Tag Archives: reputation-me

Kitchen Table Conversation and Making Your Customers Feel At Home

Have you ever been to an ING Direct cafe? They’re opening a new one in San Francisco and here’s how they describe it in the press release.

Designed to make saving money and banking a true retail and community experience, the Cafe will be a place where locals can have kitchen table conversations about finances and get to know ING DIRECT.  Also, the community can get a great cup of coffee, surf the net through free WiFi and enjoy several floors of creative space to work or hold meetings.

Intrigued by the concept, I did some looking around on Yelp and found many people were as skeptical as I was. What’s next, asked one woman, the Wells Fargo Waffle House? But as odd as the concept of bank meets cafe is, it appears to be working. I thought I’d see people complaining about the hard sell. About ING Direct salespeople sitting down for an unsolicited chat, but not so. The majority of comments left on the ING Direct cafes were about the cheap price for gourmet coffee, the comfortable surrounds and the free WiFi.

From out here, it looks like these are inexpensive cafes, respites from the hustle and bustle of the city, where you can also check you ING Direct accounts and attend a financial seminar. Pretty nifty.

It’s a concept Barnes and Noble and IKEA have been using for years. Offering customers food, drink, and a place to sit down inside the store so they have no reason to leave.

Now let’s take this concept online. When your customers come to visit you, do they feel at home? Are they comfortable? Are you providing them with virtual “snacks?” You may not be able to offer your online customer a cup of Peet’s coffee while they shop, but are you giving them a reason to stick around? That might mean giving them the latest fashion news if you’re selling clothes, or music to listen to while they shop (but please no autostart players!). Invite them to watch a video, play a game, respond to a poll. And most of all, make sure they can reach a human being with their questions.

It takes more time to walk out of a physical location then it takes to click the X in the corner of a browser. So it’s up to you to make your customers feel like they want to grab a seat and stay awhile.


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Kitchen Table Conversation and Making Your Customers Feel At Home

CBS Says Age and Sex Don’t Matter

TV network CBS is taking a stance about sexism and ageism, but it has nothing to do with their hiring practices, it has to do with viewer demographics. CBS is working with Nielsen to devise a new way for categorizing viewers, one that is based on viewer behavior instead of their vital stats.

AdAge got the scoop from CBS Corp. Chief Research Officer David Poltrack, who talked about the idea at the Advertising Research Foundation’s Re:Think 2011 conference.

Poltrack says that small test studies conducted by Nielsen and Nielsen Catalina have proved what he’s always known, which is that “There is no link, none, between the age of the specified demographic delivery of the campaign and the sales generated by that campaign.”

He pointed to the results of a test involving snack food buyers. The survey came up with a long list of shows that snackers listed as their favorites, but only three of those shows were tops among the coveted 18-49 age group. Now, this is a good place to note that CBS has the oldest audience of any of the five networks with a season premiere median of 54.9. Since they land well outside of the preferred age group for advertisers, it’s possible that this influenced their decision to erase age from the equation.

Poltrack didn’t dodge this fact during his speech, he actually used it to make a very good point for all marketers. The 18 – 49 demographic is on the decline and is headed to hit a low of 55% by 2016.

As for noting whether a viewer is male or female, it’s fair to say that there are certain products that lean more one way or the other, but gender lines are shifting. Diaper companies now run ads aimed at men and there are plenty of car commercials aimed at women.

CBS’s wants to build a new ratings model that divides the audience up into behavioral segments.  (From AdAge)

TV companions: For this group, TV is almost always on and is like a member of the family.

Media trendsetters: Early adopters of technology and new content, and also 39% multicultural.

Sports enthusiasts: Made up mostly of men, but most guys aren’t classified here. This group also likes action-adventure programming.

Program passionates: Highly involved with favorite shows, and the biggest DVR time-shifters.

Surfers and streamers: Most open to watching alternative content on TV and most often using laptops or tablets to multitask while watching TV. They skew young, but include a large component of 50-plus people.

TV moderators: Those who enjoy being experts and leading others’ choices.

I fit nicely into the “program passionates” label. The perfect person to get pitches about the latest TV on DVD ads, TV tie-in products and anything that my favorite characters eat, drink or touch on my favorite shows. It doesn’t matter how old I am, or that I’m a woman. I’m likely to buy those products because I am passionate about my shows.

Finally, somebody gets it!

Earlier today I was reading an article titled, “Of Course Social Media Works — If You Measure It Right.” It’s another call to stop using click-throughs as the be all and end all benchmark of digital success. Like demographics for TV ratings, click-throughs are a measure everyone recognizes and so it’s a measure they trust. But with the changes in technology and in online and TV viewing habits, blindly sticking to the old way isn’t doing anyone any favors.

When Nielsen began measuring audiences, it made sense to group them by age and sex. Laundry detergent manufacturers wanted to reach young women with families and razor companies were after men of shaving age. But who are you trying to reach with an ad for the iPad, or green smartcar or the latest Glee soundtrack?

I’m here to tell you that if you based your advertising pitches to me on my gender and age, you’d be way off the mark.

What do you think of CBS’s plan to switch from demographics to behavioral targeting? And smart or not, do they even have a chance of changing fifty plus years of ratings history?


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LinkedIn Uses Email To Thank Early Adopters

Today, I received an e-mail from LinkedIn Co-Founder and Chairman, Reid Hoffman. OK, so I was one of 1 million recipients of the same e-mail but it stuck out as a strong example of using a simple thanks for those who helped get you there. The e-mail went out to the first one million account holders of which I had no idea I was one.

It also served as a great reminder of how I need to get more involved with LinkedIn so the e-mail kind of re-ignited my interest in the site as well. Here it is. Once again simple but effective. Nice touch.

Where does LinkedIn fit in your social networking efforts? Could you use it better? How do you use it currently. Let us know!

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LinkedIn Uses Email To Thank Early Adopters

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Facebook Wants Everyone to Answer Your Questions

Facebook is now trying to facilitate more business related activity through its soon to be widespread Questions offering. The idea of Questions is not exclusively for businesses, since you can ask any type of question through the feature, but it’s obvious that Facebook is looking to facilitate more conversations that promote businesses because then it becomes easier to integrate Facebook Places and then, ummm let me think, oh yea, advertising.

From the Facebook blog

Friends are often the best source of advice when you’re trying new things: Where should I go to dinner? How do I go buy a car? What new music should I check out? Friends know your tastes, and you have confidence in their opinions.

Like many of our products, Questions originated as people began using Facebook in a new and unexpected way. People would update their status with a question, and their friends would answer in the comments. We saw this and began thinking about how we could make this interaction more useful. Over the summer, we began testing Questions with a small group of people, and today we are beginning to roll it out to everyone.

Here is what a Question page may look like when asking the question of your friends about their favorite restaurant.

Here, however, is where I always feel that Facebook is crossing the line and making it actually harder for some people to use their features. The blog describes the following ‘opportunity’ for users.

Questions will also enable you to cast a wider net. Now, when your friends answer one of your questions, their friends can answer it too. For more unusual questions, you can get advice from a broader group of people, but to keep it most relevant we filter the answers to show you first what your friends think. You can see more responses by clicking “others” within the question.

Personally, I don’t want to cast a wider net and I suspect that not everyone does either. Honestly, I have about the average number of ‘friends’ on Facebook. How many of those are really friends that I interact with? A small percentage. So my thinking is that if I don’t even have a real relationship with the vast majority of my ‘closest’ Facebook friends why would I be interested in getting recommendations from even less familiar ‘friends of friends’? My question is what kind of ‘friending’ can of worms do you open up when you cast this net? Knowing Facebook there will be some kind of unannounced result of doing this that people will discover the hard way. i guess I should be happy that at least they haven’t made this sharing with others mandatory…..yet.

Silicon Valley’s obsession with sharing everything with everyone regardless of your relationship with them has little to do with social. It’s all about capital. The more people ‘interact’ the better it is for advertising. But for the actual users? Letting everyone know everything starts to visit Creepytown pretty quickly. It used to be that you shouldn’t talk to strangers now it’s “Don’t’ worry, we’re all friends!”.

Hey Silicon Valley types. The rest of the world may not actually want to be as chummy as you think. Just look at some of the reaction yesterday to the Color photo sharing product. For every person thinking this is the future there are an equal amount saying that it’s nuts to share everything with strangers.

Of course, this is just my opinion and all of these products and decisions will be driven by dollar based thinking with the PR front of ‘connecting the world’. Be honest, Facebook, what you want to really connect is our wallets to your bank account. Just say it. It’s cool. We understand.

So what’s your feeling about the potential to share with people you have never met and may never even want to meet? Is that a good thing or am I just whining? Go ahead and tell me. I can take it :-) .

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Facebook Wants Everyone to Answer Your Questions