3 Reasons Why I Hate Text-Message Advertising

Have you experienced this yet?  A random number texts you “HUGE SALE ON (Insert product), BEST PRICE IN TOWN, LOOK NO FURTHER FOR YOUR (Insert product) NEEDS!”

It has happened a couple of times now and I don’t like it.  Here’s why if you use text-message advertising we’re both losing.

1.  I have not given you permission to interrupt me on my phone, doing so makes me strongly dislike whatever the message is you want me to read.

2.  You seem lazy and disrespectful, I want to return the favor.  I’ll call you back or MySask411 your number to see who you are and when I find out I’ll realize how elementary your understanding of marketing really is.  I will not forget this.

3.  The more niche focused your text-message deal is, the better your chance of it being completely unrelated to my purchasing patterns.  EXAMPLE: Niche focus, “HUGE SALE ON GRANITE”   Broad focus: “HALF OFF ICE CREAM AT COLD STONE” – The first one you lose all credibility, the second only works if the person receiving the text sees value in what you’re texting.

Moral of the story?  Lay off the Spam sandwiches, you’re hurting your personal brand and wasting my time.

Marketing Regina

The other day I filled out a survey from the Regina Regional Opportunities Commission (RROC) asking about what they are currently doing and what they could do better, it got me thinking.  Now I’m not being critical of RROC, I think they’re doing a great job, especially when you see them picking up talent such as Grant Langford who I worked with on the Saskatchewan Pavilion project.  I’m writing this as an idea generator, without knowing the ins and outs of RROC this is how I would go about marketing our beautiful city.

First, I would put packages together making it SO incredibly easy to come to Regina that you would literally need to click your mouse three times on the website, enter a credit card and WHAMMY you have your holiday booked.  Why?  Because humans are lazy and the easier you make it for people to come here, the better your chances are of actually getting them here.  I know there  are some offerings through the Stay and Play promotion but I think they could take it a step further.

Second, put packages together that allow tourists to experience Regina in a different light.  We don’t have World renown attractions but we do have some of the best people ready to put on a show for whomever is in the audience.  There are some very unique things that people would be more than delighted to experience in our fine city.

For example:

  • Hotel accommodations, a massage, dinner at La Bodega, then off to a Redsox game?  Or maybe to the symphony?
  • A round of golf then off to Globe Theatre for a performance and a catered meal.
  • How about a ghost tour of old Regina ending at Cold Stone for ice cream?
  • In the different seasons, put packages together surrounding events which would include hotels, some meals, transportation and various activities.
  • The “Fire and Ice” or “The New Years Eve” package in the winter.
  • The “Summer Invasion” or “Patriotic” package in the Summer.

Plan everything out for our lovely out of town visitors so they don’t have to worry about a thing once they arrive.

Third, enable every visitor who has had a great experience in Regina to share their story somewhere online.  Be it a blog, a video-blog, a picture story on Flickr or on the RROC Facebook wall, somewhere that will allow RROC to amplify the story.  Soon enough that blog, video-blog or Facebook wall will be filled with authentic stories from people who had a wonderful experience in Regina.  Those stories will be available to anyone searching for a vacation in Western Canada and soon become the most powerful marketing tool for potential visitors to our city.

Ok, I’ve shared, now it’s your turn.  How would you market Regina?

The Architecture of Lineups

I hate lineups.  For anything really. I’m impatient and I usually want things as fast as they can humanly be delivered to my hands.  I’m pretty sure no one likes lineups so it is a perplexing issue to me that as humans (lineup haters) we don’t do everything in our power to minimize, shrink, or do what every we can to demolish these horrible things that eat up our time.

I don’t believe it is the general public’s or customers fault that there are lineups, it all has to do with the choice of architecture of the lineup.  These companies and organizations that under estimated their own traffic and how long wait times would be now must look to alternate methods of satisfying the demand at a minimal cost.

There is some research being conducted around lineups and how to minimize wait times but this research is mostly for grocery stores and Wal-Mart.  I think the research paid off, the “Express Line” at Safeway, the “12 items or less line” at Superstore and the newly adopted number system at Wal-Mart where they herd everyone into a line and a lovely women over the loud speaker tells you which till to go to once you reach the front of the herd.  All in an attempt to save their customer’s time.

It is very easy to find the organizations that don’t believe in “line reduction research”.  Craven Country Jamboree, Tim Horton’s, and my bank TD Canada Trust.

If I was to conduct my own research within these organizations here is what I would try.

Craven: Offer an express lane for vehicles only, no trailers.  As well, have line marshals that insure the line is constantly moving.  If it begins to bottleneck somewhere the line marshals must keep the vehicles moving.  Seems like a not bad solution to a problem that 25,000 people complain about every year.

Tim Horton’s: Offer an express lane to people who just want coffee.  Tim Horton’s could charge a quarter more in the “caffeine line”, I’d pay more for my coffee if I could have it right now.  Have a thermos?  How about an automatic coffee dispensary for all those who don’t mind serving themselves.

TD Canada Trust:  Again, offer an express lane to people who have no questions, that know exactly what they need to do and won’t take any longer than a minute.  The line gets bottlenecked when those REALLY friendly people come in and need to strike up a conversation about anything but their bank account.  TD knows that they can not compromise customer service so just have two lines, one for questions/conversations and one for banking.

Treating your customers better is a proven strategy to increase customer loyalty.  Caring about your customers time is obviously an undiscovered facet of customer service.  As our world keeps progressing and we get more busy, our time increases in value.  Finding an innovative way to tell your customers you care about their time could have a lasting effect on how they perceive your brand.

What do you think?

Photo Credit: Those funny pictures . com