Stefan Drew - The Marketing Magician

FE, Education & Business Marketing: Quick, Effective, Low Cost Marketing

Stefan Drew - The Marketing Magician

Never say “Our System is Down at the Moment”. 2019 Update

Our system is down is a common reply I hear from banks, utilities and estate agents

All our systems are down, out of order, inactive, broken, bust or inoperable.

What does it say about their business?

It’s certainly not giving a positive image of the business and it could be losing them a lot of business. But what does it really mean and how can we fix it?


Our System is Down Variations

Our System is Currently Down messages fall into three basic types.


Computer or IT Systems ….

that have crashed and haven’t rebooted yet is the most common system failure cause.


Phone Networks …

that become overloaded and can’t physically cope with the number of calls are less common than when there aren’t enough people to answer the calls.  A business will then often talk about higher than normal call volumes.



Website down times are often because the website server crashed. Smart IT people use more than one server and will automatically switch to backup server if one goes down. Less smart IT people don’t even know if their system has gone down.

The second type of website failure is when the website has unprecedented numbers of visitors that it cannot cope with due to technical reasons. It’s analogous to trying to get a million gallons of water down a pipe that can only cope with 50 gallons. It just cannot cope and will fail.

Often unprecedented visitor numbers are due to very successful promotions or advertising campaigns where the marketing people haven’t spoken to the techies to see if the technology can cope.

What “Our systems are down” really means is that the technology is temporarily out of order, broken, inactive or in an inoperative state.


Our System is Down at the Moment is Usually More About People Than Technology

Marketing isn’t difficult, people are! 

I’m looking for a new house and have phoned several estate agents to arrange viewings in the last 24 hours.  3/5 of them have come back with the “our system is down” message.  Usually this is when I speak to someone about arranging a viewing. Of course some times they use different swords such “my computer is on go slow. But whatever they say I’ve waited a while and then I’ve moved on to the next house I want to view on a very long list.  These estate agents have missed a potential sale because their “systems are down”.



The thing is I don’t think this is a technology issue.  It is a people issue.   


When systems repeatedly go down .. and it seems that they do in some businesses … people have to firstly recognise there is an problem, then they need todecide to do something about it.  And if they don’t, the same message keeps going out to prospective customers and business is lost.

The reality is however good your marketing is it will be to no avail unless you can then deliver the goods .. in this case the ability to set up property viewings.  All your marketing efforts are wasted if you fail to deliver when a call to action is answered by your prospects.  


Having poor follow up systems will kill all your website, social media, SEO, PPC and other marketing efforts stone dead. What a waste Our System is Down at the Moment is  


So what system failures are holding back your marketing?   Sort them out NOW. 

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