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Do YOU Trust Companies with Your Personal Data?

20 Apr

We know that there have been incidents of stolen data around the world. These are involuntary hacks of our personal information. So, how do we feel about voluntarily sharing our information with companies? Many of us are rather reluctant to share more personal data due to concerns about identity theft, access to private information, and more.

As reported by eMarketer:

“A Pew Research Center report published in January 2017 found that only 14% of US consumers felt ‘very confident’ about entrusting companies/retailers with their data. Almost the exact same number said they were not at all confident.”

 

 

Another United PR Disaster: You Can’t Make This Up!

18 Apr

After its recent public relations nightmare, when it forcibly removed a passenger from a seat due to overbooking (overloading)  and dragged him from his seat, you would think that United Airlines would have learned its lesson. Social media and TV reports skewered United for its actions. Just this one video received more than 3.6 million views in a single week after the incident.
 

 
As a result of the continuing social media barrage — and after several PR missteps, United’s CEO finally issued a more consumer-oriented message to the public. As reported by Brandon Morse for THE BLAZE:

“United CEO Oscar Munoz has stated that in light of the recent deplaning debacle [on April 9, 2017], United Airlines will no longer use police to remove passengers from planes. In an interview with Good Morning America, Munoz stated that he felt ‘ashamed’ over how passenger David Dao was forcibly removed from the flight, and promised to review his company’s passenger removal policy. According to United spokesperson Maddie King, the passengers who witnessed the incident of flight 3411 will be reimbursed for the price of their ticket [if they sign a waiver against suing]. This news comes on the heels of the announcement that two more officers that were involved in the incident have been put on leave.”

From Fox News:

“That is not who our family at United is,” Munoz said. “This will never happen again on a United flight. That’s my promise.” In the future, law enforcement will not be involved in removing a “booked, paid, seated passenger,” Munoz said. “We can’t do that.”

So did CEO Munoz really mean what he said? You decide! On April 15, 2017, less than one week after the above incident, United removed two passengers on the way to their wedding. NPR’s Doreen McCallister reports that: “A couple flying to Costa Rica for their wedding were removed from a United Airlines flight in Houston on Saturday. The incident happened nearly a week after a video showing a passenger being dragged off a Chicago-to-Louisville flight went viral. Michael Hohl and Amber Maxwell are scheduled to get married on Thursday.
 
Here’s a video clip from USA Today on this latest incident.
 

 
More!! The parodies of United Airlines are brutal. Here’s one example (recorded before the wedding couple incident).
 

 

Ethical Selling: Not Necessarily an Oxymoron

4 Apr

Each year, Gallup conducts a survey on “Honesty/Ethics in Professions.” Here are the most recent results. As we can see, professionals in the health care professions are considered the most honest and ethical by Americans. On the other hand, car and insurance salespeople, advertising practitioners, and stockbrokers are rated quite low on these attributes. 
 

 

So what can these marketing professionals do to improve their standing among the public?

Consider these observations from Drew Hendricks, writing for Inc.:

“Sales itself is a fact of life; there’s something to sell to someone who wants to buy it; and salespeople are going to exist. Sales organizations need to ‘make a stand for ethical selling. Make sure it’s in your culture and communicate the importance and responsibility your salespeople and sales leadership have to represent the career of professional selling.’ Why do companies get an unhealthy sales culture? They’re pushing quota over quality, over long-term annual recurring revenue, and threatening those that aren’t ‘performing’ without understanding performance over time is powerful.”

“The most powerful conclusion one can take from the idea of ethical sales is to stand by key points: (1) Make thoughtful, careful research of a customer before even approaching them. (2) As Thorniley suggests, use ‘connected products, supported by predictive customer service [to anticipate] customer needs.’ (3) Think of the sales pipeline not as a one-stop process ending in a sale, but one that continually boosts customer happiness. (4) Don’t focus on closing; focus on making a sale that leaves the customer exhilarated and excited to have paid you.”

 

Click the image to read more from Hendricks.

CREDIT: Getty Images

 

Consumer Trust: Interesting Research Findings

21 Mar

Consumer trust is important if companies and industries are to succeed, certainly in the long run. For example, see “Are You Vigilant in Protecting Your Reputation?”, “Don’ts for Businesses Using Social Media”, and “Americans Don’t Trust Mass Media” .

According to eMarketer:

“Brand trust seems to matter more than ever, though it may be harder than ever to build that trust. SheSpeaks and Womenkind recently conducted a study to find out how women in the U.S. think about trust and loyalty when it comes to brands. The study found that most women are skeptical of advertising. Nearly three in four U.S. female Internet users polled said they trust advertising ‘very little’ or ‘not at all,’ while just one in five said they trust it ‘somewhat’ or ‘a lot.'”

“Women also distrust certain industries, though some fare better than others. When asked about which industries they trust — or don’t trust — survey respondents were most likely to deem companies in the packaged goods, nonprofit, technology, and beauty and personal care industries as the most trustworthy. In contrast, women said they trusted companies in the financial services, automotive, and healthcare industries ‘very little’ or ‘not at all.'”

It is somewhat surprising that nonprofits are not trusted substantially more than for-profit packaged goods companies and technology firms. And the financial services, auto, and healthcare industries need to work harder to gain consumer trust.
 
Extent to Which US Female Internet Users Trust Companies, by Industry, Feb 2017 (% of respondents)
 

A Salute to State Farm for Promoting Community Service

16 Mar

For decades, State Farm Insurance has used the slogan, “Like a good neighbor, State Farm is there.” It’s community involvement is highlighted by the tag line, “Good neighbors always lend a helping hand.”

To highlight its community involvement programs, beginning in late 2015, State Farm introduced a series of videos/TV ads called “Neighborhood Sessions.” Here is one of those TV ads:

 “State Farm Neighborhood Sessions® celebrates good neighbors — the kind of good neighbors who have your back and work hard to make their communities better. Meet some Oklahoma superstars who inspire others through their passion for good.”


 
This month (March 2017), State Farm introduced a new TV ad called “The Following:”

“Let’s turn caring into doing. Visit http://NeighborhoodofGood.com to find volunteer opportunities in your community. Causes include education, health care, homelessness, veterans, animals, and many others.”


 

Misleading Marketing

9 Mar

As we have noted before (see, for example, 1, 2), marketers are sometimes ethically challenged in their quest to generate more revenues and profits.

Here is an interesting video of 10 ethically questionable marketing practices. NOTE: Some of these tactics are sexually suggestive.
 
 

 

Proud to Be Part of the Hofstra Community

5 Mar

Members of the Hofstra community came together to make a message assuring all students that they are welcome on Hofstra’s campus. Representatives from faculty, administration, athletics, student affairs, and a wide variety of student leaders want all students from across the globe to know #YouAreWelcomeHere
 
 

 

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