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12 posts from February 2014

How to welcome people to your web site

It's easy to build a web site that forces every visitor through one little chute (or funnel). Unfortunately, Tq130325edpeople arrive at your web site in all different stages of familiarity. The comScore web site is very elegant, and, in addition to About Us, offers a well-designed area called About You. ebay beats the Amazon firehose in providing a variety of paths to jump in. Slideshare beats Youtube in providing an orientation. Typepad does a nice job of letting you enter at your natural level of interest. What about your web site? Does it assume either everyone knows nothing or everyone knows it all?

Conversation Agent: Customer Engagement, 2014-Jan-27 by Valeria Maltoni

While for the purposes of breaking down the data and acting on it marketers are still talking about funnels, people think and act more in terms of phases of need in a continuous journey through their lives.

How responsible use of big data will happen

As we learned in Daniel Kahneman's Thinking, Fast and Slow, bad decisions by human beings are not just caused by greed or ignorance. Tq140210gdWith the best of intentions, people make irrational decisions. For many orchestras, performers now audition behind a screen so the selection committee can't see the applicant's gender, age or race. The selection committee knows they will find better performers that way. The data we can now collect will make it possible to avoid bias in many more instances. Applicants for jobs, degrees and grants will be able to present hard evidence of their suitability. And that will happen when we take control of the data ourselves.

At, Kevin Kelly recently said,

The Internet wants to track just like it wants to copy things, and it's going to be very, very difficult to prevent this thing that we're on all the time 24 hours, seven days a week, from tracking, because all the technologies—from sensors to quantification, digitization, communication, wireless connection—want to track, and so the internet is going to track.... It can't be secret and outside of any kind of accountability. We have to be symmetrical. We have to understand why it's there, what the rules are. If it's incorrect, we can correct it. There has to be ways to appeal it, all this kind of stuff, and so that's the kind of world that I think would make this a productive type of tracking.

The cover story on Deloitte's publication this month is subtitled "Socially responsible innovation through big data." They predict better products and services when companies use big data to serve their customers, not exploit them.

Deloitte Review: The personalized and the personal, 2014-Jan-17 by James Guszcza, David Schweidel, and Shantanu Dutta

The possibility of creating data products and services fueled by fine-grained behavioral information and shaped by the principles of behavioral science and choice architecture offers a framework for innovations that enhance rather than diminish public trust. The idea is one of many and certainly does not exhaust the topic of socially responsible big data innovation. It is reasonable to hypothesize that the organizations willing to take such ideas on board will be best positioned in the long run to distinguish themselves through superior, consumer-oriented product design and enjoy sustained profitability and growth.

The Care and Feeding of Facebook Pages

Last week, I was showing someone how to use the Facebook Page I help manage for our club. Tq130626hd2Then he said "so whenever I post an announcement to our Page, then everyone who liked the page sees the post in their newsfeed." Umm, no. "Well, if they're checking their feed, they'll see it?" Umm, not necessarily. What the following article explains is the fact that, in order for Facebook updates to fight their way through the competition and become visible, some person (not an automated tool) needs to be CARING for the Facebook Page. Yes, it's like having another pet to take care of. Sigh.

Marketing DoDo: The Fastest Way to Destroy your Facebook Marketing, 2013-May by Chris G.

You NEED to grow your Edgerank and at the same time grow the number of Likes....

Content is KING!

The best way to do so is using CONTENT.

Post content that engages users and encourages them to like, share and comment.

Ask questions, use images, and engage with your users.

Remember it is not about the number of likes you get to your page. It is about the interaction that they have.

The more interaction the greater your “Reach”. The greater the “reach” the more people see your posts and the greater the chance that people interact with your content.

#1 AVOID Facebook Ladders [cross-posting gimmick] like the plague! #2 Post at least 1 piece of Quality content every day. #3 Be Consistent. #4 Reply and Like ALL comments. #5 Find Facebook Pages in the same target market. #6 Contact the owners and build a relationship!

How to be newsworthy

Timeless advice. Tq140207sd

LinkedIn: Why PR is your best marketing tool and how to do it, 2013-Jul-22 by Vivek Wadhwa

We gave PR precedence over marketing and decided we would talk about whatever the media was interested in. My employees and I might make mistakes, be misquoted, and perhaps give out too much information, but I was willing to take the chance. We would have a policy of being accessible to and totally open with the media, customers, and investors. We would let our guard down and be ourselves.

Our products were really boring. We produced legacy systems modernization software. So we had to find a different way of getting attention. We decided that Relativity's best buzz generator would be our staff of Russian programmers, who had formerly performed top-secret coding for the Russian military and intelligence. We began selling ourselves as an exciting company with a James Bond edge.

The strategy worked. Even though we were located in what was then a technology backwater—Durham, NC—we were getting as much attention as the hot dot-com startups during the Internet bubble. In just the first five years, we were featured on all the major TV networks and in more than 1000 articles in major business publications worldwide. Fortune Magazine lauded us as one of the 25 "coolest" companies in the world. The Wall Street Journal featured us in more than a dozen articles—including two on its front page.

Most of these articles weren’t about our products but about our opinions. That was okay, because, as we saw, the credibility that you build as an opinion leader spills over into everything else that you do.

The Challenge in financing loyalty

For many large companies, loyalty is just a side-effect of financing. The store or gas credit card naturally allows the company to collect transaction data and issue benefits.

Coupling loyalty programs with can give companies a blind spot with regard to customers who walk into a store with their own financing. Customers may prefer to accumulate their spending bonuses with their favorite credit card. (I usually charge purchases on my Kroger-issued credit card to direct my benefits toward grocery purchases, freeing up more of my income for spontaneous discretionary spending.)

GE Capital is announcing a new Integrated Multi-Tender Loyalty product that promises to help small retailers incorporate customer data from social marketing platforms. But it is not clear that it can pick up data about customers that don't use the credit card GE Capital wants to provide the store.

Payments Journal: GE Launches Integrated Multi-Tender Loyalty Product, 2014-Jan-17 by Michael Misasi

The timing of this product launch is interesting for a couple of reasons. As a potential positive, the new product could cause investors to ratchet up growth projections for GE’s card business in advance of its pending IPO. Alternatively, consumers’ interest in loyalty programs could remain muted for some time given the recent data breaches at major retailers.