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The Human Mutant has arrived

Well I guess the cyberworld today is seeing a mutant version of the Homo sapiens species. Man is said to be a social animal. Really? I’ve been living in my current apartment for the last 2 years and apart from the name of the person next door I really don’t know much about them. Well if that’s common consider this… After about a gap of 6 years I meet an old school friend and we talk mostly of the past life we had led in school. I really did not ask him about his current relationship status (I’m sure he would have been shocked!).  As a rule we avoid such personal questions. How many of us know the relationship status of our colleague or boss or an old school mate we’ve not met for the last 10 years? Or ask them what did they do last Christmas?  Oh yes we are social but with a very thick boundary of etiquettes that we do not breach.

But the present social media goes all out to shout the very same rules as useless. Today with just a friend invite on facebook, I know most details about my colleague or old class mate or practically a stranger who just shares my interest that till now was told only to a choice few. Imagine asking your supplier – Hey BTW saw the pics of your Hawaii trip. Is that girl your girlfriend? BUT – the same answers you’ll get without asking on the social media.

So what does this mean in marketing terms? In the world of increasing one to one marketing, these data provide an easy access to personal data which can be used as a database or ecrm tool to understand your customer better and thus provide the service unique to him! So there marketers… make the best use of the data available to you!

9 Responses to The Human Mutant has arrived

  1. Meheer Thakare Reply

    November 16, 2009 at 2:06 am

    You are right. Social Networking websites possess a segmented data of their users. It helps knowing and targetting the right potential lead.

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  3. Steph Reply

    November 19, 2009 at 1:25 am

    I dont think I get what you;re trying to say here..There is so little that you have said there. Are you complaining about human attitudes or Marketing data available to marketers? Could you please elaborate?

    • latha Reply

      November 19, 2009 at 8:38 am

      Hi Steph, The article was a point made in noticing a change in the amount of data available to everyone today. It was not meant to be a complain just pointing the new opportunities for marketers in general and crm in particular.

  4. Ed Roach Reply

    November 19, 2009 at 8:12 pm

    Social is a two way street Lata. I understand that the neighbours did not reach out to you, but have you attempted to reach out to them? Many people suffer from shyness. If you want to know more about someone – just ask. My wife and I enjoy going to bed and breakfasts when we travel. I enjoy the breakfast table. Many times strangers have a hard time with eye contact. I usually take it upon myself to break the ice and ask where they come from. Social just needs a little boost from time to time.

    Social networking on the other hand is a little easier in that you’re not face to face. You’re really an anonymous text. You say you know more about “friends” online than off. I make it a point to learn more about my customers because it helps to grow a stronger relationship if we know some personal items about each other. I am no less friendly on-line than I am off-line.

    I don’t think the cyber world is delivering anything unique with regard to your social skills.

  5. Meheer Thakare Reply

    November 20, 2009 at 3:56 am

    @ Ed, Interesting points there.

    I think you’re right in a ‘Westernized’ way. The cultural dimensions play their part here especially offline. I think Lata’s majority exposure has been towards to traditionally shy cultures. Indian Culture for one, is extremely shy and is dominated by “Lets Mind our own business!! And appreciate others do the same.” kind of people.

    Online too, people (especially females) are more cautious while adding others to their friends list. They would primarily engage with people they know offline.

    These characteristics make the market research data unique to other cultural or regional data. Marketers must thus be aware of such characteristics before taking decisions.

  6. Ed Roach Reply

    November 20, 2009 at 9:46 pm

    Now I’m curious Meheer. If I walked the streets of Mumbai and nodded or said hello to a stranger, are you saying they wouldn’t reciprocate? Here if I happen to catch a stranger’s eye, we typically say something to effect of, “hey, how are ya?” (I’m talking guys here as well)

    • Meheer Thakare Reply

      November 21, 2009 at 1:16 am

      ‘Hey, how are ya (stranger)’.. is too animated for India. That doesnt happen here. Me mentioning those words to a stranger on the streets would typically be responded by an unnatural strange look back. But you (a foreigner) could, more often than not, be greeted well and probably even invited for a Family or Friendly Lunch or Dinner. But, either ways, you are going to be the ice-breaker generally. Our culture is extremely considerate to Guests and Outsiders. Internally and the way we behave with our own people, has different set of values altogether.

      • lata Reply

        November 22, 2009 at 5:05 am

        wow, the topic seems to have kindled a real discussion…. if not for social media would we do this???

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