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Sabine Lenz

Making the Grade

By Sabine Lenz

About Sabine

Sabine Lenz is the founder of PaperSpecs.com, the first online paper database and community specifically designed for paper specifiers.

Growing up in Germany, Sabine started her design career in Frankfurt, before moving to Australia and then the United States. She has worked on design projects ranging from corporate identities to major road shows and product launches. From start-ups to Fortune 500 companies, her list of clients included Oracle, Sun Microsystems, Deutsche Bank, IBM and KPMG.

Seeing designers struggle worldwide to stay current with new papers and paper trends inspired Sabine to create PaperSpecs, an independent and comprehensive Web-based paper database and weekly e-newsletter. She is also a speaker on paper issues and the paper industry. Some refer to her lovingly as the "paper queen" who combines her passion for this wonderful substrate called paper with a hands-on approach to sharing her knowledge. 

 

When Technology Kills Your Marketing Efforts

 
“Just because we can does not mean we should incorporate QR codes into everything,” points out marketer/author Scott Stratten in his book “QR Codes Kill Kittens.” Click here to watch Stratten discuss his book.

If you had a chance to read my last QR code rant, brace yourself—QR codes are not the culprit here. On further investigation, the problem turns out to be us (or our clients).

An experience at a new Indian restaurant caused me to scan the QR code on their cups, which only led to their Website. BORING.

But wait, there’s more.

Said eating establishment has several locations in the Bay Area, and I was pleasantly surprised to see that their Website had a blog and a YouTube channel, all bright and prominently displayed on their home page.

I was impressed...for about 15 seconds. Clicking through to their YouTube channel revealed all of four videos. Thankfully they were short, explaining how to use their drink fountain (you’re kidding, right?), and how one of their dishes was assembled. (Not made, assembled.)

By now my expectations were pretty low, but I was not willing to give up. Yet. I clicked on the Blog link. The screen went dark. A “sign up for our newsletter” call to action appeared...I was not having any of this. I wanted to get some idea of what I’d receive first.

So the blog...well, let’s just say it was a non-event. Fourteen posts in total, the last one being more than a year old.

Just because we can, does not mean we should.

From a marketing standpoint, this was death by technology. If you or your client start a commitment—and yes a YouTube channel or a blog are commitments to your audience—you have to fulfill that commitment.

Nothing says “I don’t care” more than a business blog that has not been updated in months. If you do not want to commit any resources to several areas, that is perfectly all right. Pick one channel and embrace it. A newsletter, a postcard campaign, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube...take your pick and commit.

I was not willing to give up easily, so I clicked on the restaurant’s Facebook link...two posts in November, one in August, one in July...uggh.

Just because we can, does not mean we should. And it’s going to be a long time before I scan a restaurant QR code again.

P.S. I am curious: What is your outlet of choice? Do you blog? Post videos? Tweet?

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