Gimmicks: When You Want To Appear Desperate And Lazy

No one ever says, “Wow I love pop-up ads!” Much like no one ever says, “Wow I love this venereal disease!” For some reason, though, a number of websites still use them. Pop-up ads I mean. Although, I wouldn’t be surprised to find out that some websites used venereal diseases too. “The consultants said we could increase our click through numbers if the code for our homepage included a strain of herpes.”

After all, many companies think that online marketing is about gimmicks. Some try to make their gimmick seem noble. “If 500 people retweet this, we will give this child the medicine he needs to live.” Some try to attract customers with a game. “Try our new first-person shooter game! You’ll have fun while learning about the ins and outs of home mortgages!” And some think they can build a loyal following just by creating a hashtag. “Tell us how the Smith Wellness Center has helped you or your loved ones. Just post your story with #myrectum.”

And that last example appears again and again. Someone has a good idea for connecting with their customers, for humanizing their business, and then they ruin it by adding the conversational equivalent of a bar code.

I understand that there is a lot of competition out there for people’s attention. But if you want quality customers, genuine fans, you will need to attract them with quality content. Not gimmicks.