Archive for April, 2007

Sexy Hair

April 22, 2007

Had another terrible experience at Great Clips today. 

Apparently a plain old barbershop isn’t a sustainable business model anymore, you’ve got to hire 4 incompetent “stylists” and pipe in the local 90’s station.  Noticed that prices went up recently, and the menu board is now 2 layers, that allow them to change the underneath layer with pricing and still poke through the label layer.  Brilliant!

Great Clips, have you ever thought about the following tips for marketing your below average service?

  • Loyalty Card: Instead of announcing my fake phone number to the world 3 times since your “stylist” is more skilled in haircutting than english or numbers, why don’t you give me a loyalty card.  You’ll get fewer fake phone numbers and better data on usage across your stores (people do move)
  • Self Service: Now that I’ve got a loyalty card, turn that fancy touchscreen register around and let me check myself in, and even pay for what you like to call a haircut.  You’ll keep your “stylists” from stopping their work and allow them to focus on what they do best (that’s hard to write).
  • Customer Website: It’s time to put that loyalty card to work, you can call it HRM (Haircut Relationship Management).  So when I sign up for the card, you give my a flyer that says I get $2 off my next haircut (yes, I understand you’re franchised, it’s worth $2, just do it) if I give you my spam email account.  The really cool part is now you can send me a reminder every 6 weeks to get another crappy haircut, let me give you feedback on my last haircut, and let me make a future appointment with the stylist who didn’t Van Gogh me.  You’d quickly realize who should be made available to the industry.

Of course, doing all this really just tells you that you need to hire better people, but at least you’ll placate the existing customer base.  At least you’ll have a top notch web strategy for your local business.

By the way, for no extra charge, your stylist told me I had “sexy hair.”


Google Doesn’t Acquire Hitwise

April 19, 2007

That’s what the headline on Experian’s acquisition of Hitwise should have read.  I expect Yahoo to ignore web strategy, so I won’t even ask who went on vacation.

Hitwise collects web usage data on multiple retailers in a variety of store categories.  It’s real competitor data, not the fake traffic stuff Alexa and others.  Hitwise data is truly invaluable if you’re looking for benchmarks, analyzing competitors, or any other custom web research you want to undertake.  Any retailer selling anything but truck parts has had their internet marketing consultant tell them they need Hitwise data. 

Couple of reasons Google should have acquired Hitwise:

  • At $240 million, it’s just a manageable price with real revenue.
  • Hitwise clients are online retailers who are big enough to spend, so you’ve got both new advertising customers and another line of service to sell to your existing captive advertisers.
  • Google already has data comparable to Hitwise, but Google promised not to sell it and be evil, but it doesn’t say anything about using it as a reference.

Experian did buy Hitwise, smart move, just like many of their other web companies.  It’s a natural fit for a company with a great database of intimate financial information, and looks like they’re on a path to clash with IAC, especially if Experian acquires First American next.

Slice. Long Tail Microsites

April 11, 2007

I never liked the idea of selling advertising on blogs, because the content can vary too much for the advertiser and the blogger starts to link blogging to money.

Of course, if you’re blogging for no reason, monetary or otherwise, you’re just wasting your time.  Since unemployment is below 5% in most of the country, the only people with extra time subprime wholesale mortgage account executives from New Century, Argent, Encore, and many others.

So how does a blogger make money without a conflict of interest?  With small websites (microsites) with on a specific topic (long tail). 

That’s what Slice is all about.  Blogs sell advertising based on page views. Slice sells advertising on specific content in the long tail, on one page microsites.