• November 1, 2006
  • By Marshall Lager, founder and managing principal, Third Idea Consulting; contributor, CRM magazine

CRM Around the World, Take Two

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Just because I'm an editor doesn't mean I need to spend all my time, um, editoring. And it's hard to keep a running commentary on the state of our industry if I never stick my head out the window to observe it. So I've decided, again, to share a practical view of how CRM has a real effect on the world. I spent minutes painstakingly researching and analyzing the global perspective. Any similarity you may note to popular Web-news venues is purely coincidental. Working Too Hard A man in Australia is under investigation for illegal spamming (as if there's another type) after having allegedly sent more than two billion emails promoting low-cost deals on Viagra. According to authorities in Sydney, the suspect rented some 35 servers in the Netherlands to deliver the messages. I won't even make the obvious joke about how he could have protected himself by using a Trojan (horse, that is). Know your customer:
This guy certainly picked up on the idea that Viagra is a top-seller. He must've spent a lot of time in locker rooms and at strip clubs figuring out that what the world needs is more erections. Understand globalization: Outsourcing his infrastructure needs to the Dutch may have seemed like a master stroke, but it cost him $10,493 per month, per server. The traceable transaction could also lead to fines of up to $823,826 per day. Somebody didn't do his due diligence on cost versus benefit. Spam is evil: Just look what can happen! Fighting Opium with Coke Kabul is host to American troops, Taliban agents, and now a $25 million Coca-Cola bottling plant. For math addicts, the plant cost about $1 for each person in Afghanistan, where the average annual income is equivalent to about $200. At 20 cents a bottle, that's...well, something. I'm not a math addict. Afghanistan is one of the five poorest countries in the world, and outside of the $3 billion (nearly all illegal) trade in opium products, there is no economy to speak of; the government of Hamid Karzai is hoping that soda will jumpstart investment. Targeted marketing: Oh yeah, the most recognizable American corporate symbol in the world is going to go over real big in Afghanistan. Karzai himself refused a glass of Fanta at the dedication ceremony--I can't fault his taste, but the move doesn't exactly inspire confidence for success. Security measures: The Reuters story from which I stole this topic mentions that security is the most important thing for new Afghan businesses, with up to 10 times as much money spent on security as on development. Getting the Taliban hooked on Coke should cut those costs, since we'll be able to hear them coming by all the belching. Animals Sue McDonald's and Win Or at least their representatives did. The British Hedgehog Preservation Society (BHPS) announced that it had successfully pressured McDonald's into redesigning the cups for McFlurrys, as the discarded lids would trap the heads of hungry hedgehogs within, dooming them to slow death by starvation. The new cup lid is small enough to prevent snags, so any future hedgehog mortality chalk up to strokes and heart disease. What about the children? It isn't clear from the BHPS and McDonald's press releases whether the resized aperture is small enough to protect juvenile hedgehogs, nor is there any data on the appropriateness of the McFlurry in their diet. Supply chain mismanagement: The nutritional and genetic content of McDonald's food is the subject of some debate. (Hope Ronald has cut off his meat supply in Blighty.) The British are slipping: Littering in England is so bad they have to kill hedgehogs? And that's the way it was. Tune in next month for something completely different. Unless I can't come up with a better format. Contact Senior Editor Marshall Lager at mlager@destinationCRM.com.
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