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3 posts from April 2008

How to Evolve Loyal Customers by Experimenting

080428b While the Picasso/Cezanne analogy seems to annoy people, Malcolm Gladwell's new presentation on loyalty building shows great insight. He contrasts a Picasso-like desire for immediate results with a Cezanne-like commitment to testing new ideas and "taking a journey" with your customers. He's right about one thing: customers don't expect you to be perfect, they just expect you to show a commitment to them.

1to1 Weekly: Webview: British airways Takes a Cue From Cezanne, 2008-Feb-18, by Elizabeth Glagowski

Experimental innovation (Cezanne) examples, such as Apple computers, HBO's The Sopranos, or even the Grateful Dead, deliver a lasting connection to customers and fans. "Their journey took a small audience with them, and as a result it's a relationship that's enduring and evolved," Gladwell said. In many cases the brands and customers mature together. "You want to allow customers to grow with you and build strong bonds." Unfortunately, that's not how most businesses operate, he said. In today's measure-happy climate, companies tend to throw ideas away if they don't produce immediate results.... Gladwell argues that patience is critical. "You will lose out on 50 percent of successful creativity with a 'Picasso' strategy only," he said. "We need to adjust our expectations of when we think something works." By creating a space within your organization for experimental innovation with customers, companies can balance short- and long-term innovation to allow for both types of creativity while building lasting loyalty.

Marketing with Social Objects Vs. Social Media

080414a"Social media marketing" is justifiably hot. If your brand can participate, you have an opening to find more evangelists, build awareness, obtain cachet, and maybe even ride a trend to higher revenues, all at lower cost than traditional advertising. However, the unpredictability of social media marketing is daunting to many marketers.

Fortunately, the architects of social media are beginning to find a path. Jyri Engestrom, the founder of Jaiku, recommends five principles for building a social service. First you must define a "social object" that participants can share. That item may be a video clip, a new communication method, a hot deal, or a new job lead. Whatever it is, it must be presentable as a gift. View the whole 50-minute presentation to get tremendous insights into the dynamics of social media. (Site is Dutch, but video is English.)

Gapingvoid: Looks like i'm back drinking the stormhoek kool-aid again, 2008-Apr-11, by Hugh MacLeod

Between 2005-2007, Jason Korman and I tried out a lot of different experiments with social media. Some worked better than others. Some of the stuff we had high hopes for, utterly failed. Some of the stuff we had very small expectations for, caused major earthquakes in the wine marketing world, and sold many tens of thousands of wine cases. Like they say in the movie business, nobody knows anything. That being said, we did learn the hard way that there's a lot to be said for keeping things simple.

Gapingvoid: More thoughts on social objects, 2007-Oct-24, by Hugh MacLeod

The most important word on the internet is not "Search". The most important word on the internet is "Share". Sharing is the driver. Sharing is the DNA. We use Social Objects to share ourselves with other people. We're primates. we like to groom each other. It's in our nature.

How Pepsi Identifies Evangelists

080411a Some companies try and recruit evangelists (loyal customers who help market the company), but I think a wiser route is to identify them by their actions, the way Pepsi does.

RetailEmail Blog: Takeaways from the Email Evolution Conference. 2008-Feb-14, by Chad White:

We identify email forwarders and treat them differently, rewarding them, said Lawrence DiCapua, Pepsi’s senior marketing manager. They reward them by promoting them to a VIP program within their Pepsi Extras loyalty program, along with others who show acts of evangelism. People have to requalify for VIP with each campaign—except for bloggers, some of whom are permanently VIPed.