Another marketing mistake from the swipe file?

When I first saw this marketing postcard I thought it was very clever and then I looked more closely and found a couple of big mistakes. So let’s look at what is good and bad with this postcard.

A clever message

A clever message

The front of this postcard is quite clever; it uses the scrabble board to get across some of the key facilities being advertised. Have you guessed who or what the business is yet? No! I thought not, but perhaps you are intrigued enough to turn over. That’s fine. Leading prospects into the next action you want them to take is a classic marketers’ trick.  If you give too much information on side one they may never look at the important information on side two.

So what questions do you hope side two will answer?

Perhaps you’d like to know:

  • what’s on offer?
  • where is it?
  • is there something in it for me?
  • who is the business?
  • where can I find more information?
  • what action should I take?

Here’s side two:

A missed opportunity!

A missed opportunity!

In case you have difficulty reading the photo, side two is headed ‘High Road House‘ and in tiny writing ‘Chiswick‘. It goes on to say ‘Book a weekend stay at High Road House and we’ll give you a complimentary voucher worth £75 to spend in the Club or Brasserie. So you can eat or drink to your heart’s content and simply slip upstairs to sleep it off in style.’  Then in tiny writing at the bottom ‘Offer applies to new bookings only. Voucher is redeemable in either the Club or the Brasserie. Offer subject to availability.’ That’s it! So how many of my questions have been answered?

OK, so I know that if I book a weekend stay I can get £75 to spend in the Club or Brasserie. I’m guessing that this is not a youth hostel if they are going to give me £75 off my food and drink! However if the most important reason for me to visit is to be able to drink so much that I’ll simply want to stagger upstairs to bed then is this aimed at the youth market? But if they can afford to give me £75 off food and drink how much is my bill going to be? Would a young person be able to afford it? I’m confused! Perhaps the website will clear up my confusion…

What’s the point?

The website. What website? So this is the point at which I realise that there is no contact information and no web address. I have to play detective. Can I be bothered? Most people wouldn’t be. So I have come to the conclusion that this postcard is intended to be picked up by existing clients in an attempt to get them to book an additional service. This seems to be a very limited target market for a marketing campaign. I wonder how far people travel to use the facilities of High Road House. How many of those would like to spend around £400-£500 on a weekend stay to save £75 on food and drink? I think I’d rather pay for a taxi. I’m sure I’m not alone.

Perhaps the card will work but I’m sure it would work even better if it addressed the types of objection targets might have ‘of course you could book a cab but how much nicer will it be to wake up to a great breakfast cooked for you?’ A strong, time limited, call to action should also help. ‘Call this number now to book your weekend stay. Book before 31st May 2013 to get your £75 voucher.

Have I missed the point? Is there a big enough, clearly defined target market that will recognise itself and be interested in this offer? What do you think? I’d love to hear. Why not comment here?

(If you want to find out more about High Road House you can visit

Glenda Shawley of The Training Pack helps owners of small businesses to devise and implement clearly targeted marketing plans which lead to increased business.


3 thoughts on “Another marketing mistake from the swipe file?

  1. Interesting Glenda and after visiting the website, I gather the rooms are £200 for 17th May , wouldn’t you want to stay in Mayfair rather than Chiswick? I have just priced randomly the 4* Doubletree by Hilton in Marble Arch and it is the same price. After visiting the website there is nothing that has enticed me to want to sell this hotel with poky little bedrooms in a suburban location. This hotel even seems to sell itself on its “tiny” or “small” bedrooms. I’m sorry I just don’t get it

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