fLO – Digital Seduction, Facebook and Twitter

Last week I posted about fLO, a very talented singer that I came across, and I’m excited to hear that she’s been prepping for a video for her single “Digital Seduction”, can’t wait to see it!!  In the meantime download her latest single “Digital Seduction” produced by Rashaad Wiggins, it’s free! Just to fLO’s website: http://callmefLO.com

Make sure you add her on facebook to keep up to date with the new music fLO is working on. http://facebook.com/justcallmefLO

Also follow fLO on twitter!! http://twitter.com/justcallmefLO

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Vodafone failing to engage with consumers? Go T-Mobile?!

Vodafone have done the opposite to the likes of T-Mobile, O2 and Orange over the last few months, they have failed to engage with the consumer.  The campaign by T-Mobile has been really engaging, and O2’s strategy of positioning themselves closely with entertainment events has meant that they too have engaged. On the other hand Vodafone have only used their relationship with McLaren Mercedes F1 team, which is really all about raising brand awareness (which they already have) and utilising relationships with fellow partners of the racing team.  Vodafone are also ending their relationship with the England Cricket team, and its sponsorship of the Epsom Downs racecourse.

Furthermore, in terms of their UK operating profit there has been a decline for Vodafone from close to £800 million down to just over £400 million since 2005.

What can Vodafone do to try and get back on track against T-Mobile, O2 and Orange?  Vodafone need to be more engaging with consumers, and need to adopt a strategy of inspiring people to communicate, and also Vodafone need to look at building a community through their own website or on social networking sites such as Facebook.  Vodafone also need to be seen as less of a corporate big brand and more of a relevant, relaxed and fun brand.

I have been loyal to T-Mobile since 2001, and prior to that was with Vodafone for just 2 years.  T-Mobile have rewarded me significantly for my loyalty over the last 8 years and they have emerged very strong with their engaging ad campaign. It has been talked about gaining extremely high word of mouth and has been shared across websites like Facebook and YouTube.  See the YouTube video for the T-Mobile ad below:

Accessibility to live football – what should clubs be doing?

Compared with 20 years ago live top flight (premier league) football at stadiums has become far less accessible for the average football supporter.  Since regulations came in at top flight premier league teams requiring all seater stadiums less capacities have been possible, and a few things have influenced the rise in prices for these tickets:

– Clubs needing to recoup monies paid for the development of stadiums

– The requirement to drive revenue through smaller crowds

– Premier league players massive wages

– The quality of seating (i.e. a guaranteed spacious view of the action) demands a premium price

These price increases have created a few issues:  there are now less working and middle class people attending games;  less families due to the extortionate cost for a family to attend;  a rising average age of supporters due to general life-cycle of individuals earning pattern; younger people are now watching the games on TV at home or in the pub.

I think the main concern out of all of this is that live football at the stadium has become  inaccesible for the younger generation, and this is a negative thing for the future of football as these people will be accustomed to not attending live.  Could this have a massive impact on the future of how top flight football clubs treat the fans and the pricing structure?  I think so.

I have a few recommendations on how this can be tackled:

– Football clubs need to start treating the supporter as a customer and providing exceptional service

– Provide better value packages to supporters based on the challenges particularly with younger families attending

– Look at the younger generation and kids, and consider that these are the future paying customers to the club.  Therefore clubs need to engage with these people and get them attending live games.  This could come in the form of an exclusive club or through grass routes schemes in the community

– Offer extremely cheap prices for kids to attend games – similar to prices for a film at the cinema, after all this is an alternative thing for kids to do.  Prices / packages should be considered for a season tickets, batch of tickets (say 10 matches), and individual match basis.

– Look at social networking opportunities online to engage with younger supporters – i.e. facebook.

– Turn your football club into a brand that has values that the support can relate to.

One club that I am aware of doing this very well are Birmingham City FC through their innovative CEO Karren Brady.

Football is a big business but the clubs really need to start realising that the players are not the main focus… the fans are, and the fans need to start being considered as the priority.

Facebook keeps changing…

Over the course of today I have seen many friends profile updates asking why has facebook changed its layout ….. again?!  I ask this question too.  Actually I don’t mind the new layout, it is quite simple and has taken me 5 minutes to work out where everything is.  However, how did Facebook decide that they wanted to change the user interface layout?  And why did they do it when in general people were happy with how it was?

Did they do any userbility testing or research amongst a varying sample of users / potential users?  If they did, why are they not explaining this to us users to let us know why they are changing it, and why it is better than the older version?

These are all questions that you would expect to be given automatic answers or information on with any change to a product or service.

Facebook, I do hope you are listening to your customers…. if you’re not you could be ignoring our wants & needs – therefore not meeting and delivering to our requirements.

Isn’t this basic marketing?  Or are they trying to do all that others do and incorporate what Twitter does?!