I recently talked with my mom about getting some very rude service from a cashier at a local grocery store. Apparently, as she began putting her items on the belt, the cashier told her, “Get back! Get back!” My mom is very hard of hearing, so this confused her. By this time, the cashier was saying it in a very loud voice and other customers were looking.My mom asked what she had done wrong and the cashier began to berate her saying that the customer who had been before her was running to another part of the store to pick another item. Keep in mind that when my mom got in line, there were no other customers in sight, no other items on the belt, and she had no idea that another customer would be coming back to get in front of her.My mom picked up all her items and put them back in the cart, wheeled to another cashier, and finished her transaction. I told her that if it had been me, I would have left it all there and walked out….no way on earth I’d spend a dime in a store that treated me that way. There are many other ways that cashier could have communicated with compassion. Interactions like this don’t happen to us every day, but when they do, what’s the best way to react?As I thought about it, I decided that I’d like the ability to write someone up for poor behavior when this happens. According to common law in many states, citizen’s arrest is still legal if undue force is not used. In fact, if you see a felony being committed, you can make a citizen’s arrest and deliver the offender to the nearest law enforcement official. While I’m not a lawyer and certainly am not authorizing arresting just anyone on the street, I love the concept that we, as citizens, can hold people accountable. Why not in a store or workplace? I want to be able to make a “citizen’s corrective action”.I want the ability to write people up in their workplace when their work performance is out of line. I would write down specifics of the behavior, give the employee a copy, and turn a copy in to their manager. Then, the manager could make a determination if the employee acted appropriately or not and take action if necessary.What do you think? Would you do this? Why or why not?
According to a new report from Forrester, the eBook and eReader market has now hit a point where it is ready to break out of its niche and become a mainstream phenomenon. In the report, Forrester’s Sarah Rotman Epps argues that while early readers like the Rocket eBook in 1998 and the Sony Librié in 2004 failed to garner a large enough audience, today’s consumers have embraced mobile, on-the-go media consumption thanks to the prevalence of MP3 players and handheld video games. Thanks to this, consumers are now also more likely to buy electronic goods than ever before.Epps acknowledges that Forrester’s initial reaction to the Kindle as a niche device that would only attract a small number of book-loving early adopters underestimated the fact that consumers would fall in love with the Kindle’s one-step shopping system and the immediate gratification of buying books in the Kindle store. Epps also stresses that while users could easily rip CDs and copy them onto their MP3 players when they first appeared in the 1990s, transferring paper books into an electronic medium is obviously a lot harder. So consumers, for the time being, are more likely to prefer a vendor that can provide an Apple-like integration between the hardware reader and the book store. Kindle DX and TexbooksThe new Kindle DX is geared towards the textbook market, but Forrester warns that universities will be slow to adopt the technology. The schools that Forrester talked to had no plans to encourage students to use the Kindle and the current pilot project only involves a small number of students (50 at Pace, for example). Of course, this is also a classic chicken and egg problem. Textbook publishers will look at the adoption of the Kindle in schools and are unlikely to invest heavily in this technology unless they see a growing market for their content, while students are unlikely to show interest in eReaders unless all of their textbooks are available in this format. Looking into the Future: Price, Color, Video – and the End of the Chain BookstoreForrester also predicts that the eReader market will soon expand beyond books, especially once eInk technology becomes more mature and maybe even allows for color reproductions. Forrester’s Sarah Rotman Epps expects that newspapers, magazines, comics, and business and personal documents will also soon become more important, especially as other vendors besides Amazon start to produce more compelling devices and user experiences. Related Posts We received this report just after we wrote about Google’s expected entry into the eBook market this morning, but the report clearly vindicates Google’s interest in this market. Forrester thinks that other players like Apple, RIM, Borders, and Barnes & Noble might try to enter this market either with hardware products or by offering distribution platforms. Epps, however, argues that while traditional chain booksellers will try to enter the eBook market, their real estate holdings will weigh them down and make it hard, or even impossible, for them to compete with Amazon. Overall, we agree with Forrester’s assessment of the eBook market. Obviously, we are still very early in the eBook and eReader cycle. It will be interesting to see if any new players will be able to establish themselves in the next year or so, or if we will see a convergence between dedicated eReaders and other mobile devices. Wattpad, one of the larger mobile eBook players, just released an interesting metrics report (PDF), and this company sees about 78% of its eBook usage within the U.S. from iPhone users. Consumers are clearly interested in eBooks, but they are also willing to try out new devices. Even though the Kindle has virtually locked up the market today (at least in the U.S.), the business is still small enough to allow other players to successfully enter the market and be able to conquer the mainstream market. frederic lardinois 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Tags:#E-Books#news#web Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai…
Washington’s Birthday is a United States federal holiday celebrated on the third Monday of February, which means it can occur on any date between the 15th through the 21st, in honor of George Washington. Well known to be the first President of the United States, he was born on February 22, 1732. Colloquially, this day is widely known as Presidents’ Day and is an occasion to remember all the presidents, not just George Washington or Abraham Lincoln (whose birthday is also in February). The term “Presidents’ Day” was coined in a deliberate attempt to change the holiday into one honoring multiple presidents.The day is also a state holiday in most states with official names including Presidents’ Day, President’s Day and Washington’s and Lincoln’s birthday. Depending upon the specific law, the state holiday might celebrate officially Washington alone, Washington and Lincoln, or some other combination of U.S. presidents. Some states celebrate Washington and the third president Thomas Jefferson but not Lincoln.The February holiday has since become notable for being a day in which many stores, especially car dealers, hold sales. Until the late 1980s, corporate businesses generally closed on this day, similar to current corporate practices on Memorial Day or Christmas Day. With the late 1980s advertising push to rename the holiday, more and more businesses are staying open on the holiday each year, and, as on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Veterans Day and Columbus Day, most delivery services outside of the US Postal Service now offer regular service on the day as well.- Sponsor – Stay UpdatedGet critical information for loss prevention professionals, security and retail management delivered right to your inbox. Sign up now
sarah perez Fresh on the heels of BOKU’s commercial launch of its 1-Tap billing solution for Android, competitor Fortumo is announcing a revamped in-app payments SDK with support for operator billing in 22 languages across 61 countries, specifically in Europe, Asia and the U.S. market.One unique feature offered by the updated SDK from Fortumo is the addition of a “fallback” method for customers whose mobile operator does not support direct carrier billing. In these cases, Premium SMS will be used instead. And both options can be implemented with one integration. The Rise and Rise of Mobile Payment Technology What it Takes to Build a Highly Secure FinTech … Tags:#Android#mobile#news Besides the fallback to Premium SMS, the new SDK also offers the following features:1-click payments, no login or registration requiredBuilt-in support for consumable and non-consumable single items as well as virtual currenciesA native Android look & feel“Offline” payment when a data connection is unavailable61 countries, 22 languages and 42 currenciesFortumo may be best known for being the back-end of Rovio’s “Bad Piggy Bank” in Angry Birds, the in-app payment system for the popular mobile game, announced in December 2010. (More on Bad Piggy Bank here.)Interested Android developers can download the new In-App Purchasing SDK for free here. Fortumo takes a share of revenue generated, instead of charging for the SDK or service. Rates are here.And for a complete list of supported countries, visit http://fortumo.com/countries. Related Posts Why IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaces Role of Mobile App Analytics In-App Engagement
I read “Blue Ocean Strategy” by Kim & Mauborgne recently and thought it was compelling. I thought I’d give you some excerpts from the book and use my current startup as a case study to explain some of the Blue Ocean concepts. I’m hoping it will spur thinking and feedback from you.The theme of the book reminds me a lot of what my strategy professor from MIT Sloan (Arnoldo Hax) used to talk about when he quizzed us on cases. He repeated over and over again that we should “watch our competitors, but never follow them” and that we should “play a different game on the same field as the competition.” This professor used to stress that within marketplaces, conventional wisdom about the rules of competition build up and that over time, those rules become irrelevant to potential customers.Learn how to run more impactful, measurable marketing campaigns.Blue Ocean Strategy SynopsisRather than summarize, I thought I would give you a few quotes that lay out the theme in the authors’ words:”The only way to beat the competition is to stop trying to beat the competition. In red oceans, the industry boundaries are defined and accepted, and the competitive rules of the game are known. In blue oceans, competition is irrelevant because the rules of the game are waiting to be set. …The companies caught in the red ocean followed a conventional approach, racing to beat the competition by building a defensible position within the existing industry order. The creators of blue oceans, surprisingly, didn’t use the competition as their benchmark. …Instead of focusing on beating the competition, they focus on making the competition irrelevant by creating a leap in value for buyers and your company, thereby opening up new and uncontested market space. …Value innovation is based on the view that market boundaries and industry structure are not ‘given’ and can be reconstructed by the actions and beliefs of industry players. …To fundamentally shift the strategy canvas of an industry, you must begin by reorienting your strategic focus from competitors to alternatives, and from customers to non-customers of an industry. As you shift your strategic focus from current competition to alternatives and non-consumers, you gain insight into how to redefine the problem the industry focuses on and thereby reconstruct buyer value elements that reside across industry boundaries” The first example in “Blue Ocean Strategy” is Cirque de Soleil. The criteria/boundaries/rules for the circus industry that were “taken for granted” for decades included: animal shows, star/famous performers, multiple shows at the same time (i.e. 3 rings), and pushing concession sales. Rather than keeping a high emphasis on all the existing rules and then creating new ones, they either eliminated or reduced many of those rules and created a bunch of new ones. In the process, they increased value for their target market while lowering their own costs. A key thing they did at Cirque de Soleil was that they looked across market boundaries to alternatives to the circus. It ended up being part circus and part theatre. Rather than focus on the market boundaries, they focused on the job the customer was hiring for — in this case, it was adults looking for sophisticated entertainment. Another key thing they did was not targeting the existing market (i.e. children), rather they targeted non-consuming adults. Blue ocean strategy is all about creating and capturing net new demand by ignoring boundaries defined by traditional competitors. The authors are big on stressing that new technology rarely turns into a great company. They state that unless the technology makes buyers lives dramatically simpler, more convenient, more productive, less risky, or more fun/fashionable, it will not attract the masses.Blue Ocean Strategy FrameworkThe Blue Ocean Strategy authors propose a graphical framework for helping readers understand the book and for helping businesses create blue oceans of their own. Here’s an example of the tool applied to Southwest Airlines, who are an interesting case. Southwest entered a terrible marketplace that a Porter five forces analysis would have said was a blood bath. The criteria/rules/boundaries of the airline industry are listed along the x-axis. Most of the major airlines played the same game with only the slightest of nuances. Southwest eliminated many of the rules/criteria in the industry, reduced focus on some of the rules below industry standard, raised focus on some of the rules above industry standard, and created a new rules of their own. The way they were able to do that was they targeted non-consumers (family/shorter trips v. business trips) and they looked across industry boundaries at alternatives (cars v. planes) as their competition v. looking at traditional airlines. Only by de-emphasizing some of the existing rules were they able to lower costs enough to compete in this new market. They encourage the reader to come up with their industry’s “standards.” They then give the reader four questions to which you can start thinking about your company/market from a blue ocean perspective: Which of the factors that the industry takes for granted should be eliminated? Which factors should be reduced well below the industry’s standard? Which factors should be raised well above the industry’s standard? Which factors should be created that the industry has never offered? The book suggests that an ideal strategy has 3 qualities: focus (not too many criteria), divergence (from the alternatives in the framework), and a compelling tagline.HubSpot Blue Ocean Strategy Case StudyI used their framework/4-questions to create a draft of how we think about the Customer Managed Relationships (as opposed to CRM) marketplace. HubSpot, an Internet Marketing company, is targeting a non-consuming market (small businesses only) vs. targeting companies who already have information technology tools in place. The job HubSpot is focused on being hired for is not “tracking” customers, but helping these very small businesses (VSBs) grow revenue. In our target customer’s mind, the competition for HubSpot probably isn’t Salesforce.com, but rather is alternatives like hiring an SEO consulting firm, hiring an outsourced lead generation firm, hiring a new VP of Sales, etc. In fact, _____ is hiring a new VP of Sales, hired an outsourced lead generation company, hired me as a consultant, and implemented Salesforce.com. Putting our CMR money where our mouth is, we will eliminate the large sales force to push this type of thing as is used by much of the industry. Rather, we should spend the same amount of cycles a traditional software company would on building a “sales force” to creating an innovative “referral force” which provides rich incentives for our customers to refer us to other small businesses as that is the way small businesses tend to make decisions. Our target market has not moved over to running their businesses on the internet because they simply don’t know how to do it and do not have anyone to help them. The existing tools are just too hard. Therefore, I think we should reduce emphasis relative to the industry on feature richness/depth and on platform/add-ons (small companies do not have resources to deal with the complexity of multiple vendors products). For the same reasons, I think we should increase emphasis ease of use, help (video, audio, searchable via most frequently asked or tag cloud), integration (key features from several apps selected by HubSpot and provided to small businesses), and familiar user interface (i.e. like Office). We should also think about increasing emphasis on “handholding” and “advice” which is apart from traditional support and consulting. We should look across industry boundaries and provide some of what our target market gets when they hire a consultant or a new employee — good advice and hard to obtain knowledge. Our blog should not drone on about web2.0 and whatever else pops into our head like others’ do, rather it should be “how to” advise on growing revenue by leveraging easy-to-use technology. Since we are passionate about strategy, we should weave some of that stuff in there as well as it is directly relevant to how to grow revenues. We might steal a page from other types of service companies and provide our customers with a monthly email on their progress on the top of their sales funnel relative to when we first came across them (pagerank, visitors, RSS subscribers, avg pages/visitor, etc.), metrics relative to their peer group, some standardized advice based on how well/poorly they are doing like the way realage.com does it, potentially a grade (maybe a red, yellow, green would suffice), and we might give them an hour a year for a “how we doin'” checkup with one of our MIT-trained consultants. We have talked a few times about creating an eBay for small service companies. This idea reaches across market boundaries and helps our customers with the job they are hiring us for: growing revenues. When you think about HubSpot itself, we are a very small business and we have spent money with several other very small businesses: outside accountant, outside law firm, a video producer, several designers, freelance developers, etc. About half of these services are examples of long-tail services where we found the vendor over the internet. Why not create a section on our website that helps remove friction from the process of connecting long-tail service firms with each other using the internet. We could start with it being just a simple external facing tracker application where companies can enter information on service firms they do business with, share comments, and rate them just like they would do a movie or restaurant (1-5 stars), with the ratings simply doing a moving average. One other aspect of this CMR angle that I like is that there are shifts happening in the marketplace that companies are starting to become aware of that they will need to take action on. For example, in two years, the Google PageRank will become a common topic of conversation at the operations committee meeting of almost every company in our target market. It reminds me a bit of selling software to manufacturing companies in the mid-90’s. All of them knew they needed to get their product catalogues on the web, but didn’t have any idea how to do it. Marketing Case Studies Originally published Sep 15, 2006 11:32:00 AM, updated August 26 2017 Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Topics:
Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Pepsi is launching a new beverage called Tava. For a company like Pepsi, this would normally mean lots of TV ads, billboards, some radio spots, print ads in magazines, and a website.But, for Tava, they are using a new model and focusing more on Inbound Marketing. They have set up a website, and are also doing a lot of free samples and other creative stunts, plus some banner ads. What is even more interesting than Pepsi using more inbound marketing for the launch of Tava is that they are targeting a much older audience than you might think these techniques would be good for – 35 to 49 year old men and women.Pepsi is calling their audience the “reborn digital” crowd – people that did not grow up with the Internet, but now use it as a part of their daily lives. They also believe that there are a number of influencers in this crowd – people who blog and share and promote things to others, making it a good initial target audience. Looks like it sort of worked on me. I haven’t even tasted the stuff, and yet I am talking about it in a blog article, even though the article is about how they are marketing the product.I look forward to seeing a Facebook ad for Tava soon. Read this New York Times Article about Tava for more background on the marketing behind Tava.PS – Pepsi… I know you sent free samples to the Google offices. We’re waiting for a couple cases at HubSpot. Our address is One Broadway, 10th Floor, Cambridge, MA 02142. Originally published Apr 28, 2008 10:58:00 AM, updated October 01 2019
Video Marketing Today I came across a dancing themed video that rocked the khaki pants off Microsoft’s awkward experiment with viral video. The video, posted this week, features the entire staff of St Vincent’s Medical Center in Portland, Oregon donning pink gloves and dancing for Breast Cancer Awareness. As the grand-daughter of a Breast Cancer survivor, I thought the video was touching. As an inbound marketer, I thought it was incredibly fresh and different from the other videos I’d seen of its type. So what’s the deal? Why is this video succeeding while the Microsoft employee video was panned? Let’s take a closer look at what we can learn from this fantastic video.Create Approachable Content In the Pink Glove Dance video, St. Vincent’s is not just a hospital. It’s a friendly, approachable community of physicians and workers. They invite us in to meet their entire community — from the surgeons who operate on patients, to the man who mops the floors. At HubSpot, we believe business transparency is a necessity if you want to succeed at Inbound Marketing. Even if you’re a B2B company, you can benefit from taking St. Vincent’s approach in your next video. Invite prospects into your doors with content that connects. If you manufacture fences, show your customers how they’re made and who makes them every day. If you are a Golf Pro looking for leads, upload a video of “outtakes” that shows how fun it can be to get golf lessons.Show, Don’t TellImagery is a powerful tool that is not utilized enough in video. Don’t just tell your audience your message. Show them with a powerful image. Every single person in the Pink Glove Dance is wearing pink gloves as a symbol of their commitment to Breast Cancer Awareness. If St. Vincent’s hadn’t used them in their video, I’m not sure if I would be here writing about it. The gloves really tied the whole production together. Lots of People = Lots of VarietyMany successful videos have been so due to sheer numbers. If every single coworker in your organization is involved in the production of a video, that’s a pretty strong recommendation that this content is worth watching. If you’ve had some success in the past with a video for your business, consider scaling it; invite customers, partners, and other people who support your company to participate. Even though Matt Harding’s first attempt at online video is an internet classic, he knew that in his next video it was all about numbers. Many of the fans that helped fuel his success are featured in his whirlwind 2008 video, Where the Hell Is Matt? Provide Fresh, Exciting Content at Every TurnSt. Vincent’s kept their video exciting with heavy edits and scenery changes at every turn. Of course, you don’t have to be an awesome editor to create fantastic, worthwhile video, but try to keep your content interesting. As we saw yesterday with Microsoft’s dancing video, a 4-minute video can get very boring quickly without edits and scenery changes. Believe in Your MessageWithout doing very much except dancing and smiling, St. Vincent’s was able to capture my imagination and support because they believe in their cause and the St. Vincent’s community. They chose a message that the entire community could get behind, and that translates very clearly through the camera lens and onto my computer.- No matter what you do or what you sell, always create videos that you and your company believe in. If you believe in your message and aren’t afraid to have fun, you’re well on your way to creating videos that other people will enjoy, too. Video: How to Use Online Video forMarketingLearn how to use online video to promoting your brand and generating interest in your company.Download the free video to become an online videomarketingsuperstar. Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Originally published Nov 20, 2009 10:00:00 AM, updated July 03 2013 Topics:
What do you think about this data? Join our free webinar Originally published Nov 15, 2010 6:53:00 PM, updated October 20 2016 The rates of blog reading will rise appreciably over the next several years. Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack These increases will be driven by an ongoing confluence between blogs and traditional media, as well as by the growing use of blogs at the corporate level. Blogs are an increasingly accepted part of the news and opinion loop in a broad variety of subject areas, notably politics, technology and celebrity culture. ,” author Matt Sussman writes: “While blog postings often focus on the local issues of the specific blogger, the audience of such blogs is much less limited than other forms of media have been historically. An internet-connected world has expanded the marketplace of ideas available to any individual anywhere.” to learn how to create a thriving inbound marketing blog. This growth will be spearheaded by the ease of use of blog hosting services and the widespread acceptance of blogs in the media mix. Technorati State of the Blogosphere 2009 Free Webinar: Small Business Blogging Secrets Revealed Topics: In the early days of the medium, a blog was the only available outlet for people or companies that wanted to establish a feedback loop with their target audiences. Today, blogging is one of a variety of options businesses use to communicate with customers, including social networking, microblogging, photo- and video-sharing, and customer reviews. Want to learn more about publishing a blog on your small business website? However, this will be a double-edged sword, as social venues can also inhibit blogging by providing users with powerful platforms of self-expression. At the same time, the growing use of blogging by media organizations and marketers has raised the comfort level with blogs as a news source, as a means of interacting with companies, and as a forum for customer reviews and opinions. These trends have empowered people to use the blogosphere to reach the widest possible audience. The numbers of blog creators will also increase, albeit more modestly. Social media will also promote blogging by acting as a traffic aggregator to blog sites. Blogging In “