An actual e-mail from Bill Gates to his crew about “Windows Usability Systematic degradation flame”. Cool. He even tells them he’s going to trash them in the Subject line.
“The lack of attention to usability represented by these experiences blows my mind.” Turns out that Bill has had all of the same problems we have with Windows.
The take away is this, at a certain point, some businesses get so big, nobody can really control them and it’s up to the systems and culture that formed during its growth phase to steer it in maturity.
The same applies to governments too. We’re having quite a usability issue with ours.
It’s a great article. Read it here.
This newsletter details the various firms and entities that have received stimulus package funds and what they are being used for.
Read the newsletter here
By Mike Sachoff – Thu, 07/23/2009 – 13:59
Relying less on print
The majority (92%) of advertisers are using Internet advertising in their media campaigns followed by print advertising at 88 percent, according to a new LinkedIn Research Network/Harris Poll.
At the same time, less than half are using radio advertising (46%), television advertising (46%) and mobile advertising (39%). The Harris poll found there is a regional difference as advertisers in the South are more likely to use radio advertising (57%) and television advertising (56%) while those in the West are least likely to use both (39% each).
Among those advertisers who are using each of these types of media, there is a difference in the level of usage since last year. Three-quarters of those who use Internet advertising (74%) say they are incorporating it more often while 69 percent of those who use mobile advertising are using it more often compared to a year ago. Unsurprisingly, the largest drop is with print advertising as half (49%) of those who use it are using it less often compared to a year ago while 41 percent are using it the same amount.
Her bug eyes and sweet face captured the hearts of millions of fast food enthusisats.
But more than 10 years after her face first graced a “Yo Quiero Taco Bell” ad, marketing’s top chihuahua has died at 15 from a stroke.
Read complete article here.
Another jobless recovery?
Wednesday, July 22
Posted 11 a.m. Eastern
Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke’s appearance before the House Financial Services Committee yesterday lacked any unexpected revelations. One point in his prepared remarks did catch my attention, however.
“Although the unemployment rate is projected to peak at the end of this year, the projected declines in 2010 and 2011 would still leave unemployment well above FOMC participants’ views of the longer-run sustainable rate.”
Reading between the lines, Bernanke seems to suggest we’re in for another jobless recovery. My own opinion is that it will be the mother of all jobless recoveries. Sure hope I’m wrong.
Regarding the economy: On July 31, the initial estimate of second quarter economic output, affectionately known as Gross Domestic Product, or GDP, will be released. There is a possibility that the economy, either based on initial estimates or subsequent revisions, will eke out some growth.
Now, let’s not get too far out over our skis but be cautious about interpreting this if it should come to pass. Here’s why: Any growth posted by the U.S. economy will largely be due to a shrinking trade deficit, as imports (what we buy) have fallen much faster than exports (what we sell). So bottom line, any growth in the U.S. economy during the second quarter is more testament to the resilience of foreign consumers than it is American consumers.
For more of Greg McBride’s posts, go to: Fed Blog: Making sense of the Federal Reserve.
by Louis Uchitelle
Question: Where is the recovery coming from? This article adds some fresh perspective.
“But this time is clearly different. The pent-up demand is not present — not with 6.46 million jobs gone in just 18 months and hundreds of billions of dollars in wages extinguished. Credit is harder than ever to get for those who might want to spend again, and there are fewer and fewer spenders. People who do have jobs are saving (not spending) more of their incomes than they have in years, trying to replenish wealth lost in the stock market and in the declining value of their homes.”
Read Article: When, Oh When, Will HELP Be WANTED? – NYTimes.com.
Few marketers would dispute the statement that it is the sum of all customers’ interactions with a company, over time, that ultimately creates or destroys that company’s brand value. Yet few companies take the time to look at their own business practices comprehensively through the lens of their customers to understand how they measure up to their customers’ needs and expectations.
Does each customer interaction live up to the brand experience that the company is trying to create? Are you providing a more consistent and relevant customer experience than your competitors are? Which interactions are the most powerful for creating customer loyalty?
Fielding customer-satisfaction surveys is not enough. To better serve their customer base and more effectively acquire new customers, organizations need to delve into the details of individual interactions to understand the relationship between each customer touch point and the value it delivers to customers.
After all, value may be built through a series of positive experiences, but it is maintained through consistently meeting the needs and expectations of your customers throughout the customer lifecycle—from pre-purchase consideration to post-purchase evaluation. Companies that have recognized and leveraged this insight have reaped the benefits through improved key performance metrics.
So, despite such successes, why do so few companies take a comprehensive look at their customer touch points? And of those companies that have undertaken such initiatives, why have so many faltered?
Below is a summary of the study commissioned by the state Department of General Services. The study was just released, but is based on 2006-07 data, so a more appropriate title may have been “Small Business Used To Power California Economy”. The study contains no comment on how state I.O.U.s are going to affect these business powerhouses.
Small & Disabled Veteran Businesses Power California Economy
New study details billions of dollars of economic activity, and tens of thousands of new jobs, created by the state’s contracting efforts
SACRAMENTO, Calif. – A new study details the financial impact of the state’s efforts to increase small and disabled veteran business enterprise participation in the state’s goods and services purchasing. The analysis of results from the 2006-07 fiscal year shows how small and disabled veteran businesses enterprises produce about 50 percent more overall California economic impact for each dollar spent than large enterprises. The report also offers a picture of how much this activity increased overall business tax revenues across California’s economy, and how it affected different sectors of the state’s economy.
“The State’s efforts to contract with smaller business created a powerful multiplier effect,” said Jim Butler, that state’s Chief Procurement Officer. “$4.2 billion in new economic activity of all kinds was produced in California by the state spending around $2.66 billion-and 25,617 jobs were created.”
Read the study here.
Testing something new or changing something seemingly small in your email campaigns can definitely tell you something about how your recipients will respond. You’ll either get more open & clicks or you won’t. But you won’t know until you try.
Testing something new can SEEM like a lot of work but it’s really not. If you’re going to create an email marketing campaign anyway, it’s just three more tiny steps.
One: Make a copy of the campaign you’re creating
Two: Change a little part of the campaign (see below)
Three: Test with a small portion of your list or split your list in two
These three simple steps could get you a better response to your next email campaign and it takes just minutes for you to do. Unleash the mad scientist in you with these 5 easy things to test within your next email marketing campaign.
Our friend Marty Gronewald just forwarded us Well Fargo’s ARC loan application. He said none of the local branches had a clue about it but he was able to ferret out the information for us.
It is encouraging the have an application, but in the early paragraphs it says that the program is subject to the banks underwriting rules which would mean that they would never actually loan the money.
If you’d like to brave this adventure, click here to view the application. Right click on the ‘click here’ to save it to your computer. It’s a standard package, so you could send it to multiple lenders.
If anyone gets funded with this program, please let us know. We would love to spread the good news!
Small businesses lead the way in job creation and are critical to the recovery. Large corporations, last to create jobs, are the first to destroy them. This article describes this trend along with other information useful to small business.