To fill the ever-gaping maw of this blog -- and to stay informed -- I subscribe to a surprisingly hefty number of publications.
McKinsey Quarterly is not a fun read, but it's a quality read, and you get access to their whole archive library with a subscription. This archive has proved very useful over the years on client projects. I love their slogan -- "Required reading for the business elite."
Fast Company is a fun read, and probably the best source of innovation stories out there, with a lot of good stuff about customer experience, both topics near and dear to my heart.
I actually expect a lot out of both of these publications, but in different ways. Fast Company let me down today, however. Here's how.
I got a renewal notice by e-mail. I presume their database knows I live in Canada, since they manage to mail the magazine here every month. The renewal offered me a chance to give a free subscription to a friend. Well, my young friend Matthew is in his teens, and I thought he might find the magazine inspirational. It might help him with career decisions. So I asked if he was interested. Yes indeed, he was.
Today I went to formalize the arrangement. Well into the process, I learned the following:
1) the great renewal price does not apply here.
2) the free subscribe-a-friend offer does not apply here either. There is an offer, it is a savings, but it's less.
Of course I signed up my young buddy, and am happy to do it. [He's on his own with McKinsey, however, because it's about 10 times the price. Probably a bit dry for a teen, right?]
The real problem with FC's direct-marketing campaign is that they thoughtlessly and needlessly created an expectation for one group of their customers that they were not able to/planning to deliver on. And they did it rather mindlessly. I'm surprised, actually, that they don't have more nuanced direct marketing. But there you go. So I haven't yet renewed, and am now waiting to see their next offer.
I'd say there's a sales opportunity for somebody here who can help them do a better, more integrated, more nuanced job of connecting with their customers. Because really -- don't we expect a LOT more than this from FC?
[McKinsey's renewal logged me in to my account, presented the exact offers it had earlier, and was quite seamless -- just as expected.]