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在线 | online | 온라인으로 市场营销 | marketing | 마케팅 消费者行为 | consumer behaviour | 소비자 행동 한국 | korea | 韩国

Web Trends

Reading Time: < 1 minute

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Trendwatching in this month’s briefing had collated some useful statistics:

  • In the US, almost USD 400 billion of store sales (16% of total retail sales) are directly influenced by the web as consumers research products online and purchase them offline (Forrester Research)
  • UK sales online are over 4 billion GBP per month (Brand Republic)
  • 2006 South Korean ecommerce transactions reached 13.45 trillion won (USD 14.29 billion), year-on-year growth of 26% (YonHap)

They also christened narrow-focus social networks ‘nethoods’, property developers are utilising online services to help build a social community in new developments. This was also extended to frequent flyer programmes and online book clubs

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媒体与艺术 | culture | 미디어와 예술 市场营销 | marketing | 마케팅 思想 | ideas | 생각

Word of Mouth

Reading Time: 3 minutes

 

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I was asked the other day by a friend what did I think was the sign of good PR and I replied that truly great PR would be PR that you weren’t aware was PR. And in this answer lies the root of the problem of what is wrong with word-of-mouth marketing.

Some of the biggest word-of-mouth marketing campaigns on Facebook such as the HSBC student overdraft backtrack and the campaign to get Cadburys to reissue the Wispa chocolate bar were both orchestrated by marketers (the NUS and Publicis on behalf of Cadburys). I know that this was the case and so does the general public. It is easy to assume that people are stupid because they like Hello magazine, but they know when they are being sold to or played.

Real-world world-of-mouth marketing is almost anti-marketing. Why the picture of Tiger Balm? I have never seen a Tiger Balm advert, yet it has been recommended to me dozens of times by friends and colleagues to help with colds, helping you staying awake when your driving or muscle aches. The same is true for New Balance trainers which doesn’t have a marketing budget and third-party endorsements like Nike or adidas/Reebok yet still manages to attract the cool kids and avoid employing sweatshop manufacturing.

I wanted to finish this post with a quote from Jonney Shih, CEO of Taiwan-based technology company ASUSTeK in a recent interview with DigitimesCurrently, we don’t think working on sales and marketing is a good idea. We believe that if ASUSTeK can do the best job it can, then there is no concern that the market will have a bad impression of the brand. Think of it this way, most people only know of the highest mountain, Everest, not many remember the second highest.

You may have not heard of the ASUS eeePC (made by ASUSTeK), but it is one of the fastest-selling laptops this Christmas on Amazon, putting it in the gadget hotness zone with the Nintendo Wii, Nintendo DS, the Nokia n810, the Apple MacBook and the Apple MacBook Pro. Nuff said.

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商业 | business | 상업 在线 | online | 온라인으로

Lufthansa disappoints with online bait-and-switch

Reading Time: 3 minutes

I am looking to travel to Hong Kong again in January and looked at booking my ticket via Lufthansa.

I like their quality of service and I have never had a bad experience with them. I think that their frequent flyer scheme is one of the fairest available and they fly from London City Airport making my occasional commute to our Munich offices much easier.

However my online experience of Lufthansa when I went to book my tickets to Hong Kong didn’t live up to my expectations. The best way for me to show you what was wrong is for me to show you two screen shots.

If you want to see these pictures full-size click on them to take you through to the original flickr page that I have them hosted on.

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This a screen shot where I was asked to select my preferred dates for flying to and from Hong Kong. (I had already given them a date range and destination on the previous page). Ok the important things about this image are the price in the yellow boxes (1,002 GBP) and the text at the bottom of the page which says:

‘The total price is in Pound Sterling(GBP) and includes airfare, taxes, fees and other charges for 1 adult.

A Ticket Service Charge of 10 GBP per person applies for residents of United Kingdom, when choosing a ticket by mail.’

Seems fair enough, they are not the cheapest way to fly, but I think this looks like good value.

Contrast this with screenshot number two which is what I saw immediately after selecting one of the flights and clicking the continue button (the blue one on the bottom right-hand side of the screen).

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Whoah, with one click, the lowest price changes to 1,456 GBP a naughty 454 GBP price increase happens. That’s 935.83 USD at the time of writing (this was a public service announcement for our American readers.) This is what is known amongst grifters and con-artists as a bait-and-switch.

As you can imagine, I wasn’t terribly happy and booked instead with another airline (British Airways), despite their pretence that air travel is glamourous (yeah right) and poor baggage return rate. Now I am not saying that Lufthansa are a bunch of con artists or charlatans, but I am saying that it is a shocking user experience on their website. I am holding off judging Lufthansa more harshly, until I have answers to at least some of the following questions:

  • Why the sudden price hike over one screen change?
  • Why wasn’t it explained on screen?
  • Why can I not take advantage of the lower price?
  • Why had no one thought about the likely customer reaction to this?

I would be interested in hearing Lufthansa’s take on this and would be happy to publish their response.

Will I be flying Lufthansa in the future? It depends on how the online experience changes and whether they were deliberately trying to bilk me out of the money. At the moment I probably won’t fly with them if I am paying myself.