Wednesday, August 19, 2009

an open letter to Blockbuster's marketing team

I got this in my email today... I was a Blockbuster Online customer a few years ago, when they first started the service. I figured I'd try it out and see how it compared. (That story ends with me still being a happy Netflix customer some years later)

One of the things I did like about Blockbuster was that you could return/exchange DVD's in the store - a significant advantage over Netflix since there aren't any Netflix stores. In the offer (below) they state plainly that they're still doing this.

As a direct marketer with an appreciation for the medium, I figured I'd click through the offer and see what they had for me. I was mostly curious about where the closest Blockbuster was, since I've not had to find one for quite some time. Here's what the store locator shows for my ZIP Code:

In looking at the map, I thought that there were quite a few more stores close to me, though I'd noticed that a couple of them had closed lately. I figured I'd search "blockbuster" in Google Maps to see what I could come up with.

Sure enough, there's a bunch of stores that apparently aren't there any more. I recall that there were also stores in several locations (School & Lincoln, Irving & Lincoln) that don't show up on either map.

So, Blockbuster - here's my question to you. What are you trying to accomplish by marketing an overall inferior product (Blockbuster's suggestion engine is AWFUL!) in an area where you've recently closed a BUNCH of stores when your only competitive advantage relies on the physical presence that you just diminished?

1 comment:

The Car Whisperer said...

Blockbuster VIDeo! Wow! What a DIF-ference!