Wednesday, January 30, 2008

The best business application of Web 2.0

A post on Twitter's blog reveal what I consider the most useful application of Twitter for businesses: keep track of customers complains on twitter, and fix it quickly.

Of course, ideally you should also keep track of all complains in Web 2.0: Facebook, MySpace, public blogs, digg, rss, etc. Wherever there's a public space where people can complain, they will leave an online footprint. That gives you the opportunity to quickly react and address the problem as soon as you can to increase customer sat.

In my humble opinion, this the best business application of Web 2.0 that I've found of so far.

read more | digg story

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

When recession strikes, who wins?

The media is exaggerating the coverage on two topics these days: Presidential candidates and a possible economic recession in the US. After almost two weeks of silence, I've been pretty busy with interesting projects, it is time to speak my two cents on the second topic. As usual, I will be brief, and will not go deep on whether we are heading into a recession or not. Instead, let's talk about how to act and who gets affected.

When a recession comes, who does it affect mostly?

First, it will initially impact the smallest and reactive businesses and then large and slow corporations. This is because even though small companies can usually react quickly, they are affected by a small change in the economic environment more profoundly. The good news is that by the nature of start-ups and small businesses, these companies can adapt on the spot and change direction to survive the storm. This is something that large companies can't usually do: they set up yearly budgets, and then have committees to make decisions on what to do about it. If you can quickly make decisions, then you can quickly swim to shore.

The other type of company that would be affected the most is point-product sales oriented companies. That is companies that sell only physical goods. If the main stream of revenue comes from sales of a specific physical good, people will just stop buying it and look for ways to avoid that cost. On the other hand, if the most profit comes from the sale of a service, customers will typically seek more of that. In particular, if t is something that will help them save money. That is why is so important to have a solutions based approached of selling, and have your services more profitable than then product.

Lastly, companies with a value proposition of cost savings will prevail. Usually cost savings is the second or third thing that a customer looks at, and it is a very difficult message to sell. However, when recession strikes, everybody will look for ways to save money, streamline process and drop cost. After all, everybody wants to save money, right?

Friday, January 18, 2008

Top 10 Digital Signage Vendors

Who are the top players in Digital Signage as of today... here's a great blog post on an analysis of the top vendors of digital signage technology today.

read more | digg story

Saturday, January 12, 2008

If the 90’s were the Telecom years, the 00’s are the Marketing years

I am an Electrical Engineer by education. Did my studies during the 90's and that means I was in the sweet spot: Telecommunication. The 90's was all about it because of several things. If you are unfamiliar with it, do a little research online about the Telecom bubble.

Basically, companies saw the Internet as a magnificent thing, better than it really is, and invested a lot in the physical conduit for the Internet, among other things. That said, the telecom industry experience a great time: new companies came afloat, the FCC was at its peak, the Telecom Act of 1996 was passed, and even in the emerging economies the radio electric spectrum went out for bids everywhere in the world.

We all know how it ended: market crashed, people got fired, companies went broke… and new technologies came up! The industry is fine today, though.

The Internet did not die, we were just a little bit more cautious. In the 00's, the Internet is it. Yahoo and Amazon are still around, MySpace and Facebook came to life, and Google became a colossus. All this because of the faithful revenue stream that remains constant: Online Advertisement.

Low cost of distribution of information has brought limitless benefits to Marketing. It has actually made marketing popular again. Everybody with a Google Adsense account and a small website can make money with it. Will this still be the case in 5 years? We can't really tell, but what we can tell is that Marketing definitely needs to adapt; and it has been doing so nicely.

A successful Internet Marketing campaign (and this applies to anything that is displayed over an IP network including Digital Signage, Email, and Internet Browsing) must not be annoying. In other words, (1) must not try to trick you to click things, (2) must not be disruptive of a real activity, (3) must not be offensive, (4) and must be related to things that I like.

Just take a look around next time you go online. Even Television ads have adapted to the TiVo and DVR years.