The Sunday Times of India has taken customer orientation to a new high!
For the articles written by columnists, now readers can leave feedback by sending SMS to a mobile
number by saying “Yes” or “No” to an article. That would probably give the TOI folks
a quick reckoner on what is selling — what’s hot and what’s not.
However, there might be few flaws in going for this ‘customer is king’ approach.
For one, who are the folks most likey to send in feedback by SMS ? — the younger crowd.
So the feedback sample is biased from beginning. It is quite another matter that
TOI is toying (wow, was that a pun!) with this idea precisely to appeal to younger
Now for some tongue-in-cheek applications to take it further:
- Henceforth, columinsts will get paid based on their net positive feedback score. Much
like how feedback score on eBay works for sellers, bad feedback could lead to
lesser articles for columinst in future.
- Why not do analysis of words in the hot articles, and put in more news and products
on related items. Charge more for advertisements on the ‘hot’ keywords. Like Google,
go for auctioning of the ad keywords!
- Put in related advt close to the articles. After all, google does something similar. If it
can be done on the web, why not in print :-). If this seems astonishing, just think it is
TOI which once used to put their gyaan in form of ‘Our Comment’ bites with
each news item. If THAT was ok, then this could be too.