It never fails to amaze me how many companies miss a really potent chance for meaningful interaction and engagement after they spend a ton of money to reach people. A case in point is what Bloomberg is doing at London City Airport (LCY) which I often fly to when I go to London i.e. every couple of weeks. While they have done a pretty good job with the screens and lounges, after security (albeit in a bit Times-Square style which seems over-the-top at times… ‘you are now entering the world of the might Bloomberg'), their wifi sign-up page (see below) is a very poor attempt at data-capturing that leaves a lot to be desired. Even though not all the fields are mandatory this huge drop-down menu is probably enough to make 95% of people think of Bloomberg as a pain in the butt rather than a friendly entity that is bringing free wifi to you. Remember that old adage ‘if you don't pay you are the content' ? Here is yet another instance of that.
Bloomberg dishes up yet another faustian bargain here: I get ‘free' wifi in return for their spam and divulging my data to them. Yes, I can opt out but they will still have my email and – in the age of powerful data-sucking entities like Axciom – is almost 100% certain they will use / sell /share this information, eventually. But the worst thing is what they are missing here:
@bloomberg: how about this:
1) “Bloomberg is delighted to bring you free wifi at LCY. We'd like to make a connection to you, in return, if that's ok with you…?”
2) Here are some options a) follow us on twitter b) like us on Facebook c) watch these latest videos on …. (offer some choices) d) download these free resources (ebooks, reports etc) e) sign up for a our monthly newsletter f) download this cool app … etc etc
I think this would go a long way in making Bloomberg seem like they actually want to make a connection rather than fill up their database so that they can eventually interrupt me with some meaningless stuff that is completely impersonal and unrelated.
Machine-thinking still prevails in marketing, I guess.