Jul 29 2010

As E-Commerce Growth Flatlines, Video Differentiates

Published by under marketing,technology

E-commerce is hitting a wall. The growth in e-commerce is slowing, and it’s slowing fast (yes, that is a pun). From 2008 to 2013, the rate of e-commerce growth is projected to slow from 13% to 8%. Now, please don’t think me a Chicken Little. I’m not sounding a death knell. Obviously, growth is still growth.

But, if you work in the e-commerce sector, you are in for a bumpy ride. Until recently, the sector has seen 20%+ growth rates for years, which has made most e-tailer’s jobs pretty easy. The criteria has been pretty simple: have compelling product; have a trustworthy website;  offer good deals and service. Pretty simple formula for 20%+ growth.

But, Americans’ buying habits have largely shifted, and the incremental shifts that are still to come reflect the fact that the halcyon days are behind us. From now on, e-commerce teams will have to eke out gains just like everyone else. Continue Reading »

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Jul 19 2010

How to Never Get That First Dollar from the Customer

Published by under customer serivice,marketing

What do you expect for a dollar?

If you think your standards are low, think again. What’s the ratio of free apps on your iPhone, to 99 cent apps? How many albums have you streamed, vs. digital downloads you have bought?

Consumers expect more than ever – regardless of price point. Two factors contribute to this continual bar-raising in the consumer’s mind: Continue Reading »

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Jul 14 2010

Worst Summer Job Ever

NPR is running a series on influential summer jobs. This is the essay I submitted:

For two summers, I worked in Hell on earth – the dirtiest, hottest, most dangerous place I have ever visited.

I worked in a foundry. We made disc brakes for cars and kitchen sinks out of molten steel.

As a summer employee, I did the grunt work. On my first day, I worked a line making sinks. I was in charge of breaking apart the molds after the metal was poured. Hot metal would flow down the spigot, and fill the mold. Within a few seconds, the sink cooled enough to hold its shape. I was stationed down the line with a metal rod held over my head. As each new sink was poured, I jammed the rod into the mold, and wrenched apart the dirt.

Each sink emerged from its mold like a glowing alien, breaking out of a shell. I lifted, thrust, cracked over and over. Then, the line stopped for a break. I set the rod down, and jumped from my platform. I was so hot and dirty that rivulets of sweat cut clean paths through my grimy skin.

Immediately, the rod rolled down and cracked my skull open.

On my first day, after forty five minutes on the floor, I left to get 6 stitches in my head.

No one thought I would make it past the first week. During the school year, I waited tables at Shoney’s. I was in college, studying International Relations. With a minor in Dance.

But I came back, determined to prove myself.

Most days, I was responsible for mixing in additives to the raw steel. The chemistry in making metal parts is very precise. So, after the fresh dip of steel came down the line, I measured out 1 cup of zinc, and 2 cups of magnesium. Then I scrambled up the ladder, and stood on the edge of the pool of liquid steel. I dumped in the buckshot metals, then stirred them in with an iron rod that melted in my hands.

After that, I hoisted a jack hammer to the edge of the pool, where metal had started to cool and adhere to the sides, and I hammered off the hardened steel. Pieces of molten metal flicked up and hit me in the face, chest and legs. Every day, I had a pattern of tiny new burns, instantly cauterized by the heat.

It was grueling work. But, at the end of the shift I had a sense of accomplishment because I had made something new in the world. Every day I left, sweaty, gritty and exhausted, with the satisfaction that the world was a different place because of my work.

Now, I build websites and create marketing campaigns. I don’t get paid to do anything tangible or concrete. I work with my hands only to type. I sweat only when I’m at the gym.

But, every time I am challenged with something that seems impossible, I remember the foundry. I remember my sweat sizzling as it dripped onto hot metal. I remember being wrung out and dehydrated, with metal shavings flying into my eyes, and hours to go before the shift ended.

And the new challenge that I face now simply doesn’t seem that bad.

Because at the foundry, somehow I always kept going. I never slowed the line down. And I never caused it to stop.

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Jul 07 2010

Awareness Shifts From Campaign to Engagement Model

Published by under marketing,social media

Awareness Inc is one of the vendors that I reported on in my report on ten social media management platforms (download here).

In a sign of how fast the industry is moving, even before the final report was released, Awareness had made a major move to shift their platform and allow for a much broader range of marketing and engagement activities on their platform. This brings a lot of relevance to a strong platform for corporate marketers.

Continue Reading »

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Jul 02 2010

In-Depth Report on Ten Social Media Management Platforms

Published by under marketing,social media,technology

After working with the social media management space for a number of months, and watching a new industry being born, I thought it was about time for a comprehensive review of the products and tools that are out there. You can jump right over to download the report now. Continue Reading »

9 responses so far