Recently I got to participate in an innovative marketing campaign for Popchips that involved social media. Popchips partnered with a twitter metric website called Klout to offer influential Twitter users free samples. Their hope was to generate buzz by the recipients talking about the product and being able to send 5 friends the same sample box. For a marketing campaign, it was unique and I like the concept, however, my experience fell short of what I believe they were hoping for.
I received an @ reply from my friend Katie Blaha one afternoon. It stated that I had been chosen to receive a promotional Popchips sample through Klout. After reading into it, it seemed legit so I entered my information. Fast-forward a week later, an innocently wrapped package was left on my doorstep. It was my sample pack from Popchips!
The presentation of the sample box was reminiscent of Apple packaging. There were clean lines and the products themselves were shown off. Samples of six different flavors were in the box, along with a bag clip, coupons, handwritten note (a very nice touch!), and a URL for giving the sample experience to my friends.
Overall, it was very impressive! I was excited to share the experience with a few friends so I bounded upstairs and typed in the URL to my computer. This is where the experience fell apart.
I was unable to send my friends samples.
I could tweet that I received the samples and like Popchips on Facebook, but I couldn’t send samples to my friends. Frustrated, I contacted Klout Support to see what they could do. Twenty-four hours later, I got an email reply. Klout was apologetic, however there wasn’t a quick fix. While I recognize I am one of few that had this issue, it is hard for me to share an experience if mine was subpar.
This example clearly showed me a problem with word of mouth marketing. The whole point of this marketing campaign was to spread the word and samples among friends. Most people who also had problems either wouldn’t share their experience or would tweet negatively about the experience as a whole. Yes, you could argue that I am part of that group with this article, but I’m not. I truly enjoy Popchips and understand (as a marketing student) that these things happen. I have no problem raving about their products because they are great. My friends I sent samples to, however, aren’t marketing students and I doubt they would react in the same way. To be successful on social media, you have to get the “social” part right.
Today October 26th, Megan, the Marketing Manager from Klout, saw my post and left a comment (see below). I also received another email reply from Ashley, who was the person I was dealing with directly at Klout about my issue. I have quoted her email response below.
AshleyOCT 26, 2010 | 06:46PM UTC
You are not a hassle at all!
Your friends have now been added to the list and they can get their popchips by visiting http://klout.com/perks/popchips/bos/Would you like to let them know or prefer we do it?
Also, just wanted to give you some background information for this perk the first generation could pop it forward to a second generation (i.e. you!) but it actually stopped there to limit the number of boxes popchips would have to send out. We apologize that you got the pop it forward card and then couldn’t do it (not the best experience we know) so we made an exception for you to allow you to share with friends. Thanks again and let us know if you have further feedback.
Overall I am very impressed with Klout’s response to my issue. While my initial experience was subpar, their follow up and resolution showed that they truly do get the customer service aspect of social media. I am impressed with the speed and professionalism of the resolution and truly appreciate them letting me send samples. Thank you Ashley and Megan on making a bad situation turn around!