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June 2009, Week 2 Marketing Archives

Friday, June 12, 2009

Coca-Cola CEO Muhtar Kent: Global Urbanization = Market Sustainability

coke ceo

As Thomas Friedman says, the world is flat,hot and crowded. Another New York Times bestselling author named Thomas, Thomas P.M.Barnett, can show you his map of the countries that still lack first-world amenities and fall into the non-integrated gap.

Regardless of which author you prefer, there's an undeniable movement in squatter cities across the globe: They have emerged as epicenters of commerce and trade.

Stewart Brand explained the urban expansion trend during his presentation at the TED conference. Brand outlined the major demographic event: passing the 50% urbanization point-an economic tipping point.  "The world now is a point of connectivity."
Coca-Cola CEO, Muhtar Kent, views urban expansion as a major boost for international business, including Coke.(NYSE:KO). Kent told PBS talk show host Charlie Rose:


Those two factors, rapid urbanization, and rapid entry into the middle class, are going to cause, again, a higher plateau of food and commodity pricing with scarcity... I think for all business, because I  think that also means that sustainability as we used to know it.

Coke's international sales figures reveal interesting data, including these facts:

  • Sprite is the number one selling brand in China of any beverage.
  • Fanta is Coke's second largest trademark.
  • 80% of Coke's revenue comes from outside the U.S.
  • Coke sells 1.6 billion beverages every day in more than 203 countries.

While Coke's marketing strategy spans into different sectors across the globe, Kent points out several universal truths for all consumers:


When we become arrogant, we lose our way. When we will tell the consumer what he or she wants, we lose our way. Every country is different, but there’s one thing that doesn’t change: Consumers want hydration, quality products and beverages that they can identify with, brands that they can identify with, great tasting beverages and innovation.

Coca-Cola CEO Muhtar Kent: Global Urbanization = Market Sustainability By Matt O'Hern at 04:00 PM
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TruReputation Score = Weak Grading for Online Reputation

tru reputation score Your online reputation is as positive or negative as Google search results determine. Consumer research via the web has drastically redefined the world of public relations. As a result, demand has increased for Online Reputation Management.

Hundreds of companies hoping to capitalize on this trend offer a tool or service to protect your public image via Search Engine Optimization, Search Engine Marketing  and other methods.Visible Technologies, a Seattle-based firm, recently launched a Reputation Scoring tool titled: TruReputation Score.

reputation thermometerIntrigued, I decided to test my name.I expected to see a detailed and comprehensive analysis of sites with backlinks to marketingshift and other blogs where my stories have been referenced. Instead, I was provided with a list of my social networks, and a few unrelated sites, and I was the one who graded the site, not TruReputation Score. Your score is displayed in a "reputation thermometer" that reminded me of the Homeland Security Advisory System.

So what service does TruReputation truly offer you? It saves you the time of Googling yourself and reading the first three pages of results. Beyond that, your ultimate score are is derived from the average of YOUR cumulative evaluations for each site. Of course, Visible offers and online reputation service to help you "spruce up your image", but if the first phase of the TruReputation is an indication of Visible's complete service, you're just pissing your money away.

TruReputation Score = Weak Grading for Online Reputation By Matt O'Hern at 12:37 PM
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Thursday, June 11, 2009

Investors & Mossberg Jump on Palm Pre Bandwagon

palm pre logo

This Summer's first blockbuster has arrived- but it's not at your local movie theater, its at your local Smartphone Dealer. Five days after the Palm Pre launch,  stock is up 1.37 , (11.44%), for Palm Inc, (NASDAQ:PALM),while its carrier, Sprint  (NYSE:S), is UP 0.30, (6%).

Wall Street Journal
tech columnist Walt Mossberg said Palm Pre may rival the iPhone. Considering the recent release of the  3GS iPhone specs, Palm Inc's are surely hoping this news can stem the wave of momentum Steve Jobs and Apple generated early this week. Who will win this battle, with Apple and AT&T tag-teaming against Palm Inc and Sprint? Only time will tell, but I'm betting on the A-Team.

Investors & Mossberg Jump on Palm Pre Bandwagon By Matt O'Hern at 04:00 PM
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Facebook Usernames = Another Puzzling Move by Zuckerberg

facebook usernames

Maybe it's just me, but I miss the good old days when Facebook was exclusive to college students and alumni. Initially, Facebook appealed to me for two main reasons:

  1. It kept me in touch with college classmates who lived far away.
  2. I wasn't bothered by the creeps and spammers that  flooded MySpace.

Now, with access granted to the entire public and usernames coming soon, the network  Mark Zuckerberg created to connect classmates barely resembles the community it orginated as, and it's morphed into combination of  Twitter and Myspace.
The contrast between Facebook of 2009 to Facebook 2005   reminds me of the evolution of ESPN from the mid-90's to the 2000's. Since Walt Disney Company and ABC took over, many fans, myself included, long for the days when Sports Center was solely devoted to recapping the games and providing vital stats. Now, the sports monopoly is known more for its superstar personalities and trendy catch-phrases, rather than the games and players it covers.
In both cases, inflated egos led executives to ditch their distinguished model to pursue a new course to attract a larger fan base, but the old-timers feel unappreciated and overlooked.

Facebook's initial format was an intimate profile to outline your personal life. It's expanded to the point where there's virtually nothing unique about its structure. Do you think the new usernames are a good idea? Vote in our poll.

Facebook Usernames = Another Puzzling Move by Zuckerberg By Matt O'Hern at 12:06 PM
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Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Iranians Promote Mir Hussein Mousavi for President w/ Social Networks

mir

As I was in the doctor's waiting room yesterday, I watched an interesting feature story about Iran's Presidential Election on CNN.
Evidently, the oppressed citizens of Iran have access to the web and social media, which they're utilizing to promote reformist candidate Mir Hussein Mousavi.

According to the CIA factbook, Iran's population is at 66 million and has a median age of 27 and The Financial Times claims 47 million Iranians have cell phones and 21 million have Internet access.
Behzad Mortazavi, head of Mousavi's campaign committee, told the Financial Times.

We are using new technologies because they have the capacity to be multiplied by people themselves who can forward Bluetooth, e-mails and text messages and invite more supporters on Facebook.



Those technologies are attracting fans by the thousands, including 40,000 supporters on Facebook alone. Iran temporarily blocked access to Facebook, which only fueled the anti-Ahmadinejad movement.Imagine what the history books will look like in 20 years, if social networking is credited for removing a tyranical dictator.

Iranians Promote Mir Hussein Mousavi for President w/ Social Networks By Matt O'Hern at 05:01 PM
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Which Brands Will GoDaddy Lure Into Buying Mexican Domains?

Viva la domain revolution!
GoDaddy and the government of Mexico agreed to terms for selling Mexican domains, .mx. to the public.
mexican domains
Spanish-Speaking Internet users are the fastest growing of any demographic, which is why Home Depot's Spanish Site was such a savvy creation. A  Forrester Research Inc (Nasdaq: FORR) study revealed that bilingual marketing is neccesary to thrive over the coming years:

  • One-fourth of Hispanics must be served in Spanish if retailers want their business.
  • More than half of Hispanics who shop online (7.1 million people) prefer Spanish.
  • Hispanics accounted for one-half of the U.S. population growth between 2004 and 2005 and are expected to reach 102.6 million people by 2050.
  • Hispanic shoppers online to exceed 17 million by the year 2011.

Obviously, GoDaddy is hoping to tap the same expanding market  Home Depot (NYSE:HD) is targeting. Miguel Lopez, vice president of customer care for Go Daddy, told azcentral.com:

We're going at full speed to tap into international markets

Mexico certainly could use a PR boost via online reputation management.
Deadly gang wars between drug cartels have flooded international news headlines during the past year, and the tourism industry has taken a hit.
I'm curious if Miguel Caballero, who specializes in bulletproof clothing, will buy a bulk of Mexican domain names.

Which Brands Will GoDaddy Lure Into Buying Mexican Domains? By Matt O'Hern at 10:36 AM
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Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Microsoft Bing = An Expensive Insult to Your Search IQ

bing search engine

Do you struggle with feelings of information overload every time you search on Google?
Don't worry, Microsoft is here to help with its new search engine: Bing.

Microsoft's attempting to help us overcome "search overload" by breaking the results into "logical categories" that are simple, organized and consistent.

Here are two questions for Microsoft:

  1. What determines a logical category?
  2. How did you determine what's simple and logical for everyone?

Bing's structure may appeal to less experienced users, but it's format doesn't offer anything worth switching from Google.
For example, Bing's "Hover" feature displays a brief summary of each site when you move your cursor over the link. bing reviewTo me, this is a useless and redundant function. vinnies googleChances are, after I've clicked "search", I don't need to read an elaboration of the description to decide which site I want to visit.

Microsoft's premise for Bing is that you're too dumb to locate your desired site on your own. If you think I'm exaggerating, read this line, which is quoted in one of Bing's commercials.
 

Where it really shines is taking the "guesswork" from your decisions,saving you time and money when it comes to local search,travel planning,health questions and shopping.
 

Thanks, Microsoft. Before you introduced Bing into my life, I was wandering around the web aimlessly. Without Bing's "original" features such as Images and Reviews, I'd be totally lost! I certainly can't find those on Google Images or Google or Google Maps!

OK, I can't tear apart these developers for an entire post. One feature that shows some potential is the Price Predictor in the Travel tool. According to ITwire, Price Predictor combines  tools that came with Microsoft's acquisition of Farecast with content from MSN Travel. It provides an estimated price along a time line, to help you find the cheapest fare. Of course, it's too early to gauge the accuracy of this tool.

With the exception of Price Predictor, Bing fails to deliver any outstanding features to distinguish it from every other search engine. Judging from the majority of the comments on Youtube, I'm not the only Bing basher.

Here are some of the latest comments in response to one of Bing's commercials.

"Let's talk about how many hundreds of millions of dollars Microsoft is using to launch this turd just in advertising alone. I have never spent more than 1 minute looking for a result on Google and never will. I honestly thought the? name Bing was a joke at first. How much money did you pay some hack at some advertising to come up with that name? "Bing" there goes your shareholder value."

"Looks just like Google.... but more crappy."

"Nothing new at all, everything has been done."

"I certainly do not need a decision engine since I'm a human an my own master? who decides himself what to do and what not to do. If I want to eat in an expensive restaurant, I don't need some machine that tells me that the burger store next door is much cheaper. It's still ME deciding; I'll stay with good old Google."

I'm reminded of Microsoft's desperate attempt to spark Vista sales with the Jerry Seinfeld and Bill Gates commercial. Since Bing is a decision-making engine, does that open the door for Decision-Making Engine Optimization? Farwell, SEO!

Microsoft Bing = An Expensive Insult to Your Search IQ By Matt O'Hern at 12:15 PM
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Steve Jobs & Apple Should Create iPhone Exchange Program

apple recycle

With all the buzz about the new 3GS iPhone, I wondered how many fellow 3G owners would gladly exchange their year-old iPhones for a discount on the new model.
On its surface, an exchange program may seem too weighted toward the consumer, but Steve Jobs and Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL)would score a major win in the PR department.

Rarely does the opportunity arise to appease iPhone owners, bargain hunters and environmentalists at the same time, but an exchange program could pull of such a tri-fecta.Apple would also strengthen customer ties and expand its market to a new socio-economic demographic.

You may recall  Steve Jobs' letter: A greener Apple, which was sent to environmental groups, where Apple's CEO defended the company's manufacturing and recycling practices. Creating an exchange program would supplement the efforts Jobs' described in the aforementioned letter.

Bargain-hunting businessmen and frugal families may opt for a $50 3G model and 3G owners would feel appreciated for their loyalty with  $25 rebate or discount toward the  3GS model. After their phones were exchanged, Apple and/or AT&T (NYSE:ATT)could resell them to the public for half the price of the 3GS.

Steve Jobs & Apple Should Create iPhone Exchange Program By Matt O'Hern at 08:48 AM
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Monday, June 08, 2009

Red Bull Cola Cocaine Rumors Could Boost Drink Sales

red bull cocaine

Banning a substance virtually guarantees greater demand, (I.E. Alcoho prohibition in the U.S.)
I'm sure executives at Red Bull GmbH are secretly pleased by the widespread free exposure generated by cocaine rumors swirling around their beverage. Consumer uriousity  will probably propel sales internationally.

You may recall the controversial energy drink named Cocaine, made by Redux Beverages. The FDA swiftly responded and pulled the drink from store shelves forcing them to put a disclaimer on the drink.cocaine disclaimer
Red Bull faced similar scrutiny from various food and drug regulation administrations, including Germany, China and the Phillipine's Food and Drug regulators. Recently, Red Bull responded to the claims by allowing an independent institute to analyze the drink. Following the study, Red Bull released an official statement. An excerpt reads:


We believe that Asian authorities mistakenly applied concerns about Red Bull Simply Cola to Red Bull Energy Drink, a completely different product with an entirely different formula...De-cocainized coca leaf extracts are used as flavoring in food products around the world and are considered to be safe. Indeed, in 21 C.FR. 182.20, the Food and Drug Administration regulations provide that it is acceptable and safe to use de-cocainized coca in food products in the United States.

 To compare Red Bull's rumors to the Coca-Cola incident, I did some research on  snopes.com, which verifies or disproves the claims of urban legends. Coke did in fact, at one point, contain cocaine. but according to snopes,the amount was 1/400 of a grain of cocaine per ounce of syrup.

Don't be surprised if the second quarter proves to be Red Bull's strongest of the year.

Red Bull Cola Cocaine Rumors Could Boost Drink Sales By Matt O'Hern at 12:39 PM
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Marketers Opting for Social Media Ads Over Video

forrester researchsocial networks

In the wake of the Palm Inc (NASDAQ:PALM) and Sprint (NYSE:SPalm Pre release, marketers have yet to jump the mobile video marketing bandwagon.
Forrester Research just released some interesting survey results revealing that 90% of 204 polled marketers are sticking with email and search engine optimizaton, while online video stayed at the same percentage, 66%, as last year.

Social network
executives should be encouraged by the survey results. Of the 204 marketers surveyed, 64% are already investing in social apps, widgets and blogs, and another 22% are planning to do so in the next 12 months.

Why are investors shying from online video? Only two months ago, when Google cut Adsense Video Units must have sent a strong warning to investors.

Marketers Opting for Social Media Ads Over Video By Matt O'Hern at 10:39 AM
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« June 2009 Week 1 June 2009 Week 3 »

  • Week 1 (11 entries) June 1-6
  • Week 2 (10 entries) June 7-13
  • Week 3 (10 entries) June 14-20
  • Week 4 (11 entries) June 21-27
  • Week 5 (3 entries) June 28-30

Red Bull Cola Cocaine Rumors Could Boost Drink Sales
Cocaine (the drink) is terrible anyway....
by E.T
Red Bull Cola Cocaine Rumors Could Boost Drink Sales
With all this hype about the wrong products in our...
by Anita
Iranians Promote Mir Hussein Mousavi for President w/ Social Networks
Salam to All Dear & respected if u would...
by Ali Abbas
Steve Jobs & Apple Should Create iPhone Exchange Program
I bought my iphone 3days before the 3g s came out....
by Matt
Iranians Promote Mir Hussein Mousavi for President w/ Social Networks
Mabuhay.......greetings from Philippines God spee...
by bugzy

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