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Sometimes, marketing folks come up with a good idea that is so creative, you just have to give them kudos. This is certainly the case—at least partially—for the folks at A2iA Corp. whose marketing team announced recently that Santa Claus had licensed their product, A2iA DocumentReader, so he and his staff of elves could better manage the millions of Christmas wish letters sent to the North Pole from children around the world.

The Santa campaign was a good idea, but A2iA missed the boat by failing to integrate the campaign into its product website. When you visit A2iA there’s no mention of the press release on the home page, no link to demo videos showing how Santa and his elves use the technology, no search engine (can you believe that?) to help you search for information about the campaign, and surprisingly, no testimonials from Santa—or better yet, Mrs. Claus. Instead, press releases were posted, emailed, and syndicated to folks in the media. The release was snappy and interesting enough to get our attention, but it failed to take us to the next step and help close the deal.

The campaign failed in our view because it failed to address even the most basic web marketing 101 practices—the collection of data from folks who might actually be interested in the technology and who were lured to the site by the Santa campaign.

Lesson: If you create a marketing campaign that relies on a gimmick like this one, make sure you don’t miss the basics: Drive prospects back to your site to a page that specifically relates to the subject of the campaign and is immediately recognizable. Provide content of value that is relevant to the offer and the audience, and present opportunities for visitors to learn more about your products and services in context with the offer.