CRM-ing, engaging

Smart and Relevant Customer Relationship Building from Atlantic

a lovely example of talking to your existing customers from Atlantic Gas and Electric who this week sent me two free energy saving light bulbs.  I – like many people I suspect – get a plethora of items through the letterbox from brands with which I have an association; egg in particular is never shy of sending me an invitation to increase my ARPU.

so great to see Atlantic putting their CRM where there mouth is and sending me something which is tangible, practical and above all pertinent to the credentials there aiming to build.  more of this please.

internet, planning

“The one thing that’s the same about every holiday you’ve ever been on, is yourself”

Amy has pointed me in the direction of a Guardian blog post by Keith Stuart which highlighted the extent to which online gaming behaviour generally bears the same habitualised and routine patterns as the real world.

he cites research from Northeastern University in Boston,
MA, that – thru tracking the movements of 100,000 people
using mobile phone signals – demonstrated that:

"Human trajectories show a high degree of temporal and spatial
regularity, each individual being characterised by a time-independent
characteristic travel distance and a significant probability to return
to a few highly frequented locations" source

Stuart observes that the same is often true in video games (such as the hotly-awaited Spore in the image above); in his post he comments that:

"It would be interesting, within a realm like WoW or Second Life, or
even one of the larger CoD IV maps, to track player movement and match
this data to the real-life research. I think there would be
correlations. People often make the mistake of thinking games are about complete escapism, but they're not."

I think as comms planners we're guilty of being nervous of planning in the online space because we assume that consumers will adopt a completely new set of motivations and behaviours.  the reality is that they don't.  what's true for Arnie in Total Recall (the title quote of this post) is true of consumers when interacting with brands in the online space.

the internet's greatest asset is also it's greatest challenge – the fact that the canvas is so big and blank…  from ARGs to branded content via character blogs and gaming, there's a world of potential consumer engagement to explore and create.  our media planning experience makes us more qualified than most to
integrate online experiences into schedules and communications plans. 

Stuart's post reminds me that we shouldn't forget what we've learned about consumer motivations, desires and behaviours and translate them to the online space…  the canvas has changed but the fundamental rules haven't.  online is not a media channel and it shouldn't equal display and search as default lines on schedules.  brands should go create with the confidence that they're able to more confidently predict online audience behaviour than they may think.


“The first wave is freedom of choice and the second wave is freedom from choice”

the above lovely quote is reported in Contagious Magazine by computer scientist Bill Joy in conversation with Peter Gabriel.  the artist is launching The Filter – an entertainment portal that aggregates content around your preferences.

users set up a basic profile by rating a selection of genres
and artists in music and film – the Filter then
provides a range of relevant recommendations, and uses any further
selections you make to refine its service further.

add to this the obligatory social networking element that allows you keep tabs of what the coolest of your friends are up to and we have a great example of Andersen's third long tail behaviour.

in a world of plenty, the man who knows whats most relevant for you is king…  The Filter represents the latest with their eyes on the throne.