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Archive for July, 2010

Mobile marketing – mobile is not a single channel

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This may sound trivial to the people who are very close to mobile marketing world, but it is not that obvious to others who are still trying to adjust to the rapid mobile market development.

First, mobile is not just your cell phone, and it is not just the new smart phones like iPhone or Droid. It is also eReaders like Nook and Kindle, tablet devices like the iPad and its mini version, the iPod Touch. Even Nintendo DS could connect to the web. And it is also your old and suddenly cumbersomely looking laptop. If it receives data and could be carried then it is another mobile channel.

Yet, even all these mobile devices does not sum to the entire multichannel marketing story. A brand can communicate its messages in more than one way using smart phones.

  • SMS – short messages
  • eMail
  • Mobile web site
  • Mobile search
  • Apps:
    • With or without LBS (location based services)
    • Apps that uses the camera for capturing and scanning objects
    • Context specific apps like Drync

Why is it so important to be aware of all these interaction points? Read about the results of Microsoft’s experiment using multichannel mobile marketing here. Quoting Alison Engel, senior marketing director at Microsoft Advertising (from the same blog post)

The advertising effectiveness results demonstrated that advertiser value increases incrementally with the addition of digital media channels.

Some examples for running mobile campaigns using different communication channels:

  • Bottom up – start-ups like Foursquare and Gowalla that started as mobile apps – Foursquare encourages people to visit different locations many times. FS uses game like campaigns to drive traffic, loyalty, and revenue for customers like Starbucks.
  • Top down
    • Companies like Yelp and Facebook that adds mobile app to their web site – Social networks where people share about what they like or not. Knowing where they are in addition to what they like would help to build even more powerful campaigns.
    • The big brands that are using mobile apps to run location based campaigns like: Pepsi, Rolls-Royce, and others.
    • Companies such as McDonald that uses LBS services like Navteq to run mobile location based campaigns and seeing higher CTR.
    • News and content web-site like NYT, and The Weather Channel.
  • I’m sure that all these new mobile channels in addition to the already growing number of web channels, like Facebook pages and Twitter accounts are raising some tough questions in the Marketing department:

  • Finding the right balance of resources and budget allocation per channel
  • Executing different communication strategies via each channel
  • Measuring the effectiveness for a multichannel play
    Your thoughts,

Pictures credit: Keith Williamson

MBA application tips – Going back to school – MBA at Boston University

July 14, 2010 1 comment

image On New Year’s Eve I wished to stay focused during the year ahead. I knew that besides my job I want to work on my graduate school application and that it takes time. I minimized my social web activities like blogging, tweeting, commenting on blogs, and even reading blogs, an activity that I missed the most. Well, it paid off. I made it to the MBA program at Boston University.

I’m looking forward to being a student again starting this August. I’m also very excited that I’m studying in USA – where else in the world will you go to learn about the art of management?

My school will probably take away from my social media time, but maybe, occasionally, I will be able to share about things that I’m learning at school, observations about the process, and other experiences.

My take away from the school of management application process:

  • Go to the information session and other gatherings, it is your chance to put a face to your application. Take the business cards from the school staff and keep them, you may need those later to contact and ask questions. Make a good impression, remember that leadership is the key in Business School.
  • Take advantage of the GMAT to improve your English – I actually enjoyed that part.
  • Look for recommenders that have recent knowledge about your work experience and accomplishments because it will make things easier for them and you.
  • Focus your resume on accomplishments not just skills.
  • The essays: there are many books, and websites that talk extensively about this effort, but try not to make this task bigger than it actually is. When I finally sat down to do it, I think that I had only spent 4 hours total (to answer 4 questions, 500-700 words each).
  • Prepare for the interview – think about:
    • Your reasons for going after MBA
    • Your reasons for the specific program
    • What are you going to do after the graduation
    • Your leadership style
    • Come up with a question or two for the interviewer – you must have some in your mind! I asked about how the program is kept up to date. Beside the globalization and the Internet more changes are coming due to social media, location based services, and mobile devices like the iPhone. My understanding after the interview is that the school brings great voices from the field, change agents, and technology leaders to lecture and share about what that they are seeing. The business school is also one of the heaviest user of the technology provided by BU.
  • I think the most important advice that I can give is to stay focused, to start the process and to finish it.

Categories: Monitoring

15 simple ways to search Google for an instant answer

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When it comes to life expectancy the world is not flat yet

July 10, 2010 2 comments

I recently discovered that Google shows Life Expectancy graphs for many countries around the globe.

I assumed a big gap between the developed and the third world countries in their average life expectancy,  the data did confirm my assumption, but it become way more apparent when I actually saw it using Google graph.

In Japan, the country with the highest average longevity in the world, based on the World Bank, World Development Indicators data, people lives up to 83 years old.

On the other end of the world, in Afghanistan, the average life expectancy is only 44 years.

ALMOST HALF!

Life expectancy - ranges

It is also very interesting to see the growth rate. In Japan LE grew from 68 to 83 during the years 1960-2008 (~22%) whereas in Afghanistan, LE grew from 31 to 44(~41%) during the same period. Yet, I as you can see from the graph above it is harder to add more years as the average grows.

It is important to monitor the growth rate for each country, as an indicator for improving health condition in each region.

Here is another picture showing more countries and their corresponding Life Expectancy graphs:

Life expectancy - all

Here you can see a huge growth for China during the 60th, and sadly, a huge drop for some troubled areas in Africa mainly due to HIV/AIDS infections. – some hope here.

Finally, average life expectancy does not seem to be totally correlated with financial success as you can see in the next picture for Iceland and Greece two recently troubled economies.

Life expectancy - EconomyJPG

Probably beyond initial crucial conditions, other factors like work life balance, health care system, crime rate, dining habit, and others contribute to the health of the entire population increasing the average life expectancy.

Other source of Life Expectancy data is Wikipedia – List of countries by life expectancy. This page shows data for the years 2005-2010 and the country with the lowest LE average is Swaziland with 39.6 years.

The world is getting more flat over time, but there are still huge gaps between different regions in the world due to lack of basic human needs.

Has Sci-Fi lost its direction or digital inventions are just not exciting anymore?

image Do we have a Science Fiction imagination shortage? Can we ever be surprised by a new digital gadget again?

I watched Knight and Day movie the other day, it was funny and Cameron Diaz did a nice job. What that caught my attention in this movie was seeing Tom Cruise using a cell phone that looked very much like an iPhone running some sort of location based application to track the bad guys. I believe that few years ago it would’ve looked like a cool futuristic capability, yet these days I found that scene to be as fascinating as someone cooking food using his/her microwave. Actually, this scene got me thinking about the current gap between visionary and fantasy movies. I know that Knight and Day is not considered a Sci-Fi move or a gadget packed film, it is actually a comedy. Yet, seeing an iPhone in a an action movie a la James Bond style (even though that it is a comedy) was enough to trigger my thoughts about where we are in the technology world and this post.

What that also happened during that movie trip is seeing the preview of a new DiCaprio film Inception. This movie is considered a Sci-Fi movie (by IMDB – see next to Genre), but I disagree with that categorization. I can live with smart robots, doctors replacing human body parts with machines, the big brother (no more privacy), and even a trip to space that involved meeting aliens, but, for now, I have hard time making the leap to someone getting inside someone else’s brain, dreams, or people going back in time. I don’t have problem enjoying such a movie, I just don’t see the existing technology even to start supporting this kind of capabilities.

Over the years we saw movies that introduced technology that did not exist yet, but was somehow on the near to mid-term roadmap. These movies actually helped to inspire inventors to build that technology a little later, including smart computers, robots, phone, location based services, touch screens, real-time video streaming,and more. Today, in a movie like Inception I can’t see the next few steps ahead between what that we have now and what that is presented in the movie. Someone could say that Inception is 30, 40, or more steps ahead, and maybe this is true, but for now, it seems more like fantasy to me. I would like to see in a Sci-Fi movie the world 10 to 20 years from now. I would like to see the next generation of scientist inspired by the creative power of Hollywood.

One possible explanation for this phenomenon is that we are maybe getting closer to the point where the digital world has run its course and we need to look for the next thing in other places. The first transistor was invented in 1947 and since then we experienced the digital revolution in almost every part of our lives: communication, commerce, finance, news, entertainment, education, science, politics, transportation, dining and more. Maybe this process is near its ending. At least in modern countries. It could be just a temporary halt and we are about to be surprised with something totally new. Btw, I’m yet to find a good reason for owning an iPad:)

Where to look for the next thing?  PCR was invented in the early Seventies, mapping of the Human Genome was accomplished between 2000-2003, and recently J. Craig Venter Institute announce the construction of the first Self-Replicating Synthetic Bacterial Cell. This seems like the beginning of a new revolution to me with potential products on the mid term road-map (average life expectancy over 100 years).

To be fair to Hollywood, most movies that involved biological Sci-Fi where too scary or depressing to watch(Twelve Monkeys, I Am Legend).

What was your experience watching a recent Sci-Fi movie?

Picture credit: Lara604

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