Friday, 25 May, 2007
First, this assumes that every marketer asks for the social security number while processing every transaction.
Second, it assumes that these numbers are readily and accurately given.
Third, this assumes that the American government is so efficient that it eliminates all false and duplicate numbers.
What is the truth?
Thursday, 24 May, 2007
1. The debtor can rescind or revaluate at any time, taking recourse to the small type (terms & conditions);
2. Not all points are redeemable, most being owned (actually, we don’t know who legally owns those points) by members below the redemption threshold; and
3. Not all redeemable points will be redeemed – some will forget, or never find the opportunity.
That’s about all I could think of.
Considering big loyalty programmes can easily carry points inventories worth millions, there must some standard methods for accounting them. I’d be obliged if someone could tell me about these, or direct me to a source.
As an answer, it quoted political scientist Yogendra Yadav writing, “This was a clear instance of the triumph of old-style political journalism over the new-fangled number crunching. Political reporters may not have talked about a clear majority for the BSP, but they did capture the hawa in a way that the opinion and exit polls did not.”
The article goes on to conclude that ‘election forecasting is different from market surveys. A journalist with her ear to the ground can perhaps detect sounds not heard by the savvy surveyor who, though equipped with sophisticated tools, may not have the instincts to interpret political signals (italics mine).”
Perhaps, perhaps not. Didn't David Ogilvy write something to the effect that a good ad man can get more out of chatting to a dozen prospects than from pages of research?
Maybe it won’t do us too much harm to get our noses out of those CRM books and read Bird’s Commonsense Direct Marketing again. Maybe the captains and lieutenants of industry are better off with simple observation, more so because they refuse to pick up even the rudiments of statistics.
(Actually, those who talk about the wonders of data mining and modelling and so on are, more often than not, incredibly ignorant of what these things mean. I have found the writers of books on these subjects unfailingly humble, and sometimes overeager to explain the limitations of their art.)
Monday, 21 May, 2007
It’s equally common for those members to never come back. At any rate, most never use the card again.
This is hardly surprising. A cursory examination of any loyalty programme data will show that big purchases are rare events (otherwise they’d not be ‘big’) even among ‘loyal’ customers.
Why then do marketers continue with this wasteful practice, more so when it creates completely unrealistic expectations? (Why so may inactive members? Because they are accidental.) Isn’t a paid programme a better option, from every point of view?
Tuesday, 15 May, 2007
Ok, banks and credit cards send them, but the not in mind boggling numbers. I wonder why we stay away from stuffers. I’m sure it’s not some high principal against ‘junk’, because we do so many junk calls, SMSs and email.
Wednesday, 9 May, 2007
Let’s say you started the year with a lakh customers, and plan to add another 12,000, at a modest but constant rate of 1000 every month.
We further assume that customers who have referred once have no more referrals to give, at least not at present. Therefore, they are not approached again.
Furthermore, each referrer gives 5 referrals, and 5% of the referrals are converted. All conversions are, of course, immediate. (At the end of each month, the customer base [for the next month’s referral activity] diminishes by number who refer, and increases by 1,000 new customers [converted referrals].)
A short calculation (http://spreadsheets.google.com/pub?key=pjtNNMP33DgsMGFCNi91xTA) shows that the response rate must climb substantially, from 4% at the beginning of the year to almost 6% by its end.
The calculation is admittedly simplistic, yet it’s not illogical or improbable. Can the response grow in real life? One would expect the opposite to happen if one goes referral hunting every month.
I recently saw an ad for
The copy in the newspaper in the visual should repulse any SC/ST reader, whether for or against reservation.
I don’t know why they ran an ad like this. Doesn’t Videocon employ SC/ST people? Do all Videocon employees oppose reservations? Does it not need SC/ST customers?
Is it ‘just an ad’? Then try substituting blacks or Jews in place of SC/STs. Other peoples’ sins are easier to notice than our own.
Not at all different from Tesco’s strategy of using a loyalty programme to shift from the low-margin department store business to the high-margin banking business.