The greatest businessperson of all-time remains Santa Claus, but I'm worried that Santa's lack of adoption of new technology is leaving him out in the cold for some younger stalwart to take over his role as the ultimate icon of Christmas.
by Bob Bentz
North Pole – Who’s the greatest businessman of all-time?
No, it’s not Henry Ford, nor is it John D. Rockefeller. Bill Gates? Donald Trump? Richard Branson? Mark Zuckerberg?
Give me a break.
The greatest businessman of all time is, without a doubt, Santa Claus.
Think about it. His customers return year after year. He has a factory that churns out toys 24/7 with little overhead. He has loyal employees; of course, there aren’t a lot of jobs in the world in this tough economy, so imagine how hard it is for elves these days.
Santa Claus has a promotions department that secures prime visibility in crowded malls and gets him grand marshal positions in parades all over the world. He also has a public relations staff that writes songs, poems, and even produces movies and television shows with him as the star. His stamina is amazing and there are no banned substances in his body, unless you count thousands of chocolate chip cookies!
He’s an advertising genius. Just watch TV in December and see how many commercials he’s on. I’ve seen him drinking Coca-Cola for years now and am still amazed how he can balance himself on that Norelco razor after all the junk food he eats!
And talk about customer service. It’s the best in the world. No waiting on hold to talk to his telemarketers that are actually “Bobby” from India. He knows what you want, often without your even telling him.
But, sometimes I think Santa Claus is slipping a bit the past few years. He hasn’t really embraced html5, smartphones, social networking, or any new technology very well. I think he’s one of only about 15 Americans that don’t have a Facebook account.
His workers still use basic tools from the pre-Industrial Revolution. His mode of transportation still involves harnessed livestock that takes a treacherous route around the world. Call the ASPCA!
And, don’t tell me one animal with a light bulb on his nose is innovative. His ordering process is downright archaic. I mean, who writes letters any more?
What Santa Claus needs is mobile marketing. Worldwide, 5 trillion text messages are sent each year, but how many of you have ever received one, or sent one, to the North Pole? Even Verizon can’t hear you now at the North Pole.
Did you know that 18% of those 5 trillion text messages are considered commercial text messages? Don’t you think a broadcast text message would be a great way for Santa to get rid of some of his closeout inventory? I hear there’s a warehouse at the North Pole that still has half a million eight-tracks and cassette tapes in it!
Did you ever watch the late news on television on Christmas Eve? There’s usually some cheesy graphic there with a picture of Santa flying over some other country. In the eastern United States, I think he’s usually in the Czech Republic during our 11 o’clock newscast.
Well, I’m an insomniac and I often stay up late multi-tasking on my laptop while watching the History Channel or ESPN—even on Christmas Eve. I would love to get a text message to know when Santa is getting close to my hometown so I can get to bed on time. If Southwest can notify me of its flight arrivals by text message, I would think Santa could announce the progress of his reindeer with all those clever little engineers he has on staff.
Ordering is another issue. How many of you still have envelopes and stamps in your house? It’s been so long since I sent a letter that I have no idea how much it costs to send a letter. How much postage do you need to put on a letter to the North Pole anyway? It’s not even on the USPS.com web site; I checked. Plus, there’s the issue of the post office losing your snail mail which happens an awful lot this time of year.
By the way Santa, I’m still waiting for the Benz I asked for last year. I knew I should have sent my Christmas list by Fed Ex.
With text messages, we could send in our Christmas lists to Santa Claus through a short code, say 72682 (S-A-N-T-A). With an easy-to-use mobile marketing solution like this, Santa could confirm receipt and even tell you if you’ve been…bad or good.
Maybe that’s what happened to my Benz.
Bob Bentz is president of Advanced Telecom Services which provides a do-it-yourself mobile marketing network 84444.com to advertising agencies. He is a father with two children and he still believed in Santa Claus until last year when his Benz never arrived. You can follow Bob Bentz on Twitter at @bobbentz or ollow Bob Bentz on Google+.