Integrate and Personalise

Studied art and fashion design at Manchester then Westminster University. In the past 15 years Colin has been part of the buying team at Burberry, an Angel Investor, corporate film and TV producer, and for the last 6 years has run his own digital agency. An online social adoptee from 2005. He’s an exhibited artist.

I was recently asked by Chris and Stephen at 6º Network to present my experience of Zappos.com – a business that wrote the book on using social media for customer relationship management and marketing – if you don’t know about them can I recommend you look them up or at the very least buy a copy of the CEO’s book. It’s not a how to manual but an entertaining read of his experience and influences whilst building Zappos.com from one person to a $billion business in 9 years. What came from our discussion after the presentation were two interesting strands of conversation.

If you are a business that interacts with humans, would it not be better to act like you are one? For example you phone up a business and are faced with: “Thank you for phoning XX, if your problem is to do with…” and are taken through a series of automated steps – how about changing the process to one that is more friendly: “Hi my name is Fiona, thank you for phoning XX one of our team is ready to help, could you tell me how we can solve…”

Or the email addresses for the business contact section are all: info@XX, theteam@XX or contactus@XX… cold, faceless approach that states, we don’t want to know who you are so we wont tell you who we are either! A very simple exercise and one that customers enjoy is the personal approach; it’s a very simple exercise to change your contact emails to an individual: James@XX or Indira@XX… In this very digital world we need to know there are real people there that we can share our experiences with and get help from.

The other element is the true integration of delivering advertising within a social media strategy – involving those existing customers and fans of the product in the process. At the very least sharing “the making of” or true online crowd sourcing for those inspirational elements – the point being that there is a build up of activity before the advert is released on TV, so that there is a very real likelihood that the fans and followers will watch a particular programme to catch the first screening of the advert – rather than just releasing it and dumping it on your Youtube Channel and Facebook page…

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