She 1: “Hi! Haven’t seen you in awhile.”
He: “Open your eyes…”
She 2: “There you are! Where have you been?”
He: “Busy, busy…”
As a MarCom person my antennae are always up in retail outlets, checking out how employees carry the flame of branding –a job usually ascribed to the media savvy folk rather than those on the shop floor.
Take a guess where I overheard the above conversation?
This was at a Starbucks. The Baristas were unfailingly picking out customers by name and product type.
Later, at the milk-and-sugar counter, I commented to Mr. Popular Starbucks Customer that he’s pretty notorious around these parts. “Maybe I should come here in disguise,” he retorted.
Isn’t it amazing how invisible you are in, say, a grocery store that you visit every week (armed with your loyalty card!) We could be disguised as Elvis, for all they care. Nobody notices if we skip a week, shave our goatee, or suddenly begin buying sugar-free products instead of the weekly box of doughnuts. The data is probably there stuck in a silo, gathering cobwebs.
I say this, because I am working with a variable data digital printer, who tells me that there is no shortage of information available for marketers to use very creatively, if they could only spend a little more time getting to know the people behind the database!
Of course, Starbucks has invested in the most advanced CRM software solution a company can ever want –its employees, who carry their ‘variable databases’ in their heads.