Archive for the ‘response’ tag
In response to reports from iDevice owners complaining of problems connecting to Google’s Gmail service, the company issued a statement on Friday notifying users the issue is under investigation and a fix is in the works.
In response to an Apple Support Communities forum thread, a report on Tuesday offers anecdotal evidence that the new OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion may be causing battery life issues for some MacBook users.
A report on Tuesday claims Apple has put a 24 hour hold on over-the-phone AppleID password change requests, possibly in response to the high-profile hack of Wired reporter Mat Honan’s iCloud account.
With a down economy, most of us have heard accounts of job seekers sending out 100, 200, perhaps 300 résumés without getting even one response. To anyone who has sent out large quantities of résumés without any response or interviews, I offer this advice: The complete lack of response is not due to the economy. It’s based on your résumé, your experience, or your résumé submission itself. More »
Many residents of the Island of Luzon, Philippines were evacuated from their homes when Tropical Storm Haiku brought a Southwest Monsoon through the region on Monday, August 6. Google has posted a Crisis Response page offering news updates, emergency contact information, and a “person finder” tool where family members and friends can connect with those who were affected by the flood.
New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.
It’s the ultimate taboo topic.
Get behind closed doors and that changes quickly. Marketers obsess about their competitors, messaging, and corresponding market share.
That’s why we talk about competitors a great deal in Marketing in the Round.
Some believe they should focus on their own core actions and grow a bigger pie for the whole industry, and others see competitors as all-out enemies. Whichever side you’re on, it’s helpful to have context and evaluate your competitors’ successes and failures in the marketplace. Here are some tips to help you.
Monitor the Competition
There are some marketing actions all companies have to take to become viable. Almost all of them end up online. These include publishing a Web site; creating news stories; initiating social media efforts; developing advertisements for print, broadcast, interactive, and/or search; and creating content and publicly available newsletters.
Analyze your competitors’ marketing—see which efforts work well, and understand why stakeholders like them: What is their primary messaging? Why does or doesn’t it work? How do people respond to the company’s overtures online? Is word of mouth positive or negative? Why?
Which products or services compete directly against your own? What are the price points? Are there public partnerships that help distribute their offerings? How loyal are their customers?
If you are competing against U.S. publicly traded companies, look at their 10-K and 10-Q SEC filings on EDGAR. Such companies are required by law to inform investors about prospects and threats—a great way to get intelligence about your competitors’ actions and about general market risks.
Set up a search for them in your Twitter stream so you can see what their customers are saying about them…and how they’re responding (if at all).
Record this analysis in an easy-to-access document, perhaps a spreadsheet on a shared workspace if you’re dealing with more than a handful of competitors. Organize your competition by threat level—some are more successful than others, some will be head-to-head rivals in sales situations.
Ranking the players in the total marketplace will allow your marketing team to focus energy on combating the players that pose the biggest threats to your sales and viability.
Competitive focus allows your marketing round to see what kinds of offerings and products will meet consumer demand, what it can do to be different, and how it can capitalize on weaknesses or gaps.
Your effort should be different from the competition in tone, and adaptable in form and price by customers who will clearly use it. Good marketing positions a product or service into the market that’s almost undefeatable. It’s about creating separation and standing out. Otherwise it’s a commoditized battle for market share, and that often turns into lower margins.
If marketers do their job well, and their product, service, or solution gets a warm reception, the competition won’t sit and watch while your marketing round takes away market share.
They will act.
Sometimes they refuse to even acknowledge you or the incredible job you’ve done, dwindling into the past. Other times they mimic your offering. Some competitors get angry, and trash, sue, and undercut you at every opportunity.
The toughest competitors go toe-to-toe with you, countering every move you make. The best competitors just leapfrog your offering, bettering it and seize the marketplace.
It’s so important to have monitoring in place, not just for your brand, but also your competition.
A significant percentage of executives find out about a competitor’s move only when it is announced. The ensuing drama can send a company’s marketing team into an unfocused tizzy of overreaction and distract it from its most important focus: customers.
There’s big danger in over-responding to the competition, in focusing on secondary and urgent-feeling goals instead of on the primary objective. Those smaller issues become distractions, and distractions are a hindrance to achieving success.
Your marketing team needs to know when to respond to a competitor’s actions. The scenarios that are most likely to require a response are a new competitive offering or a price cut. In other instances, it’s difficult to know whether working to counteract a competitor is worth the investment or is just a distraction.
Here are some questions to consider:
- Does the competitive response significantly increase the quality of their offering?
- Does it surpass your company’s effort?
- Are you losing customers as a result of the competitive action?
- Are customers actively discussing your competitor on social media?
- Is the competitor getting fleeting attention from the media, or is there sustained marketplace buzz?
- Has the announcement hurt your brand equity?
If you are answering yes to some or all of these questions, you will want to respond. But respond intelligently. Think it through. Fifty-five percent of companies respond with the most obvious action, says McKinsey and Company. You want your response to yield a competitive advantage, not just noise.
How do you handle competition in today’s marketing environment?
About the Gini Dietrich and Geoff Livingston:
Gini Dietrich is founder and CEO of Arment Dietrich, a digital marketing and communication firm offering alternatives to traditional marketing, the author of Spin Sucks, and the founder of Spin Sucks Pro, professional development for PR and marketing pros. Geoff Livingston is an author, public speaker and strategist who helps companies and nonprofits develop fantastic marketing programs. He brings people together, virtually and physically to build loyal networks for business, change and higher knowledge.
Gini Dietrich is founder and CEO of Arment Dietrich, a digital marketing and communication firm offering alternatives to traditional marketing, the author of Spin Sucks, and the founder of Spin Sucks Pro, professional development for PR and marketing pros.
Geoff Livingston is an author, public speaker and strategist who helps companies and nonprofits develop fantastic marketing programs. He brings people together, virtually and physically to build loyal networks for business, change and higher knowledge.
Twitter’s having problems today! Oh, what’s that, you knew already? Well fine then. But we’ve just gotten our hands on some additional data related to today’s outage courtesy of application monitoring platform Compuware APM. The company pulled measurements from its backbone data centers, Last Mile network (actual end users) and mobile devices, and has basically documented the problem by examining response times across these sources.
We’re told that the current speculation is that the Twitter outage may have to do with the increased activity due to Olympics-related traffic.
The Olympics are expected to bring an unprecedented surge of activity by sports fans on social networking sites, the company tells us, and some sluggishness had already been reported. Compuware says it’s now diving into the data further to determine whether or not the outage had anything to do with the increased Olympics traffic, or if that was merely a coincidence.
For those who missed it (i.e., people with a life), Twitter experienced an extended outage today beginning around 11:23 AM ET, according to reports from performance monitoring company Apica. The service briefly recovered at 12:04 PM, then crashed again at 12:15 PM. At 12:58 PM, Twitter started delivering server-side error codes. One of those was the pretty hilarious one you see above. For whatever reason (groan), the message handing function there didn’t fill in what the reason was, leaving users scratching their heads.
Below, the charts. Click to see larger:
It looks like Flickr co-founder Caterina Fake may have to find a new name for her new product Pinwheel. A New York court has granted a preliminary injunction against Fake’s startup 2bkco, as requested by a similarly named startup Pinweel.
The injunction was posted on Scribd by lawyer and blogger Venkat Balasubramani, and I’ve embedded it below. Fake sent me an email confirming its accuracy, though she declined to say what the company’s response will be, because “we can’t comment on pending legal matters.” The Pinweel team sent a similarly terse statement, saying, “We can confirm that the federal court has issued a preliminary injunction that requires that Caterina Fake’s company immediately cease their use of the Pinwheel name.”
Of the two companies, Pinwheel is almost certainly the better-known, thanks to Fake’s background and the fact that the company raised funding from True Ventures, Founder Collective, SV Angel, Redpoint, Betaworks, Obvious Corp., and others. Its app is still in private beta, but it sounds like a way to annotate real-world locations with notes, tips, and photos for friends and other users. Pinweel, meanwhile, is a self-funded photo-sharing app — when I covered Pinweel in February, the company told me that it considered Fake’s use of “Pinwheel” to be trademark infringement and said it would be taking legal action.
There’s a long discussion in the injunction covering a number of legal points — part of Pinwheel’s argument in its defense seems to be that users aren’t likely to confuse the two products. As background, the court notes that Pinweel was distributing promotional material with its name and testing the app with a limited audience back in 2011, while Pinwheel made its “public announcement” in February of this year. The court says “several instances of confusion between the parties’ products followed the launch of Pinwheel,” including users who “became confused, and in some cases angry, when their Pinwheel login information did not work with Plaintiffs’ Pinweel app.”
As for next steps, the court says the two companies need to file a “proposed case management plan” by August 6.
In a response to 868 public comments regarding its Apple e-book price fixing case, the U.S. Department of Justice on Monday released a statement saying it will not modify the terms of a proposed settlement and alleges that Amazon’s dominant market position has been overstated.
The SEJ crew has been really surprised at the very positive response we get when we share search and social memes on Facebook. We know that not all our readers follow us on Facebook (shameless, I know), so we decided to start sharing our favorite memes with you on Mondays. Below are some funny memes [...]