As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, Livemocha is challenging Rosetta Stone in a fight for the crown of language learning. It already started with the comparison chart three reasons why Livemocha is better than Rosetta Stone, went on with the anouncement that Livemocha and Collins aim to be the Number One language learning provider of this decade.
As we all know, Livemocha has over 5 million members, on Twitter they have 5014 followers. Up to now, March 4th at 3:30 PM GMT the tweet above got retweeted by 19 people or 0.37% of the followers on Twitter.
I think we can use another hashtag for this experiment: #fail. Besides the fact that Livemocha never really engaged on Twitter with its followers it is … childish. I also think it is a really bad marketing move to build up your profile around the only argument “Rosetta Stone is too expensive, we are cheaper.” It is also basically saying “You cannot afford Rosetta Stone? Come to us.” which is not what I would define as a positive marketing strategy.
If this is really the only difference between Livemocha and Rosetta Stone I would be worried for Livemocha. Why can Rosetta Stone charge $299 / $999 for their products? Correct, because people are buying them at this price. So Rosetta Stone has a potential marging of $900 they could knock off, if they really wanted to. What is holding them back if they decide tomorrow to sell Rosetta Stone for $199 a year, or $99? Basically nothing.
So if you take a step back you see that Livemocha and Rosetta Stone are targeting two totally different customer groups. No one who wants to buy Rosetta Stone would choose Livemocha at this moment. That might change next year with the Collins hybrid course in retail stores but in this case Rosetta Stone will surely react. Up to then Social Media experiments like this look simply desperate and a bit like an inferiority complex.
Maybe Rosetta Stone should do the same experiment with a hashtag of its own. Maybe #Livemocha-ColdCoffee, a Twitter fight would surely be fun to watch.