Posts Tagged ‘Google Alerts’

Motrin gives itself a migraine no painkiller can cure

November 17, 2008

When I opened my laptop this morning (Sunday), #motrinmoms was number one on Twitter Search. My curiosity piqued, I had to find out what this was all about. I discovered:

Last night, Motrin put this video ad on its web site.

Within an hour, one mom got upset and twittered about it.

Less than an hour after that, the hashtag #motrinmoms hit number one on on Twitter Search.

And the floodgates opened. #motrinmoms is still number one, 24 hours later. (While writing this post, another 35 messages have been tweeted.) The total number of tweets on the subject is more than 2,000.

A mommyblogger created and posted this You Tube video and another made this one containing some of the tweets that had been flying all night.

Then the bloggers started blogging about it here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and… well, you get the idea.

Laura Fitton, aka Pistachio, wrote about it, and this fun summary was written at Enterprise Social Media.

A spoof of the ad, mocking the ad agency, appeared on YouTube.

Finally, 20 hours after the offending video went live, the VP of Marketing for MacNeil Consumer Health Care, the parent company of Motrin (itself a division of Johnson & Johnson) took its site down and issued an apology.

Yet #motrinmoms is *still* number one on Twitter Search.

As Laura Fitton said, this is going to be covered extensively in business media, as a negative case study, for a quite a while.

There are many who don’t understand what the fuss is about. I will admit that when I first read the transcript of the ad, I didn’t find it terribly offensive. But after watching the commercial, I understood the concern much more clearly. Notice that there is a “cuckoo” sound effect that occurs directly after the line “tired & crazy.” But anyone who thinks this is overblown is missing the point. The point is not whether or not you personally find the ad offensive, or think that mommy bloggers/twitterers are overreacting, the point is that the ad HAS offended a significant portion of the target audience, and that this entire mess could have been avoided if a.) the ad agency had any empathy with moms and had a mom write an ad to promote the product to begin with or b.) was monitoring the blogo/twittersphere for mentions of its name.

Takeaway: whether or not you launch ANY sort of marketing campaign (but especially if you are), monitor your brand name in the blogosphere (using Google Alerts) and the twitterverse (using Twitter Search).

Update 11/17 12:50pm: The New York Times has an article this morning, Moms and Motrin.

Your members are talking. Are you listening?

July 1, 2008

I’ve had the pleasure of delivering World 2.0 workshops to both the New York State Credit Union League, and the Georgia Marketing Council. In both of these workshops, one of the things we covered is the new communication service called Twitter. I’m sure that attendees never dreamed when coming to the workshop that they would sign up and learn about something called “Twitter”. Right now, there are between 350,000 and 700,000 people using it (accurate figures are difficult to get). Many of these people are artists, solopreneurs, bloggers, social media gurus, and Gen Yers, but more and more people are discovering this service every day. If you’re not yet familiar with twitter, it’s like an open instant messaging service. It’s a quick and convenient way to connect with old and new friends online. It’s easy to make new friends, and now, using Twellow, to find other people all over the world who share a common interest with you.

What does this have to do with credit unions and marketing, you may ask? Twitter is akin to an always-on, free focus group. If you follow your members on Twitter, you can get an open look at the issues that are relevant to them. This morning, I read my twitter stream as someone I followed, “Pistachio,” expressed her extreme dissatisfaction with Bank of America. Here are her tweets:

Pistachio 6/30 11:18 pm Bank of America’s check-clearing policies are predatory and should be investigated by congress. They get your money right away and sit on it

A friend replied 7/1 8:32 am: How long do they hold the check?

Pistachio 7/1 10:25 am BOA routinely holds checks 5-10 days w/very shaky “reasons,” often not telling you @deposit. they collect hundreds in “overdraft”

a different friend replied 7/1 10:49 am: i think you’ll be hard-pressed to find a bank that doesn’t. try calling your mgr to get the hold removed; they usually will.

Pistachio 7/1 11:22 am Citizens’ holds are a fraction of BOAs. Thanks for tip, will call. Think I’m SOL once hold is on, from past exp. I should’ve asked

Pistachio 7/1 11:39 am You know, I’m actually not kidding that Bank of America should be investigated. They’ve crossed a line from crap customer service to abusive

Pistachio 7/1 11:39 And YES, I’m well on my way to moving all my accounts away from them.

These “tweets” elicited at least a couple of responses from her friends. More importantly, Pistachio is highly connected, and has 4,375 followers. Yes, you read that correctly, she has four thousand, three hundred seventy-five people who are reading what she types.

Now I’m guessing that there are currently no credit union marketing professionals “following” Pistachio. Fortunately I am, and am also friends with several credit union marketing professionals in the Greater Boston area. I tweeted a response to her, with the name of a credit union where a friend of mine works, and I also tweeted that that credit union offers EverythingCU.com’s Online Switch Kit, a product which makes it easy for new members to switch their account from their previous financial institution to the credit union.

Impact: If this frustrated Bank of America customer has a good experience joining a credit union, and “twitters” her relief from the outrageous fees and outlandish check hold policies, the marketing/new business impact is LARGE. Four thousand of her friends and colleagues will know about it. This is more valuable than sending postcards to 4000 people for three main reasons: She is a trusted friend to her followers, and anything she tweets on the subject is not coming from someone who is trying to sell something. Also, the pass-along value is much greater since it’s easier to “re-tweet” a message to others than it is to share a postcard with your neighbor. Also, the cost to tweet with your members is only your time, whereas the cost to supervise, design, print and mail 4000 postcards would be around $5000 or more.

Take Action: Monitor your credit union’s name using Google Alerts, and search in Summize, but also monitor your competition’s name (and the word ‘bank’), watching for those disgruntled bank customers who are just begging for the fresh alternative that your credit union provides.