Monthly Archives: October 2008

How to Survive and Succeed This Holiday Season

Date: Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Time: 1:00 PM EST/10:00 AM PST

Planning and executing a successful Holiday pay-per-click campaign is difficult enough in a booming economy. It’s going to be even tougher now that times are tough.
In this webcast, you’ll get some Holiday PPC campaign tips from Keith Hong, senior director of Clickable’s Assist and Customer Experience group (and former head of Ask.com customer management group). He’ll explain what you should already have done to prepare for success, and what you must do throughout the holiday season to adapt to volatile market and demand spikes. He’ll also offer some advice on how to stay calm and ensure success amidst this economic meltdown.

Sponsored by:

For more info, CLICK HERE

Why “Green” is the Wrong Buzz Word

Here’s a quiz: which of the following environmental terms resonates most strongly with consumers:

a ) Conservation

b) Green

c) Energy Efficiency

d) Sustainable

If you answered “b) Green” — you’re wrong! The answer is c) Energy Efficiency. That’s according to Suzanne Shelton of Shelton Group, who conducts annual surveys of consumer attitudes toward environmental issues. Shelton’s research indicates that only 61.5% of consumers have a positive association with the word “green,” 63.5 percent feel positively about “sustainable,” 74% feel positively about “conservation” and a whopping 88.2% feel positively about “energy efficiency.”

Why? Because it’s a term they can understand. “Energy efficiency” means turning off the lights, lowering the thermostat, buying a hybrid car, and so on — things consumers can actually do. But what does “green” mean? It can be all things to all people, Shelton says, and consumers already see through the hype — that “green” is mostly a marketing buzzword designed to boost sales.

Other excellent tidbits from Shelton’s top-rate presentation at the PRSA International Conference in Detroit:

  • Consumers are “armchair environmentalists” — they can see lots of things other people should do, but don’t want to do much themselves, unless it’s easy and saves them money
  • People don’t know what the right things to do are — there’s an unmet need for a credible third-party to certify products and services that are good for the environment
  • Consumers currently associate “energy efficient” and “green” with “more expensive”
  • The economy is definitely having an effect: in 2007, consumers said that the first thing they would do if they had an extra $10,000 to put into their homes would be to replace flooring and countertops; in 2008, it was replace windows and upgrade their heating and cooling systems to save energy
  • Most consumers know enough about sustainability and environmentally friendly products and services to “get through a cocktail party,” but that’s about all

And here’s the kicker of kickers: do you know what is the largest source of greenhouse gases? It’s not personal cars and trucks or even all of the transportation sector — it’s coal-burning electricity generation. That’s right — the whole push to do things virtually and plugging in is actually worse for the environment, as a whole, than getting in our cars or taking an airplane.

Brought to you by the friendly folks at BNET who have (you guessed it!) a GREEN LOGO!

Top 10 Business Books of 2008

It’s official.  Booklist online has published its list of the Top 10 Business Books of 2008.

So roll the drums.  And onto the list, with links to BNET content about the books, or to author interviews:

A brief sketch of each book is included at the link. It’s a smorgasbord of choices — financial advice, investing advice, business narratives, business how-tos. Something for everyone.

Courtesy of Booklinks.com and BNET.

7 Mistakes New CEOs Make

Hillary Clinton campaigned that she would be prepared to lead the country from Day One, but many new CEOs are not really ready to run their companies early in their tenure.

Harvard Business School professor Michael Porter and colleagues Jay Lorsch and Nitin Nohria outline the Seven Things That Surpise New CEOs in an excerpt from Porter’s the new book, On Competition, reprinted on HBS Working Knowledge.

Here are three takeaways from the authors.

1. Manage Time Don’t get bogged down in the weeds. “The CEO must learn to manage organizational context rather than focus on daily operations,” write the authors.

2. Loyalty is Earned It may be uncomfortable, but all eyes are on you. “CEOs can easily lose their legitimacy if their vision is unconvincing, if their actions are inconsistent with the values they espouse, or if their self-interest appears to trump the welfare of the organization.”

3. Forget Perfection Ego may have helped you get the top job, but it won’t help you keep it. “The CEO must not get totally absorbed in the role. Even if others think he is omnipotent, he is still only human. Failing to recognize this will lead to arrogance, exhaustion, and a shortened tenure.”

The article is a handy little check list that can benefit all new leaders. When you took command for the first time, what did you realize you did not know?

Courtesy of BNET.

Few US Companies Prepared for Downturn

  • Heads in the sandThe Find: The credit crisis has been brewing for at least a year now, which makes the fact that only 68% of US businesses had contingency plans for an economic downturn in place this summer all the more surprising.
  • The Source: Consultancy Watson Wyatt’s 2008 Global Strategic Reward survey.
  • To read the full story from BNET, click HERE.

    Guide To Business Blogging

    Few executives would turn down a free crash-course in business blogging 101 … or 202, for that matter.  No matter their level experience or their natural digital prowess, so many insecurities and questions pop up when a blog moves from personal to professional content.  Luckily, there are dozens of people out there ready to placate the fear or concern, among them, Peter Flaschner. A blog designer with the consultancy Blog Studio, he released version two of his “Guide to Business Blogging.” It’s a valuable resource all around, but here are a few highlights to keep you going when the going gets tough.

    Step by Step …
    Step 1: Identify general business goals – how much weight should you give to what blogging can do for you?
    Step 2: Resource Analysis – which is more valuable, time or money?
    Step 3: Establish Blogging Goals – in terms of reach, stickiness and number of comments, subscribers, downloads and references.
    Step 4: Develop a Time/Cost Estimate – how much investment will it require to achieve your blogging goals?

    Daily Planner … The different plans needed to ensure effectiveness
    1: Content Plan: What are you going to say?  How often will you be saying it?
    2. Info Plan: What types of info, other than posts, will you have on the site (internal links, content, etc.)
    3. Technology Plan: Host, software management, integration into existing site, support, html, etc.
    4. Design: Design the blog to be a branding tool and a communication tool; consider layout and who (inhouse or out-of-house) will design it; choose a domain name, etc.

    Strategies that work (or, that worked for Flaschner)…
    Offline promotion
    Contributions
    Collaborations
    Guest writing
    Existing site promotions
    Comments
    Forums
    E-mail promotions
    CEO
    Links
    Joining other networks
    Submitting stories to social bookmarking sites
    Quality content

    Courtesy of PRNEWSonline.com

    Google Study Shows The Rich Shop On-Line Too

    The rich are different from you and me, but not too different. Advertising Age reports on a new study from Google that says online shopping is the preferred retail channel of the very rich.

    This could be news for marketers who see in-person luxury retail environments as the best way to reach people who still have money to spend – or marketers who see the Internet as a digital bargain basement.

    “All the people we’re talking about have far more money than time. The internet provides that time efficiency,” said Pam Danziger, president of Unity Marketing, and a researcher on the Google study.

    “Customer experience, by definition, doesn’t mean in-store experience. It means how people want to be served. … Sometimes it’s so much more convenient to sit down at a computer and not have to set foot in the store.”

    Google surveyed the shopping habits of 263 millionaires (shoppers 25 to 64 with an income of more than $1 million) and 730 ultra-affluents (net worth of $1 million, household incomes of $250,000 or more for married couples).

    Key findings:

    • Millionaires like bargains, “with 91 percent saying they always or often look at reviews before buying luxury goods,” according to Ad Age.
    • They agreed almost unanimously (94 percent) that “making a high-end or luxury brand available online doesn’t cheapen their opinion of the product or brand.”
    • Rich people work for their money, and the richer they are, the more likely they are to work: 89 percent of millionaires work full time.
    • Respondents who shopped online spent more: $114,632 a year vs. $22,813 per year for those who shop in stores.

    A Denver-based business writer, Lisa Everitt is a veteran of daily and weekly newspapers and trade magazines, including The Natural Foods Merchandiser, Rocky Mountain News, Inter@ctive Week, San Francisco Business Times, and the Peninsula Times Tribune.