

Sitting in bed on a wet Saturday morning, husband and wife, divided by toddler, each prone with their various internet gadgetry on their laps. Wife, video surfing some knitting thing on a laptop. Toddler, checking out anything to do with trains. Dad, looking at motorcycle stuff. Wife says "WTF, I'm sitting here looking at a video of the Russian National Orchestra and this cello player - he's an amazing player - and up pops this ridiculous banner ad at the bottom of the screen for some motorcycle company. Why? Do you do that?"

"That's a competitor honey. They're advertising on google and must be snooping the search history and cookies on that laptop and they think you're me. We don't do that." said I.

"That's awful, creepy. I'm not you! I'm me! It's not in any way connected with the thing I'm doing right now and it even kind of ruined the moment for me. &*#&$#" said she.

Even my 3 year old grimaced.

This competitor probably doesn't realize what they are doing with their ads. Some one at the company and other companies like them have simply selected a setting on Google's advertising network that spams their ads on just about any place on the network, regardless of what was searched for. Still, it's the advertisers responsibility to know where to draw the line in promoting their wares to the right people.

Case in point, Motostrano reserves it's paid online advertising to physical keyword searches and we keep them very narrow, to ensure that if you are eg. searching for "motorcycle gloves", you're searching for motorcycle gloves we actually sell. We narrow our ads and keywords significantly. We want a customer who knows what they want. I don't want a customer who is looking for something entirely different. For instance I would never advertise to some one 100% intent on watching a video of the Russian National Orchestra. It's just not our style. I'm not saying we don't like the Symphony. In fact, if you visit our store you might actually hear some on the Pandora. No, advertising to this person would be just plain rude. It would be like sitting in a concert hall and you're all relaxed and in the mood and in walks this dude in a motorcycle jacket and squeeky boots and drops you a card with "DUNLOP MOTORCYCLE TIRES FREE SHIPPING" on it.

Because, you can say all you want about how much you want to "connect with the customer" and provide excellent customer experience, but if you're invading their privacy just to get a customer, you've completely failed before they have even entered your store.

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