Meerkat as a ‘fad,’ make the customer experience personal, and don’t ignore millennials…

As part of my weekly media habits, I have been expanding my Podcast consumption to include Marketing and Business podcasts — beyond my usual diet of culture and entertainment. It sometimes feels a bit like teeth-flossing. Boring and worthy. But I always feel better afterwards. Anyway, I’ve organized it so that one Podcast will cover my commute to work and get me into a good working headspace.

The Marketing Smarts podcasts from MarketingProfs I like, because they interview people with real world opinions. Who are qualified to say something worthwhile. And give me actionable advice. Unlike the Ted podcasts, which are lovely and inspirational, but not so immediately actionable in my workday.

Today, I heard from Geoff Livingstone, a multi-talented marketer, with some good things to say. He advises me as follows:

  • Meerkat could be just a fad — ultimately the ‘live’ watching experience will fade
  • The customer experience on social must be relevant — yes, get attention, but if you don’t make your social outreach personal to the specific customer experience, you’ll not win
  • Don’t ignore milliennials — they are now becoming today’s VPs in decision making roles

On the Meerkat question, I’d be sorry if that does just become a fad. I don’t think it will. There are instances when near-live broadcasting from mobile is incredibly powerful. We’re not sure what it is yet. Meerkat won’t tell us what it is. Meerkat’ers will. Give it time. The best use case hasn’t emerged yet.

On the customer experience question, that’s so hard for smaller brands without the access to the big data. Mr Livingstone spoke of big brands, like T-Mobile, who can correlate your social identity with your T-Mobile identity, and reach out accordingly. For example, if they notice you tweet that you’re unhappy, because T-Mobile gets the latest phones too late, they could find you in the database and email you an offer to ship the next phone directly to your home, and waive the upgrade fee. Nice dream. Out of reach for most, but point well taken.

Finally, on ignoring millennials? At your peril. He also made some very good points about how millennials are forging new ways to protect their online identity. Today’s socially savvy millennials wouldn’t post drunk photos on Facebook, because they know better. They have places to keep that quiet and private, and they’re using them. Mr Livingstone gave sage advice about hiring millennials. He tells us he assures his potential millennial hires that he won’t be their ‘friend’ on Facebook. He won’t like their posts and comment. He does expect them to do their job competently. Not be socially well behaved. That’s not his business.

I have been chastised by millennials I know that my ‘digital footprint’ is too large. Too late, I think. Horse has bolted the stable. The millennials I know aren’t making that mistake. They’re ensuring that whatever is public is what they want to be public. That’s why services like Snapchat are so appealing. And why they are a good thing. I could learn a thing or two there. My identities are all ridiculously blurred. And that’s not a good thing.