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Exchanging business cards is like breaking up with a significant other: you both smile, say you’ll keep in touch, and never speak again. Ditch the inefficiency and cost of paper with a very simple alternative: have your new contact send you an email before you part ways. I’ve been experimenting with this method for a month with splendid results: I never miss a contact, never worry about messages getting caught in spam filters, it’s easier to transfer contact info into my gmail contacts, and the conversation is readily teed up for a reply.
To create applications and systems that are easy to use, it is crucial to understand the user and the context in which the app will be used. Understanding the context helps design systems that anticipate use cases at a relevant time of use. The more unobtrusive and transparent the experience is at the time of use, the better the design. This means the user does not have to think about the device he is using, changes in the environment, or changes in context, and can rely on great functionality and ease of use independent of his situation.
In traditional systems, the context of use did not change much. Whether the use was in the office or at a personal computer at home, the surroundings were similar and there was no need to adapt to different environments. In today's world, smartphones, tablets, laptops, and smart TVs provide different services in different contexts. These services are consumed by a variety of users and require different interaction models, use cases, and planning. For this reason, UX professionals should first design for the context of use in order to provide better experiences and ultimately enhance the intended purpose of the product.
With technology advancing at such a rapid, incredible pace, it seems inevitable that particular facets of life as we know it will absorb certain aspects of it; and with items like tablets becoming less expensive every day, they appear to be the first things every company wants.
The benefits of businesses using a tablet greatly outweigh those of using a desktop or even a laptop; lightweight, compact, and relatively affordable, they offer ease of working while traveling, while at the same time providing a much-needed message to their clients that they are on top of technological trends, which can be extremely important for a company’s reputation.
This third annual survey of retail trends from PSFK's business innovation team captures and contextualizes the early stages of a seismic shift that is changing the face of the retail landscape.
Big-box retailers like Best Buy and Walmart are beginning to feel the heat as sales decline in the face of stiffer competition from e-commerce giants like Amazon. 'Showrooming' is the new reality. Shoppers are more educated than ever before and the ability to check prices on the fly has resulted in increased commoditization and a rethinking of how brands and retailers go about providing a differentiated offering. The pressures that companies like Amazon and Alice.com are exerting on the marketplace have forced traditional retailers to contemplate a multi-channel approach to online, mobile and bricks-and-mortar sales.
PSFK's Future of Retail Report shows that a hallmark of this changing retail environment is the savvier shopper, who takes advantage of technology, is prepared to offer their personal data for a better experience, and has come to expect contextually relevant recommendations. They are actively engaged, want a say in what products get made, will evangelize offerings to get a better price for themselves and their friends, and want to be rewarded for sharing their knowledge and expertise.
In our latest version of the Future of Retail report, PSFK explores the new retail reality, taking a deeper look in the trends that are driving the change in shopper behaviors and expectations as defined by Retail on Demand and the New Brand Champion.
Here is a short list that will help:
• Social Media engagement as mentioned above will help to increase or boost your google pagerank.
• Good web site content will attract more visits, however not just good content it must be unique content. What does this mean? Unique content is content that is written by you and that provides information that your target audience will find interesting.
• Clean code will also help improve your google pagerank. Not many understand what is meant by this so let me explain. When you include unique content on your web site, you must also add key words, and meta tags that will help your content to be found on the search engines. These tags and your url structure will help impact the traffic to your web site which is ultimately your goal.
• SEO is still very important. SEO translates to search engine optimization and it is something that doesn’t happen overnight. The most important aspect of SEO is patience on your page. Building quality links instead of quantity will help to increase your google pagerank. Remember quality is always better than quantity and don’t forget to be patient!
• Long tail is also necessary to the ranking of your web site. If your goal is to get millions of visitors to your site, you can’t merely focus on the ranking of a few keywords. In fact you have to rank for thousands if not millions of key words. This is possible by building links within the internal pages of your website. Once you implement this tip, you will begin to notice that your overall web site will get a higher authority and rank better across the board.
IDC forecasts that SaaS market will grow to $40.5 billion by 2014. The growth is encouraging – particularly for those who are planning to adopt or have already adopted cloud computing.
However, for those who insist on relying on traditional business apps, the end is near; the sign of times are there; you have no choice: Jump into the bandwagon or be left behind.
Via Peter Azzopardi
EBay has revised its mobile revenue figures, once again.
In what is becoming a routine move, the company said today during its second-quarter earnings release that it is now expecting eBay and PayPal mobile to each transact $10 billion in volume this year.
“That’s more than double 2011,” said eBay’s CEO John Donahoe, who called it “a staggering surge” in mobile commerce that did not exist just a few years ago.
As recently as January, eBay was predicting that mobile shopping — either through its apps or the browser on either a phone or tablet — would hit $8 billion in mobile gross merchandise volume in 2012. Likewise, PayPal was expected to hit another $7 billion in mobile total payment volume.
Last year’s numbers were similarly revised multiple times before the end of the year, when eBay’s final mobile tally stood at $5 billion and PayPal’s totaled $4 billion.
“The line is blurring between online and offline, and that behavior is happening because of the investments we have made in mobile,” he said.
New Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer and Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg have the same problem: Find a way to monetize a massive and sticky user base. But Zuckerberg has two things Mayer doesn’t - a company with a clear-cut mission statement, and time.
Spend some time talking with Vasant Dhar, the director of NYU’s Stern Center for Digital Economy Research, and Yahoo’s position doesn’t seem as dire as the headlines of the past few months have led us to believe. For one thing, the company still generates cash, And Mayer comes in with an impressive set of credentials that immediately ups the Silicon Valley profile of a company whose last CEO lasted just four months and, in that time, made one major (and questionable) move: dismantling Yahoo’s highly regarded research group.
“We’ve seen plenty of companies in this positioning throughout history. They’ll be flatlining for a while, and finally a CEO comes in and says we just lack definition,” Dhar said. “IBM was not that much different under [John F.] Akers, in which it was stagnant for awhile and then someone came in and said the current marketplace is all about services and we already have all of the pieces in place to excel.”
Whether Mayer will be Yahoo’s Louis Gerstner, who succeeded Akers in 1993, remains to be seen (Mayer declined to be interviewed through a Yahoo spokesperson). But Dhar said her first and most pressing goal is to define a mission statement for a company that has lacked definition for several years.
Small businesses can often learn valuable lessons from the missteps of big companies.
* Never leave a loyal group of customers in the lurch.
* Don't hurt those who already love you.
* Don't Siamese twin YOU to THEM.
* Tell new stories carefully.
* New stories come from OLD values.
* Values are Key (read Built To Last by Collins).
* Unfocused Inventory = Unfocused Brand (YES)
* Less is MORE especially when trying to differentiate.
* Some stories, like your branded past, are sticker than you realize.
Instead of leaving your core customers and brand advocates expand your brand to say everyman is now a Radio Shacker. Bring the new group to the old (Always). Don't forsake your current group for anything, ever. Radio Shack has such strong nostalgia, we boomers love the brand, so use your history to rebrand. Ask customers to tell their favorite Radio Shack stories (there are millions of them). Then make the prize relevant to the rebrand. Bring the winners to Texas, Radio Shack is in Ft. Worth, and make them heroes.
* Radio Shack helped create the digital revolution.
* New Radio Shack is Phoenix rising from ashes of old.
* Radio Shack is NEW and COOL.
* Radio Shack is a community of cool people like YOU.
* Radio Shack is for HEROES.
Instead Radio Shack made themselves a Best Buy clone and that didn't work (hardly working for Best Buy now). Why would such a great brand make such a huge mistake? Grass always looks greener over THERE. Some agency came in and played the grass is always greener card to Radio Shack The pitching agency probably had a stack of research and a golden throated pitch.
The guilty have now been shot, the CEO lost his job as he should have, and the brand is in free fall. Sad since a brand so precious, even if its relevance is tarnished, shouldn't be lost. Recovery now is doubtful. Radio Shack won't be here for your children's digital lives and that is sad. We can't buy everything from Amazon no matter how much they want us too.
Via Martin (Marty) Smith
Yahoo's new CEO Marissa Mayer might have tipped her hand back in 2010 on what she has planned for her new employer.
At that time, Mayer, then a Google executive, sat down for an interview with TechCrunch founder Michael Arrington. During that interview, Arrington asked her what she would do if she were running Yahoo. Her first response? It would be a "difficult job."
From there, Mayer dug into Yahoo's decisions at the time, saying that then-CEO Carol Bartz's idea to ink a search deal with Microsoft "was smart in many ways," though Mayer had wished the agreement could have been made with Google. Beyond that, Mayer said that it might have been a good idea for Yahoo to start buying up key online properties.
There's something very cool about Google Now, which the company announced at its I/O developer conference a few weeks ago. At the same time, though, Now also has the potential to become Google’s creepiest service yet. Here is what it does (assuming you opt in to the service and have a phone or tablet that runs Jelly Bean): Google Now learns from your search behavior and shows you cards with information you regularly search for (think game scores of your favorite teams, flight schedules) or that could be relevant to you because of your current location, including weather, nearby restaurants, schedules for the next bus station, how long it’s going to take you to drive home and currency information if it finds you are in a different country. It also uses a whimsical theme to highlight the time of day and where you are (it showed an image of Sydney’s Opera House, for example, when I was there a few weeks ago).
Demand for Google’s 7-inch Nexus 7 tabletseems to have well exceeded the tech giant’s expectations.
Last week, Google posted a message to its online store saying that shipments of the 16GB model were delayed one to two weeks. Now, the store has stopped taking orders altogether.
Those who want to purchase the $249 version of the tablet are told to sign up to be notified by e-mail when it is back in stock.
A lot of design work is shifting to mobile. More and more people are accessing the web on mobile devices, and designers should adapt accordingly.
One element of that, is optimizing images for mobile devices. Sure, there are the technical aspects such as resolution and reducing file size, but what about the actual aspect ratio and content of the images themselves?
Well, sometimes the best inspiration can come from somewhere unrelated to your field. In this case, album covers — specifically ones designed for portable music players, mobile devices, online stores, streaming music services, and more.
Going mobile with your SEO can make your business sharper, quicker, and more responsive.
As more and more businesses realize the value of SEO, defending and improving client’s visibility increasingly demands constant vigilance.
With these smartphone apps, you can keep an eye on multiple variables at once, and get a better idea of what is working for your clients and what isn’t.
These apps will keep you on top of your game at all times, whether youíre on the subway or stuck in the waiting room at the dentist.
Can digital branded content ever be taken seriously? Yes, and here are three research-based ways to make your branded content more credible.
Branded content. When done poorly in the movies and traditional media, it’s the source of ridicule. Think of obnoxious product placement, inspired Morgan Spurlock’s The Greatest Movie Ever Sold. Done really poorly, branded content can backfire. Look at how infomercials have become infamous for misleading people. Done well, branded content is at least not annoying, as in the tolerable 25 brand mentions in 21 Jump Street. (Wouldn’t 21 mentions be more clever? But I’m getting off track…)
That’s traditional media. Is digital doomed to the same fate? Will digital brands keep making mistakes like PepsiGate? Can digital branded content ever be taken seriously, even as seriously as journalism?
I’ve watched the interactive marketing and media industries debate this question for a while. The debate is interesting, but sooner or later we need answers. Wait, let me amend that. With 80 percent of American adults going online to find digital information, we need answers NOW. To get some, my firm conducted an in-depth study of digital content credibility. Note that our research didn’t focus on digital branded entertainment, which acts similarly to advertising.)
As a marketing professor, my days are filled with Millenials who challenge many assumptions shared by older folks. But, who are Millenials? And why should we care about them? And, how are Millenials affecting marketing, especially social media marketing?
Who are Millenials?
Millenials are the tail end of Generation Y (or Gen Y), the cohort born between about 1980 and 2000 and, just like Baby Boomers, and Generation X before them, this generation has its own character. Learning more about that character helps you market to them more effectively and manage them when they’re on your payroll. So, here are a few facts about Millenials, from the University of North Carolina Kenan-Flagler Business School:
http://www.squaretrade.com/faceoff - Click here to enter to win a brand new Nexus 7 Also check out SquareTrade
Smartphones and tablets are made out of metal, plastic and glass. The last thing you want to do is drop them. You have seen it before: the poor chap sitting next to you at the pub, trying to play Angry Birds on an iPad that has been cracked beyond recognition. It is a sickening feeling. These are expensive devices that people have emotional investments in. For instance, if you are the proud owner of Google's new Android Nexus 7 tablet, you are likely holding onto that thing for dear life. What happens if you do drop it?
As you all know, your audience is VERY important when promoting your company’s product.
Men and women may be different in their day to day lives, but they are also very different online. If you are interested in reaching a female audience, learn what they trust and how they use different social sites.
For instance, women trust blogs and Pinterest more than other social sites. Blog recommendations generally lead to purchasing products; however, blogs are not a place where women are seeking fun, personal interactions.
Trust trumps all when it comes to captivating a female audience- garner traffic by publishing reliable information on blogs and other popular sites.
Infographic on Social Sharing and Ecommerce (Did you know?