It’s no secret that I’m not big on “influence measurement.” Even so, I’m a huge data wonk, so I find tools like Klout, Kred, PeerIndex and others interesting, in a “ooh, another data point” kind of way.
I also like free stuff.
Lastly, I love being a wiseass, so I tend to go into my friends’ Klout profiles and give them +K in topics that include unicorns, magic and whatever other silly thing Klout’s algorithm has decided they’re influential in. I’m not above taking requests, either, and once added “Hey Pa! There’s a Goat on the Roof (Game)” as a topic for a friend. Which I thought was weird, because “goats” was not a topic, but this alleged game I’d never heard of was. But I digress.
Lately, though, the Klout Perks program seems to miss more than it hits. I’m usually given perks for things I’m not even remotely interested in (though I love the Moo cards perks, keep those coming!), such as $10 off a $50 purchase at an online store I’d never shop at. I’ve also fallen victim to poor targeting by Klout when free passes to a conference in Manhattan were being awarded, but I was ineligible because I live in New Jersey. I have a shorter commute into the city than a lot of people who live in the outer boroughs, but the client had indicated just “New York City.” So unless you lived in one of the five counties that make up the city, you were out of luck.
Klout blamed the client on that, but it seems to me that it was incumbent on Klout to also offer some guidance to the client and figure out the right audience for the perk.
But, still, not really that big a deal.
Then, this week, two really boneheaded moves.
First, the OneHopeWine.com perk. Jeff Esposito covered the topic really well a couple days ago, so I won’t belabor it, but here’s the CliffNotes version: Folks were offered a discount on online purchases. Half the profits go to charity, and as you buy each bottle, you can see what charity is reaping the benefits. Nice. However, not every state allows the online sale or purchase of alcoholic beverages. New Jersey’s one of them. That’s where I live. Jeff lives in Boston. Yep, Massachusetts also doesn’t allow it.
So they gave perks to people who could not legally participate. Bad targeting. A serious failure, on the part of both OneHopeWine and Klout. One Hope is aware of the online restrictions. And Klout shouldn’t be awarding perks to people who are not legally allowed to accept them.
A boneheaded failure, because simple targeting could have eliminated anyone who lives in those states where it’s illegal and they’d never have seen it and had the chance to be annoyed.
As I said, Jeff wrote it up, and did a good job, so I wasn’t really going to belabor the point. Then I noticed another perk that was so ridiculous as to be pointless: The #DallasQuickie book.
I never watched “Dallas” growing up, though I’m the right age to have wondered, nonetheless, who did shoot J.R. So despite the fact that I wasn’t interested in the show and its return – at ALL – it still kind of made sense they offered it to me. Then I looked at the criteria: Klout scores above 1, in the topics Dallas (TV Show), Soap Opera, Entertainment, Family, Blogging.
Wait, let me say that again:
KLOUT SCORES ABOVE 1.
So, if you have a pulse, you’re eligible. Of course, you have to be influential in one of those topics – but how are family or blogging appropriate topics? They’re far too broad to have any real applicability to the show, and when you add to that the low threshold, it’s basically anyone who’s ever said the word family or tweeted a blog post.
I actually do believe Perks can have a value to brands that use them. If they use them right.
That doesn’t seem to be the case.
Creative Commons image by Ktow on Flickr.