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A whole new level of cellphone shopping

February 28, 2010 Leave a comment

Read a great article today http://www.nytimes.com/2010/02/27/business/27shop.html?adxnnl=1&sudsredirect=true&adxnnlx=1267369937-YZiQEBPlCE9zbmLEG7aDqw

Undeniably, cellphone shopping is nothing new in today’ s urban life. The birth of smart phone applications opens a lot of doors to business opportunities.

The reported technology simply takes cellphone shopping to a whole new level. As marketers, our first priory is to engage the targets with technology and trigger more buying. At the first glance, the new shopping experience centers around a customized store application driven by scanning, tracking and wifi technology. Does online shopping or cellphone shopping fuel  impulse purchase? In my case, the answer is yes, because buyers are just several clicks away from the deal. In the old days, people had to undergo physical stores visits, try-on, chitchat with salespersons and carrying their trophies home at the idea of buying a new coat. Then I continue to think if it is marketers’  job to fully take advantage of new technology, thus encouraging more innocent impulse purchase?

If so, please join me with the following retailing marketer’s Utopia. A customer mops into his style section with the help of application GPS tracking. To save the hassle in the fitting room, he taps into the store-designed application where 10 clothes can be tried on with 10 seconds. Before that, the customer already inputs his size parameters (neck, chest, waistline, weight and height) to create a proportionately shrunk version of him. He quickly makes his decision after viewing photos of him with desired clothes on available in the inventory. He scans the barcode and pays the bill online. And he also ticks in the checkbox of delivery service. Before he walks out and picks up his date, the customer quickly makes a few tweets to brag his awesome experience.

I know. It’s a nice day without having to wait in the casher’s line and carry shopping bags! What he doesn’t realize is that he’s just made another impulse buy for the third time this month.

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Corporate Blog- An alternative for Toyota crisis management

February 13, 2010 Leave a comment

When I was reading the book Naked Conversation-corporate blogging, I was appealed by one of the chapters that center on blogging in crisis. This naturally reminds me of the recent PR gaffe Toyota is going through, which makes me doubt if there’s an alternative for the company to turn around in addition to TV and print recall ads?

Admittedly, people blow things up all the time. So do big companies. When it comes to PR communication, social media (blogging) can serve as a remedy to iron out crisis.  Apple, Inc is one of the big corporations that employ blogs to apologize to the general public. Here’s a link of 5 vivid examples briefing blogs in crisis management.  http://mariosundar.wordpress.com/2008/08/12/top-5-corporate-blog-apologies/

Personally, I think it’s a matter of  time before bad things all go away. The point is to minimize the period and regain customers’ trust in Toyota’s auto quality.  In compliance with the crisis management message” Moves Forward”, blogging might be a good means to show how Toyota technicians worldwide are dedicated to fixing things up, thus bringing more credibility to the brand image.

But bear in mind there’s always two-sidedness in corporate blogging. You cannot really tamper employees’ voices whereas proper censorship is still necessary.

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When Grammy meets social media

February 1, 2010 Leave a comment

Since the craze of social media becomes all-time high, I want to talk about social media marketing in entertainment circles, especially the 52nd Grammy Gala last night. Social media communication seems ubiquitous throughout the awarding ceremony.

I watched the show not but the whole package. My favorite part had to be the nominees’  impromptu interview before the ceremony. Some conversations really made me laugh aloud. Under such a chaotic circumstance, one of the hosts couldn’t help laughing at her own gibberish. Unsurprisingly, she helped marketing the interviewees by repeating their MySpace blog URLs and encouraged twitter feedback from the viewers. Poor girl! Because of social media, she had to remember tons of URLs in addition to celebrities’ names.

As the show went on, the puff ad of We Are the Fan appeared on a rolling basis. So I checked out the site. I have to say it’s a great online community where fans can upload their homemade videos to support these Grammy finalists. That reminds me of another form of social media experience: Video Blogs or vlog. In the meantime, I like the social media ballots submission feature too. But I’m not quite sure if this is something new this year. So come to think of it, social media is pretty user-friendly as to the adoptability. What’s amazing is that it brings communicators closer by combining a bunch of telecom tech, i.e., mobile and Internet, thus providing the new experience and enormous marketing potentials.

This morning, I was told that Beyonce was the biggest winner from my loyal tweets rather than news report. Of course, I would’ve known it from my WallStreet Journal podcast without Twitter. But nothing compares the rush of hearing something from your regulars. Once again, I’m convinced that social media is not a fad, but a double-edged sword that makes the entertainment business juicy and avails marketers of a slew of possibilities.

For Beyonce’s fans, you can have a flavor of her pages at www.myspace.com/beyonce;  www.wereallfans.com/#/Beyonce/

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