Trolling - Who Benefits?
There is a lot of discussion currently about the BigBillionDay campaign which Flipkart had run. Flipkart decided to make a splash about certain sale/discount/offers being available on their website on the day in order to generate shopper interest and therefore sales. Given the numbers that the company has ben publishing, we can only conclude that the campaign was a glorious success. They seem to have pulled of a $100 Million worth of sales in 10 hours, which translates to Rs. 1 Crores worth of goods sold each minute. I am not sure what you think, but I think its a big deal!
On the day of this sale, Snapdeal and Amazon were quick to jump on Flipkart's heels to effectively try and piss on their parade. Both companies by the looks of it seem to have effectively trolled Flipkart, but who got the mileage at the end of the day?
We live in a world where marketing is about eye-balls. It does not matter how those eye-balls arrive. Look at Buzzfeed; crap journalism, but who cares?
Trolling is all about poking fun at your competitors weakness and exaggerating it. Its more like an ambush; wherever you seem to go, you come up against the same jokes. The trolls forget the basic human instinct. When somebody is getting beaten everyone likes to stand around and watch.
Have you ever been in a situation where some team is giving another a drubbing; even if you have no particular interest in the sport, you just tune in to see how the drubbing is taking place? (I have watched a lot of 8-0 football matches and almost none which ended 0-0) How many of you watched or talked about the Germany Vs Brazil match in the World Cup while not having watched all of the WC matches? Same psychology at play.
When you start trolling and poking fun, people want to see the action first hand.
We live in a digital world where every business has a web presence; 50 years ago trolling might have been useful since it was hard to check the veracity. In the digital world we live in today, any such story results in a hit to the website of the company being trolled.
It gives the trolled an additional opportunity to convert the skeptic into a follower. In the world where eye-balls are all that matter, any publicity is good publicity. Trolls are also part of the publicity.
The problem is not when people talk bad of you, but when people stop talking about you.
I, for certain believe that Snapdeal put in considerable resources to make sure that the Flipkart #BigBillionDay was a raging success.
Even Internationally in a similar vein, Samsung keeps trolling Apple all the time. Things have come to a point where I feel Samsung cannot make an ad without mentioned Apple. In fact, when the bendgate broke out; Samsung, LG and others could not hold themselves back from trolling Apple, the moment the whiff of the story came out. iPhone 6 Plus seems to be selling like gangbusters. (4 Weeks+ wait list)
Apple cannot seem to produce enough iDevices to meet the demand; Samsung published their expectation for last quarter yesterday; 60% down on profits does not look very pretty.
So we arrives at the question, who is helped by all of the trolling. I think if we are to go by numbers, the end results are clear.
May the Trolls rest in peace.