Monthly Archives: November 2010

Interesting Marketing Trends

I’m doing some marketing research using google.com/trends.  Virtually any marketing oriented search terms show a decline in search volume over the years including advertising, marketing, direct marketing, database marketing, web marketing, CRM, and CEM.  There is one group of terms that do show growth: social marketing oriented terms.  Specifically, “social marketing” shows significant growth starting in 2007 to 2008.

Even more interesting, “facebook marketing” search volume has grown more rapidly that “social marketing” and in the later part of this year the two had similar volumes.

Also interesting is that the volume for “tv advertising” matches that of “social marketing” prior to 2007, but in 2007 continues its decline where “social marketing” search volume increases.

Of course, this doesn’t mean that marketing on facebook is approaching the volume of TV advertising (or ever will) but it does display facebooks growing marketing brawn.

Sources of Data: Rapleaf

I had a conversation with a rep at Rapleaf yesterday. They provide real-time data feeds and seem most notable for monitoring and collecting data from social networks. They provide both gender and age demographic data for free via their API.
A few interesting notes from our conversation:

  1. They maintain an Influencer Score that ranks how much influence a person has online. My contact mentioned that in their experience there is an inverse relationship between a person’s Influencer Score and the response to physical mailings: the more influence they have online, the less likely they are to respond to mailings.
  2. The opposite is true for email response, where there is a direct relationship between a person’s Influencer Score and their response to emails.
  3. It would be beneficial to target people with high scores, give them special coupons to pass along, or just generally make sure they are happy with their experience.
  4. In addition to the Influence Score, they maintain lots of other demographic data.
  5. By using the API, you could customize content (online and in emails) based on data from Rapleaf if we wished to do this. The API’s avg response time is 30 milliseconds.
  6. The data is expensive ~ $0.03 – $0.05 per field per record, although the rep did imply that there was room for negotiation if volume warranted it.

I will have to check out the API.

Interesting contrast in experiences while shopping on Black Friday

I followed my family to the mall on Friday. I’m not a big shopper, but did my duty as a father to join my family and whip out the credit card when necessary. While in the mall, I made note of the “experience” various retailers created.

I noticed the greatest contrast when comparing the experience as Sears vs. that at dELiAs. Sears was as I expected it to be: confusing arrangement of products, limited inventory, messy changing rooms, alarms going off, and long check-out lines due to insufficient registers and check-out clerks. I can sum it up by relaying a conversation I heard between two employees who were folding clothing. Clerk #1, “This sucks.” Clerk #2, “Yeah, it always sucks on Black Friday.” This wasn’t a subtle, under the breath, conversation; it was at a normal voice, for all of us to hear, and it was much longer than what I relayed here. Also notice, that I was standing right in front of them, looking for a particular size and not finding it. I was curious to see if they would offer me help, but not surprised when I didn’t get it.

Now let me contrast that with my experience at dELiAs. Mind you, I’ve never stepped in a dELiAs (or even heard of the brand) before, but my 13 year old daughter was rather excited when she noticed it in the mall. I followed her in, credit card at the ready. I have to say, it was a very pleasant experience, even for me, the dad. We were immediately greeted and asked if we wanted any help. My daughter said no, and rushed off to look at some clothes. The clerk, then offered to take my jacket and bags and put them behind the register.

All over the store, I noticed clerks engaging customers. There were conversations about the clothes, certainly, but about other things as well. While my daughter was in the fitting room, my wife had a conversation with two clerks about where to eat and what other shops we should visit. For me to say that shopping for clothes with my daughter was pleasant, is an amazing statement. I hate shopping, hate shopping for clothes even more, and absolutely dread shopping for girls clothes. (Can’t they all just wear Levis and a t-shirt?)

At then end, when we left, I was given back my bags and jacket. The multiple bags had been consolidated into one big dELiAs bag, making sure I associated the experience with the brand. The only thing missing was some way of allowing or encouraging me to take my experience viral…a subtle push to share.

First Post

Here is where I will log my experiences and growth as I learn more about CRM, CMR, CEM, social CRM, and how they all intersect.