Monday, March 03, 2008

I want to buy a Toyota Yaris. An experiment in VRM and word of mouth

I want to buy a Toyota Yaris... really, I do.

After reading the previous post, there may be some who a conclude from the supermarket analogy that it makes life easy for me to show up at one place where the prices are good and I can get 'all I need'. And therefore I'll back the jack-of-all-trades model.
(Worth noting, however, that you're getting all 'everyone' needs at the supermarket - you are being served as part of a mass, the lowest common denominator...)

I get where you are coming from. Who needs the hassle of chasing round the internet?
Doc Searls' Vendor Relationship Management project at Harvard has a response.
Brief description: "(providing)... customers with tools for engaging with vendors in ways that work for both parties."

This should mean that if I mention that I want to buy something in a blogpost, facebook status update, twitter feed etc - then that is the right time for the supplier to reach out to me.

Yes, if I had google adsense on this page a supplier would be reaching out right now (and they may well be where this post appears as an rss feed elsewhere). Trouble is the google adsense advertiser would 'reach out' with a 'broadcast' advert - one which didn't answer the particular questions I will raise. They wouldn't start a conversation with me. It would be down to me to click-thru and trawl through options, likely as a result of some bland white lie such as 'best price'.
No one would have recommended the click receipient to me, either. Trust?

What else could we expect our vendors to do? Well, clued-up service and product suppliers need not wait for the VRM project to do everything for them. They have proto-tools available now, if only they look around them.
They have google alerts, rss feeds, rss aggregators, etc etc. How many are actually using them?
So I'm going to test to see how well and if any are using them.

There's a prize at stake, of sorts. The winner gets to sell me a car.

I want to buy a Toyota Yaris - and I'm going to blog about this fact (and twitter a bit) to see if this simple piece of disaggregated content gets picked up by someone savvy enough to sell me one.
It's also a test of word of mouth because it's possible that the dealer (owner?) with the car I want isn't clued up... but he might know a friend, or a friend-of-a-friend who is.

So let's begin.
I'm in the UK.
I want a low mileage Toyota Yaris in either T3 or TR spec, registered late 2006 onwards (new shape one). Must have aircon of some form. Ideally 1.3 petrol but will consider 1.0. Probably go for the five door. My wife prefers silver (and it will be her car). Ex-demo would be ideal. Will consider new if you can do the kind of deal that makes me accept the ludicrous VAT costs involved.
Don't need to do part-ex.

Over to you.

The rate of change is so rapid it's difficult for one person to keep up to speed. Let's pool our thoughts, share our reactions and, who knows, even reach some shared conclusions worth arriving at?