Production Dollars are Advertising Dollars

I am on a website placing an order, but the continue arrow isn’t working. The page isn’t loading. Great, now there’s an error code. My session has timed out. What session? Does that mean everything I’ve been working on is just… gone… off floating somewhere in outer space?

I call the customer service line. I’m lucky, the hold time isn’t too long and I’m connected to a living breathing human being. He tells me to refresh the page. No luck. He asks me what internet browser am I using.

Most people use either Internet Explorer, Safari, Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox. The browser “Opera” has lately been gaining momentum. I tell him which browser I’m using and the customer service rep replies:

“Our site doesn’t always operate well with (said browser) we recommend you try (better browser) or (2nd best browser) and then the page will load correctly.”

The reason companies dump millions of dollars into marketing/advertising is to reach this exact moment, one person telling another, “That product doesn’t work, try this one, it’s much better.”

If your programmers tell you they need two extra weeks and $50,000 more to fix a minor glitch in the system, this isn’t just a production cost, it’s a marketing cost. Same with the engineer asking for more time to fix a flaw with the car. Or the writer wanting to totally rewrite her book two days before you were set to announce the upcoming release date.

Saying no makes sense. There are deadlines to keep and the product is still good enough. A 94 percent is still technically an A.

The problem, though, with pushing forward despite the flaw is you leave the door open for someone else to make something better. The customer will eventually find out.

If you are already over budget in production costs, move money over from the advertising budget. Reasoning?

If I find out the product doesn’t work, there is not an advertising budget big enough to convince me otherwise. However, if the product does work, but I haven’t heard of it, I’m just one free recommendation away from being hooked.

My name is Chris O’Brien. I wrote a book called Medium Rare. The short elevator pitch: self-help advice in the form of a comedy. Available on Amazon.

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