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Showing posts from May, 2011

Emotional CRM

CRM as we know it is a glass half full. It assumes that consumers only have a rational relationship with brands. CRM software tends to segment and contact customers based on their purchase behavior. The reality is that feeling comes first. Emotions tend to lead to actions while reason leads to conclusion. So, why not fill the other half of the glass with emotion? Can we humanize CRM to have a more emotional relationship with customers?

Social network platforms and web 2.0 technology have opened the door to this possibility. Consumers are broadcasting their feeling every day through Facebook, YouTube and Twitter. We are living in a naked society where the lines between online and offline expression are blurring. Brands can assess consumers’ emotional states based on their online social behavior and anticipate the link to purchase behavior.

To see how this works, let start with the basics. According to Dan Hill's Emotionomics, there are 7 core emotions that can be grouped in three…

The Socialization of the Purchase Process

The purchase process as we know it hasn’t changed. People still need to learn, shop and get support. But through new avenues of digital and human interaction, this process has become more social. Consumers are relying on a community to inform their decisions at every step. Communities have become trusted advisors, and brands have evolved to become facilitators within those communities. Together, the communities and brand facilitators not only help consumers to learn about products, but also to shop and provide support. This socialization has opportunities and challenges for brands. On one hand, a social brand experience creates a trusted environment that benefits the brand with more likelihood to purchase. On the other hand, this environment can also expose any flaws in the brand experience across any touch points.

Businesses have the option to socialize different stages of their purchase process: learn, shop and support. To see how this works, lets look at three brands in the baby …

How much are your “friends” worth online?

The expansion of social networks has made social capital a mainstream term in our society. Wikipedia defines social capital as the connection within and between networks. Essentially, it’s about the value of your relationships. The bigger your network, the more access you should have to jobs, information, and supports.

Right? Well, not quite. Social capital also has a diminishing return. Image that you live in a society where everyone is a “friend” of everyone else online. Then, membership becomes less valuable. A surplus of friends in your network is likely to bring down the value of each individual friend. It is like being in a club where everyone can get in. You are likely to get less social capital out your membership even though the value of the overall network is bigger.

As social networks expand, so do online groups. These groups have mushroomed across social networks such as Facebook and LinkedIn. They provide a tighter community with higher level of social capital for its…

The Virtual Immigrant: The Economics of Digital Goods

There is no doubt that social networks have made the diasporas closer to home. I remember when I first came to this country as student 12 years ago. At that time, I had to buy phone cards every week to call my family. Now, I connect with them for free almost on a daily bases through social networks or Skype. Furthermore, I keep in touch with friends across the world.

New media has empowered immigrants to go beyond a simple phone conversation. Now, they are in social networks and are sending pictures and videos via smart phones. Their families and friends at home are also consuming digital goods from the US.

This new dynamic has created a virtual immigrant: an immigrant who is not physically in their home country, but continues to consume culture, ideas and digital goods from home. I wonder what is the impact of this immigration? Are people more connected to their home countries? Are these virtual immigrants also consuming digital goods and ideas from abroad, by watching videos on…

Building Digital Brands through the Art of Storytelling

There is a lot similarity between digital branding and filmmaking. They both have a story to tell for the audience to engage with the brand or film among many competing options. Filmmakers probably have it harder. They rarely get a second chance. Movies have a short window of time to make it or fizzle out. In fact, the film industry in general can forecast in the first opening week the total gross revenue for the year. As a result, Movies need to be relevant, unique, credible and interesting to be successful. This sounds a lot like branding.

Keeping with this analogy, let’s say that you want to assess your brand storytelling. Documentary filmmakers think of the story in a three-act structure, similar to playwrites. The hero’s journey has three acts to follow: problem (set up), confrontation and resolution.

To best tell the story, filmmakers tend to focus on the key scenes when the main character is confronted with the story’s central conflict. A good example is the Shawshank Redem…