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Online Retail- The 2010 Paradigm

So who spends maximum online? Men, Women, Teens?

Where should the big brands and online retailers put their advertising $ in 2010 ? Search, Portals, Social Media?

Online shopping experience is changing in more ways than one. It is no secret that peer review and recommendation is the single biggest influence in the purchase decision. “I want that red stilettos that Jane has??? syndrome..

A recent study by comScore reveals a direct correlation between Online spend and time spent on Social Web. Visitors to Social Media websites ( read: Facebook and Twitter) spend more money online than other Internet users. Average

Per the comScore study, In the US in Q1 2010, visitors that spent the most time on Facebook also spent the most dollars on online shopping. The top 20% Visitors to Facebook (by time spent) spent average of $67 online.

Facebook Time Spent and Online Shopping
Facebook Time Spent and Online Shopping

Facebook Non Visitors spent $ 27 online shopping; much less than the average $50.

On Twitter users spend more than average Internet user, and more than most Facebook Visitors

Twitter Time Spent and Online Spend
Twitter Time Spent and Online Spend

The key takeaway from this study is that Twitter and Facebook are no longer teenage hangouts. Older audience (heavy spenders with higher disposable incomes) are propelling these platforms.
Online Retailers and Brands  better hone your 2010 plans to  include Facebook and  Twitter.

Improve Conversions with SEO and Social Media Cocktail

The Clients and Brands I work with usually have a fixed annual budget for Internet Marketing and a mandate to achieve incremental positive ROI.

Internet Marketing ROI is a function of Traffic, Leads, Sales and Brand Buzz. For sometime ( in 2008-2009) I tried cross-selling and up-selling SEO and Social Media Marketing (SMM) to my clients for additional fee; however, more often than not, it did not work. Business owners and Marketing Managers had one simple answer “ here’s the budget, use it the way you want, get me 50%??? over last years.

It did not take me long to figure out the trick was in blending the SEO and Social Media Marketing to get the maximum Bang for Buck. Here’s the 5 step SEO and Social Media Strategy that I have seen delivering maximum value to my client’s outbound and inbound Internet Marketing Programs.

 

#1. Website Usability Analysis

Is your website a space occupier on your business card? A digital brochure? Or is it a Brand Ambassador and a Sales Force?

Successful online campaigns start with websites designed for the target audience with visitor touch points and action callouts. Analyze the server logs to identify visitor click patterns and make changes to the website architecture to engage your visitors. Critical parameters to analyze includes Entry Page, Exit Page, Click Stream, Page Drop Rate, Referring websites and Keywords.

– It is advisable to add short contact forms on all pages and link to contact form in the site-wide footer.

– Test the forms regularly to ensure it works fine.

#2. Optimize your website, put together a Link and Outreach Program

Identify the key phrases that are most relevant for your business and have sufficient search volume . If you are a local business include geo targeted key phrases in  your key phrase bucket. You may want to optimize for Brands and models, if you are a retailer.
Include Key phrases in the website’s content, page titles, metatags, and other elements.

Develop  a Link strategy that’s clean and viral. Add Link baits and give other websites a reason to link to you. Avoid direct link solicitation.

#3. Social 101: Thought Leadership Blogs

Thought leadership blogs and absolute must if you want to create a buzz and grow your Brand. Create Blogs in your key product domains or service areas. Motivate the experts in your company to blog in their areas of expertise. Setup an editorial team and protocols. The digital assets you create on your blog will go a long way in establishing your leadership in the industry which will encourage repeat visits and new business. Target to establish your blog as one of the top go to destinations for information on your industry.  Here are some ideas on Blog posts:
o Industry news and trend analysis

o Opinions, critique and whitepapers

o How-to guides

o Interviews, Profiles and Reports.

#4. Social- Deep Dive

 

Leverage the reach of social platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter to connect with your customers and Industry. Build consistent brand personality across social platforms. Use consistent branding, communication guidelines and visual layout across the social websites.

Encourage your employees and customers to join your social network. Incentivize feedback. Participate in discussions, conduct polls.

#5. Observe, Measure and Tweak

 

Setting up the website and outreach program is just the beginning. Success comes for observing the trend, measuring the impact and tweaking the program.

Set up monitoring and tracking for top key phrases you are targeting. The would include:

  1. Brands
  2. Competition
  3. Key Personnel
  4. Negative buzz like “ Brand + Sucks???

Establish response mechanism and protocol for positive and negative buzz on the Internet.

Evaluate and Key Phrases and Social Platform’s performance. Unique Visits, Referring website, Click Path and Conversion Rate are few important parameters to evaluate platforms on. Tweak you strategy/ tactic based on intelligence from analytics.

IPL (Insulted Pakistan League): as the story unfolds

To begin with here’s my stand on the issue:

1. I  like  Cricket and I like Pakistan Cricket on days they are not in their self destructive best (if you read ‘fixed’—I did not mean it!).

2. Probably IPL could have avoided the negative press by excluding the Pakistani Players this year from the auction. ( I’m not sure how ICC would have reacted)

Let’s move on to my story:

I find the reaction of the Cricketers, Politicians, bureaucrats and Indian Media to the IPL auction amusing, to say the least.  I would usually not care about such things however, every newspaper I read, every news channel I viewed and website I visited in the last 24 hours was carrying the same story.

I can’t but question what I’m reading and hearing  as the story unfolds.

(P.S. I have picked up these statements from the news websites- IBN Live, NDTV, CNN. All credits to them.

The portions I picked from media is in red, My questions in blue)

1. Pakistani Interior Minister Rehman Malik on 2010 January 20:

Pakistani Interior Minister Rehman Malik on Wednesday said that India “doesn’t seem serious” about resuming dialogue, and that “respect is important for relations to improve.”

“Sportsmen are ambassadors of peace, and India should respect Pakistani sportsmen,” said Malik.

My Question: To quote you Sir from a year earlier

Malik, speaking to reporters, said Pakistani authorities had charged eight people with providing the Mumbai attackers with cell phones and helping them reach the city’s shore by boats from Pakistan. Among them is the mastermind, a man who lived in a rented apartment in the city of Karachi.

“The incident has happened in India and part of the conspiracy has been done in Pakistan and therefore (the charge) will be aiding terrorism,” Malik said.

Mr. Interior Minister  Your citizens held Mumbai at Ransom for 3 days and we were almost denied IPL. Finally IPL had to move to South Africa in 2009 to survive. What have you done for our dignity and respect? What have you done to show you are serious?


2. Earlier, a group of Pakistani parliamentarians canceled their forthcoming tour to India, in protest against Tuesday’s IPL auction where none of the teams bid for any Pakistani player.

My Question: Sirs, What was on your agenda? Both countries save some money. Is there opportunity lost here?Am i missing something?

3. Afridi told NDTV that it was a very negative signal. He pointed out that sports, especially cricket, helped get countries closer and that cricket was a religion in India and Pakistan. As a world champion team we expected to be a part of the IPL. Most of the franchises wanted to take us but may be because of the pressure on them by the government that they overlooked us finally. It is a very negative signal and should not have happened this way. We have a huge fan base in India and they love to see Pakistani cricketers, he said.

My Question:

a. Mr. Afridi, here’s a video from IPL 2008 . Do we see a world champion here?

b. What is the basis of your conviction that franchisees under pressure from Indian Government?

4.  Khan called on the government to boycott all sports activities with India. Khan alleged that India was treating Pakistani players and artists in an “insulting manner” while the government remained silent.
He said India was earning crores of rupees from Pakistan through its films, the screening of which should be banned by the government.

My Question: Mr. Khan don’t you think letting you film makers make good films and the population watch movies is a better solution? and may be you could develop a rival PPL ( Pakistan Primer League)

5. Face The Nation, Sagarika Ghose IPL auction: Is civil society ostracising Pakistanis?

My Question: Madam Sagarika, I acknowledged you are a firebrand journalist however, is it necessary to sensationalize everything? Is it for the TRPs or the Stock Price?

Sports Minister Ijaz Jakhrani made the master stroke and is my player of the day. I bet no one can beat this one..

6. Sports Minister Ijaz Jakhrani was also too critical of the treatment meted to the Pakistani players.

“The way India behaved with us is highly condemnable. We will give a befitting reply to them. When there is a question of Pakistan’s pride, we are united,” he added.

My Question: Mr. Sports Minister what do you intend to do next? Do you plan to send the ‘Team’ on ‘Boats’ with ”GPS and ‘Kits’ for IPL?

I rest my case..

‘Re’- Maximizing Life Time Value of Website Visitor

For most online retail models ‘Re-’ is the key to profitability: Re-Visits, Re-Orders and minimal Rejections and Returns. If your customers consume the product you sell daily or regularly ,‘Re-’ is the key.

Food, Pharmaceuticals, Nutraceuticals, Subscriptions are some businesses that depend on Revisits and Reorders for profitability. More often than not the Cost to Acquire a new customer is more than the profit from first sale/ subscription in such businesses.

In this post I have discussed strategies to Maximize the Life Time Value of a customer. The strategy would work across industries however, would need customization and tuning.

Plan and Budget the campaign:

It all starts with the Plan and Budget. If you are targeting repeat orders from your customers plan a year round campaign and not a one time offer. For example, if you are selling Health Supplements you have to acquire new customers and get repeat orders from the existing everyday; unlike Television Retailers who run promotions and clearances around the shopping and the holiday seasons.

Welcome New Visitors and Reward  Returning Visitors:

This a critical and tricky element of the campaign and has long term impact. Typically, marketers want to ‘deep discount’ first orders to ‘kill competition’ and hope to make profits on repeat orders. However, this strategy may irritate you existing customers brand loyalists. Design a promotion plan that entices new visitors and makes your existing customers feel special.

Having separate landing page for new and returning visitors works. You may also want separate toll free numbers. If you are running a PPC campaign  you should run separate campaigns for new visitors and existing customers. Add negative keywords to segregate visitors.

On the website it helps to have separate entry and exit points designed for New visitors and existing customers. Clever navigation and content architecture helps achieve the objective.

Benchmark the Cost of Acquiring New Customers:

The key to success is acquiring new customers at cost that justifies the revenue  you expect from the customer. If your cost to acquire a new customer is high you will get revenue but profit will elude your business. If you target conservative cost of acquisition you will be profitable per sale but would find difficult to scale up. Here are the factors that helps decide the benchmark Cost of Customer Acquisition:

  1. Purchase/ Manufacturing cost of the product.
  2. Gross Profit on Sale.
  3. Average and Median orders ( no. of times/ year).
  4. Average and Median order value.
  5. Demand Elasticity
  6. Competitor’s Pricing Strategy

Design Promotions to Acquire New Customers:

The promotion strategy you use to acquire new customer is critical to retaining loyalty and building brand. The expectations of the customer that responds to “Free First Month Trial

Optimize Your Adwords Campaign for Holiday Season 2009

Holiday season is round the corner. Most online retailers do more than 50{b533f414762ff80097ee09d177cb5141b2a13e37c77cdd72580da9125ed6123c} of the annual turnover in the last quarter ( most of it in the last 6 weeks of the year). Do you have a strategy is place?

Strategy would vary by the industry however here’s a simple 3 step Adword Holiday Tactic that I have seen working for online retailers ( clothes, gifts, lifestyle etc.) :

1. Optimize the ad-text for ‘deals’ 2 weeks before Thanksgiving thru Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

2. Optimize the ad-text for ‘deals’ and ‘ free shipping’ Thanksgiving thru December 15th.

3. Optimize the ad-text for ‘shipping’ December 15 thru the New Year.

Here’s the search trends data from 2007 and 2008 that I base my tactic on.

Shopping Trend 2007
Shopping Trend 2007
Shopping Trend 2008
Shopping Trend 2008

I believe there is a simple explanation for this annual trend. There are 3 kinds of shoppers Obsessed, Confused and Disordered (My Retail OCDs 😉

Obsessed Shoppers: Obsessed buyers plan, hunt for deal, look out for coupons. This group shops in advance and hunts for deals. This group reads reviews before buying and posts reviews and comments after using the product. Lure them with Deals in December.

Confused Shoppers: Confused buyers are deal hunters but not committed to Shopping. These shoppers often look at the ROI of gifting (Some confused shoppers like receiving gifts before spending on gifts). Help them decide with deals and Free Shipping after Thanksgiving.

Disordered Shoppers: Disordered shoppers are lazy or busy shoppers. This group usually shops for gifts few days before Christmas and are worried concerned if they would make it in time. Offer them Express shipping.

Here’s wishing you a Busy Holiday Season!

P.S. Needless to say.. Optimize the landing page for the offers!!

10 Commandments for Success at Outsourcing

Across the world organizations have taken to outsourcing for competitive advantage. Are there still organizations out there that question outsourcing? Here’ why you should consider outsourcing:

My main focus is on my game- Tiger Woods

One reason so few of us achieve what we truly want is that we never direct our focus; we never concentrate our power. Most people dabble their way through life, never deciding to master anything in particular.- Tony Robbins

I have spent more than 12 years managing the complexities of outsourcing. I have seen successes and failures. Here are my 10 Commandments for Success at Outsourcing for the business leaders exploring the strategic relationships.

Commandment 1: Get you Reasons Right

One needs to be slow to form convictions, but once formed they must be defended against the heaviest odds.- Mahatma Gandhi

Answer to the question “why outsource???? is the first and the most critical element of the game. Do not outsource because everyone does. Outsource for your reasons; cost control, quality control, risk mitigation, geographic expansion, Human resources etc. Take your time to figure out the reasons.

Commandment 2: Plan the Route, Be Detailed

Failing to plan is planning to fail. – Alan Lakein

Plan the route, set the milestones and define the responsibilities. It is important to set the goals and expectations before you start to minimize surprises.

Commandment 3: Lead the change

Leadership involves finding a parade and getting in front of it.- John Naisbitt

Outsourcing is too important to implement Bottom Up in and organization. Outsourcing is a strategic move and is successful only when the Leader is convinced and committed to the cause.

Commandment 4: Build your Team, Get Process Champions

I suppose leadership at one time meant muscles; but today it means getting along with people. – Mahatma Gandhi

A leader is as effective as his trusted lieutenants.  Identify and nurture process champions in your organization and encourage them to spread the knowledge and build grow and motivate their teams.

Commandment 5: It’s all about people

You don’t lead by hitting people over the head – that’s assault, not leadership. – Dwight D. Eisenhower

Outsourcing will impact the lives of your employees and they will certainly be apprehensive about Job Loss. Address your people concerns. Involve your people in the process.

Commandment 6: Date, Court, get Married

Don’t marry the person you think you can live with; marry only the individual you think you can’t live without. – James C. Dobson

Outsourcing relationships are like marriages built on trust, compatibility empathy and flexibility. Spend time analyzing your partner organization’s culture, their vision and plan. Ask the right questions to find your match. Remember that the cheapest is not necessarily the best.

Commandment 7: Practice what you Preach

I try to keep in touch with the details… I also look at the product daily. That doesn’t mean you interfere, but it’s important occasionally to show the ability to be involved. It shows you understand what’s happening. – Rupert Murdoch

Your outsourcing plan will be put to test only when implemented. Lead the implementation process; get involved in the details initially. Empower the process champions with tools to take the vision forward.

Commandment 8: Process, Process, Process

We do not learn; and what we call learning is only a process of recollection. – Plato

Document your successes and failures. This documentation will be the reference points for the future. Organizations can benefit the economies of scale and outsourcing only by setting up the process and following in every time.

Commandment 9: Measure and Analyze

Round Numbers are always false. – Samuel Johnson

Measure the impact at every milestone, compare with organizational and industry benchmarks. Analyze the performance and tweak the process as needed. At times there may be no prior references, the Vision and strength of leadership is tested in such situations.

Commandment 10: Be prudent- Get the prenup in order.

Divorce is probably of nearly the same date as marriage. I believe, however, that marriage is some weeks the more ancient. – Voltaire

Relationships do go wrong. Give the Outsourcing relationship a chance however; you should have a Tactical Plan B ready if things do not produce desired results initially. On the strategy front, be wise to safe guard your interest and include an opt-out and other safeguard clauses in the contract. Change outsourcing partner, in case of cultural differences and insurmountable integration challenges.

Dominate Organic Results with Google Maps and Social

For a new website it is not easy to get to the TOP of Organic Listings in Google using standard white hat SEO techniques and Ranks from Black Hat techniques do not last.  It is important for new, small website to look at alternate strategies to gain traction the web.

Local Search Optimization and Social Media Monitoring and Participation is one such alternate technique for Geography specific Brick and Mortar businesses ( e.g. Doctors, Lawyers, Restaurants, Bakeries).At the buying decision/ Purchase stage the Search Queries  for such businesses tend to have Local  Search Qualifiers or Social Search Qualifiers. For example “Sushi in Manhattan???, “budget hotel NY 11001???, “Review of The Sushi Place??? etc.

Blended Local and Social Media Strategy can contribute significant Traffic, Customers and Revenue to such Local businesses.

Did I say Blend Local and Social?? Here’s what I mean..

Local Search targets the prospects while they are exploring options. If you own a Sushi Restaurant in Manhattan, you want to be visible in the search result for all “Sushi + Manhattan??? searches. Local searches tend to have better conversion rate than other Key Phrases. These are the top sites that impact Local Search Visibility :

Maps.google.com
Yelp.com
Insiderpages.com
Local.Yahoo.com
Citysearch.com
Local.com
Google Maps
is the primary entry point into the Local Search space.

Social Media and Opinions influences the buyer’s decision to buy your product or service over competition . Positive Recommendation and User Testimonials go a long way in influencing the buying decision.
Websites and Business can dominate the Organic Results on Search Engines by Blending Google Maps and Social Media strategy with the Optimization Program.

Here are 3 simple steps to Blend Google Maps and Social Media strategy with the Optimization Program.

Step #1. Optimize your website for Local Search

Step #1.1. Add Local Information to the website
Create a page for each location of your business. Embed Google map on each page. Add driving directions, area map and local point of interest on the page. Write the meta data to include Geographic modifiers.

Step #1.2.  Submit to Google
Create Geo-Sitemap with KML reference and submit it to Google Local from an authenticated Google Webmaster Tools account.

Step #2. Optimize your Google Map Listing

Step #2.1. Evaluate and Revive your existing Google Map listings
Or, Create Your  Listing

Google Maps picks up data address and other location specific data for directories and other sources, if businesses do not volunteer data. Search for your Company Name’s name on Google Maps to get the information in Google’s database.
Rectify the information if the information is incorrect or dated. To rectify the entry one has to submit the correct data in the Google Local Business Centre and verify it over Phone or mail.
If you do not find information about your business on Google Maps create a new entry in the Google Local Business Center and verify it over Phone or mail.

Step #2.2. Spruce up the Google Map Description
Edit the listing to add description about your business or company and also key search phrases. Include city name and Neighborhood information. Include hours of operation, pricing information and other details. Add high quality and relevant images of the business.

Step #3. Monitor and Participate in the Social Media

Step #3.1.  Monitor the web for Google Maps Description
Google Maps pulls data and reviews from multiple sources ( like Yelp.com, TripAdvisor.com) for the Google Maps listing. These sources vary by the industry. Identify these sources by examining your listing and other listings in the category. Monitor the discussion and try to resolve any issues with the reviewer. Encourage reviews from happy customers.

Step #3.2. Get active in Social Space.
Monitor the Social Media and Review platforms for positive and Negative comments about your business. Participate in the discussions and defend your brand. Never fake comments. Learn from the customer feedback.

10 Commandments for B2B Search Engine Optimization

How different is B2B Search Engine Optimization compared to B2C Search Engine Optimization?  What are the Best Practices for B2B Search Marketers?
The basics of SEO like Keyword Research, Targeted Content and Meta Data is no different for B2B SEO. The major difference is in Target Audience and Intent of Search Queries. B2B Marketers address an audience that is mature, not impulsive and follow a purchase process. B2B search queries clearly reflect the searchers status in the purchase cycle (Exploring, Considering, Ready to Purchase)

B2B Decision Cycle
B2B Decision Cycle

The ultimate goal of most B2B Search Marketing programs is Generating Inquiries.  This article lists the 10 Commandments for B2B Search Engine Optimization; The Best Practice for B2B Search Engine Optimization.

Commandment 1: Know Your Customer / Target Audience.
Clearly define your Target Audience. You should know who you are targeting. Audience Definitions like “CXOs of Automobile Corporations in United States??? or “Middle Management in Advertising Agencies in Europe??? is a must for a successful B2B SEO campaign.
Difference from B2C
: B2C Target audience is far wider and generally segmented on Socio-Economic and Demographic parameters.

Commandment 2: Design the website for your Target Audience.
Most B2B site address multiple target audience; Prospects, Existing Customers, Investors, Job Seekers. It is very important to focus the SEO for Prospects and Existing Customers. Investors, Job seekers may not be targeted in the B2B SEO program. Design a website that the prospects and customers can relate with. Include Industry Solution, Technology Solutions, Product Application in the main navigation or otherwise prominently on the website.
Test website’s usability frequently and keep the design and content fresh. It is advisable to make minor updates every quarter and major design change once a year. A professional Site Audit helps improve usability and conversion.
Difference from B2C: B2C websites are broader in their appeal and target multiple groups for every product/ service.

Commandment 3: Keyword Research: Forget your Terminology, Forget Google’s Traffic Prediction, and Optimize for Industry Lingo.
Optimize for the search terms the target audience uses and this may vary by industry. Let your organizations internal definitions and Search Engines Traffic Predictions take the backseat.
Difference from B2C: In most B2C scenarios Search Engine’s Search Volume and Predict data gives accurate information about the search terms target audience uses to find a product/ service.

Commandment 4: Keyword Targeting: 1 Keyword per page.
Do not target too many Keywords in a page. Remember you are targeting matured audience that is not impulsive. Limit to 1-2 Keywords per page. The keywords targeted should be related and relevant to one industry, product or solution.
Difference from B2C: Recommend Targeting 2-3 keywords per page on B2C websites.

Commandment 5: Link Strategy: Go for the Hubs; do not bother about the Spokes.
Target links form Industry Hubs and Authority pages. Few links will do the job (get your website visibility and traffic). Get Links from customer and vendor websites. Use variation of your product/ service as link text.
Difference from B2C: Spread out the links over more number of Link text.

B2B Search Engine Optimization
B2B Search Engine Optimization

Commandment 6: Leverage Paid Search Data.
Analyze the paid search data to identify converting keywords, include broader variations / Generic Variations of these keywords in your SEO Program.

Commandment 7: Industry Strategy: Sub-domain/ Multiple Domains.
At times the target audience across industries is very different and it may be a good idea to have sub-domain or multiple domains. You may not be able to address concerns of multiple industries on one website. If your ERP solution is targeted for Manufacturing and retail industries, you must consider and analyze sub-domain/ multiple domain strategy.
Difference from B2C: B2C websites are generally designed to up-sell, cross-sell. Consolidating products on one domain is the preferred strategy.

Commandment 8: Competition: Track Your Competition.
Identify and track your competition. Monitor the changes in the Keywords competition is targeting to track the industry trends and Optimization Strategy.
Difference from B2C: B2C websites are generally track competition for tactics

Commandment 9: Reputation: Monitor and Defend your Brand.
Your Brand is your biggest asset on the web. Defend your brand with all your might. Optimize your website for misspellings and phonetic variations. Set up alerts to monitor copyright violations.

Commandment 10: Get Social: Blog /Network: Be Thought Leader and Follow Thought Leaders.
Blogs allow informal, interactive communication with your audience. Create thought leadership blogs and run opinion polls and reviews to understand your customer better. Also, follow Thought leaders to understand the pulse and the trends of the industry. Recruiting a CBO (Chief Blogging Officer) may be a good idea.

Ultimate Social Tool

Collaboration, Interaction and Two Way  Communication drives innovation on the world wide web. MSN, Yahoo and AOL started it all pre Y2K. Skype, GTalk took convergence further at the dawn of this century. Facebook, Twitter are the Platforms of the day for the Web 2.0.

Today your cell phone could be setup to freed your Twitter account which could be integrated with your Facebook profile and you can access your wall on Facebook on your hand held!

Web 2.0 as we know today is a mesh of platforms that ‘selectively talk’ to each other.

What would be the ultimate integration? I think in not too distant future we would be able to integrate all networks and devices to ourselves!! I am working on a Frame Work for the ultimate Messenger  I call DREAM MESSENGER.

Here’s how it works:

Problem Statement:

  1. Cross platform communication is the lacuna of Web 2.0.
  2. Human Brain utilizes only a fraction (.1- 1% depending on the intellect quotient) of the processing capability while sleeping.

Solution Frame Work.

1. Dream Messenger is Neuro-Firmware embedded in the Human Brain that talks to devices using wifi and Bluetooth ( or Whitetooth) and to the Social Media Platforms and Messengers through their APIs. Dream Messenger is Synapse Integrated to Human Brain ( I’m working on a USB like solution for integration and will discuss that in a later post).

2. Installing Dream Messenger is 3 minute procedure and the device is ‘Hot Swappable’.

3. Dream Messenger comes with a web configurator. You have to log on to a website and put in the access credentials for the Social Media platforms, Messengers and Devices.

4. You can also set the connection setting for example:

‘Send all/user name/ group Tweets to my Dream Messenger when I log off twitter.com

‘If Smart Alex (your Boss) tries to ping you on Facebook, it show your status “working on the proposal ping me only if it can’t wait”.

5. At the end of the day when you log off the social media platforms and your machines and switch off your cell phones and Blackberrys  Dream Messenger takes over. All alerts, nudges and messages are redirected to the Dream Messenger and you could set Dream Messenger on Auto mode ( to reply or react based on historical behavior!- remember Dream Messenger is powered by your Brain) or Manual mode while you are awake. In the manual mode the movements of your facial muscle would convey your emotional state ( Version 2.0 will have kicking and Kissing features integrated.

6. When you sleep the dream Messenger will update its database ( stored in your brain or the Dream Messenger Data farm, if you are dumb), Synchronize you profile across platform and devices.

7. Dream Messenger comes with an alarm clock with Virtual Bose Stereo Speakers . I am meeting Mr. Bose next week to share my speaker design. He emailed me the NDA this morning.

8. As soon as you get up in the morning the Dream Messenger dumps the updated data on the Social Media platforms and devices and self Hibernates.

Current Status:

  1. Integration issue with MSN and MySpace. There seems to be some problem with their APIs that reboots the Dream Messenger early morning. I am meeting Bill and Steve next month to get a fix.
  2. I’m working on the advertising and Revenue model. Lab Rats have reported feeling of Hunger when Food and Beverage ads are displayed. This may be a huge opportunity or challenge. I’m very hopeful that we’ll have the revenue model sorted out before Facebook and Twitter make money.
  3. Extremely Confidential..The Dream Messenger is currently being tested on lab rats. You may have noticed humans smiling, screaming when they are alone at airports and other public places. These are my lab rats and I’m analyzing their social behavior and Dreamoticon* integration. In fact I have already started testing the ‘digging the noses’ Dreamoticon on the my lab rats. This is a version 2.0 feature.

Dreamoticon* are Emoticons for the Dream Messenger.

Buzz Quotient

Social ain’t fad no more. Social Web is the present and the future of  the world wide web and Internet. However, there are questions about  ROI of the Social Web Investments.

In this post I would like to introduce a method to quantify a website’s Social Web footprint and discuss Social Web strategies.

Definitions:

Buzz: a measure of website’s visibility on the Social Web.

Buzz Quotient: Normalized Score/ Index of  a website’s Social Web Footprint.

Concept:

Measure the width and depth of  website’s Social Media Engagement ( The Buzz)

Social Engagement Width is the spread across channels

Social Engagement Depth is the intensity of engagement

Calculate the Buzz Quotient by normalizing the Buzz.

Social Web Strategies
Social Web Strategies

Social Web Strategies:

Social Novice: Try out the top 4-5 Social Channels. Run Pilots to sell the program within the organization. Define success matrix and define budgets. Recommended for Starters.

Social Explorer : Build your foot print across as many channels as possible, keeping the depth of engagement shallow. Works for brands that have appeal across  socio economic segment and advised on diet budget.

Social Selective : Build your foot print across few channels, engage, entice and seduce your customers and prospects  . Works for niche brands.

Social Champ: Build your foot print across as many channels as possible, engage, entice and seduce your customers and prospects. Works for brands that have appeal across  socio economic segment.