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Thursday, December 30, 2010

Twitter can do that too?
The question has been answered.  According to an article in a recent (December 6,2010, pg. 13) issue of Brandweek, we should think of Twitter as: “a global, real-time news source” (I agree),  “a means of instant communications” (I agree again), and “a barometer of social dialogue” (time to stop drinking the kool-aid).  While there can be little doubt that if you run a restaurant, are in the recording industry, or are a retailer running a two-hour doorbuster sale, then Twitter is critically important to you.  But those who think that checking in on Twitter (or for that matter even monitoring the entire Internet) will give them an objective reading of what the buying public is saying about their product or service, sorry but it’s just not that easy.

Certainly there are categories in which a lot of communications takes place on Twitter, but those who have researched the issue recognize that overall the vast majority of word of mouth (more than 80%) takes place offline.   Consider all the private face-to-face, telephone and texting that we all do.  Compare the trust you place on what you hear and read from those you know personally compared to what strangers (some perhaps even with ulterior motives) communicate on Twitter or comment pages.

Twitter is an important component of the public dialogue, but anyone making strategic decisions about their business without also tuning in to private word of mouth is making a critical error.

4:58 pm est          Comments

Sunday, December 12, 2010

The Price of Loyalty Points
Earlier this year Tropicana with much fanfare introduced its Juicy Rewards Program. Tropicana changed its packaging, built a program website and supporting database, spent time striking deals with manufacturers whose prizes it awarded, ran advertising, contracted with mommy bloggers, and more.  In other words they spent a considerable amount of money.   Like other “loyalty programs” my assumption was that Tropicana hoped to: 1) retain more current customers, 2) encourage current customers to buy more of their products, and perhaps 3) to win new customers for its brand.

At the time I blogged my questions of whether such goals could be accomplished through a program that basically provided discount coupons for other brands.  I questioned whether orange juice was really the kind of product that someone would suddenly start buying more of (I mean how much can you drink of it, even if it is good for you) just because of some discounts. 

I questioned whether Tropicana management had considered that they would most likely simply be giving points to the folks who were already buying their products.  Most importantly I questioned whether the marketers in charge had planned any objective measure that would allow them to compare program costs to actual value produced by the program. 
We hear now that the program is being "extended" until February 2011.  That sounds a bit like the program has been cancelled and they are trying to gracefully bow out.  Anyone know whether there was an actual comparison of costs to business generated?  Or can we assume that somebody in management finally realized that they were simply giving a very low value reward to people who would have purchased their product anyway?   (Costing them money and perhaps even damaging the brand while in the process.)
9:55 pm est          Comments

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