At the Speed of Tweet

Every day I become more amazed at how fast things are happening.  I just shake my head and wonder.  First over the weekend was the Motrin debacle.  Another botched marketing campaign gone bad.  There are just so many articles out there on what happened to Motrin, here are a few links on it.

How Twittering Critics Brought Down Motrin

Should Big Brands Fear or Rever the Mommybloggers?

Moms and Motrin

I don’t want to drag this out, it’s been done and done again over the past couple of days. But the net-net is that Motrin released an advertisement over the weekend, when they thought no one would “really” be looking.  How wrong they were.  It offended many many #motrinmoms.   And when the crescendo reached Defcon 9 on Monday morning, it appeared the company had ducked due “lack of response”.

Now, wait a minute, didn’t we just this happened over a weekend?  That could have been the reason folks were not picking up on the wave of discontent that was building since Saturday. I was on Twitter on Saturday and saw the flurry rush past.  But I”m just saying.  The real marketing lesson is to not launch a new anything over a weekend without having listening tools lined up.  Motrin has apologized.

It begs the question, and this has been discussed around the Internet – is how much power should we have as consumers?  It seems that this sort of backlash behavior will scare companies from entering the social media market.  Companies can become stagnant when operating in fear.

Well, I’m here to tell you that it is MUCH better to be listening to hear the first grumbles than to catch a tiger by its tale…

Today I had a little incident that I am still reflecting on. I had a problem with a service we were using, and I happened to express my frustration on Twitter about it.  I’m not naming names here.  Well, in about 2 minutes after my tweet I got a message from a Senior Director from the organization who saw my tweet, and offered to help?  Well, while I am still waiting on the final answer from this vendor, this response did immediately diffuse my ire.  I was impressed.  Of course the final results are yet to be seen, but I suspect that they will do what they can to make it work.  I hope so. It’s just good business.  And when we feel like we are being heard and acknowledged properly it creates good will.  It’s a win-win. Even when things are not perfect.  After all we just want to be heard and acknowledged in times like these.

We cannot afford to sleep at the wheel anymore.  It’s time to engage. We’re all in the same boat.  We all recognize it could happen to any one of us or our brands. But fear isn’t the way to deal with this dragon. It’s a fire breathing beast, and it is much smarter to face it head on than turn our backs.

And don’t blink cause it’s all happening real fast.  At the speed of tweet.

UPDATE: NOV 19, 2008

So the ending of my twitter story is the service provider refunded the entire cost.  That demonstrates their follow through, and as a result they continue to earn our business.

Also this article came through today that was a good summary, and pivots off some thoughts here:

Social Media and the Motrin Controversy

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