Like my flights to and from Barcelona, this blog post is rather late...
On Friday morning, I spoke about the need for us to reconsider customers on a social level. As marketers, we find ourselves relying more and more on consumers to impact others in their purchase decisions. Evaluating customers based only on their business or financial value - such as my much-loved Life Time Value, or an operation's ROI - is *has been*.
I called for marketers to integrate a second dimension - the social value - into their thinking. What's social value? I've simplified it into 3 components:
1) A customer's knowledge and involvement - in short, his level of expertise and interest in the category and brand.
2) How he participates, and the value of his connections - what social activities is he involved with (both on and offline) and where (on what networks is he active). The value refers to the value of the connections themselves: are the communities more tightly-knit or diffused, are they public or more intimite.
3) The number of contacts the customer has in each network.
The first time I used Web analytics, I mean "really" used Web analytics, was to end an argument. I was running the technical and eCommerce department for an online retailer, a really amazing online gadgets Web site, and the creative director and managing director were near to shedding blood over the following business-critical issue: Should a button on the home page be blue or purple, or maybe it should blue plus purple (blurple), as opposed to purple + blue (purue)? Two hours had gone by, and eight people sat in the room while the two worked themselves further and further away from rational thought and principles of civilized behaviour. I feared for the health, safety and sanity of my work colleagues.
So, I think it's safe to say that I used Web analytics for the first time as an act of sheer desperation. I used to it end the argument once and for all -- I logged in to our new Web analytics software while the two fought, and was able to show them that not only did the customers not care what colour the button was, but in fact, not a single customer had used the button in 6 months.
If you've never been to Barcelona, you may not know that the local language here is actually not Spanish...it's Catalan, the native language of Barcelona's region: Catalunya. Children here are taught in Catalan, and while many also learn Spanish and likely English, I've run into several locals who speak only Catalan. And then of course, since the attendees at our event are from all over Europe, there are dozens of languages filling the air during networking breaks and one on one sessions.
I mention this because it struck me that as the world becomes a smaller place (easier to travel anywhere you like, similar businesses/foods in different regions around the world, even the same pop-culture icons and references), cultures are becoming fiercely proprietary about the things that do define their culture from another: like language. What a perfect thing to establish who is qualified to be a member of a given community? If you speak our language, you must be similar enough to us, and proud enough of our heritage to be in our community. Language then, isn't just a mode of communication; it is also an expression of identity.
[Guest post by Mary Pilecki, Senior Analyst, Financial Services]
This morning, Mats Torstendahl, CEO of Danske Bank Sweden spoke about the bank's efforts to stand out among many competitors and grow market share. Over the past ten years the bank has redefined its branch strategy to focus it on advice, rather than transactions. Over 65% of the bank's customers perform transactions through e-banking, and are turning to the branches for face to face advice on their finances. Danske Bank is targeting entrepreneurial type people to manage their branches, and empower them to price products as needed -- as long as they meet overall financial goals. They've also resized branches to be smaller and more boutique-like, placing them in less expensive real estate such as the second floor of buildings, and on the outskirts of cities, rather than in prime commercial space. Customers have embraced the new approach, preferring the better parking facilities in outlying areas, and the VIP feeling when they have to be "buzzed through" the locked doors of branches.
I had "dinner" at Can Paixano last night - talk about being social!
During the day, there was a lot of talk about social computing initiatives and we tweeted quite a bit of it. As I hear about different brands, industries, and technologies, some questions keep coming to mind:
Mark Taylor followed Jaap by discussing a new take on Wunderman's long-term strategic approach to relationship marketing. Specifically, he mentioned marketers must acknowledge the shift to "The age of influence marketing" by embracing two new channels:
1) The Channel of Me and 2) The Channel of Us
Both channels actually leverage the *consumer* as a marketing vehicle as well as as a target audience.