What Integrated Marketing is really about !

The Tom Peters Blog has a great "Thought for the day" about Integrated Marketing:
Marketers don't do integrated marketing, customers do. Customers integrate all experiences with a company into a composite impression. If a customer decides that listening to music on hold for 15 minutes while waiting for help tells her more about that company than their radio commercials, that's her privilege. Do the marketing efforts of most companies recognize this ?
Is that supposed to be a rhetorical question ?

Read More

A9.com - new search engine from Amazon

Amazon quietly launched the beta version of a brand new service two days ago: beta-a9-logo a search engine called A9.com It includes not only the usual search the web functions, but also quite a few other cool things, like an integrated version of their "Search inside the Book" feature. As one can imagine, the blogosphere is already buzzing about this - big time ! John Battelle's Searchblog, for example, has 1, 2, 3 interesting postings concerning A9... Btw, I am still waiting for a Mac OS version of one of these toolbars everybody is offering these days !?
Read More

O'Reilly ETech perfectly documented online

One of the most interesting events every year is the O'Reilly Emerging Technoloy Conference (ETech) which is taking place right now in San Diego, CA. For those of us, who can not be there, it's easy to follow it online: many of the presentations can be downloaded, of course some Weblogs are covering it and there even is a Wiki available... So far, so good... But it can get even better ! At a site called IT Conversations some of the most interesting ETech keynotes can be downloaded as MP3 files - complete with ID-Tags and ready to be uploaded to an iPod for the daily commute to work... A very nice & convenient service ! Thanks a lot !!;-)
Read More

Paper on Business Blogging: "Blogging the Market"

George N. Dafermos has written a very elaborate paper on the subject of Business Blogging (via Many2Many on Corante):
Blogging the Market - How Weblogs are turning corporate machines into real conversations It has been repeatedly argued that the process/technology of weblogs offers a novel approach towards the continuation of democratic public discourse. Within the boundaries of the firm though, the implementation of weblogs takes a whole new dimension to realising that weblogs are more than the sum of its parts: more than vibrant public forums and frequently updated streams-of-consciousness, alternative forms of publishing and online outbursts of gonzo journalism, and personal diaries. They are the embodiment of online self-organising social systems, are essentially characterised by management decentralisation and ultimately threaten to destabilise current organisational structures and re-invent the scope of management. Provided that weblogs are not co-opted by rigid corporate policies that aim at stifling the creative spirit that fosters innovation - one of the reasons for having weblog communities at the first place - weblogs can be successfully deployed within the organisation with a pervasive effect across all the stages of the value chain "achieving a greater return on connection from employee, customer and partner relationships". (...)
The paper is available as PDF or HTML page.
Read More

myfriends.de - German Version of Friendster online

After the launch of the Open Business Club last week, another P2P-networking service is now available in Germany - myfriends.de (via Heiko Hebig & Klaus Eck). This one looks and feels like a perfect copy of friendster. The company behind it - Jamba - already announced a new micro payment service a couple of weeks ago. It will be interesting to see, how these pieces fit together...
Read More

The Open Business Club now open for Business...

First there was Friendster - a peer-to-peer networking community, where you could easily make new friends online.Then similar communities appeared for establishing business contacts, like LinkedIn or Ryze. But they were all pretty much focused on the US. Today the first such service for Germany, called the Open Business Club, had its pre-launch ! It is ready for eager networkers to sign in !! Lets mingle... ;-) Btw, if you want to know more about these kind of peer-to-peer-services, especially Friendster, just pay a visit to Stefan Smalla's Site. He wrote a very elaborate article about this a few weeks ago.
Read More

Operation Successful, Patient Dying

In June the RIAA started to sue people for sharing illegal music files in order to spread fear and suppress filesharing. Now there is an interesting article in Macworld UK about the effects of this action (via Dana Blankenhorn): According to Phil Leigh, vice president of Raymond James and Associates, there was a 22 per cent drop in peer-to-peer file trading activity between mid-June and late August. That's certainly something the RIAA loves to hear. But their new medicine comes with some rather unpleasant side effects:
"From June 15 to August 3, CD sales dropped by 9.4 per cent. However, on June 15, CD sales were down only 6.1 per cent year-to-date. The increase in the rate of decline (from 6.1 to 9.4 per cent) translates to acceleration in the rate of decline," he claims. Leigh admits that a seven-week measurement cannot be seen as conclusive, as other factors, such as holidays, quantity and quality of releases, can affect such figures. But the analyst isn't optimistic: "The initial data is not encouraging for the labels as it suggests that the fundamental premise underlying their deterrence strategy is flawed. Specifically, curtailing file trading may not improve CD sales, but instead may accelerate their decline."
This just confirms the obvious: fear is not a very efficient marketing tool ! You can scare people away from Kazaa et al., but you cannot scare someone to become your customer and buy your products - okay, the mafia might, but not the music industry... so there still are some differences between these two... ;-) Anyway, this will most certainly not keep the media companies from digging their own graves and that's actually a good thing ! When established players in a free market economy refuse to adapt to a changing market this creates great opportunities for new entrants. Take for example the iTunes Music Store. Right now they are just a new distribution channel for the big music companies and this draws a lot of criticism. But I think that is unfair: Apple has to cooperate with them if they want to be able to sell the music people want to hear - at least initially. But as soon as they have acquired a strong customer base, they can slowly start to cut out the then obsolete middle man and sell the music directly from the artist to the audience. If everything works well, more artists will get more money, while the fans will have to pay less. Everyone will be happy except you know who ! Okay, that sounds like pure theory and it probably won't be that easy. But I am confident that in the end, the market will teach the RIAA that "Creative Destruction" isn't just an academic expression and that will be good for all of us...
Read More