Monday, April 30, 2007

Will the iPhone sink or swim

After Steve Job's Keynote speech at Mac World there has been much talk about the future of the iPhone. In the world of PDA's and smart phones will the iPhone outlive all the hype? Marketing Guru Steh Godin announced an iPhone Challenge. He wants everyone to give their prediction on the future of the iPhone, and a year from now we will review.

I feel strongly that the iPhone is going to revolutionize the cell phone just like the iPod did with MP3 players. In the initial release loyal mac users, and tech geeks will flock to the iPhone, while others will wait till the price drops a bit, and any bugs are worked out. Since the iPhone syncs via iTunes; PC and MAC users will have no problem using the iPhone. I do think that Apple needs to let the iPhone be available on phone networks other then Cingular. With the cost of the phone, and the cost to switch networks the iPhone will range from $750-$1000. By alowing the iPhone to be availible on more networks will put the iPhone up there with the BlackBerry, and Treo Smart Phones.

My prediction is this: When Apple launches the iPhone there will be the initial spike in sales just like with any new product, then they will plateau. Apple's ability to fix any bugs, resolve price and provider issues will determine the future of the iPhone. If Apple can resolve all issues within the 6 months to a year after the release of the iPhone I don't see any reason why the iPhone can't be one of the best selling Smart phones on the market.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

It pays to know your target demographic

Here is an article about how Scion ranks above Amazon and Best Buy for the top rated online customer experience for shoppers that are 35 and under. This was passed to me by a fellow interactive designer, Steven Alcala

Scion has 80% name recognition among young buyers
Cisco's second annual e-commerce study ranks Scion above
and Best Buy in building a top-branded customer experience for the
under-35 online shopper.

Leading the survey at No. 1, despite not having even ranked last
year, Scion's "spectacular success with their target market is the
interactive and community-oriented nature of the Scion online
experience," the survey finds. Key aspects of Scion's online strategy

Clear customer focus: Scion customers are music fans, and
features a boom box where users can listen to "Scion" music while
browsing the site. The site also promotes artists and lists concert

Sophisticated customization tools: Users can build their own cars while on the site and save their choices at "My Scion."
Integration between online and offline channels: Once a user
identifies the features and model of a particular car he or she
likes, that information can be sent to a local dealership, which will
then locate that specific vehicle and coordinate for the customer to
come in for a test drive.

Social networking and community participation: A section of
is devoted solely to registered users, most of whom are Scion owners.
There are also special events for Scion customers around the country,
creating a sense of exclusivity

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Get people hyped on your product and they will turn into walking billboards

Earlier this week I was asked what my favorite search engine was, and without a doubt I said google. As I thought back I realized for the 10 years that google have been around I have used them for 9. An old design teacher of mine introduced me to google. I needed to do research on a project, and he said use, because they have better results then yahoo, and excite. He told us that he found them through a friend. Ever since that day I used google and never stopped. This proves that word of mouth advertising is extremely powerful. As humans we react better to human interaction, and we are more likely to believe someone that we speak to over something that we read. If someone is excited about a product or service they give off a vibe that you can't always pick up from reading about it. So if get people hyped on your product it will sell itself. In order to get people hyped you first have to have a product that will fit the needs of your target demographic, then you have target your loyal customers. Give them the opportunity to preview your product first, and make them feel special for hanging in there with you. In turn they will spread the word.

At the company that I work for we do not sell directly to the end user; we rely on our channel partners to sell our products. For us our channel partners are our customers and they are who we cater to the most. We know that they have a choice on what company's product that they sell, so we make them feel special for selling our product. We ask for their feedback, and take that into consideration when we upgrade, or design new products. We give them in give them discounts and benefits that they can pass on to their customers. Because the service and dedication that we give to them they aer eager to sell our product and promote our brand.

In the April edition of Wired, they had an article on 2-Way Talk. They call it the era on nonstop two-way business. They also list a number of companies from Amazon to Apple that gets their customers involved with their products. It gives them a sense of ownership, and it makes them want to spread the word.

Get out there and get your customers involved and those customers will bring you new customers.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Do you have a blog and want more traffic?

Do you have a blog that has cool content, and do you want more traffic? You should submit you blog or feed to MySpace News. Earlier this week MySpace announced that they will be providing a news section on their site. How are they getting the feeds you ask? Well I'm sure they have some sophisticated web crawl tool, but they are also allowing you to submit your blog or feed and choose which category your blog falls in. Submit your blog to mySpace! Once your site is submitted they will review it to see if your blog is right for their site.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Are you remarkable?

As you my discover from reading my blog that I am a big fan of Seth Godin. He is an incredible marketer, that has an eye for marketing. While reading his blog I came across a recent post where he shows the video of the first time he presented the "Purple Cow" concept. This video is the overview of his Purple Cow Book

The "Purple Cow" concept is the very concept that got me hooked on marketing. He talks about how we are in the world of mass media and inorder to succeed you need to have an idea that is remarkable. You need to think outside the box and come up with an idea that jumps out at people. Before that I hated marketing, and I thought marketeers are people who force thier products down EVERYONE'S throat. Seth talks about targeted marketing, and how you should market you product to people that are listening to your and in turn they will tell others. In my opinion word of mouth is the best form of advertising. If you can get a small group of loyal customers hyped on your message they will tell their friends, and from there the idea virus has begun. We are in a world where the traditional methods are not working. People don't watch TV, and read magazines like they used to. We don't move in a linear fashion, we watch our TV programs when we want to, and we read blogs and news feeds. So if you are to spark the intrest of a potential buyer you have to come up with an idea that is remarkable

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

The Macine is Us/ing Us.....A guide to Web 2.0

What is Web 2.0 you ask?

Check out this video

Point here for preview!

A big thanks to Steve & Lynsey for sharing this with me!

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Asking people to add a link to your site will increse your site popularity

If you see a site that that has a product or service that would work well with your product or service you might want to ask them to link to your site. The owner of the site might ask for you to link to their site in return or have you pay a fee. Link Building or Co-operation is a good way to increase your site popularity. You can also send link request to blog owners that talk about topics related to your industry. Below is an example of a link request to a blog owner.

I really enjoy reading your Web Marketing Blog, and I feel that you are an excellent asset to the Web Marketing community. I am a subscriber to numerous internet marketing related blogs and I feel that your content is top notch and extremely knowledgeable.

I noticed that you link to a lot of industry related blogs, and I wanted to know if you could link to my blog Since we talk about a lot of the same topics it might be a benefit to your readers to get multiple points of views. It would be a privilege to be linked to your site, and in return I will link back to you

-Gary Ware

Microsoft is sneaky, sneaky, sneaky

Ok, so I was going a google search for Linux, and in the sponsors ad section the only ad is a Microsoft ad. I was thinking "What! Microsoft doesn't sell Linux." The ad says "Get the facts", and when you click the ad it is a case studies page on why you should buy MS servers or Linux. Leave it to Microsoft to try to steal business from Poor Open Source Linux. Since Linux is open source i guess no one buys PPC for that keyword. I would think a company like Novell would buy PPC on Linux since the have SUSE Linux.

Successful online business start with good hosting

As Featured On Ezine Articles

If you don't have a decent Hosting provider, your online business is destined to fail. There is a chance you will encounter endless problems like down time, loss of data, poor customer service, and maybe even a hacked site. Before you choose a hosting provider you should first do research. I'm here to save you some time, and give you a few tips to use when choosing a hosting provider.

So you spent hours on your business plan, your web site is nicely designed, and you are ready to launch, so where are you going to put your site? Unless you are a large corporation with the budget to host your own site; you will most likely have to fine a hosting provider. Most people overlook this step and just choose any hosting provider without any prior knowledge of the company. So before you choose a provider here are a few things to consider...

  • What kind of customer support do they offer?

  • Does their hosting solutions fit your website needs?

  • Can you upgrade your package?

  • What happens if you go over your bandwidth?

  • Are you tied to a contract?

  • What is their up-time percentage?

  • Do they offer any tools for design and marketing?

  • Do they backup your data?

  • What type of servers to they offer
These are important things to know before you choose a provider. If you are not that internet savvy then you might need a provider that has 24/7 customer service via phone rather then a provider that only has email support. What if - and I hope this happens - your business grows and you need to upgrade your package, will you have to go somewhere else, or can you upgrade? What if their servers go down is your data protected? Most hosting providers offer Linux servers that use PHP as a scripting language. What if you script in ASP .NET, and need a Microsoft server.

I have dealt with websites in one form or another since the late 90's, and in that time I have gone through lots of hosting providers. They ranged from crappy to excellent, cheap to expensive. To be honest the saying "You get what you pay for" is not always true when it comes to hosting. With the introduction of Broadband internet to the market and the cheap cost of servers, just about anyone with any IT knowledge can call themselves a hosting provider. Also since there is no standard on pricing homegrown providers can charge anything they want. So I advise you to do your homework. When you are searching for providers see if they are a member of any associations. If they offer domain registration see if they are recognized by icann. Most likely if they are part of an association then they are legit. I do my hosting through I feel that 1and1 is one of the better hosting companies out there. They have a variety of packages to choose from, they have 24/7 phone support, and you can upgrade or change packages at any time. Included with most of their packages you get a surplus of features such as templates, free scripts, programs, and vouchers for online marketing services. They offer Microsoft and Linux servers, so you are not limited to one platform. Finally their prices are reasonable and you get a lot for your buck. I have the developer plan and I get 300GB of web space, 3TB of bandwidth, and a TON of add-ons for only $14.99 a month. When you choose a hosing provider you should have a couple of providers to choose from so that you can compare their solutions to choose the package that is right for your website. I have selected 3 reputable hosting providers,,, and, and compared their features. Click here to view my detailed comparison chart.

    Tuesday, April 10, 2007

    How popular is your site?

    According to Shari Thurow's Book Search Engine Visibility. The key to ranking well on search engines like google is to have a site that is easy to navigate, full of keyword rich copy, and a site that is popular. Well the first two are easy to test, but the popularity aspect can be a little bit harder. So here are tools to help

    Link backs
    If people are linking back to your site then they must like you. Also the more people that link to your site the more relevant your content is for search.
    If you type into google you will see all the sites that link to yours
    This site gives you your page ranking on various search engine sites.

    Update (4/12/2007)
    Big thanks to My web marking professor Steve Eisenberg for recommending This Link Popularity checker. It allows you to compare your site to 3 of your competitors.

    Sunday, April 1, 2007

    Happy April Fools Day

    So in the spirit of April fools day Google decided to pull a little prank on everyone by offering them a chance to try their Free TiSP Service. What is TiSP you ask? Wireless broadband through your toilet. It's awesome the little spoof site even comes with a step by step guide on how to install the device, FAQ's and a Press Release. Google only had a link off of their home page offering people to try their service. When I saw that I was like what is TiSP?? When I saw it I knew it was a little April Fools prank, but it was fun to look around. I wonder how many people will fall for it and try to get their hand on some free TiSP?