Tag Archives: marketing

When Did Everything Become an “Experience”?

Back in my school days, I was a huge fan of marketing classes and thought that one day I might want to work in advertising. Life took a different spin and I didn’t end up working in that field, but I still had the opportunity to put some marketing know-how to good use in the field that chose me.

Just the same, as much as I bow to the wisdom of the marketing masters, I really don’t understand when or why everything suddenly became an “experience”.

Picking up something at the store has become a retail experience. Getting a bite to eat has become a dining experience. Music is now a listening experience and movies are now a viewing experience.

Did everything have to become an experience?

I was amused when I recently visited an establishment and noticed a poster prompting readers to tell management about their experience. The odd thing is that it was posted in the men’s washroom.

What would I have written back? Do they really want a description of my bathroom experience? (Careful what you wish for! Creative types with a sneaky sense of humour might actually take you up on the offer.)

“My approach to the urinal was a pleasant one as the aroma of disinfectant pucks filled my sinuses with a gentle, welcoming blend of lavender and chlorine.

The automatic flushing mechanism was very effective in bathing the urinal in a fresh cascade of water, reminiscent of a serene waterfall, a perfectly choreographed three seconds after I stepped away. I couldn’t have cued it better if I had flushed it myself. Continue reading

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Dear Loyalty Apps, Please Stop Logging Me Out!

In 2016, I published a blog post about the number of loyalty cards I was carrying and the challenge in keeping track of all of them. There had to be an easier way.

I still maintain that with impeccable client service and reasonable prices, we could probably skip loyalty programs.

But marketing wizards seem to have tapped into our basic human need to belong, and have turned clubs and memberships into an art form that seems to fill a void. Sometimes the exclusive rewards and personal offers are so well thought out that we overlook the consumer information that we have volunteered about ourselves to get to those benefits.

Shortly after that post appeared, I figured I had nothing to lose in trying to keep track of all of them with the smart phone apps that they were offering.

Initially, the issue I encountered was that my antiquity of a phone was sometimes too slow to produce the apps as soon as I needed them. To proceed with the experiment, I had to wait until my phone was retired and replaced.

When I bought a new phone, I jumped on the bandwagon in a big way and signed up for all of the apps to replace the imposing stack of loyalty cards I had accumulated.

My next task was to learn how to juggle products like a circus performer, while waiting in line to check out. I wanted to avoid the huffing, puffing and sighing from the shoppers behind me, as we all waited for an app to launch.

I became pretty good at holding different products under my armpits, between my legs, or in my teeth while needing both hands to swipe my way to the right app at the right time. I’m sure that there is some funny security footage out there to attest to my newly found skills. Continue reading

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With This Many Loyalty Cards, How Loyal Can You Be?

Reward CardsDo you remember the episode of the TV sitcom “Seinfeld” when George Costanza’s wallet explodes from the multitude of items he had filed away in it? Some days, I feel that could be me just from the quantity of reward and loyalty cards I have accumulated over the years.

Just this past week, I was in a rush to leave the house to go see a movie and found myself deep diving through the kitchen counter pile of flyers, lists, receipts and other miscellaneous orphaned items, to look for my movie loyalty card. Fortunately I found it in time, despite the needle in the haystack factor.

I have loyalty cards for airlines, hotels, department stores, grocery stores and pharmacies. I have cards to earn me free coffee, free pet food and free dry cleaning, to name a few.

As you can see by the stack of cards in the picture, I am a member of a multitude of loyalty programs, but frankly I am not as loyal to them as they may think. I confess, I have been seeing other stores behind their back.

Out of all of those cards, only two of them are always in my wallet. Maybe five get rotated in and out of the wallet regularly (…when I remember to). The rest, I try to keep as organized as possible by placing them all in a business card keeper (…when I remember to).

Talk about a house of cards, Continue reading

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To Prune or Not To Prune?

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES With well over 100 posts on my blog, the result of almost two years of writing, I have recently been contemplating the question as to whether I should prune my blog or not. While I enjoy the sense of accomplishment of that many blog posts (which would equal the word count of a substantial novel), I sometimes wonder if there comes a point when some posts should be deleted.

After a bit of quick research on the web, there seems to be different schools of thought on the subject. At its core, at issue is the delicate balance between the business side and the creative side. On the one hand, bringing in and retaining the audience is an important factor. On the other hand, we have the slow and iterative creative process that sometimes takes a while to gain traction and to fully develop the body of work.

Based on my own experience, it is sometimes through the weaker written pieces that we have to put in some serious sweat equity in order to grow as artists. But weaker in whose eyes?

As I have mentioned before, there are some posts that were fully written in under an hour that achieved great results, whether number of views, likes or comments, while I have toiled for weeks over certain other posts that are important to me that barely registered a blip on the statistics. Either way, I am fine with that, but it just goes to show you do not always know for sure what will resonate with the audience.

Being the typical Libra that I am, weighing pros and cons on almost everything, here is a short list of reasons for and against the idea of pruning the blog.

    10 reasons why I could delete a few posts:

1-By decluttering, favourite blog posts should be easier to find for readers.
2-By keeping the blog on a few selected topics and deleting the ones that are outside those lines, it is easier to pitch the blog to a target audience, rather than trying to attract such a wide audience.
3-It could lead to better curated content. By keeping to a combination of the ones that attracted the most views, the most likes, and the ones I enjoy most, a collection of more popular content could be more inviting to new readers.
4-By achieving a better curated content on a limited number of topics, a better established niche could lead a visitor to read more posts on the same topic.
5-If after retweeting several times, a post does not find an audience, perhaps it is not meant to be and it is time to take it down.
6-If a new reader joins in, Continue reading

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