Sales, marketing, what do these words bring to mind? It depends on your proximity, and susceptibility, but to many they bring about as much loathing as the dreaded “lawyer”.
However dreadful the concept of sales and marketing are to the common person, it is clear that they core concepts work.
While this is hardly a “fun” introduction, it is an important framing device for the tale that is about to follow.
A life change is causing a bit of a course correction, and realignment. As part of this, and a coming networking opportunity, I needed some simple namecards (business cards). The natural choice is Vistaprint, as I have no custom logo or designs, and merely wanted to get my contact information down.
I won’t describe the process up to the point of “buying” apart from saying that the website is quite intuitive, and if busy, not too distracting. However, once you pull the trigger to buy, you see a significant change.
- They try to coerce you to select the quantity of 500 as their best deal. Since I knew this was an interim stopgap, I wanted only 100, but was (politely) reminded more than once on how the 500 was a breakpoint. Sigh, the hard sell was beginning.
- Then came the bundling sales. Do I want letterhead? How about postcards? Really, all the navigation and highlighted items were the default to add, and in light grey on white background were the links to skip and move to the purchase.
- About 4 screens later, after declining the postcards, the stationery, the mousepads, pens, coffee mugs, t-shirts, etc, you get to the final page. Then there are co marketed items. Do I want a 60 free trial of a pitney-bowes mail franking machine (uh, no).
Stepping back and looking at it, it is quite remarkable the coordinated marketing that is in there, targeting the small and starting business. High pressure, but not too high, and good for the impulse buy, annoying, but not too off-putting.
I am sure they do well.