Friday, September 14, 2007

Dopez votre audience

I'm back from Paris. What a great city!

French Googlers are great fun! It was a pleasure to meet so many. I don't think I bumped into any one from Google or Yahoo while I was at the E-commerce Paris expo (just private events after it) but Mirago and MSN adCenter were there. I know Google Analytics did do a presentation too.

Okay! It's time to remind readers that this is a personal blog. These opinions are my opinions and not those of the company I work for. Even with that important caveat in place it is also to true to say that the company I work for doesn't engage in mud slinging or slagging off competitors.

It just so happens that the company involved in this post is involved in search (or, if I picked up the French correctly; referencement).

This post is actually an example of why you need to localise your marketing efforts. What may work in one country may not work in another.

One of the companies at E-commerce Paris were handing out pens that looked like syringes. They had a hi-lite end, an ink end and looked pretty funky.

Here's the catch. The other side of the syringes was less funky (to me and my British ways, at least).

The text says "Dopez votre audience" which is best translated as "dope your traffic".

I get the idea. You want a boost in your traffic - here's a syringe with some performance enhancing dope!

Eek! For the life of me, I can not imagine any search agency attempting such a marketing angle in the UK or the US. The association to cheating in sports is just too strong.

If a sprinter does well - people begin whispering about stamina enhancing drugs. Doping charges. Disqualification.

There's no way that professional sport trainers would waltz around an athletics conference handing out fake "dope your results" syringes. They'd get thrown out.

Why would you want to crystallise all that negative imagery and then apply it to your own brand and the performance of your clients websites?

Honestly, I've not checked out the client base of the company in question but I wouldn't be surprised if I discovered black hat techniques galore.

Given all the doping scandal in this year's Tour de France I'm surprised a French company would be promoting doping a wise way to move forward too.

What they should have done, I think, is talk about SEO health checks, keeping the site fit or even remedies to heal sick sites. Then they could have employed a pair of booth babes to strut around in nurse uniforms and hand the syringes out. Now that would have been attention grabbing and a positive message!

Anyway, if the syringes are currently working for them in France then I hope they change tactic before trying to enter the UK market!