Why referral programmes work so well (but can also backfire)

Companies have several ways of acquiring new customers. One approach is to open a shop or place a sales executive where they know that customers are likely to be. Another approach is to invest in advertising, telling customers about the product and where they may find it. Yet another approach is to incentivise existing customers … Continue reading Why referral programmes work so well (but can also backfire)

[Miscellany] Star Wars in Fortnite, the Simpsons, and a maths book

Star Wars on Fortnite Are you a Star Wars fan? And do you play Fortnite? If you answered yes to these two questions you were in for a treat, last week, when the Star Wars franchise teamed up with Epic Games for a special feature in the very popular multi-player game, Fortnite.   Fortnite players … Continue reading [Miscellany] Star Wars in Fortnite, the Simpsons, and a maths book

[Miscellany] Automated news, Deepfake Christmas video, and Innocent newsletter

Automated news It has emerged that, last week, the BBC used computers to compose nearly 700 news articles relating to the election’s results. The news corporation is describing it as "machine-generated journalism", and justifying it as thus: "Using machine assistance, we generated a story for every single constituency that declared last night with the exception … Continue reading [Miscellany] Automated news, Deepfake Christmas video, and Innocent newsletter

Peloton’s growth plan will annoy its loyal customers

Twenty-three years ago, Fred Reichheld wrote in the book “The Loyalty Effect: The Hidden Force Behind Growth, Profits, and Lasting Value” (no affiliate link) that firms should be wary of aggressive customer acquisition initiatives. He warned firms that: “Winning more and more new customers could slowly put you out of business” (page 89). This is … Continue reading Peloton’s growth plan will annoy its loyal customers

The suspected use of AI makes people trust others less

With Artificial Intelligence (AI) promising to bring analytical power and cost savings to many customer facing functions, it is pertinent to ask how the deployment of AI impacts on the image of people / brands. For instance, if consumers believe that your online profile was developed by AI, does that impact on how they see … Continue reading The suspected use of AI makes people trust others less

What’s the problem with personalisation, anyway?

Recently, Google announced that it is buying Fitbit, the fitness tracker company which, not long ago, was the leader of the fitness wearable devices market. This acquisition gives Google a foothold in the large, growing and lucrative smartwatches / fitness band arena, which was lacking from their product portfolio. Most importantly, for Google, it gives … Continue reading What’s the problem with personalisation, anyway?

Customer satisfaction with chatbots: the surprising role of speed

Modern life demands speed, right? We eat, speak and walk faster than we used to. We are disappointed if our favourite online store does not offer next day delivery (even if, pragmatically, we could very well wait). And we want 24/7 customer service so that we can get instant replies to our queries.   However, … Continue reading Customer satisfaction with chatbots: the surprising role of speed