Mark Higginson

How attention flows on the web


22 June 2015

Most of their customers preferred to add the salespeople on WeChat directly rather than follow the official store account.

Pictures of Chinese People Scanning QR Codes

I haven’t seen enough research to know if this is a cultural peculiarity. Certainly the approach of Western brands is wedded to a broadcast model, unless specifically dealing with customer service issues where an individual representing the business may identify themselves.

This model, of following ‘official’ profiles is the antithesis of social media. It gets little to no response yet is relentlessly pursued due to marketers’ obsession with control of messaging. Rather than seeing their role as one of enabling and supporting customer facing personnel, or even being customer facing themselves, marketers continue trying to fit new media into existing hierarchical structures.

The example given piqued my interest as I was interested in a particular forthcoming release coming in the Clark’s Trigenic range of footwear. This is not a brand I’d usually consider purchasing as their general design work is way behind the Trigenics. I happened to be in a store purchasing shoes for my infant son so asked about the range, release dates, etc. The sales assistant knew no more than I did. The limit of what they can offer is a ‘deliver to store’ option.

There was no facility for taking my details, letting me know availability, ensuring that as I’d bothered to enquire I’d be able to get the pair I wanted if numbers were limited, etc. It renders their website an entirely self-serve proposition and their in-store assistants as offering little more than stock control.

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