A new marketing campaign is set to begin this week for Verizon Wireless. The “Verizon Selects” campaign will target iOS and Android users based on their location, browsing habits and app usage. It was first announced back in October under heavy criticism from customers and bloggers alike.
Precision Mobile Insights is the program that will collect information on customers. Verizon insists the new strategy does not run any risk of legal issues because all data is aggregated and will not reveal any identities. Of course the program is 100% opt in for Verizon Wireless customers and many believe this is due to previous backlash. You will be compensated for choosing to share your information with offers via snail mail, text message, email or through online advertisements on your phone. Specific details on the incentive offerings have not been revealed by the carrier.
What type of coupon would it take for most consumers to opt into the program? If you are in a store on a weekly basis, would you like a 5 or 10% off coupon from them? The possibilities are endless on the offers that can be pushed, but users will have to wait and see if they are worth opting in for. Before checking that “Yes” box, I would ask Verizon what type of incentives will be given. If they are unable to provide that information, then it’s probably not worth the risk of more annoying spam. Verizon should begin contacting current customers this week about the program.
One of the criticisms with the service is that Verizon is already one of the higher priced providers in the U.S. and now they want to squeeze more revenue out of each customer. In July, Verizon Communications reported that profit for the second quarter rose to $1.8 billion or 64 cents a share from a year ago. In that number, revenue climbed 3.7% to the tune of $28.6 billion. Figures like this are released and news of Verizon profiting even more off customers is upsetting. Phones cost a few hundred dollars and you are locked into a contract for 24 months at a substantial monthly rate. The no contract option is available, but the monthly rate is the same and you must pay full price for the device.
Verizon came under fire earlier this year when discussing the possibility of viewing the usage habits of customers. Bill Diggins, U.S. chief for the Verizon Wireless marketing initiative said the carrier had created “a very sophisticated system. We’re able to identify what that customer likes not by filling out a form, but by analyzing what they do on a day-to-day basis. We’re able to serve them products that we know they like because we’ve seen that they’ve gone through and downloaded products like it.”