Questionable marketing

Posted on June 30, 2011


questionable marketing

I love Pandora bracelets and charms. The jewelry is classic and not too expensive.  It’s affordable luxury. The website is fun – you can design your own bracelet by picking the bracelet and charms you want.

A recent experience with Pandora has me thinking about what makes good marketing.

Here’s what happened.

Step 1: Email promising me a free bracelet and charm if I took a quick survey about Pandora products.

Who wouldn’t want a free bracelet? As soon as I received the email, I clicked on the link to take the survey. The email did state that there were only 75,000 free bracelets available and that Pandora couldn’t guarantee a free bracelet to everyone who filled out the survey.

Marketing lessons learned: Give away something of value to show appreciation for your customers. Set customer expectations. This step showed good marketing.

Step 2: Survey took longer than expected and asked lots of personal questions.

Is it really their business to know my income level? I dutifully reported it, thinking it’s all worth it for that free bracelet.

The small print did state that the information would only be used for the survey purpose and nothing else.

Marketing lessons learned: Deliver what you promise. Make your privacy policies very prominent, especially if you’re going to be asking for personal information. Pandora missed the boat on this step.

Step 3: After entering all my information, including my mailing address, a screen popped up that said,

“We’re so sorry but we’ve had such an overwhelming response to this survey, we have given out all of the free bracelets. Thank you for completing the survey.”

I wasn’t happy, to say the least. I felt as though I just wasted 20 minutes of my time.

Marketing lessons learned: Be up front and honest with your customers. I would have felt better if the message about all the free bracelets being given out was put at the start of the survey. I would have filled out the survey anyway. This step was a total miss on Pandora’s part.

Step 4: The next day I received another email from Pandora, thanking me again for my survey participation.

The email also stated that the free bracelets were given out within 5 minutes of the survey being sent. Really? I find it hard to believe that so many bracelets were given out so quickly.

Marketing lessons learned: A simple thank you goes a long way.  Customers like to feel appreciated. This step was a win.

The cynical part of me thinks that this was all a marketing ploy to get a lot of people to fill out the survey. Another part of me thinks that this shows the popularity of Pandora jewelry.

What do you think?

Photo is thanks to Ken Loderick. It’s a picture of my Pandora bracelet. As you can see, I have room for plenty more charms.

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Posted in: business, marketing