Thoroughness Still Matters

I stopped at the cleaners on the way home tonight. I handed the clerk my ticket. He turned and quickly shuffled through the area where my shirts should have been. He did not find my shirts. He then asked me for my name and then sorta shuffled through the same area again. Still no shirts were produced. He got on the phone and called someone (the owner I think) and after a brief back-and-forth, he handed me the phone. She asked about my shirts, remembered me, and promised that my shirts were there. She promised that if the clerk couldn’t find my shirts she would find them in the morning and call me. I said ok and, as I hung up the phone, I looked down the rail of plastic-wrapped neatly pressed clothing items seeing what I was sure was my shirts. Since I was already behind the counter (talking on the phone with the owner) I reached down the line and pulled out what was in fact my shirts.

So, what’s the point of my seemingly non-advertising and non-interactive marketing story?

Thoroughness still matters.

The clerk was not very thorough in his search for my shirts. He made what should have been a very simple transaction into a slightly uncomfortable situation. I have to admit that for a second I had thoughts of where I would be taking my future dry cleaning business.

In the interactive world, thoroughness still matters.

Shopping online is really convenient for our customers, but it doesn’t mean that we get to cut corners from a customer service perspective.

Email is super-easy and simple to use, but it doesn’t mean that you now get to cut corners on politeness or grammar. (and I know my grammar is not perfect)

Advertising is changing.

The online space does not follow all the same rules as true traditional advertising. Online advertising is not a simple media buy. It requires a level of thoroughness and accountability that, arguably, many ad agencies just do not understand.


  1. Excellent point.

    I can’t tell you the sheer number of great concepts undone by sloppy thinking on the executional flow of things. In digital spaces, nothing helps more in rooting out the details than the contributions of a drop-dead amazing information architect.

    They’re the ones who tell the dry cleaner (err, creative team) to go back and ensure people don’t get tripped up in our concepts; to find unimpeded paths of engagement.

    But essentially, it’s everyone’s job to eagle-eye the thing. We don’t, and you get things like the Whopper Virgins site launched without META tags.

    Or the Iraq war.

  2. Thanks for posting this. I think it’s 100% essential to be diligent online, especially in areas of content.

    Right now I’m directing six writers on a content project and I’m amazed by some, and wonder about others. You can tell who takes their opportunities and makes the most of them.

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