The Age of Digital CRM has (finally, eventually) arrived !!
"How odd !" I thought this morning when I logged onto my PC. The day was not going well. I had to clear my busy diary and work from home, nursing #1 son, whose sore throat and general illness prevented him from going to school today. An experienced parent, I have learnt when one of my boys is really, genuinely sick.
I am also reminded by my ever-so successful and terribly busy fellow working but active parent chum H (vs. rarely seen upgrade v2.1) not to over share personal details on social media. LoL (it doen't mean 'lots of love' any more...)
This week I commented on a (good) draft of a literature review on mCRM, having recently given the "over promise, under delivers" CRM lecture for second year Management undergrads. With a culture of 'always on' mobile devices supporting push email, huge data processing warehouses and web 2.0, all the esential ingredients would appear to be in place for some genuinely individualised, appropriate and effective 121 marketing to be coming our way (or Customer Relationshp Management if you will.)
For several years I have been using this YouTube clip from the Tom Cruise movie Minority Report (Cruise plays a pre-crime policeman, whose role is to intercept criminals just before they commit the deed) to bring alive the idea of the ultimate personalised, automated shopping experience. Whilst retina scanning remains the preserve of passport authorities and airports (it is slower to catch on than most envisioned based on the technology deployment at Heathrow airport) the mobile device, technology convergence and wifi/bluetooth provide tech savvy entities with the opportunity to lead the implementation of contextually relevant mobile advertising. Think of the 'Around Me' ap. Never thought this would be useful, how wrong can you be ? Spy on your family members location using the mobile fone tracker, lovin' it, to appropriate a McDonald's tag line.
I've had three inappropriate direct mail executions arrive at home (H advises not to be too detailed here) in the last week.
(1) Someone claimed to have serviced our boiler before we moved in.."Dear Homeowner"..not going to use them, British Gas gave me a list as long as my forearm of issues around the rather cowboyesque instalation that will see me digging a drainage trench and filling it with little limestone chippings when the weather lets off. I've already lagged an outside pipe, tried to fill a void that sucks all the heat out the house and spent £5 on a little, bendy, plastic, valve thing that will squirt over-flowing boiling water on your feet rather than spray you in the face.
(2) VW thanked me for my recent inquiry. You know I love my Beetle. How did they know I'd been looking at a Volvo V40 Cross Country ? I certainly won't be buying a VW next unless they start manufacturing a 21st Century camper van, with a flat front and circular lights. I hadn't actually made an inquiry with them. My boys and their chums need more leg room than the Beetle can provide, however macho the new Beetle mark III is.
(3) Johnnie Boden (once a close personal friend, whose annoying behaviour is nearly seeing him put on my barred friend list). I need say no more. Every week he offers me 20% or 25% or free something. Or season sale. Or pre-season special sale. I am a free clothes peg for his XXL flowery shirts. He can't bring them out quick enough. I like them so much I even pay full price some times. I wear them at campus on show pony days to illustrate my non-conformist yet conformist credentials.
Collar, but not corporate.
Unfortunately the offers are coming so thick and fast I don't believe them any more. The designs I like are rarely featured in the sales in my size. Come on little people - S and XS - help Johnnie out and buy your share of his ranges so I don't keep getting bombarded with enticingly empty offers.
This kind of slack marketing gives the profession (errm) a bad name like PPI mis-selling cold callers.
Anyway, back to Google. I don't recall telling them when my birthday is, but so many logins require this data as part of your sign up (great for marketers to analyse the socio-demographic of their audience) I guess they know. I never asked them to send me a birthday message, in fact, I don't think I would welcome such an intrusion. Hence, my wry smile at seeing the Google cake logo on my search engine page. This rather perfectly hit that balance of plesant surprise, but not uncomfortable leaning over your shoulder and gauping.
I had to go back and check (lest it be some momentus world leaders birthday too), my hovering mouse had a subtle yet perfect text within it "Happy Birthday Justin !".
They had even spelt my name right ! mCRM - bring it on....