Sponsored Links and Posts in the Texas Heat

July 1, 2009

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I see a lot more small businesses employing wavers this year – people standing by the roadside in the triple-digit Texas heat, holding signs promising big deals, waving at traffic.

A waver at the roadside may attract my attention to a business I didn’t know was there. That gets me in the door exactly once. After that it all depends on whether a customer gets value or not. Wavers are like an aggressive search engine marketing strategy, when you think about it.

I’ll see the waver again when I drive past tomorrow. (And I’ll see the sponsored link at the top of the Google results again tomorrow too – and I’ll see sponsored blog posts, for that matter). But I won’t stop because, in this case, the experience didn’t live up to the promise.

What if they’d put that waver to work inside the business, improving things like the broken ‘Open’ sign, the cleanliness of the shop, the speed of the service? Maybe a little more focus on making existing customers want to come back will translate into less of a need to flag down new ones at the roadside. Do it right – and maybe your existing customers will be the ones waving new customers into your shop.

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4 Responses to “Sponsored Links and Posts in the Texas Heat”

  1. Andy McBride Says:

    Great blog. One friend refering me to a business is better than 10K sign waivers.

  2. rsomers Says:

    Thanks Andy! It’s good to see you here. Like you, I do business by referral whenever possible.

  3. Zack Says:

    Fun fact! Those wavers’ official titles are ‘Human Signs’. Created to bypass zoning rules about how fixed signage cannot be within X feet of intersections. Said zoning rules were created because of concerns that fixed signage would be a distraction to drivers. So now we have human signs instead. How’s that for a loophole?

  4. rsomers Says:

    Thanks Zack! Sounds like a classic loophole, and ‘human signs’ are more distracting than the fixed ones would ever be. I’d wondered if zoning rules played into this – good to have the confirmation that they indeed do.


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