Netflix Willing to Lessen Revenue in Best Interest of Customers

Netflix to begin canceling inactive user accounts -

Netflix announced that it would begin reaching out to inactive users, who haven’t streamed anything on the platform in a year or more, this month. The pandemic’s impact on the economy inspired the company to ask these customers if they would still like to subscribe. If the users don’t respond, Netflix will automatically stop billing them for the subscription; as Netflix explained, “The last thing we want is people paying for something they’re not using… we hope this new approach saves people some hard-earned cash.”

Let’s be clear: With its latest ‘sacrifice’, Netflix isn’t exactly chopping off a limb here. In fact, these so-called zombie accounts make up less than half of 1% of Netflix’s total user base (which, by the way, has grown by over 15 million as a result of COVID).

Still, this proactive approach deserves applause. Especially when it seems like every industry (not just entertainment!) is trying to get in on the recurring revenue game; even brands like Panera (unlimited coffee for USD 9/month!) and Litterbox (that’s right, cat litter!) are launching subscription services. But consumers are fully aware, of course, that most brands will purposely make these services a hassle for customers to cancel. Netflix’s gesture stands out as a rare play in this sector, as the brand shows consumers — even those who choose not to pay them! — that it has their best interests at heart, and that they’ll make cancelling a zero-effort process. And as a result, the subscription services that don’t demonstrate equivalent levels of empathy will stand out.

Why it’s hot: While most companies want us to know what they’re doing so we feel good about continuing to subscribe to them/buy from them/consume content, Netflix seems to be stepping it up a bit by leveraging a re-engagement campaign in a new way. Instead of actively pursuing lapsed customers to continue their subscriptions, in these trying times, Netflix is making it easy to opt out of its service and if you’re so out of touch from them, they just won’t charge you. This could go a long way for good will in the future as people start to reestablish their fiscal comfort. But also, being honest, if you’ve been lapsed for over a year, they’ve already reaped enough extra cash from you. Hopefully this gesture will encourage other companies to do something similar.

Sources: Trend Watching, TechCrunch

You can’t buy me love…but you can buy loyalty

Spending on loyalty programs is through the roof – experiencing an annual compounded growth rate of nearly 21 percent. And no wonder – returning customers spend up to 67 percent more than first-time customers.

But most loyalty programs don’t generate loyalty. One recent study found that customers of retailers that offer a loyalty program were not more loyal than customers of those that don’t. Another recent study found that only 42 percent of loyalty program members are active or engaged. While it pays to have loyal customers, you can’t simply pay customers to be loyal.


What if instead of paying customers to be loyal, those same customers actually paid the companies they want to be loyal to?

It’s a concept Amazon understands well. In the latest quarter, Prime membership grew by 47 percent. Prime members spend 250 percent more a year than non-members. And while standard loyalty programs tend to bleed engagement over time, Prime members actually become more engaged.

What companies like Amazon, GameStop, Sephora and Restoration Hardware understand is that there’s a difference between loyalty and love. Loyalty simply means you’ve managed to put a card in the customer’s wallet. Paid membership means you’ve secured a place in the customer’s heart. At the same time, charging a membership fee creates an onus on the part of the company to deliver value against the heightened expectations the fee creates.

Read more: Business of Fashion

Why It’s Hot
Expanded notions of loyalty in CRM can benefit both the company and consumer – a mutual value exchange that can breed longer-lasting brand love.

Google Thinks The Future Of The Web Is Email + A Ghost Story

Google is taking the frustration out of ‘clicking out’ to a web page on accident through a new initiative called AMP for Email.,c_limit,q_auto:best,f_webm,fl_lossy/wp-cms/uploads/sites/4/2018/02/1g-to-google-the-future-of-the-web-is-email.gif

“Instead of an email from Pinterest just kicking you to some in-app browser or an external app as soon as you tap one of its links, a new AMP-infused Pinterest email is the web. So you can pin to your heart’s content, right inside the email window. With AMP for Email, you never need to leave the message itself to browse web content.” Google is making this possible by letting email developers incorporate its Accelerated Mobile Pages standard, and for now, and Gmail is currently the only email client supporting this.,c_limit,q_auto:best,f_webm,fl_lossy/wp-cms/uploads/sites/4/2018/02/2g-to-google-the-future-of-the-web-is-email.gif

“Instead of shuttling the user from an email to the web and back, email is simply becoming the web–a deep, browsable entity”

Why it’s hot: While it might seem minor, this has some strong implications for email CRM form both the user and the brand perspective. For the user, it is a more seamless experience with a branded email. For the brand, it encourages further brand engagement and less fear of ‘linking out’.

Source: Co.Design


PLUS……………….. I highly recommend reading this modern ghost story via twitter….. Is it real? I’ll let you decide. P.S It’s real.

“Also, being a Ghost Influencer is now a thing.” – Amanda Z.

Woman Uses Pizza Hut App to Escape Hostage Situation

Quick thinking by a Florida mother helped her and her children escape a potentially deadly hostage situation by an unlikely communication device: her Pizza Hut mobile app.

After being taken hostage at knifepoint by her boyfriend Ethan Nickerson, things were looking bleak for Cheryl Treadway and her two children. But while being held in Nickerson’s home, Treadway managed to convince her captor to return her cell phone so that she could order a pizza for her children.

In that moment, Treadway ordered a small pepperoni pizza and included the notes, “Please help. Get 911 to me,” and, “911hostage help!” The local Pizza Hut recognized her as a frequent customer and flagged the comments, contacting local police.


When police arrived on scene, they had to talk Nickerson out of the house, but after a 20-minute standoff, he surrendered peacefully. Treadway and the children are unharmed, thanks to Treadway’s smart use of a pizza delivery app. “We’ve never seen that before,” said Pizza Hut manager Candy Hamilton. “I’ve been here 28 years and never, never seen nothing like that come through.”

Why It’s Hot

When Pizza Hut created its mobile app, odds are they didn’t think its code could do much more than order pizzas let alone save someone’s life. But with the proliferation of mobile technology like apps, even a pizza ordering service can be a communication vehicle. Thankfully this Pizza Hut was staffed by employees who took the comments seriously, and were able to play a role in saving the Treadway family’s lives.

Via Popular Mechanics and WFLA

WWE Uses Valuable Commercial Spots for CRM, Instead of Promotions

After attending this week’s Monday Night Raw event, it was clear to me that a piece of WWE‘s extensive marketing presence needed to be shared on Hot Sauce.

During WWE’s Monday Night Raw televised [live] program, the WWE aired an extended-length commercial thanking fans for supporting the WWE. The commercial highlights all the technology and work that goes into producing each show, but finishes by noting that it would all be nothing without the fans. It was a surprising spot that has been really moving to the TV audience each week, and to the in-house audience at the event.

Why It’s Hot | The WWE continues to earn much buzz around their marketing, and this moving CRM commercial is no different. The idea of using a commercial spot – where viewers expect to see advertising – as a means of thanking customers is quite thought-provoking. Most brands use TV primarily for awareness and acquisition, but the spending of money that could be used to promote any number of WWE’s programs or superstars, instead of showing viewers how appreciated they are, is an unexpected and invaluable form of CRM. The commercial truly furthers the feeling for WWE fans that we are a part of something bigger than ourselves.

Perhaps we should be thinking outside the realm of typical rewards and personalized direct mail for our clients’ CRM. Perhaps we can expand into unexpected placements and tactics to really resonate with specific customers.

Burt’s Bees finds a new way in to your life: Your Calendar

In what Burt’s Bees describes as a marketing first, they are using people’s calendars to promote a new line of anti-aging facial products that promise to reduce the appearance of dark spots and brighten complexions, Burt’s Bees is asking consumers to click on a link that will automatically add a series of eight weekly calendar items.

As with typical appointments, all fields are filled in and, if users have configured calendars to send them reminder alerts, they will get them from the branded appointments, too. (The brand will not be able to post future messages in calendars automatically, or to learn anything about the content in them.)– NYTimes: Burt’s Bees gets into your life

Burts Bees invites itself into your calendar/NYT

Why It’s Hot

It a digital world that’s totally cluttered with messaging, this marketer identified a new channel to exploit, and one that consumes a large amount of consumer’s time. What’s more, they don’t choose to openly sell until the 4th (and last) week, thereby using content and goodwill as a thank you for invading your space (and not getting kicked out). Furthermore, any marketer that has products that require long sell-ins, or reminders, or low-loyalty can benefit for this avenue.  Kudos to them for finding a new, and pure avenue to reach consumers.

Virgin Atlantic trials Google Glass to offer personalized service

Virgin Airlines is experimenting with having its Virgin Atlantic concierge staff in the Upper Class lounge at London Heathrow wear Google Glass to provide a hyper personalized experience to all customers. Google Glass will enable the staff to immediately be able to identify a customer by name as well as see their flight details and preferences in food and drink. This experiment was created in response to findings in a Virgin Airlines survey that stated over half of travelers worldwide think flying is less glamorous or exciting than it was in the past.

Google Glass


Source: PSFK

 Why It’s Hot

This trial is a great example of putting new technology to use in the real world to improve customer service and ultimately impact brand affinity. It also shows how data can be empowering, and have a positive impact on brand and personal interactions. Hopefully, this will lead the way for other practical uses of Google Glass for airlines and other industries as well as more innovative ways to leverage data to offer personalized and proactive experiences.