You’ve heard of the 4 P’s…what are the 4 I’s?

Do you ever wonder just how much companies know about their customers?

Many years ago, before the smart-phone and mobile technological boom, we used to use Nokia 3310’s, which were basically useful for calling someone, sending the odd text message (with a frustrating non-QWERTY keypad) and playing a round of Snake.


Nowadays, our smart phones are permanently attached to our hands. If we aren’t holding them, they have to be in a 3 feet radius of our body at all time, or we simply will not be able to function. What would we do if someone asked us how many penguins can a polar bear eat in one sitting and we didn’t have our phones? (Apparently it’s 86 penguins!)


Because we now take our phones absolutely everywhere, companies are able to know a lot more about their customers than they were when we were all using bricks. Companies now have access to data about our time and location.

Kaplan’s 4 I’s help companies gather this kind of information about their consumers (Kaplan, 2012). Companies should:

  • Individualise their mobile social media so that it is relevant to each of their consumers


Gone are the days of the family shared computer, where one device belonged to 4 people and you had to fight over who got to go on first.

Today, almost everyone has their own computer/phone/tablet/device, so the searches of users are more personalised. This is a great opportunity for companies because they can communicate in the right way to the correct customer.

The Goodreads app does this well. It looks at what books you have been searching; considers which titles and authors you have already read; and notices what you have said you want to read, to give you a list of book recommendations.

It also lets you set your own Reading Challenge. At the start of each year you type in how many books you want to read over the next 12 months, and it keeps track of your progress.

  • Integrate their mobile social media into the lives of consumers, so that they do not appear annoying


Have you ever deleted an app because it kept sending you notifications? I certainly have. The Metro Notify app was the single most annoying thing I have ever downloaded. In theory, it seemed smart – you enter your train line and the app will send you a notification when a train was delayed or cancelled. However, I was being notified constantly about every single train that would not run on time. Just imagine how many notifications that is, considering our train system. I was being notified about trains at 11pm on Tuesday night – a time I have never been on public transport. In the end, I had to delete the app because it was more frustrating than helpful.

Metro abused my trust and were simply annoying. Companies need to remember that consumers don’t want to be bombarded with information. Yes, they might like your brand and that is why they have downloaded your app, but too much information is often damaging.

metro notify

  • Involve their consumers to communicate through their mobile social media platform


It is important for companies to interact with their consumers in some way, and make them feel a part of the company. People are more likely to feel positive about a brand if they can participate in some way. This can include either in-app purchases or special events.

For example, Mattel launched the “Make Your Own Barbie” project which allows you to choose a doll, select an outfit and create your own unique Barbie-sized t-shirt. This gives customers some control to make something that is unique. The finished product can then be shared via other social media platforms.


  • Initiate user-generated content


The previous 3 steps are less effective if consumers do not spread positive word of mouth about your app or website. Reviews and comments are extremely valuable to a company, and can be the deciding factor for a consumer.

The TripAdvisor app allows and encourages consumers to leave comments and offer advice to potential travellers. If a business does not have a TripAdvisor account, many people may be reluctant to stay there because they do not have the opportunity to read reviews.

trip advisor.jpg





David Ogilvy did say “Never stop testing and your advertising will never stop improving”

Have you ever been on a website more than once and noticed that there are 2 versions of it? The layout will look a little different between the 2 sites, and you might just think nothing of it, and keep browsing.

In reality, it is very likely that the company whose website you are on are conducting A/B Tests or Split Tests.

But what is A/B Testing?

A/B Testing involves a company developing different versions of their website to determine which one performs the best. People who visit the site are randomly allocated to one of the many website options, and their actions are monitored.

Let’s say a company wants to see if they can get more people to sign up to their newsletter online. They might use an A/B Test, and their website options could be:

Version A – The “Sign Up” button is in the top right hand corner of the screen

Version B – The “Sign Up” button fills the whole screen when the customer first enters the site (similar to a pop-up ad)

If more people sign up to the newsletter with Version B of the website, then the company should implement this design permanently.

A few things that you could change are:

  • Wording
  • Size
  • Colour
  • Placement
  • Images
  • Test length

California Closets is one of the leading examples of successful implementation of A/B Testing. One test was designed see which final page in a 4 step sequence got more leads from pay per click traffic.


Version A.


  • Videos aren’t always successful – people often don’t watch them
  • The text on the photo makes you look at the closet
  • The form is shorter so people think they have to do less

Consider this simpler test:

AB_Testing_for_Web_DesignersWould you buy more with the blue or black button?


12 Surprising A/B Test Results to Stop You Making Assumptions –
A guide to A/B testing tools –




We paid for Veronica Mars!

Were you a fan of the popular naughties TV series Veronica Mars? Were you a devastated detective when it ended after only three spectacular seasons? I bet you were screaming when you found out they were making a movie!

But how did that movie come about?

Fans from all over the world came together and donated $5.2 million so that Veronica could be on our screens again! They did this through a website called Kickstarter, which is a crowdfunding website. The original campaign was for only $2 million, and fans raised that within 12 hours – I guess we all really wanted that movie!

Crowdfunding is the way we fundraise in the digital age. It allowed Rob Thomas (the Veronica Mars director and co-writer) to ask those who would be watching the movie to fund it. That’s pretty cool!

There are a few options:

  1. If you don’t reach your goal, you don’t keep any of the money raised
  2. You pay a 5% fee when you reach your goal

It all sounds pretty easy – but it’s actually rather difficult. The Veronica Mars campaign was one of the most popular and most successful. For smaller projects, organisers have to constantly watch their space and hope it will work.

This got me thinking – what else do we all put in a little to achieve a great outcome?

The first thing that comes to mind is Wikipedia! Wikipedia operates by allowing the everyday public to collaboratively add information and content to their site. This is called a type of ‘eBusiness Model’ called a Community Model.

Similarly to Kickstarter, Wikipedia makes money and operates through the donations of the very people who use it!

Hopefully producers keep using Kickstarter and we see a One Tree Hill movie soon! #ComeBackLucasAndPeyton


“Kickstarter funding brings ‘Veronica Mars’ movie to life” –
“Fundraising in a Digital World” –