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Social Media Crisis Management: An Adidas Case Study

Posted by Amanda Kruschack on May 2, 2017 10:31:47 AM

adidas shoes

We’ve all done it. Sent an email and realized shortly after that it should not have gone out. Cue: scrambling for the ‘Undo’ button. Thanks, Gmail!  For marketers the impact of an untimely and insensitive email can be catastrophic. There is no ‘undo’ button once it's reached your audience.

The latest email marketing blunder comes courtesy of Adidas. Following the Boston Marathon, Adidas Running sent out an email to its list with the Subject line: “Congrats, you survived the Boston Marathon!” You don’t have to be a runner to know of the tragic events at the 2013 Boston Marathon. This insensitive email hit the internet and media outlets like wildfire. Screenshots from email recipients showing the subject line, tweets and articles appeared from every corner of the earth.

Email marketing is an impactful way that we look to connect with customers both current and prospective. Through careful QA and market research we cater content to specific audiences. Drilling down information to as personal a level as we can. While this latest event isn’t an issue of list segmentation, we can’t stress enough the importance of personalized content based on location and cultural awareness.

Surely, you would think a company as large and experienced as Adidas would have the awareness, experience, and team in place to catch a botch job like this. But, they didn’t. Our audiences are demanding we step up our game as marketers. While we want to catch the attention of recipients in their inbox, we don’t want to do so by setting off alarms.

Remember: it’s not what you say, but how you say it.

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Image courtesy of @adidasUS Twitter:

Topics: PR Crisis, Account Based Marketing, Brand Marketing, Email Marketing, Social Media Best Practices

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