Mike Santoro over at Duct Tape Marketing, has a neat article about a good marketing idea gone bad.

Apparently Delta bought some Google ads for the keyword “cheap train tickets.” Obviously Delta flies airplanes and is not in the train business, but give them credit for understanding that their competition is not just American Airlines or British Airways. They are competing against every carrier that provides transportation to passengers.

But, as Mike points out, clicking the link leads only to Delta's main home page. The visitors, who thought they had clicked an ad for cheap train tickets, find themselves on an airline's site. Huh? I have no doubt that 100% of these visitors either felt they were deceived or clicked away in confusion.

Mike's article goes on to say that if Delta had simply sent them to a page that offered comparisons of their air fares to train fares on certain routes, they may have converted a good number of these visitors. As it was, they no doubt wasted every penny they spent on these ads.

The lesson is that your home page is not the place to send every visitor. If you go to the trouble of getting links for certain types of visitors, such as through PPC (Pay Per Click) ads, think through what these people want, what they are looking for, and what information they are seeking.

AND give them what they want.

This all goes back to the idea of “Buyer Personas” again. Don't treat all your visitors as if they were all stamped out of the same mold. Every website offers different things to different types of visitors. The better you are at distinguishing the different needs and wants that drive these visitors, the better you will do at turning them into buyers.

This is especially true if you use PPC ads such as Google Adwords. Delta's visitors clicked links about cheap train fares. When they arrived at Delta's site, they had questions about cheap train fares and expected answers, which Delta failed to deliver.

Check out Mike's article at Delta Screws Up Smart Google Ad Buy. I think you will find it helpful.

COPYRIGHT © 2008, Charles Brown
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