Ketchup and Hardcore Porn

pornographer

Did you hear the one about the ketchup bottle and the hardcore pornography site?

Whoh! Settle down now. It’s not what you think.

This is a G-rated story that is super-pertinent for anyone marketing a business.

Turns out that the good folks at Heinz sold ketchup bottles in Germany that promoted a contest website.

But after the contest ended a few months later, Heinz failed to renew the website domain.

Dagnabbit (that’s G-rated swearing), some clever pornographers grabbed that domain and pointed it to their own site.

Meanwhile, lots of Germans still had their bottles of Heinz ketchup sitting in the fridge.

So now, instead of sending ketchup fans to a site about condiments, the address led the unsuspecting to a place that was much more saucy.

This was really, really satisfying for the pornographers.

For the Heinz customers? Not so much.

Let’s just say the ketchup bottle aroused…wait for it…

…RAGE!.

So what does this have to do with you?

I’m gonna go PG here now:

Keep track of your sh%&#$!

Maybe the folks at Heinz forgot to renew the contest site domain. Maybe they thought, “Why renew the domain? We ran that contest six months ago?”

Either way they didn’t keep track of their sh%&#$!

They didn’t realize that if you publish a link to a website, you have to assume that link will live somewhere forever, and you better keep track of where it points.

This is no joke. Those of us who manage businesses have websites, landing pages, SSL certificates, software licenses and all sorts of other odds-and-ends that are part of the marketing and operations mix.

I’ve seen businesses held hostage by “domain squatters” who scoop up an expired domain: “Pay me $5,000 to get your domain back or…”

I’ve seen e-commerce sites grind to a halt because their owners forget to renew the SSL certificate that encrypts credit card transactions.

I’ve seen businesses crushed by mistakes similar to the one Heinz made.

This could happen to you.

Here’s the good news: Keeping track of your sh%&#$ is not rocket science. It’s not as hard as developing good business strategies or writing good copy or planning email campaigns.

But keeping track of stuff may not be your thing.

So here’s more good news. It’s not expensive to pay someone to keep track of your sh%&#$.

Establish a system to record all those accounts and renewals that have to be tracked. Delegate to someone who has the time, focus, and willingness to handle this job for you.

You and your customers are counting on you… to keep the pornographers at bay.

Whenever you’re ready…here are a few ways we can help you become a storytelling stand-out so you’ll land more clients:

1) Follow Tom Ruwitch on LinkedIn and Facebook and (if not subscribed already) join our email list.

2) Attend our free training: “How to Harness the Magnetic Power of Storytelling…” Discover how to transform marketing from a confusing, resource-draining hassle into something that’s simple, fun AND productive. Details and registration here.

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Tom Ruwitch

Tom Ruwitch is the founder and CEO of Story Power Marketing. For more than 30 years, he has helped businesses grow by delivering powerful stories using a variety of different media.

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