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Fake Bestsellers, Concern Trolls, and Hidden Agendas June 26, 2014

Posted by Edwin Ritter in E-Commerce, Trends.
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An example of the long tail with digital publishing. Several lessons learned here for authors to be aware of and worth the read. Article details the process and some publishing realities in a niche of a slice of a sub-topic. Also, having realistic expectations is examined here as well.

David Gaughran

boomLast Friday we were treated to a story from the Op-Ed pages of the New York Times, where Tony Horwitz claimed “I Was A Digital Bestseller” then complained about how little money this made him, and how he would now stick with traditional, print publishers as a result.

Then this Op-Ed was held up – in outlets like Gawker – as another example of how writers have it so tough in this scary new digital world which is going to lead us all into penury.

Just like the story I wrote in January – Fake Controversy Alert: Hitler’s Mein Kampf Was Not A Digital Bestseller – the key “fact” in Horwitz’s tale of woe doesn’t hold up to scrutiny.

Can you guess what it is?

Tracker2

Tracker1Boomwas published on January 29 this year. According to KND’s Tracker, before the Op-Ed, the highest rank it achieved in the…

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Ramblings on web design process October 26, 2013

Posted by Edwin Ritter in E-Commerce, Project Management.
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You know the phrase “It’s great when a plan comes together”? It strikes me as odd that we are surprised when the results of planning using a consistent process yields what we expect. That’s the purpose of a plan. Perhaps from experience we know that a plan and process don’t always match reality.

I found this infographic a while ago and posted it to Slideshare (shameless unintended plug). It is a useful visual to show the end to end process in plan, design and build phases of a website. From project to project, the actual timing can vary widely from what is shown. Factors such as scope and complexity, cost and resources will drive the actual durations. This graphic is useful in guiding the conversation with teams and clients alike. During status updates, it’s useful to ensure everyone understand which phase we are in. It helps set expectations and also show what’s next.

However, I’ve found that some phases are not optimized, like reviews and approvals. Reviews and approvals tend to take much more time than we expect. That makes project management interesting. How do you account for extended review cycles without impacting the delivery date? What makes it more fun is some client adding new features during the reviews. Call it scope creep. I’m sure they realize it will change the end date.  Simple math, really. More features = more time.

Following the plan takes rigor and discipline. Flexibility also helps when reality hits. Keep your plan together. Sorting out the impact to the plan and getting everyone to agree can be a daily task for project managers. I always preface updates to clients with the phrase “I don’t make the news, just report it.”  So, don’t be surprised. Expect the results you plan on.

It is great when a plan comes together. That’s why you use a process to make it happen.

Ruminations on 5 Future Trends in Content Marketing May 9, 2013

Posted by Edwin Ritter in E-Commerce, Trends.
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Today, I came across this presentation on SlideShare that enumerates five trends in B2B marketing. The presentation is titled ‘The Future of Content Marketing: 5 Beyonds‘ and I hope the link works for you. There is a lot of great insight here along with humor and some foul language for those easily offended. I hope the message resonates with you and I’m glad to see someone talking about moving the state of the art for content marketing forward.

Here is a brief summary of the 5 Beyonds mentioned and my comments.

1) Beyond Guttenberg – we continue to use print as the reference for content marketing. Move on! We have smart phones, tablets – all this computing power at our fingertips to present static content. I think responsive web sites will accelerate this change to present more dynamic content.

2) Beyond Search – Let Google change the SEO algorithms. You need to build a community around the brand. SEO Moz is mentioned as a great example. Well deserved shout out and kudos to Rand and the team.

3) Beyond One Size fits All –  About time. Gets to the 1st beyond as well. Dynamic and personal content. B2C is already doing this and so is banner ads. Show that you know me and present content that is of interest to me. Not the masses. Having a personalized experience also provides motivation to come back.

4) Beyond Teaching – Don’t just explain it. Provide a way to use it.

5) Beyond Faceless Brands – Put your name on it. And your face. Establishing a relationship aligns with the community concept and builds credibility and authenticity.

The Future of Content Marketing: 5 Beyonds from Velocity Partners

When you flip through the deck, you will find that there are more than 5 beyonds. As a tease, there actually are 10 and I’m not going to list them here…use the link above. I will mention that I do like the implications of content islands and platform silos.

Thanks to Velocity Partners for sharing.

For those that take B2B marketing seriously (and, of course you should), this should stir some ideas of your own. What take-aways do you have? How does your B2B strategy align with these trends? Will it change your approach?

10 ways big data changes everything May 9, 2012

Posted by Edwin Ritter in Cloud Computing, E-Commerce, SEO, Trends.
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As 2012 reaches the half way mark, here is a post on one of this years’ hot topics. This is the first of three.

What is big data? How big is big? Think Yottabytes. So much data is now collected that 90% of the online data was created in just the last two years. Simply stated, everything you do on the web is tracked and creates data. It is then stored, sliced, diced and analyzed. The growth in data is due to proliferation of smart phones and tablets, lower storage costs and improved analytical tools. This article reveals 10 ways in which big data will have an impact.

Gigaom

A yottabyte isn’t what happens when the Jedi master starts gnawing on your leg. It’s the information equivalent of one quadrillion gigabytes, and is enough digital data to fill the states of Delaware and Rhode Island with a million data centers, according to Backblaze. While the world hasn’t yet seen many yottabytes, industries like Internet search, genomics, climate research, and business analytics are starting to create massive data sets — in the peta- and exabyte range — that are requiring an entirely new set of big data tools to manage.

The emergence of this so-called big data phenomenon is also fundamentally changing everything from the way companies operate, to the way people interact, to how the world deals with outbreaks of infectious diseases. On March 21st and 22nd, GigaOM is throwing an event about the future of this big data ecosystem in New York, Structure:Data, and for…

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Ruminations on Infographics, Part 2 December 2, 2011

Posted by Edwin Ritter in E-Commerce.
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In answer to my previous post on Infographics, here are a few I found related to this years’ holiday shopping. I hope you find them as informative as I did and provide insight for your online strategy.

Cyber Monday

As you know, Black Friday formally kicks off the holiday shopping season.  2011 Holiday shopping onlineCyber Monday  is the now online equivalent  and occurs the weekend after Black Friday.  Buying online has matured to the point where savvy buyers expect, and eagerly await, massive bargains online. To stay competitive, most online retailers gear up to provide web only deals at greatly reduced prices.

As the retailers continue to drive more online sales, Cyber Monday definitely has an effect on worker productivity. This graphic indicates that almost half of the online shopping on Cyber Monday occurs during work hours. If you do shop while in the office, a word of advice – don’t shop during a meeting!

Online sales have set records each year and 2010 sales topped $1B. The average transaction is also at an allt-time high ($195).

As with other online habits, shopping from mobile smart phones will continue. I like the use of the term ‘Mobile-Monday’. Real time comparison shopping is growing and will become the norm in the near future.

2011 Holiday Shopping Predictions

Predictions include that 60% of shoppers will shop online. That’s big money and as mentioned in the previous infographic, 2011 sales were above $1B.

Expect competition to continue among retailers for online market share. Timing may advance from Cyber Monday to occur earlier and earlier in the month. It may ramp up slowly with focused online specials and then culminate in Cyber Monday when all the deals are available.

This infographic indicates only 29% of  shoppers do so while at work – quite a difference from the previously noted 50%.  Last minute gifts ideas include gift cards and cards with $$$ in them.

As this is a prediction, the accuracy will vary. Expect another record set for online sales. When you shop online, remember your transactions are included as part of the data. As that data is collected and analyzed, it will confirm existing fundamentals and also indicate new behavior.The post-mortem on this holiday season will be interesting to see which predictions are true, which did not pan out and should include some surprises. And surprises are part of the holiday spirit.

I have shared these infographics (and, more) as SlideShares on my Linked In account. Along with 2011 Holiday Shopping, you can find topics that include CRM and Email campaigns, marketing automation tools, job search and social media.

I invite you to view them and post your comments. ‘Til then, Happy Shopping!