Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Buy my dud product.

Businesses are told repeatedly that to be successful they have to embrace 'social media'.   It's the way they can communicate with, have a conversation with, their customers. It's the way of the future (sorry, "going forward").  Ignore it and you're finished, they're told.

What they're not told and all too many, amazingly, don't realise is that the first, most vital step is to get the bloody product right in the first place.

There is no point marketing a dud product. And that includes marketing in the virtual world.

Another example hit me in the face the other day. I called into a coffee shop which had posters about the place saying 'follow us on Twitter' and 'like us on Facebook' and 'visit our website at www. etc'.

In the non-virtual world - that is, in the actual real-world coffee shop - the staff were huddled together in the kitchen area, studiously ignoring the few customers.

Used crockery cluttered a few tables. They were ignoring that too. Service, and I use the word very loosely, was terrible.

Interaction between staff and customers was near to zero. There was no greeting, no welcome. Attracting their attention to spend money buying their products wasn't easy.

Yet there they were all over the internet, presumably thinking that it was the answer to increasing their miserable trade.

And of course they'll be joining the ranks of retail whingers blaming us for not spending, for buying online. They'll blame the weather. They'll blame the government, wage costs, taxes. They'll blame anything and everything except their own incompetence and mismanagement.

1 comment:

Keefieboy said...

Yeah. I'm not totally convinced by the whole social media for businesses thing. Certainly not for big businesses. I happen to know a guy who is (or was) a social media editor for one of the sporting teams here in Madrid. I disliked him as a person, and consequently could not feel engaged with the product he was promoting (not really a problem, though, I've always hated Cristiano Ronaldo). On a smaller scale, say a bar or a restaurant or a little pie business, the social stuff can work really well - you can use it to promote a gig, or a quiz night, or a new menu item, or whatever.

But yes, if the staff of the actual venue aren't engaged (sounds like they all hated their jobs even before social networking, so that's just down to shite management), stuffed you are.