I’ve got a couple of examples of how teasing can be used effectively, but I have to admit upfront they have nothing to do with SMS. But they help me make a point later on regarding SMS, so stick with me through them please.
The first one is a product that hasn’t been released yet, but is in the tail end of the “tease” cycle now: the Nintendo Switch.
The Switch is the next generation gaming console from Nintendo. They’ve been slowly (oh so very slowly) releasing small bits of information about it over the last couple of years. No one even knew what the name was until last Autumn. Before that, it was referred to as the “NX”.
I’ve been highly critical of Nintendo marketing in the past (just take a look at what they did for the Wii U), but this time I think they got it right. The small bits they shared over time – like sneak peaks at the new Legend of Zelda game and others –built up a frenzy in the fan base. They all waited anxiously to learn more about the games and the system.
Last month they held a news conference that revealed what most people wanted to know – how much and when they can buy it. Once pre-orders went live, the system and most of the games sold out in a matter of days.
Can you say “successful marketing campaign”?
The second example is similar. I imagine you’ve heard of Pokémon Go? Since the game came out last summer, it has been in the news, and everywhere in the streets, pubs, the Tube – just about anywhere people are.
It’s clearly another success story, but what made it so was the run-up to the release of Pokémon Go. The Pokémon franchise is the highest-grossing video game franchise to date. As of 2015 (the latest numbers available at this writing), it had grossed ¥4.6 trillion (£30B). There are millions of fans all over the world who anxiously awaited the release of the first Pokémon mobile gaming app.
Not very much was known about what the game would be like, but the little released by Niantic and the Pokémon parent companies teased fans and created excited anticipation. So much so that the millions of downloads in the first days crashed the servers and made the game unplayable by many. Overwhelmed, the company had to halt its planned international rollout to catch up with demand.
The point to take away from these two examples, is that by the time the product was available to download or pre-purchase, the customers were already there waiting. Wouldn’t you want every launch your company had to be so effective?
While the above companies obviously used multiple channels, is there any way to include SMS messaging in this type of successful marketing? Yes, there is.