Poisoning the Well, Muddying the Waters

muddy water
Seth Godin’s post on poisoning the well reminded me of the movies. How?

For weeks, the local AMC theatre was full of advertising material for Monsters vs. Aliens. They had stickers on the doors and the floor, big banners hanging from the ceiling, posters, cardboard cutouts, trailers, all sorts of stuff. Finally the movie opened — at the City Cinema down the street — thoroughly confusing AMC’s patrons, who, naturally, expected the movie to appear at the theatre that had been advertising it so heavily.

Now, why would the theatre, the distributors, or the movie studios want to spend so much time promoting a movie at a theatre that won’t be showing it? It’s confusing to people who show up at the wrong place, probably irritates the theatre staff, and may lose customers for the movie.

Are you confusing your customers too? Is your Web site hard to buy from? Do visitors have to click through three or four pages before they see your products or services? What about your voice mail system? Does it require an extension to leave a message? If so, is there a directory? Is your store easy to navigate? Are the options for the services you offer clear? Are you driving customers to look elsewhere?

Take another look. Don’t spend your money driving people to your competition!

Photo: neils photography