Sunday, December 29, 2019

These ARE the Droids you're looking for

The latest Star Wars movie is out. I cannot believe that I was 17 years old when the original Star Wars movie (Episode IV) was first released in 1977. A droid is a fictional robot possessing some degree of artificial intelligence. The word "droid" has been a registered trademark of Lucasfilm Ltd. since 1977.

There were many droids working the crowds last night in Bryant Park.

In 2001, Bryant Park Corporation envisioned offering free Internet access in the park, but was not sure how to build such a network. In the summer of 2002, the Bryant Park Free Wireless Network launched with three access points covering the park and allowing users to access the Internet as long as their batteries will allow.

Since that time, the network has upgraded with 12 new access points, making Bryant Park one of the busiest hot spots in the world. 

From potter's field to reservoir to one of the world's busiest public spaces, Bryant Park has a rich and storied history. Security issues aside, I have logged into the Bryant Park Free Wireless Network a few times in the past year. And because of this, "the droids" knew I was in the park last night.

As soon as I entered the park, my smartphone knew that I was back. I received an email, with a coupon for free Hot Chocolate.
And so it begins.

Welcome to the Winter Village, 2019-2020 Season.
( My Blog from October )

There were over 175 boutiques offering exquisite gifts, distinctive apparel, and local foods. What I found amazing is that collecting people's data (names, emails, etc.) was just as important as making a sale - maybe more important. iPad powered kiosks would make the sale - and free shipping made it unnecessary to carry packages in the park. The "pop up" kiosks would make the sale, without the need to carry inventory. I think this is the future of retail. No inventory, experience the product, and then everything is shipped to the home or office.

I did a test. I bought some New York Hot Sauce paying cash, with a 20% instant coupon for signing up for their email newsletter. I used the fake (but working) email just to see what would happen. Well, it looks like as of this morning, Time Magazine would like to offer Mr. Bryant Parker a free subscription. And it looks like Bank of America would really like to meet Mr. Bryant Parker. And many others seem to be very keen to connect and engage with Mr. Bryant Parker, who has a true DOB of 12/28/19.

Also, the physical address of the email from the TIME newsletter: TIME USA, LLC: 3 Bryant Park New York 10036

Coincidence? Well, Mr. Bryant Parker actually liked getting this email, as it contained TIME's Best Photojournalism of 2019.

I am fine with getting this form of marketing solicitation, since I did give my permission to contact me as soon as I logged into the park's free WiFi this past summer. But it will be very interesting to see who next wants to meet Mr. Bryant Parker. 

I am a big fan of the Bryant Park Corporation (BPC) which is a not-for-profit, private management company. It is a popular, year-round New York City destination with lush seasonal gardens and a multitude of free activities. Around 12 million people frequent Bryant Park each year - and they (like me) log into the Bryant Park free WiFi.

And this is why Mr. Bryant Parker can now expect marketing emails from Netflix, Bank of America, The New York Times, Lululemon, Southwest Airlines, Citibank, HBO, Old Navy, Evian, Clearchannel, the Wall Street Journal, and many more. These brands comprise Bryant Park's Premier Partnership program, and are recognized as the park's most valued corporate partners.

Like I said, I'm cool with this deal. Keep the park clean and safe for ALL 12 million of us all year long, and your droids can market to me (us).

Just don't overdo it.

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