Canada's largest communication provider, Rogers, experience some social media backlash a few weeks ago when they promoted the hashtag #rogers1number to highlight their new service. This lead to a boatload of tweets complaining about Rogers. This was undoubtedly not what they originally signed up for. Lots of people are calling this a marketing fail, but here's my take on it:
|Was Rogers promoted tweet a marketing fail or a marketing win?|
The great thing about social media is that it is a place to get unfiltered and unbiased information from real people. Companies cannot hide behind traditional one-way communication methods, instead anyone with a Twitter or Facebook account can weigh in and provide their two cents.
Twitter is an invaluable tool as companies can listen to their customers, and receive both positive (and sometimes negative) feedback. The reality is whether its posted on Twitter or not, the feedback still exists... it just may not be exposed for the companies and the world to see/hear.
In the case of Rogers, I'm sure they would have rather people praised their new service and talked about all the great new features like how great it would be for them to call other people for free (not that Skype doesn't do that already - but that's besides the point).
Instead, people publicly bashed the company and #rogers1number was the last thing present in the tweets.
BUT does this make the marketing campaign a fail? Depends how you define success.
If you just wanted people to talk about the new service, then I guess you could say it's a marketing fail, but let's look at the bigger picture.
Rogers clearly has a problem with customer service. That is what everyone is complaining about. That is something the company needs to address. Most Rogers customers (myself included) are not happy with their billing methods. If they weren't sure about this before last Thursday, they have no excuse not to be now.
Although most of the talk was NOT about the new service, they gained a tonne of intelligence (that if used properly) can really improve their business and relationship with their customers. If they are serious about developing and maintaining a positive brand, then this was an essential first step of getting there.
So in conclusion this is what I call a FAIL/WIN. At first it could look negative, and it did not achieve what they originally set out to do, but in the end they have been given amazing customer feedback that has the potential to really help them down the road.