Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Cracking offers from Roadchef

A couple of weeks back I wrote about Roadchef and its mobile marketing efforts with a text-based loyalty scheme. Well, I've joined up and have received a couple of messages since I signed up and here they are:

Reply path: 447786201349 | Received 4/7/07 at 14:59
Roadchef: Have a FREE KitKat 4 finger (std or dark). Quote code 5798206 to Retail Store cashier at till. Valid to 17/07/2007. Reply STOP for no more offers.

Reply path: 447786201349 | Received 22/06/07 11:00
Roadchef: Have a FREE 500ml Coke or Diet Coke on us. Quote code 8666734 to Retail Store cashier when paying. Valid to 05/07/2007. Reply STOP for no more offers.

Do offers like these really work when the value of the freebie is so small? I wonder how many customers are really going to make the effort to quote the offer code (why couldn't it have been KIT01 for example?) at all for the sake of saving 50p on a bar of chocolate. Is this really 'loyalty'?

Looking at the positive, they do have a reply path and you are able to unsubscribe from getting more offers which is a good thing.

However, judging by Roadchef's website, it looks to me like marketing isn't necessarily their thing - not least, as they're not even promoting the SMS loyalty campaign on the website. In fact, there isn't even a news section. So they seem to be new to this consumer marketing lark and are taking baby steps. But unless they really go for it, I can't see the scheme working and they'll be giving up before they've even begun.

Any loyalty scheme afficionados out there want to add their 2p?


  1. Everyone has to start somewhere and practice makes perfect! Someone in the company must have seen it as a great way to develop loyalty (which I am sure is very important when fighting for motorway users) and
    has probably taken the initiative without really discussing it with anyone in the know.

    Anyhow, the next step to see how serious they take the loyalty is for you to opt-out and see if the messages stop!

  2. @Fahed
    Of course, you're absolutely right, you *do* have to start somewhere. I'm really pleased Roadchef is experimenting, but I question the validity of the campaign content and delivery.I just have concerns that half-hearted offers will just mean the campaign massively under-delivers on their expectations and then they'll give up on it assuming that *it just doesn't work*. When in fact there are many variables to play with before you get it right. I hope they have the staying power to stick with it and improve it over time.

    As such, I won't be unsuscribing just yet! I live in hope :)

  3. Collecting people's contact numbers is a good start (although i'm not sure about the other details you mentioend they asked for) and, from here, they should probably come up with a better plan. Otherwise, as you've said, they will under-deliver and dissapoint.

    Why don't you get in touch with them and introduce yourself and offer some gentle, educated, advice on the sensitivity of mobile marketing and the harms of under-delivering.

    Who knows, someone with authority might get back to you to see what you suggest!

  4. I agree with your comments about Roadchef not promoting via their web-site.

    As to whether the offer is attractive, I guess it depends if you fit into their target demographic and what their campaign objectives are.

    I used to be a high mileage driver pounding the motorways and if I was planning to stop at a service station I think the lure of a feee Kit-Kat or Coke may have encouraged me to drive an extra few miles to a Roadchef rather than stopping at one of their competitors (but I'm easily pleased!)

  5. @StreamThru
    Thanks for your comment. I'm definitely not their target market for sure, I don't even drive! I'm very interested to see if it does actually hit the spot with its target market or whether the offers need to be stronger.

    I hope other folks add their 2p and tell us what they think!

  6. ozgur alaz5:35 pm GMT

    I really liked the concept. People are very keen on freebies. The rational value is not important i think, collecting something freebies is important.

    Moreover, company has an opportunity to make cross-sales. I mean this is great cross-promotion for gas stations. Imagine that you are offering freebies in the market of gas stations. In order to receive your freebies, you need to come back station and fuel your gas.

  7. Anonymous9:32 pm GMT

    Person to talk to about this at roadchef is Chris Proud Head of Marketing. Think thats his email address.


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