Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Would you like SEO with that savings?


I was at Jo-Ann this past weekend. As I was checking out with my three and a half yards of purple and grey upholstery fabric, Lexi the clerk asked if I had any coupons with me.

How could I forget? Like any good red-blooded American that comes from a family of sewers (as in people who sew), I'm on the Jo-Ann mailing list at both my office and home and usually have coupons coming out my ears! In case you're not familiar, Jo-Ann is the undisputed coupon potentate of modern American retail. They send out weekly flyers covered in coupons, many for 50% off or more, and they send a daily coupon-heavy email to their massive email list.

But alas, I didn't have any coupons with me. I had left them at home, along with my wits that would have told me to call up that morning's Jo-Ann e-blast and corresponding coupon. So without hesitation Lexi said, "Just open up a browser on your phone and google Jo-Ann coupons." So I did and it brought me to the Jo-Ann home page, featured on which a big, bold 50% off coupon beamed like a beacon of savings. She scanned the barcode on my screen and I saved $12.50 … just like that.

Though truly grateful for the discount, I thought to myself as I walked back to my car why Jo-Ann would encourage their staff to be so liberal with their coupons, especially as a sale is being finalized with a customer who clearly was happy and ready to pay full price. (Well, to be fair, mine was a red tag fabric so it was already on sale. But still…) And then I thought about what Lexi did--so brilliantly sly, masking her true bottom-line boosting intentions in a fa├žade of savings and sweetness: She boosted joann.com's SEO (search engine optimization) by having me specifically google them from my unique device and then click through to their website (which, if you visit you'll notice the pop-up that must be addressed before entering that solicits the visitor for their email address to join Jo-Ann's amazing email list); she got me to realize--or remember--the wealth of information about her business available literally at my fingertips; she ensured a happy transaction by giving me an unexpected discount, therefore creating a loyal customer for life because I left with a very, very good feeling about the transaction. I left as their advocate.

I don't know any business that rocks the coupon game like Jo-Ann. The way they turn the simple, traditional marketing technique of couponing into a customer experience-focused SEO stimulus scheme is fascinating. It's so brilliant, it must be diabolical!

Think about it…


#SEO #Coupons #Marketing #JoAnn #AskUncleMarty #SoBrilliantItMustBeDiabolical

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Also published on the AMBC blog on January 24, 2017.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

A Simply Perfect Piece of Marketing Magic


I was flipping through an issue of Architectural Digest last night and came across this stunning ad for JW Marriott--a simply perfect piece of marketing magic.

The intention of this delightful spread is to communicate something exceptional to look for on your next stay at a JW, confident that the sophisticated Architectural Digest-reading customer will indeed be staying at a JW again sometime soon. In doing this, JW Marriott is keeping their brand top-of-mind. And that's all they need to do.

JW Marriott's reputation has already been established, and everyone knows what the JW brand stands for. So they don't need to explain that in an ad. But they do need to show why they should be the hotel of choice; they need to show what makes them different, interesting, … better.

Sometimes our most effective advertisements don't blatantly advertise what we're trying to sell. Of course, JW Marriott put this ad out to book more reservations. But they don't outright solicit bookings. They're not advertising a deal, a special, or a gimmick. Rather, they're simply appealing to the target reader--in this case, design aficionados--with a sleek, clean layout. Featuring the ad in a publication full of color, they've chosen a black and white picture highlighting beautiful architectural columns to grab the reader's eye paired with spot-on soft pink and elegant, clean text to keep the reader engaged until the simple message is received. It's exquisite.

Ads are not the place to tell your customers every little detail about every little service that you provide. And unless you're selling medication and legally required to do so, ads generally are not the place for long disclaimers. Ads are simply a method to grab someone's attention and give them a little tease as to why they should do business with you instead of someone else. Ads keep your business top-of-mind.

Kudos, JW Marriott. This ad is a winner!


#JWMarriott #ArchitecturalDigest #AMBC4ME #AskUncleMarty

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Also published on the AMBC blog on January 11, 2017.