16th July 2010 Jonathan Harris

Ben & Jerry leave email at the bottom of the tub

Sparked by an article by Helen Leggatt, at BizReport

The iconic ice cream brand seem to have dropped email from their arsenal of customer interaction tools. Sending out their last newsletter Ben & Jerry are encouraging people to interact with them on Twitter and Facebook. It’s not the only tools in their particular marketing toolbox and I would see this as downgrading email rather than abandoning it.

Could this be the start of an effective stratafication of the customer interaction, dependent on depth and tone?

Something like this:

  • Twitter is for chats, notices and blipverts. All things it does very effectively.
  • Then on to Facebook for mass communication
  • Reserving email for personal or formal conversations.
  • Supplementing this are the augmented reality of ‘Moo Vision‘ and the iPhone App ‘Scoop of Happiness

If this becomes a trend then it signals a few things, that a natural settling of different internet based methods of communication is occurring. Also that the once fringes – Twitter and Facebook, have become entrenched enough to supplant email communications. I know this isn’t true of all customer bases but it will work very effectively in many key demographics. It does highlight that each element has its place in an integrated communciations programme – and that they need to work in concert to be truly effective, offline and online.

Twitter – Packaging – Flickr – Smarkphone – Facebook – Retail environment.