Last week, I wrote an article about how Flatiron Wine and Spirits, a new retail store in New York City, is using a QR Code on their store's front window to initiate business and foster relationships with consumers, even before the store officially opens. Although I don't know the actual scan rate numbers and the number of consumers interested in joining their email list in exchange for a promotional offer code, I can say that, from a strategic marketing perspective, the campaign makes perfect sense and is sound on all fronts. But, as good as this marketing may be, I believe the company is failing in another area of its marketing. Here's why.
When I review mobile barcode campaigns – good, bad or indifferent – I often write to the company being reviewed to give them a heads up on the article and to offer my services should the company's marketing or creative personnel wish to discuss my review in greater detail. After reviewing Flatiron Wine and Spirits, I sent an email to the company via the contact form on their website, and simply said that I posted an article about the company's QR Code campaign on my blog and wanted to congratulate them on a job well done. That was several days ago, and I have yet to hear anything back from Flatiron. To me, this is where their marketing fails.
Either, Flatiron reads their emails and chose not to respond, or the company does not read its emails at all. Take your pick, but neither action makes much sense from a marketing perspective, let a lone from a new company trying to build a name and presence for itself perspective. If a company opens itself up to receive email messages, Tweets, etc., then it should be prepared to answer and respond accordingly and timely. I did not write to the company for anything in return, but to hear nothing from them just takes away from my original impression of a company that I thought had its marketing act together. Now, this lack of response has lead me to write an article such as this, which is a lot less favorable than the first. Will it have a negative effect on the company and its ability to sell wines and spirits, probably not, due to the limited viewing of this blog, but you never know in this day and age of sharing and social networks. But, what if the company wrote back in a timely manner and said, "thank you for writing about us, have a bottle of wine on us." How unexpected would that have been, and how much more good will would that have created? Tons, that's how much. To go one step further like this would have certainly had me writing an article much different than this; one that was much more favorable and positive to be sure.
Time and again, we see companies with a Facebook or Twitter page or email contact form and why? Do they really mine those pages for comments, feedback, suggestions, reviews, good or bad, to improve themselves or their product/service and the relationships and brand experiences they have with prospective or existing customers? Not many, from what I can tell. It's one thing for a company to claim that it's social and cares about customer relationships, it's quite another to act upon it. Companies need to continually look at their marketing from a 360 degree perspective and should any one area be lacking to then focus on making it better. Failure to do so and suffer the consequences.