Five Apps on My Droid

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There are some things a business person can't live without. Here are five mobile tools that I am finding really valuable:
  1. Evernote:  My old notebook will soon be obsolete.
  2. Pulse:  I like the quick scans of my favorite blogs
  3. Google Voice:  Simply the best way to get voicemail and manage phones.
  4. Seesmic:  Twitter and SM management refined.
  5. Advanced Task Killer:  for those SNAFU moments...

Five Marketing Basics

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We've talked to some big companies that fail on one or more of the following marketing basics. How do you do?
  1. A segmented, searchable prospect database.
  2. A loyalty/CRM plan for customers.
  3. A basic e-mail marketing strategy for customers, including opt-in and welcome plan.
  4. An SEO/SEM plan
  5. A lead nurturing plan, especially in B2B.

Susannah Fox of the Pew Research Center wrote "Social media is simply the current expression of patient activation and engagement. But this time e-patients are part of a larger cultural change that assumes access to information, enables communication among disparate groups, and expects progress." Here are five sites showing how the healthcare landscape is shifting beneath us, driven by the social web, and a growing acceptance of web tools across age groups and user disciplines:






Spurred by the commercial success of Fat Bastard wines which now sell over 400,000 cases annually in the US, marketers are pushing the envelope on unusual names and marketing schemes:

  1. Cleavage Creek:  You can imagine the label, but they donate 10% of profit to breast cancer research and use breast cancer survivors as their "label models".
  2. Bitch:  Hey, maybe it's Australian for "good wine"...
  3. Mad Housewife:  "what's domestic bliss without a little wine."  They say they target women.
  4. Cat's Pee On A Gooseberry Bush:  This New Zealand vineyard takes literal description too far IMHO.
  5. Big Ass <Chard, Cab, Zin>:  The Bigg Ass family from California goes to show that we Americans may well be headed down the tube...
Charity: Water is a NY-based non-profit dedicated to helping improve access to clean drinking water for people in developing countries. Their elegant website uses some marketing techniques that many enterprise marketers could learn from.
  1. "Gift-ready" merchandise items
  2. Downloadable web banners and Twitter backgrounds
  3. Viral donation application
  4. Social media integration
  5. Tight event integration
In the wreckage that is the auto dealership business, here are five things that have often annoyed me about dealerships because they are NOT happening:
  1. Make Me Comfortable. Greet people at the door and ask if they would like anything to drink (coffee, tea, juice, soda) while they browse.
  2. Be Professional. Ensure your windows, floors and bathrooms are clean, that the showroom is well-lit, and that some soft music in playing the background (this allows me to ask a "dumb" question without being heard by everyone).
  3. Find Out What I Need? Ask visitors if they are browsing for a near-term purchase or have a long-term interest?
  4. Give Me Space To Acclimate. Let visitors know you are there to help, but give them the space to look around on their own. Don't ignore me or attach to me on arrival.
  5. Give Me Confidence. Ensure your service department is clean and organized, and invite visitors to tour the service area and meet your service manager. 
The sad reality is that I was compelled to write this at all since all the above seem so obvious...

Fads come and fads go. But media revolutions like Twitter occur infrequently. You've been told by lots of people to get an account, but here are some more reasons your company needs to get with the program:

  1. S-H-I- _  Happens. To ignore Twitter is to ignore the fact your brand is in constant conversation. Are you perfect??
  2. It Forces Brevity. Time-starved consumers think fast...Twitter helps you hone the skill of concise communicating.
  3. It Encourages Relevance. You learn fast what matters to people...and what doesn't.
  4. It Encourages Listening. Time-wastingly encourages you to listen as well as talk. A good skill to learn ;-)
  5. Consumers Care. About who they buy from, that is. Twitter is one more way to make your company human and accessible.

Feeling clairvoyant today. With analog TV now history in the US, here are five more things I preduct you better enjoy while you still have them around because their heyday is passed and their departure is in sight:

  1. Local newspapers.  Economics are not on their side.
  2. E-Mail 1.0:  Spam and technology combine to birth a new communication tool.
  3. Network TV:  The model isn't working.
  4. Network Radio:  Who killed rock-n-roll?
  5. Chrysler:  Fiat bit off more than it knew...of course, maybe there is rabbit in that hat...

Twitter will evolve. But people who remain dismissive of its annoyingly interruptive technology, should be careful. This is one trend whose impact is far greater than its simplistic toolset. Here are five reasons we think Twitter will continue to change the media landscape:

  1. News Happens.  Ask people on the ground in Iran.
  2. Trust Makes Content Valuable. Your friends are your most trusted sources of information.
  3. Immediacy Is King. From work to home, impatience has become chronic.
  4. You Can't Be Everywhere. But other people can...and they'll share.
  5. Voyeurism Happens. We all want to know what other people do in their spare time ;-)

Sometimes you find inspriration for the Web's potential from unexpected sources. Here are some people/organizations who are mining territory that is changing how the web is just might not have guessed they'd be the pioneers they are.

  1. Trent Reznor (Nine Inch Nails):  finding ways to evolve music distribution
  2. Queen Rania of Jordan:  slick Website, a YouTube channel, progressive philosophy posted online. Simply, wow.
  3. NPR:  necessity is the mother of invention and the poor public stations seem more inventive than the big networks
  4. Ree Drummond:  Confessions of a Pioneer Woman won the SXSW Bloogy top prize - not bad for a down-home cattle ranching wife, mom, photographer.... 
  5. US Govt: slowly, change is coming to Washington's web ways. It is hard to imagine Obama could inspire the bureaucracy.

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