DigiEx

digital, agencies, life, and other stuff

Posts Tagged ‘Brand Experience’

Amazon fail: when global email marketing goes bad!

Posted by Lee on September 2, 2009

I used to love Amazon, no really -I just loved them. The ultimate bookshop, the ‘Bookshop at the end of the Rainbow’, Amazon was my online booklover haven.

I’m also a bit of a gadget freak / geek and would love to own a Kindle, the amazing super sleek ebook reader. Amazon is at one level, very clever as a couple of months ago their system sent me an email all about the Kindle. It had links to more details about what is in many ways, the i-pod for books. There were also links to video clips showing the Kindle and their happy owners getting acquainted.

It worked, I wanted one, and I wanted it then. I was excited because I knew that until I received that email, it was only available in the USA. With trembling fingers, I pressed the ‘buy now’ button and………….. damn it, it was still only available to people in the USA!!!

Slightly annoyed, but still interested enough to try and find out when they might be considering rolling out the Kindle to an international audience, I emailed them to find out more.

I got a very prompt reply – but not an intelligent, ‘in context to my specific enquiry’ – no, it was a stupid auto-response that thanked me for my enquiry and then pointed me to a bunch of FAQ links (by the way, they didn’t answer my two key questions).

Maybe I’m not that bright, but since then, whenever I had a few idle moments to spare, I’d go back to the Amazon site and try to find a “Contact us, we’re real people who are really interested in you, our customer’s specific request” button or link. I’ve yet to succeed in this quest.

So why am I writing this post about something that happened a couple of months ago?

Could it be because today I received another email from Amazon? It was sent to me because:

kindle 1 extract

Yes, they got me again – and when I looked online – no, the Kindle still isn’t available to us down in New Zealand!
Ever the optimist, I emailed them because surely this time, as their email was so specific, there’d be somebody waiting to answer all these excited queries? I even tried to use a little bit of sarcastic humour to generate some friendly banter between myself and a friendly customer service rep:

kindle 2 extract

Well, I got my reply, but was it from a friendly customer service rep?
No way, never, nada – but I did receive another email from the friendly but contextually inept Amazon auto-bot that went something like this:

kindle 4 extract

OK, so now I admit defeat, and from now on, every time I’m tempted to order more ‘real’ books from Amazon, I’ll stop and think of all those friendly, helpful store assistants in my local book shops – real people who, if they don’t have a book in stock will order it for me…… probably from Amazon!

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Posted in Advertising, Brand Experience, Internet, Marketing, Sales promotion, Technology | Tagged: , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Trent Reznor 1, Mojo Magazine 0

Posted by Lee on August 17, 2009

Love him or loathe him, Trent Reznor is a genius. Nine Inch Nails has been around for years now, and although too dark and ‘industrial’ for some, his work has always been original and exciting. However, his vision extends well beyond pure music and includes the wider digital realm.
NIN’s Year Zero 2007 concept acted as a beacon of hope for a music industry desperately attempting to keep alive a terminally ill business model.
yearzero_coverYear Zero was a total multi-media experiential project, incorporating an ARG, live events, merchandise and social media – however, the actual CD was a key artifact, a central piece of the expanding phenomenon that was Year Zero.
It was also acknowledged as one of the great marketing campaigns, picking up a Cyber Grand Prix at the 2008 Cannes Advertising Festival – I had the privilege of judging the campaign at that event.
Since then NIN have experimented with different distribution models, allowing fans to download the album The Slip from the NIN Nails website (free of charge), and an EP to coincide with their current tour.

julymojoTrent Reznor’s status as a digital pioneer is already well known and well documented, so why am I writing this post?
Well, I’m a big fan and long-time reader of Mojo, the Music Magazine, as it has well written news, interviews, and reviews – and in the July 09 issue there was brilliant interview with Trent Reznor. The article provided some real insights to an older and wiser Mr Reznor. I was so impressed by the piece that I wanted to ‘tweet’ about it and provide a link to the interview on the Mojo website……..
There was just one small problem – there was no sign of the interview on the Mojo site – there are other interviews on the site, but ironically, of all the musicians Mojo interview, they didn’t choose to upload their interview with one of the music industry’s internet gurus!

To add insult to injury, I emailed Mojo and asked whether they intended uploading the piece to their site so I could link to it. This was their reply:

Out of Office AutoReply: Trent Reznor interview – are you going to put it online?

Hello,
Thank you for your email.
Please note that you have come through to MOJO editorial. The team will only deal with queries specific to the editorial content of the magazine, including competition entries, letters and complaints.
However, if you have an enquiry relating to subscriptions you can call 01858 438 806 and they will do their best to answer your question. Advertising queries should be made to the ads team by calling 020 7295 5000.
Thanks for your support,
MOJO

An auto-response – Gosh, I feel special, thanks Mojo, very ‘social media’ of you!

Posted in Awards, Brand Experience, Entertainment, Experiential Marketing, Internet, Marketing, Sales promotion, Society | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

First, a silly, disgruntled employee on Facebook, next a potential employer

Posted by Lee on August 17, 2009

………. on an online employment site.
Last week, we had the case of the stupid employee and Facebook, but now we have a candidate for the ‘Best, and Most Motivating Job Ad Award’ – and the role is for a ‘Skilled Part-Time Office Administrator’

Originally spotted and tweeted by @MrsLPikon, it has now been highly re-tweeted around NZ in the last couple of days.

logo_seeknz_subpageThis is a genuine advertisement on Seek New Zealand (and just in case the job ad is removed by the time you read this), here are some motivational excerpts from advertisement, written by the MD of the Accounting firm that’s searching for the perfect job applicant:

‘Personality Wise I’m looking for;
Someone who loves details. i.e charging clients the right amount, entering addresses into the database correctly, having the right name on a letter. You want make basic mistakes because you’ll do a quality job.’
Hmmmm…….. ‘you want make basic mistakes’ – a test for an applicant perhaps?


‘Someone who can take a project and just “get it done”. I don’t want to hear about the problems and issues and reasons that come up. I simply want the results agreed upon to be completed on schedule and to spec, no excuses. Let me repeat that point – no excuses. Either something is done or it isn’t, there is no “I tried”, “I’m waiting to hear back from someone”, “I sent them an e-mail…”, or “I don’t think it’s possible.” Either it’s done or it isn’t.’

Aha……. He wants a graduate of the world famous ‘No mistakes, No excuses, No tolerance’ School of Management

‘Someone who always say “Good Morning!” and leaves their personal life at home. When you’re here, you’re here and no matter what happened before you walked in the door you’re “present” when you’re in the office. Upbeat personality is key.’
What this means is ‘Only Happy Robots Need Apply’

A dynamic person who can switch projects and focus with ease, and can easily multi-task between various projects. Things change (including my mind at times!) and this should be both expected and anticipated!
What do you mean, you’re not clairvoyant?!

This guy is extremely precise because he goes on to say:

I am NOT looking for:
– A 9-3 punch card “Hey, I got done what I could today but I gotta jet” kind of person
– Someone who comes in and thinks “Hmmm… what should I do today?” (Hint before you leave you should already know what you’re doing the next day)
– Someone who likes to yap with co-workers while or instead of working
– A deadpan personality

The last 2 comments are a bit of an oxymoron, as he wants a person who doesn’t talk to other staff members, but they must have an outgoing personality.

OK, any takers? Is this the best part-time role you’ve ever seen?
Go on, you know you want to work there really, don’t you?

On a more serious note, and to give the writer of this ad the benefit of the doubt, we are in the middle of a recession, and there are far too many applicants out there for every role – perhaps he has written this as a ‘filter’ so only the keenest candidates will apply. The trouble is, he may only be left with the most desperate ones – not the best criteria by which to employ someone! Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Advertising, Consumer Trends, Economy, Education, Entertainment, Internet, Marketing, Society | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

User or Customer – the same difference?

Posted by Lee on August 13, 2009

Photo 14We all hate examples of poor customer service, whether before, during or after we’ve made a purchase.
Who can blame us for being intolerant of service failures – I mean, if we pay good money for something, it should work shouldn’t it?

But here’s the thing – what about those services that have become like oxygen for our digital lives?
Twitter, Facebook, Skype, WordPress and any other number of free online tools, communities and services fuel our insatiable thirst to stay connected, and they’re free. Surely as reasonable human beings, we make allowances for service failures from these suppliers, because we don’t even pay to use them?

Wrong – it’s counter intuitive, but we’re so addicted to our minute-by-minute, social networking ‘fix’, we seem less tolerant when these services fail, than when a paid for product or service lets us down.
You don’t agree?
Well, just look at the backlash and outrage after a Twitter failure, or Facebook outages – what about your reaction to the poor quality video call the time you Skyped an overseas friend? Our intolerance goes beyond our reaction to service failure, it extends to our reaction when these providers to attempt to monetise the environments they provide through other means, like advertising – how dare they?

What does all this mean? Have we forgotten that these services are free, or have we moved into a new societal model where ‘users’ have the same expectations as paying customers, and we expect the things we choose to ‘use’ to work as well, if not better than those we buy? Are we all just becoming unreasonable or is it that we believe that the time we invest using these tools is payment enough?

What if Twitter charged everyone with an account, a nominal fee of say, $2.00 per month?
They’d certainly receive a direct income from us allowing them to upgrade and maintain their online service.
We’d also be legitimate customers, so would that make us even more demanding and intolerant, or would we all just leave in droves and find a new free thing?

Posted in Cogitating, Consumer Trends, Social media, Society, Technology | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Experiential Marketing – shaping the future of global brands?

Posted by Lee on August 8, 2009

HSTLast year I was delighted to be asked by Henry Stewart Talks* and Max Lenderman to contribute to an online seminar series entitled
“Latest Thinking in Experiential Marketing – shaping the future of global brands”.
I contributed one of the seven talks in the series, alongside six leaders in Experiential Marketing from the USA and Canada. The other contributors were:
Max Lenderman, ECD of GMR Marketing, Canada (Max was also the Series Editor);
David Polinchok, Founder of Brand Experience Lab, USA;
Sean MacPhedran, Director of Creative Strategy, Fuel Industries, USA;
Tony Chapman, Founder Capital C, Canada;
Drew Neisser, CEO, Renegade, USA;
Jonathan Singer, President, JSEM, Canada.
Henry Stewart Talks have recently released the Experiential Marketing series onto their site. This and 25 other terrific Marketing and Management related series are available for download by subscription, however you can preview each talk on the site before committing to buy.

*Henry Stewart Talks publish commissioned audio-visual presentations by world leading experts – Subject areas include biomedicine, life sciences, advertising, management, marketing, finance and transnational crime. Subscribers include a wide range of universities, medical schools, colleges, manufacturers, government agencies and service companies throughout the world.

Posted in Brand Experience, Education, Experiential Marketing, Marketing, Web tools | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

What the f**k is social media – one year on

Posted by Lee on August 5, 2009

In September last year I put a link to a terrific presentation called “What the f**k is social media” and I made the point that while a great ‘primer’ for social media, with the speed things are changing, it would soon be out of date.

Well, the authors of that presentation, Espresso, obviously agreed, and have released “What the f**k is social media: one year later”. Excellent, and just take a look at some of the updated statistics!

Posted in Consumer Trends, Internet, Marketing, Social media, Society, Technology | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

A ‘sign’ of the times? Enterprising brothel advertising

Posted by Lee on July 29, 2009

My good mate Hemi, the owner of Wakefield Hotel, a cool clothing and footwear shop in Cuba Street, Wellington NZ takes his camera everywhere with him for business and culture inspiration.

brothel_ads_for our timesLast week he spotted this just around the corner from his own store.

Yes, it’s for real – and a sign of the times maybe?

You just have to admire the operators of this ‘Gentleman’s Club’, don’t you? We’re all living in a retail hard sell “Sale, Sale, Sale” economy now – at least they weren’t advertising an “All you can eat” offer!

For those of you who may be interested in investigating this ‘Sale’ a little further, check out Il Bordello

For the rest of you who want to check out the best range of sneakers and urban threads in Wellington, go and see Hemi at Wakefield Hotel on Cuba!

Posted in Advertising, Brand Experience, Consumer Trends, Economy, Entertainment, Marketing, Sales promotion | Tagged: , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Facebook – how are they using your pics?

Posted by Lee on July 26, 2009

facebooklogoI’m not naive and totally understand that Facebook and other social networking sites need to be able to find ways to monetise the millions of eyeballs, engagement (and server space) they’ve accumulated, but I think they’re in danger of betraying the trust millions of users have placed in them.

Apparently, Facebook has agreed to let third party advertisers use your posted pictures alongside their ads, without your express permission.

Facebook could easily make the effort to properly inform each and every one of their registered users about any changes they intend making to the terms of service. Yes, I accept that you can opt out of this change if you actually know about it, and once you do, it is easy to do – however, many users will be oblivious to this change – not good enough Facebook!

So, unless you’re happy with Facebook using your own personal pics in this way (not just on your behalf, but also your family and friends in your pics), you may want to exercise your rights to ‘opt out’ and preserve your privacy. Here’s how:

Log in to your Facebook account.

Click on “Settings” up at the top where you see the “Logout” link.

Select “Privacy”.

Then select “News Feed and Wall”.

Next, select the tab that reads “Facebook Ads”.

In the drop down box, select “No One”.

Save your changes.

There, all done!

Do it now, and you may want to let your friends know as well.

Posted in Cogitating, Education, Internet, Social media, Society, Technology | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Customer Service – Go Doosh!

Posted by Lee on June 5, 2009

It’s getting colder now, so the other morning, while waiting at the airport for yet another delayed flight I went online to look for a warm, mid-weight jacket / coat.

About 3 years ago I’d brought a couple of long sleeve Tees from a cool NZ clothing brand called Doosh (Yes I know, their name is a bit suspect, but their clothes are cool), and I remembered that their jackets were pretty good as well. So I checked out their website and saw a jacket I liked the look of, ViewImage.aspxthe Arctic Coat (no, this not me modeling it!).

Although Doosh has an e-commerce store, and  I am happy to risk buying tee shirts etc online, I’m not going to buy a coat that way as I want to be able to try it on and check out the quality.

Unfortunately, their site didn’t say which retailers stocked their lines and so I clicked through to  ‘Contact Us’  and at 8.43 am, sent an email to Jacob Dodds (Doosh’s Account Manager), to ask whether was anywhere in Wellington that  I could check out the Arctic Coat.

At 9.08 am, just 25 minutes later, I got a friendly email reply from Dana Foster, their Warehouse Manager, giving me the details of Doosh’s Wellington stockist – Marvel Menswear – excellent! I went round  to Marvel Menswear later that day, tried on the Arctic coat, and brought it on the spot.

It may be a sad reflection of our times, but nowadays an incredibly prompt and friendly reply to a web site inquiry stands out as amazing customer service to me.  Simply by responding to me as they did, I was already predisposed to buying their product, and the only thing that could have ruined it was if there had been a product quality issue (there wasn’t), or poor service in-store (the service in the store was excellent).

Nice one Doosh, and not forgetting Marvel Menswear!

Posted in Brand Experience, Cogitating, Consumer Trends, Internet, Marketing | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Amazing, I want one of those!

Posted by Lee on May 11, 2009

This has been out for a couple of months now, but it’s just so cool I wanted to put it up on my blog.This is not science fiction, it’s reality and Sixth Sense is one of the projects from MIT Media Lab.

Video of presentation comes courtesy of TED and forms part of their ongoing series of TEDTalks – watch and be amazed, but I don’t think they’re taking orders yet!

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “Amazing, I want one of those!“, posted with vodpod

Posted in Conferences, Consumer Trends, Experiential Marketing, Internet, Mobile, Society, Technology, Web tools | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »