Thursday, August 21, 2003

August 21, 2003,
Phone woes galore. Qwest came out to our house yesterday to check on our lightning damage. All three lines going into the house are okay, but two phones, our direct tv transformer and my studio computer modem all got zapped and are useless. Meanwhile, in the office we got a new phone system and yesterday many incoming calls kept getting our fax machine. Missed who knows how much business. Carole and Samantha spent a long time dealing with this (as of this morning, it’s still not resolved), getting the run around. Evidently the problem is connected to the transfer from the old lines to the new and somehow the lines got crossed.

With the recent eastcoast blackout, the busted pipeline gas crunch here and now this phone snafu, it makes me realize that the easier life gets because of networks of technology, the more vulnerable we are to breakdowns. Everything in our business and our home is dependent on electricity. Even our well water is pumped up by electricity. I read that 5,000 people have died in France because of the heat (that’s almost twice as many as died in the World Trade Center). Imagine how catastrophic it would be if the power went out here? No AC, no water. The good news is, maybe some of the Californians would go home.

Talked to the head of programming at a major Hollywood production house yesterday. He warned me to get ready for the big rip-off. He told me about going to a certain network with an idea and getting turned down, only to see the same idea on the network six months later, produced by a rival company. “What can you do?” he told me. “I guess you could sue them, but then where would you be?” Evidently the moral is: when you jump in a pool full of sharks you shouldn’t complain about losing a leg, or two.

One of our house ads is really pulling in the business. On page 88 of the Vera McGinnis issue we have an ad for “Native Americans” and we are selling five back issues of True West that have Indians on the cover. The irony is they weren’t big sellers on the newsstands so we have a decent stock of each, but put into this context the phones won’t stop ringing. We have taken 17 orders since last Friday (when the Vera issue started reaching subscribers). Marketing is so amazing. Why does this ad pull so strongly and others barely pull at all? Is it perceived value? (Kathy’s theory) Or is it context? (where the ad is, how it looks) On the other hand, our new “I Dig Billy” T-shirts ad hasn’t pulled one call. Bad design? Wrong price? Crappy idea? I don’t know. Do you?

“I know for a fact that half my advertising doesn’t work. The only problem is, I don’t know which half.”
—A major advertiser

No comments:

Post a Comment

Post your comments