Skeptics vs Cynics: Problem-Solving with a Bias Towards Resolution :: Tips :: The 99 Percent


I’ve written before about the valuable role that skeptics play in a creative team. Although these poo-poo’ers that love to find fault with new ideas can be annoying, they’re always helpful – and essential to making ideas happen. Without them, we can get intoxicated on idea generation and fail to focus, refine our ideas, and follow through enough to succeed. So skeptics are good.However, skeptical does not mean cynical. I have observed in some teams a dangerous dynamic where skeptics turn cynical and negative. Rather than try to fix problems, they obsess over what is broken. Not only does this further obstruct finding an expedient resolution, it also sucks energy out of the team.

Here’s the difference:

The skeptic: “I’m concerned about the issue, and I think we need to revisit X and Y. Perhaps we want to try Z instead? Or maybe there is a way we can tweak Y to work?”

The cynic: “We did not discuss the issue enough. X and Y are both wrong. We’re not approaching this in the right way.”

Notice how both people disagree, but the skeptic is pushing the search for a solution while the cynic is simply focused on what is wrong.

Rather than try to fix problems, they obsess over what is broken.

In a creative environment that moves a mile a minute, everyone should act with a bias towards resolution. This means discussing the problem with the intention of solving it rather than embellishing it. As a leader of a creative team, you should expect possible solutions from everyone, even those that are pessimistic. The possible solutions don’t need to be the right solutions, and they don’t need to be fully constructed.

The process of discussing a problem in the language of resolution can help a team maintain enough energy to debate the options. Like throwing spaghetti on a wall, the more solutions proposed, the more likely one sticks. If you’re the team skeptic, you can rest assured knowing that debating the merits of various solutions will shed more light on the problem.

Many leaders insist that adversity only serves to strengthen a team. Problems help us better understand our product and further refine the way we work. Unfortunately, problems also bring out the worst in people. Tempers, insecurities, and fears are most likely to flare up during conflict. Nevertheless, the best teams are able to weather the storm by keeping their eyes on the prize – the prospect of resolution.


This post was written by Behance Founder & CEO Scott Belsky, whose new book, Making Ideas Happen, chronicles the methods of exceptionally productive creative people and teams. Learn more about MIH.

http://the99percent.com/tips/6412/skeptics-vs-cynics-problem-solving-with-a-bias-towards-resolution

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Become a More Flexible Thinker With Disconnection | Brain Health


Ever stayed up late trying to find a creative solution to a tough assignment at work? Ever been in a situation where you’ve needed a new perspective to keep up with a constantly shifting challenge? Or maybe you’re looking to be better at the multi-tasking necessary for life in a world filled with cell phones, computers, and instant communication. No matter who you are, you could probably benefit from having better flexible thinking skills. That’s why we’ve created Disconnection, a new game designed to give those skills a boost.

DisconnectionImage

To succeed at Disconnection you’ll need to connect puzzle pieces based on the symbol on each piece as well as the type of puzzle piece that symbol is on. Match them quickly enough and you’ll unlock new levels and new symbols!

What are you waiting for? Give it a try, and let us know what you think!

http://www.lumosity.com/blog/become-a-more-flexible-thinker-with-disconnection/

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Theslogan Magazine


¿Qué portales visitan los twitteros?

¿Qué portales visitan los twitteros?

Sitios especializados para compartir fotografías, videos y otros de entretenimiento asoman como las principales preferencias de los usuarios de Twitter.

La mayoría de los mensajes que se emiten a través de la red social Twitter vienen acompañados por un vínculo que deriva a otra página, dependiendo de lo que se quiere mostrar.Por ejemplo, a los comentarios sobre nuevos videoclips, casi siempre se les añade el sitio web donde se puede reproducir, entre ellos destacan YouTube, Vimeo y Google Video.

Phishing, la gran amenaza para 2010

hishing, la gran  amenaza para 2010

Un reciente estudio de IBM señala que una de las principales amenazas en la red para 2010 será el robo de información para obtener beneficios monetarios.

IBM dio a conocer su Reporte Anual de Riesgos y Tendencias de X-Force para este año donde señala las mayores amenazas que deberán enfrentar los usuarios de ordenadores.El informe identifica los principales riesgos y demuestra cómo los hackers atacan en la red para robar información y conseguir dinero de forma ilícita.

http://www.theslogan.com/es_content/

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9 Most Amusing Twitter Greeting Cards | Online Media Gazette


With the rapid growth of Twitter, naturally there’ll be a slew of slogan t-shirt and witty e-greeting card companies on the Web to ride on this wave. One particular company, Someecards, caught my attention for their personification of our social media addictions, especially to Twitter.

The most interesting bit about the cards produced from this site, is the direct relation to the power users on Twitter, along with past-century advertising images. We hope that you find these cards amusing as we did!

1. Lent


2. Cry For Help


3. Encouragement


4. Earth Day


5. Thinking Of You


6. Breakup


7. Flirting


8. College


9. TGIF


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Happy Google Fools’ Day: Timeline Of Pranks | Online Media Gazette


April Fools’ Day is a holiday celebrated in various countries on 1st of April every year. The day is marked by the commission of hoaxes and other practical jokes of varying sophistication on friends, family members, and neighbours. On top of that, the ‘victims’ may be sent to run a fool’s errand, in which it aims to embarrass the gullible.

Google, a multinational public cloud computing and Internet search technologies corporation shows their mischievous side during this time. In fact, they have a tradition of perpetrating hoaxes to the public. Let’s take a look at those that are caught my interest from the year 2000 to the more recent ones. What are your favourites?

2000

Google announced a new search technology called “MentalPlex” that supposedly reads user’s minds to determine what the user wanted to search for; simplifying search queries.

2000

2002

Google uncovers the algorithm behind its PageRank systems; the use of PigeonRank. The technology relies heavily on the superior trainability of the domestic pigeon and its unique capacity to recognize objects regardless of spatial orientation.

20012004

They announced that they were looking to hire for their research centre on the moon called the Google Copernicus Centre. On top of that, Google announced that they came out with a new operating system dubbed the Luna/X.

20042005

Google announced that they will start producing a beverage that would optimize one’s use of the Google search engine by increasing the drinker’s intelligence with the introduction of Google Gulp.

20052006

In 2006, Google claims that “Dating is a search problem. Solve it with Google Romance.” It tricks people into believing that from that year onwards they’ll be offering a “Soulmate Search” to send users on a “Contextual Date.”

20062007

At about 10:00 PM Pacific Time on 30 March 2007, Google changed the login page for Gmail to announce a new service called Gmail Paper. The service offered to allow users of Google’s free webmail service to add e-mails to a “Paper Archive”, which Google would print and mail via traditional post.

2007

2008

In 2008, Google announces a joint project with the Virgin Group to establish a permanent human settlement on Mars called Project Virgle. The announcement includes videos of Richard Branson as well as Larry Page and Sergey Brin on YouTube, talking about the project.

20082009

Google reports that on March 31, 2009 they’ll be releasing a new “Cognitive Autoheuristic Distributed-Intelligence Entity” or CADIE for short. This new technology is implemented into Google Mobile’s “Brain Search”. The instructions are to “Put phone to forehead for brain indexing” and “Think your query”. When you click “Try Now”, a page loads with “Brain indexing” status. When indexing is complete, a button comes up with “search me”. However, after clicking this button, the user is directed to fake search results.

20092010

Google wants to bridge the gap between animals and humans with the introduction of Animal Translator BETA. They placed a link on their main page and when users click on it, a new page opens up showing the app for Android phones for the translator.

2010

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How To: Get Insights Of Audiences On YouTube | Online Media Gazette


Before the start of any campaign, it is vital for marketers do some research on the demographics of their target audience. Marketing research is simply a process of systematic gathering, recording and analysis of data about issues relating to marketing products and services. I came across this tool by YouTube to get insights on potential audiences.

I believe that by sharing this tool with everyone, marketers or even everyone can easily find out the size and interests of their potential audiences. The tool lets you check which sorts of people use YouTube, and what sorts of videos subsections are being watched.

For this example, we’re going to look at statistics from the United States.

Demographics

demograhicsus

From the data churned out, we found that the highest age group that are utilizing YouTube are those between the 18 and 24 years old; making up 43.5% of the group. This is then followed by those in the 25 to 34 years old age group; making up 27.9% of it.

It is also possible to find the percentage of males and females in the U.S that are using YouTube; 68% and 32% respectively.

Interests

interestsus

The tool also lets you find out the popularity of videos in certain categories amongst the people that you’re targeting. On the y-axis, the figure ‘x’ represents the likelihood an average YouTube user watches that type of video.

You can also narrow down the categorical search to specific ones from the main menu; rather than having a whole lot of data that are pointless to you.

Search Terms

keywordssearchterms
I’m sure everyone knows the importance of key words and the above shows the most searched term users are inputting on YouTube’s search queries. If you have a video that you would like to have a lot of hits, be sure to key in highly searched AND relevant keywords into your video tags.

Conclusion

Personally, this tool will be very useful for me in determining the demographics and relevant information of my targeted audiences. In what ways would the tool help you? Do share with us.

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¿Cómo posiciona Google sus sitios?


Para nadie es un secreto que gran parte del éxito de un sitio web es la facilidad con la que los contenidos de éste pueden encontrarse mediante los buscadores web, y de entre ellos con prioridad el de Google. A ello se reduce para muchos la así denominada arte de posicionamiento en buscadores.

Y aunque pudiera parecer banal, desde el mismo Google se ponen las pilas y comparten las normas y lineamientos que siguen para el posicionamiento de sus sitios y productos, que termina siendo un auténtico “cómo hacer”, dando repaso a lo que ya manejan los expertos y de gran utilidad a los iniciados en el SEO.

Descargar PDF.

http://winred.com/posicionamiento/como-posiciona-google-sus-sitios/gmx-niv5186-con18368.htm

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IKEA, ¿La gallina de los huevos de oro?


IKEA, una multinacional del mueble ¿respetada? y ¿que respeta los derechos de los trabajadores?

La decisión de la multinacional Ikea de convertirse en promotora de centros comerciales –a través de una empresa llamada InterIkea- está levantando una buena polvareda de reacciones en las últimas semanas.

Efectivamente, ésta y otras razones –protestas de las distintas asociaciones de comerciantes y fabricantes de muebles, la bajada de ventas, etc.- están complicando su relación con las administraciones regionales, obligándoles a replantarse varios de los proyectos que tenían en tramitación en España.

El momento no puede ser, por otro lado, más delicado para el sector de la fabricación y distribución del mueble en toda España, que está sufriendo el parón de ventas con gran dureza.

A tenor de estas informaciones, hay que estudiar cuáles son los pros y los contras de las instalaciones de grandes superficies comerciales de estas características.

El sector empresarial del mueble español, las telas para el hogar, los complementos de decoración, la iluminación, etc. está constituido por una pléyade de pequeñas y medianas empresas y debemos analizar, con sentido de la responsabilidad, el impacto socio-económico que se produce en nuestro tejido productivo.

El mito de la “creación de empleo  y riqueza” de Ikea.

En el argumentario de la multinacional sueca para lograr sus implantaciones con mayor facilidad sobresale el mito de la “creación de empleo”.

La horquilla de contrataciones viene estando entre los 200 y 450 empleados, dependiendo de la envergadura del centro. Bien es cierto que no todos son empleos a jornada completa, y que en el caso de contabilizarlos como tales estaríamos hablando de 100 a 200 personas.

Pero a continuación, tendríamos que  preguntarnos cuál es la destrucción de empleo que se provoca en la zona de implantación, tanto en la producción como en la distribución, servicios auxiliares, etc. En definitiva, ¿cuál es la “tasa de cobertura” en términos de creación/ destrucción de empleo?

Desde el lado estadístico, sería difícil dar cifras de la reducción de empleos que se provoca, porque los ceses de actividad y los despidos en las pequeñas empresas ni salen en los periódicos, ni coinciden en el tiempo, son ligeros movimientos sísmicos que no se registran en los grandes aparatos de medida del empleo, pero existen.

Y hablando de creación de empleo, en los últimos diez  meses Ikea ha recortado cerca de 5.000 puestos de trabajo, y reconocía que en los próximos meses podría realizar nuevos ajustes, según una información que recoge el periódico Cinco Días (martes, 14 de julio).

El argumento de la “creación de riqueza” es cierto sí, pero para Ikea, que obtiene siempre, al cabo de unos años, una revalorización astronómica de los terrenos. Es sabido que los proyectos de creación de grandes Centros  Comerciales son, primero que todo, operaciones financieras a medio y largo plazo.

Su base está en la explotación vía alquileres de los locales comerciales y, sobre todo, en la revalorización inmobiliaria de los terrenos en los que se asienta el centro y, también, en la venta o alquiler de las zonas anexas para otros usos (de hostelería, de vivienda, de servicios, etc.).

Es por ello que a los hipermercados y grandes superficies como Ikea, que se constituyen como las “locomotoras” de los centros comerciales, los promotores les dan siempre la posibilidad de comprar y no de alquilar – que es el caso de los pequeños comercios-. Así que, no hay nada de altruismo en la pretendida creación de riqueza.

Por otro lado, las empresas multinacionales consolidan balances en función de sus intereses de grupo y obligaciones fiscales. Cada país, dentro de la Unión Europea, observa tratamientos diferentes de fiscalidad, por lo que éstas tienen más posibilidades de “intercambiar” beneficios/pérdidas, según convenga.

En cualquier caso, no esperemos que los rendimientos del capital se queden aquí, o que las decisiones trascendentales tengan otro lugar que no sea su lugar de origen.

El marketing social de Ikea bajo sospecha.

Una de las banderas de la comunicación de la multinacional es lo que se conoce como “marketing social” o, también, como “marketing con causa”.

Entre otras variantes, una de ellas consiste en colaborar con comunidades desfavorecidas en países pobres de Asia o de África, estimulando las manufacturas autóctonas, utilizando materia prima infraexplotada, etc.
Hasta aquí todo muy bien, pero ya el pasado año aparecieron en la prensa mundial numerosas denuncias y la multinacional tuvo que salir al paso.

Concretamente, la Agencia Europa Press, remitía una nota en la que manifestaba que INTERMON OXFAM BÉLGICA había puesto en marcha una campaña en aquel país bajo el lema “Un modelo a desmontar”, en donde acusaba a Ikea de explotar a sus trabajadores en India, denunciando horarios de explotación.

El informe de INTERMON, bastante crítico, aludía a la imagen bien construida de la multinacional como empresa familiar, respetuosa con el medio ambiente… y señalaba – literalmente- “las serias grietas que se habían abierto en los últimos años”, en los que la compañía sueca…”ha explotado a menores en los países del Sur y ha trabajado con productos contaminantes”.

Ikea aseguró que paga los salarios que fija la ley de cada país y que cumple con las jornadas laborales y el mínimo de edad exigido para los trabajadores.

Los regalos de Ikea al sector del mueble español

Uno de los compromisos que asume la multinacional, en el Acuerdo-Carta de intenciones firmado con las patronales del mueble, es el de garantizar a las empresas del sector el ser suministradores de Ikea, de tal forma que se paliara un poco la situación de competencia con firmas de otros países.

Algo difícil de asegurar conociendo la política de aprovisionamiento de Ikea, muy centrada en países de bajo coste de mano de obra y derechos sociales en precario.

El otro “regalo” es, textualmente: “…  la realización de estudios y proyectos dirigidos a reducir el impacto de las nuevas fórmulas comerciales y la dinamización de la actividad comercial del área de influencia”. Algo que, además de no tener un contenido tangible, reconoce implícitamente que se van a producir daños colaterales de “impacto” en la actividad comercial presente.

Porque no olvidemos que Ikea logra su “valor añadido” en la deslocalización y globalización de sus producciones en países de bajo coste de mano de obra, y si tiene que encargar algo a los fabricantes españoles del mueble será por cuestión de pura diplomacia comercial.

Nosotros estamos en otra guerra: la de conseguir “valor añadido” con diseño y calidad en nuestros productos, la de aplicar tecnología punta e innovación en nuestros procesos de producción, la de mejorar precios, servicios, profesionalidad de nuestros comerciales y atractivo en nuestras tiendas para beneficio del consumidor, la de hacer verdaderamente competitiva y vendedora la “marca país” del mueble español.

¿Hay sitio para Ikea, hoy?

Es conocido que los españoles somos excesivamente permeables a la aceptación de productos extranjeros. Parece que todo lo que viene de fuera es mejor.

Pero no podemos decir que los artículos españoles corran la misma suerte en otros mercados. ¿Cuánto tiempo le ha llevado al jamón español entrar -todavía con grandes precauciones y reservas- en mercados como Japón o Estados Unidos? Y estamos hablando de un producto único, de una calidad  gastronómica excepcional.

A los productos españoles les están imponiendo dificultades administrativas todos los días, como forma de frenar su entrada en otros países, porque hay en éstos colectivos o sectores que se ven perjudicados. Son las reglas del juego, y una manera solapada de practicar hoy el proteccionismo por parte de los estados.

¿Por qué nosotros tenemos que dar la bienvenida sin más a un proyecto foráneo, sin hacer estudios de impacto sobre nuestra economía?

Por tanto, antes de tomar una decisión debemos promover un debate entre los diferentes protagonistas, porque hay muchas familias y colectivos implicados.

El sector del mueble de hogar, decoración, accesorios, etc. es un sector ampliamente representado en España y tiene un peso relevante en su PIB, a lo que hay que añadir la importancia de la industria auxiliar del mueble y la madera, y los servicios que comportan: montaje, transporte, embalajes, seguros, financieras… Hay que ver qué perdemos de nuestro tejido productivo y qué ganamos con la implantación de un proyecto así. Esto no es abrir una peluquería más.

La fabricación del mueble de hogar y todo lo que comporta, así como su propia distribución, están sufriendo en España una reconversión sin precedentes, con cientos de fábricas y tiendas cerradas a lo largo y ancho del país.

Hay un exceso de capacidad productiva y un exceso de oferta. Igualmente ocurre con el número de centros comerciales en funcionamiento, hay una saturación manifiesta en la mayoría de las zonas de alta densidad comercial, un exceso de metros cuadrados de superficie de venta que no aconsejan, ciertamente, la entrada de ningún operador más.

¿Hay sitio para IKEA, hoy?

http://winred.com/estrategias/ikea-la-gallina-de-los-huevos-de-oro/gmx-niv102-con15130.htm

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Ideas de negocio inspirarán a jóvenes creativos de toda Iberoamérica


(01/04/10). bSherpas lanza el REASON WHY, un Concurso de Anuncios de negocios que no existen, pero que deberían existir. El objetivo es reunir a jóvenes talentos, Emprendores y Creativos de Iberoamérica, para que trabajen juntos en la creación de videos que comuniquen de forma clara, atractiva y convincente, por qué una idea de negocio debería existir y ser valorada por los inversores.

bSherpas lanza el REASON WHY, un Concurso de Anuncios de negocios que no existen, pero que deberían existir. El objetivo es reunir a jóvenes talentos, Emprendores y Creativos de Iberoamérica, para que trabajen juntos en la creación de videos que comuniquen de forma clara, atractiva y convincente, por qué una idea de negocio debería existir y ser valorada por los inversores.

Para participar sólo hace falta que el emprendedor esté dado de alta y haya publicado una idea de negocio en la plataforma web bSherpas.com.

Los jóvenes creativos buscarán la idea que más les motive, crearán un spot y lo subirán en la web del concurso para competir por los primeros puestos y vender su idea de negocio.

Los participantes de este concurso no tienen nada que perder y sí mucho que ganar. Además de los premios propuestos, los emprendedores recibirán una herramienta creada especialmente desarrollada por jóvenes expertos en comunicación. Y los creativos tendrán una experiencia profesional para solucionar una necesidad real y agregar valor a su portafolio.

La recepción de anuncios del Reason Why 2010 comienza el 1 de Abril y termina el 30 de junio. Tres meses en los que creativos y emprendedores podrán trabajar de manera conjunta por esas grandes ideas de mañana que necesitan ser comunicadas hoy.

* Más información, contáctanos en: dnicholson@bsherpas.com

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Pepsi muestra cuánto lograron los latinos


(01/04/10). Pepsi anunció el lanzamiento oficial de Yo sumo, una iniciativa creada para demostrarle al mundo las increíbles contribuciones que los latinos han hecho en los Estados Unidos. Con motivo del Censo 2010, Pepsi quiere motivar a los latinos a que vayan más allá de ser contados y empiecen “a contar”, compartiendo las experiencias que han ayudado a transformar el paisaje de este gran país. Eva Longoria Parker dirijirá un documental que retrará las experiencias inspiradoras de los latinos en los Estados Unidos

agrandar imagen

Para lograr la misión de YO SUMO, Pepsi se asoció con la reconocida actriz y humanitaria Eva Longoria Parker para producir y dirigir un documental que mostrará la identidad latina desde un punto de vista fresco. Longoria Parker ha sido ampliamente reconocida por llamar la atención a una gran cantidad de causas y proyectos importantes para la comunidad Latina.

“Puedo dar fé sobre las formas únicas en las que, como latinos, enriquecemos a este país con nuestras contribuciones e inspiramos a gente en todas partes a progresar y triunfar. Por eso, para mí es un gran honor que Pepsi me haya invitado a formar parte de un proyecto tan relevante e importante”, expresó Longoria Parker. “Creo que cada latino tiene un impacto, ya sea grande o pequeño. Ahora más que nunca, es tiempo de ayudar a contar las historias que hacen a esta comunidad admirable, para motivar a que otros individuos sean oídos, vistos y contados”.

Los latinos de todas partes del país podrán participar en el documental con sólo compartir su historia en www.pepsiyosumo.com. Longoria Parker seleccionará personalmente a los individuos que protagonizarán en este film y trabajará con ellos para dar vida a sus historias a través de su visión única.

“El programa Pepsi YO SUMO crea un foro para celebrar el poder de la comunidad latina, iluminando aquellas historias notables que tiene cada persona”, dice Frank Cooper, Director Ejecutivo de Interacción con el Consumidor, PepsiCo Beverages Americas. “Nos sentimos afortunados de contar con la visión, creatividad y determinación de Eva Longoria Parker para este proyecto”.

Para generar conciencia y participación de la comunidad latina, Pepsi se unió a Telemundo Communications Group a través de todas sus plataformas -Telemundo Network, mun2, estaciones Telemundo y sus propiedades digitales- para invitar a que los latinos se unan a YO SUMO por medio de su mejor programación nacional y local. Dieste, Inc., la agencia creativa que lidera YO SUMO, produjo el material creativo para los comerciales de TV en inglés y español y la campaña digital completa para el desarrollo de la página web y Facebook. A su vez, NaCo, una compañía popular de ropa de origen mexicano, contribuyó el diseño exclusivo de la camiseta YO SUMO.

Visita www.pepsiyosumo.com para encontrar más información sobre YO SUMO e ingresa tu historia para tener la oportunidad de protagonizar en el documental. Para seguir el progreso del movimiento todos los días, hazte fan de la página en Facebook, www.facebook.com/PepsiYoSumo, y/o sigue @PepsiYOSUMO en Twitter.

http://www.latinspots.com/website/nota.php?notaid=21004

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Who’s “getting” modern marketing? | ANidea – powered by the minds at AgencyNet


This is about “getting it.”

Everyone in the marketing world wants to be someone who “gets it.”  It’s one of the highest compliments we casually bestow on our peers.  Oh, he’s brilliant.  He totally gets it. I’d hire her in a second; she really gets it. No one ever really says what it is but, believe me, you want it.  You want it in spades.

“Getting it” is the secret code for having a firm understanding of operating within the new media environment, more specifically, the digital channel.  In my experience, that’s usually where the conversation ends. No one ever specifies what “it” is.  The obvious conclusion is that those who “get it” know-it-when-they-see-it; those that don’t are left to wonder if there isn’t a YouTube video they missed somewhere along the line.

This post is my attempt to unravel what “getting it” truly means.

A Brief Definition of Marketing

Traditionally, marketing is about manufacturing demand.  The art of making people desire a product they may or may not know exists.  Doing so is an uncertain mix between art and science – a secret sauce that combines the math of reach, the empathy of planning, the creativity of storytelling, and the art of design. Mix it all together and you have the witch’s brew that we call marketing.  Little bit of magic, lot of bit of grossness.  Still, it’s potent and gets the job done.

McCann Worldgroup likes to break it down in a nifty chart they call “The McCann Demand Chain.”

demandcreation-small

As you can see, it works impressively well on stick figures.

Much of the struggle within the marketing community has been determining how to apply and expand the techniques of demand generation for the digital space.  None of this is wrongheaded in the slightest; demand generation remains as important as ever. Too often, though, the laser focus on figuring out “demand generation”  obscures an equally important, but newly emerged function of marketing: needs fulfillment.

Consumers Have Needs Too

A good portion of marketing conversations are inevitably focused on ourselves.  Our need to meet quarterly goals or achieve communication objectives.  Our need to adhere to budgets and timelines.  We often forget that consumer have needs too – fiscal needs, product needs, utility needs, community needs, emotional needs and more.

Over the years, marketing learned to do a great job satisfying emotional needs — specifically the need for meaning.  For the most part, the other needs were left to the other departments.  After all, the marketing dept isn’t in charge of designing and bringing the product itself to market.  But now that marketers find themselves in the software and social engineering business (and that’s truly what digital marketing often is), we are increasingly responsible for ensuring the consumer’s other needs are met as well.

Consumers need to engage with information and content on the go.  Consumers need simple and elegant methods for sharing things with their friends.  They require opportunities to connect and interact with brands on their own time, across a variety of mediums. They need intuitive interfaces that avoid confusion and make technology disappear.

If these needs aren’t met, consumers simply go elsewhere.  How often have you given up on a website, brand or store simply because it wasn’t easy or obvious how to find what you were looking for?  How often have you radically changed your behavior to take advantage of a simpler or streamlined experience?  (If you’ve ever used iTunes, Kindle, Seamless Web, Hulu, or the Google then you know exactly what I’m talking about – but this doesn’t just apply to digital properties.  Think about the supermarkets in your area, for example.)  How many digital properties that didn’t exist two years ago have you come to rely on as a source of information or social connection?

But utility alone isn’t enough.  Daniel Pink, author of “A Whole New Mind,” observed that “[i]t’s no longer sufficient to create a product, a service, an experience… that’s merely functional.  Today it’s economically crucial… to create something that is also beautiful, whimsical, or emotionally engaging.”

Time to Retool Our Mindset

I realize this is a stretch for many less progressive marketing departments.  We don’t have precise ways to measure or compensate executives for the amount of beauty, function and meaning they bring to a Brand.  Many marketing departments aren’t really thinking about expanding functional relationships with consumers – they don’t’ feel it’s their job or their purview.  But it is.

The Brands, agencies and individuals who truly “get it” are those that can recognize and operate across both aspects of the marketing spectrum.  It is the job of the marketer to build and maintain relationships with consumers – and digital is expanding our toolset (and our responsibility) as far as we can imagine.

keyboard cat

http://anidea.com/strategy/whos-getting-modern-marketing/

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Win A Copy Of WordPress Theme Or jQuery Template By FlashMint @ SmashingApps


FlashMint is running a contest, where winners will get 12 wordpress template and 4 jQuery template licenses of (worth $55 each). Well, you guys know what FlashMint do. Lets say it once again for n00bs.

FlashMint is a leading and incomparable Flash Templates provider known to supply web masters with the exclusively sufficient collection of premium web layouts together with the most helpful and supportive service.

WordPress Themes by FlashMint comprise innovative possibilities allowing to use interactive options within your website powered by WordPress. Satisfying contemporary web design technologies, Flash Animated WordPress themes possess premium quality and ingenious design ideas making your site the most vivid and dynamic source on the web.

jQuery Templates developed by FlashMint will become an excellent solution for establishing a stunning dynamic website which will stand out by premium quality and high grade design. Using our unique jQuery templates you will be able to create any online presence you need for your particular purposes with minimum time and effort no matter whether it is a personal home page or a corporate project. You are not required to possess any development skills to set up a live and vivid website which will look unmatched and impress your every visitor due to the superb facilities of our exclusive jQuery Templates.

The screenshots of the WordPress themes and jQuery templates are available below and you can click on the template name or the screenshot to view the full preview of the theme.

WordPress Themes (2 licenses for each template)

Flipbook photo blog wp flash template

Travel blog wordpress theme

Freelance writer wordpress theme

Movie actor wordpress theme

Photographers blog flash animated wordpress theme

Skylab design studio wp theme

jQuery Templates (1 license for each template)

JQ Studio jQuery template

Crazy design portfolio JQuery template

Accordion jQuery Studio template

Strawberry jQuery slider template

There’s also a special 10% discount promocode available for the smashingapps.com fans at FlashMint for the purchase of any template during next 2 weeks: “smashingapps”.

This contest will run from March 31, 2010 to April 9, 2010 and we will select the winners randomly by running MySQL query. Result can be announced any day before April 15, 2010 so keep visiting here or subscribe to our rss feed to get the latest updates. To participate in the contest and win free wordpress and jquery templates, All you have to do is just tweet this :

Win a copy of #WordPress Theme or #jQuery Template by FlashMint @SmashingApps – http://bit.ly/9OQaoX (Plz RT)

1. After you retweet, just leave a comment with your retweet link.
2. Use valid email ID in the email box.
3. Not necessary, but you can subscribe to our rss feed and follow us on twitter, follow flashmint on twitter and do not forget to become our fan on facebook as well. (To track this contest and for future updates)
4. And thats it!

So what are you waiting for now? Let’s participate in the contest and good luck!

http://www.smashingapps.com/2010/03/31/win-a-copy-of-wordpress-theme-or-jquery-template-by-flashmint.html

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7 Great Chrome Extensions To Make Your Life Easier @ SmashingApps



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You might have been using Chrome for a quite some time now but there is a good chance you are not taking its full advantage. Chrome’s maximum potential lies in the power of its extensions. Below I have gathered 7 Chrome extensions that will enable you all to realize Chrome’s full potential. You will not find these extensions in similar lists on other websites; I hope you find them to be useful to your computer usage.

Give the list a thorough reading, try out any extension you are interested in, and let me know in the comments how they worked out for you. You are welcome to share if you know more useful chrome extension which our readers/viewers may like. Do you want to be the first one to know the latest happenings at SmashingApps.com just subscribe to our rss feed and you can follow us on twitter and do not forget to become our fan on facebook as well.

1. Shareholic

Shareaholic


Shareholic is a Chrome extension that eliminates the need to install multiple Chrome extensions for multiple social media networks. By installing this single Chrome extension, we can share interesting material we find online to a multitude of websites and networks including Facebook, Twitter, Buzz, and Delicious. Certain email servers are also supported which enable us to email the links directly to specific recipients.

2. Xmarks Bookmarks

xMarks

If your work involves frequently shifting from another browser to Chrome and vice versa, then one of the biggest problems you face is constant bookmarks synchronization. You need a solution that synchronizes bookmarks across multiple browsers. Xmarks Bookmarks not only performs that function, but also makes your bookmarks available online so that you can access them from any computer with an internet connection.

3. Chromepad

chromepad

Chrome users who need to take notes regularly off websites they visit most probably do this by employing Notepad. While Notepad does offer great simplicity, opening it means going over to its shortcut and opening a separate window. Chromepad eliminates that procedure and places an icon in Chrome’s address bar which drops down a window where we can take and store all our notes.

4. RemindMe

remindme

Personally I often lose track of time while working on the computer and need to be reminded of all non-computer tasks. For Chrome users who face the similar problem, RemindMe is the best remedy. Using it we can set custom reminders; a reminder includes a title and the time after which we are to be reminded of it. This extension is a nifty way to ensure we do not lose track of the real world and any task while working on our computer. For professional bloggers working under deadlines, this extension can work as a great countdown clock.

5. TooManyTabs

toomanytabs

As the number of open tabs increases, reading their titles becomes increasingly difficult. This makes it quite hard to find and open the tab we need to view. TooManyTabs presents our tab in a cascaded manner which makes it easier to find our tabs. The arrangement can be changed by the user to suit his/her preferences. This extension is a must-have for people who like having many tabs open at the same time.

6. zoomZOOM

zoomzoom

If there is a picture on a webpage which is too tiny for clear viewing, we often need to click it. Clicking it redirects us to the page hosting the image in its original size; loading that new page takes considerable time. To eliminate that time, zoomZOOM can be used. With zoomZOOM installed, whenever we hover our mouse pointer over a small image, it is enlarged and shown at a corner of the screen. zoomZOOM works on a number of websites include Facebook, deviantArt, and Flickr.

7. Chrome SEO

chromeSeo

Chrome SEO is a must-have Chrome extension for all professional bloggers and webmasters. Often we employ separate SEO (search engine optimization) tools for each SEO service; however Chrome SEO incorporates a large amount of such SEO tools within itself. It packs a wonderful array of useful SEO which will greatly serve all webmasters.

http://www.smashingapps.com/2010/04/01/7-great-chrome-extensions-to-make-your-life-easier.html

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5 things you need to know about Shanghai Expo marketing


debbycheung

This article is republished with express permission of Media Asia, which originally published it on April 1, 2010.

Debby Cheung, group managing director of Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide/China, shares her insight on the highly anticipated, six month extravaganza known as World Expo 2010 Shanghai, and gives advice on how marketers can make the most of this monumental opportunity.

1. Bring your A game.

192 countries and 50 organisations will take part in the Shanghai Expo – not to mention the brands that will jockey for position with guerilla marketing. Competition for media and consumer attention will be fierce, and the battle will play out both on the ground and online. All involved in the Expo will be scrambling to reach out to consumers to reinforce the faces and personalities of their brands. To be heard, brands will need to pull out all the stops and create bold, determined, decisive and cross-discipline strategies. There will be no room for the faint or half-hearted.

2. Prolong the hype.

The Olympics comprise of 16 days of intense and enthusiastic campaigns that are more easily sustained due to the short duration of the event; but Expo is a whole different animal. This event spans six months, making sustained hype key to the success of campaigns. Without recurring, innovative and ever-changing infusions of activities, campaigns will get lost in the crowd.

3. Non-sponsors get on the bus by thinking green.

The theme, ‘Better City, Better Life’ means that anything sustainable and environmentally friendly is your ticket to an association with the Expo. Sponsors are not the only ones who can leverage this event – all brands should be thinking green to piggyback on the Expo theme. Moreover, the Shanghai government, Expo and organisations will continually look for new partnership opportunities so non-sponsors will have plenty of chances to take part. With 20,000 events in Shanghai, both on and off the Expo site, opportunities to contribute to the green theme are endless.

4. Think beyond Shanghai.

This Expo is expected to generate the largest number of visitors in the history of the event, and only 5 per cent of them will be from outside China. Domestic visitors are estimated at 70 million, with 75 per cent of them coming from second and third tier cities. As Shanghai is simply not equipped to accommodate so many visitors, the government has already secured the support of surrounding cities to help accommodate the overflow. As a result, effective marketing campaign strategies need to think beyond the borders of the already overcrowded and extraordinarily competitive Shanghai market.

5. Expo goes mobile.

3G and the connectivity of Blackberry phones and mobile devices mean visitors will be constantly on the lookout for the best and most interesting places to go and both positive and negative reports will travel at the speed of light. When mapping out Expo strategies, marketers need to capitalise on these channels and not shy away from them. The sheer size of the Expo will make targeting the right audience with traditional marketing a challenge, but mobile and online strategies will level the playing field.

http://www.asiadigitalmap.com/

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