I had a recent holiday travel experience which got me thinking about loyalty programs. Here's what happened:
I traveled home to see my family in Nebraska on American Airlines, Forrester's preferred airline and the airline where I have all my miles and am currently a Platinum Advantage member. Due to a delay on my return connection out of Chicago, I didn't land back in Logan until about 12:30am on 12/26/07.
In getting off of the plane, I dropped my hat and did not realize I was without it until I was already at baggage claim. Of course I could not go back through security to look for the hat, so the security agent indicated I should ask the baggage attendant for some help.
I explained what had happened to the baggage attendant, Linda, and she immediately indicated that there was nothing she could do. I continued to try to explain that I was sure my hat was between the gate and security and just needed some help finding someone to retrace my steps. I'm not sure if she wasn't listening or didn't care, but she indicated I was providing her "improper information" and she could not help me. I mentioned that I was an AA Platinum traveler in hopes that that might help her come to my aid. In response to this information she replied, "I don't care who you are or how much you travel."
Now that the FTC has cleared Google's acquisition of Doubleclick, we have only to wait for Europe and it will be a done deal. That makes it sound easy. In reality, Europe will probably be the toughest fight, particularly because much of the concern surrounding the deal is around privacy. For those who read John Lovett's blog this week, note that Google already has plenty of places to track behavior, albeit all on Google properties. Doubleclick has the potential to expand that far beyond such boundaries. But I have to admit that I do see the FTC's point that many other large properties have recently been allowed to acquire far reaching ad networks that provide similar opportunities. This week Microsoft announced its new partnership with Viacom, which will include replacing Viacom's Doubleclick software with Atlas as well as an ad revenue deal. There is no reason why Microsoft can't benefit from relationship the same way Googleclick would have if Viacom hadn't made the switch.
In January and February I'll be making presentations (in Japanese) at three events hosted by the Persona Consortium. If you're interested in hearing about the role of personas in designing customer experiences, please send an email to the following address:
I've been trialing the beta version of Zumobi's new application. I highlighted them in a piece of research this year on why cell phones (well, consumers really) could use a companion for their cell phone browsers. One of the basic ideas in the report is that it's difficult if not impossible to squeeze a desktop type experience onto a small screen. Wireless devices (esp. cellular wireless) with small screens would do better with content optimized for them. Zumobi does this.
The distribution is online today - you can download the beta application from their site. It prepopulates your application with a few "tiles" (what I would call a widget by which I mean fairly simple, single purpose application) and then directs you to their online site to browse for more. There are/will be viral components as well that allow you to share applications.
I really like the "tile" layout b/c it leverages the 12-digit numeric keypad that most phones have for navigation which makes using the application fairly intuitive. Zooming in/out is easy. Content is formatted for the small screen.
I got an email last week from a marketing firm that was different than most of the briefing requests I get. This firm, Milk Media, partners with dairies to place branded advertisements on the back of the individual-sized milk cartons served at lunch time in schools around the country.
Interesting to me, is that the email (see below) calls out how similar companies have been chastised by the FTC for marketing to kids in a controlled environment. Milk Media, it claims, is an a-ok marketing environment because milk promotes a healthy lifestyle.
I wanted to take just a moment of your time to introduce you to MilkMediaand their unique niche marketing with Milk Rocks!
CMOs feel pressure. They want their roles to be more strategic and at the same time, they are faced with an increasing number of changes in the marketplace from the expectations of customers to the impact of technology. So, how can CMOs evolve and help themselves to meet these demands and advance their own careers?
As an analyst for Forrester's CMO Group, I was curious about the answer. Turns out, so were many CMOs! So, my colleague, Meagan Wilson, and I partnered with Heidrick & Struggles to conduct research and survey over 130 chief marketers to understand what it takes to become the evolved CMO.
Forbes did a piece today on TryPhone - an online information site and simulator of sorts for cell phones. It's still in beta. I tried the Blackberry Pearl - had a hard time using the Pearl, but you could get a sense of the screen layout, available features, etc. To be fair, it's still in beta. The site also featured product specs, information, etc. and looked ready to line up consumer rates (star system).
Phones fall into the category of a product that consumers will likely research both online and offline. This application will complement existing online offerings - even the large pictures of the phones will be a step above what most sites offer even without the demos. If they could offer competing prices on handsets alone plus carrier offers, this could become a destination site for all buyers. According to our research, this doesn't solve all consumer issues with online research, but it's at least one step in the right direction.
Thinking of deploying a widget in Facebook or other online community? First, you'll need to know the three different types that can be deployed. Rodney Rumford shares with us the difference between widgets, applications, and canvas pages.
What should Interactive Marketers do before deploying widgets? He shares his strategic viewpoint that aligns very well with the Forrester POST methodology. Find out how widgets can be used for interactive social games resulting in an engaging communities around a brand.
I was speaking at a conference regarding web communities, and while in the audience, I listened very carefully to the speakers, some of which I follow up with for research interviews. These videos are turning into a supplement that glean the highlights I learn from the research interviews. I'd love your feedback on these mini-interviews, are they helpful?