Why Your Marketing Staff Shouldn’t Live In Silos
Posted on February 7, 2012
I’m still paging through my SXSW World magazine, and it’s proving to be a treasure trove of bad marketing. After writing about the disastrous Miller Lite ad, I decided to scan every QR code in the magazine, just to see how they were being used. Next up was an add for Can We Network, which, from what I can tell, is an upcoming app from Can We Studios. But you see, I can’t really tell you about it. Why? Clearly, this is a case of the marketing department not talking to the rest of the organization. This is a particularly egregious example, as I’m assuming this startup has just a few employees who should be speaking with each other every day. Here’s the ad:
So, first I scanned the QR code. The link is dead. It directs you to http://cwn.canwestudios.com/?sxswad1. I’m not even hyperlinking that URL, because it doesn’t exist. With a little sleuthing, I determined it was indeed supposed to link to http://canwestudios.com/?sxswad1. What QR-code, mobile appropriate content will you find there, you ask? Well, none. It’s just a copy of the main site, which really doesn’t have any content. The funny thing is, the only traffic their actual sxsw ad landing page will get will likely come from this blog.
I thought the nice thing to do would be to inform the company of their mistake directly. They were kind enough to put their Twitter username, @canwenetwork, right in the ad. Here’s another problem – that Twitter account is an egg-head with no description and one follower. I assume the ad was supposed to point readers to be @canwemeet. Although it’s not a highly active Twitter account, it does have their recognizable company logo and a descriptive bio.
So, we have a display ad that I assume wasn’t cheap, which includes a QR code to a dead link and an inactive Twitter account that may not even belong to the company. What exactly is the value of this ad? Why not admit that the company really isn’t into Twitter and QR codes and just add the URL to the ad? Did someone tell the marketing staff to use the URL and Twitter account, or did marketing forget to tell the staff they’d included it in the ad? However it pans out, it’s an expensive mistake.
On top of all this, the ad doesn’t even tell me what the company does. The website doesn’t have any content other than some email addresses for more information. Basically, they appear to be a mobile web development company that happened to launch a networking/party mobile app. Given that the people they’re trying to reach are quite savvy about the things they’ve screwed up in this ad, I’m thinking it will cause them more harm than good. Hopefully they have a stellar guerrilla marketing strategy at SXSW, or I don’t see this campaign going anywhere.
Can you think of other cases where marketing jumped the gun on the rest of an organization? How did it turn out? Please share in the comments.