The Rules of Marketing

One, don’t piss off your customer.

Two, make them feel valuable.

Three, give them more than they could possibly want.

Four, be consistent.

Okay, I don’t know the rules of marketing, but take a look at the offerings from MarketingProfs that accumulated in my inbox this afternoon.
MarketingProfs - an offer every four minutes

I imagine Sharon and Shelley fighting it out in the MarketingProfs office:

“I don’t care if they’re unlimited, I want to give them out at half-price!”

“Half price?  No, I say twenty percent off”

[one minute later]

“Maybe that’s a little stingy, how about thirty, it’s their last chance!”

[Four minutes later]

“Sorry Shelley for shouting at you, I was wrong. I miss our little chats, can you ever forgive me?

“Okay, fifty-percent! Can’t talk, he’s here!”

[Five minutes later]

“Oh my god, the server’s overheating. We’ve got to do something, quick reduce it to 20%!”

[Another five minutes later]

“Okay ladies, enough is enough. These are unlimited seminars, even if they are virtual. If you want to come in tomorrow, I suggest you put everything back as it was!”

LoveFilm’s “New and Improved” Rental Queue – the last straw?

When my DVD rental firm LoveFilm (www.lovefilm.com) told me they were improving my DVD rental queue, I was delighted. Now, I fear I will get a worse service, and a worse experience.

LoveFilm Queue - new and improved, apparently

I’ve been using them for two years now, and generally have been pleased. A while back they seemed utterly incapable of sending anything within my queue’s top twenty, dipping once I recall into the top forty. A while back, they hit on a wheeze called FastTrack, a kind of guaranteed delivery service for items that were no longer in demand. If you wanted one of those films, all you needed to do was put it in your top ten – why the song and dance?

You see, at least they had a queue system. It worked, of a fashion.

Now, instead I just rank my items as high, medium or low.

LoveFilm Queue - a question of priority

I suspect this means it’ll skirt over my High Priority discs, and pluck something from Medium. With a list that hovers around the 100 mark, I don’t expect any of the low priority items will ever get a say.

That’s what I mean about ruining the experience. The discs I wouldn’t keep at the head of my queue always got a chance. I liked the way they’d bubble up the queue, and thrust themselves at you at some unsuspecting moment. They’d done their time, therefore they deserved to be watched. How will the delights like The Station Agent or Lagaan ever reach me if I pause each time I think about raising their priority?
You can probably criticize me for both wanting too much control, yet relishing the lack of it.

Right now, I think I stand even less chance of getting the discs I want, when I want them, compounded by losing out on the little gems. Perhaps I’ll make everything low priority, except for a few. I’ll let you know if it works. Otherwise, know any rental sites that will import my queue (albeit broken?)

SerendipitRSS: Icon Analysis and Revision Control

A delightful, but freaky coincidence between A List Apart and Boxes and Arrows this morning.

So I’ve popped a couple of pages from their RSS feeds into Firefox tabs, I’ve been staring at this image of spacially frequency-filtered icons, and trying to imagine how the techniques could be of use to me.Icon Analysis picture - from Boxesandarrows.com
Then I flick over to the next tab to see the heading

I Wonder What This Button Does

It turns out this is an article on revision control, in particular Subversion (SVN) – answering a lot of the questions I had about two months ago, plus giving me a couple of good pointers.

Daft Cognition

This morning, glancing at the bookshelf I see PJ O’Rourke’s “Age and Guile…” but find myself thinking Polly O’Rourke.

Polly?

Polly Jean of course, PJ Harvey!

The way we process patterns around us is something that’s recently piqued my interest, and increasingly something I’m trying to learn about. I hope to write more on this soon.

Welcome back to Halfway to Reality

After an unduly long downtime, it’s time to relaunch Halfway to Reality.

What am I doing here? It’s simple really.

There are lots of people I rate on the web, discussing topics from programming, interface design, through accessibility, usability, writing and content, to the emotional drivers of users and the businesses beyond. I’d like to credit these people, and hopefully raise and occasionally answer some of the questions that often fall in between the cracks of these subject areas.