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Twitter Quitters and Hitters…

Twitter hits the world wide web again this week with yet more chat around whether Twitter is (or isn’t) a success or failure!

To start with the quitters… Nielsen has reported that 60% of users who sign up to Twitter fail to remain using the site after the first month – This compares to Facebook and Myspace who (reportedly) hit a contrasting 70% retention rate when they were at their peak.

For me the reason for these contrasting results is relatively clear. Taking facebook and Twitter as contrasting examples, facebook is easier… Twitter can suddently feel like this all consuming tool, you need to keep up with your own (and others) micro-blogs or you miss full conversations, titbits and information. Facebook, on the other hand, is easier to dip in and out of it. Photos can be explored when you fancy it, you can nose at people profiles on you own terms and the wall functionality means you dont miss notes that are relevent to you.

Twitter on the other hand… 3 days out and you’re behind the times!

I guess this poses the question as to where brands should sit on the twitter wagon. For me it seems like a no-brainer. Profile is setup for free. Individuals will follow you for free because they love you and, as long as you have something to say, then let your personality run and connect with your consumers. If someone offered you a free ad in a magazine being sent to 10k people who have overtly said they love your brand would you say no? No. You’d say yes so why should Twitter be viewed differently?

As with everything there are 2 sides to this. The side that annoys me is the brands that sign up who think that simply posting URLs is significant communication equally annoys me. Twitter should be about connecting with your consumers, listening to their conversations and revealing your personality in a way that no other brand does. Innocent drinks does a stirling job on this but I have heard plenty of excuses as to wjhy “innocent” can do it and they can’t. Innocent has a playful brand, a brand you expect to be personable and a brand that can get away with posting about what the receptionist is having for lunch. Other brands dont have that freedom. The brands are too functional for personality, or too corporate, or too cool. REALLY? Is that the failing of a brand manager in allowing a personality to develop or is it really the case that some brands can have a conversation and some can’t?

I’m not sure I know the answer on that one but its one I’m going to keep investigating as I think it unlocks the answers to some interesting questions (and excuses!)

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Data Versus Experience

I’ve been meaning to post up my paper to this blog for a while but, as with many things, its easy once you’ve finished something to push it to one side and forget about it!

My paper looks at the balance of data versus experience. Its a conundrum many online brands are faced with. Do they capture all of the data on consumers that the research department wants (to understand),  that the marketing department needs (to prove effectiveness) and the business insists on (for commercial understanding) OR do they throw caution to the wind and put the brands digital experience with their consumers ahead of registrations, locked content or tracking.

To quote:

data means the possibility for brands to have an appropriate and personal dialogue with you, the consumer, has never been more achievable, with the tools and data allowing tailored insight, and messaging that simply wouldn’t have been possible 20 years ago. It’s become a partnership that can be made as simple or as complex as the brands marketing team dictate, but it’s a process that’s made relationship building a statistical science rather than an emotional hunch.

The paper goes onto explore these looking at the likes of Tesco Loyalty card, Amazon, Bailey’s and Gurgle as differing examples of how  data can enhance as well as dictate the whole consumer experience.

Comments and thoughts welcome!

Data and Experience