I’ve always attracted the inveterate crazies – like flies round the proverbial cow pat.
I don’t what it is; whether they see a kindred spirit when they see me, or they do it to everybody they come across, but I’ve always had more than my fair share of lunatics cracking crazy conversation while I’ve been trying to mind my own business.
Just last week I was accosted by a gentleman requiring a light during one of my power smoke breaks. The only clue I had that led me to thinking he was half a yard short of a full-length plank was that he had a bit of dried food on his face. I don’t want to assume it might’ve been refried beans just because his opening line involved the Mexican restaurant next door and how it reminded him of Tijuana during the Vietnam War.
Even though I smoke a cigarette quicker than a laboratory-confined beagle, I had a feeling this was going to be a long 45 seconds. And so the conversation went:
Him: So, are you a psychologist?
Him: Whaddya do?
Me: Internet marketing.
Him: Oh really? I’ve studied marketing. Have you any jobs?
Him: Do you do surveys? I can do market research.
Me: We don’t really do that kind of marketing. It’s more the online stuff – helping companies generate better leads through their Websites.
Him: Oh. Do you come from Boston? I hear a Boston accent.
Me: Erm, no. I’m English.
Him: Ah, yeah. I thought you sounded like Michael Caine. Do you come from anywhere near him?
Me: No, the other end of the country to be fair. [Side note to anybody who’s never heard me utter a single word – I sound as much like Michael Caine as Arnold Schwarzenegger sounds like Dubya]
I have never been asked as many questions that were so wide of the mark in all my natural born days, although he was still a better cold reader than Sylvia Browne. I had no other choice than to end the conversation by flicking my fag (that’s American for cigarette for anyone not conversant with slang Anglais) and turning on my heels with a curt ‘Adios.’ Trust me, I managed all these in one deft dip and turn and he’d still opened the door and gone in ahead of me.
Either he was slicker than a soapy ninja or my turning circle is about as small as one of those coal barges that chugs along the Ohio River. Anyway, I hung off him just enough to see whether he was going to take the stairs or the lift, so that I could swiftly take the other. As he pressed the elevator button, I bid him a fond farewell and shot up the stairs. I really didn’t want him to catch me walking into DOM HQ should he be looking for somebody on the second floor.
I’d just about closed the office door at the same time I heard the elevator doors ping open and managed to get sat down as I saw a shadowy figure slope past the frosted glass.
I have no doubt he was on the wrong floor….
Now the vast majority of Websites or PPC campaigns we work on are very similar to this guy. Most are asking either the wrong questions of their customers or simply aren’t answering the questions searchers or prospective customers are asking of them.
A search query is essentially a question. It’s not a very detailed question, but its purpose is to extract information of some sort. Search engine optimization and search engine marketing in general is about a couple of things: giving you a better chance of being found for the specific search query and also providing the most relevant information possible – whether that’s in paid search listings or natural (free) listings.
And then you’ve got aspects of social media marketing where certain groups have already asked the questions and are having a conversation you can easily get involved with.
And this should lead, if done correctly, to the filtering out of truly unrelated and off-topic questions or inquiries that just waste your time and leave you with less of a will to see the rest of the day out.
There’s no need to go scuttling off anywhere to hide.