Travelling to and from airports and waiting for planes for 12 hours
Travelling to and from my office for 12 hours
That’s 62 hours travelling in 14 days! Was it worth it? Yes, absolutely.
My travels took me to Cape Town, London and Miami: in all three cities I was fortunate to meet some of the most interesting people in the prepaid industry. The range of people was wide and included huge multi-nationals as well enthusiastic, entrepreneurial start-ups.
One thing is for sure, the prepaid sector is going to be seeing some exciting developments this year.
Now here is an interesting debate in the offing: Rosie Baker, writing at Marketing Week, is talking about Coco Cola, Old El Paso and Peacocks marketing and use of Twitter during the riots in London.
There are many more serious issues at hand concerning the rioting that has taken over London and other cities in the UK for the past three days, but being glued to Twitter and social media even more than usual for the past 24 hours has made me question exactly what it is brands think they are using Twitter for.
I wonder how this all extends? Should brands be changing their press, radio and TV advertising during the riots? Are we to allow the rioters and looters to make their agenda the only one being discussed.
I do agree that brands need to be very careful if they try and piggy back their message on what has been very distressing, large scale, criminal activity.
Prepaid and smart cards are contributing to the migration of passengers from the comfort of their cars and onto public transport buses. Well that appears to be the assertion.
The Go-Ahead Group has reported a 7.2 per cent rise in passengers using its deregulated bus services in the first quarter of 2011, hinting that motorists are saying “so long” to the car and “hello” to public transport.
Some of the reasons outlined for the increase in bus use include the introduction of smart card ticketing and successful marketing campaigns aimed at getting passengers to use alternative forms of transport.
I think prepaid is bound to be a contributor. I now use a simplyBus card from Reading Buses and this does make local bus travel easier…as my Oyster card does in London.
But let’s keep our feet on the ground here; basic pricing, timetables, routes and availability of public transport play a huge role in the decisions of passengers. I also think the sky high fuel prices, today £1.42 for a litre of diesel is a major influencer.
Simply it is a fun new idea called Chromaroma. When you sign up, you can choose whether to join the Red, Green, Blue or Yellow team. Your team gets points for swiping Oyster cards at Tube stations. Swipes mean points, and points mean rewards. Teams can win and lose ownership of stations.
You know how we all feel when a train is cancelled, or there are roadworks or other travel delays? Well here is a fine example of simple communication that helps the public understand the work that is going on.
With passenger numbers at Reading set to double by 2030, Network Rail are increasing the capacity of the railway, constructing a new track layout and building five new platforms at the station. The station will also benefit from two new entrances and a new passenger footbridge with step free access to platforms.
All I need now is a train with a seat to turn up! Not a lot to ask for the £40 return journey to London.
And here is the rather more boring DfT explanation:
At the time of writing only 331 people had watched the DfT video, above, since 25 October 2010. Compare this to the whopping 8,831 views since 6 January 2011 for the top video showing the work being carried out. What’s the message? Don’t give us politicians…show us what is going on.
How on earth would you advertise your services if you were offering circumcisions? This is a synopsis of a Facebook conversation.
POST: Circumcision leaflets through your door as junk mail, welcome to London, E1.
POST: Are they advertising that they come at a snip of the price!
POST: 20% off if you buy before the end of June.
POST: Don’t even joke – there is one of those little clip-art stars in the corner with the caption “Bookings being taken for this summer”. Seriously, who decides to be circumcised because of a leaflet through your door?
POST: They have to advertise via leaflets as getting product placement on daytime TV is a little tricky.
POST: It would probably do very well after the money saving section on GMTV!
Well, it all made me wonder. What other obscure services do you think are difficult to market?