web apps and pinterest

A curious thing.. We are introducing probably an all-time-high of web apps onto the market these days, beautiful new apps, streamlining workflows, enabling collaboration, optimising processes and just about doing everything. At the same time we’re advising clients on how to effectively market through social media. In interwebs timescales, Pinterest has been around forever now.
So, why, when I want to pin a new great tool onto my ‘Tools/Apps’ Pinterest board, there are ‘no pinnable things on the page’? It would be so simple to include a little banner with logo or screen a short description? Campaign Monitor, PourOver, Marvel AppPeak, Solo, Buffer.. the list is endless.. Or do we not consider it priority?

product tank october

Interesting talk by Lee from @whatusersdo at London Product Tank, aptly titled: ‘data driven nonsense’.
Main point: focus on customer insight, rather than data insight, as data is incomplete, incremental and open to interpretation. Use any tool to find the REAL ‘why’: live chat, guerrilla usability tests, speak to customer service staff and to ‘real’ people.

Example given was of a park, with nice paved alleyways and one trodden path. Big data will tell you, that if you make an alleyway wider, then 2% more people will walk on it. But it will not tell you why people are ignoring your alleyways and going across on the beaten path. For that you need ‘real’ insight’.

Also, interesting stat, according to Lee: 67% of users who start a purchase journey on a smartphone, finish it on a desktop.

Estimote Beacons

Came across these today: estimote.com beacons (Real world context for your apps)
http://www.pocket-lint.com/news/123730-apple-s-ibeacons-explained-what-it-is-and-why-it-matters

I think it’s one of these things that sneaks into the market, looking all cute, but has power to change the game in a major way. I am trying to see the practical application of these, but I think the potential is huge. Google analytics in real life. Indoor navigation. Targeted content in retail shops. It could just be the thing that will bridge the online and brick and mortar retail experiences. Rock on.

E-marketing

As recent figures show there is still a lot of abuse going on in email marketing among UK businesses. 31% of the companies are breaking the anti-spam laws when sending out their email newsletters and building mailing lists. Your customers’ trust is priceless, so make sure you don’t loose it by not respecting their rights. Nothing annoys more than spammy emails, that you are unable to unsubscribe from.
This is something that your webdesigner should always advise you about, however:
– make sure every form on your website that collects the visitors’ data, includes an opt- in or opt-out option
– make sure every email that you send includes the usubscribe information and that this is clearly visible. moreover, make sure it works (and it’s free)

status stories

From http://www.trendwatching.com/briefing:

Ah, storytelling, yet another holy grail in the wonderful world of marketing. What’s new in this field? How about companies no longer inundating consumers with their ‘brand stories’, but instead helping customers tell a story to other consumers. Not to promote that particular brand, but to make those customers more interesting to others. Curious?

We have seen this trend slowly catching on in the jewellery world, it’s not the Roberto Coin jewellery these days, it’s the piece that a particular designer has designed and created FOR ME. Brands are big, but they are also strict and rigid. And mass-produced. They seem to think that the audience in London and in Exeter are the same people responding to same tickles. While we are seeing the customer increasingly looking for the unique and original. The companies that will adapt and give the customers something to tell stories about will win.

email marketing

As recent figures show there is still a lot of abuse going on in email marketing among UK businesses. 31% of the companies are breaking the anti-spam laws when sending out their email newsletters and building mailing lists. Your customers’ trust is priceless, so make sure you don’t loose it by not respecting their rights. Nothing annoys more than spammy emails, that you are not able to unsubscribe from. This is something that your webdesigner should always advise you about, however: – make sure every form on your website, that collects the visitors’ data, includes an opt- in or opt-out option – make sure every email that you send includes the usubscribe information and that this is clearly visible. moreover, make sure it works (and it’s free)

be the expert

I went to post office yesterday to pick up my Bruce Springsteen tickets (oh yes) that have arrived from France. The lady behind the counter refused to hand over the letter, as my driver licence clearly stated my name is Susan Engel and not Mademoiselle Engel. And Mademoiselle Engel will have to show up with her own identity document to pick up the letter. Another clerk had to explain to her what Mademoiselle means to the amusement of everybody in the Post Office. Well, it was pretty funny.

Made me think though, this is something i would not expect in the Post Office, they’re bound to know this stuff, right?

When people come to you and your website, they expect you to KNOW. They expect you to be the expert on the subject. The web’s greatest function is to inform and to educate. People use internet and your website to find things out and be able to make an informed decision. If you sell diamond rings tell your visitor what each ring is exactly, it’s not enough to have a pretty picture. Tell them about the 4C’s and conflict-free diamonds. If you’re selling watches, tell them exactly what’s inside, what’s the guarantee, if it’s water resistant, etc. Explain what tourbillon is, or point in the right direction. Explain about financing options you offer. Ensure them about the conflict-free diamonds you provide. That’s what people are coming to your site to find. Specific information. They very rarely will come to your website to read about your company’s history.

It’s our job to make sure your product is found in the world wide web. But once the visitor finds it, it’s your job to convince them the product is worth looking at. Be the expert they expect you to be.

women in technology

went to the christmas networking event organised by Girly Geeks and Women in Technology yesterday, it was really nice to meet so many interesting people. being
quite shy i found it much easier to meet people where everyone’s aimed
at networking, AND everyone’s a woman. after few conversations i think
the consensus is that (first) there are only about 20% women in
technology, but it’s really not down to the employers not wanting to
employ females. quite the opposite, if you’re a woman it’s quite easy
to find a job as companies are trying to balance the staff. hence the
very interesting initiative to get 11-15 year old girls interested in
technology and IT, and show them it’s not only for boys. secondly, men
treat a job as a goal whereas women treat a job as a responsiblity,
which also means they take everything much more personally than men.
this sometimes can lead to women being able to resolve issues in a
better way then men, making them good project managers. but only after
they’ve learned not to take work as a personal issue.
all in all a very intersting evening.

Google still cool?

Just had a thought…
If i put a given keyword into Google, say i’m
looking for a blog on windsurfing, i get a list of 10 blogs. Now i know
roughly how Google indexes the pages, but nobody knows for sure, the
algorythm is pretty complicated and not public. Google would have a
direct income from some of those blogs, through the AdSense programme.
Now do we trust Google that the possible gain is not influencing the
results? What i mean how do we know we’re not served the sites that
earn Google money before the sites that don’t if all the other factors
are comparable?
Do we trust Google ethics? I mean if it was any other company, we’d laugh.. But Google is cool, right?