Online Calendar Company Organizes Social Input


Managing a home takes a lot of planning and organization. Some of us are better at this than others. Good plans and better organization become even more important when your family's activity level grows exponentially as younger members enter the age of near-constant after school activity. Clothes get a little more expensive, gasoline costs increase, dinner time shifts from day to day, and your calendar seems to fill up fast. Even weekly grocery trips get a little tough to schedule!

Digitally minded household managers will find what seems like an infinite number of productivity apps, services, sites, and methods online. Combing through them one by one might prove frustrating, since not all are geared toward home and family organization. In fact, plenty are perfect for business, but not for home. The Cozi family organizer meets the needs of busy families in a way other calendaring sites and apps cannot, at least for the time being.

From the Cozi Website:

Cozi is a free online organizer and mobile app that helps you manage the family schedule, organize shopping lists and to do lists, and capture favorite memories -- all in one place. Especially designed for busy families, Cozi is accessible from any computer, mobile phone or tablet. All you need to get started is a free account and because Cozi is shared, you only need one account for the whole family.

Cozi is a social company. It interacts with users daily, and it works hard at building brand loyalty.

Like many other modern companies, Cozi wants to know how its customers feel and what they're saying about it on the social Web. Using social monitoring tools from Lithium, it's been able to measure product effectiveness over time and compare performance against competitive products. Analyzing past data, it's been able to determine which features were well received and which needed improvement.

"Social media monitoring helps us best when the problem goes beyond one person," Carol Schiller, social media director at Cozi, told me recently. "For example, if we launch a new feature, and it turns out that 50 people have the same question on some aspect of it in one day, social channels are the best way to get an explanation out there to everyone quickly."

Cozi handles this kind of real-time monitoring and response using free tools from Facebook and HootSuite for Twitter and blog comments. It uses a Lithium tool for tracking trends over time and "casting a wider listening net than for real-time response," Schiller said. "Social tools can and should deliver insights and capabilities that benefit every division in the company, and at Cozi, that is exactly what is happening."

In the social realm itself, an active social presence certainly is important to Cozi. "But it would be absolutely ridiculous to say that Cozi's success online is due to its presence and participation in social media. After all, if your product stinks, social media is only going to let everyone know that it stinks faster."

Instead, "Cozi is successful because we have built a terrific product that truly helps families manage their busy schedules and tasks," she said. "So people talk about us online and we listen, good or bad -- mostly good -- respond, and work every day to continue making our customers so wildly happy, they can't help but tell other families about us. So far, I'm happy to say, it appears to be working."

Social media analytics are still quite new but are already proving valuable for online business. When you have a good product that people want to discuss, it's worth monitoring sentiment over time. Your next move can be a win if it's the one your customers desire most.

Michelle Greenlee, Web Developer and Freelance Technology Writer

Michelle Greenlee has more than nine years of experience as a technology professional. She has worked with marketing directors of national franchises and other national companies to develop online and cross-media marketing campaigns. Her specialties include open-source software, new media, and the latest advances in Internet technologies. She graduated magna cum laude from Internet Evolution's 6DEE Executive Education Series and is currently pursuing Google Adwords Professional Certification. When she isn't writing code, she writes about code for the Dice blog network. She's based in Texas with her family of people and her family of devices: three Android phones, an iPad2, an Android tablet, and two iPods. You can follow Greenlee's work at about.me/tinym and tinym.com.


Re: Cozi idea
  • 4/22/2012 5:39:42 PM
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@Pierre, my first guess, given my general skepticism about human nature, is that people will only want to learn more about themselves if those are goods things they're learning. Otherwise, no.

Re: Cozi idea
  • 4/22/2012 12:00:37 PM
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Yes. It is the true definition of people getting in their own way. The systems and skills are transferrable and should be applied to all aspects of life to achieve a better overall well being.

Re: Cozi idea
  • 4/18/2012 9:18:13 AM
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Ah ha -- the power of community in action. Thanks for sharing Ariella!

Re: Cozi idea
  • 4/17/2012 12:06:09 PM
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Yes, it's one of the studies that Jonah Lehrer relates in his book How We Decide.  I read it after Olivia Parr-Rud recommended it here in the comments section of one of her blogs.  

Re: Cozi idea
  • 4/17/2012 11:57:42 AM
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Once again, Ariella, another great link. Thanks for sharing! (And I'd not heard of the marshmellow test previously. So interesting.)

Re: Cozi idea
  • 4/17/2012 11:28:49 AM
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Michelle,

You're right about human behavior - we've also reached a point where personal analytics become possible.  From the introduction of the Next thermostat to your great post on Cozy, there's more available to learn about ourselves, with traditionally dormant devices becoming "active".  It will bear watching how much people are willing to learn about themselves and how much will be overlooked - I see a lot of potential for some companies to solve a question that was not asked, as well as opportunity to provide an a-ha!  Thanks for sharing this insight.

 

Re: Cozi idea
  • 4/16/2012 4:15:12 PM
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@Beth Unfortunately that is too true for most. But there have been studies in which some 5 year-olds were able to resist present temptation for reward later in the famous marshmallow test of delayed gratification.

Re: Cozi idea
  • 4/16/2012 10:37:08 AM
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tinym, now that would be useful data! Although, something tells me even the hard statistics wouldn't much sway a child of any age who wants what he or she wants and wants it now!

Re: Cozi idea
  • 4/15/2012 11:53:50 PM
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It is funny how so much effort is put into business & work efficiency and so little in personal efficiency. I can imagine a synergistic effect where work and home are so efficient that we actually achieve something like 4x the expected result.

Re: Cozi idea
  • 4/15/2012 5:03:00 PM
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What I find funny is that people have coaches and efficiency tools for most aspects of their professional lives BUT nothing for the personal. If we apply the same systems and resources for both, we could be 2x as effective.

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