News Bytes: Marketing news from across the industry

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News Bytes: Marketing news from across the industry
News Bytes: Marketing news from across the industry

Consumers have questions, brands have answers

What is it? An update to Bazaarvoice Connections. Customers can use the Q&A tool to ask questions about a product in the same location as reviews on a retail website. Other customers can answer; but the brand can, as well. A brand's answer includes a logo, so it's clear that it's an “official” response. The brand receives an alert when a new question or comment has been posted, so a customer service representative can respond virtually in real time.

WIIFM? Brands can connect directly with customers who have questions. The goal is to provide customers with timely, accurate information, thus a better experience, because they can ask questions where and while they're shopping, without having to leave the site. This quick access to information should, in theory, help to increase sales.

Who's talking? Home Depot and LG Electronics USA are among those using Connections. Customers who have questions about LG products on the Home Depot website can ask a question and LG will respond. LG Electronics USA's director of digital marketing, Christopher Ray, considers it “a tremendous differentiator.”

Mobile's moving image(s)

What is it? The Mobile Marketing Association launched the MMA Mobile Video Committee to establish standards and best practices for using mobile video in marketing.

WIIFM? According the MMA North America Managing Director Michael Becker, mobile video offers a multibillion-dollar opportunity. And the MMA aims to be there to help marketers capitalize on that opportunity by creating definitions and guidance for the discipline.

Who's talking? Acta Consulting  CEO Anne Schelle, who is also executive director of the Open Mobile Video Coalition, and AdColony  CEO Will Kasso will lead serve as the committee co-chairs. Companies including Nielsen, The Weather Channel, Turner Broadcasting, and Verizon Wireless have already joined the committee.

Digging into Big Data

What is it? Spotlight, by Allegiance, a provider of voice of the customer intelligence tool. The application is designed to analyze large data sets in seconds to uncover patterns that suggest opportunities to improve business outcomes. Ideally, those data sets should be linked information from customer surveys, CRM, and even ERP systems. A configuration wizard is built to walk users through the process of selecting which data to mine.

WIIFM? Time is of the essence in marketing today. Spotlight aims to quickly deliver actionable insight from customer data to business users, who can then use the prioritized results to inform their decisions.

Who's talking? According to Justin Thompson, director, Customer Insights and Recovery, at JetBlue Airways, Spotlight is a “breakthrough” that's helping the airline transform data into action.

Settlement for tracking violator

What is it? A settlement agreed to by web analytics company Compete Inc., with the FTC, which charged the company with collecting personal data from consumers without proper disclosure.  Compete offered free software that allowed users to earn rewards and access data about sites they visited, but user agreements did not spell out that Compete would be collecting user names, passwords, purchase data, and even social security numbers.

WIIFM?  Tracking consumer data online requires that providers be explicit in spelling out exactly what, where, and under what conditions they intend to collect information. While Compete's agreement noted that it would collect information on “the web pages you visit,” it did not spell out that it would record purchase data.  As a result, Compete agreed to implement a comprehensive information security program and comply with third-party audits every two years for 20 years. 

Who's talking?  FTC attorney Ruth Yodaiken, who notes that a five-person commission approved the settlement, which now is open to public comment for 30 days. Depending on feedback it receives in that time, the commission could move to rescind the deal.


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