The Three Laws of Customer Centricity (Beta)
1. A company may not wilfully and knowingly harm the interests of a customer/partner/stakeholder or, through inaction, allow a customer/partner/stakeholder’s interests to come to harm.
2. A company must, to the best of its efforts and resources, service the customers and put them at the centre of every business decision, except where providing such services would conflict with the First Law or Third Law.
3. A company must protect its own long-term interests and existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law.
The above was an idea I derived from the famous Three Laws of Robotics, a set of three rules written by SF author Isaac Asimov (1920-1992), which almost all positronic robots appearing in his fiction must obey.
I was thinking of coming up with a “Three Laws of Customer Centricity” adaption, but I think the model still needs some tweaking here and there. Any ideas?
“…there is a group of executives inside the company that believe “Pay With Facebook” could end up a bigger revenue source than Facebook’s advertising revenues. We’ve estimated Facebook’s advertising revenues will reach $475 million in 2009.
To get an idea what kind of challenges Facebook will have to overcome to get there, consider that during the second quarter, eBay subsidiary PayPal’s revenues were $669 million, up 11% y/y.
It got there with:
- 75 million active registered accounts
- A total payment volume of $16 billion in the quarter
- With accounts containing approximately $3 billion in stored value that is spent every 2 weeks
- Supporting 19 currencies
- With a .30% fraud rate
Facebook can’t approach any of those numbers yet, but it does possess one distinct advantage — nearly 300 million monthly active users.
What’s more, the rousing success that is Facebook Connect — the service that allows users to log in to participating third-party sites using their Facebook IDs with one click — hints that Facebook users might appreciate a similar “one-click” simplicity when paying for merchandise on the Internet.”
Privacy concerns aside, one can imagine that Facebook’s One-Click payment solution, along with the social sharing of articles and posts through Facebook Connect, could be the panacea for newspaper publishers looking for ways of monetizing content beyond the stale and flailing “generate-pageviews-sell-banners” business model.
Well, besides the general mentality that digital content should be “free”, one of the major issues in monetizing content on the web by surrounding it with a “Pay-First wall”, is the fact that visitors don’t know in advance what (quality) they’ll exactly be paying for; consumers fear buying a shrink-wrapped magazine purely based on its cover, only to be disappointed afterwards.
Whereas on iTunes or with Steam you usually know that what your getting is guaranteed to have a substantial replay-factor or, in the case of iTunes, since the price is relatively low, you can afford the risk of a dud every now and then.
This, arguably, is not the case with ubiquitous news, or in-depth articles.
Utilizing Facebook’s micro-payment solution combined with Facebook Connect however, publishers will have the opportunity of using a “hassle-less” One-Click online payment solution, powered by trusted(?) recommendations of friends: “Hey Todd, here’s an article I just read about Obama’s healthcare reform, touching it from a viewpoint I believe you’d find interesting, check it out. Cheers, Brian.” Ching!
Farfetched? For a showcase of the true power of social sharing: Think the Bit.Ly-shortened links being universally shared on twitter, spreading idea’s, content (and malware) virally. Only this time it’s done by folks with verified Facebook ID’s so you know they’re actually real and can be trusted.
Off course, should the scenario sketched above come to fruition, Facebook will have to get a piece of the revenue pie too, but the publishing moguls ‘d be wise to carefully re-consider jumping into their fabled “No-Can-Do” reflexes, since it’s becoming increasingly clear that the other option for them and their companies’ stakeholders is not having a pie to share at all…
(PS please note that I deliberately left all privacy concerns regarding Facebook out of this exercise, since I believe that we should topple the online publishing troubles in a concentric way; shilling away to the core, tackling the multifaceted problem layer by layer, instead of pre-maturely obstruficating any possible solution by thinking in limitations only.
This, however, does not imply that I don’t see the possible dangers of Facebook not only owning your social graph and personal data, but also knowing when you bought what (and whom approved said purchase!) and where you’re likely to go to form a political opinion or otherwise.
Though I feel and see that having this kind of aggregated combined profile data of possibly more than 300 million people in the hands of one party could pose a real threat when falling into the wrong hands, I urge you to go and take a look over at Alexander van Elsas’s blog, as he has already indentified and dissected this problem with great abandon.)
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Instead of posting or explaining the concept here, I’d like to suggest you’d first take a look over on the site and experience it for yourself -especially if you’re a creative/interactive professional and haven’t seen it already.
[Performance warning: close down any other browser tabs/windows or any other application that has a direct net connection right now, I know I suffered from some serious lag the first time.]
Apart from the novelty(?) factor of this kind of creative content-integration, I’m not quite sure where the real added value for Honda and its customers lies in this particular case.
I’ll get back to that thought in a moment though; first I’d like to point to a section on the page that caught my attention. It clearly depicts how a viral starts spreading (see the 2 images below):
The table contains the statistics of said video on a daily basis, i.e.: how many times it was watched, “liked” and how many comments were made on the page itself, all in relation to each other and non-cumulative (note that the numbers are displayed on a per day basis!).
Clearly, the usual exponential viral mechanisms are at work here, which is fascinating in of itself, yet I believe that despite these pretty impressive numbers this mini-campaign as is will not enjoy a widespread viewer base and live up to its true potential, mainly because of the following 4 reasons:
- The content isn’t “spreadable”;
- A lack of a clear call to action;
- The quality of the content itself and
- There’s no follow-up.
The content isn’t spreadable, technically speaking:
Notice how I didn’t embed the video right here as I usually would, instead referring you to Vimeo, because there was no other way you could undergo it the way it was meant to be experienced.
In other words: people will first have to go to the Vimeo page and have a true broadband internet connection(!) to experience it smoothly and in full effect; detach the video from the context of this page and it becomes just another (attempt at a) cool viral. Pure branding, zero capitalization of the ensuing conversations.
Nowadays it’s more effective to take a channel-neutral and/or federated content approach to reach out to your audience on the net, and part of that means making your content spreadable through widgets, embeddable video’s, etc.. The Vimeo video is embeddable of course, but the page -and thus the experience- is not.
There’s no call to action:
The concept itself doesn’t trigger the visitor to do anything: You just sit and watch, just like on TV…
The creative team apparently embraced the technological and creative possibilities that the internet offers in marrying video with a webpage, yet somehow failed to capitalize on the buzz that it generated and thus at the opportunity to generate leads.
Honda‘s rich media take over is no interactive advertising but more akin to an online guerrilla advert, which could have been done offline, possibly generating more buzz and brand-awareness outside the digerati niche.
Then again, it was created by Wieden & Kennedy (Amsterdam), a traditional agency with it’s roots firmly grounded in offline advertising campaigns.
The quality of the content isn’t worth spreading:
If it’s aimed at the Marketing/Tech/Creative niche: they’re already accustomed to these “Breaking-The-4th-Wall” take-over actions by now on YouTube or dedicated viral mini-sites, and this example isn’t remarkable.
If it’s not aimed at said niche, then one has to wonder why on earth it was posted on a niche social video site like Vimeo.com in the first place…
Adding all the numbers together from the stats image above, there are over a 1.750 likes, 300+ comments and 177.000 views generated in less than two weeks(!), pointing to a cult hit and/or people watching it more than once (it’s not clear whether Vimeo filters out non-unique views/cookies).
On the other hand, the numbers in the table don’t depict all mentions of the video across the Social Media space, and it was only posted a few days ago, so this is just merely the tip of the iceberg. Here’s hoping that Honda’s campaign team has access to social media monitoring tools from Radian6 or TrackUr and have activated their BackType Alerts to keep a clear overview.
All in all, in terms of buzz and people interacting with the page this is no bad example of content integration at all, it’s just a shame there’s no apparent follow-up or integration in, say, a 360˚campaign for maximum effect.
Now of course at this very moment we have no idea what Honda’s campaign objective was in the first place: It could be a proof of concept, trying it out for a small fee, with little risk, before scaling it up on YouTube allowing the numbers game to come into play, leading to massive exposure and off course more ways for the community and consumers/prospects to interact with the brand.
As I’m a firm believer in the merits of content-integration instead of plain display bannering, for me personally it will be very interesting to see how this plays out and if Honda will release an evaluation on their company blog or industry titles like Ad Age or ReadWriteWeb.2 comments