Sidekick Fiasco – A Kick in the Head for T-Mobile
Poor T-Mobile. First they lose all the Sidekick data from their Microsoft-hosted server. Then people scoff at their offer of $100 or to comp a free month for users. Then they allow customers to get out of the contract without penalty.
Now T-Mobile is the defendant in two class-action lawsuits accusing them of misleading users with regard to the integrity of their data storage. $100 million worth of headache, embarrassment, and finger-pointing.
First of all, the Marketing Consigliere encourages all aspiring marketers now in college to think about a career in B2B marketing, not B2C. It has been his experience that consumers make naive assumptions about technology and its shortcomings and the end result is headache for the consumer company. The adage Caveat Emptor still has value.
While there truly is an issue regarding data warehousing and security, and someone on the Microsoft side should be whacked or at least spanked, people need to be more literate in redundancy themselves, just as they need to be financially literate. This Blog, which is backed up by its hosting provider regularly, still gets a once-a-week additional backup and download “just in case.”
But the real loss here is not by the consumers just for their data. The loss is not any taint to the growing rationale and need for cloud computing; cloud computing will still spread. While this is a public relations and mobile marketing disaster, it is short term. The real loss that no one is talking about is the lost opportunity for better datamining and behavioral marketing. This is about the loss of a foundation for a future stream of marketing activity that could have been catered on an individual level to each customer. That data is gone and so is the information telling you about the customer.
Now T-Mobile, if they are lucky, will have to start over. Or their competitors better take note and make sure their back up is sound – too many upsales and cross-sales will never become real if you don’t protect the data that tells you who your customers are.
And we’re just at the beginning of cloud computing. This “massive fail” is just a bump in the road. Get used to it.
Oh, and The Marketing Consigliere chose the illustration of this blog entry to make a point, but he never condones violence against women. That’s one of the family rules.