Papa John $250 million lawsuit for mobile text ads: how search advertising is different

Papa John is facing a $250 million lawsuit for sending half a million text messages to customers in early 2010 – search marketing would have eliminated this problem. But first, more about the Papa John matter.

Text message  recipients maintain that they got 16-17 text messages a day, including in the middle of  the night for pizza deals – just because they had ordered a pizza from Papa John. In traditional marketing, once you buy something, the marketer has a "relationship" with you and can approach you with deals. It's not clear if the mobile text agency that Papa John used asked permission and more details should emerge. Meanwhile the Papa John stock is down. Consider the following:

  • With manual  "push marketing" like live  telephone calling, direct mailing, door knocking the physical difficulties of actually calling on someone is enormous. Imagine how difficult and expensive it would be to send 16-17 pieces of junk mail a day to an individual customer.
  • With digital "push marketing" like robot telephone calling, email blasts or mobile phone text blasts there is really no difficulty or significant cost to sending 16-17 messages to a customer. If you own the software or are on an "unlimited" plan, it's tempting to bombard the customer. And customers' don't like it particularly if it is not a once in 4 years election but a product like pizza that you might eat more than once a week. Customers might get so annoyed with digital push marketing that they might just search on the web for "pizza."
  • With Internet search marketing  there is no permission involved. When you search on Google for "pizza" anything you click on (organic search results or Google AdWords) you are virtually entering the store. Just as entering a brick store is your choice- so is the choice of clicking on search results. And just as an annoying salesperson might make you leave a brick store- so too with websites. The difference is that with web analytics you know exactly where the visitor decided to leave and you get the chance of improving things. 

In summary, push marketing in the digital age is fraught with risk. The risk of  putting off customers. In contrast, Internet search marketing is far less intrusive and far more respectful of the customer. Contact StratoServe

%d bloggers like this: