When Marketing is a Waste of Money

This is likely one of the few times that you’ll hear this coming from the mouth of a PR/marketing agency such as Firecracker, but there are instances when marketing spend is a true waste of money.

The first example is the recent color scheme change to Bank of America. At least in Southern California, I’ve noticed that the BofA signs and ATMs have all gone from predominantly blue with tinges of red to predominantly red with tinges of blue. Communist jokes aside, what is the point of all this? I’m sure it’s based on some study that they paid consultants umpteen thousands of dollars to conduct, but my bone isn’t with the seemingly frivolously change in color scheme (although that alone could be debated). It’s with the fact that BofA’s customer service is so horrendous. There are blogs and blogs out there dedicated to horror stories of BofA’s notoriously poor service, and I myself have been subjected to a nightmare of a situation that made me personally switch to another bank.

But not getting into the details, the point of this is that the millions of dollars being spent on flip-flopping from blue/red to red/blue could have been more wisely spent on improving customer service. After all, what is going to have more of an impact on if I choose Bank of American, a red ATM or a red face from dealing with poor customer service?


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