Website Marketing lesson from ‘The Apprentice’

I was watching the latest episode of Donald Trump’s “The Apprentice” on Sunday night and was intrigued by two multi-gold medalists, Summer Sanders and Michael Johnson, facing off as Project Managers.  FWIW, I was just as intrigued by Donald’s awful comb-over.  The guest judge for the project was Gavin Maloof, owner of the Palms Casino, Sacramento Kings, and countless marketing ventures.  The task at hand was to create an Advertorial for the new Norton-LifeLock bundle package.  It was interesting to watch the two teams take opposite approaches to the task.  As an aside, an Advertorial is:

Advertorial = Advertisement + Editorial

Michael Johnson’s team put together a ton of wordy content in very small font.  Gavin Maloof’s criticism really stood out to me as a marketer.  He shared that the advertorial was too verbose so nobody would read through it.  His two key points were a) you only have 2 or 3 seconds to grab a reader’s attention and b) there was way too much copy for an advertorial.  In summary, Michael Johnson’s team followed the equation:  Advertorial = Advertisement + Editorial

Summer Sander’s team put together an advertorial with full sized images on each page and very little ad copy.  The pictures themselves were compelling and well put together, however Norton-LifeLock representatives and Gavin had a major concern… there was no phone number!  The Print looked great but there was no way for potential customers to contact the company.  In the end, Summer ended up with an off equation: Advertorial = Advertisement + Editorial

(view the advertorials here:

Ultimately, the Norton-LifeLock representatives decided they need to combine the two advertorials to make an effective final print.  What does this have to do with your website succeeding?  Nett Solutions reviews hundreds of websites’ a month to see if they are a good fit for our advertising campaigns.  A majority of our prospective clients fall into two camps.

Camp Michael – Too Much Copy:  Some websites contain so much copy and content it loses the attention of the visitor.  Gavin was right when he said we only have a couple seconds to capture someone’s attention.  If your website is too wordy, people will click the ‘Back’ button and leave before you have a chance to sell them. 

Camp Summer – No Call to Action: We have seen many aesthetically pleasing websites without a call to action.  If you offer a service, your phone number or contact info should be strategically placed on each and every page of your site.  If you sell a product, you should have an easy to navigate shopping platform and eye catching messages such as “Free Shipping if you buy now!” 

Which camp does your website fall into?  If you need a set of fresh eyes to review your website and optimize your advertising, give us a call and we’d love to help.   Just click on the ‘Contact Us’ link above.

–          Michael

Nett Solutions is a SEM agency working with Yahoo! and Google. We are a SoCal based company built of an eclectic cornucopia of: marketers, mothers & fathers, husbands & wives, college grads & MBA’s, surfers, church-goers, athletes, comedians (and those who think they are comedians). Our common bond is that we like to help people succeed.