SMS Cymru

Welsh consumers, according to Ofcom’s 1kg+ “Communications Market Report”, are more likely (than UK averages) to stick with their mobile phone in recession. And our average SMS use is to send 99 texts per month.  

I shall be making my contribution. I am in Cardiff today with colleagues, doing future planning for Consumer Focus. I have loved visiting the city over my six or so years working with consumer representation – one part of a 4midable country.

Time and gender

An addition to the post below.

I read today from the EU Consumers in Europe 2009 report that we spend over thirty minutes a day, on average, shopping.  Our time as consumers remains one of gender difference, and inequality. The gap between men and women on this (women spending a quarter of an hour more per day) is higher in the UK than any other country save Spain.

So if we claimed back time, women would win out in particular.

Time, please

Kate T has pointed me to the consumer revenge action of Paul McCrudden. Infuriated by companies that assume that your time is elastic, he is counting up his hours spent being a consumer of around fifty companies, so far, and then invoicing them.

He is not alone. One of the most famous consumer backlashes was by Robert McKee after his seven hour delay on a Delta Airlines flight. He put together a video, ‘6499, Seven Hours on the Tarmac’ has been watched 388,000 times on YouTube.

Marketing as nuisance

One of the hidden assumptions of today’s world is that being targeted by marketing is the price we pay for the opportunities we have. But I think we might also want to pay, in time or loyalty, individually or collectively, to cut the worst of the sheer nuisance of the marketing bombardment.

Even so-called direct marketing is designed on nothing more sophisticated than a ‘mud throwing’ strategy that hit enough people and some small proportion will stick. 

There is an excellent blog here by Iain Henderson on how to move to a new model of direct marketing – what he calls a ‘hard re-set’.

Voluntary or not

Is the voluntary sector ‘voluntary’? By and large the stress in recent years has been on professional staff and professional cultures. 

So, it is a good balance to see new figures from the Charity Commission which show there are more unpaid roles as trustees (925,000) than paid staff (660,000). Meanwhile, some of the most interesting trends are towards membership and accountability. If anything, the best of the voluntary sector is becoming more voluntary.