Web Startup - Marketing Fail

, posted: 9-Jun-2009 20:04

So, I was perusing TradeMe tonight when a noticed a new bannner ad (hopefully Trademe doesn't mind me hot linking :-/):

Now, admittedly, it did attract my attention enough to click it, seemed like an interesting idea which I wanted to know more about, even if the banner did look a little... amateur. 

Banner advertising on TradeMe doesn't exactly come cheap, but I guess it works well, if you have a good site which people find useful.

Unfortunately for Bid4MyWork they don't.  That link there, that's the link that the banner takes you to.  Lets ignore the not so great design for a moment, and concentrate on content, we're geeks afterall, content is king.

First of all, the page says nothing about what this site is, what it does, the categories sure are enticing though, they entice me with their clickability, I want to know what's in there.  This is where it gets disasterously bad though... click around, go on, be daring.  I challenge you to find anything except "No Listings available in this category".

You see this startup has apparently fallen into the "if you build it, they will come" trap.  Like so (SO) many people before them (and believe me, I've tried damn hard to talk many clients out of this, usually I succeed, sometimes I just give up and resign myself to working on another project that won't go anywhere because my advice wasn't heeded) they seem to be under the delusion that all they need to do is "put a website up, throw around some banners, and BAM! in the money baby, IN THE MONEY".


Before you EVER consider advertising your site through banners on somewhere like TradeMe, infact, anywhere, you need to already have CONTENT, you need to already have USERS, you need to already look like a website which is ACTIVE.

Bid4MyWork people, take my advice, PLEASE take it, lose the banner advertising, and instead, get beating the streets, get on the phones, do whatever you have to do to build your site's membership base by DIRECTLY appealing to the people you built it for.  Only after your community is actually there can you start wholesale advertising like this.

If people come to your site, like you are asking them to do right now, and it's EMPTY then they will do one thing, and one thing only, they will leave, worse is, they probably won't be back, they will assume the site is "DEAD".

TradeMe people, again, take my advice.  Don't accept banners for empty websites, not only does it not help them, but it makes TradeMe banner advertising look decidedly silly and non-performing.  "Look Bid4MyWork advertised on TradeMe and thier site is empty, they got no business and spend X thousand dollars for it, TradeMe sucks."

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Comment by dolsen, on 9-Jun-2009 20:59

From their FAQ
"Do I have to except the lowest bid?"

Comment by paradoxsm, on 9-Jun-2009 21:03

You are so wrong. There are 3 "trades" listed electrical - telecoms and cabling "phoe line" lol

Propert maintenence - "house cleaner in timaru and a lawn mower wanted for Auckland...

You are quite right, that's one total crapper of a site, lowers my expectations of Trademe's advertising, should be a site that checks the quality just a little bit, not that my opinion of Trademe was all that high anyway.

Comment by paradoxsm, on 9-Jun-2009 21:05

ads.trademe.co.nz and related scripts duly added to blacklist.... Easy.

Comment by vectran, on 9-Jun-2009 21:17

I wonder who the owner is..... the advertising costs thousands....

Comment by freitasm, on 10-Jun-2009 09:07

Google does it right: they randomly check the advertisers page, and if it's not up to a certain standard or if it's slow then either they pay more or they outright reject the ads.

Trade Me should really up their "quality control" and not accept ads just for the sake of filling up the gaps.

As for the website owner, follow the suggestions here: make it "live" through word of mouth. Then you can go big. As it is, well, it's a waste of your hard earned money.

Comment by AndrewTD, on 10-Jun-2009 11:36

(to answer vectran) .. there is a company registered in March 2009, called bid4mywork Ltd.It's sole director, and one of the shareholders, is MCCANN, Jason Paul, of North Shore City. 
All publicly available information.

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James Sleeman
New Zealand

PHP Programmer Extraordinaire

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