We all agree and acknowledge that all business will have some forms of marketing and promotional campaigns at some point of time when they are still in business. However, things can go very wrong if businesses are not the least careful with their considerations, or to put it crudely when they can’t be bothered. A real classic example will be TheEntertainer.
For those who don’t know, TheEntertainer is basically an app that offers 1-1 dining deals, activities deals or even hotel deals which you may use 7 days a week excluding Public Holidays.
So you may asked, what went wrong?
So like all business who like to retain their existing customers, they offer early bird discount. Every year there’s no change to their Early Bird Offers, neither do they give any perks to their existing customers. (well, come to think of it, I can’t remember what’s their base price to begin with too… maybe it’s SGD 95?!) Do note, what’s include in the Early Bird Offers. The offer is sometime in November if i remember correctly. End of this post, the conclusion is to NOT BELIEVE in TheEntertainer Early Bird Discount and DON’T BUY EARLY (cause you’re not rewarded but instead penalized.) Why do i say so? Continue reading to find out.
Wells there’s always a reason why people do not continue subscribing after the first year. Definitely, any companies will want to try to get their customers back and especially when times are bad. But hey come on, there’s a fine line between strategic marketing and promotional efforts as compared to tactless and desperate marketing and promotional efforts. What TheEntertainer has done in the following has 50% chance of may or may not be getting back their old customers on board again but they have just increase their chance to 100% of losing existing customers if they further do not address their concerns promptly. Which once again, they have did it again.
TheEntertainer has brilliantly repeatedly launched marketing to their customers whom they have lost after 1 year of subscription by offering them an alluring discount of 50% for the EXACT kind of deal you could get in an Early Bird Offer. So what does it mean to an existing customer? If you are one, what will you think or how will you feel? Obviously my initial thoughts were like, “Why the hell do I need to buy at Early Bird Discount? There’s such a better deal that comes just 2 months into the start of a new calendar year”. At least I don’t at all feel valued by them, neither am I that graceful to think this kind of marketing is acceptable. I accept business needs marketing to improve sales but there are many ways of achieving that, and this is just a bad way.
Then wells, we can’t just see/hear one side of story right, so of course I wrote my feedback in. (Just to share, customer service is a very important aspect of any entity if you have not realized, whatever you said is representing the Company.) As usual, the last thing I could stand is someone giving me a textbook answer or politically correct answer (when obviously that’s not what I am looking for), such answers do not really work in this era now, doesn’t it?
So the first reply I have gotten from their Customer Service Officer is that “I personally understand your concern. On another note, the promotional rate was based on business decision and as you can understand, every promotion is subject to change without prior notice. And this is aimed at a closed target group” Of course I understand the latter, and definitely what I am questioning here is so what do you see your existing customer as? So I requested a response from the Management, and their Customer Service Manager then replied “Campaign was aimed at customers who purchased 2019 but did not save the cost of what they paid. As a business as we are sure we have to do such campaigns so these types of customers purchase again. Our aim was to keep customers and not upset existing customers and will bring the feedback to the board” and reiterate that their customers’ happiness is their top priority. Clearly once again, friends who shared this with me definitely I have knew how much they have saved in 2019, which then show they obviously did not share this feedback or bother finding more from their marketing team before coming back to me. Neither am I made to feel that my happiness is prioritized. My takeaway from her reply would be (1) If I saved more than the cost I paid, it’s OK if I don’t subscribe again in the next running year (they won’t be bothered) unless I subscribe at the Early Bird Discount on my own accord or (2) Just wait for such 50% discount, unless you’re a die hard fan of TheEntertainer, otherwise, you’ve nothing to lose out. Better deals may come along the way.
To be very clear, I respect every right a Company has to do any marketing to fulfill their business needs. But not at a level, while doing such drastic marketing you have shown zero value you have to your existing customers. First your existing customers are not being rewarded additionally in any other ways. The effect would not have been exemplified if not for such a big discount that was given, even if a smaller discount of 10-15% instead or limiting to certain categories would have be way better (but of course to the Company you may think it’s not impactful enough to bring in the sales). To be honest it is not my problem if your marketing is not impactful enough, but the real issue here is you have to manage the nuances with your existing customers and weigh with what you will potentially lose in return in the long run in exchange for such short term spurs of marketing. The irony of trying to use discount to encourage brand loyalty but on the other hand you’re losing your existing loyal customers. TheEntertainer has just successfully checked all the following, (1) Bad precedence of discounting – I’m definitely not going to get it at Early Bird Discount next year. I contemplated last year and in the end still went for it, but once bitten twice shy, (2) Lower perceived value of product – this product is not even worth paying for $95 if i could get it at $45, isn’t it? and (3) Broken trust – when they tell you it’s the best deal they can offer, is nothing but a lie, they can always offer lower, 50% may not be their lowest, you never know.
What makes everything worse is that, TheEntertainer do not listen to their customers. Which it might just be matter of time cost the downfall of themselves.
Competition is tough nowadays, there is Burpple Beyond, The Chope, Fave, Eatigo etc and there’s an upcoming trend of business themselves engaging with their customers directly, offering the discounts directly. Trust me, not that customers are always right, but if you don’t listen to your customers, you can’t go far.
To all the existing TheEntertainer users out there, we are all looking for the best deals, so do re-evaluate again if you think TheEntertainer’s Early Bird Discount is worth the deal.