The lure of mobile apps

The internet is dead. Or rather, it has evolved and moved into the mobile world.

There was once a time when the idea of viewing a website or any online content on your mobile phone was an uncomfortable and unproductive experience. Not anymore. Today, if you website is not mobile friendly, you are in trouble.

Even if your site does not “look good”, if it is easily viewable on a mobile device, all is good.

But more and more businesses today are discovering the power of mobile apps. It does not take too much to get a simple app created. It can be for iOS (Apple’s iPhone range of products) or for Android. But the important thing is, if you have a simple app that your customers or even business partners can download, it can make doing business with you that much more attractive. After all, who would mind downloading a new app for their latest iPhone or their cool Samsung Note 3 or 4 or 5 for that matter!

But what should you put on the mobile app?

I have some ideas and you can add to them if you have more:

  • Interactive catalogue
  • Product update
  • Technology news specific to your industry
  • Ordering product
  • Shipment tracking
  • Help (product, service or even people directory)

Surely, there must be more!

I hate “leverage on”

This is a rant on “leverage on”. I really don’t know how many times people need to be told that leverage is leverage.

You can use your position as leverage to gain something, you don’t need to leverage on it.

You can use your money as leverage, you don’t leverage on your money.

We can leverage each other’s strengths, but please, don’t get ON me!

What’s with all the leverage “on”?

Oh, by the way, “leverage” was never meant to be used as a verb…

Is it just me or am I just being too picky?

Your Road to Success

on the road to success
on the road to success

It has been said that the road to failure is strewn with good intentions. What then, lies along the road to success?

More importantly, what lies along the road to your success? One would hope that it should be full of achievements, learnings, leadership and good, old-fashioned results.

How often have you heard that someone has climbed up the ladder of success on the backs of people they have destroyed?

On the other hand, there are those who wonder why they are not successful in their careers despite the fact that they are top performers and know their work inside-out. Actually, it is not such a mystery. In the working world, by the time you have been promoted a few times due to your work excellence, you will need to develop other skills. People management, political savvy, negotiation skills and many other soft skills suddenly become the deciding factor between getting that next promotion, and being passed over.

In life, success had many measurements. Success in your career, success in your love life, success in your personal growth, success in your spiritual life and so on. More money, more friends, more influence, more power, more peace, more joy – how would you measure success?

No matter the measure, do the ends justify the means? This is a question many leaders face on a daily basis. If you can achieve the results you want, but someone gets hurt along the way, do the ends justify the means?

Where is the line between a necessary sacrifice and a convenient escape?

If the only way for you to look good is to make someone else look bad; then something is clearly wrong.

As you think about your road to success, you need to think about the view from the top. Or at least, think about what you will see when you look back along your journey. Would your back-trial be filled with betrayals, back-stabbing, vicious quarrels and simmering hatred? Or would it be filled with camaraderie, shared achievements, strong friendships, and superlative results?

Is Facebook still relevant in 2013?

facebook still relevant
Is Facebook Still Relevant?
Personally, I am not big on Facebook. But without a doubt, Facebook has been a major force in the marketing arena, but is it still relevant today?

Often, this question is prompted by people looking at the stagnating numbers and the stock market performance of Facebook. That is really missing the whole point of the question. The relevance of Facebook should be tied to the subject matter of your question.

Are you asking if Facebook is relevant to your target audience? Or were you distracted by all the rhetoric surrounding its share price?

With 1.1 billion people on Facebook, do you really dare to say that Facebook is no longer relevant?

The key is to have an understanding of the medium. Managing media is a skill and an art. It is a job for professionals who know what they are doing. This principle has been applied in the areas of print marketing, radio, TV and direct marketing. At this stage of online development, it is foolish to believe that you can leave your social marketing to that young person in your marketing team who has 10,000 “likes” on his Kooky Holiday page. Really.

Any one who is willing to employ professional resources with the know-how and experience to manage the company’s online presence in general and its social media strategy in particular, will find that Facebook is as relevant as ever; if not more so.

Offline Promotion for your Online Business

Sometimes, we think too much. No where is it more true then where it applies to online marketing.

Compared to traditional marketing, online marketing can be considered “new”. Yet, the reality is that the break-neck pace of the online world means that learnings and evolution of the medium runs at a pace that far out-strips that of traditional marketing. Yet, many are still trying to figure it out.

I believe that it has already been figured out, we just find it hard to accept. After all, it is new media and therefore must come with its own lexicon of definitions, standards, processes and all the delicious complications that make “marketing” so mysterious and sexy, right?

Well, sort of.

The reality is that the old adage “The more things change, the more they stay the same” is really very true. The good old realities of promotions and marketing continue to hold true even online. Once the “Internet Bubble” burst, what remains is the truth that the Internet is nothing more than another medium of communications. It is a mega special interest group, if you like. It is like joining a Church Group, or joining a Gym; you join a community of people doing specific things and sharing specific things.

In other words, marketing online is no different than marketing offline. Which brings us to the title of “offline promotion for your online business”. It is actually a better idea than you think. Of course, you do have to promote your business online. But many people fail to realise that the offline route is just as effective, if not more so.

Rather than go into the details of how to do it, just go read my friend Laura Spencer’s excellent piece “Six Simple Ways To Promote Your Online Business Offline“.

I am sure you will enjoy it.

Over-Powered Power Point

Presentations are really interesting. Or rather, frustrating, if you are the one creating it for someone else. As an employee, whether you are a lowly executive or a high powered manager, you would have had the dubious honour of being asked by some higher-ups to produce a Powerpoint deck.

Despite all the millions spent by corporations to train their executives in “effective” presentation skills, something seems to have slipped through the cracks. They say that public speaking ranks as one of the greatest fears of all times. Yes, right up there ahead of fear of falling, fear of getting fat and fear of getting whatever.

I guess that this must be the reason why executives seem to feel the need for POWERpoint. They would tend to load their slides with loads of information. No, not text. We are a progressive company. We communicate via images. Text, graphics, animations, videos and so on. It becomes a crutch on which to lean on. With so much on the slides, the audience is so busy reading it, they might ignore the foibles of the presenter, right?

Don’t you miss the good old days when a presenter walks on stage and the only prop he had was a smile and a spiffy tie? OK, I am too young to have seen those days, but you get the picture.

Can some one please remember to tell all the trainers to tell all the executives that a PowerPoint slide deck is a Presentation Aid. Most presentations nowadays no longer require the presenter. It is so loaded with stuff, why bother to listen to what the presenter is saying?

Don’t you just miss Steve Jobs?

Marketing that brings a smile