Archive for the ‘choice’ tag
Disrupt SF is right around the corner and is shaping up to be one of the biggest events of the year. We have already announced many speakers which include our very own TechCrunch founder Michael Arrington, Marissa Mayer, The Honest Company’s Jessica Alba and Brian Lee, super angel Ron Conway, Vinod Khosla, Marc Benioff, San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee, Path’s Dave Morin, LinkedIn’s Reid Hoffman, Kevin Rose, and many others.
Here is another chance for one lucky reader to win a chance to come join us! Not only will the winner receive a free ticket (valued at around $1,995*), but we are also going to give you a free Phosphor watch of your choice. Check them out. The winner can choose any watch on that site. The most expensive is valued at around $250.
So, here we go. If you want a shot at winning, all you have to do is follow the steps below.
1) Become a fan of our TechCrunch Facebook Page:
2) Then do one of the following:
- Retweet this post (making sure to include the #TCDisrupt hashtag)
- Or leave us a comment below telling us what your favorite summer song is
The contest will start now and end August 13th at 7:30pm PT. Please only tweet or comment once, or you will be disqualified. We will make sure you follow the steps above and choose our winner once the giveaway is over. Please note the free Disrupt ticket is for one ticket only and does not include airfare or hotel.
*Ticket prices increase to $2,995 on 8/24. More information here.
Thinking of buying a car or house soon? Knowing that the weather can subtly influence your purchase decision might keep you from making a choice you might later regret. More »
New Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer has been attempting to recruit Twitter VP Katie Jacobs Stanton to boost the company’s media products, AllThingsD reports.
Mayer is reportedly pushing Yahoo to focus more on its products and users, a dramatic shift that could help revive the company. She’s even removed Yahoo’s stock ticker from its internal company website to get employees thinking more products about less about the company’s finances.
Stanton seems an ideal choice to help revive Yahoo because she has worked for Yahoo, Google, and now Twitter. At Yahoo, she helped launch Yahoo Finance, and at Google — working under Mayer — she helped launch Google Finance. Stanton then had a brief stint working for the Obama Administration working on citizen participation. Now she’s shaping Twitter’s international experience. She knows popular products that people rely on and ideally could help oversee more big launches.
If Mayer successfully peels off Stanton from Twitter, she’d need to offer her a big role. Since Stanton is a VP, ideally she’d become a high-powered Yahoo VP with some major responsibilities. Since former Yahoo interim CEO Ross Levinsohn, who was previously in charge of all media efforts, has left, there is a vacancy there. Stanton could also be put in charge of revamping Yahoo’s popular but outdated home page.
Check out a video of Stanton speaking below at the Re:publica 2012 conference in May:
Stanton photo: republica2010/YouTube
Filed under: media
Did you miss your chance last year to get this awesome plugin? If so, don’t fret, it’s about to be relaunched and to celebrate, today, I’m giving you a chance to win a CommentLuv Premium single-site license.
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For more information about CommentLuv, take a look at this post:
Check out what Andy Bailey has to say about the relaunch:
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Marketers, and perhaps those of you who took Marketing 101 back in college, might remember the 4 Ps of marketing — product, place, price, and promotion. The concept (which I think was originated by a Northwestern marketing professor) describes four “levers” that marketers work with, adjust, or alter, in order to influence marketing results.
In the past few years, there have been numerous articles proclaiming the death of the 4 Ps. All of these assertions, however, have failed to disprove that product, place, price and promotion are no longer relevant. For sure, service and service-related factors like information regarding product usage has become important, but these factors simply expand our definition of product. Place used to mean the store, but again, with the advent of the Web, and now mobile, channels, the definition of place is simply expanded.
In addition, there have been numerous attempts (usually from bloggers and social media gurus) to add a 5th P to the mix. I’ve seen articles claiming that people, personality, personalization, and productivity are all the new 5th P. One article said that the new 5th P of marketing was Peter (can you guess the name of the author?).
None of these articles deserve a link here because they’re either an element of the existing 4Ps (e.g., packaging and personalization are really about the product) or they’re simply not a lever (personality? really?) that can be managed by marketers to influence marketing results.
I’ve been debating (with myself) whether or not Payments (or more exactly, influencing consumers’ use of payment methods) rises to the level of a 5th P.
On one hand, payments could be seen as simply an element of price. Incentivizing (not a real word, but go with me on this one) a customer to pay cash instead of credit because it’s beneficial to the marketer could just be price manipulation.
But there’s growing evidence that the choice of payment methods available for a particular product can influence a customer’s choice of product — regardless of the price. And this would qualify Payments as a lever — or 5h P — that marketers can manage.
This is old news for the auto industry. Auto manufacturers have made Payments (e.g., leasing vs. financing) a part of the marketing mix for a while now. In this case, I would argue that Payment is not an element of price. In fact, I’d bet most car buyers don’t even realize exactly what price they’re really paying when they accept a lease or financing offer for $250 per month for 24 or 48 months.
For other industries, however, the choice of payment methods is just beginning to influence choice of providers. Having processed some 42 million (and counting) mobile payment transactions between Jan 2011 and Q2 2012, there’s a strong case to be made that Starbucks has engendered customer loyalty through its mobile payment capabilities. Offering prepaid debit cards has also helped to keep Starbucks’ customers loyal to the company.
Both of these capabilities — mobile payments and prepaid cards — are examples of how Payments have influenced marketing results without changing the product, price, place, or promotion mix.
The original concept behind the 4Ps was that the elements were part of a marketing mix — and that marketers had to allocate resources between the elements of the mix to influence marketing results.
Payments meets this criteria, especially in a retail context. In an article title in Retail Info Systems News, a comment on the site makes a great point:
“Though the benefits of having a mobile POS is surely directed towards improving customer service, it also frees up store space occupied by cash registers, typically in the range of 30-40 % of the total numbers on weekdays. This space can be effectively used to display/sell merchandise.”
Bottom line: When the 4Ps of marketing were conceived in the early 1960s, the choice of payment methods boiled down to cash, check, and credit card (and I’m not even sure how many people had a credit card back then).
But today, there are more payment methods available, and the list is growing. And because of the importance of technology to many people (e.g., there is a segment of people who like to be seen as early technology adopters), the choice of payment methods available for a growing number of products makes Payment a legitimate element in the marketing mix. In other words, there’s a new 5th P to marketing.
Once I found the right business, I had an array of choices in terms of how I wanted to connect with them. I clicked on the email icon and jotted a quick note, describing exactly what I needed to have fixed.
Within a few hours the electrician emailed me back with this message: “Sounds good Drew, give me a call to discuss.”
Um, no. I didn’t accidentally click on the email icon. I made a conscious choice. It’s not that I am anti-phone. Heck…ask AT&T how pro-phone I am. But, during business hours, I just don’t have time to talk to him. I’m in meetings, on the phone with clients and on the run. Which is why I emailed him to begin with.
What could have been an easy sale is now tangled up because he didn’t pay attention to the very clear signal I sent. I don’t have time to call him…so odds are, the work just won’t get done for a little while. A lost sale.
What clear signals do you suppose you’re missing?
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In 2011 more smartphones were sold than PC’s. And now that some of the phone carriers are forcing a smart phone sale by not carrying a variety of low end phones, desktop websites will become less important and how a website looks on a smartphone and mobile devices will become more important.
Smartphone useage is growing dramatically and if your website doesn’t show up well on a smart phone, one of your strongest marketing tools may be severely weakened.
While many companies have sites that are old and were revised in 2006, 2007 before the economic downturn, businesses that recognized that they need a mobile site — even it it only has a contact us page — will fair better.
Three suggestions of ways you can quickly offer a mobile choice:
- Mashable suggests 8 ways to create a mobile site
- CNET offers a free way to create an app
- TechCrunch outlines an iPad and mobile web site for a monthly fee
- At a minimum… try something like what I have here — it’s simple, functional but ugly. It’s a plugin from WordPress, so you’ll have to have a WordPress site to use it. The beautiful part is that it is easy and a temporary solution until I figure a better way. This is the 3rd or 4th solution I have tried.
Have you found a mobile solution that you’re happy with? Please share in the comments below. I know I’m not the only one looking for an inexpensive, good-looking, functional smartphone mobile site maker. Love to hear your comments!
Lollapalooza starts today and if you can’t make it, YouTube has got your back–they’re streaming it live from Chicago. The YouTube streaming is sponsored by Dell, an odd choice for a music festival, but a good way for Dell to reach a younger, wider audience than most of its current users.
Looking at the YouTube page’s ads (which are entirely Dell by design, not random chance), you can see Dell hawking its Ultrabook and offering an Xbox to anyone who buys a PC (a classic Apple-competitor move).
This would be a good strategy if Dell was still fighting for the consumer market.
But wait–for the past six months, Dell has been telling us “we’re no longer a PC company” and that they are focusing on enterprise.
So, now this ad campaign makes a bit less sense. Like zero sense.
Luckily, you don’t have to understand Dell’s marketing strategy to enjoy the live stream, though.
I’ll be sitting in the back of our Crunchup all day with my headphones in watching indie bands who all look like Josh Constine.
According to a recent Harvard Business Review article, 53% of marketing executives plan to outsource their marketing to partners.
Now before going further I should point out that any survey of corporate marketing executives is bound to miss one question I believe is critical: Should a company outsource not only its marketing execution but also the role of the chief marketer. And of course I’m biased in favor of outsourcing; especially for smaller companies who can benefit from access to top tier marketing talent but don’t have room in the budget to make the right hire (the wrong hire is worse than no hire at all); or are operating in a complex, competitive environment and need to differentiate big time if they want to win big time.
This said, a few months ago a company called Mavenlink published a helpful infographic that aims to ease executives’ decision about hiring vs outsourcing for marketing excellence. I like the way the decision-tree highlights a number of key characteristics that naturally support the choice to outsource. Limited budget? Complexity inside and outside the organization? Urgency and the need for speed? Lack of internal resources (or desire) to manage the team? The need for deep specialization (e.g., expertise in digital, social, mobile or just about any specialized form of communications)? All point toward outsourcing as the smart choice.
Check out the graphic. Think through the choices. Hope it helps you weigh the pros and cons of outsourcing the marketing function at your organization.
I’d love to hear your thoughts (leave a comment).
Neetu Kurian from Google posted a detailed question and answer thread on the topic of AdWords Express monthly budget concerns in the Google Places Help forums.
I don’t see this posted elsewhere, so I figured I bring this to light to many of you who are participating in this program.
Here is Kurian’s post:
1. What is Monthly Budget?
Your monthly budget is an amount that you set for each of your AdWords Express ad to specify how much you’d like to spend each month. And, your monthly budget will ensure that in a calendar month you donât accrue costs more than the set monthly budget. So if you have set a monthly budget of $X for your AdWords Express ad, you can be assured that in a calendar month (say June, July etc) you will not accrue costs more than $X.
2. The factors that determine the recommended monthly budgets
Regarding the recommended monthly budgets you see in your AdWords Express account, please know that these budgets are recommended by the system based on factors such as the competition in the category you have created your AdWords Express ad for in the local area you target, dynamic nature of search traffic etc and our system also âestimatesâ the number of clicks your ad may receive for each of these recommended budgets. Please note that these are just estimates and your actual ad performance may vary.
While we strongly recommend our advertisers to choose a budget equivalent to one of the recommended budgets, please be assured that you can also choose a monthly budget of your choice and comfort.
3. Implications of low budget
If you have chosen a low budget for your AdWords Express ad, it is possible that your ad may stop running before the month actually ends. This is because with a low budget, our system will not have enough funds to show your ad throughout the month and in such instances, our system may automatically âpauseâ or âendâ your AdWords Express ad to ensure that you do not accrue costs more than your monthly budget. However, please be assured that our system will automatically resume your ad serving the beginning of next month with your whole monthly budget.
4. Pro-rated budget in AdWords Express
Do keep in mind that the monthly budget for an AdWords Express ad is pro-rated in the following scenarios:
(a) When you activate your AdWords Express ad during the course of the month
In this case, please keep in mind that your effective monthly budget will be calculated based on the day you activated your AdWords Express ad. So, for instance – if you activated your AdWords Express ad on 15th May and your monthly budget was set to $100, then only half the monthly budget will be available for the rest of May which is $50 and if this $50 gets exhausted by, say, May 26, your AdWords Express ad will stop running with us for the rest of the month (May 26 – May 31). But, however please be assured that our system will automatically resume your ad serving next month with your whole monthly budget of $100 (in this example).
So for AdWords Express, please note that if the campaign is active for only half the calendar month, then only half the monthly budget will be available.
(b) When you change your monthly budget in the middle of a month
In this case, please know that if you change your budget in the middle of a month, the maximum amount that you’ll be charged for the month changes from your previous monthly charging limit. So if your new budget is higher than your current monthly accumulated spend, you’ll be charged at most, your current spend plus a prorated value of the new budget from the date of change to the end of the month. And if your new budget is lesser, we may stop serving your ad for the rest of the month. But, please be assured that our system will resume your ad next month, with your whole new monthly budget.
5. Points to keep in mind while choosing your monthly budget
(a) Recommend monthly budgets: As already mentioned, please know that the system recommends three different monthly budgets based on factors such as competition in the category you have created your AdWords Express ad for, dynamic nature of search traffic etc. While we strongly recommended our advertisers to choose a budget equivalent to one of the recommended budgets, you can also choose a separate budget based on your comfort level and choice.
(b) Competition in the category you have created your ad for in the local area you target : If you are creating your AdWords Express ad for very competitive online industries such as âInsuranceâ, âReal Estateâ etc and if these industries are also very competitive in the local area you target, then you may want to consider choosing a higher budget to ensure that your ad receives the maximum traffic possible.
(c) Desired traffic: If you want the maximum exposure for your AdWords Express ad and if you are looking for a lot of ad traffic, then it is always recommended to choose the highest recommended budget for your AdWords Express ad. This is because with higher budget, the system has more space to push your adâs position and performance by showing it to more potential users.
Instead, if you are just experimenting with AdWords Express – you can start with the lowest recommended budget and keep adjusting your budget as and when you desire and also based on your ad performance. But, always keep in mind that lowering your budget may restrict your ad visibility and traffic.
6. How to edit your monthly budget
If you wish to edit your monthly budget, here are the steps you need to follow:
1. Sign into your AdWords Express account at http://adwords.google.com/express/
2. On the Home tab, select your business from the drop-down menu.
3. On the righthand side of the page, click Manage your ads.
4. Under “Maximum monthly budget”, choose one of the recommended budgets or enter your own budget.
5. Click Save and continue when youâre done.
Forum discussion at Google Places Help.