Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Dim Bulb Illuminates Once-Smart Marketers' Failure

My friend Jonathan Salem Baskin, author of the popular blog The Dim Bulb, wrote yesterday about Sprint losing
another 1.3 million subscribers, and turned in a quarterly loss of $326 million. It promised to boost ad spending. Company CEO Dan Hesse said they'd "make the case for competitive pricing." He's been the spokesperson in some of the ads so far.

Baskin suggested in his blog that Sprint go out and steal some customers from AT&T and T-Mobile.

However, I would venture that just stealing customers won't fix Sprint's problems. People are leaving Sprint for the same reasons they will soon leave At&T or any other carrier -- they get bored with the brand and will flock to the next new shiny thing that comes their way. Any investment spent on stealing a customer has a tenuous long-term ROI attached to it.

Rather, I think the problem is much deeper for Sprint -- they've lost their way. They stand for "simply everything" (Sprint's new catchy slogan -- just Google "sprint simply everything to see how pervasive it is) but mean nothing. When they draw a clear line in the sand, gain the courage to do something remarkable and valuable, then I think they'll begin to solve their customer migration issues.

As usual Baskin highlight's the most absurd in big-dumb-company marketing. It is amazing how quickly once-smart people can lose their wits when they enter the corporate board room.

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