Posted by: Marty Fahncke | February 9, 2009

Dumb marketing move of the day

I’m reading through the latest issue of Toastmaster Magazine yesterday, and see a FULL PAGE ad for an event called Public Speaking Idol, which is a public speaking contest featuring over $50,000 in prizes.

The call to action on the ad is a website address, www publicspeakingidol com (Deliberately not a “clickable” URL so as not to endorse the site with a link)

Sounds interesting, so I go over to my computer, enter in the URL, and here is what I get…

Public Speaking Idol Website

Public Speaking Idol Website

The entire page consists of this one graphic.  Nothing to click.   No email, no phone number. No way to get more information.  Nada.

I guess they expect me to come back every day for the rest of my life, or until they get off their butts and put some info there.

Now, I’m a very realistic person who has done thousands of marketing campaigns.  I know that often things go wrong.  I’m sure that there is some glitch in launching the site which prevented it from being ready before the ad ran.  Or perhaps the magazine ran the ad before they were supposed to.   Whatever…it doesn’t matter.  The damage is now done.  People are seeing the ad, going to the website, and then nothing.

Hello!??!  You get ONE chance to make a first impression, and whoever is behind this project is blowing it.

Big time.

Tip:  If YOU ever find yourself in a similar situation, don’t panic!  The simple, effective solution to a problem such as this would be to add a “Coming Soon” message to the destination page, and include a way for the visitor to provide their name and email address so they can be contacted when the site is actually up and running.   It’s a very simple form to create.

That way, when you finally DO launch, you’ve got a ready made list of prospects!

In fact, I did this exact strategy with another website project I was working on recently, and we collected over 3,000 names before we even opened our doors!

Oh, and to the organizers of Public Speaking Idol…the answer is NO, I won’t be coming back to your site again.

That’s one prospect gone.


  1. This might be an old post Marty – but I still see so many examples of this. There’s a whole bunch of dudes out there who don’t realise that in 2011 we are way past the days when an Internet Presence was no more than a shop window or a few silly graphics put up in the hope that it would magically “attract more business”. My latest piece on Wild Edric – – will focus specifically on this sort of thing. I’d be chuffed to have your opinion.

    • Thanks for your comments. Nice blog you have. Love the piece you did on Captcha’s. I hate them too! I’m going to tweet that one now…

  2. Cheers Marty – glad you liked it and thanks for the tweet. Here’s the piece I mentioned I was gonna do and which links back here: Is YOUR company the wrong side of the new Digital Divide?
    Like you I have a focus on Customer Service – I’m afraid in Europe we are a long way behind you in The States in this area – even comparing warranties from the same company beween USA and Europe – its very discriminatory and underlines the fact that many (most?) companies give us all the miminum service they can get away with.

  3. so disappointed with what that webpage gave. i really hope they had some courtesy of informing a tentative date or a means of contacting the creators/producers. i salute your blog, marty, they really busted big time with that event.

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