Marketing & Advertising Magazine

The Long and Winding Road : ‘Cheap and Cheerful’…

Posted on the 11 December 2014 by Scotcombs @3rdplanetmedia


Cheap and Cheerful…

‘Tis the season… yes it’s that time of year again and we are all running around with 25 hour schedules for 24 hour days. Somehow we are able, at this time of year, to generate all types of ‘must do’ activities and jobs which have previously been left fallow for the first 11 months of the year.

At this time of spreading goodwill and happiness we tend to generate the exact opposite in our pursuit of a quiet family time.

I have had more time than usual to muse over the madness that is Christmas, I have for the past month or so been struck down with herniated discs.  For a man this must be close to childbirth!

I have learned so many ways to get out of bed and shuffle that I really should write a book on how to move without moving. Throw in a house move 10 days ago and you can see that things have been a little challenging lately , hence the lack of ramblings on this page.

What I was able to do was catch up on some reading in between my daily diet of heavy duty painkillers and I realised something which I find ironic, certainly for this season.

Even though we spend all year espousing the virtues of relationship building and communication which engages customers when it comes to Christmas shopping online…we throw the rule book out of the window. This is when Google search engines kicks in and earns it’s keep.

“ Just give me the cheapest price in the world, I don’t care anymore!!!!”

Times have moved so much that we can buy instantly from any retailer in any part of the world and expect a near perfect delivery service to deliver as described. This is nothing short of miraculous yet we demand perfection.

If you have not watched the series of short interviews with Jim Lynn on our video blog, Vidiotheque, please do so…they are insightful observations from a marketing psychologist about how and why we sell and buy. It occurred to me that at Christmas we put aside these emotional bonds we have with customers and retailers and drill down for the best deal. At Christmas, the dollar beats the conversation every time.

Is this a bad thing?

Perhaps not, the cheap and cheerful websites which process orders and dispatch from football pitch sized warehouses serve us well at this time. What they do not do well or at all in most cases is pay attention to you as an individual. Yes , you may get your first name inserted in the e-mail confirmation but be assured practically no human eye has ever seen your order or your parcel being prepared for dispatch.

I am happy with this situation in this instance. Earlier this week, I woke at 6:15 am as normal to start my day when I remembered an item I wanted to buy my wife for Christmas. The previous day a friend had shown me it , via a Google web search, highlighting the fabulous price offered by one specific retailer only. I had meant to order it the night before but life got in the way!

No matter, by 6:30 I had the confirmation e-mail that my order was ready for collection and that was that.

Here is my takeaway on this…. I am happy with a less than personal service at this time of year ONLY because the companies I am looking at have, throughout the previous months, earned my trust. I typically use only three or four online retailers for the bulk of my purchases because they have never let me down in the past. So on this occasion I will forgo the pleasantries of social convention and trust their usual performance standards. But remember what JIm Lynn said about the ‘why’….. to date, I have no pain.

see you on the long and winding road….and Happy Christmas to those who celebrate it!




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