Conversation Agent - Valeria Maltoni - Designing the Customer Experience


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I think Tom has a point.

If I look at my own behaviour in terms of where the money goes ( rough estimates):

30% of my purchasing is habitual ( which label do I recognise/where do I buy my takeaway from)
10% of my purchasing is contextual (which supermarket is the closest/ which petrol station do I see when the light comes on))
10% I have no choice(rates/fines)
30% is set and forget ( school fees/mortgage/loan/insurance/gym membership)

For most of the time I'm on consumption auto pilot - awoken only when the washing machine breaks or I get the bill from my car service - But within days I'm back on auto.

Sure I switch sometimes but in the scheme of things its rare and the return on switching is seldom as great as playing with my kids or going for a surf.

This means that marketers ( of whatever persuasion) are fighting over 20% of my wallet and 1% of my attention.

My point is that marketers may be the only ones that take marketing seriously or believe that magic spells and incantations (marketing collateral) have any meaningful influence on the way I live my life.

In other words, what a marketer thinks as punishment, me ( though arguably not a representative consumer) thinks as an occasional and minor distraction on my journey ( when compared with raising children, burying parents and friends, growing older).

That's not to say that this all doesn't have a place. Just that there is a tendency to grossly overstate the relevance of marketing in all its forms to why consumers consume.

Having said that, I agree with Tom. The real gluttons for punishment are corporations. As I've said before, at least corporations are trying to get better. I wish I could say the same for consumers ( myself included).


Please don't misread my comment Valeria, I really DID enjoy your well thought out post. I simply think you're cutting people way too much slack. We all really need to start taking full responsibility for our actions and outcomes. And that includes consumers.

I love the 2% rule! Intuitively it makes sense, but I think we need to do some hard industry benchmarking to demonstrate that the only complaints reflect a greater real world sentiment.

Funny thing about major industries like the travel industry is that they are faced with unusually complex challenges without simple or often actionable near term solutions.

Social service is a marketing vehicle and a band aid. While 'listening' will inform the customer journey evolution and drive more real business results in the long term, it's harder to quantify and therefor harder to get people excited about and acting around.

Great post

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