28 July 2014

The Economist: Clever Use of Everyday Technology

Every other day we see examples of rocket science being used to design ambient/interactive outdoor advertising to get passers by to engage & share .

Yes almost 4 years old, but a HT to Katherine Ablan for refreshing my memory of this elegant use of simple everyday technology to generate a WOW experience whilst adding to the Economist message:

13 October 2013

Saigon! Places to Eat

"New York, New York a city so nice, they named it twice," was Gerard Kenny's ode to his favourite city in 1978. As someone who likes a good authentic meal, I've just been to Saigon a couple of months ago and can't resist the chance to visit it again this week.  

Here are a few places for you to check out, whilst in Saigon:
Best Pho Place in town recommended by a local: Pho Dua , 288 Nam Ky Khoi Nghi
Banh Xeo 46A: serves "Vietnamese pancakes  (salty stuff, not sweet) and other stuff. Pretty popular street style restaurant too. Address is 46A Dinh Cong Trang Street, District 1off of Hai Ba Trungstreet. Any cab driver would know the place.

Best café in town, with lovely views  and cool design shop attached L'Usine
There are 2 in District 1, go to both if you have the time. The one with a view of the Opera from the balcony is great to hang and people watch.

Pho Places:

This is a breakfast place. Go there before 12 if you don't want to be disappointed. It's very close to Movenpick Hotel.

Pho Cao Van is a small shop that doesn't really look enticing but the pho is really good. The address is 25 Mac Dinh Chi street, it's close to the US embassy.

A more hip and laid back Pho joint is RU PHO BAR Alley 27E Tran Nhat Duat, P. Tan Dinh, Quan 1, Ho Chi Minh City.


A great restaurant to discover regional Vietnamese food… (great for lunch),  Quan Ngon 138, Nam Ky Khoi Nghia, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City.

A great place for dinner is May Resturant 3/5 Hoang Sa, Ward Dakai, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City. Honestly, the food here is better than the service and the place can be a little difficult to find. But worth the effort of finding the place and putting up with the indifferent service.

Another gorgeous roof top restaurant. Beautiful views and food… (great for dinner)

If you are around the Ben Thanh market, do check out:
Nam Giao: it's a popular restaurant that serves "Hue" food. The address is 136/15 D Le Thanh Ton street It's in a small alley at one end of Ben Thanh Market. 

If you are a fan of Anthony Bourdain, do check out Lunch Lady. She runs a small stall at  Phường Đa Kao, District 1 (Quan 1), Hồ Chí Minh, Vietnam. She's now a sort of celebrity, with TV cameras always waiting for an interview. Well worth the visit, for her broth is awesome!

Finally, save yourself for a 7 course French meal at:  Trois Gourmands, 18 Tong Huu Dinh Street, Thai Dien Ward, District 2, HCMC Tel: +84 8 37444585. The owners and staff are lovely, so is the food, wine, cheese and dessert. It's a little travel to get there, but worth it.

A word of advice, Only use cabs from VINASUN or MAILINH companies (both green and white). They will turn on the meter without asking any question. Any other cab companies will try to scam you.

"Golden Lotus foot massage" is great after a long day of walking the streets or doing nothing. Enjoy!

06 August 2013

Lovely qoute from Jeff Bezos, on his plans for the Washington Post

"The Internet is transforming almost every element of the news business: shortening news cycles, eroding long-reliable revenue sources, and enabling new kinds of competition, some of which bear little or no news-gathering costs. There is no map, and charting a path ahead will not be easy. We will need to invent, which means we will need to experiment".

05 May 2013

RFM Analysis & the Triangular Theory Of Love

The simple RFM analysis has been the backbone of many a successful CRM program. Predictive CRM models, and predictive technologies in general, are getting sophisticated, but few brands and companies have access to the kind of data, tools, skills or budgets yet to make the best use of them.

The easiest way to develop a Recency, Frequency, Monetary (RFM) CRM model is to map the spread of date from purchase, # of times purchased over a time period and total money spent during the time period - to bucket the individuals relative RFM value into either a High (3), Medium (2) or Low (1). For example an individual with a High Recency, High Frequency & Medium Monetary Value would be classified as a 332.

This results in a snapshot of loyalty expressed through spends, 8 clear segments and broad recommendations on next actions to work relationships - including which ones to nurture, woo or ignore.

Suffice to say the RFM model operates on a rather limited & rational viewpoint of marketers and purchase behaviour to define loyalty, expressed via a single dimension, when true loyalty should involve hearts as much as spends.

Reality is that not all people care, or are interested in relationships with brands - at least not the kind of relationships they have with people they care about. As Rob Campbell & Charles Wigley spoke a year ago "Loving Brands and loving a brand are very different."

Agree, not all brands will have fanboys. Nor will all active users profess love for their brands. Within this limitation, the Triangular Theory of Love may just be a nice complement to RFM - to peg expectations, measure and nurture emotional loyalty.

  1. Both RFM & the Triangular Theory are based on 3 identifiable & trackable Parameters - Recency, Frequency, Monetary vs. Intimacy, Passion & Commitment
  2. Both give you a snapshot of the state of affairs and output 8 clear actionable segments - RFM as above and these 8 based on Intimacy, Passion & Commitment
  3. Both can be assigned at an individual level to come up with a plan to nurture, woo or ignore relationships.
As I write we are are on the cusp of rolling out a massive CRM program in Infant Nutrition. Will share learning in a few months from now.

Credits & thanks to Rob Campbell and Charles Wigley for the above 2 slides. Taken from their joint talk at the Asian Marketing Effectiveness Awards, Shanghai 2012.

09 March 2013

Changes to Facebook News Feed

A quick summary of the changes announced on 7 March 2013,  and what it could mean to brands:
  1. The new design will be rolled out slowly to web users. Existing content & ads are not impacted. Mobile changes to be rolled out by end March.
  2. No change to Edgerank. The selection and order of stories will stay the same
  3. Specs for page posts and ads does not change, but they will be displayed differently in both the news feed and ads.
  4. Some Photo Page posts may have the caption on top of the image
  5. Page Like Stories will display the cover photo of the brand's page.
Details at http://www.facebook.com/about/newsfeed.

11 February 2013

Misconceptions on the role for Social in CRM

As a practice, Customer Relationship Management (CRM)  is simple in concept but  complex to pull off well.

In it's simplistic view,  CRM is about aiming to build the kind of relationship a neighbourhood grocer would have with regular buyers, except it needs to be operational at Scale. Technology, Business Rules & Services - Databases, Marketing Automation, IVRs, Mobile Apps, Rewards, Call Centres, Analytics - to name a few, are necessary to make this CRM vision a reality.  A good CRM strategy - one that really attracts & influences loyal behaviours - is complex to architect,  implement and even more to operationalise without glitches. But when it comes together, it's works like a charm to nurture and attract mutually beneficial relationships.

Which is why I find it baffling when the term "Social CRM" is thrown around loosely as a modern substitute for anything & everything "CRM." I disagree.

Yes, branded Social Channels offer lots of options for brands to reach out, engage, influence and help spread the word. But IMO they are best suited to:
  1. Getting conversational with prospects
  2. Driving light buying
  3. Showcasing excellent customer service / customers belief in the brand - to influence prospects 
Beyond this, Social platforms are weak in their capabilities to set up & deliver personalised CRM communications. The crucial phase of the relationship - moving light users to increase portfolio or frequency - is still best nurtured via complementing personal CRM channels - e.g email, mobile, direct mail etc... 

It's been proven, time and again, gains in market share for brands comes first through increasing popularity,  i.e by gaining more buyers  of all types, most of whom are light  and buy occasionally. Branded Social channels can play this role, whilst more private channels  work to complement. So while Social is not a substitute for everything CRM, as yet, it can work wonderfully well if its role in the mix is defined well at planning, taking into account it's limitations.