When is the right time to say the emperor has no clothes?
Well it appears that just what large retailers and consumer product makers are saying when it comes to online advertising.
Silicon Valley has been telling them for years that web advertising was the way to go since they could not reach their audience through traditional campaigns on TV, radio or newspapers.
Then the CEO of P&G came out earlier this year and said that the company slashed its online advertising budget and saw no change in sales as a result. He therefore concluded that the online ads were ineffective and shut down the program.
Interesting as an aside, around the same time P&G called BS on web advertising, Nelson Peltz through his Trian Fund Management began agitating for change at the company.
Now we have the CEO of Restoration Hardware coming out saying that his company has an interesting take on the search words they pay for with Google and others.
At the Global Retailing Conference organized by Goldman Sachs, RH’s colorful CEO, Gary Friedman, told the following anecdote about the company’s online marketing strategy, and the state of online ad spending in general.
What Friedman said : “We’ve found out that 98% of our business was coming from 22 words.
“So, wait, we’re buying 3,200 words and 98% of the business is coming from 22 words. What are the 22 words? And they said, well, it’s the word Restoration Hardware and the 21 ways to spell it wrong, okay?”
So much for brand awareness, just buy the typos and you will be well on your way to online success.
Let’s hope — for America itself — that the same would not hold true for P&G.