Typical Corporate Blindness at work @ online too

I logged into Linkedin this evening and at the top saw an ad “Exciting Offers from Vivanta by Taj”.  Given that I spent this wednesday and thursday at Vivanta by Taj Yashwantpur Bangalore, the venue of Nasscom Product Conclave, I thought I will check it out and clicked on it.

That quickly launched a page as below which had many different options with a drop box alongside each option asking me to select a particular property.

Further down in this page, they confused me with so many options like this below

And I did select the Yashwantpur one and lo behold, it opened another tab titled “Booking Engine” which started loading, loading and even now is loooaadinnnnnng.  Quite unlike the average joe who gets frustrated if nothing happens in 15 seconds, I waited for 2 minutes for something to really show up and when that didn’t happen, I closed that window and started blogging about it right away.

Now let’s analyse this clinically!

For someone like me who is uninitiated about online advertising and its nuances, I reckon Taj Hotels paid a tidy sum to LinkedIn to get this  ad  at a premium spot on the home page real estate and if they are targeting the business visitors, they did a great job of advertising in the LinkedIn.  So far so good!

So which when the likes of myself clicked on their link, it would be some kind of vindication of their media strategy.

But then Taj blindly assumed that I wanted to book, even before telling me what the special rates were and hence started their booking engine and that was abysmal.  In the process, they lost me and worse are in the process of getting bad publicity online.

Would I have done differently?  Sure and this is how!!

When someone selected a specific property, I would have shown them the special offers vis-a-vis the normal ones in a snapshot page with a button that said “Book now” which when clicked started the “booking engine” or whatever they wanted to call it and loaded it fast.  So if the visitor was plain curious about the special offer without any specific plan of staying in a Taj Hotel, I would have given him what he wanted  and perhaps asked for his email id to send special offers when available.  So, even if I didn’t get a booking, I would have got a prospect who could have been a customer at some point of time in the future and I would have engaged with him (or her) in some kind of online conversation ongoingly.

Better still, I would have asked the visitor to select a city (as against a specific property) and given the special offers for all the properties in one glance so that the visitor can decide which one to select based on the special offer.  This way I save him the trouble of having to look at each property separately and figure out which one to select.  And it doesn’t matter to me where he stays, so long as it’s  a Taj Property.  And given that business travellers are always time-deficient, I would have given him a comfort that I value his time online.

In conclusion, I would say that their intentions were good, their targeting was bang on but there was no thinking through and execution was pathetic.  I don’t think they did any pilot and if they did, someone lied to them, pure and simple.

One more example of how large corporates can be so blind to reality!!  Taj Hotels!! Please wake up from your slumber and your arrogance before someone smart and caring takes away your business.


1 Comment

  1. M Venglat said,

    November 16, 2011 at 4:59 am

    Good one!

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