Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Google Analytics Visualization Feature

It seems that every week, or day, Google is adding new features to the analytics tool. After being inspired by the presentation done by the founder of Visual Complexity, I now have some practical use for visualizing data.

Trouble for Tobacco Marketing

The American Marketing Association release an article yesterday about the new federal legislation that will further restrict the marketing ability of tobacco companies. As this market experiences reduced demand and reach, what other sectors in the U.S. economy will improve as a result of these decreases in revenue?

Monday, June 29, 2009

Paul Collier's New Rules

This is an interesting view on how politics and economics need to work together.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

BRAND PRESSURE: Business Survival Strategies

Organizations across the globe are facing a double-edge sword when it comes to keeping the business healthy. Their first move during this economic downturn was to slash human capital, and the second move was to reduce inventory. Both moves aimed at reducing cost to satisfy a quarterly income statement - holding off the needs of the sound balance sheet. To better understand what is happening, please look at this video.

As you can see, this plan can only last for a few quarters. It was a wise move for the organizations that took on this strategy. But the journey will run far beyond a few quarters, and there are other issues (unreported inflation, oil price instability, flat wages, excess inventory, etc.) in the economy that require a lot of analysis by business leaders. In the end, it's about maintaining the essence of the brand - along with the value it has in the marketplace. Has the $5 widget shifted to the high end of the price equilibrium or the low end? This is the question that needs to be answered very quickly to generate the revenue necessary to satisfy shareholders and debtors.

Many companies are well-positioned to make this shift, but there are some in denial.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Visual Complexity: Visualizing Data and Information

Every now and then, I think about my undergraduate degree in Fine Arts, and I wonder if there is still some good use for it. Before I know it, I'm in a meeting where things get a little cloudy for everyone in the conference room. I always find myself walking up to the dry-erase board to illustrate a process or strategy, and then the meeting begins to make some form of progress. It is at that point that I realize how visual-minded most professionals are in the business world.

Manuel Lima's presentation during the Creativity and Technology Conference (CaT) a few weeks ago truly inspired me in many ways. He is the founder of VisualComplexity.com, a web environment dedicated to the visualization of data wide range of subject matter. Each project is a work of fine art, but it successfully addresses the needs of the business community by displaying information and data in a time series capture, which should spark more meaningful dialogue about what this data and information means to the overall business strategy.

Creativity and Technology Conference

I really enjoyed this conference. I look forward to attending it next year.

Online Marketing Effectiveness

A recent story by eMarketer about a study conducted by Forbes focused on the importance of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) when it comes to marketing online. E-mail and e-Newsletter campaigns were tactics also considered effective when marketing online. None of this news is unexpected by most marketing professionals, but it places more pressure on understanding the measurable aspects of SEO strategies.

In a discussion post on LinkedIn, a group member referred to SEO specialists as "snake-oil salesmen". Given what we now know about the Google Page-Rank Algorithm, content, and the freshness of it, is a big part a successful SEO strategy. Combine this with Sephen Wolfram's current work on a new search engine platform, and it is apparent that we may begin to see a shift from the operators to creators when it comes to the world of communications. SEO specialist are well-positioned to offer sound advice to companies in need of better Page-Rank performance. The unfortunate part involves the cost of acquiring or developing this fresh content to improve search results.

As with any consultation, there are good and bad professionals out there. The important thing to understand, when it comes to online marketing, is the need for expert advice in the world of data. There is a lot of movement in the digital and technical world, and old standards may soon be obsolete. The quants, lab geeks, and basement programmers are finding ways to expand the already overwhelming marketing channels out there in the marketplace. Only a good SEO and e-Marketing strategy will do in the world of Web 3.0.