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Window World-Customer Service Done Right

 *I am, in no way, a paid endorser of this product and have not been compensated by the company or their affiliates. This post is strictly my own personal opinion and observations in regards to this product and/or service.

  
As consumers, we often hear stories about poor customer service representatives. Having worked several years in the customer service business, I tend to appreciate great customer service when I see and/or experience it. I feel that a company that provides exceptional customer service should get recognized for it. 

This blog post is a reflection of a recent, positive customer service experience I had with the window manufacturing company, Window World. 

In January, my husband and I had had enough with our 1971 outdated aluminum windows and decided to look into purchasing some vinyl windows. We needed to replace 8 windows and had set a budget aside in the amount of $2,400.00. If we couldn’t find a company willing to replace and install the windows for $2,400.00 or less, my husband was going to take on the task himself.

I called several window companies in my area and found that Window World offered the best price for what we were looking for. I called and set up an appointment on February 13th, with the local Window World sales man, Gene Fulmer.

Gene showed up with a large folder full of helpful information. He first listened to what we were looking for, he asked some open ended questions in order to gain a better understanding, measured our windows, shared some stories, and proceeded to show us exactly what he could offer us that would fit within our budget. Gene was able to give us exactly what we wanted and get us right on budget. We signed on the dotted line and Gene gave us an estimated install between the last week of March to the first part of April.  

Window World sent us a letter a few weeks later to let us know that our windows were being made and that we should expect a call for install within the next few weeks. They were right on the money. On or around March 17th, we received a call that our windows were in. We set our appointment for March 21st, just a few days ago.

The installer, Nate, arrived at around 10 Friday morning and was done by 5:00 p.m. that evening. He took us around the house to show us how our new windows worked. One window sash had an issue with a bent bracket and Nate let us know that he had already called the Window World manufacturing plant to notify them of the issue and will be bringing a new replacement sash in the next week or so. Our windows came with a 100% lifetime warranty which means that if their is any issues with the window, including screen or glass damage, Window World will replace them, free of charge. And, should we sell our home, the warranty is 100% transferable.

Perhaps, this is the reason they were awarded the J.D. Power and Associates “Highest in Customer Satisfaction with Windows and Doors in a Tie.” Window World made the window ordering and installation process as simple and painless as possible. I am very happy with the entire process and would happily recommend Window World to both family and friends.

Gloria

Reference
Window World (n.d.) Window World Logo (image). Retrieved March 23, 2014 from: https://www.windowworld.com/

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When Politicking Isn’t Good For Business!

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Consumers do not seem to mind when a corporation supports environment and human rights issues but they draw the line when it comes to CEO’s openly supporting political views that conflict with their own.

In an article entitled, Papa John’s, Applebee’s And Others Pay Huge Price For Anti-Obamacare Politicking on Forbes.com, contributor Rick Ungar pointed out two major corporations, Applebees and Papa Johns, whose CEO chose to take a political stand in opposition of Obamacare. These companies have paid a costly price.

As covered—and criticized—in this column in great detail, Mr. Schnatter decided to mix his politics with his pepperoni when suggesting that he would be cutting the work hours for Papa John employees in order to bring them below the 30 hour per week threshold that would require Schnatter to provide his employees with healthcare benefits.

It turns out, the pizza eating public did not approve.

Indeed, so serious was the reaction that Schnatter was forced to publish an op-ed piece where he sought to convince us that he never really intended to cut back worker hours but had simply been speculating on what he might do in response to the legislation (Ungar, 2012).

When a corporation chooses to openly support an environmental or human rights issue, most consumers view the stance objectively and understand that at least the company is trying to give back to their community in some way.

Political issues, on the other hand, are not objective. Companies need to understand that they cater to a variety of politically diverse consumers who would prefer to get their pizza delivered to their door, in under 30 minutes and without a side of politics. It would be different if the pizza company marketed themselves as a right-wing or left-wing pizza company. Their consumer base would go into the business-consumer relationship knowing the corporate political views.

However, most companies realize that business and politics do not mix and prefer to keep their political position to themselves. By openly choosing a political side, you are taking the chance of eliminating at least half of your consumer base. Of course, you also have to consider the damage it does to the investor relations, as well.

Is one CEO’s openly political stance worth the cost?

Reference

Ungar, Rick. (2012, December 04). Forbes. Retrieved from Papa John’s, Applebee’s And Others Pay Huge Price For Anti-Obamacare Politicking: http://www.forbes.com/sites/rickungar/2012/12/04/papa-johns-applebees-and-others-pay-huge-price-for-anti-obamacare-politicking/

Global Strategy Group. (n.d.) [Infograph]. Retrieved from Business & Politics: Do They Mix?: http://globalstrategygroup.com/resources/businessandpoliticsdotheymix/

Made the Dallas Morning News Blog

I have always been a strong believer in the power of humor. One of my recent “humorous” Amazon reviews actually made it as one of the top 8 funniest reviews for Mizuno’s Pink Tennis Shoes. Check it out here:

http://whateverblog.dallasnews.com/2013/06/the-most-amusing-amazon-reviews-of-sen-wendy-davis-pink-running-shoes.html/

IMC 619 Emerging Media-Plurality: a short film

A short movie about the “ultimate” social network.

A must see for marketing professionals who want an idea of what the future might hold in terms of emerging media.

IMC 619 Emerging Media: Take A Chill Pill With Calm Technology

Calm Technology

Keep-Calm

Do you ever seem so overwhelmed by the unrelenting stream of online information coming your way that you wish you could just slow it down?  Well, take a deep breath and relax. Emerging media has got you covered with a technology program called Calm Technology.

Calm Technology, otherwise known as ubiquitous computing,  is nothing new. The precursor to this technology can be seen in the way we manually pick and choose who we follow on Twitter. However, the difference in the technology we use today and Calm Technology of tomorrow will be that Calm Technology will be able to determine what information the user receives by the informational choices they make and then slow that data down to only include the information they desire to lessen information overload and increase functionality.

Digital_Trends_Calm_Technology_Mark_Weiser

“Calm technology refers to applications that cut down on the digital noise of high-volume data to show the user only enough information so that he or she is able to focus on a task. Mark Weiser is considered to be the father of “ubiquitous computing,” a synonym for calm technology. The whole idea is to reduce distractions to our workflow without losing functionality. Weiser postulated that we should not be seeking to enter the virtual world by shopping in 3D environments, but that digital technology should enter our lives in such a way as to make it calmer and easier, not more distracted and disrupted, thus blurring the line between digital and real life experiences” (Wright, 2012).

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So, if you are suffering from technology fatigue, don’t fret. Calm Technology will soon have your back!

 

References

DocStoc. (n.d.) [Image]. Retrieved from Ubiquitous Computing: http://www.docstoc.com/docs/106186591/Ubiquitous-Computing

Jonker, T. (2010, July 19). School Library Journal. [Image]. Retrieved from Link Du Jour KEEP CALM AND…:http://100scopenotes.com/2010/07/19/link-du-jour-keep-calm-and/

Witty Sparks. (n.d.) [Image]. Retrieved May 05, 2013 from http://www.wittysparks.com/2012/11/01/five-new-digital-trends/

Wright, M. (2012, June 21). Mashable Social Media. Retrieved from 5 Digital Trends Shaping the Consumer Experience: http://mashable.com/2012/06/21/trends-consumer-experience-economy/

IMC 619 Emerging Media: Have You Picked Your Tribe Yet?

Hagen-Tribe

Google’s definition of tribe is as follows: A social division in a traditional society consisting of families or communities linked by social, economic, religious, or blood ties,…

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Do you ever wonder where social media is heading? I mean, there is so much of it out there and much more added to it everyday that it’s hard to make sense of it all. In recent years, social media sites have not only allowed users to create their own social media pages but have also allowed users to create social groups where like minds connect on the issues that are most important to them.

Lets take, for example, Facebook groups. As a Facebook users, I can join any number of social groups and be in contact with others that share in that group. So what happens when I find myself falling behind in trying to follow the 50 groups I belong to plus my friends? Neal Shaffer of Social Media Today has hinted at something that I think will be the future of social media: Social Media Tribes. Imagine belonging to just one “tribe” that shares all the information from the numerous “groups” that you belong to. No more having to visit each group separately: a tribe would encompass all the aspects that you like into one easy to follow social tribe. The tribe could choose a leader or group of leaders that could then pass on only the most important information needed from the combined groups.

join-our-facebook-group

Neal Shaffer of Social Media Today states, “I believe the future of social media can be seen by looking to the past. Humans by nature are social creatures, however we have spent years relying on mass media.  As time has passed, we are now relying less on mass media and more on our peers: we are once again turning to one another.  Consider your friends on Facebook or those you follow on Twitter. Via social,  I have surrounded myself with like minded people that I can have a symbiotic relationship with.   Many of the folks I follow on Twitter I follow because I can learn from them and I value the content they produce.”

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So, how would we marketers market to a tribe? By connecting with the tribe leader/leaders, of course.  YCS Marketing explains how tribes will work in creating better group marketing strategies, “To think of this concept in other terms, consider tribal marketing as a high level targeted group of potential customers. Instead of having a snapshot of the buying, lifestyle and other demographic factors of a particular market, tribal marketing keys in more on smaller, focused sections of consumers. This allows an opportunity to better gauge how information about products and services spread and influence the buying decisions of a target market. Using this information a company can scale products, services, brands that are specifically inline with the needs of a particular group. Let’s illustrate with an example: take a group of friends Jordan, Sally, John and Suzie. John is seen as the outspoken, take charge guy of the group and is usually an early adapter to new services and technologies. As he finds a product/and or service to be useful he passes this information to the rest of the group. The products he doesn’t like or has a negative experience with he shares information about as well. John’s friends all consider him very knowledgeable in this area and weigh his opinion heavily whenever they are considering making this kind of purchase.”

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According to Steve Krivda, “Unarguably “Tribe Marketing” is a marketing method that attempts to create social groups or communities that are targeted around a service or product. But to the shrewd entrepreneur, tribe marketing can mean much much more than this.”

Here is a short list of potential benefits:

* Automated Backlink Syndication
* Automated Facebook Integration
* Automated Twitter Integration
* Automated Blog User Collaboration
* Automated S.E.O Processes
* Automated Live Traffic Systems
* Increased ROI

I see tribal marketing as a type of Ripple Effect Marketing. Imagine the potential of being able to reach out to just one person with a marketing message and one simple message reaches hundred or thousands more just by word of mouth recommendations? Brilliant!

IMC619 Emerging Media: Flexible Electronic

Are Electronic Tattoo Sensors The Future of Media?

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 Skin signals: This device, applied directly to the skin, can record useful medical information.

Thanks to the creative genius of John Rogers, new electronic sensors that resembles a small tattoo could help monitor health during normal daily activities. The sensor, printed directly onto the skin, can last up to two weeks and can record and transmit vital medical information between you and your doctor. “Taking advantage of recent advances in flexible electronics, researchers have devised a way to “print” devices directly onto the skin so people can wear them for an extended period while performing normal daily activities. Such systems could be used to track health and monitor healing near the skin’s surface, as in the case of surgical wounds.”

Imagine the implications this could have on emerging media. As a marketing professional, I am excited at the prospect this new technology could hold for all aspects of marketing media. One example of how this information could be used is in the area of market research. Market research professionals could utilize the tattoo sensor when researching markets for new brand introductions. Using the sensor, market research volunteers could collect data, such as weekly buying habits and brand choices, and the data collected could be sent back wirelessly via strategically located vendor kiosks.  Of course, this is just one example of the many marketing uses I can think of. I believe the potential for this technology will only be limited by ones imagination.

Functions-of-Marketing-Research

“Rogers says his lab is now focused on developing and refining wireless power sources and communication systems that could be integrated into the system. He says the technology could potentially be commercialized by MC10 (see “Making Stretchable Electronics”), a company he cofounded in 2008. If things go as planned, says Rogers, in about a year and half the company will be developing more sophisticated systems “that really do begin to look like the ones that we’re publishing on now.”

Thanks to Mike Orcutt, writer for MIT Technology Review, who shared this information via his article:  Electronic Sensors Printed Directly on the Skin.

IMC 619 Emerging Media: What Is It?

What, exactly, is emerging media?

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First, lets explore the words emerging and media.

Emerging: coming to maturity; coming into existence; being born or beginning; yet to be or coming

Media: the means of communication, as radio and television, newspapers, and magazines, that reach or influence people widely

So, it can be concluded that emerging media is forthcoming communications.

Is it media that hasn’t yet been invented? Is it current media that is still in a state of evolving?

The answer is Yes! It is all the above and then some.

media-convergence

“The most commonly applied ‘shorthand description’ of emerging media is that it is communications – of all types – based on digital technologies, and increasingly with interactive components. Among definitions designed to transcend user jargon, is that offered by Neuman (1991) more than a decade ago. He argued that what we define as emerging media will a) alter the influence of distance, b) increase the volume and speed of communications, c) enable interactive communications and d) permit the merging of media forms” – American Journal of Business

Google Glass is the prefect example of emerging media: google-glass-wallpaper-hd

What is Google Glass?

“The core of Google Glass is its tiny prism display which sits not in your eyeline, but a little above it. You can see what is on the display by glancing up. The glasses also have an embedded camera, microphone, GPS and, reportedly, use bone induction to give you sound.

Voice control is used to control the device; you say ‘ok glass’ to get a range of options including taking pictures, videos, send messages using speech to text, ‘hang out’ with people or get directions to somewhere. You access these options by saying them out loud.

Most of this functionality is self explanatory; hang out is Google’s video conferencing technology and allows you to talk to a people over web cam, and stream them what you are seeing and the directions use Google Maps and the inbuilt GPS to help you find your way.

The results are displayed on the prism – essentially putting data into your view like a head up display (HUD). It’s potentially incredibly handy. Also rather nifty is the potential for automatic voice and speech recognition – and Google has given its Glass project a big boost by snapping up specialists DNNresearch.” Tech Radar

Think of emerging media as the cool stuff that Science Fiction writers and readers could once only dream of but is now on the brink of reality.

IMC 619 Emerging Media-Uniqlo Magic Mirror

Mirror, mirror on the wall…

Atmosphere

This Sunday morning, while enjoying my morning cup of coffee, I saw a story on CBS Sunday News that immediately captured my attention. Uniqlo, a leading global clothing supplier just recently opened their flagship store in New York City and people were lined up for blocks in order to be the first shoppers to step inside this new store. The New York Uniqlo store boasts 85,000 thousand square feet and has 100 dressing rooms. As I’m watching this story I am thinking to myself, “Besides being a monstrous store, what makes this clothing store different from other similar stores?” I had my answer just a few moments later: the Uniqlo Magic Mirror.

The Uniqlo Magic Mirror allows customer to try on any piece of clothing, stand in front of this “magic mirror”, and view themselves, not only in the color they picked out, but the mirror displays the item/items of clothing in every color that it comes in.

Shopping during your lunch break? Pressed for time? For the customers who are limited on time, this is a very convenient feature. Customers can see themselves wearing the item/items of clothing in a variety of colors without ever having to make extra trips to the changing room.

 

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