Wondering Out Loud

This isn’t about social media, it’s just something that strikes me odd

Target sent me an email with a great headline – they were having “the biggest iPod sale of the season. My 2nd generation Nano is getting a bit long in the tooth and I’ve been thinking about replacing it, but haven’t had the motivation. In my world, a price reduction can be very motivating (I hate paying retail prices).

So I clicked on the link that took me to the iPod Touch page. If I’m going to replace my little 2GB Nano, I figured I do it in style. Upon arrival I was presented with thee choices of 3rd gen Touches; 8GB, 16GB and 32GB. Each had the retail price displayed with a lovely red line running through it. Below each was a link that read “see low price.”

What is the deal with that?

I’m from the school that says your visitors should be required to click as few times as necessary to reach their destination. Unless Target was having one hell of a sale – 30% off or more – there is no reason to hide the price.  In this case it was 8% on the 8GB and 10% on each of the others. It was opening a Christmas present to find you aunt knitted you a 3 armed sweater.

By no means is Target the only retailer doing this. I’ve seen the same practice from other online retailers. What prompted me to post about it, however, is that iPods rarely go on sale and I was really hoping to score a Bonanza (that’s what my friends and I called a great find when we rifled through the Rag Stock bins in the 80’s. That was when the only Rag Stock store was a dusty warehouse in DT Mpls.). I’m sure there’s a really good reason, based on all kinds of psychoanalytical studies of buying behaviors, retailers feel the need to hide “special” prices from consumers. But here’s a piece of advice from this consumer..



March 31, 2010 Posted by | Marketing | , , , , , | 11 Comments

Social media and pest control

Ever had a squirrel in your house?
Last week my wife called to tell me there were gnaw marks on a one of the windowsills in the living room. I suggest the 2 year old might be working on a molar, but that idea was scuttled when she told me the marks stretched for 2 feet and whatever did it had to be on the job for quite some time. That’s when I knew we had an unwanted visitor in the house. The only question was what type of visitor it was.

My bride – being a traditionalist at heart – went to the yellow pages looking for someone who could help eliminate the problem by whatever means necessary. She found Laughlin’s Pest Control and gave them a call. How the call unfolded is a textbook example of using social media tactics to build credibility and generate new business leads.
Raise your hands if you ask, answer, or even visit the discussion areas in LinkedIn. I’ll assume every hand is up. What you find there, is no different than what transpired on the phone between my wife and Laughlin’s Pest Control. She had a question and he took the time ask some questions of his own in an effort to answer hers. In the end he determined the varmint was a squirrel that was looking for a way out. His advice was to open the window and raise the screen to give the squirrel an exit. To entice the critter he suggested peanut butter – smooth, not crunchy – to lure the furry beast out of its hiding place (which I later found to be the smoke ledge in the fireplace). He also put the mother of my children at ease by telling her the squirrel would stay in hiding while people were around. A comforting thought when you have a 6, 4 and 2 year old in the house. The boys, 11 and 14, would have preferred taking it on in a head-to-head battle.

The people at Laughlin’s could have scheduled a service call ($150 for showing up), charged the hourly rate and gotten rid of Rocky themselves. But it would have been a short-term monetary gain at the expense of a potential long-term customer relationship.
In less than 15 minutes on the phone, our new friend at Laughlin’s had solved the problem and won a customer for life. I know who I’m calling if the moles return this summer.

March 9, 2010 Posted by | Public Relations, Social Media | , , | Leave a comment


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