It looks like the blogosphere has found me. I’m flattered.
As they say, any publicity is good publicity. But some people aren’t real happy about me. You see, I’ve gone and broken the cardinal rule of PPC. I bid on other companies’ brand names. It’s not illegal as Lisa Barone at Bruce Clay has pointed out. Though some folks do question the ethics behind it.
(Source) It’s actually good strategy, but not really ethical.
The part that gets me – and it doesn’t make me mad, it just makes me laugh – is that some people are saying this practice makes me a bad marketer. If you can see the punch line in that statement then you can understand why I’m flattered at all of the attention. Here are a few lines from Lisa at Bruce Clay:
Not because it’s unethical or because it’s “bad” but because it does nothing to separate you from them, aka your competition.
You can make the argument that aligning yourself with respected companies gets you noticed, and yeah, that has obviously worked for Nick to some degree. But are they are going to remember you as being a search engine optimization company or are they going to only remember that you showed up next to Bruce Clay or RedBoots Consulting when they weren’t looking for you.
My fear is that by heading down the path where you piggyback off others success may make you more enemies than you gain clients. If you’re a good search marketer, why not get attention by showing off your skills?
Well, Lisa, I got you talking about me, didn’t I? Other people are talking me, aren’t they? I didn’t pay you or any of the other folks out there in the blogosphere to mention my name or link to my blog, did I? So I guess I’ll let the blogosphere decide on the effectiveness of my strategy. Fact is, I’m getting click throughs and, yes, closing sales. Who really cares if their competition is mad at them?
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not out to make enemies. I’m just building a business. I’m not trash talking my competition, I’m just using them, in a sense, to slingshot my way to success (though it isn’t my primary reason for using this strategy). In auto racing, it is common for trailing cars to drive behind the lead car in order to conserve power and energy against the force of the wind. Then, at an opportune moment, they can swing around the automobile in the lead and use the reserve power they’ve been storing to “slingshot” them into the lead. It’s a valid strategy and it works in business as well as in auto racing.
I am fully aware that the practice may not win friends in some circles. Nevertheless, I expect to be a competitor. I am building a brand and my method is effective in doing just that. I figure if I attract some business and people use my services, all I have to do to keep them as customers long term is provide a good service at a fair price. But to get there I have to get them to the door. If that means barking like a carny then my PPC ads serve a purpose. I hope that doesn’t create ill will, but if it does then at least my customers know that I can deliver the goods. And as for “showing off my skills,” I believe I already have.