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Month: August 2009

Economy beats expectations

Economy beats expectations

UK's topography
Image via Wikipedia

Interesting article about how the economy in the UK is shrinking at a slower rate than was expected. That must be good news right? Here’s a snippet from the article:

The 0.7% decline was a significant improvement on the 2.4% contraction in the previous quarter.

But the annual drop of 5.5% remains the biggest since records began in 1955.

It’s a bit too early to see whether this is an emerging trend of just a seasonal glitch. But, whether you’re in the business of selling wedding invitations, or producing fast cars, everyone needs this economy to start getting better.

(The comment on economies getting better being a good thing for everyone is really a global comment, not just one for the UK)

The truth about social media

The truth about social media

There’s been a lot written about social media and its impact on organisations today, but it’s easy to be caught up in the hype and dedicate a disproportional amount of effort into tapping into the medium. This may make sense of some businesses, but not all. For example, if you’re company selling a specialised form of rv warranty, then you may think that social media may be a good way to get in touch with your niche, but once you factor in that most of your audience prefer reading RV magazines, to spending time online, you have to start asking questions around the return on your investment.

The truth is, Social Media channels are really just one of a number of channels that exist today. They need to form part of your marketing plan, and not replace any previous campaigns you had without due consideration and careful thought. Look at where your audience is heading and that will give you an indication of to where you need to go. Social Media is becoming the place to be for many companies .. but not all of them. Which one are you>

Collateral Damage

Collateral Damage

A news article caught my attention today about the potential of industrial action by the employees of a company who handles gate operations. The strike would potentially affect thousands of people passing through that airport causing delays, cancellations and even missed holidays and trips. We’re not talking cargo here, immaterial things like pet supplies or car parts, but carrying paying passengers for the airlines. From one side, I can understand employees wanting to fight for what they believe is fair pay, but on the other hand, why should third parties be caught in the cross-fire?

In my opinion employees have the choice where they want to work, the salaries they’re employed at are the fruit of negotiation and free choice, so why should a union use innocent bystanders as hostages in their negotiations? I’s a cowardly tactic and I hope it bears little fruit.

Networking opportunity in the Isle of Man

Networking opportunity in the Isle of Man

If you’re reading this blog, I can only assume that you’re interested in blogging, and possibly other forms of user-generated content and social media. If so, and if you’re based in the Isle of Man, you might be interested in coming out to network with the Social Media Club who meets on the Third Thursday of every month. Here are the details:

Next week is the third Thursday of August and that means that the Isle of Man Social Media Club is getting together for lunch at Paparazzi in Douglas.

Maybe you are trying to figure out Twitter, of have just established a Facebook Fan Page. Or maybe you’re a seasoned blogger with a long history in Digg. Everyone is welcome to come out and chat about the online world and how it’s affecting how we live and do business.

We meet at 12.30. Everyone buys his own lunch and we are usually all back at our desks by 14.00. It doesn’t cost anything to join, (but the price of your meal) and there are no forms to fill out. All you need is an interest in social media and the online world.

Everyone’s welcome to come and while you won’t get any health insurance leads, you’ll certainly get some pointers on how best to use Social Media and get to meet people living in that space.

More details on the Facebook page

Choosing a face for your business

Choosing a face for your business

Every business usually looks for some celebrity to represent them. It links them to their audience and puts a human face on an otherwise anonymous organisation. However, sometimes it just doesn’t work out. Take tonight, Iceland have just dropped Kerry Katona from their advertising campaigns. It’s related to allegations that she’s involved with drugs, an image that no reputable business would want to associate with.

It’s always important to try and match a celebrity with the product or brand they’re trying to promote. For example, if you’re a vacation south beach agency, you probably don’t want an older person to be promoting your brand. Likewise, if you’re selling dentures, you wouldn’t want a young sexy model, now would you?

In a nutshell, try to match the message to your audience

Focus on the Strategy

Focus on the Strategy

Marine Institute Ireland, Strategic_Planning_S...

A great post on Seth Godin’s blog reminds us of the importance of Strategic Thinking when looking at your plans. Seth comments about how easy it is to get lost in focusing on tactical moves, while moving away from (or not having articulated) their strategic intentions.

It’s the old adage of missing the wood for the trees, tactical decision are more tangible than strategic intentions and thus more seductive. It’s also easier to measure tactical actions, thus giving the impression that more is being done. But strategy is what needs to drive these tactical actions. Without a cohesive strategy that has been conceived to move the organisation forward, there’s a massive risk of drifting away from the true course the company should be heading down. It doesn’t matter if you’re selling plasma mounts out of your garage or directing a multinational organisation; if you haven’t articulated your goals and are not using them to drive your actions, you’re heading nowhere fast.