Tuesday, August 31, 2010

From Premium To Discount : Esso France Case Study

A lot of brands aspire some day to become a premium brand. Owning a premium brand offer a high esteem, but very few are the companies which are aiming to go the opposite way.

I had a very interesting talk with a guy of an Esso gas station. Indeed, I was wondering if I could access to the customer loyalty reward program, which they used to have for years. It was some kind of virtual money, coupons with “points” on it, which was providing you access to some gifts.

The guy told me the abandoned the concept while ago, and that actually they were turning their whole park of gas station into automatic ones.

I know the Esso Express concept for quite a while. The idea is to get rid of the store which was held by employees, to propose some automatic vendors machines. Of course, the goal is obvious: cutting down salary expenses.

The gas station market has become very competitive over the past few years. French leading company Total has become a tycoon, and there is not a lot of room for competition. Actually, the only competition that emerged was retailers, which started first to set some gas stations on the parking of their stores, and then secondly, to buy other gas stations on highways.

This is actually funny, because discounters like Carrefour or Leclerc now proposes the best service to employees, as they propose a vast choice of grocery products in their gas stations.

Now there is something easy for a premium brand to become low cost: you have developed an extensive range of service, so you are at the better spot to know which ones are not vital.

In terms of customer relationship management, going low cost might be difficult. Indeed, what makes you different from your competition? Most of the time it is the customer relationship you have with your customers. Great service ultimately leads to loyalty. And by taking some of this service away might hurt your ability to keep your customers.

Now sometimes, excellence in customer relationship management is not based on how many service you could provide, but how great you may be in delivering. This is the reason why in a recent study French hard discount retailers had greater satisfaction grades than hypermarket, which are constantly developing new service to improve customer experience.

Of course, let’s face it, this strategy of Esso has been driven by their inability to compete with Total, which became much bigger those past years. Therefore, I don’t think it is possible to target market shares gain with this technique.

So has this strategy emerged due to the impossibility to become leader? Or has it been planned to increase profit and merging on a mature market? This is a very good question, but unfortunately, I can’t respond to it. But it is interesting to see what strategical turn Esso decided to make.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Seeking For Your Scarcest Resource

I was reading this very interesting article, which is an interview of Fred Brooks, writer of The Mythical One Man-Month. Fred Brooks has a long experience in engineering. He is also famous because of his Brooks' theory.

ou can’t accelerate a nine-month pregnancy by hiring nine pregnant women for a month. Likewise, says University of North Carolina computer scientistFred Brooks, you can’t always speed up an overdue software project by adding more programmers; beyond a certain point, doing so increases delays.

Actually, thanks to his philosophy, modern productivity has been designed. Thanks to computers, a person which knows properly how to manage its resources is able to be more efficient than any other groups of people.

But as I was reading through this article, another very interesting point stood out. The concept of scarcest resource:he critical thing about the design process is to identify your scarcest resource. Despite what you may think, that very often is not money. For example, in a NASA moon shot, money is abundant but lightness is scarce; every ounce of weight requires tons of material below. On the design of a beach vacation home, the limitation may be your ocean-front footage. You have to make sure your whole team understands what scarce resource you’re optimizing.

This is very interesting, because the scarcest resource may actually not be money in most of situation. And by rethinking what is your scarcest resource, you may find new ways to envision problems or a project. I believe actually that as a common wisdom, you should consider that money is by definition not your scarcest resource. By thinking so, you will be forced to scan through all your different resources, and range than by how important they are. Therefore you might find new approaches to your supposely lack of money.

Another very interesting thought: You can learn more from failure than success. In failure you’re forced to find out what part did not work. But in success you can believe everything you did was great, when in fact some parts may not have worked at all. Failure forces you to face reality.

I like this point because this is very true: When you succeed, you don't really take the time to analyze why you have succeeded in order to reproduce the same path. I think this is worth thinking about this point.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Why Would People Follow Your Brand On Twitter?

Twitter usage is still growing at an incredibly fast pace. Since it started a lot of brands have been willing to take advantage of this new medium in order to interact with their customers. Actually, Twitter is a great customer relationship management tool. By different ways, you may use Twitter to interact with customers. It could be by creating a new salesforce, like Dell did. It could be for customer service, or to as a direct marketing tool.

Of course, if your customers are on Twitter, following you, it would be great! Now the question is why would your customers follow you on Twitter? Wouldn't it be interesting to know the reasons which will convince people to follow your brand.

1. To get updates on future products

38% of respondents said that they use Twitter to get updates on future products or new product developments.

From a brand’s perspective, this shows that Twitter is a useful PR tool for creating buzz around a new product launch. It would also work well for innovative companies who continuously update their offering or for FMCG businesses where new products are frequently launched.

2. To engage with the company or brand

32% of respondents said they wanted to stay informed about the activities of a company or brand, with a further 20% stating they become followers to interact with, share ideas and provide feedback about services or products.

From a brand’s point of view, this proves the value of Twitter as both a customer engagement and customer feedback tool. Customer relationship management has evolved, and customers expect more interaction that traditional media provide them. Customers are willing companies to offer more transparency, and social media users don't understand why they could not speak to a brand they buy like anyone else.

It requires a real community management effort to be able to engage fully with customers.

3. To save money

Saving money seems to be another key motivator for people to follow brands on Twitter. 31% of respondents said that they follow a company to receive discounts and promotions. A similar percentage of people also hoped to get “insider” information about upcoming sales, discount events and free samples.

This means that businesses could use Twitter to feed out discount codes and coupons in order to encourage brand loyalty and drive sales.

A lot of companies are already using Twitter like this. Now it would be interesting to see the type of return on investment they may get. As the media is pretty low to use, I believe it could be pretty promising.

4. For entertainment

For 26% of the people surveyed, following brands on Twitter was simply for entertainment and no other reason.

With this in mind, perhaps brands and businesses need to evaluate the way they engage people through Twitter and include more fun, interactive content, like videos and pictures, rather than just a news and updates, in their Twitter stream.

5. To display loyalty

23% of people surveyed said they follow brands or companies to show support. In other words, it is to show their loyalty to others. Now, this bullet is very interesting. It means that being a loyal customers of your company has a social value which your customer is willing to show off online. I believe this is a great evidence of a strong CRM program.

A lot of examples exist on either categories. Now, if you are planning on setting such a Twitter strategy to add in your CRM, you must take into consideration these stats. They could help you decide on which of those ideas you may develop your core Twitter activities.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Can Internet Replace TV Retail Advertising?

The Internet audience is getting larger and larger. Internet usage is growing at a fast pace. Also, the spike in mobile Internet usage will for sure mark heavily this statement. On the other side, TV consumption is getting lower and lower. TV companies are hurt by the Internet competition. The consumption of videos on the Internet, either streaming shows, Youtube-like videos and video on demand, has been way more appealing than a large TV channel choice, which actually becomes difficult to scan through.

Tony Ceresoli owns a very interesting blog about retailing and TV advertising. Retailers have been big fan of TV advertising. As they are reaching a large number of customers, this mass media was of good use. Actually, this is very funny to compare retailer's usage of TV advertising in the United States versus in France. Indeed, in France, until 2003, French government forbid retailers to advertise on TV, in a silly attempt to protect local businesses. Now they struggle into getting the best of this medium.

Tony wrote a great article about Gap's new marketing strategy. On a recent blog post, Tony commented on the new advetising campaign named "Born To Fit". For once, this campaign has dedicated its whole budget to Internet, according a large amount to new social media.

Julie Channing, senior account director with The Gap’s digital agency explains the strategy this way, “We were really looking to reach out to fashionistas and influence audiences to start a conversation about how Gap has built this line of denim from the ground up.”

Really? So, consumers are going to visit a Facebook page and soon after begin conversing with friends and family about the development of a new brand of blue jeans?

What should we think about this attempt? Is it possible for a large company like Gap or other retailers to get rid of their TV budgets, to set it online. Of course, you need to check your core target, and see if actually that makes sense. For young active people, the Internet might actually be a better bet than TV. But can you really avoid going on TV if you need to reach the mass market?

Maybe someday it will be possible. When the Internet will be stronger, Internet companies will be able to propose to reach such large audience as the TV can right now. But so far, it remains unknown what kind of results those kind of campaigns might generate.

And you, what do you think about it?

Sunday, August 22, 2010

L'histoire des vidéos du succés

Est-ce que vous connaissez les vidéos du succés? Ce sont ces vidéos-conseils qui cartonnent sur Internet. Le concept est simple: Henri Kaufman aka HK et Pierre-Philippe Cormeraie, aka PPC donne 7 conseils en 7 minutes sur un sujet définit. Voici une vidéo qui explique le succés et le concept.

Les highlights?
  • Une vidéo en home page de Youtube
  • Une mini interview dans un sujet du journal de France 2
  • Une vidéo à plus de 1 millions de clicks.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Twitter Advertising And Marketing One To One

Twitter have made couple of moves those past few days to speed up their “promoted tweets” advertising program. The idea is to implement advertising in Twitter users feeds. Of course, Twitter ambitions to have advertising which will matter to users. Hence, they have committed themselves to stop the promoted tweet if it did not get enough retweets in a specific amount of time.

Now the real challenge of Internet companies which based their business model on advertising is to propose customized ads to the brand. This is what we can call market one to one in customer relationship management term. You will segment your data base into different groups which would have the same behaviour, characteristics or hobbies, and then you will be able to propose them ads that will match their needs.

Google has thrived on its abilities to connect search requests with commercial offers. Facebook is starting to do the same, and seems to move fast into getting the best of the humongous amount of users data they own.

Now the third one is Twitter. I am still wondering about Twitter’s potential in terms of advertising. Because they have never really considered a business model while their user growth era, they don’t seem to know where to go in terms of how to get advertisement into it.

Therefore, I believe Twitter remains pretty far to monetizing its great audience. Developping a tool which will analyze through tweets and determine specific groups of people is hard to do. It seems easier on Facebook, where people have let their data about location, likes, hobbies, age and so on. Basically, while you register in Twitter, you leave no data about yourself at all. And this is the reason why it seems difficult to actually get accurate data.

Of course, Google is able to do so and they don’t ask you for any data. But Google has mastered the search market, and thanks to it, it was easy afterwards to get commercial on it.

It will be interesting to see what technical solutions will be developed and how efficient/attractive it will be for brands.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Why Your Brand Should Care About Social Media Users

It is a common wisdom to say that bloggers, Twitters or other social media users could have a great impact on a brand. As they master a fast growing medium, which is actually difficult to handle for brands that don’t have any experience, they could have a great impact on your customers thanks to word of mouth.

A recent study of Exact Target shows out that Twitter users, bloggers or regular comment reviews writers are 3 times more likely to impact brand’s online reputation.

"What happens on Twitter doesn't stay on Twitter. While the number of active Twitter users is less than Facebook or email, the concentration of highly engaged and influential content creators is unrivaled-it's become the gathering place for content creators whose influence spills over into every other corner of the Internet."Twitter users are the most influential online consumers - 72 percent publish blog posts at least monthly, 70 percent comment on blogs, 61 percent write at least one product review monthly and 61 percent comment on news sites.

According to these data we can see clearly that the “resonance concept” is true: Twitter users are more likely to spread the word of mouth at a high pace. All the different activities linked to twittering allow them to make a lot of noise on the web.

What does it mean for a company? It mainly means you must take care of your community. Community management is a key factor of success in order to spread positive vibes on these social media. You should not neglet this aspect, because if you don't take advantage out of your community by taking care of it, it will eventually cause you trouble if a crisis happen.
Also it is very important to take into consideration these data for customer relationship management purposes. Indeed, CRM is set to take care of the most important customers. Those customers might be important in terms of purchase power, but also due to their ability to spread good feedback about your products. You should find a way to evaluate the potential of these people, to act properly. Also, it would be a good idea to cross this information with your CRM data base, to see if some of your A+ customers are twitter users. It might help you go viral easilly in case you decide to plan such a campaign.

Micropayment As A Business Model To Monetize Content Generation

Have you heard about Flattr? I have recently read an article about it and I found the idea very interesting. Indeed, I am still skeptikals sometimes on the way you may have a profitable activity out of generating content on the web. A lot of newspapers are seeing their revenues falling because of the Internet: Not only they have fewer readers which pays the actual newspaper, but the revenues they generate from their website is way too few.

Another example would probably this blog, as any other blog. I spend a lot of time looking for information, ideas, which I could share here. And writting blog posts often during the week is time consuming. Do I get any money out of it? No. Actually, it is not meant to be. I write this blog because it allows me to share my ideas and opinions with other. I have met a lot of very interesting people thanks to it, and I still do. But if you really think about it, the articles I write could easilly be worth money if I was working for a newspaper/magazine.
Now, the professional news industry need to find a way to monetize its content. If not, information might get actually of bad quality. This is the same thing for all kind of art wich is present on the web: music online sharing has resulted into a decrease of music labels revenues, whereas we have never consumed more music! I have already discussed on this blog about Ruppert Murdoch which is willing to find a way to monetize its websites.

How does it work?
The user decides an amount of money he is willing to pay each month online for contributions he would have liked. Then, contributors can get a "Flattr" button to put on their sites. Each time the user click on it, it will give a part of its money. The total amount he was willing to pay on a month will be divided by the number of times it clicked on a button, and hence will split the amount given.

My thoughts
It reminds me a little bit the system Radiohead set for their new album: It was free to download, and people could make a donation if they liked it. The concept seems great, but would it be fair? Will people actually be able to make a reasonable amount of money thanks to it? I believe it could be interesting to see how it helps bloggers or other people to go on with their activities, and also if it will make them improve the quality of their posts.

What I like about the idea, it is that the user agrees to dedicate a part of its revenues to share with people it reads. That means that at some points it considers the information it consumes has a real value, as good as the one it reads in a newspaper.

How much revenues could you get?
Thanks to the system it seems difficult to get real revenues out of it. For example, let's say you aim to get 1300 € per months thanks to it, which is the minimum wage in France. If you start with the assumption you get 2€ per users (which is the minimum amount you may get per months on Flattr, you'll need at least 1000 real fans to get a minimum revenues.

I wish this service a great success, because it will probably be a first step to a new way to monetize information. And you, what do you think about it?

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Disneyland Annual Passport Offer: a great CRM case study

Ok, i decided to share with you some of my thoughts about Disneyland Annual Passport Offer as I am queuing right now to obtain one. Couple of weeks ago, I received in my mailbox a letter offering me an annual disneyland passport offer. The passport provides the access to the park for 300 days a year (exluding some blackout days like week ends during summertime).

The facial value of the passport is 99$, which could be even more if you actually come several times in the park. The entrance tickets cost. About 40€, so if you come every months it would be about 400 €.

So why would they offer me that? Well, I am leaving in the parisian suburbs so geographically I may potentially head to the park several times in the year.

Hence, as I am not a regular customer (I barely go once to the park a year), by providing me a free access to the park, they raise the chance I might come with another person that would pay its tickets, but mainly making myself purechase things and use services in the park. Therefore I might help the profitability of those.

In terms of customer relationship management, this is smart, by making such an offer, you have an opportunity to enlarge your database with new customers, and hence trigger new potential incomes.

Providing few tickets to former sleeping clients can't hurt especially compared to the large amount of traffic they generate on a daily basis.

I believe this is a great example of a new lead generation strategy, which fits perfectly in a global CRM program.
Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless device

Twitter's Growth Supported By Europe, Latin America and Asia

Found thanks to @skyboub a great financial expert of the valley, Twitter's traffic has more than doubled last year. This is not that surprising to see one of the hypest social media having such a fast growth pace, but what is very interesting as @skyboub said, is that Twitter has Twitter, with almost as many single users coming from Europe (100% growth) vs USA (20%).
Hence, if we analyse this chart, we can see that the Northen American market is near to be mature. With a worlwide growth of 109% compared to 22% in the United States, we can see that the US and Canada is already pretty big users of the service. 25 million users for about 310 million Canadian/US Citizens, we may say that 8% of the population of North America are Twitter users (unique users that connected at least once in the month of June 2010).
Hence, Twitter's worldwide growth is supported by Europe, but also other emerging continents like Latin America or Asia. But I'd really like to know how did Twitter has managed to cross borders and hence, to get such a large impact on other continents. Did they advertize? Did they have PR?
Indonesia had the highest penetration of Twitter usage, comScore’s data showed, with more than 20 percent of Internet users in that country visiting the website in June, followed by Brazil and Venezuela with 20 percent and 19 percent respectively. Venezuela’s adoption of the service could have been driven in part by Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez’s decision to join Twitter in late April, comScore said.
Now Twitter is big, and as I have said already, they must rush now to get a business modell in order to monetize their large audience.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The Future Of CRM

I am currently working on a PowerPoint presentation about the future of CRM. Customer relationship management has been around for a while now and the whole environment has changed:
  • The balance of power between companies and customers have dramatically changed. Now customers are more aware of its power, they are able to create communities and hence be listened by companies.
  • Technologies have evolved, and new media are a land of opportunities for one to one marketing.
  • The landscape has also changed a lot. From a niche of companies using top of the line customer relationship management program, most of competitors now have their own CRM strategy, which leads to an overload of programs and a high number of potential benefits in front of the customer.
  • Multichannel retailing is moving fast, and most of retailers have both Internet and real stores. Some of them have also mobile commerce plateform. Therefore it is difficult to get a hold of the different point of contacts with the clientele.
This presentation will aim to make a summary of how CRM has been thought, and how it has evolved. It will also shows out the main trend and example of what new customer relationship management strategy will look like in a near future.

If you have any ideas, please feel free to share, I'd be happy to show you out my work while it will be done.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The Unloyalty Reward Card

Loyalty reward programs are very popular. Fortune 500 companies to the small coffee shop around the corner own ones, with different level of technology and benefits. Now what about creating a unloyalty reward program? What would it be? Well, let's imaging that instead of rewarding customers that purchase often in your stores, you would propose them to get benefits from consuming at your competitors?

You might think this idea is completely silly. Nevertheless, the unloyalty reward program exists. It has emerged in the UK, in an Eastern London neighborhood. The Prufock coffee has designed a card it hands out to its customers in order for them to try out different coffee shop in the neighborhood. Each time they consume into a different one, they receive a stamp, which allow them to get a free coffee at Prufock's. Each time they get their free coffee and purchase a new one, the customer receive a new card ready to be stamped by a competitor.

You might think this is totally counter productive. In terms of customer relationship management it doesn't make no sense. Isn't the purpose of such a program to keep away your customers from your competitors? On the contrary, this program incentive customers to check around. In 6 months, 6000 of those cards have been released.

So Why Would They Do That?

The main reason is they want to promote the consumption of their product, coffee. They believe that by pushing customers to visit several coffee shops, it will be better for them because coffee consumption will be pushed.

Let's face it, this strategy could work in declining markets. Hence, coffee shops are going in limbo. Competition of chains like Starbucks, or Mc Donald's which has launched a new concept to reach coffee lovers, it is difficult for small stores to counterattack. By doing so, they somehow provide an alternative to customers and secure their niche.

Also, by providing the opportunity to customers to visit other stores, you allow them to compare, and therefore get some insights, which will provide you a clear landscape of your competition. It will give by your own customers the idea of what they are looking for, what your strenghts are, and what you need to work on.

I'd like to see how other companies could benefit from such a customer relationship management strategy in other industries. What do you think about it?

Monday, August 16, 2010

RFID Uses By Wall Mart Raises Controversy

RFID technology has been around for quite a while. But its full potential has not yet been shown out. Hence, within the last few years, the cost of such chips have fallen from 50 cents to 7 to 10 cents. This is the reason why Wall Mart plans to use ID tags to track clothing goods in order to better control inventory.

This technology will allow the retailer to keep a track of stocks, wherever it is located, either in a wharehouse, back storage, or on stores shelves. To go even further, it will be able to track goods while going through cash desks, and hence also have statistics about stealing. You can now easilly understand why Wall Mart is making such a move.

Now those smart tags are also raising some concerns. First of all, this tags can't be turned off. They may be easily removed, but will still be on. It may hence be dangerous and give some customers data that could be used against customers privacy.

"There are two things you really don't want to tag, clothing and identity documents, and ironically that's where we are seeing adoption," said Katherine Albrecht, founder of a group called Consumers Against Supermarket Privacy Invasion and Numbering and author of a book called "Spychips" that argues against RFID technology.

Read more: http://online.wsj.com/article/NA_WSJ_PUB:SB10001424052748704421304575383213061198090.html#ixzz0w1SDqViD

In 2007 American Apparel implemented a similar pilot program which resulted in +14% of sales due to optimized inventory management. To know more about how technologies might revolutionize the way retails are managed, you should check this out.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Vendor Relationship Management (VRM) Still Struggles To Impose

When I have found out about Vendor Relationship Management 2 years ago, I have been thrilled about the potential. Indeed, it incarnated in my opinion the future of customer relationship management (CRM). It was the materialization of customers taking power over brands, and the ultimate stage of the relationship.

But since then, a lot of websites have used this concept, but still it is lacking of a clear leader which would drive the concept into a mass consumption trend. Community management effort on Twitter or Facebook have marked the premises of this type of relationship.

I am currently looking for airlines companies and travel agency to give up discounted fare to organize my wedding. Indeed, about 30 people coming from the US will land in France to participate in the celebration, and need both airline fares and hotels. I have contacted couple of agency, but none of them seem to propose interesting discounts, in regards to the potential business they could generate from it.

If a VRM service would exist, I'd be able to make a competition between the different potential suppliers, but none of that exists. Obviously, it is difficult for companies to be eager to develop VRM, because that means somehow to loose control over their pricing and their ability to price upon their mergins vs customer's will. But still, new media and web technologies will force them to make a move.

I'd like to know if some of you have good examples of vendor relationship management websites, and if you use it.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Ecommerce: 3D To Improve Shopper Experience

There has been a lot of work undertaken by e-retailers in order to improve shopper experience.
They set up different tools to give as much information as possible to customers in order to them not to need sales person advices. They have also tried to make as efficient as possible delivery in order to compensate the fact you won't be able to get out of the store with your gear on.

In traditionnal stores, you may try the goods, or touch them, which is impossible online. Now ecommerce have already set new ways to showcast their products:
  • Videos
  • Pictures
  • Comprehensive details
  • Customer reviews

But now, 3D technology might give a boost in shopper experience. E retailer espacemax.com has launched its 3D shopping. Hence, if you have a 3D computer screen, or if you own some 3D glasses, you may have an interactive and 100% 3D representation of the good.

Only 3 purses are available with this feature. But I believe this might really change the way we shop online. It is going to improve a lot customer experience. I can't wait to see more goods available to play with. And you what do you think about it?

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Mc Donald's se lance sur Internet

Mc Donald's dans le E-commerce? Tout du moins Mc Donald's est en train de lancer les commandes sur Internet. Il y a plus ou moins 2 ans, Pizza Hut avait lancé un projet de ce même type.

Objectif? Utiliser le média Internet pour pouvoir capter de nouveaux consommateurs, via la publicité en ligne vers son site, mais aussi augmenter la productivité des équipes, en délaissant la partie "caisse", qui est bien souvent l'un des plus coûteux d'un restaurant Fast Food.

Pour l'instant le service n'est valable que dans 25 points de vente de la région parisienne ainsi qu'à Nice. Vous pouvez voir le sité dédié sur gomcdo.fr.

Pour l'instant, il semble qu'il ne soit pas possible de payer en ligne, ce qui est dommage car le paiement nécessite donc toujours du temps passé en caisse.

Maintenant, ce qui serait intéressant, ce serait pour Mc Donald's de passer à la vitesse supérieur en développant une application Iphone qui permettrait les commandes automatiques.

Je ne pense pas que ce service existe déjà, mais si vous avez des infos, n'hésitez pas à m'en parler. Et vous, que pensez vous de ce nouveau type de commande en ligne?

Monday, August 09, 2010

Geolocation To Change Local Marketing

Local marketing could be define as all the action you undertake in order to increase sales of a specific store in a specific location. Some of the best tools are for examples brochure sent around the point of sales. It could also be local radio station, which could be pretty powerful media.

Now the Internet has expressed a high interest in local marketing. Indeed a lot of yellow pages companies have sprung up on the web, either historical ones or brand new ones. But now, new geolocation systems could dramatically change the way you should apprehend local marketing campaigns. We have already shown on this blog some great examples on how to use either Twitter or Foursquare.

I have actually seen those past few weeks a lot of new Iphone applications which allow users to access discounts and specials around where they are located. What is very interesting is that like Cardstar in the US, is that you could use geolocation for customer relationship management purpose. Indeed, you may combine the location closeness to the brand awareness, by providing customized coupons while the customer goes by one store.

What would be interesting is to see a company using a massive budget for this kind of campaign. It would be interesting to have a comparison between a radio spot campaign of 3 weeks on local stations and how it could be efficient thanks to new applications and geolocation services.

Of course, there are very few people, high tech geeks, which use this kind of service, so it would be difficult to have a mass impact yet thanks to those tools. Now, as we can see the fast growth pace of Foursquare, it would not be surprising to see the interest rocketing pretty soon.

Hence, geolocation could be used either for generating leads and traffic or for customer relationship purpose (by rewarding visits in store or incentiving visits)

1. Customization:

Make sure to always customize your profile so that it reflects the branding of your local business in every way. Make sure your logo is not cut off so that your audience realizes exactly who you are.

2. Promotions:

You are going to need to dangle a carrot in front of your audience if you want them to really use your location based marketing efforts and show up at your business. Take the time to put together some good promotions where your location based marketing will work to your advantage.

3. Set Goals:

Set goals for yourself and your business before you start utilizing the location based marketing platforms to build your brand and get some more foot traffic coming through your door.

4. Engage:

Engage your customers to interact with you on and offline. Get your audience to perform some sort of action with you where your audience can see the interaction so they can also chime in.

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Social Media And Group Travel

Social media has changed the way we interact with our network. I have found this very interesting video about Trippy, wich gather Lonely Planet's content and Google wave into a collaborative trip planning experience.

It has never been easier to plan group travels. Now it is also a good example on how to use several different web services to create a mashup. What do you think about it?

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Lorsque les défauts produits se transforme en succès commercial: Le cas Orangina

Vous devez certainement connaître la petite bouteille jaune d'orangina. Orangina a été une success story depuis des années en France. Et pourtant savez-vous que l'attribut différenciant principal de ce produit se trouve être un défaut de fabrication?

En effet, l'Orangina possède de la pulpe qui reste au fond de la bouteille après avoir été réalisée. Ce défaut aurait pu être ennuyeux. Néanmoins Orangina a décidé de trouver une parade et de communiquer sur cet attribut plutôt que de le cacher. C'est ainsi qu'est arrivé l'idée de "secouer, sinon la pulpe reste en bas".

Je trouve cet exemple assez intéressant, car grâce à un bon axe de communication, on a réussi à rendre le produit différenciant, et ce défaut, une qualité en elle même.

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Social Media And Conversion Rate

A lot of companies are rushing toward social media, seeing it as a free and great way to promote their business. The hype is huge and the potential seems endless. But now a lot of them has been disapointed. It is difficult to apprehend this new environment, this medium that looks like nothing else. Hence, a lot of them end up getting high investment for little results.

Now social media remain one of the best way to communicate with your clients. It is the ultimate customer relationship management tool: For the first time, you are able to speak with your customers, share with them. And the benefit is that the word of mouth is so powerful that it will assure you a great exposure on the web. This is what we call "resonance".

Now new studies have shown that social media could lead to high conversion rate. It is important as a CRM tool to actually be able to measure the success of campaigns online. I found this very interesting article on a new website I discovered about retailing (In French) Vertical Retail.
Sage Pay, a payment system provider has established a study showing that if an Internet retailer has an average 7% conversion rate, visitors coming from social media would be 10 times more. 70% of those people coming from social media would buy in your online retail!
Harris Interactive undertook other research showing showing that half of the 35 years old or less population would follow the instructions of their friends, vs 17% for leader of opinions like famous people.
According to Sage Pay study, only 5% of marketers who have an online strategy would consider social media efficient. There is therefore a sky of opportunity for whom would be eager to take advantage of it.
Unilever's Chief Marketing Officer Keith Weed consider social media as "word of mouth on steroid". I dislike this term, but hey, it shows the importance social media is getting.
I like those kind of stats, because they show how important social media could be in your customer relationship management program.