Annoying Marketing Ploy–the Big Sale.

06 Apr Annoying Marketing Ploy–the Big Sale.

Warning. This is a “pet peeve” post. This is about an annoying marketing ploy that I think all marketers should avoid. I’d love to know your peeves and what you think about my peeves.

Ploy 1: Big Sale really means Price Increase:
First let me be generous with a compliment: We ski at Camelback in the Poconos and we love it. The care they take in grooming the slopes and their expertise in snowmaking amaze us every year and this season was no exception. We had quite a buzz at the season pass party where Camelback management expressed their appreciation to season pass holders by serving trays upon trays of delicious finger food and open bar, same as previous years–quite a feat in this economy. But– unfortunately, there was a buzz spoiler. In the mail, weeks before, we received colorful postcards announcing BIG SAVINGS on season passes for next season, but we had to pay now (or soon) or we’d lose the savings. At the party, the announcement was made again—“hurry up and get your savings.” By the way, note to you procrastinators: the sale is over. But not to worry, if enough of us didn’t fall for the ploy, there will be another “BIG SALE” in the fall. The devil was in the fine print. At first I thought this was terrific marketing–then I read the fine print. Usually we get the postcard in the fall and enjoy some savings if we purchase by a certain date in September or October. We always look forward to this offer because it also includes coupons to our favorite brew pub, Barley Creek, and The Loft, where we buy our skis and accessories (ask for Brad).

But no. If you read the fine print on the postcard, you’ll see that the low prices advertised apply ONLY to kids and senior citizens. It’s not illegal…the fine print was there. What’s the truth for the majority of we loyal season pass holders? They are raising season pass prices and if we don’t pay now, we have to pay more. I hate veiled truths, don’t you?

Marketing 101 Lesson: This is not the way to build customer loyalty. Always remember, your customers and clients are not stupid. We can read. I’ll have to write them a letter.

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