Category Archives: Sales & PR

QR Code Professionalism @ BMW

“QR what?” I hear you say – and you are right. :-(

It’s just been a couple of weeks ago, that someone tried to convince me, that now (as both have become commonplace) marketeers finally have fully understood the benefits and proper usage of QR codes in attracting new prospects for their campaigns and products.

And I had been quite close to agreeing with him.

Though, that was before the BMW incident.

Considering myself an addict to the latest electric vehicle technology, I could not help but taking a closer look after spotting a BMW ACTIVE E model at a charging station in downtown Leipzig.

charging station with BMW ACTIVE E and smart electric drive connected

Of course I also grabbed the promotional QR code from the window tag.

QR window tag on the BMW ACTIVE E

Which immediately brought down my longtime confidence in BMWs ever-present compentence in perfect engineering:

page stating the invoked page could not be displayed properly on a mobile device

“This content has not been optimized for mobile devices – please use a desktop system for viewing.”

 

So, yes, it still happens – and obviously even to the big guys.

Despite I have no idea how advertising for a huge corporation can get through all their internal approvals, without ever being verfied to work, it also shows that even in competitive and over-advertised markets like automobiles there appears to always exist some room for a competitor to do better.
 
Heard that, over at Daimler and Audi? ;-)

 

Where Current Mobile/Location-Commerce Paradigms fall Short And Why

The future of Mobile Business is in Location – now, really!??

Listening to the mobile technology, device and communication industries’ big players currently puts into place two core assumptions about how mobile device usage is going to develop within the years to come:

  1. Location is everything
  2. Location doesn’t matter anymore

As though these seem quite contradictive at first glance, there is some truth to be found inside these paroles, as soon as one takes a closer look:

While mobile devices give you (and the rest of us…) the power to make more informed decisions depending on where you are and where you intend to be in near future (think of navigation, public transit guidance or ), they also disconnect us from the necessity of presence e.g. at airport counters for check-in or .

Despite these advantages, there is an obvious difference between if you go to let’s say an airport on a daily basis for work, occasionally to catch a flight, to pick-up somebody who is arriving or simply for plane spotting and having fun with your kids.

As J. P. Barton already figured out more than a decade ago, real world situational context is not simply about location, but much more about people, places and the things at hand, along with time and the conditions/limitations you encounter.

Barely none but location, however, has been targeted by technological approaches on an end-user scale this far.

This comes out even more interesting, as the technical and organizational hurdles involved have already appeared to be taken an entire decade ago.

Some of the more relevant reasons, why the industry is nonetheless quite slow in anticipating the market potential coming with services like intelligent tickets, context-aware travel-itineraries or automated product-matching for webshops, appear to lie in the integration of already existing, but widely distributed and differing data sources.

This is, where I believe Linked Data can go a long way in easing the adoption process by providing common means for exchanging information online and in near- or even realtime.

Solutions to practically showcase the application of Semantic Web technology to provide such services are to be developed by our appliance team within the coming moths. Stay tuned. :-)

In Defense of AIDA (and other 1@1 concepts…)

— a modern e-tailer’s takeaways from early 20ieth century hardselling theory

Undoubtedly there are things that get better the more often you cook them up: e.g. sour kraut, bean stew or chili con carne. And then there are those whose state tremendeously degrades away from “desireable” with every re-heating, but that nonetheless are getting boiled-up over and over again. Deep-frozen pizza and marketing-paradigms obviously belong to the latter.
 

Salesology in the early 1900s
 

It was no sooner than in 1898 when one of the early experts of American sales theory, Elias St. Elmo Lewis, came up with the concept, that described the structure of a typical selling process as it may be encountered by a typical salesman of its time:
 

Attention
which needed to be grabbed, in order to spark the customers’
Interest
for which it was the salesman’s job to turn it into
Desire
for the customer to buy the product, and thus taking the necessary
Action
to complete the deal.

 

This is the way A.I.D.A. has been taught ever since. Over the years, however, many people forwarded and developed the idea without any regard of its original intention: Some praised it as instructional guide, which it isn’t as it only shows the stages of a sale, rather than any advice on how to reach them. Others thought it to provide a universal structure for largely any kind marketing/sales process, which it cannot deliver as well, since it has been constructed for a mainly direct-selling audience with their particular requirements in mind.
 

So shouldn’t we finally put this thing to rest in our history books as a 19th/20ieth century legacy item? Hm. Not so fast…
 

It wasn’t until the advent of the internet and e-commerce, that for many industries the ability to deliver perfect direct-buying experiences has become essential to both their survival and everyday business. This comes to matter even more, since most online-experts and first-class web citizens like programmers, designers and writers have never encountered any type of selling education. Many of them are now trying to make up for it in rather expensive ways (notice the boom in web analysis and multivariate testing within recent years…!?), and a lot of people nowadays become ”experts“ on the run at challenges that had actually been believed to be solved for an entire century now.
 

Among the most impressive tools for modern-style product show-offs (probably beside video keynotes shot in front of large audiences… ;-)) is the pitchpage.
 

A forever-long/high-running webpage, that concentrates solely on selling a single product or service by deploying the entire arsenal of modern online technology, including (but in no way limited to) detailed imagery and packshots, video presentations, animated visuals, interactive 360°/panoramic images, customer credentials, along with fact sheet and demonstration downloads.
 

Crafting a working pitchpage is an art, which (as of now) only few have really mastered.
 

Different from other kinds os online presentation, pitchpages provide the necessary linearity required for a show to successfully build up suspense and momentum — which is hard to achieve otherwise and has for long been missing from non-linear interactive media.
 

Keeping that in mind, skilled authors finally have the means to make use of proven rhetoric concepts for their online promotions and sales. Just as they have aleady got used to offline e.g. by deploying the Heath brothers’ SUCCES(S) framework, Zig Ziglars long-running/going hardselling encounters or Cialdini’s ”50 Scientifically Proven Ways“ to get to ”Yes!“.
 

The Semantic Web is Meaning Less
(at least to search engines…)

 
When recently launching my SemaWorx SEO and Internet Marketing Shop here in Leipzig, I had been carefully considering, where to put the focus of the work, in order to prevent ending up in the same pot with all the other more or less notable SEOs in the area.
 

So I initially thought it to be a great idea to deploy my existing experience of semantic data logic for search engine optimization. This has become increasingly popular lately with the rise of RDFa and adoption of commerce ontologies like Good Relations through major search engines.
 

As experience in this field is not easily replicable, the knowledge about and deployment of Semantic Web technology could have made for a great USP.
 

But after playing around with these fresh options for a while and much to my disappointment, I discovered that (at least a the time of this writing), most relevant search engines, including Google, do not actually parse the semantic markup, but rather string-search it with the rest of the respective page.
 

What may sound quite reasonable from an efficiency or productivity point of view, unfortunately also misses an important opportunity derived from the triple-nature of RDF data: To match and co-relate information across different domains, which could help filter a lot of false positives out of search engine results. This leads to strange feature restrictions, like the ability to recognize only one product per page, which makes semantic markup rather useless e.g. for catalogues or category overviews.
 

That said, apart from the early island solutions like Intel’s Mash Maker, by now not a lot of companies have successfully managed to use structural data of semantically rich webpages to co-relate it with content from other domains.
 

Nonetheless, I’ll dare to offer semantically enhanced SEO services, which we create for use with Google’s Universal Search or Yahoo!’s Monkey Business, as fully query-able semantic data endpoints, so not not only search robots, but any application willing to use and promote the outcomes will be able to use these in real time.
 

Sounds intersting ?  Wanna give it a try ?  Then you are very welcome to get in touch with us via the Semantic Search Engine Optimization site.
 

9th JCI Leipzig "Wirtschaftstreff" 2009
at the Radisson Blu Leipzig

 
Coming Thursday, November 5th, 2009 at 07.30 p.m. the "Wirtschaftsjunioren" local JCI chapter here in Leipzig invite to their monthly social gathering "Wirtschaftstreff" at the Radisson Blu Hotel’s "Spagos" Bar/Lounge.
 

view of lounge area

 
This time the public event includes an update by Ines Falkenhan on Family Affair: Balancing Family And Work for working parents living in the Leipzig area.

   In case you are not from here or don’t know the Radisson, this map will assist you finding us. The facility exists right opposite from the well-known Augustusplatz.
 

Radisson Blu Hotel Leipzig, Augustusplatz 5/6, 04109 Leipzig, Germany

 
See you on Thursday ! :-)