What marketers can learn from the complaints over the new mobile emergency system after an Amber Alert was sent across Ontario this Monday

What marketers can learn from the complaints over the new mobile emergency system after an Amber Alert was sent across Ontario this Monday

One week after the testing of the new mobile emergency system in the province, hundreds of thousands mobile phones in Ontario once again were set off by an Amber Alert issued by OPP for a missing 8 year old boy in the Thunder Bay region. We are happy to learn that the boy was found safe when another message was sent to declare the cancellation of the alert in about two hours.

 

Meanwhile, people complained the system via social media and other channels. The complaints include,

  • number of messages – the alerts were sent in English and French respectively. Users received both. That means the siren-like sounds rang out 2 times for each message.
  • the location – according to the first alert, the boy and the woman were still around the Thunder Bay region. However people living in Kingston, which is far from the Thunder Bay, also received the alerts.
  • sound level of the alert – the level of the sounds made some people feel uneasy. It distracted some drivers and possibly increased the risk of people having a weak heart.
  • possible ignoring of future alerts – people may be dulled if they think the alerts are less relevant and too easy to be sent off.

All these could happen to marketers when we send our campaign messages to customers.

What can we marketers learn from this case because all these could happen to marketers when we send our campaign messages to customers?

What can we do to make a good product concept to be a successful product? Few people would say NO to the emergency alerting services because no one would like to risk their lives when something happens. The complaints could be avoid if the operator,

  • send the message by detecting the language is used on the phone.
  • set the radius or select the regions to receive the alerts.
  • use a two-step alarm to catch the attention without disturbing.
  • set the sound levels according to the level of emergency or use the different sounds to differentiate the type of alerts.

In-language communications, geo-location targeting, demographic targeting, and strategic thinking have been increasingly important to the effectiveness and efficiency of doing marketing in Canada.

Translating these into the marketing language, we can say that,

  • use the in-language communications with your customers. Canada is one of the most cultural diverse countries in the world. We have two official languages and more ethnic languages.
  • use geo-location targeting to get in touch with your customers when your products or services are location based.
  • use a teaser campaign to arise the curiosity before the official launch.
  • stand out your products with a clear message and make yourself the top-of-mind brand in the category.

In-language communications, geo-location targeting, demographic targeting, and strategic thinking have been increasingly important to the effectiveness and efficiency of doing marketing in Canada. It’s challenging but not unachievable.

 

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