Caroline McCarthy at The Social reports on Facebook’s marketer-savvy fan pages. The pages, which are a nice bridge between direct marketing and profile pages will be revamped today as Mark Zuckerberg and other executives unveil the “new evolution” of fan pages. McCarthy reports, according to a blog post at Advertising Age, the redesigned “fan pages” will look a lot more like regular Facebook profiles, which got their own revamp last year. This means their content will be distributed on tabs, with external applications aggregated primarily on their own tab. Also, according to the AdAge post, activity from fan pages will show up more in members’ news feeds, giving those brands more visibility. Beyond that, we (CNET) don’t have too much more information about what the announcement will entail. So as we wait for this afternoon’s announcement, what do you think will be the success of these fan pages? We’d like to hear your thoughts on Twitter or in our comments section.
This article in Advertising Age discusses the role of loyalty during economic downturns. Hilton Hotel’s senior VP of customer loyalty discussed how the members of the Hilton Honors program are responsible for the current success of Hilton and the chains ability to maintain business. While many view customer loyalty programs an important part of business during economic hardships, some corporations think about cultivating these loyal customers only during troubled times. This blog post raises the interesting point, that there is never a ‘best’ time to encourage engagement in loyalty programs, instead it is important for companies to be constantly conscious of this need. The author of the post made this statement Let’s consider a simple loyalty lifecycle: (1) Engage customers, (2) build loyalty, (3) reinforce loyal activities. Downturns are the worst time for (1) and (2) because there are fewer customers. It’s the time to really hone in on (3). So if you just start thinking about loyalty during a downturn, it’s too late. What is your view on customer loyalty programs? Do you think that corporations have not been responsible enough in terms of cultivating consumer loyalty when they don’t have a pressing need for it?
An article posted in AdAge.com highlights how Apple is changing the face of marketing to include customer service as a facet. Apple doesn’t wait for customers to have a problem, instead employees actively attempt to engage customers as soon as they enter the store. AdAge.com stated that Apple is showing, by example, the benefit of understanding these key points: - Service is marketing: As marketers struggle to “engage” consumers, service may well be the easiest and most gratifying starting point — and one with high sales conversion potential. - Problems are opportunities: Tech support is an emotional experience — so why not capitalize on that insight by openly and enthusiastically solving problems, giving reassurance and showing compassion for the pain and frustration. A satisfied consumer might just buy something else while making the trip. - Employee authority and passion aids selling: When employees “walk the talk” in using the product they sell, credibility goes up — and credibility drives persuasion. Passion and evangelism also move the needle. Jane Buckingham, president of Intelligence group, a market research firm in Los Angeles, cited in an article in the NY Times that ‘Whenever we ask consumers to cite a great retail experience, the Apple store is the first store they mention.’ CNNmoney.com also reported in an Apple 2.0 blog post earlier this year, that Apple retail stores were averaging sales of approximately $4500 per square foot. Competitors such as BestBuy only average $929 per square foot, and even luxury goods stores such as Tiffany’s only make about $2,800 per square foot. Both aforementioned sources provide confirmations for the findings in the AdAge.com article.