March 24, 2006

The Financial Services Model and Blogging

I used to do a lot of work with clients in the financial services industry. One thing you learn in the banking and insurance world is that all customers are not created equal(ly). Same in healthcare. There are some customers you simply don't want to have.

It's the same with any business, but it's very apparent in banking where there are plenty of scores and metrics that help segment customers. What's a good trust account customer (loads of dough) might be a crappy credit customer (pays off monthly, keeps no balance = no interest or fees). Some checking account customers are right-on to talk to about a new car loan, while others are ripe for debt reconsolidation loans. The goal is to spend your marketing dollars talking to the right people about the right services. Over time, because of the nature of the business, financial institutions develop rich repositories of customer data that helps them have the right conversations with the right customers. Fortunately, there is some great technology to help financial institutions do this, to determine the best treatment for each and every kind of customer.

So, is that what Google needs to do with its blogger Bloggers? Or maybe it's already happening--and I'm in the segment with my 3,000-plus posts and heavy bandwidth use--that they WANT to go away?

As someone who has been the user of a specific technology for FIVE YEARS, from inception, through sale, through crappy service, I'm trying to figure it out -- because I just can't believe the "ignoring" is by chance.

What is the motivation for Google/Blogger to treat long-time Blogger/Blogspot like they don't matter? They never communicate with us, never a single hey, here's what we're planning, what do you think, or thank you for keeping at it email. Never a warning or a sorry to say: We know your site has been unavailable for the last 12 hours Jeneane; maybe you should try republishing your entire blog again for the sixth time this week.

Don't give me the free service argument. It's the same as free long-distance for your cell phone --> somebody someplace is gaining or that little free piece wouldn't be free. No transaction goes unpunished.

So, as a blogger who has helped build the Blogger and Google brands every single day, several times a day, over the last many years, I need to say this: I WANT TO BE TREATED AS A VALUABLE CUSTOMER. I want to be the three million dollar customer for the Trust Department of Blogging! I want to be the high-rolling, balance-carrying, good-credit-score customer for the Credit Department of Blogging! I want to be the three-Lincoln-Navigator family of the Loan Department of Blogging!

I am the one you want to talk to!

How ironic that the company with access to more data than any other (with the exception, perhaps, of some in the financial services arena) has no idea that it even HAS customer value in its bloggers.

Because if they had even a hint, believe me, we'd know it.

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