Sold out? But still, promoting & advertising?

Sold out? But still, promoting & advertising?

With digital marketing and advertising continuously evolving, we, as consumers, are faced with amplified interaction by brands and companies.

Today, I would like to take the stand as an online user / consumer and walk you through the various hurdles I faced while trying to buy a Microsoft Surface 2 tablet which was released towards the end of 2013.

Due to the popularity of the product and seasonal Christmas period, the Surface 2 was sold out quickly and out-of-stock in almost all stores in and around France & Europe. Despite this situation, I ventured out to get myself the product.

Just like everyone, I searched on Google. Then, clicked on many paid links and the natural results but found no success (to add to the difficulty level, I was looking for a QWERTY based model as opposed to the French AZERTY layout found commonly in France).

Search Engine Results page for Surface 2 query
 Microsoft Surface 2 E-commerce store

After reading through couple of news articles on Surface’s sold-out products, I had lost hope for buying it before the second quarter of 2014. Yet, I was being bombarded with countless “remarketed” or “retargeted” ads.

Remarketing / Retargeting Display Ads for Microsoft Surface 2

As a marketer, I feel the urge to be present and showcase the products for every users’ search query, display & other digital interactions primarily to fulfill maximum “share of voice” KPI for the ad campaigns. However, as a consumer, I simply wanted to find where I can buy the product online (for the least to know if it is even possible).

From this perspective, is it time to rethink how and when we advertise products and services?

We tend to sell and advertise constantly through media campaign pushes. Yet, we fail to connect to the customer and engage with them for doing the same.

For example (as a suggestion), what if the above remarketed ad included a message “to fill-in a form” so that the product will be specially delivered to the customer in couple of months despite being sold out now. For me, this message would probably have alleviated my frustration. What do you think? And what would you do?