Published on: October 3, 2013
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Hi, I'm Kevin Coupe and this is FaceTime with the Content Guy.
There's nothing like connectivity, and how it can change our lives for the better.
Advertising Age reports that Major League Baseball has begun testing a new feature on its "At The Ballpark" smartphone application that uses sensors placed throughout stadiums to "welcome fans when they enter the vicinity, surface historical tales, and potentially enhance sponsor messages and displays with ad content."
The first test was run this fall at Citi Field, home of the New York Mets. While I wish the Mets would invest in some hitting and pitching, it's nice to know that they are at least trying to take the lead in terms of technology.
Ad Age writes: "The idea for now is to enrich the gameday experience as fans traipse through the park en route to watch batting practice or to grab a dog during the 7th inning stretch. At Citi Field, for instance, when fans are within close proximity to the original Mets Home Run Apple -- which now resides near the entrance of the park and once lived at Shea Stadium -- a nearby beacon will trigger the app, notifying them that a video recounting the history of the apple is available.
"The opt-in At the Ballpark app serves as a loyalty program, intended to give people access to better, more customized offers as they use it. Currently they can use the app to keep track of games they've attended, explore stadium features, watch video and check-in for deals."
All good stuff, though I think the opt-in feature is key here. Because it doesn't take much to violate consumer trust, and to venture into territory that is, to be honest, a little creepy.
Last week, Mrs. Content Guy decided she wanted to do a little refinancing research, and so she went onto the LendingTree.com website and started to fill out the application that, when submitted, would generate quotes and phone calls from all sorts of refinancing companies.
Except that, before she hit the "submit" button, she thought better of it, and signed off the site.
Guess what? The phone started ringing, and hasn't really stopped, as we've been deluged with calls from people wanting our refinancing business.
She asked the first one to call how he got her information since she never hit "submit," and he said that you don't have to hit the button to have your information spread out far and wide ... it happens the moment you start filling out forms.
That's creepy. And a violation of our privacy.
We know better now, and won;t make that mistake again.
There are ways in which organizations - from retail stores to baseball teams - can use increased connectivity to build functional, sustainable relationships with customers. And, there are ways to make it all very dysfunctional, very quickly.
Be warned. Don't do the latter.
That's what is on my mind this Thursday morning. As always, I want to hear what is on your mind.
- KC's View: