Paid Search Saves Lives

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How Paid Search

It’s not everyday that you get a call from a client telling you that your SEM campaigns actually saved someone’s life.

I am not talking about a client saying, “hey, you are a lifesaver.” That actually happens all the time 🙂

Yesterday I get a call from a client of mine, MMC Depot,  that helps keep legal marijuana away from children by selling child-proof compliant packaging to the legal and medical marijuana industries.

One of the main products that marijuana dispensaries buy are what’s called “Exit Bags.”

exit-bags-funk-sac

As you can see, exit bags are locked bags, which are required by law when selling marijuana and taking it out of a dispensary.

My client got a call yesterday from a stranger in Chicago…here is how the conversation went…

Customer: Do you sell exit bags?

Client: Yes.

Customer: How Much are Exit Bags?

Client: $1.90

Customer: For Suicide?

Client: Huh?

Customer: You do sell exit bags, correct?

Client: Yes.

Customer: How much are they?

Client: $1.90

Customer: These exit bags are for suicide, right?

Client: Huh?

Customer: “Hangs Up”

That’s a pretty bizarre exchange, so my client decided that it sounds like this prospect is planning on committing suicide, so he calls up the police, who tell him it’s most likely a prank, but just in case, let’s transfer you to the local Sheriff in Chicago (where the call came from). The local sheriff followed up and it turns out, this guy was actually a real threat to his own life, and needed immediate help.

The local sheriff got this person the help they need, and hopefully it will all work out in the end.

You are probably wondering… Ok, that’s a nice story, but how does that tie into Paid Search?

Basically, MMC Depot currently does not rank organically for “Exit Bags” but their paid search ad does. The call was tracked back to PPC and it turns out that exit bags is a term that is also refers to bags used for suicide.

exit-bags-sem-ad

Personally, I don’t like talking about suicide publicly because I read in Robert Cialdini’s book that when suicides are publicized, there seems to be copy cats that find the courage to make a terrible decision.

However, this is a story of suicide prevention and stories like this need copycats. We need more people proactively caring about and looking out for each other, and I am happy to work with a company that not only keeps marijuana away from kids, but also takes the time to listen and care about every interaction with every person.

For what it’s worth, Google has a pretty proactive effort in suicide prevention as well, as I noticed today when googling suicide for this story.

suicide

In fact, right after that search I opened skype and was hit with a retargeting ad for a local suicide prevention hotline.

suicide-retargeting

So, the next time to you get annoyed at a banner ad or frustrated about the lack of privacy online…Think about the good that can come from it as well.

I am not saying that you shouldn’t be concerned about privacy, I am just applying a concept I deeply believe in to this specific circumstance.

What is that deep belief I hold?

Technology is neither good nor evil. It does not inherently progress society, nor does it make society regress.

It is a tool that is used by people for good or evil. This is why progress should be measured not by technology innovation but by emotional growth, personal development, and social caring.

Yes, in the right hands, technology can save millions of lives and make a huge positive impact in our lives, but it’s not the technology behind it, it is the people and their character behind it.

I love technology, but I think efforts in self improvement and personal development offer more opportunity to exponentially unlock the power of technology for good.

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About David Melamed

David Melamed is the Founder of Tenfold Traffic, a search and content marketing agency with over $15,000,000 of paid search experience and battle tested results in content development, premium content promotion and distribution, Link Profile Analysis, Multinational/Multilingual PPC and SEO, and Direct Response Copywriting.

Comments

  1. Thank you for likening the internet to something that is used for good and evil rather than being good or evil on it’s own. I have way too many family members who see the internet as nothing more than a mind crushing demon that needs to be eradicated from life. It would be nice to make them aware of how it can be used to good purposes and that not everyone who works with it or uses it is on the lesser side of humanity. It might all sound a little extreme, but I don’t imagine I’m the only one who knows a few people like that. What a wonderful story to share and it is nice to know that there are actually people using this platform for more than ideas and brainstorming for the next Candy Crush level that is going to be released.

  2. Until you hear about stories like this, people are pretty much unaware about the ways in which parts of the internet that annoy you in some forms is actually being used to help other people. Even if it was unconsciously, it’s still nice to know that there may be people who actually do benefit profusely from a paid per click ad outside of a business just making money. Great post to draw attention to this and it really does make you think a little differently about the internet.

  3. This is a great post and I never realised things like PPC would actually work in that way. I mean it makes sense that even companies that provide health and help services would use online advertising to promote themselves, but just the thought that it could pop up on someone’s computer at EXACTLY the right time. It’s great. I’m going to direct people to this or at least tell them about it when I hear them complaining about advertising.

  4. Great post. I especially applaud your belief that it is Personal, emotional and character refinement that is the true test of going forward or backward.

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