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Stop Making Friends And Start Making Money

August 26th, 2010

What if you could reward the customers with the greatest social graph (the most Friends and Followers)? Do you think you could score each customer to his or her overall value to your brand? Could you categorize your customers: Influencers, Heavy Spenders, Early Adopters or Casual Users? Why not?

What if you could provide incentives to customers to entice their social graph to visit the location (receive 10 cents on your loyalty/gift card for each of your friends who checks in)? Laugh if you will, but I believe the restaurant industry will see multi-level marketing become a large part of its business in the next three to five years.

My point is that retailers are about to be faced with mountains and mountains of data that will provide insights into their customers in ways we haven’t even yet began to imagine. (Who would have thought Blippy would be a real site just two years ago?)

The key to success in this new world is organizing and managing all this data. Social CRM is the foundation platform that will maintain it. I think great companies will leverage their BI infrastructure to round out the social business picture.

Companies that figure out how to harness (structure) and use this data will have an incredible advantage over those that don’t. I can’t stress how big of a gap I feel this differentiation is going to create. The “haves” will have an ever-increasing intimacy with their customers, while the “have nots” will still just be shouting at the crowd.

What are you more likely to do: Try that new chicken sandwich you saw fly by as you fast-forwarded through the commercials during CSI or try that burger Mike keeps raving about, the one he’s already eaten twice this week?

Term Of The Week: “Tibbing,” which is short for “Technical Fibbing.” Tibbing occurs when an IT person is unable to further simplify complex technology to a user’s level of comprehension and must say something that is technically inaccurate but communicates the appropriate concept.

What do you think? Leave a comment or E-mail me at Todd.Michaud@FranchiseIT.org. You can also follow me on Twitter: @todd_michaud.

Physical therapy reveals that a 19-year-old injury is still causing me pain today. Someday I’ll be able to run without pain. Read more at www.irongeek.me.


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