Penny Arcade, Ocean Marketing, and an Email Lesson

Let’s start with the lesson: email is social media.

Even if it starts out private, it can be made public. Extremely public.

The short version: in November, a guy named Dave orders a pair of PS3 controllers from an outfit called Ocean Marketing. The controllers don’t arrive. In mid-December, Dave writes to the company asking what’s going on.

He hears back from a guy named Paul Christoforo. Paul’s initial reply is not particularly helpful. Dave gets irritated, and Paul gets insulting. My favorite:

…put on your big boy hat and wait it out like everyone else.

At some point, Dave forwards the email chain to Penny Arcade — a website/webcomic devoted to the gaming industry that has, according to Wikipedia, about 3.5 million readers

Mike Krahulik of Penny Arcade enters the conversation, and Paul insults Mike. Mike then publishes the whole exchange on Penny Arcade (did I mention that they have 3. 5 million readers?)  and the real fun begins.

I am not a gamer, and was familiar with neither Penny Arcade or Ocean Marketing until reading the story. But a quick look at Ocean Marketing’s website reveals that their primary business is… social media marketing!

So here, in three parts, is the lesson I hope Ocean Marketing has learned today:

1. If you accept money for an order, ship the product on time.

2. If the product gets delayed for reasons beyond your control, be pro-active and notify the customer.

3. Apologize.

4. “Put on your big boy hat and wait it out like everyone else” is not an apology.

5. If you’re going to insult your customers, remember that emails can be forwarded.

For further reading, Google “Penny Arcade Ocean Marketing”. It just keeps getting better.


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