Screen Shot 2012 05 11 at 1.21.16 PM Online Marketing Extreme Fail: Hows That Working For Ya Exact Target?

If a company is in the business of online marketing… and clearly they have some money and some very smart marketers behind them, how can they OVERUSE some of the fundamentals to completely shoot themselves in the proverbial foot? Let's look at Exact Target and learn from their mistakes. And heck, who am I? Perhaps they don't need my client's business.

We start off with a fine looking site. All the contact info you'd ever need.

Screen Shot 2012 05 11 at 12.45.31 PM Online Marketing Extreme Fail: Hows That Working For Ya Exact Target?

Look how happy those kids are, doing their kick ass email marketing. And of course this is a plenty big company they know EVERYTHING you need to be doing to drive conversions, right?

Um, let's see… I'm pricing out your services against a big competitor, let's see, where's your pricing again…? Let's see I can see the "features' and download a white paper. Um… Okay, sitemap, maybe…

Screen Shot 2012 05 11 at 12.55.40 PM Online Marketing Extreme Fail: Hows That Working For Ya Exact Target?

Nope, not there. Lots of solutions with features, but no pricing. Okay let's try a few of the other options.

Email. (Did this last week, on Friday, and I still have not heard back from them. Submitted a request again today.)

Chat. Sometimes this can be helpful.

Screen Shot 2012 05 11 at 12.32.10 PM Online Marketing Extreme Fail: Hows That Working For Ya Exact Target?

Um, it's noon (us central time) on a Friday. Might not be the best time to have a company party leaving no one to man the online chat.

Let's go check my email again. It's been about 30 minutes. NOPE, nothing. Not even a "Thanks we got your request for info, we'll get back to you shortly." NOTHING. [Update 8:34 pm - not a peep from Exact Target. They're own system must be broken. And they ain't watchin the Twitterz. Wow.]

Let's count the ways that Exact Target is missing my business. [Besides my client is only about a 5m annual business, so maybe we're too small.

  1. No pricing on website.
  2. Chat offered but unavailable during business hours
  3. Email lead form not answered after a week
  4. Email lead form does not deliver a "we got it" message
  5. Other options, download a white paper, or see a demo – no thanks
  6. Final options, CALL. Um, NO no thanks.

I think I'll give my business to Constant Contact. At least they're open for business. And I already know how much they are going to charge me. I'll just tell my client that Exact Target was too expensive. Unless I hear from them before Monday. [What are the odds?]

So what we learned today: Even the biggest and the best marketers can make BIG mistakes. Comprehensive mistakes. Mistakes that prevent qualified customers from adding Exact Target into a proposal as an option. I'm sure they've got too much business already. Of course I could call.

Final assessment: How is Exact Target's Social Media Response Team doing on a Friday afternoon? Let's see if they pick this up any quicker than they did my Emailed Lead Form. (An hour now, and still nothing in my inbox.) Maybe their response system is broken? No, that couldn't be. It's exactly what they do.

UPDATE 5-16-12: I guess it took a tweet right at them to get their attention. Exact target is in the process of responding. Nothing in my inbox yet. My guess is they are going to call on the phone. Haven't heard from them yet.

Screen Shot 2012 05 16 at 8.46.05 PM Online Marketing Extreme Fail: Hows That Working For Ya Exact Target?

@jmacofearth (also seen on Google+: jmacofearth)

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