Lots of Advertising (even “annoying” advertising) can get you far, but only so far… as the Internet and the information those find about you will smack your message down if you don’t provide a great customer experience or service.
Every once in a while a company comes along with a large advertising budget and is able to dominate the airways and carve out a presence. This happens on all fronts – local and national. I commend the businesses doing this and it goes back to what I mentioned the other day about consistency (thanks again Guerrilla Marketing Remix). Local advertising in particular seems to hit that funny bone (even if that isn’t necessarily the point) and be exceptionally effective.
Locally Southwest Florida has experienced the funny, hour-long infomercials of “Appliance Direct:”
Then Came Morgan & Morgan
Not too long ago our attention was stolen away from appliance violence and directed to “Morgan and Morgan” through the radio and tv spots that just won’t stop.
John Morgan convinces us, with his soft Southern accent, that it’s insurance companies who are the real devils in legal proceedings and have been slowly convincing us that his firm is “for the people.” There’s not a friend of mine that hasn’t mastered their own impersonation of Mr. Morgan.
But, now our ears and eyes are being violated by Kia… (see I too like to use over the top language).
Billy Fuccillo and Caroline Are Getting HUGE
Most recently the airwaves have been accosted by a New York transplant peddling his Kia’s along with his side kick Caroline (I bet you just pronounced that like Mr. Fuccillo does in his commercials!).
Billy Fuccillo’s (I know I didn’t even know his name before I started writing this…) advertising has gotten “HUUUUUUUUGE-GA.”
True story, a friend recently moved down to SWFL from New York, saw the Kia ads and flipped out screaming at the TV that the Fuccillo’s were following her!
These ads definitely evoke emotion, and not generally the ones associated with what you might consider “good” advertising. But I’d argue the contrary…
In just the last few months it seems like they’ve used every media tool to promote themselves, and their zany, direction-less advertising to the Southwest Florida consumer. And, at least if their advertising is to be believed, it’s been successful. They’ve most recently exclaimed that the dealership in Cape Coral is the largest Kia dealer in the United States.
(Although I could not find proof of this online.)
Regardless of whether the advertising is true, has translated into sales, and of your personal opinion of the style of the ads or dealership (which we’ll come back to in a minute) it seems to have been effective:
They opened only 1 year ago and now they seem to be the largest car dealership in the area (if only based on their advertising presence). And that is the point. Regardless of how you feel about the ads, they have been effective, in that EVERYONE KNOWS WHO THEY ARE.
I was even listening to 99x the other day (the local “rock” station – rock is in quotes for a reason) when they brought on Billy to explain that 99x was “HUUUUGGGGGEEAAA.” If this is not success I don’t know what is – here’s a local media station, leveraging the notoriety of an ad campaign slogan to sell it’s own products (although it’s probably just reinforcing the original advertising more!). I just wonder if he was paid for the spot?
Sure the ads, and slogan are annoying, sometimes inappropriate, and always rambling (I like that Billy seems almost drunk in many of the ads), but you must concede this point – you know who they are, and so do your friends. Not only that, but they have more reviews than any other dealership in the area – dealerships that have been open for years!!!!!
But there in lies the rub…
Go Look Up The Fuccillo’s Online
Go ahead… I’ll give you a minute (and even provide the link). And this is where the true point of this post is revealed.
As you’ll see, unfortunately, most of their reviews are pretty bad.
Bad advertising can be good advertising, if it’s done enough, and creatively. But not even great advertising can plaster over a poor customer experience – and a poor customer experience is almost immediately visible if you go online.
What you may notice in your searches is a number of problems with their dealerships (even the new ones where – after years of experience, and the opening of dozens, one would expect the bugs to be worked out) as well as a swath of even WORSE press should you decide to start to type Billy’s name in Google’s search box and auto complete starts up.
What you may find is that Google suggests:
- Billy Fuccillo Drugs
- Billy Fuccillo Arrest…
Now I’m not condemning this dealership, nor Mr. Fuccillo’s vices (or the one Google auto-complete suggests he may have), no, the point is that the Internet is the great equalizer, and the hoardes of bad reviews on Google Places should be enough for you to question using this dealership.
Great Customer Services is Just Business As Usual
Poor Customer Service Can Destroy a Company
Great customer service may not necessarily help your brand online, but poor customer service, absolutely WILL HURT your brand.
The old business marketing saying seems to continue to be true (and magnified with the power of the Internet):
If a customer likes your services, he/she will tell 1 friend. If a customer doesn’t like your services, he/she will tell 8 friends.
Make sure you’re thinking about your Internet brand as you make real world customer service decisions as many times, those seemingly private customer interactions may lead to poor reviews, and exponential bad press for your company online.