Dec 22

Women in Technology buy technology

A survey conducted by Women in Technology of around 1200 current and former members of the WiT group found that they like buying technology and gadgets for Christmas presents. The top 10 were:

(1) Digital Camera,
(2) iPod,
(3) iPod Accessories,
(4) Laptop Computer,
(5) HDTV,
(6) Videogame Console,
(7) Camera Phone,
(8) Desktop Computer,
(9) Smartphone
(10) Handheld Videogame Player.

The survey is picked up by the BBC here. They pick up the point about women being the silent influencer behind many joint purchases.

Women are the silent majority when it comes to influencing and making consumer electronics purchases.

They influence around 80% of consumer electronics purchases, according to figures from manufacturers and trade groups such as the Consumer Electronics Association.

But until recently the industry did not pay attention to this.

And we can see the changes from the consumer electronics industry – a colleague at work has a pink phone which appears to make a feature of having a biorythm tracker. But the women’s market does not just mean colouring everything pink; designing smaller and lighter goods can be important (just look at Maryam‘s experience with a new laptop) but also lowering the entry barriers – reduce the fiddleliness in setting things up. That’s a complaint I’ve heard from friends – too many things needed to get things working, it’s not just turn on and go. Although I have to admit given I’ve seen many men just turn on the stuff and never even attempt to read manuals I’m surprised that it is being bought up as a need for designing for women ;o)

Anyway, back to list. I’d go with the HDTV as first choice for me – and I’ll definitely have to be buying it myself. But why was anyone surprised that women who work with technology buy technology?

Dec 20

Viral Ads – VW lead the way

Bore Me are listing the top 10 viral downloads for the year, for both commercial ads and for more fun videos. Interestingly Volkswagon top both the polls. In the ads section, their Singin’ in the Rain mashup ad came out on top. The marketeers would be pleased with that result, but rather less pleased that in the general downloads the spoof VW ad about suicide bombers being contained by VW’s strength came out on top.

Dec 18

Snippets 18 Dec

I’ve got all these open tabs that I need to close…posting them is the best way.

Scott Adams wants to adopt – an embryo. Does not need a lot of space (keep. it in the freezer), cheap (no toys or clothes) and no issue with a terror toddler or a truculent teen. It may just catch on.

Seth Godin puts some thought into why companies should be on the web – or why not

Q: Should every business use the internet to communicate? What are the basics of an internet communications strategy? A: You should only use the internet if you want your communications to be FAST and you want to reach LARGE NUMBERS with no intermediaries. If you can’t handle that, though, you shouldn’t try.

The decision to use the web as a communications tool can be seen as an obvious one – yourcompetitiors are doing it, so you should. But like all methods – it needs thought and resources behind it. It’s should not be done just becuase it’s perceived as quick and simple, but because it is the right thing to do.

In the same vein, Market Sherpa has 5 steps for corporates who want to blog. Although it misses out Robert Scoble’s first preferred step – read blogs – it’s a pretty accurate representation of what has been going on in a company I know, looking at doing a blog. It’s not always possible to just do things, however good the idea. A corporate has politics and lots of statekholders whose needs have to be addressed.

I see Typepad was down for a loooonnnng time. Niall Kennedy has a great podcast/interview transcript with Anil Dash about what happened. Jay Allen says what most of the operational guys were probably thinking “I’m looking forward to never having another day like that for the rest of the time I work at Six Apart.” Technology is not a panacea, it always goes wrong at the worst time. I’m convinced that some of the applications I work on know when I’m going to give a demonstration – because that is when they break.

Sad to see that John Spencer has died at the young age of 58. One of my favourite actors in the West Wing

Sir Tim Berners-Lee has a blog. After a week, it has one post and 258 comments.

Conferences: Mix06 looks like it would be an excuse to get to Vegas, a town that is on my list of places to visit at least once. I’m going to be in the US in March anyway, for SXSW. But it’s only going to happen if I get a very large windfall. The Future of Web Apps in London in Feb is far more in my price range.

Dec 02

Consumer Relationships

Innocent Drinks have a seasonal campaign to raise money for Age Concern and Extra Care, by selling drinks with little woollen hats in selected stores. And just in case they did not get all 80000 of the hats made in time, they’re asking their fans to knit some as well. The instructions start off with a perfect line: 1. Tune in to Radio 4.


Nov 30

Christmas Magazines

The magazine associated with the gadget and gear website Boys Stuff was floating around the office today. Amongst all the gadgets such as remote control cars, robots, game accessories etc areideas for Christmas presents that sound great but only get bought at this time of year, such as:

Nov 24

Burger king: community-generated content

Over on, Burger King masks are being featured in community generated videos, starring in a number of different videos including Safety dancewhere a bemasked dancer goes around gesturing rudely at BK’s competitors and Webcam Stripper where a strip tease also features the mask (surprisingly, it is safe for work).

Both of these would feature in nightmares of certain lawyers I know. It’s not the taking of the content and mixing it up that is regarded as the key problem – it’s the taking the content, mixing it up and the company getting sued because of the new content that is often bought up as a barrier. Wonder how the BK lawyers react to these videos

Nov 22

Absolut Christmas

Absolut’s Christmas site is fun (the first time only though). Singing bottles take you through seasonal recipes and invite you to send to a friend. Those songs though – drive me insane. Bet they were fun to work on ;o)

And that’s about the only thing I;ve seen over the last few days, having spent most of them laid up with a bad cold. I hate winter!

Nov 07

eMarketer republishes survey

eMarketer published details about the Edelman/Technorati survey that was published around a month ago. Surprisingly, given how long it was in the genesis, there is little, if any additonal commentary with the report; the numbers have been recut slightly to fall into the publication guide. However, it does provide you a link at the bottom for their indepth report – so, looking for analysis, i follow, to find it takes me to a report that would cost me $695 to read – for 15 pages and 27 charts. Maybe some other time.

Nov 03

Public Relations Online

I attended a launch party last night for Public Relations Online, “a forum showcasing how brands can protect themselves and improve relationships with partners, customers and press by using new techniques such as web-monitoring, blogging, and search engine optimisation.” A lot of enthusiasm to embrace the different ways of working, with a frank acknowledgement (with a hint of worry) of the challenges of doing PR in a connected environment. However, I think there’s still some steps to take – putting up the formal press release as a blog post with no further comment is not necessarily the right first step! But, willingness to learn was evident so I’ll watch this with interest.

The event was held at the Adam Street Club. Looks like a fun place, as indicated by the signs on the back of the loo doors.

“Please do not throw…tights, knickers, shoes, i-pods, suited gentlemen, thick & ugly people (well maybe them!), or circus performers down the loo. If you do so, it will cause a terrible mess, which will be your fault entirely, and very embarassing all round. Frankly , you may never quite recover form it.”

Nov 01

Spending Marketing budgets in new ways

The Budget Treasure Hunt enters it second week, with three winners announced. For a blog supporting a campaign it appears to be appears to be rather light on posts on the main page, even with the weekend getting in the way, but the Hunters’ Stories page, which is competitor driven, is busier .

Evelyn Rodriguez has a post about why, as a customer, she won’t be influenced by the campaign. I have an opposite reaction – I very rarely use hire cars, so something like this brings Budget first to mind if I’m searching. But it won’t be first choice if the costs aren’t comparable.

Kathy Sierra has suggested an number of alternate uses for marketing spend beyond the usual. As market becomes fragmented, as people look beyond the one way ads, there’s more opportunities to try different things. From utilising the web with its alternative communications strategies to sponsorship and other community activities the ways that agencies/brands can spread their word grows (or should that be the need to do things differently grows as people get bored with traditional methods!)

Oct 31

Add your own commentary for posters

Adrants points to the fact that posters of 50Cents which were part of the Bubble Project seems to have scared people off. The project puts little speech bubbles on posters to encourage people to add their own commentary. Mexx (a clothing store) appear to have been trying to do the same thing with their recent posters in Bond Street Tube station, with speech bubbles on the posters already. Maybe the the agency expected people to add their own stuff, in a cool, ‘consumer generated content’ way, but in the week they have been there, none of them appear to have been added to. Maybe I should take a pen with me tomorrow


Oct 28

Conversation Gap

Via Steve Rubel, a nice – if obvious in hindsight – method of tracking conversation about your brands in amongst the category. Comparing category vs brand conversations using a tracking tool such as IceRocket allows you to see the percentage of the conversation. And Hills and Knowlton have provided an interface so that you don’t to work out any inclusive or exclusive search terms.

The example shown looks at comparing two brands against category.


Oct 27

Marketing and Blogs

Shel Israel comments about the approach of marketing executives to blogs, how “they want to use blogs to extend their integrated marketing solutions, thus extending the brand.” By integrated marketing, they mean another method to push the message. If all they do is push the message, they are not a blog as commonly perceived, but just another marketing website that uses a particular toolset to manage the message. And for some companies, that may be the right approach for the corporate environments they operate in. For others, the real benefits come from really turnign it into a one-to-many communication tool, allowing relationships to develop and the readers understanding the people behind the blog, not just the message.

Oct 27

Marketing Tea

I met up lat night with some friends who have set up Jing Tea, a tea import business. There’s an obvious passion for the tea, which, in some ways, is similar to the the wine or malt whisky business. There’s a whole range of flavours and tastes to explore. So we’ve got some plans to help this exploration process.

Oct 25

Online spending

Whilst the Advertising Association is predicting less than expected growth in total advertising spend in 2005 (2.3% vs 3.9%) on line advertising is expected to grow by just over 39%. Great – for me, it’s always easier to ignore the online stuff, it has to be really good to make me want to look. But when it’s good, I’m far more likely to pay attention. So the quality bar gets raised.

Oct 25

Softly, softly Catchee Customer

Katherine Stone discusses a new campaign to promote the Mercury car in the US. Arriving unannounced at a coffee store, the promotional people bought everyone a coffee and let them take a look at, and talk about, the new car model. No big fanfare, no promotional speech, just buy a coffee and and let the product be talked about. For me, this type if experiential marketing, bringing the product to the customer sits some where inthe middle of the push-pull model. Not overtly interupting my activity, but present, giving a choice to interact instead of being seen as a pair of eyeballs/ears what does nothing but wait to be fed. Choice of participation or choice to ignore and just drink the coffee.

Oct 24

I want to play – Budget Cars and Blogs

BL Ochman has been working on a new campaign for Budget Car rental,called Up Your Budget, using blogs to power the campaign – a Treasure Hunt across 4 weeks and 16 US cities. That’s US only – therefore I can’t play, although the rules don’t state I need to be resident in the US. A nice prize as well – $10k per city.

The idea is nothing new, treasure hunts have been done before and will be done again. But it’s the tools that power this that differentiate it from previous ones (at least outside the tech industry). A blog to drive the campaign : easy to set up, easy to manage, direct interaction with the competitors made possible with comments and trackbacks. More unusual for me is the fact that all the marketing is blog based. There appears to be no offline ads, no promotional material, Word of Mouth is it. So if the only marketing being done is getting people like me to write about it, getting enough mass so the MSM will write about it and provide further publicity, then this could be a very effective campaign overall. Budget will be one of the first adopters and always known for that.

As a further bonus, the cartoons are provided by Hugh MacLeod. Colour at last ;o)

Oct 14


Update: I see they fixed it.

To tie in with poster ads, Wonderbra have a site promoting thier new range, A nice site, but with the flash navigation it prevents you linking wiithin the site so I could not send someone a direct link about one of the products. I like the rolloever effect on the individual product pages – dressed or underdressed!

The site is pretty slick – so it is quite funny to see the error that slipped past what I know would have been lots of testing. Been there, missed similar things (and worse!)- how ever often you read and stare at copy, there’s often something that slips through to the live site (and I have no excuse given the atrocious proof-reading that takes place on this blog. So here, Wonderbra have a new product – the pluging bra. I wonder what that does?