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8 posts from December 2012

Loyalty means working through the challenges of staying connected

Tq121224sdI was going to write about products I feel loyalty toward, but I just had an argument with my daughter, and I think it's a good time to remind people that loyalty isn't a bed of roses. Loyalty means hanging with someone or something even when you know its weaknesses. It means you see someone or something clearly and appreciate it's "net value." All other forms of loyalty are too fragile. Especially the "what have you done for me lately?" kind. 

I would like to recommend one of the very finest creative professionals of my acquaintance. I met Christine on her blog, then I met her in person, then we had a big fight, and then I thought I wasn't going to like her anymore but I still do. I highly recommend that you read what she writes, work with her, and even fight with her. 

Big Pink Cookie: About Christine, by Christine Tremoulet

Hi! My name is Christine Selleck Tremoulet. I’ve been blogging here at this site – with the original name of BlahBlahBlog – since 2000. I changed the name in 2002 because BigPinkCookie is a *lot* easier to say out loud. Plus it makes you smile when you say it.

Brands helping people be loyal

Although I was not able to attend the event, I was very pleased to see one of my favorite brands, Sony, supporting Houston artists. I also love the email newsletter Flavorpill. I'm not able to purchase anything from either of these brands right now, but I'm glad to show my support.

Flavorpill: Sony@713, 2012-Dec-13

Swing by the Sony Galleria store on Thursday December 13 from 7-9pm for Sony Sessions hosted by Craig Hlavaty of Houston Press. Rock out to and meet The Tontons, enjoy some very tasty eats from the Banh Mieria truck, grab a special mixed drink from Prohibition, Craft of Cocktails, and get an autograph or just some tips from awesome local artist Jermaine Rogers. The first 25 guests even get a free tee (designed by Rogers). You'll be reminded of just how great your city is.


Why being able to like a brand is important


Don Peppers has an excellent new post about loyalty management which I quoted below. Normally, I analyze loyalty as an attitude, but Peppers correctly points out that businesses can't usually afford to do that. Nevertheless, customers who buy you because they like you are much more valuable than customers who buy because it's convenient, or because they're trapped, or because you were the economical choice. He agrees. 

What occurs to me is that a brand needs to be open to being liked. (Maybe that was the long-term advantage to Facebook Pages, although they have certainly been abused.) I just don't have enough money to support every brand and charitable cause I admire. But I WILL send my friends to a brand and try to influence behavior toward that brand if it gives me a way to do it. So being liked is valuable, even if it doesn't come with an immediate financial reward. 

LinkedIn Posts: Customer loyalty--is it a behavior or an attitude?, 2012-Dec-17 by Don Peppers

In the long term, you want to do business with customers who want to do business with you.

Make your presence known by mastering something

Rob May is one of my favorite entrepreneur-philosophers. Tq121216zcAnd he reminds me about one of my favorite things about Houston. When you meet a Houstonian, the proper greeting is "So what are you working on these days?" We are fearless about trying things for ourselves. Rob reminds us that we can't be dilettantes, we have to get really good at a few things. Like making zebras...

Coconut Headsets: Why I chose engineering over philosophy and other thoughts on wasting your 20's, 2012-Nov-5 by Rob May

“Finding yourself” is bullshit.. - As someone who has read extensively in philosophy, neuroscience, and psychology for 20 years, I just don’t believe it. There is no “you” waiting to be discovered. There is no magic switch that will flip and suddenly you will be happy. Modern neuroscience shows that there is no unified “self” in the brain, and really, the existentialists had one thing right - “existence precedes essence.” You don’t find yourself, you make yourself. You try things and they don’t “stick” or don’t “feel right” because we live in a world where you have been trained to expect instant gratification. Take the time, take years, to master something important. It is worth it. And as you suck it up and fumble through the hard times, you will learn to love it. Stop looking for “magic” and get on with your life and you will be much happier.

Name it, claim it, change it

In her book 11 Rules for Creating Value in the #Social Era, Nilofer Merchant has a rule

"Learn. Unlearn. (Repeat.)"

Tq121213db2She writes about the necessity on constantly adapting to the evolving business scene. One of the big challenges is 'unlearning.' To start, you have to recognize something is wrong, which may require getting advice from an outsider. Then you have to start the process of 'undoing.' It's always a big struggle but with others' help, if you can identify what's holding you back, you can start to become free of it.

Yes & Know: What I Learned from my TED Talk, 2012-Oct-27, by Nilofer Merchant

The beliefs we are using to guide us are often a tacit thing — something we can’t see because we are so close to it that we actually can’t see it as a “thing”; it has become something “true”, an assumption that frames every decision. Chris Argyris wrote in 1992 that a major impediment to learning is that most organizations “store and use” information in tacit, versus explicit, forms.I’ve come to see that this is true for both personal and organizations situations. And without being able to name the thing, you can’t change the thing. But by naming it, any of us can and will see it as something we can question and only then can we unlearn it.

For the holidays, give someone power to find music they love

As a loyalty fanatic, I've decided to show some loyalty to my favorite products and services Tq121208cdthis holiday season. First up, Pandora. I've heard people whine about the ads on Pandora and my response is... for $36/year, you can support one of the finest listening innovations ever developed. You can pick up gift card subscriptions at Target stores. 

I usually listen to Pandora when I exercise, and I use shuffle mode to most of my saved stations so that I'm continuously surprised and delighted by what pops up. About 80% of the music is familiar, but when I'm feeling adventurous I can always program a new station. 

On a recent road trip with my mom, I plugged my iPhone into the car stereo and punched up the Bing Crosby station. What really thrilled her was holding the iPhone and looking at the Pandora information about the artist, album and song. She started sharing memories about her life and I heard new stories. I wish you that much joy this holiday season!

CNet: Pandora Radio Review, 2012-Nov-1 by Jason Parker

Just like the Web-based version of Pandora, the app lets you tap into an incredible library of music to create stations of similar artists and songs using an algorithm based on the Music Genome Project. You can browse through genre-based stations, or fire up a QuickMix. If you're already a Pandora listener, you can enter your existing log-in credentials, or you can create a new account right from the app.

As you listen, Pandora lets you rate tracks up or down, or skip tracks at will. Your ratings here will help Pandora home in on exactly the types of music you like

The future of marketing is unified data

For several years now, the most persuasive case studies in marketing innovation have been around unifying the company's view of the customer. Tq121207cbBeing able to see every message and interaction a customer has experienced is very challenging because it requires a system. Small companies have some advantage in having fewer people and data flows to co-ordinate, but they are disadvantaged in lacking the overhead and tools to connect the dots.

Customers have every right to demand that companies remember what they said to and did for a customer. Increasingly, the ability to leverage unified customer data will differentiate winners and losers in the marketing arena.

Only Dead Fish: The Real Marketing Lesson We've All Just Learned, 2012-Nov-12 by Neil Perkin

Much of the effectiveness of the [recent Obama] campaign's use of data would not have been possible without a unified data source. I've just completed some research work for a client in the area of multichannel marketing, and joining up disparate data sources to create a single customer view is something of a holy grail for many clients right now. The reason is that it improves the effectiveness of not just one channel, or a couple, but of everything you do. If you're able to profile your customers and prospects better, and have a more rounded and accessible history of all of their interactions with your company, your customer service team have more context which they can use to be more helpful, your email campaigns can be made more relevant by understanding whether the person your sending it to has clicked on one of your ads, or visited your website, or prefers to interact through mobile.