Monday, January 17, 2011

Some thoughts on Local Splash

If you are dying to know what Local Splash is all about, start a company and create a website for it. They will have one of their telemarketers call you within hours. They have called me about 5 times in the last month peddling a subscription SEO service which is pricier than most, and most likely no better than the garden variety one-time optimizers with much humbler operations.

Most of the calls I received from their Orange County HQ number, 949-436-7240, went dead when I answered, obviously owing to an efficient predictive dialer. This is somewhat annoying to most people, and was even more annoying to me after I heard their pitch--I'll explain why further on. I did pick up two of the calls before the robot shunned me for the next company in line, and that was good since it gave me a chance to get a feel for the face of the company and their strategy.

Both agents began their spiel with flattery which, though judging by their success must work on the newbies, the web-initiated will recognize immediately as nonsensical. The first agent, an older-sounding gentleman, informed me that when he "googled" my company that it came up on the second page. He congratulated me for this amazing feat. I asked him what search terms he used and he told me "I said I googled your company, sir." Uhhh... no, actually if you search for Flexible Resourcing it comes up as the first entry just like if you "google" a much bigger company like United Airlines. But that is not the point of SEO, is it? The man should be trying to sell me the trick of having my company at the top of the list for cleveland ohio computer services just like United comes up on the first page for "airlines". But as I started to ask him about what search terms he would suggest he was already trying to get me to commit with a credit card number. The call ended soon afterward.

This morning I received another call from a younger denizen of the call-center. He had a much groovier style and after announcing that he was from Local Splash, a Google Partner, he immediately confessed that the reason for his call was that my company was one of the "more relevant companies out there." Relevant to what? Please. I was born at night, but I wasn't born last night.

This second call ended even more abruptly, and one of the reasons is that I was eager to put up this post. Both callers claimed to have checked out my website, but how could they have had the time? A predictive dialer connects an agent to a cold prospect within a matter of seconds, and although it's possible that they know I have a website, the detailed knowledge of its contents insinuated by the telemarketer seems to me to be feigned. So now if I do receive another call from one of them who claims to have visited, I'll ask them what they think of my post about their company's marketing strategy.

If you want to know more about Local Splash, just google them. Their website comes up on the first page!

Or, if you are less than amused by Local Splash's marketing tactics, you can report them to Google here to attempt to get their partnership revoked.

UPDATE: After receiving 3 or 4 more robocalls, I finally called the corporate office and talked to someone who doesn't have a call quota. He explained that I should never have been contacted in this manner and promised to have my name removed from the cold-call predictive dialing machine. I told him that it might be a good idea to have the marketers use a different name than Local Splash to avoid stains on the company's reputation. He agreed and even said that he had suggested that to upper management in the past. It was an interesting conversation, and I have stopped getting the calls.

No comments: