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Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The Sweet Smell of Success?
Taco Bell was recently accused in a lawsuit of using significant amounts of filler in its taco meat.  I really don’t have an opinion about that, but as a marketer what I have to question is the report in the media that the company has turned the situation “into an unexpected social media success”.   The reporter supported that “success” claim by explaining that “The chain has said it will give away up to 10 million beef tacos to people who "like" its Facebook page, and has already issued free-taco coupons to 5.4 million fans".

I have to wander how far marketers have strayed from measures of accountability and ROI when we are defining "success" as the ability to give away product for FREE to people who otherwise would be considered most likely to have paid for it (their fans).

Success might be using social media to bring in new customers with some discount or promotional offer.  Success could be finding a way to give away free samples of a recently introduced product to existing customers through social media outlets (rather than more expensive mass media).   But it’s very difficult for me, and will probably be even more difficult for the people who control future marketing budgets to understand once they hear where the money went, to quantify how this is a “success”. 
10:21 am est          Comments

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