Category Archives: business on the web

Cyber Consumers

For retailers struggling to address the rise of the cyber consumer, slides from my latest talk at Cogent Elliott today may be a helpful guide to the essential thinking you need to adopt into your organisation.

 

Brick, Click, Social and Mobile – the rise of the cyber consumer – slides

Key trends in consumer retail behaviour and a framework how to address them. What is happening at the intersection of in-store, ecommerce, mobile and social? 3 cyber consumer features – Connected, Tribal and In a Rush, 5 pains – physical blindness, information overload, choice overload, being part of the tribe and friction burns. 5 balms – tangibility, relevance, filters, tribal channels and frictionless user experiences. Talk given at Cogent Elliott in Birmingham.

Social Business Scale

Where does your business stand on my social business scale?  To qualify you need to have a business process in place for each:

  1. Social media is a fad, we can safely ignore it.
  2. Social media is here to stay
  3. I have a personal social media presence
  4. I have a company social media presence
  5. I listen in on social media
  6. I create content on social media
  7. I  engage in two way conversations on social media
  8. I  engage in conversations with my customers on social media
  9. I have properties that encourage customers to communicate with each other on social media (eg. a community forum, a Facebook game)
  10. I triage my engagement with my customers based on how influential they are on social media
  11. I triage my engagement with customers based on how important they are to my business
  12. I let customers know their ‘importance score’ for my business and show them how to improve it
  13. I offer perks to my customers based on their  score
  14. I have directly driven sales transactions from social media engagement
  15. My customers do my selling for me

I’d be interested to know!

Also, have I missed anything from the scale? Let me know

Announcing two new blogs

Hello loyal subscribers!

I’m changing tack! To follow my continued interest in creating better communities, better teams and better ways of working together, I’m leaving the social media ocean, which has met many of the needs of individuals but has struggled to build collaboration and dependable communities.

So  as I head into new waters, I’d like to invite you to join me.  The new waters are:

The Sea of Meetings

We all have meetings and I guess we all feel they could be a bit more efficient.  I’m going to be focusing specifically on the structure of meetings: agendas, minutes and actions – helping people to get the meeting, this fundamental unit of team work, right. How can we use web technology to make meetings altogether better and more productive?

The blog for this is http://www.themeetingminutes.com – a web resource for anyone searching for advice on running great meetings. It features my own posts and also guest posts – so if you have a view of meetings that you’d like to share – ping me a mail (toby@pailz.com) – and I’ll send you a brief.

TheMeetingMinutes.com - meeting advice blog

The Big Game River

Games are everywhere, we play them everyday, we just don’t usually call them out as such. Whether it is ‘levelling up’ at work with a promotion or losing points on your driving licence, the mechanics of gameplay are often used.  Over the next few years, as a new generation of workers join the workplace, those brought up with the benefits of game playing, will expect those same benefits when applied to work. Common game benefits such as transparency of how to win (which points make prizes) and visibility of progress and where you stand versus colleagues (leaderboard) will become standard.

I’m launching a blog to track and analyse this change – called ‘Gamification Of Work‘ – do subscribe and keep track on the Game Layer at the top of the world….

And social?

I’m afraid that means the end of blogging at The Social Bazaar – the social layer is built, it is now widely understood, now on to build the game layer…  join me

5 ways to get ready for f-commerce

Facebook Credits: could they be a new global currency?

Facebook Commerce is coming, haven’t you heard?  Doing business with your customers via Facebook is the next big thing. So, if you’re lagging behind in this space, what should you do to get ready?

1. Build a fan base

Creating a Facebook fan page (or 100 fan pages) creates you a beachhead on the world’s favourite social network and an owned audience channel to engage with your fans for as long as they ‘like’ you.  Companies like Syncapse [Disclosure: where I work] or any of the Facebook Preferred Developer Consultants will help.

2. Integrate social plugins to your website

Take a look at The Huffington Post – note how it uses your Facebook identity to provide you a personalised experience – the news as recommended by your friends. Go and do likewise.

3. Create a Facebook application so you have permission to message your Facebook fans via email.

A Facebook application, whether a competition, a game or utility, will give you access to the social data you’re going to need to be successful – at minimum it’s a way to send a push message to your customers via email.

4. Understand Facebook Credits 

Facebook Credits could be the global currency of the future – but every transaction will cost you 30%? Seems a crazy percentage? Well it’s for real, you’d better look at your your financial model in light of this. Credits are only accepted for virtual goods at present but understanding why they are worth 30% is perhaps your first port of call.

5. Start trialling today

Take one part of your business and start trialling some aspect of Facebook commerce – there are off the shelf tools to try, as you can see from my own Facebook shop.  The only thing is clear, doing nothing and just ‘listening’ as so many companies seem to be doing, is no longer an option.

It might not be your competitors who steal your lunch

Who will eat your lunch? - Photo credit: D Sharon Pruitt via Flickr

In the software world, it might not be your competitors who steal your lunch. It might be a company who doesn’t even compete for the same customers and revenue, who provides a free product so you end up losing out.

 

Imagine you are a mapping company and which means you create, update and sell maps – like the Ordnance Survey.  But look out – see who is now eating your lunch and providing maps for free:

Bing provides maps for free – that’s because Microsoft makes its money on desktop software and increasingly enterprise software.

Google provides maps for free – that’s because its primary revenue model is ads on search results

TheAA provides maps for free – it’s primary revenue model is roadside assistance insurance.

So, wow, my old revenue model just got shot to pieces but not by direct competitors undercutting me, but by indirect competitors.

So, in the software market, where feature copying is rife, (check out this discussion on Playfish v Zynga) everybody who is not my friend… is my enemy?

5 Facebook social commerce tools to check out

My Payvment Facebook shop is up and running

I’ve been playing around with Payvment recently on my, self styled, Facebook Public Figure profile.

There is of course competition, and I’ve highlighted the main contenders below:

Payvment – http://payvment.com/facebook/

Milyoni – http://www.milyoni.com/

Alvendi – http://www.alvenda.com/

UsableNet – http://www.usablenet.com/the-platform/usablenet-facebook/

Wishpot – http://www.wishpot.com

Of these, Wishpot is worth highlighting for bigger brands as it doesn’t try to rebuild the full ecommerce experience within the Facebook channel. For getting started with social likes around products it looks the right product.

Fabio De Bernardi, the European evangelist for the product, told me  “Wishpot decided NOT to follow the usual approach but rather to be a storefront which redirects to the merchants ecommerce to finish the transaction. This was because of several factors, among which ease of integration (which helps keeping costs down), to avoid reducing traffic to the merchant’s site and to allow the merchant to get people’s sign ups (when needed)”

Notwithstanding Wishpot for companies with existing ecommerce sites, my personal storefront is up and running with Payvment, visit my Facebook shop and buy your first product within Facebook – for just £2 I’ll give you a cheery wave and a smile, digitally if necessary!

A few good quotes from Virtual Goods World Europe

Just getting round to blogging my notes from the conference and I came across a list of quotes from some of the key players at Virtual Goods World Europe.  They make good reading in themselves and give a feel for what went on:

“ARPU (Average Revenue Per User) went through the roof when item sales were introduced to Everquest” – Anthony Royce, Global Brand Manager, Sony Online Entertainment

“They have to be a player before they become a payer”

“A/B test everything, always” – Jesse Janosov

“Kid’s don’t gift” – Anthony Royce

“You can sell $400 virtual items to 15-24 year old males to virtually kill each other ” – Matt Mikaly, CEO, Sportplay Media

“People spend for Status, Access and Scarcity” John Cahill, CEO, Meez

“Context in which a virtual good is used determines the value of the virtual good” – Juko Hamai (quoted at the conference)

“Virtual Goods mechanisms commodotise user attention” – John Cole, CEO, Adknowledge UK

“Users become invested in their virtual identity” – John Cahill, Meez

My winner is Jesse’s “A/B test everything, always.”  The more you test, the more you know about your customers and so you can provide them the right virtual goods at the right time – this allows us to provide contextual offers. This is where exactly the right virtual good is offered at the right time. It’s so the way forward – “want to kill that particular dragon, pay now, get this  potion and get the 30% more power you need”…

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