Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Virtual Wallet: Virtual Marketing Flop

A few months ago an acquaintace of mine who works at a PNC Bank branch tipped me off to a new service that PNC would be offering this summer. She dubbed it "Virtual Wallet". It sounded like a nifty tool when she explained it, which allows people to easily and instantly transfer money back and forth between various personal accounts. Good idea, though quite frankly after a while I forgot about it.

Until yesterday. I saw a commercial (two actually) for PNC's Virtual Wallet. I suppose this is their big summer product launch.

So after seeing the commercial, just out of curiousity, I went online to look up Virtual Wallet on Google. And whadya know-- no relevant results! How does that happen? In fact all of the results for Virtual Wallet were so weak they weren't even remotely connected to PNC. If that were me I would have made sure to have paid search and organic search all lined up before this launch. Even if it leads to informational pages announcing that the service would be coming soon. Instead, it led me to a virtual dead zone in terms of sales and marketing. I was a curious prospective client but couldn't find virtually anything on the subject. As they say on the baseball diamond-- "whiff".

So after that I went to PNC Bank's site and nowhere on their site could I find anything about Virtual Wallet, even when doing a search on their own site. Whiff again.

Maybe I'm missing something here. Maybe it's supposed to be a teaser. But it sure seems to me like the Virtual Wallet marketing campaign is not on the money...


Anonymous said...

Sounds about right. PNC's marketing seems very inconsistent in general.

jo said...

Yeah- you can't find it from their main page. You can get to it now at pncvirtualwallet.com now, though.

Anonymous said...

Just a goofy campaign. The product logo looks like a holdover from the '80's. There really isn't any new, innovative functionality. Also, did the president of PNC say this was a "high def view of your money" in the press release? Which marketing guru wrote that? This is an obvious grasp at sourcing low cost, stable funding sources from a younger segment. Just horrible execution, like a bunch of product development folks in their 40's and 50's trying to figure out what Gen Y's need...hey, why don't you hire a few? Morons.

Marat said...

I just googled for Virtual Wallet and it, in fact, comes up #1 in the organic search results. There's also a sponsored link at the top. If you knew something about organic search you'd know that there's no way to prep a non existing site for it. It takes a little bit of time to rise to the top after a site launches.

The last Ananymous guy is a complete idiot who must work for a competitor. I've seen pretty much exactly the same post on every site that mentions this product. In fact, it's extremely well design. So much so that I can't believe this was made by a bank and not a Gen Y startup. Great job, PNC.