Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Big ticket behavorial shopping, Online, Offline...metrics?

I had an 18 month old Compaq Laptop just die...completely dead. So I have to shop for a new Laptop. Since I read all the Advertising Trade Journals about the various types of measuring success, ROI, 360 marketing, all the major marketing channels, this is a perfect case study to show how jacked up measuring ROI is. It will also prove the bias in various marketing channels will use to hype their portion of the sale.

First off HP is out. I spent $70 at staples to find out my motherboard is fried (after 18 months of mostly use for work!) and HP wants $315 for a new one. Not only do I flip them the bird, I refuse to buy from them now. Including most likely getting a new Printer for Business that is non-HP! See what customer service and honoring the product means? Plus I am slamming HP in my blog. Touche %#%@&^@%!&!'s.

I am looking at Dell's, Toshiba, Mac's (way too expensive! sigh), and Asus brands. I am comparing Staples, Best Buy, and Walmart (hate Walmart but saw they were trying to put best Buy out of business). I am researching online via the stores vs the actual brand sites. I am looking at pricing online and via the Sunday Circulars. I paid $100 for a 1 year warranty on the piece of crap Compaq I had (it was a great unit until it died!). I want 4GB RAM, Pentium Dual Core, 320GB HD minimum, 15" screen, and the best Warranty possible. Although there are other sellers of Laptops my concern is who can support the warranty. When I brought the Compaq I had bought at Best Buy in they told me since it is out of warranty it will cost $90 to look at and they send it out with a 2 week lead time just to call and tell me what is wrong! Boo Hiss!

In the last 2 weeks Staples, Best Buy, Apple and Walmart have observed me crawling around their sites, reading specifications, pricing, and customer reviews. I have a borrowed Think!Pad with Linux with no rush to buy today, but in a rush to buy before new years.

Now look at my vendors. Apple. Love them. Wish their laptops were a bit less expensive and I am still open to a refurbed model if I can find a deal via the Apple Store. Best Buy. Kind of upset about the Compaq Laptop support. But I like the company, the service, the selection. I will be calling to discuss the warranty support before buying. Staples. Did a good job looking at my laptop that died. Not a great selection. But they are right their in price and they do fix computers on site vs. sending them out.

Walmart. Loathe the company. I refuse to buy from a right wing business owner, who wraps themselves in Christ while treating employees and contract manufacturers as indentured servants. Biggest hypocrites on Earth. You would think they would pay their workers more than anyone, pay their suppliers properly and make sure no 3rd world slave labor is working in the factories, and they would give wrap around Healthcare to all, and make sure all communities with a Walmart benefit vs suffer because that is what Jesus would do. So no sales to Walmart. But I will use them for leverage if need be to get a better price. But they do have a great warranty and if it turns out the price saves a bundle I can consider them. The products I am buying are made in the same place no matter what retailer I go too anyway.

So when I do buy, how will the various marketing channels take credit for the sale? Obviously the heaviest impact is online. But since Best Buy has amazing details on their products, the actual Brand I buy can thank them for helping steer me to them. But in reality quality and service are important, not just specs. And what if on Sunday I see the circular and jump at a deal? Doesn't the Print folks get some credit for reaching me since I still get a daily paper? How much does my sale mean to the retail stores? $50? $100? $150?

Now lets look at Behavioral in my next post and why BT is good and bad.

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