Team Spirit Team Spirit

we love blogging

Wednesday, 31 October 2007

FSF success


I spent yesterday morning addressing the Associate membership of the Financial Services Forum on the issue of Digital Marketing and Regulation.

Quite a dry subject but with the introduction of Mifid on Thursday and the FSA specifying for TCF 'We expect that by the end of December 2008 all firms are able to demonstrate to themselves and to us that they are consistently treating their customers fairly' a lot of clients seemed keen to understand the implications for their digital marketing.

As well as Teamspirit the other speaker was Lewis Silkin a firm of lawyers who specialise in marketing and new media - very good outfit by all accounts and I came away with some good information I can put to good use.

This is the second talk I have had the opportunity to be involved with for the FSF and they keep asking me back so I must be doing something right. At the very least it makes my mum proud.

Tuesday, 30 October 2007

BT credit card


Permission is a funny thing. It takes a great deal of effort to obtain and one careless communication to lose.

Today I received an email from BT inviting me to apply for their credit card (so much for the credit crunch we are all meant to be experiencing). As a BT internet customer they do have the right to email me although I am just about to unsubscribe to all their emails.

Why? I am getting, on average, an email a day from them and the various divisions of BT. I've been offered deals on extending my contract, deals on BT Vision, tips on how to use BT Wireless, how to be more green (sign up for more emails instead of paper), discover how to download music with BT and save all my files securely via BT Vault.

The trouble with email is that it feels a low intrusion way of communicating - after all I signed up didn't I?

The reality is permission does not last forever and it cannot be impossible for BT to look at the volume of emails it is sending out and realise they are saturating my in box.

It's a shame really - there probably is a BT service I might find of use but it will not be via email anymore.

PS BT don't think I don't know you own as well!

Thursday, 18 October 2007

Chancellor's warning


In today's Evening Standard there is a warning from Alistair Darling to banks and building societies that they need to become more responsible in their lending having created a unsustainable housing boom.

There are a number of comments on the site primarily blaming the government for the situation which may, or may not, be fair comment. However I'm still surprised so very few lenders insist on proof that a repayment vehicle is in place.

If, as the FSA is quoted as saying, that 1 in 10 people have no idea how they will pay off their mortgage surely a mandatory repayment vehicle would be a step in the right direction?

Thursday, 11 October 2007

How fair are you?


In support of a PR campaign for Britannia Building Society we have created a micro site where you can find out how fair you are by answering a series of questions. Britannia have looked at how fair we all think we are as a nation in support of their fairness positioning.

Apparently I am pretty fair - which gives me a nice warm feeling.

We have also created a Facebook group to support the campaign really as a test to see how well this sort of activity can be in helping to spread the word.

Tuesday, 9 October 2007

FSF Event


I have been invited back again to the Financial Services Forum to talk at an event on the regulatory environment for digital marketing on the 30th October.

Treating Customers Fairly springs instantly to mind. How to manage the digital conversation with a customer to ensure you have taken account on their individual circumstances? How do you apply these guidelines to devices such as mobile where you are limited to 160 characters in your SMS communications? Equally what responsibility do the search engines have now that they decide how relevant your cost per click ad is to a user (on top of how much you have paid for the ad). Permission to communicate and the manner of the collection of that permission seem to be the key.

Email can be lovely and personal but only if you have the data to make it so - if you do not does this mean you really have to offer the blandest, lowest value content? Hardly compelling reading.

I'm also keen to look at blogging at how that might constitute 'advice' if not carefully crafted but then a fully compliance checked blog is going to be very dry - Steve Bee does it so well there is a way. Forums etc are not far removed from blogs in this respect. Moderation is vital.

As for social networking and Second Life etc etc that really is the wild west of digital marketing and one that will be hard to police. There you go - initial thoughts on what should be an interesting event if the last one was anything to go by.

Tuesday, 2 October 2007

Credit squeeze impacts on IVA firms


Yesterday was a tough day for anyone in the IVA business. Debtmatters shares lost 65% of their value, Debt Free Direct lost 29% and 20%.

A 'hardening creditor attitude' is blamed for these valuations drops - a phrase I think we'll be hearing a lot more of over the coming months.

So who will step in to the gap filled by these companies if they do cease to exist (banks, citizen advice, charities) and why do customers not feel they can approach their main lenders directly?

Monday, 1 October 2007

Ninja's are to blame for the US sub prime mess


Apparently it's Ninja mortgages that are one of the major factors contributing to the problems within the US housing market.

Before you start to try and work out how feudal Japanese assassins are involved you should know that Ninja stands for No income, no job, no assets.

And I thought the world of digital had some great phrases!