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Clever use of iPhone app by women’s publisher

by Robin Hamman

Samantha, my stylist, liked my striped shirt but suggested I tuck it in so that the tails don’t show at the bottom of my sweater vest. That was the advice I received – after waiting only about three minutes – when I tried the new Glamour Ask a Stylist App for the iPhone.

samanthasays.jpgOk, I’m not exactly a member of what you’d call Glamour’s target audience, but nevertheless it’s a slick app, revolving around a clever proposition, so I gave it a try. It’s also, as a potential audience insight gathering and content generation tool, potentially far more impactful than you might initially guess.

To use the app, all you do is upload a photo, or two photos for comparison, of outfits you’re planning on wearing. You then pick a category for the event or look you are trying to achieve – I went for “Casual Office Fridays” – and choose from a selection of real life Glamour style journalists to provide advice. In my experience, no longer than about three minutes passed between making my submission and getting a reply. 

The response was brief, friendly and useful – maybe I do look a bit sloppy with my shirt tails hanging out. It had obviously be written specifically for me, and as I mentioned, the response was fast enough that if I had been on my way out the door I could have made a few changes to my attire before the taxi arrived. I assume, although found no details on the app, that the photos areliable to be reused on the website or magazine, which would nicely completethe loop of turning social activity into content for readers. It could also be used to gather audience intelligence, which in turn could be useful knowledge when devising feature content, assigning journalists, planning marketing, and selling advertising.

It’s a fun proposition, utilising a nicely built application so wins on both those counts, but what makes it worthy of a blog post here is the great level of customer service, as well as the possibility that, through audience participation, Glamour can gain valuable audience insights and potentially turn participation into compelling content. Social business design comes in many different shapes and sizes.

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