Posts Tagged 'internet'

LinkedIn Spams Me!

Surprise, surprise!!! I’m getting spammed by LinkedIn Groups. I joined most of the groups on LinkedIn with the intention of gaining from discussions happening on various forums of interested professionals. However, it appears that people just use these forums to blatantly advertise themselves, ask really silly questions or network shamelessly.

Once in a while an interesting and good question comes by and makes it worthwhile to keep subscribed to the weekly newsletters at least – else, I would have switched off all notifications, by now – which is the whole point of subscribing to a group, right!

However, I’m surprised that we are not using the extensive professional manpower behind each of those groups to better use, than spam!

new customer vs. existing customer

I read a very interesting article on building a product that a customer uses daily vs. occasionally. Every once in a while a product comes by and becomes a daily habit of millions – like Google, like Twitter and many others with the same intention don’t make the cut. The visitor is curious in the beginning, interest wanes for sometime, it comes back or is sometimes just gone – most social networking sites suffer from this syndrome.

However, there are a lot of interesting questions that one can answer based on new vs. existing customers:

Acquisition costs?

There are definite marketing and operational costs associated with acquiring new customers vs. increasing mindshare with existing customers. You have to do a waterfall process of reach out, knowledge creation, pass the usefulness and trust test and of course, finally delivery, All this requires effort and is easily accomplished in the case of existing customers, because many portions of the process need not be covered, only reinforcement is required.

Keeping a customer beyond utility?

However, sometimes an existing customer just loses utility and is just occupying bandwidth or mindshare of your customer service reps, It is time to take a call on keeping existing vs. fishing for new ones or re-segmenting the market and re-positioning your product to address the right customer segment.

Annuity based businesses – Schools?

There are businesses which have daily use for a period of time and they remain a time-bound essential utility, like schools, in a person’s life. It is in serviing each batch of students in the most effective manner that they gain reputation, build a brand and serve several generations of families. Maybe, in the long term every product is a time-bound utility (essentialness is questionable assumption to make, so I shall refrain), just the time-frame is sometimes visible and sometimes too far out!

However, depending on the nature of the service, ease of reachout and cost of maintaining existing customers with newer or interesting features, a business may decide that it is easier to address few needs of new customers every once or so and it works for some and not so for others. Of course, should not be a deterrent for launching a new idea with potential.

Three Different Ads…three real themes

Three different ads seem to have caught my attention. Without much ado, here you go:

1. Max New York Life Insurance Ad – Finally, I think one insurance company has come out of “create-inspid-ads” mode and created something unique and irritatingly different. Unique because it portrays a retired man living a carefree life and his wife being worried about his whereabouts and irritating because a retired person with or without money in hand can behave this way and irritate the heck out of the family! Anyway, the ad line and the two ads that have been aired, to date, are a refreshing change on the take towards life insurance.

2. Axe Effect Ad – I read in economic times a week ago that the ad had resulted in about 3.5Mn+ calls to the number being displayed in the ad where the Axe angels (as the girls in the axe ad are called) give out their number to a man who douses himself in Axe perfume. In fact, the article went on to claim that the ad was based on a market survey which revealed that most women are willing to give their numbers to a man who was “cute” and especially so, if he was smelling good too! Well, whether the guys catch the girls attention with the Axe-effect or not, the ad seems to have caught India’s attention, for sure!

3. Dove Shampoo Ad – The recent most Dove ad has taken a different stand compared to most beauty products. They show a bunch of women with different kinds of hair and the tagline goes to state that “real women, real beauty, we help keep it that way”. Good move, I would say.

US Vs. India – Internet Usage Statistics

US has about 73% penetration which accounts for about 247 million internet users, which is about 3.5x India’s Internet users, accounting for less than 6% penetration of the population.

US has about 73 million broadband users, which is about 15x of India’s broadband users in 2008, which is less than 10% penetration of the internet population compared to the US broadband penetration of the internet users, which is 30% – (source).

Now, what the statistics above points out is – potential and opportunity (of course) but also the fact that dropping technology amidst a large population is not going to be a self fulfilling prophecy – not in India, not anywhere else in the developing world.

What the technology delivers should solve a genuine problem for the masses (like a mobile phone did for communication) for them to chose paying for a internet, broadband or value added service over a higher end commodity purchase/upgrade or a service for the household. A couple of such services could range from education (giving an edge to the next generation is definitely a big pull), to enhanced access to distribution channels/customers (reducing middle man for product/service sales), availability of critical information/services (live commodity prices/remote health care services). All of these have been happening on a small scale in various pockets of India and have helped drive home the impact of technology usage to the masses. What is required is for them to go large scale and start showing results in increased internet and broadband penetration.

Skeptics might ask, what is it about adopting technology? Why can’t I just stay the way I’m? Why should the masses adopt technology? I’m sorry, there is bad news. The world has moved on, the power is moving to the individuals and the medium happens to be the internet. Today, it is like asking why should I learn to read and write back in the 60’s or 70’s in India? You are letting go off the power that comes associated with being able to take control of your life, access information real time, access market and research information that would not be available to you except if you had devoured a well-stocked and updated world library and could mimic the search engine to spit out the results precisely when asked for it, not to mention all the organizing and sharing capabilities in social media.

Well, there is no either or here…it has to happen, the slowness of the speed of adoption is opportunity on the table.

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