You own a restaurant. You spend lots of time, money, brains and effort building up a brand and increasing sales and repeat sales. They like your food and service so much that they go out and tell all of their friends and family. Now the world comes knocking on your door, and wants to try your food.
So what do you do? Instead of showing them your menu, giving them the best possible service and serving them the tastiest food they’ve ever had, you now pull out business cards and flyers from all neighboring restaurants and fast-food centers, and tell your visitors where else they can go to get some food.
Would you ever do that in a real-world business? Would you recommend your competitors and display their ads to your visitors as soon as they walked in to buy your products?
If it makes absolutely no sense in the real-world, how come it is common and acceptable online?
I subscribe to a large email-only forum called FrankelBiz, a list I highly recommend to expand your business network and get answers to many questions. I have had some tremendous successes in the past in getting information from other subscribers when I was stuck at something other than technology and programming (my primary skill).
Recently, the moderator recommended a 3rd-party service for conducting online meetings and presentations. So what did I see when I got there? A commercial web site, trying to sell a much wanted, help-yourself service, displaying Adsense ads with links to its competitors, on most of the pages!
So what is exactly is the message that the site owner is trying to convey?
- That the product being sold is not good enough, and so the owner is recommending the competitors to me?
- Is this an Adsense-optimized site designed just to draw users and then make money from clicks on ads?
- Or is the site owner genuinely clueless about conducting business?
Whatever the answer, the site lost all of its credibility in my eyes – and I was a highly targeted, pre-sold, ready-to-buy, potential customer!
The site may no longer get my business, but you may still want to check it out, at least to see how not to conduct business.
Just because it’s an e-Business, don’leave your brains behind when you go to work.