For anyone who uses a Blackberry religiously, or works with those who do – you also know that there is a new language that has emerged for that mode of communication. Similar to text messages, brevity is a growing necessity with Blackberry communications and it is leading to people doing things like including a disclaimer at the bottom of their emails apologizing for the short replies, and possible grammatical and spelling errors of their message. Apparently having small keys is enough of an excuse to spell poorly and forget about periods or commas. I wish we had that excuse when were were in school. Still, we have all seen this effect and to a degree have probably learned to accept it because there wasn’t an alternative.
Probably, you don’t even think about it anymore … until a campaign like the "Terse Reply Syndrome" from Jott reminds you that those short mistyped replies are no way to communicate. Jott has a beta service that allows you to speak a reply into your Blackberry and it will type it for you. That alone is an interesting and useful service (assuming it actually works), but as a marketer you can learn a lot from their approach to launching it. The Terse Reply Syndrome (TRS) is a situation that most businesspeople will immediately recognize, whether they have been on the receiving or sending end of these types of messages. And we would all love to find a better way. The campaign works because it talks about a real situation of need that many business people will be familiar with, and presents a solution that allows you to use the same tools you are used to using. Their videos (shot in the style of a "when the moment is right" Viagra ad), promise "side effects" of longer more thoughtful replies, less thumb stress, and more free time.
This is where the message really hits home, because you can have better communications without giving up your Blackberry. Their useful blog offers further tips on how to effectively use their service, and it even works with lots of common social media tools. The service is in limited beta and free at the moment, but you should sign up quickly because eventually it will be a paid service. It’s easy to imagine this is one of those few services where once you try it for free, you are probably going to pay for it.* Smart marketing combined with a great and useful service. This is the type of Web2.0 service we could all use more of.
* Note – This post is about the marketing behind Jott. I haven’t been able to try it yet as it doesn’t appear that you can use it on a Blackberry that is issued from work when your employer doesn’t pay for phone access (which my employer doesn’t). If anyone knows a way around this, please share!