I’ve encountered some amazingly silly behavior from online advertising companies recently. The first one, which I’ve spent lots of money with over the years (for anonymity, lets called them ‘schoozle’), lets me place new image adverts, and then sticks them in a queue where they ‘pend approval’. This goes on for 3 days (or more, they are still waiting). That means that I can’t actually spend any money with them, so I am forced in the meantime to spend it with their competitors.
Imagine going to a hi-fi store and selecting an ipod, you take it to the checkout, where they say “with you in a minute”. They then leave you waiting there with your wallet open for 3 days. Do you think such a business will last long?
The second (and this applies to about half a dozen ad agencies) will not actually show me their prices, or what sites they offer ads on. Presumably I get to know this after they force me to ‘register’. During registration, they want to know what site or product I’m advertising, and what my monthly budget is. Presumably, if they think I’m worthy of giving them money, they may email me.
Imagine the hi-fi store has windows but they are blacked out. You have no idea if they even sell ipods. A security guard at the door tells you how great the store is, but demands to see your bank balance and know your home address before you are allowed to come in and look at the products on sale. That won’t be today, but at a time when they decide to review your application to be their customer.
Do you think such a business will last long?
For those of you thinking “‘duh’, it’s to keep out the cheapskates and the riff raff”, you are missing a trick. The simple phrase “Regrettably we currently can only cater to customers with an ad budget of over $10k / month” would keep everyone happy. They don’t get registrations from people they don’t want, they don’t insult potential future clients whose ad budgets may shoot up, and they don’t get a reputation for being assholes.
Smart companies always want to know if and how and why and when they might lose business. If people ever email me to tell me why they did *not* buy or could not buy my games, I may not always reply, but I always read them, and I often act on them. I’m not sure you ever get rich by learning how to turn people away.