For a while now I have been ranting within the company I work for that we throw away too much data – with particular emphasis on throwing away the data we have about our customers.
As I listened to the TWIST #38 (This Week In Start Ups with Jason Calacanis) Jason absolutely nailed this point to the wall. He was warning publishers not to give apple complete control over their customer. By using the Apple store to deliver the media product – you are giving the customer away to Apple to nurture and harvest for ever and ever more. You have no idea who they are, where they live or other super important demographics.
Media companies have so many opportunities to harvest information about their customers – and many times i is just wasted. I’m not speaking of the kind of creepy, stalker type way of getting information – but the smart, collective, long-term collection like Amazon does.
Amazon knows so much about me and what I have bought from them – it is crazy. Crazy good!
Check out this screen shot of what Amazon has for me right now…all I did was go to amazon.com.
As you can see – it knows who I am right away and displays that at the top. I have outline a few sections with numbers sowe cna look at the dffernt things Amazon is doing.
- Section 1 is called “Amazon Remembers” – this data is straight from my iPhone. Amazon’s iPhone app will allow you to take a picture of something and ‘remember’ it. As you can see – it doesn’t want me to forgot – so it shows me when I came back to the site.Very cool. Don’t get excited about the bottle of Miller Light. It seems like I am always showing off my favorite apps and this time I happened to be at a bar with some people – but the tin beer sign is recommended for $15 isn’t a bad deal.
- Shameless promotion in my opinion. This is where they push (way too much IMO) the Kindle. This was OK when it first came out – but I’d like to say no-thanks now.
- Under the heading “More Items to Consider” we get helmets and tools. Why? I’ve searched for both recently. I was simply looking for pictures of tools – but I “need” a new helmet before it gets warmed up.
- This is what Jason is ranting about – and me too. Section 4 “it is” – this is why Amazon is the best. They listen and look for you. These are all things based on things I have looked at, reviewed and purchased in the past.
- Wow – #5 is great too. I use Amazon’s wish lists because they are easy. Oh – and Amazon doesn’t mind. In fact – they help me remember what I want to buy.
That is pretty much it – but it explains exactly the point. The more you know about your customer – the better. This goes for car sale people, it goes for laundry detergent and it goes for media – and media is WAY behind.
And customer service can benefit here too – customers do not want to have to tell you everything about them every time they call in. They like that you know their information – as long as we’re not creepy about it.
It’s not too late. Media companies have the data people in place, in fact the circulation departments of many media companies have been working with some of this kind of data for a long time…we just need to start collecting the new data and then do something with it.