Last week we posted the last in our fortnightly series, BlykWatch, by Ricky Chotai. Thank you Ricky!
It started off promisingly — and it really did give us a brilliant insight into how the service was working.
Now, though… apart from complaining about the lack of data or the odd weird advert — or having a dig at their (sometimes variable) customer service, we’ve lost patience.
I was talking to Ricky a while ago and he was feeling like a bit of a broken record. In fact, it was getting difficult for Ricky to do much — in some weeks, it would have been quicker for him to do a cut+paste and replace the dates.
There’s limited value in Blyk. I think that’s my one-line summary. It’s a great concept but there’s a few issues. Firstly, Ricky — one of their biggest fans — still infuriates me (on a reasonably low level) by refusing to use them as his primary network supplier. He uses T-Mobile. And happily uses up his free balance on Blyk when he can. But he deals with T-Mobile. When he wants to be contacted, Ricky gives his T-Mobile number.
Samantha, our summer intern, used/uses Blyk as her primary number. But I can’t see that lasting. The fact there’s no support for unlimited or half-unlimited or some sort of decent data pricing is going to nail Blyk.
They’ll say no. Their research explains that most 16-24 year olds want free calls and texts.
That worked last year.
But when those teenagers and students are being told on every street corner (I’m talking adverts) that they should be checking their Facebook on their mobile by the likes of the mighty Vodafone — with 18 million customers in the UK… there’s going to be limited value in Blyk as it stands.
I really like the ROI they can deliver to advertisers. That’s going to keep some revenue coming in.
But will Blyk ever reach 5 million customers? No. Will they ever get to 1 million? Yes, with a bit of manipulation of the statistics. Dig deep and work out exactly how many customers are actually connected and using the Blyk service as their primary means of communication… and how many will continue to do so when they ‘grow up’ and can afford a contact and demand a swanky handset?
Some will continue to use the service. It’ll carry on I’m sure.
But I think the excitement and the future is limited.
The moment I heard Jonathan MacDonald had quit them, well then. That was it for me. He’s now telling the Soho and Madison Avenue types (via Ogilvy) how to handle mobile advertising. Jonathan’s a smart cookie. I suspect he’s feeling the same way about Blyk as we are here at MIR.
We’re not hostile to Blyk. We’re just over it, now. Good luck to them!
But there’s no more BlykWatches coming.
They could set the marketplace alight if they made it free. Entirely free. Fair use policy. Cut off the folk who get ridiculous but let the normobs use them at no cost. Free would stop Ricky from using T-Mobile. That’ll get attention and a degree of loyalty.
(Ricky’s going to be doing some other stuff for us.)