Monday, 25 November 2013

Honda's Marketing Will Have Founder Soichiro Honda Rolling in His Grave

Honda's marketing communciations, gets worse.

Imagine how they'd be doing if they got their marketing act, together

Successful they may currently be in terms of products sold. Though, those running the company, have never really demanded excellence in their marketing as they do with their engineering and design innovations.

Or, it could be that they DO demand high quality marketing, though have been fobbed off by ad agencies bods who cannot match their marketing and communication efforts with the Honda innovations mentioned above.

A couple of recent examples of poor Honda communications;

I received an email promotion piece with the following subject line;

Wimbledon Park Honda, want your car

So, I decide to open the email.

And when I do, I'm presented with this offer:

Make your way to Wimbledon Park Honda this weekend to receive a free valuation of your vehicle and receive a Complimentary Winter Check worth £24.99 

Okay, not a bad offer.

Not enticingly written. Not irresitible. No specific call to action to respond that makes me feel I'll really be missing out or, that I've lots to gain by acting fast. (Maybe a mention of a surprise gift would've had me thinking about taking up the offer).

But guess what, in the SAME email, they're blatantly telling me about NEW CARS and special deals on it, etc.

Now why is this a bad thing to do?

Because, you don't want to be giving readers, prospects, customers, too many things to think about at any one time. In case you haven't noticed, attention spans are getting shorter and shorter.

Oh, but you might say that doing it in that way, having an offer for both, a free valuation and winter check, as well as discounts for new vehicles, doing it that way will enable a reader to put themselves in one category or another, so giving us a shot at those who may be interested in one or another!

That's true, it might work that way.

There's a BETTER way to do it.

By segmenting the database so you have a valuation and winter check email, go only those who have a pre-existing Honda. Segmentation could be broken down even further into various car models. Further segmentation could be made into the year of manufacture of the car, as well as the colour.

So, would it be more appealing and more responsive, if I received a mail that said;

Dear Mr Hireker (the Honda e-shot was NOT personalised),

We've arranged a special Winter Check service for you for where you'd usually pay £24.95 but instead, you won't have to pay a single penny! The reason we're doing that is because our records show that you have a Red Honda CRV and you've been a Honda client for over 10 years.

Not only that, when you come in on the 23rd or 24th of November, we'll give you a totally free, though extremely thorough valuation of your car. In doing that for you you'll be able to see exactly how much your car is currently worth, and, if you choose to do so, whether now or some time in the future, we'd be thrilled to show you various alternatives on our new and used models. 

Though, like I say, the most important thing is for you to take advantage of our winter service check. 

Oh, before I forget, there's a special gift that's been kept aside for you when you come in. Please be sure to mention this to Jenny or Frank who will be at the recepetion desk during the weekend and please bring a copy of this email with you."

Joe Jenson
Honda Customer Services Manager

Honda's recent marketing communications smell of desperation, as well as being muddled and impersonal.

Here's an actual mobile text message I received From Honda, on 1st November 2013.   

Tea, Coffee, Biscuits, and a Honda CRV FOR £249 a Month. Call Wimbledon Park Honda on XXXXXXXXXXXXXX

No context. No strategy. No campaign. It's like the marketing brains at Honda said... let's create this mobile message and send it.

Sadly, that IS how most big (small and medium also) company marketing happens,  without thought, planning or strategy.

Do yourself and your business a favour, steer well clear of emulating Honda's marketing and communication creativity and implementation.

Because, it's dull, unexciting and hopelessly put together.

Yes, dear Soichiro Honda will be rolling about in his grave at it all.

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

If you copy BARRATTS Shoes you'll kill your business DEAD‏

If you copy the BARRATTS philosophy, marketing
and they way they think about business, guess what;
you'll kill your business!
Good marketing cannot fix BAD, inaccurate thinking.

If you have friends or family connected to the shoe firm
Barratts, they're suffering through no fault of their own.

If not friends or family, spare a thought for those poor Barratt
souls who are at the mercy of those who have been paid to
run the company.

Barratts Shoes is in administration for the third time in
four years, with more than 1,000 jobs now at risk.

It's not the 'worker's' fault.

Those at the top of the company?

Their poor decisions, their poor marketing know how,
their lack of finding solutions; THAT'S where the EXACT
problem lies.

And look, it's easy to dish out the following line;

"Difficult trading conditions in the sector led the directors
to explore potential refinancing options and additional
equity for the business."
Now here's a BIG question:

What would those nitwits at Barratts do with MORE money?

It seems as they've no real strategy to make the
business profitable, they'd be using that money to pay people
who aren't savvy or swift enough to find accurate, implementable

It'd be a complete and utter waste; pumping more money into a
business where there's no CLUE going on about how to serve
the most important people who could bail them out of the mess;


Here's the problem; customers aren't buying.

Reason why? There's no brand affinity, no spectacular buying experience
for the customer, no incredible offers made on a consistent basis,
no astonishing service, no difference or distinction made as to WHY
Barratts as compared to other shoe retailers.

Solution: -->Start breaking up their customer lists into various segments
and then, start creating specific versioned communications that
are just for them. (Men, women, children, seniors, specific type of
shoe purchased, amount of cumulative spend, etc)
--> Create sensational packaged bundles of products with higher value
price tags, and sending elaborate thank you messages via personal
--> Re-iterate to the past and present customers WHAT Barratts stand for,
why we're different, why it's of great importance to continue to shop
with Barratts because of our astonishing levels of personalised
customer service.
--> Train, coach and motivate ALL staff to ensure customers
are treated like VIPs. Get get rid of staff who are incompetent,
inefficient and who couldn't give a damn about what Barratts
stand for.
--> Create joint ventures with complimentary service and product
firms where further streams of income could be created.
--> Create a membership or continuity type programme where
subscribers will be eligible for a SHOE OF THE MONTH selection,
along with a compellingly written newsletter.
--> Turn all ads and marketing messages into direct response
type communications and ruthlessly fire the current communications
or ad agency if they cannot create such marketing. Find one
who CAN.


Those running the show at Barratts took NO responsibility
to fix the problem. apart from the strategy of let's look for another
buyer or investor so we can saddle the whole sorry mess WE created,
onto THEM!

This incapacity for solution based, responsible action, this
moral stupidity, this unwillingness to find a solution UNTIL...
it's this disease that's rampant through the minds of businesses
owners, executives and marketing people... of all kinds. 

And it's not as if this scenario crept up on the Barratts
brigade one fine night whilst they were all sleeping. That didn't happen.

It was simply that THEY didn't happen.

They'd been hiding this exploding bomb for some time.

Though, chose to NOT find solutions to detonate it.

Especially the ones... that WORK.

They weren't committed to that.

And, when you take little to ZERO responsibility, you have
...little to ZERO control.

And so when that happens, there's a wonderful tendency to
point fingers to everything and everyone OUTSIDE of their
comfort area.

It's easy to blame the economy, the competition, the
red tape, the distribution, the manufacturers... that's
EASY to do.

But see, I don't think they were paid for that kind of thinking,
that kind of strategy, that kind of solution.

The ASSET is the customer, though these Barratt nitwits
didn't do a thing about treating it as the asset it is, and so...

...because of their inept decisions and their inept way of looking
at the the problem and their inept way of creating solutions...

...they've put the lives and security of many many people,
into utter desperate panic.

If you yourself own, or have an interest in a business or venture.

Do NOT copy Barratts approach, attitude & excuse making
when it comes to fixing and solving business and
marketing problems because, if you do, like them, you too will be
heading into turbulent waters with the Titanic and the
Titanic captain as your guidance and support system.


And if you're connected with anyone in the Barratts upper hierarchy
forward them this mail because I'm certain there's
a valuable lifeline in the solution section I've outlined above.