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My Customer Journey – An Anecdote about Effective Advertising

January 19, 2012

– By Henry Gómez | Director of Strategic Insights –

I don’t say it very often but sometimes I wonder if advertising really works and if it does what does really effective advertising look like?

Last night I had a very interesting experience.  I turned on the TV as I was going to bed and saw a TV spot I’d never seen before, it was for something called “Dr. Scholl’s Custom Fit Orthotics”. If you have fallen arches like me or have other foot problems you’ve probably tried over-the-counter orthotics and inserts in the past.  My experiences with them have been unsatisfying. But again, if you’re like me you’re always looking and hoping for the right solution.

The spot I saw was very straight forward.  It showcased a computerized kiosk in which a customer can have his/her feet evaluated in order to have the right “custom” orthotic recommended.  The look of the kiosk itself made it very intriguing, it screams “One size (or type) does NOT fit all, we have the exact right orthotic for you.”

So after being exposed to the 30 second commercial JUST ONCE I went online to the Dr. Scholl’s website where I saw a short video that is basically a longer form version of the commercial.

After watching the video I was even more intrigued so I entered my zip code into the store search app and found several drug stores in the general vicinity of my morning commute.  I resolved to stop in on the way to work to see if this is just a gimmick, wondering if the store really had the machine, if it would work, if they would have the correct orthotic for me, etc..

This morning I followed through and stopped at a CVS that the Dr. Scholl’s website promised had the kiosk.  It took a few minutes to find the kiosk as it was on an end cap in the back of the store facing the pharmacy.  I was initially disappointed with what I saw.  There were no orthotics on display as in the spot and the picture above.  Instead there were signs that said that the orthotics were available behind the front counter.  That was a minor turn off as initially I thought they had no stock or the machine was out of order.  But I stepped on the machine and followed the instructions.  It told me that I needed a CF 440.  Because I’m anal retentive I did the test again and got the same result.  Satisfied with my answer I went to front counter and asked for CF 440.  The clerk began looking for them and I was sure she’d say they didn’t have them but again my nagging doubt was relieved when the clerk produced the correct box.

I gave her my credit card and $50 later I had my CF 440 custom orthotics.  I got into the car and opened the packaging (which is very well done) and immediately placed the orthotics in my sneakers.  I’m not lying when I say that my feet felt super comfortable just sitting in the car.  I’ve been walking around with my new orthotics all day and am very happy.

What’s the moral to the story? Well I guess it’s that sometimes the right elements converge to make a sale.  In this case I was reached at the right time and I was in the right frame of mind to act on my initial curiosity.  The online experience was simple and aided in further getting me on the hook.  The retail experience was not optimal but good enough to get me to the cash register and lastly the product delivered on what it promised. The elapsed time from when I saw the spot to when I handed over $50 was less than 12 hours.

Dr. Scholl’s isn’t going to be winning a Lion at Cannes for this effort but I have a feeling that if there are a lot of others like me that an EFFIE is very possible and more importantly they will sell a lot of orthotics.  They are doing something right.

Henry –

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