Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Social Profiling

Thanks to the Internet, marketers are now conducting archeological digs known as social profiling to get closer to their customers.

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This is an exciting time to be a marketer. For starters, there is the daily challenge of keeping up with the evolving world of social media. Now, due to the collective intelligence gathered by search outlets and the rise in social network management tools, targeting potential customers is morphing. Demographics, the statistical characteristics of a population (e.g., gender, age, race, education, income, etc.) will no longer have the former relevancy as marketers determine their target market. Instead, marketers are beginning to examine multiple data points known as psychographics.

One critical component of psychographics is social profile data, the information gathered from the numerous social networks we navigate. Tools have been developed to fine tune a consumers’ preferences. Instead of being dropped into the classic demographic bucket of a Mom, age 25-34, college education with a household income of $75k, marketers now overlay psychographic information. New data points: personal interests (e.g., running, yoga, sewing), monthly online purchasing behavior, social class based on purchase behavior (e.g., cars, travel, food & beverage), etc. Sounds confusing? Now throw into the mix how the data can be mined to predict a customer’s lifecycle. Using the above Mom example, marketers will know the exact ages of her children so they can connect when she is ready to buy something like a Nod chair for her three year old or diapers for her two month old baby. Marketers now utilize algorithms to build a closer understanding, better relationship with their customers.

Key Implication: Fragmentation is now the norm. Consequently marketers will need to develop multiple positioning statements. A good example would be cars. Some consumers will view a luxury car for prestige and status, while other potential buyers will buy the car strictly for its interior space for comfort. Social profiling tools will help marketers reach their finite targets.

Can you identify your social profile?

Monday, July 11, 2011

Virtual Stores

Summer is here; time to launch another annual summer series under the umbrella theme of What’s Next USA? Today I will start by addressing Virtual Stores. Future posts are as follows:

- Social Profiling
- People Commerce
- FB Alternatives
- Mobile Vuvuleza
- The New Classroom

Read On:
Back in June, I indicated I am bullish about QR codes. They are a great hybrid marketing tool – intercept marketing (a proven classic marketing strategy) combined with a Web 2.0 collaborative tool. Tesco, headquartered in the United Kingdom, the third largest retailer (revenue wise) globally after Walmart and Carrefour clearly demonstrates my point with the creation of their virtual stores in Korea. Their research revealed Koreans are the second hardest workers in the world. Consequently, finding time to shop for groceries is an arduous task for most Koreans. Tesco, known as Home Plus in Korea decided to recreate the look of their stores by posting large, life size replicas of their food aisles in subway stations complete with QR codes. All commuters have to do is scan the items they want with their smartphones, a grocery shopping cart is created; the items are then shipped immediately to their homes. Great concept!

Are virtual stores on the USA horizon?