Monday, June 30, 2008

Marketing Technology Products

Its important to understand that no two customers are the same and different customers require different approach to market your technology product. But the luck is on your side in that all customers fall into a few broad categories.

The first category is the Novice User. The novice user knows nothing about the product and wants to know every thing and probably experience the product before placing an order. So experiential format store or the demonstration of product would be best for this class of consumer. Many stores use plasma screens to show specification and functionality of common electronics items to avoid repeat explanations to all prospects.

The second functional category is the Techie Geek. This class of users have all the knowledge of the item to be bought and wants to re affirm her beliefs. So you need to just affirm his beliefs and let him experience the product.

The third category of users is the Affluent Demonstrative consumer. These people may probably not even use the item beyond carrying and maybe occasional use. So you need to pamper their ego and show them high end stylish models with a better price tag and impress upon the Style Quotient and exclusivity that the product is probably going to provide them.

Also in selling the Technical Product in which new models keep turning up every quarter you need to have a educated , trained and motivated workforce which will be able to take care of the above mentioned different approach to different consumers and improve upon the closing ratio than just working with a standard rote presentation to each consumer.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Now Buy Your Top Level Domain

ICANN has decided that for a Sum of $1,00,000 you will be able to buy a Vanity TLD name. Domains like .Ambani, .Love et al would be a possibility now. These domain names would be tested for ethicality and spoofing before allotting by ICANN’s strict scanning procedure. This measure will also increase the number of domains available on the internet which is already breaching the upper limit of the Internet Naming System.

Also top level Domain Names could now be in other languages like Arabic or Cyrillic. So now get ready for Unicode addressing in the World Wide Web. The process is set to begin by 2009.

With all these developments it occurred to me that a lot remains to be done on the level of language translation which may be expected in the Semantic web or Web 3.0. That is automatic translation of web site into the language desired by the user. Maybe in two years we see such a solution. It occurred to me because I have blog readers from 61 countries and I found that there were no readers from Russia, ( From Google Analytics ), and I concluded that my English language blog was an impediment to successful marketing in Russia and other countries in Africa apart from South Africa. Hence if you are blogging then you have to look at all these factors to increase your readership loyalty as well as adsense revenues.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Live CD's

Want to work with a higher version OS. Don’t know the cumbersome details of the process of installing or just want to learn Linux along with Windows OS. No problem. Go for a Live CD. CD’s are available for Linux and Windows latest version OS which can be used to boot your PC from the CD drive. Now that is a cool smart way of coming over the problem of working with two OS simultaneously for learning or commercial purposes, cutting down on your maintenance costs by a hefty amount. So what are you waiting for acquire one, and Go For IT.

Life was never good for PC enthusiasts with PC and Internet innovations propping up by the hour and keeping life interesting every minute.

Telecom Gold at the Bottom Of Pyramid

Vodafone entered Indian market not very long time back, but it is already making waves in UK and Europe. Vodafone was ranked 6th in wealth creation in UK and 21st in Europe ( BERR Survey in Britain ).

Hence it can be concluded that the Indian BOP foray has proved damn lucrative to the UK based company. It is to be noted that Vodafone acquired Hutch in India and launched a re branding campaign in India and has a red logo. Vodafone sells cheap handsets in India costing 30 dollars upwards aimed at the mass Bottom Of Pyramid customers. The strategy seems to have paid off as volumes have substituted for the margins and made Vodafone successful in garnering the crucial subscribers and market share in the Indian Market.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Nokia’s India Strategy

Nokia is all set to begin offering new services to its clients as the telecom sector is set to consolidate in order to de clutter in the coming years. Nokia with a lions market share of about 75% in Indian handset market is threatened by the marketing and product attack of competitors like Motorola, Samsung, LG and Sony Ericsson who are going strong on Branding and Product positioning.
So now Nokia has decided that it is time to retaliate and it has acquired Symibian and plans to launch a platform called Ovi which will be used hawk its stable of VAS like Games, Entertainment, and navigation. All the three categories are growing in India and are set to reach multibillion dollar status in a couple of years.
In 2007 VAS was valued at a healthy 1.5 Billion dollars and is set to reach $5.6 billion by 2011. Nokia will also concentrate on OS market. With competition gaining heat it is getting more and more difficult for Nokia to retain its market share and it has to try various things like proactive planning and scenario analysis to stay ahead of other nimble and capable companies with matching talent and deep pockets.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Online Reputation Management

ORM is emerging as a hot new concepts in India following the global trends. Companies find that internet can be used for malicious purposes by disgruntled customers and ex employees hence the need to ORM. ORM is already a multi crore
Business in India. Companies hire agencies to look after their online images and pay agencies for doing the same.
It could be considered as Internet Brand building by managing good articles and blog posts in Social Media to maintain good Internet Brand Equity. In future companies may even be lobbying for a law against digital ignominy.
But their already exists consumers and prosumer’s lobby’s which are for opinions by consumers. There are various opinion products on the internet you should go through before buying any durable worth a few thousand Rs.
Hence according to this author instead of spending crores of Rs. On corrective measures companies could take proactive measures such as to take the complaints themselves and seriously through company blogs so as to give a feeling of transparency to the consumers instead of going for quick fix and reactive measures.
What say?

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Location Based Services

How location based services are slowly becoming a Industry in Itself is worth a sector watching. It is already a 1 Billion Indutry and is set to increase it self in size to 8 billion in next 1 year. Rapid growth is happening and is expected to continue in the future also.
Applications like addresses of Restaurants and Location based special offers by many businesses and finding friends in local places is cathing on really fast among mobile users. 16 Milion people already use this service which is set to cross 45 million by 2011.
Maps is a blockbuster application on LBS and soon with refinements to the LBS ecosystem the whole deal is all set to get ever alluring to the users.

Location based services can also get popular in countries with high level of tourist influx with those new in the country can get information in hans without scouring for it from th eunhelpful and sometimes dangerous locals. So that dimension is the one I like.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Yahoo’s Attrition Continues

Yahoo is seeing senior management personnel leaving the company. The move comes with the Google and Yahoo pact on co operation in advertising. Senior management is leaving the company on job clarity and security concerns. Yahoo India has also seen about 50 employees fired on low performance. Many Indian Technology companies like Infosys also practice the process of laying off poor performers.

Yahoo also lost heavily in Market capitalization owing to the concerns of shareholders over the merger with Microsoft failing. Hence looks like Yahoo has plenty of problems on its platter for the time being. How deftly Yahoo manages to steer clear will only be revealed by the times to come.

FireFox 3.0 Launched

Creeping market share acquisition for Mozilla’s Firefox is what I call a successful strategy to dethrone Internet Explorer from the coveted Market Leadership in Browser market. While IE has 72% of market share Firefox now has about 18% of the Browser market share. Not by any standards a mean achievement.

Many a factors were involved in this process, and the main in main was the high speed which Firefox offers compared to the IE. Microsoft’s internet explorer was also a follower on various counts of innovation like the tabbed browsing which was started by many lesser known players with not so deep pockets and a big R&D staff. Also there were anti trust allegations against Microsoft for bundling its Browser with OS and adversely affecting the competitors chances of winning the Browser Wars.

Firefox 3.0 was downloaded 8 million times in first 24 hours of launch creating a record of sorts, while opera has launched opera 9.5 which was downloaded 5 million times in about a weak time. So more competition seems to be taking on the heels of the market leader Microsoft.

Firefox 3.0 is faster and takes up lesser of computer memory for operation but a security glitch was reported within hours of its launch which affected the downloads. Browser market wars are all set to heat up in the coming times what with Billions of handsets in the circulation and chances of Browser and search advertising revenues making the mobile space a hot differentiating entity in any companies portfolio.

Opera is also gaining traction and every month about 20 million users use Opera to access web from computers and 12 million people use Opera Mini from their mobiles. Watch out this space to read more about the Browser Marketing Wars in coming posts.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Marketing Worth of Social Networks

I was just reading the TechCrunchs Post today on the value of Social Networks. They have used advertising spend as the criteria for measuring the effectiveness of Social Networks. Not going into the actual ranking but the post set me thinking at the problem. Yes what good is a social ntwork without a revenue model. So if marketers are being served their dues then things are good. But it also set me thinking, what makes people think that there cant be Niche Social Networks with subscription based revenues and premium hosted services which will distinguish it from all the other Social Networks.

Myspace and Facebook emerged as the biggest networks as expected. With Hi5 and Bebo also figuring in the list.

Geographically UK is the most lucrative market followed by Australia, Denmark and USA is at fourth spot.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Apples Global Strategy

How apple tends to increase the sales of its i-Phone 3G globally. First it is entering into marketing arrangement with distributors in 22 countries which is bound to have a great impact on the sales of i-Phones. Next they plan to increase the country served count to 70. Also they would make it difficult for people to use unlocked phone by not selling a phone without a service plan.

They plan to sell 10 million i-Phones in 2008. 3G is a technology which allows more bandwidth to internet applications and data services on Mobiles. iPhone is only second in the smart phone category, next to Blackberry phone from RIM.

Apples strategy is most likely to pay off with distribution making iPhones available to people who were hitherto relying on grey markets to buy these phones.

The 8GB model will be available for 200 dollars and 16 GB model available for a 300 dollars.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Internal Memory in LG Dynamite Required

Today I was reading the specifications of LG Dynamite in news paper and found that most MP3 players had a inbuilt memory of just 60 to 80 MB which could store just 20-30 songs. It was also not clear if the Memory was shared for Photo and Video recording or , if separate what was the memory for Photos and videos.

Will the companies take note of the fact that a model with MP3 player is useless with out at least 1 GB of Internal memory. Expandable memory is welcome but internal memory is desirable feature.

Maybe LG 195, 220 and 320 doesn't have these features but LG future models may support the same.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Clogging of Domains and Internet Addresses

There are almost 4.5 billion internet addresses and about 400 million left free. So IP V 6 is supposed to support trillions of trillions of trillions addresses to come over the problem of addresses on the internet. Apart from hosted spaces, billions of addresses would be needed for networking equipments with addresses in a more smarter internet of the future.

Also Yahoo is introducing and two new domains for it services. Yahoo has a humongous 266 E-Mail users and it is becoming difficult for them to assign users names with their actual identity. It is believed that 70% of internet users want to have a id which reflects their true identity. Hence Yahoo is coming up with this Endeavor.

Self Service Programs and Technology

Technology helps in establishing Self Servicing Routines like those of E-Commerce, E-Governance or E-Education. In this line India has also started various experimental programs. But India is in the first stage of introducing e-enablement. For example Foreign Universities have e-Courses and Exams. They also have software deployed in Universities for better teacher student interaction and service.

India is still experimenting with the concept with universities like Mumbai University, and Delhi University having Registration Forms being sold and accepted online.

With massive population explosion in India, there is a huge under served market in India, which can be tapped by Distance Mode online. Universities can start distance mode in Collaboration with Foreign universities to gain with the ready made course ware and systems and processes required to run the Online Universities. It would be a natural expansion for these Businesses and it is also their Moral and CSR obligation, which will also give the next booster to the Indian Economy.

Also existing students can be trained better by employing e-Learning centers in Colleges and Universities as the needs of different students is different, and customization can be done easily by using software tutors. This in turn will lead to better trained and employable graduates leading to better quality of life for the employees and also the society.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

India Ranks 20 in Patents Ranking

In both WIPO and PTO ranking India ranks lowly on 20th rank. Asia corners almost 1/3 rd of Science and Technology patents with even small countries like Taiwan, South Korea and Japan doing much better than India cornering a quarter of all patents put together. Taiwan is ranked 4rth in PTO rankings, South Korea 5th and Japan is second. US leads both the lists.

So India may do well by improving its Patents research and enter the league of the likes of Germany, France , Italy et al. PTO ranked China at a lowly 15th spot still doing better than India.

Innovations Galore From LG and Samsung

While i-Phone 3G is going to hit 22 countries in July, other companies are not sitting idle. They are planning their own innovative new products.

LG and Samsung are usual are leading the onslaught with their products which include new features like haptic touch, Vibetones and Support for Widgets.

Samsung Omnia supports Vibetones where you can set different vibrations for different callers, a totally new experience to give you that special feeling for a special person when he/she calls.

LG and Samsung are both launching products ( LG’s KF 700) which are haptic, ie when you touch the screen they give a vibratory feedback of right or wrong interaction. Now that is something I call a cool innovation which will sure entice the users. Also the support for widgets which can pull news or blog feeds right from your home page is something users will like to have on their phones.

So i-Phone 3G watch out, cornering big chunks of Market Share only on the count of Distribution Clout is not going to be that easy. You need to take on on the Innovation front as well.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Digital Divide Widens

Digital Ecstasy Beckons

Recently I read in the news paper that Nokia E Series launched a Phone with Dual Camera with a front Camera for Video chat. Now that is some cool innovation where you will be able to have mini conferences with your business stakeholders and pass on that so necessary body language to the overall communication that you send out.

Also on personal front you could be with your friends and spouses and communicate in Multimedia mode with your expressions speaking out more than just words.

But on the flip side it could add to an added surveillance on you and may increase the already existing digital divide.

Piracy and Digital Music Business

Piracy Denting UK Music Industry

If you thought that India is the only one country with high rates of Music Piracy, it will be an eye opener for you. 50% of the Music in the I-Pods of 96% of British 18-24 years old is pirated. In the case of 14-17 years old it is 61%, Times reported.

With the cost of legal downloads becoming friendly these figures are more awe inspiring. This shows how P2P sites and Buddy sharing are eating away the profits of Music Labels.

That made me start thinking what makes people who can afford expensive I-Pods use bootlegged Music.The urge to save money, simple convenience of Bulk Copying or lack of values. Times have not dwelled on these causes. Well statistics speak of necessary measures required for the Music labels to encourage legal downloading or sales.

One way could be prepackaged Music at a small incremental fees included with I-Pod. Another way could be to distribute good Music with DVD’s priced at an attractive price point which makes piracy redundant.

Indian Cinema is trying hard to fight Piracy by adopting the above methods. Movies which fail to pick up in the theatres and old classics are sold in DVD’s priced at Rs 34-38 and a set of 2 CD’s for Rs. 24. This hardly covers the cost of CD’s not to speak of the replacement warranty if defect is found and posh locations like Planet M and Big Bazaar in Malls where these are available.

May be UK companies will take note and come out with some measures to curb the Menace of Piracy.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Sudden Technology Threat

Telecom companies were doing well adding about 7-8 million users to its kitty every month in India and globally too. The juggernaut has hit a roadblock before it could blow into a full fledged business boom. The reason Indian Government has found that Cells are not safe for Children and Pregnant Women. Prominent politicians are also demanding a ban on phone use in school and are setting guidelines for advertising related to these market segments.

Suddenly the most lucrative market segment of Kids and Pregnant women become a taboo for telecom companies which is sure going to hit the sales of these companies eventually as kids are a fashion conscious high net worth clients of mobile services what with upward mobility of families with respect to income.

Suddenly the telecom companies are subject to new SWOT studies to find new ways of coping with the situation. One strategy which the companies could adopt would be to come together and form a corpus of funds to R&D and find safe radiation free phone technology so that these segments again open up for them. But this will take time. Another strategy could be to promote the use of Hands Free and Blue tooth. Also selling more to existing customers could offset some of the loss to the top line and bottom line which would arise from this scenario.

Also governments could take a cue from this situation and not allow companies to launch products without proper safety testing and Health implications being taken into consideration.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Price Wars and Technology Companies

It was all started by Google who strated offering Office applications for free as cloud computing solutions. So that resulted inMicrosft trying to acquire Yahoo in order to challenge the dominance of Google in Internet. Apart from that it looks like soon Anti Trust cases may bethrust upon Google which is fast reaching a threatening Monopoly situation in Search Advertising.

But with Google going open source with its Office solutions has not yet created a much dent in the market share of Microsoft whose main enemy happens to be Piracy in Third World countries than the trying to be Nemesis Google.

Going open source may help the companies to make research easier but it sure is going to result in eroded top line and bottomline for both the Companies. Looks like all the top management guys in Fortune 500 companies are in dire need of management courses, to make them understand that it is better to compete maybe on open standards than go in for a total regressive price wars.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Technology Tid Bid

New Generation of Microprocessors are 80% energy efficent compered to the existing 65% energy efficient processors with out giving up on performance parameters.

Phoenix Microprocessors

University of Michigan is developing a Microprocessor which can run on very low energy. In sleep mode it requires energy in PicoWatts, Billionth of Watts. It is supposed to be used in applictaions like Medicine , Construction and Surveillance.
It has a very small battery of the form of Film which can be used power the microprocessor. A watch battery could run the Microprocessor for 240 years.
This opens way for a number of embedded applications and Nano computing in the times to come.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Indian Gaming Scenario

Sony rules the roost with about 70% market share in India. Indian market is still a callow with not even a 1% market share of the world market which is set to grow to 47 billion $ in 2010. Indian gaming market is at about 160 million $.

Nintendo Wii is soon to launch in India and give competition to Sony and Microsoft. But Sony holds a distribution clout over here with over 200 exclusive Sony World stores. Indian market is set to explode in years to come with PC affordability dropping and if not the console sector but PC gaming is set to emerge as an important sector. Also with mobile penetration increasing by the minute, Mobile gaming is also set to increase in coming days.

All in all gaming in India may reach 5% of Global gaming in next 5-10 years times, Rajeev predicts. Both Sony and Microsoft have taken the experiential route in the Indian market to entice the potential customers with hands on experience through in store marketing with tie ups through retail behemoths like Planet M, Cross Word, Croma, Hyper City et al to their advantage.

What U got to say guys?

From Dot Com To Brick n Mortar

I am talking about JeevanSaathi. Com an Indian based Matrimonial site which has recently launched its first Match Point which will act as a touch point for not so Internet savvy customers where they receive the traditional human servicing and advice. Also couples can drop in and meet their would be potential spouses here.

This is the first such presence for the portal. It soon plans to open two more in New Delhi where the first touch point is coming up. This is a clear example of how virtual business can create cash flows necessary for expanding the business in the real world. Naukri.Com, Shaadi.Com are other dot coms which have real world presence.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Google's Strategy and Future

Will Google Survive

Google is placed precariously riskily as it depends 99% on search advertising. Slowly and surely Google is going to loose its dominant position as China, Europe and India will have there own companies which understand the local geography well and are surely likely to succeed to at least some degree in reducing the clout of Google. Google has added tens of new applications through Google Labs but all of them turn out to be just incremental and no blockbuster product has been introduced which could turn the Industry Dynamics towards it.

Google is towards open sourcing, I think the opposite could help them. I mean by going revenues. Like they could enter the OS and Desk Top applications market, by having full fledged Desk Top version of MS Office and charge a 20% less than Microsoft. They already have Cloud Version of Office software and they could convert the Design to desktop in about a Month and do so.

This gambit could create an additional source of income for Google and could seriously challenge the position of Microsoft.

Also they could improve and refine the way search results by taking optional feedback from users about relevance and usefulness of search results thrown. This way they could even increase their market share Globally and in the US.

How do you rank my strategy, Friends? Hmm!

Green Technology

Nokia’s Green Foray

It seems that Nokia has launched 40 Models of Green Phones to assuage the “Green Peace” an Ngo which ranked it 9th in 2007 as against 1st in 2006 as Eco Friendly organization. West is particularly aware about green Issues and hence the market share in west specifically depends on such rankings by Independent Authorities.

According to sources such models will hardly affect Indian market where customers are least aware of any such moves. The first of these models which is 65% recyclable is already launched by Nokia.

Hope Nokia’s ranking in 2005 Green Peace award improves this year.


Virus Programs and Computer Stability

If you by chance Install two virus scan programs there is a serious threat of system instability. I did it with ENOD 32 and McCafee and experienced problems. So always uninstall one Virus program before Installing the other, to keep your system safe and agile in response time.
The system instability also occurs because both the programs become Memory Resident and take up your valuable resources in RAM just not freeing up enough space for your regular programs

Skimming Prices of Desktops and Laptops

For all those who could not afford a Desktop or Laptop now is the time. Full configuration, sophisticated features are now available at throwaway prices. Desktops in India are now available in the range of 20,000 Rs. (Assembled) to 30,000 Rs for branded ones like the Dell Inspiron 530 Desktop. Laptops with Core 2 Duo processor, 2 GB RAM are as low as 35,000 Rs. for Dell Inspiron 1525 laptops. About 1 year back the same configuration of laptop was available for as high as 85,000 to 1,00,000 Rs. . So friends going could not get much better. Although Quad Core Intel Chips are the latest but for an average user the C2D is a good processor.

And India and world over the variety and brand choice is abound and plentiful. So go an, make your pick, owning a computer was never going to harm any body’s interest.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Personal Technology and Entertainment

As this Author is based from India, I talk today about my Experiences in Entertainment Technology and India. India is a great country and I stay near Mumbai and hence we have about 8 FM stations, but most radios are only Audio Promotion types and hardly play your favorite Music. Hence comes up the need to put up with an MP3 player.
I have a Phillips variety which was gifted to me by my employer. 1 GB shuffle. My experience with the Gadget was really good. But you need some time to refine the favorite list in the flash memory as you play your MP3 player and feel really good with 1 by 1 your favorite numbers playing and giving you that estatic feeling of being in heaven, If some numbers do not fit yuor mood you can happily go to the next random song.

My 1 GB could store about 200 songs as Hindi songs are a bit lengthy. I preferred teh MP3 format than the WMA. Easyly drag dropped.

Maybe my next gift from my employer would be an I-Pod or I-Phone and I would happily be listening to my favorite Music.

The conclusion is that Personal technology makes life really beautiful and livable.

So more later.