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Sunday, September 28, 2008

The Flaws in CRM


My colleagues who write the blog Travel 2.0 wrote a great piece this weekend called "mistaken identity". The story was originally from the Wall Street Journal about a company called Revenue Science that had technology and a database that predicted behavior and supposedly helped target advertising more effectively. Well, the writer cited element after element of the company's premise about him that did not hit the mark, and in fact were about as far from the mark as possible.

The problem with treating this as "science" is that it ignores the behavioral and situational perspectives that govern choice.

When LeisureLogix built the RoadTrip Wizard tool (a tool for the drive market recently launched on www.roadescapes.com), we knew that one of the great flaws of travel marketing was the assumption that there could be a single profile (or one for business and one for leisure) that could be applied to predict what I wanted to search for today.

Our premise was one that begins with the fact that EACH time you travel, you are actually a different person, depending on WHO you are with, WHY you are traveling, WHAT you like to do when you travel (and WHAT as the lead versus WHERE you want to go), HOW you will travel and then WHERE you want to go and WHEN.

So a single dimensional profile just won't do. In fact, it couldn't possibly cause a system to deliver relevant results to me when I search for something to do with my kids, versus when I go away with my best friend.

And if you have invested millions to deploy technology that is predictive in its search methodology and believe that just because I searched for a romantic place to stay last time I was on your site, that this time I also want romantic lodging, then you could be sadly mistaken and make me work harder than I need to.

In fact, my hotel preferences in my general profile used for business travel may not even apply, as I may prefer a bed and breakfast when I'm with my friends and a resort hotel with a cool pool when I'm with my kids. And I definitely eat different things and shop at different types of stores under these circumstances. In fact, I may have one set of preferences in the spring and summer and another in the fall and winter, or one when I drive my car versus when my husband and I take a trip on the Harley (.... if we had one!).

We solved this dilemna by creating electronic twins that match each of my circumstances. Whether I'm traveling solo, as a couple, as a family or a group, there is an eTwin™ for me. And I can customize it and tweak it to match what I want.

Google has us conditioned to accept quantity over quality and relevance. They make us do the work.

You don't agree? How is it that they can give 190,000 results when I enter Tampa Aquarium in the search bar?

I happen to subscribe to the theory that "less is more".

Let me search by category or across categories. Let me filter by who I'm traveling with, or what I like to do under TODAY's circumstances. Don't assume that you know me or what I want today when I search and plan.

Ask me. But make it easy.

How relevant is the search on your site? Are you willing to take the electronic twin challenge???

Give me a call!

Chicke Fitzgerald
813-925-0789
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