December 2007

Two digital marketing strategies

Seth nails it: there’s two ways to market online – burn permission with frequency (make money  now, rebuild your customer base later), or engage, and dig in for a longer haul, but with permission.

I’ve always been a fan of the latter – work the customer base, with their consent, to grow your network by engaging theirs. Rather than talking about ‘permission’ which has a kinda ‘yes/no, once & for all time’ feel to it, I think of this as ‘consent’ –  it has a softer feel to the relationship, & maybe there’s more of a 2 way sense to the relationship.

Governments, privacy & data

No, I don’t particularly trust government with my data – but then I fully expect all organisations to at some time abuse the trust I’ve placed in them.

There’s two types of problem here – errors (a polite way of saying ‘incompetence’, and ‘breaches of trust’ where data given in good faith is then used for a different purpose.  In so many ways the web makes these errors & breaches of trust transparent – I’m sure these things went on in the past, but folk just didn’t know about them.

The only answer is to take responsibility for your own privacy.

The long term solution would be to have an efficient personal recourse & compensation  system. At present there is no commonly agreed straightforward way to alert a company to loss or misuse of your data – and no sense of an appropriate value for compansation.

A friend who had £500+ stoln through a credit card fraud “fixed” the problem with one phone call to Lloyds TSB (well done them for dealing with it so quickly). But he’ll be without £500 for 10 days or so: what’s that worth?  And for all the background fraud protection that does go on in business, nobody seems to be asking why the data was in the wild in the first place.  In the particular case of financial data, chip & pin doesn’t seem to be the answer: fraud rose after its introduction.  If we customers can help by changing our behaviour, then being guided on what behaviour to change would be a good start.

The Government’s reward for finding lost families data is less than the commercial rate for name & address data; appended family & financial data would cost several times more than the reward offer for a single use of the data.

One can only wish the Data Privacy Consultation well; i’ll look into it to see if I can contribute, constructively. The folk I’ve met from the Information Commissioner’s office have always been just the kind of folk you’d want in charge of your data. I hope they can spread some of their good karma & thinking to other government departments & businesses.

on positive management styles

It’s no surprise to find that UK managers are the most negative: over the past 12 months I’ve worked with folk for the UK (natch!), Sweden, South Africa, Australia, America, and even a Brit based in Australia… they are consistently more positive, energetic and constructive than UK management.

The ability of UK folk to sit, diss, and do nothing, is astonising.

So I applaud  UK clients who do manage to stay positive, in spite of the zeitgeist.

</rant>

How often does that negativity seep out to customers? I guess the trite answer is that “once would be too often”.