Many Pixels of Observation from Mitch Joel

One of the most valuable benefits of working in the loyalty space is I get to share my time with people who I consider geniuses of consumer behavior. On the short list of those intellects is my friend and social media expert, Mitch Joel.

Mitch is president of Twist Image and he wrote the best-selling book Six Pixels of Separation.” His next book, “CTRL ALT DEL – Reboot Your Business (and Yourself) in a Connected World,” will be published in spring 2013.

Mitch also is included in my book, “The Loyalty Leap,” where he shared his thoughts on the implications of social media on organizational communications and loyalty. Here, he makes the declaration that when it comes to researching products, consumers are actually ahead of marketers for the first time in history.

I recently spoke with Mitch at the Canadian Marketing Association’s 2012 CMA Summit, where we discussed the challenge faced by companies that are still too product focused. My belief is if organizations become customer committed, and used their data to create unique, one-to-one experiences, they’d achieve customer intimacy.

Mitch wrote about the conversation in the Montreal Gazette, in a piece that further underscores his observation that technology is no longer a roadblock to gathering consumer data – it can in fact be adroit at capturing detailed information. Combine this capability with the mushrooming of social media, where consumers self-identify themselves and their preferences, and brands find themselves in the most fertile fields ever for creating a valued loyalty exchange.

But doing so requires that we approach the customer data, and our responsibility to it, with measured respect.

“This is less about manipulating consumers and much more about creating a better marketing experience,” Mitch writes. “The challenge with data is always around the social contract between the consumer and the brand.”

I couldn’t agree more, and I am happy to know the loyalty industry has Mitch in its corner. To learn more about Mitch’s upcoming book, CTR ALT DEL, visit here. Or visit his blog, at Twist Image.

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