It all started with plans for the pizza chain to unveil a version of its app for Android and iPad. The chain had a date for the rollout and plans were put into place. But those mobile software shops—especially Apple's—operate on their own timetables. And Apple posted for the world the actual Pizza Hut app three days before it was introduced. Oops! The problem could have been averted by simply announcing the app as soon as it was submitted, with a "the product will be available this summer" line, but that would have killed the chain's goal of encouraging downloads. Pizza Hut could have simply waited until the app was live and announced then, but that takes all the secrecy fun out of it.
Marketers have a penchant for secrecy when it comes to rolling out their products or upgrades. (It actually is a psychological need for control, but let's not go there.) That secrecy attempt can often crash into the Internet's openness and crowd-research. Pizza Hut discovered last week, though, that the very nature of Apple's app store and Google's Android Market can also derail plans quite effectively.