Vijay Dandapani

Locating customers for service

LBS (Location based services) have been touted for the past couple of years as a significant customer service enhancement tool with companies like Foursquare often grabbing headlines about their initiatives in this area. While the emphasis has been on building up a repository of...

Predictably irrational customers

That consumers' purchasing decisions are irrational is old hat: an abundance of examples across industries attest to it. Fortunately, for marketers much of that irrationality is predictable; which could lead to rational planning on the marketing front. An oft-found instance of it is the...

Thriving on the vine with six second marketing

The economics blog in The Economist carries a post entitled "praise of laziness". The main thrust of the rumination was that "businesspeople would be better off if they did less and thought more" as there are too "many distractions and interruptions, too many things...

Frontier marketing: creating touchpoints

Slow growth if not stasis in the economies of the first world has western companies looking again in emerging markets including new frontiers within those markets. Starwood's announcement earlier this year of situating hotels in poorly served temple in India is a case in...

No tall tale: pricing power by storytelling

The Harvard Business Review's blog has a post on how to raise prices (in any industry) by telling a story. A closer look at the facts on the ground reveal it to be anything but a tall tale. The post notes that the traditional...

The “share” economy: Consumers who sell

Trendwatching.com the self-styled independent and opinionated trend firm notes the rapid growth in a variety of fields where consumers also sell and coins the term "sellsumers" to describe them. The firm points out that "whether it's selling their insights to corporations, hocking their...

Using tech to affect consumer happiness

The Huffington Post Canada reports on a race "to unveil the latest and greatest in futuristic finds and impress even the most tech-obsessed guest" and suggests that on the high-tech anvil are hotels that feature robots that take luggage (already there in the Yotel...

Google’s ad hiccup: implications for customer service

The search leviathan's revenue hiccup, which seems to have surprised just about everyone on the street, stemmed almost entirely from mobile advertising eating into its heretofore vertiginous growth in online advertising. Mobile ads have been hugely helped by the fact that smartphone penetration...

The phoenix like (re)ascent of luxury

Luxury and ubiquity are unlikely bedfellows if simply because luxury implicitly assures and ensures more than a degree of exclusivity. Yet, a mere 3 years after the great recession luxury is making an improbably come-back everywhere. It is no longer "gauche" as deemed...

Cognitive dissonance in consumers? when less is more

Early this year, UC Berkeley economist and Nobel laureate, Daniel McFadden published a paper entitled "The New Science of Pleasure" in which he noted that long-held economists' views on consumer behavior "as being driven by relentless pursuit of self-interest, with choices in the marketplace...

Milllenial marketing: plus

Divining the way to Millenial hearts and minds and catering to their presumed unique needs has been the preoccupation of marketers across industries for the past several years. While it is a tautology to cite the growing demographic, as Millenials get older and acquire...

Dynamic and unbundled pricing: following in the wake of airlines

A semi-satirical article on possible outcomes in other industries adopting the pricing model of airlines appears in the Wall Street Journal's latest "Middle Seat" column. Although the article at times conflates dynamic pricing and unbundling (more on that later), its lampooning of the...

Employee disconnect and customer service

It is axiomatic that engaged employees tend to be truly involved in all aspects of an enterprise's success. Yet enabling that engagement seems to be an elusive goal for most US businesses according to Gallup's 2013 State of the American Workplace Report....

Branding – not quite indelible anymore

A recent in-your-face decision by the world's largest advertiser to postpone payments to ad agencies has roiled the advertising world with the implicit questioning of returns on brand advertising. That at least is the take of the UK's Financial Times in its article headlined...

Pretailing to predict consumer trends

Predicting consumer trends is at best an unpredictable art form but one with rich rewards for prognosticators who get it "right" and, at times, punitive financial consequences for those who don't. Yet, it is an enduring objective of business minds with social media...

Hidden fees: theft in plain sight?

With the summer travel season a couple of weeks away the menace of hidden fees gets more attention in the press leading to the somewhat misleading notion that the add-ons are merely a summer practice. Instead, less light is shone on the nebulous...

Cross platform selling: Helicopter advertising?

Cross platform marketing whereby marketers track consumers over multiple platforms across the digital space seems to have arrived. The Wall Street Journal has a somewhat ominously headlined report "Online Ads Can Now Follow You Home." The holy grail for digital advertisers is the ability...

The technology dividend: a gift that keep on giving

A slew of new apps in the travel sphere look to ensure that the high watermark for the industry will remain a moving target. That is an outcome that almost always will accrue to the benefit of consumers and travel businesses alike. While Google's...

Charging consumers by the pound. Which way will they tip the scales?

Samona Air, the national carrier of the South-Pacific island nation, Samoa, managed to generate a fair amount of turbulence with its controversial move to charge overweight passengers. The airline's weight policy has been in existence essentially from its inception last year and requires passengers...

Capricious customers: are they distracted or discerning?

That the digital age has done wonders for customers and merchants alike is self-evident. But its benefits to the latter are often fleeting with customers continually trying out new products and services as well as buying the same from different vendors. The UK's Marketing...

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