4/14/07

Another Mousetrap

Reading today the news and interesting columns on SEL I found a profiled sponsored link to Firefactor.Coffeecup.com. The company lures you to a "free firefactor mini-report" for your website so I thought I would give it a spin. I inserted one of my blogs into the form and waited the 10 minutes they suggested it would take to have the report sent to my email inbox.
Once the "report" arrived I clicked back to the site to get the information. Surprisingly I had to insert my password. I had no account (didn't know I needed one) so I could not access the report. There was no ready link to open an account to view my report.

There was however information on how I could upgrade for a full report for a fee. I felt misled when I was directed to the pay account page.
All I wanted was the free report but I was expertly herded like a sheep to the trough to a checkout stand. It seems anyone signing up for the "for fee" service will get a broad website report and submission to various search directories and engines. I won't go far into that mess here but generally companies that promise submission to dozens, hundreds or thousands of search sites are looking for easy money.
Be warned submission to many of these sites may invite email and solicitations that could drag out for months. Agents for many of those sites will hound you to "add on" for special placement on their self proclaimed important "niche" websites. Neither your business or web profile will be enhanced by submission to sites like iKenya.com, EnlacesBolivia or Szukaj.com. (resolves to Ebay by the way)

There is NO substitute for manual insertion to key directories and search sites.

After some searching I did get to the account page. They sent me a password and I got to look at the report. Some good, some bad about my site but it all led to a push for the upgraded version. The optimization packages they offer may be top grade, I don't know. I can't speculate on that side of their service. I'll assume they provide OK options for people who click through for those services.
I sense some tricky marketing tactics that prey on the unsuspecting and it makes my job harder.

Every client I talk to is brand new to advertising on the Internet. They see it as confusing, complicated and expensive. As a search marketer one of my main tasks is to unmask the confusion and make the process less complicated than it appears. Small business has had it with traditional marketers (yellow pages, newspapers, radio etc.) who long held a vise grip on client accessibility. It would be too easy to obfuscate or misrepresent opportunities for business owners.

I am not an old media marketer but suffer from the reputation old media marketers built. Too often when I mention to a prospective customer what I can do for them I see the glossy eyes, the blank out. They have been continuously assaulted by smooth talking YP and radio people for years.
Marketers in this new media don't need to obfuscate, misdirect or skew data and facts. It is not necessary.
When I see confusing marketing strategies I know my job will not get easier and understand fully why marketers are loathed.

1 comment:

Jaffe said...

Hi, Added a new value add to my blog this weekend - a news widget from www.widgetmate.com. I always wanted to show latest news for my keywords in my sidebar. It was very easy with this widget. Just a small copy paste and it was done. Great indeed.