Mobile App Development Market Perspective

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Mobile App Development Market Perspective

Mobile App StrategyA recent web search of Mobile App Development returned the following companies. This is a fast developing landscape especially in the enterprise mobile app space. This search was done on 7/6/13 using Google Chrome. Although company names repeat in different categories, some website links vary. One trend I have noticed since entering the industry in 2009 is the emergence of major software companies in the Mobile App Development space.

 

“Mobile App Development”

  1. SalesForce.com
  2. Momentum Design Labs
  3. MicroStrategy
  4. Netsmartz
  5. Titanium aka Appcelerator
  6. World Link
  7. Fueled

 

“Mobile App Development Dallas”

  1. World Link
  2. Bottle Rocket
  3. xCube Labs
  4. Copper Mobile
  5. Code Authority
  6. G&G Technologies
  7. NourTek Solutions

 

“Enterprise Mobile App Development”Mobile App Development

  1. Kony
  2. Citrix
  3. IBM
  4. HP
  5. AT&T
  6. Copper Mobile
  7. Innoppl
  8. xCube Labs

 

“Enterprise Mobile App Development Dallas”

  1. Copper Mobile
  2. Kony
  3. Citrix
  4. World Link
  5. xCube Labs
  6. Orchestra Technology
  7. Ayoka Systems
  8. Enterprise Mobile



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J.R. Atkins joins Aria as chief Client Strategist

Dallas social media speaker J.R. Atkins joins Aria as Chief Client StrategistDallas-based marketing and advertising agency, Aria, is excited to announce the addition of J.R. Atkins to its team as Chief Client Strategist.

A veteran marketing and communications specialist, J.R. brings more than 15 years experience, specializing in the strategy behind both inbound and outbound marketing. A sought-after public speaker, he has established himself as a thought-leader identifying emerging business trends and opportunities, particularly in social media and the mobile market.

“J.R.’s extensive and varied experience leading strategy development for a broad range of clients brings a unique knowledge-base and perspective to our incredibly talented team at Aria. We’re very excited to have him on board,” said Aria’s CEO, Ryan Thompson.

Previously, J.R. has consulted as a sales and marketing expert for a number of nationally recognized firms, like GlobeRunner SEO, [x]cube LABS, MutualMind, and NextCorp. J.R. received his BBA from Texas A&M University and his MBA from The University of Phoenix. He is also an ASA certified sailing instructor, an avid reader and a musician.


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How do you manage your time as a knowledge worker?

We live and work as knowledge workers, always connected and paid for what we can do with our minds. As I look at when I accomplish the most or do my best work, I find that it is in the evening, after 5:30, when most people have left the office or other opportunities when I have blocks of un-interrupted time.

Dallas social media speaker J.R. Atkins discusses time managementDuring the day my time is very fragmented with:

  • email communication
  • connecting with others by phone
  • reading articles to keep up with current events and trends
  • reading and posting on social media
  • mentoring and coaching members of my team
  • meeting in the hallway with other executives, shaping thoughts and practices
  • eating lunch
  • prospecting
  • meeting deadlines
  • addressing issues
  • solving problems
  • and yes, some socializing

 

But then the quiet time comes. In the evening and on the weekends, I get 3 or more hours in a block of time, this is when the best work occurs. As I visit with other professionals I find that I am not alone. So, what are we to do? Here are few ideas I’m working on applying.

1. Managers vs. Makers schedule – Check out this article titled: “Maker’s Schedule, Manager Schedule” by the folks at “Y Combinator”, a start up group in Silicon Valley.

This article defines the maker as someone who makes something and needs big blocks of time. Their day is divided into 3 blocks of time: breakfast to lunch, lunch to dinner, dinner till sleep. A Maker needs these big blocks of time to make something.

A Manager thrives on a fragmented day, usually divided by meeting after meeting often in one hour blocks of time. But what happens when we need to do do both?

Recommendation: Add this article to the social structure at your office and see if you can create a morning or afternoon block of “maker time” each week. During this time, there would be no meetings, no interruptions and work would get done. What would it mean to your group to add 2, 4 hour blocks of productivity each week?

 

2. Log out, headphones and signs – Occasionally I can reproduce a block of quiet time by logging out of email, chat and social media. I then tell my co-workers that “I’m going in” to the quiet zone. That means don’t bother me for a while. Then I put my headphones on, the noise canceling kind from Bose, and that helps. I have even gone as far as to put up sign’s that says quiet, do not disturb.

Recommendation: Invest in a set of noise canceling headphones. they will pay for themselves in productivity in no time at all. Besides, the music is great too.

3. Leave the office – Working at home or another location can also help to avoid disturbance and interruptions. I have a friend that goes to the library. It’s one of the few places in our society where everyone is suppose to be quiet yet you can still use a computer. And, they usually have free wifi. I have worked from home and Starbucks but they offer their own form of interruptions and distractions. I’m trying the library next time.

Recommendation: Check out the local library as a place to work in quiet, with out interruptions and distractions.

I look forward to hearing form you as to how you get your best work done.

June Events:

Dallas A&M Club – Aggie Business Luncheon

Social Media and Your Career @Southlake Focus Group

AAF Dallas – Optimized Media Mgmt – Determining Key Campaign Metrics

Taking the Mystery out of Google Tools for Small Business

Stretch Your Career: Networking @Times Ten Cellars

What the Heck is Sales 2.0? @ Untyed Las Colinas

DFW Start Up Weekend June 17-19, 2011

Social Media and Your Career @ Watermark Community Church

 


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“Cell Tower To Go” from AT&T

AT&T’s new cell tower can fit in a suitcase and

helps restore networks after natural disasters

By Amar Toor posted Apr 25th 2011 10:37AM

Dallas social media speaker J.R. Atkins is a fan of the AT&T Emergency Cell TowerWhenever a natural disaster strikes, phone companies are typically forced to patch up their own networks with fleets of trucks that serve as temporary cell towers. It’s a process that involves plenty of manpowerand, most importantly, plenty of time. AT&T has a more portable solution: a cell tower small enough to fit into a suitcase. The company’s new Remote Mobility Zone is comprised of an antenna and accompanying satellite dish, both of which can handle up to 14 simultaneous calls placed within a half-mile radius. Any AT&T phone can connect to the makeshift system, which will sell for anywhere between $15,000 and $45,000 (plus some monthly fees), though emergency workers will need a generator to get it up and running. They’ll also have to live without 3G data, which sounds like a reasonable compromise to us.

Original Posting: http://www.engadget.com/2011/04/25/atandts-new-cell-tower-can-fit-in-a-suitcase-help-restore-networ/


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The Cost of Clutter

What is the cost of clutter in your life?

Dallas social media speaker J.R. Atkins suggest a less cluttered workspaceI have become aware that clutter exists in several areas of my life and by clearing the clutter away I can have a more productive and peaceful life. Here are a few clutter areas worth considering.

Awards – Awards are a good reminder of our past achievements but they can also hold us back from your future accomplishment.

Balance this with a dream board and some white space, or why not place an empty shelf with a sign, future awards? (Resource: How to Create a Dream Board) 

Walls – Wall clutter such as pictures, awards, books shelves, even art, can contribute to making a space feel small. Lack of “white space” also detracts from the perspective of art.

Why not rotate the wall ornaments like some people do with seasonal decorations? Art galleries do this all the time to show different works of art. You too can do this with your home or office space. (Resource: Random Interior Ideas)

Kitchen – Some people love gadgets like food processors, food steamers, bread makers and other kitchen appliances that can add to kitchen counter clutter.

Why not approach your kitchen appliances another way: What one or two items will do multiple tasks? Now if you are a specialty cook or maybe an avid cook or baker this may not work. But for the average American, we can usually do with a few less items on our kitchen counters. (Resource: Real Simple)

Closet – Almost everyone in America has too much clutter in their closets. There are people who earn a living just from helping you with your closet: organize it, build a bigger one, select what not to wear and select cloths to get rid of.

Why not take it all out and only re-hang what you really wear or really like. Then give the rest to Goodwill, sell to a ‘gently worn’ store, or on eBay. It might be easier to do it one section at a time to keep from getting overwhelmed. (Resource: My Home Ideas)

Dallas social media speaker J.R. Atkins points out that a cluttered garage is an unwelcomed distractionGarage – Can you park your car in your garage? I am surprised to see how many Americans park their $30,000+ automobiles in the driveway or in the street. For some of us, it is due to an abundance of “stuff” that just won’t fit in our house.

Why not get rid of the items you really don’t need or use and organize the garage like a professional. It’s nice to pull into the garage on a rainy day, especially with an automatic garage door opener versus parking outside in the rain. (Resource: The Family Handyman)

Work – Is your desk or cubicle a tool for efficient work or a place where things stack up and get in the way? There are many books and blogs on the subject of organizing your work space with principles like “only touch a piece of paper once.” In our digital age it can be written as “only open an email or document once.”

Why not block out time for specific task, especially the high pay-off ones like strategy or creativity? Also, try to remove all distractions from your view. I use head phones to block out distractions and close my email, Skype and Social Media sites. (Resource: 10 Ways to Remove Clutter from Your Life )

Life – Do you lead a busy life? Most of us do. We find ourselves “running” from event to event in work, social and family life. We even fill our vacations with tasks like Chevy Chase in the movie “Vacation.”

What would it mean to you and your family to have “down time” or “quiet time”? How might life be richer? So many of us are running to or from something that if we slow down we have to face the reality of life. But the reality of life will eventually catch us. Why not address the issues of life in a “head on fashion” so we can enjoy quiet time? (Resource: Simple Living Manifesto)

Dallas social media speaker J.R. Atkins recommends NAPO of organizational helpIn closing, I suggest you give yourself some time to remove the clutter of life. It did not build up overnight, so it might take longer than one weekend to de-clutter your life. My goal is be in a place of less clutter by this time next year. When I move, I want to have less to move. I’ll let you know how it turns out.

P.S. A great Dallas based resource for help de-clutter your life is Misty Keown

Future Events of Worth

April 20          DFW AMA: GameStop – Designing a Loyalty Program for Today’s Consumer

April 20          World Affairs Council: Ending Iran’s Quest for Nuclear Weapons – Barry Blechman, Ph.D.

April 21          Untyed Arlington: What the Heck is Sales 2.0?

April 25          iPhone Dev MeetUp: A Tour of the AT&T Foundry, Plano

April 26          Dallas Business Club: Bell Helicopter President & CEO John Garrison Jr.

April 26          Dallas Harvard Club: From Social Media to Mobile Apps: The Next Big Wave

April 27          DFW AMA: Google 2011: Impacts on Local Internet Marketing

April 27          Digital Dallas: “Moroch: Be Curious”

April 28          AAF Dallas: Happy Hour at Blue Mesa Addison

May 3             Aggie Business Luncheon: Rachel Hayden, P.E. President of Hayden Consulting Inc.

May 5             World Affairs Council: Richard North Patterson, Author of “The Devil’s Light”


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Is There a Mobile App Developer Shortage?

Check out this Wall Street Journal Article that posses the question: Is there a mobile app developer shortage?

Do you see a shortage from your perspective?

Dallas social media speaker J.R. Atkins ask if there is a shortage of mobile app devleopersIt seems the mobile world can’t get enough of a good thing. And, in this case, the good thing is a talented mobile app developer.

According to a new report published byThe Wall Street Journal, the “talent pool” of devs isn’t overflowing by a long shot, despite the escalating demand for developers and their creative genius.

“The demand is constant,” said Dan Gilmartin, vice president of marketing for web start-up Where Inc. “Every company is looking for these people.”

Where Inc., for example, is looking to double its mobile staff this year after quadrupling it in 2010. But finding a few good developers is, incredibly, a daunting prospect for many like-minded firms.

 

Original Blog: http://www.mobilemarketingwatch.com/is-there-a-mobile-app-developer-shortage-14657/comment-page-1/

 

 

 

 

 


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Cool iPad App to display your Portfolio

If you are photographer, artist or other creative type who would like to have a cool digital portfolio for show and tell on the iPad, check out the “PadPort App.”

Dallas social Media speaker J.R. Atkins recommends the use of PadPortPADPORT is an elegant portfolio presentation App for the iPad – designed by and for professional media artists. PADPORT allows photographers, artists and a multitude of other visual artists to assemble a digital portfolio of their works and use the iPad as a new media presentation tool.

The Key Features of the App include:

> MINIMALIST INTERFACE – to allow the content to be the center of attention.

> MULTIPLE PORTFOLIOS – The user can create sets of works to be presented in categorized portfolios.

> MULTIPLE THEMES – The App allows the user to select from different Themes and use different Themes for each portfolio.

> KIOSK MODE – The App allows the user to present their Portfolios in a private Kiosk mode – disallowing other users or viewers from editing the Portfolio.

Dallas Social media speaker J.R. Atkins uses the apple App Store

> EASE OF USE – The App is designed without unnecessary features or complexity – focusing on ease of use by the user.

 


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From Mashable: How to create a “Blockbuster Mobile App”

Whenever I find a good article, I like to share it with my friends. Such is the case in this post on creating “Blockbuster Mobile Apps”. Jeana Lee Tahnk with Mashable does a great job as usual.

Dallas Social Media Speaker J.R. Atkins recommends MashableIn an ever expanding and increasingly competitive mobile app marketplace, it’s becoming harder for developers to create apps that stand out for being more entertaining, engaging and worthy of consumers’ attention and money. There are approximately 350,000 apps in iTunes, 65,000 in the Android marketplace, and thousands more being developed as we speak. Whether an app is the brainchild of two parents who want to entertain their daughter, or a creation from a huge developing house, there’s no telling exactly how an app will fare once it hits the open market.

So, what exactly does it take to create a killer app? A good idea, focus, determination and lots of luck certainly help. But there are other factors that up-and-comers can glean from seasoned developers who have been there, done that, and done it well.

I had the opportunity to speak with a handful of leading app developers in the mobile marketplace — established leaders whose products in iTunes consistently top either the highest-grossing or most-downloaded lists. These developers know their stuff, and generously gave a sneak peek into what it takes to create a blockbuster app. Remember, to be the best, you have to learn from the best. Here’s what they had to say.


Customize for the Device


 

bejeweled image

 

The experience that a gamer has on an iPhone compared to a gaming console is dramatically different. Developers need to be aware of the limitations a smaller screen has on the overall experience and create apps that are designed for the particular device. Engaging with a game should be easy and seamless for users, and according to Jason Kapalka, co-founder and chief creative officer at PopCap Games, Inc., it’s important to remember that “iPhones aren’t PCs or consoles.” Seems glaringly obvious, but what developers often overlook is that people use apps on their mobile devices much differently than they do on a more interactive gaming device like the Wii or Xbox.

“When we built Bejeweled and Plants vs. Zombies for the iPhone, we spent a lot of time making sure the controls felt right on the touchscreen. There are lots of iPhone and iPad games that have amazing graphics and great depth, but if the controls are awkward or frustrating on a touchscreen device, none of that matters.”


See the Potential for the Platform


 

flight control image

 

Rob Murray, CEO of Firemint Pty Ltd and developer of Flight Control, urges developers to not only take the platform’s limitations into consideration, but more importantly, look beyond the limitations to see where the potential lies. “Why do people want to play a particular type of game on this device? What makes it more compelling than a desktop or console?”

Murray is a huge proponent of identifying what the device can do for your app and not the other way around. “Take Flight Control and the iPhone. We embraced the touch screen and used it to great effect. The control scheme is intuitive, elegant and accessible and takes advantage of the ability to interact directly with the game.” Taking a feature like the touch screen and maximizing its ability to add to the user experience can make engagement that much more profound. Murray adds, “With each advance in mobile technology comes the potential to do something unique.”


Make it Personal


 

pocket god image

 

Most great inventions are born from a personal need or desire, and Dave Castelnuovo, from Bolt Creative and co-creator of Pocket God, thinks that app development is no different. In many cases, developers are so focused on filling a niche in the market or creating something that they think will be successful, but don’t take into consideration what they personally would seek in an app experience. “The game industry is a hit-driven business and requires you to make a connection with the audience,” Castelnuovo says. “You can make that connection much stronger by creating something that you naturally respond to instead of guessing how someone else will receive it.”

Once you have something that hits you on a personal level, you can have more confidence in putting it on the market. If it speaks to you, there’s a good chance that it will for others as well. At the same time, Castelnuovo advises developers against agonizing over every single decision. Create a good quality product and set the bar high, but leave room for adaptability and know when to move on. “The original Pocket God app only took us one week to develop and was only meant to be a stepping stone onto bigger and better things. Since we didn’t have expectations for it, I think it freed us to do something unique.”


Get Feedback Early On


 

cut the rope image

 

Semyon Voinov, a creative director at ZeptoLab and one of the creators of the wildly successful Cut the Rope apps, stresses the importance of getting the app out to as many people as possible from the early stages of development. Once the app is in their hands, observe how they interact with it and analyze what doesn’t seem to be working. “When you notice your friend is not in a hurry to return your device, you are on a good track,” adds Voinov.

Prototype, prototype, prototype. Don’t keep development under cloak and dagger. Showing the app to friends and family from the get-go will give you a better sense of the collective feedback, and you can tweak the app as it is being developed and come out with a more refined product in the end. The key is to customize the process at every stage, expose it to everyone you know and get the feedback before it is released to the public.


Think Big


 

tap tap image

 

Go big or go home is the decree of Bart Decrem, SVP and General Manager of Disney Mobile, and co-founder of Tapulous. Building an app with a big audience in mind positions it well for wider adoption and greater chance for success. What worked for Decrem and his Tap Tap Revenge team was creating an app that they thought was fun, engaging and would appeal to a huge potential fan base. Offering interactive experiences on-the-go, appealing to both iOS and Android users and building an inherently intuitive interface made the team confident in their chances for success.

“Not only is the app [Tap Tap Revenge 4] free, but when we pick the music for the game and launch new music on an ongoing basis, we match it with what’s hot on the iTunes charts so we can have the biggest reach possible. At the end of the day, the most important thing to consider when developing a mobile app is your audience.”


Start Free


 

fling image

 

Nothing in life is free, but au contraire, sometimes a really good app is. To get maximum exposure, you need to make your app available to the masses early on to get the early adoption rates and word-of-mouth buzz off the ground. You know you have a killer app on your hands, but no one else does, so you have to spread the word. They say that money talks, but in the app world, free talks.

Michael Bevin, co-founder of CandyCane LLC, and designer of top-selling games Fling! and Fuzzlefully supports the freemium model, at least initially. “Having made a great game, you still need to get it exposure somehow — whether by doing some kind of deal, giving it away for free initially, or at least having a free version.” You can eventually add more features and put a price on the app, but having a free version makes it more available to consumers to at least test out and see if it’s worth putting the money down.


Listen to Your Customers


 

motionx gps image

 

You may have serious designs for what you want your app to be, but along with that must come flexibility and adaptability to your customers’ needs. If you look in iTunes and read ratings for apps, time and time again, customers get irritated when common complaints about the app are not addressed in subsequent version upgrades. That is a sure fire way to lose customers and quickly fall into iTunes oblivion.

Philippe Kahn, CEO of Fullpower Technologies, Inc., the maker of MotionX GPS, states that the company “spends considerable energy to differentiate, and focus on quality and customer support.” When you are dedicated to constantly innovating your technology and incorporating feedback, consumers respond and appreciate the concerted effort, which in turn creates a more loyal customer.


Delight the User


 

bump image

 

Among the hundreds and thousands of apps available in iTunes, there has to be something unique about yours that makes it stand out. For Dave Lieb, co-founder and CEO of Bump Technologies, Inc., and creator of the ever popular Bump application, offering something amazing is a primary criterion for creating a killer app. “The app has to delight the user in some way, it has to provide real value or entertainment in a way that isn’t transient.”

When users are delighted, they will tell their friends about it and word-of-mouth is a crucial part of any app’s success. Bump is the eighth most downloaded iOS app of all time in the U.S. and Lieb credits its users as having everything to do with that level of success. “We spent a total of $42 on marketing to create our original YouTube demo video: $22 for black felt for a backdrop and $20 for a pack of video tapes for a borrowed camera.” That’s a true testament to how powerful a delighted user can be in extending your brand for you.


Have a Vision


 

soundhound image

 

You may have a great idea, but you need to think beyond it and anticipate how the app will change behavior in a real-world setting. When SoundHound, Inc. began creating its innovative eponymoussound recognition app, they applied the need to an everyday occurrence and envisioned how users would interact with the technology they wanted to unleash.

“How many times have you hoped a radio DJ would repeat the name of the song you just heard, or have had a song stuck in your head that you didn’t know the name of?” asks Kathleen McMahon, vice president at SoundHound. The team envisioned these scenarios and set out to create a mobile solution and set a new bar for music recognition.

Creating an app that has a useful context and provides utility, in addition to entertainment, is SoundHound’s driving success. It’s all about vision. McMahon states clearly, “Know what you are trying to achieve. Are you going to be a one-hit wonder or tour de force? You can be either. However, if you answer, ‘I’m not sure,’ then question getting into the game at all. Killer apps are built on vision, not passivity.”


Never Give Up


 

fake a call image

 

Tenacity, persistence and never giving up are big reasons why these developers have achieved their stratospheric levels of success. Not surprisingly, nearly all of them included this likely, yet important piece of advice in their responses: Developers need to have the patience to continually ask themselves what is going to make their app better. In this crowded marketplace, an app needs to somehow stand out to get recognized. “Emphasize design and functionality. Quality cannot be overstated. Savvy consumers quickly identify the best products and if you truly offer something outstanding, the market will react,” says Jenny Kang, lead designer at AllAboutApps and creator ofAppBox Pro.

Ed Williams, VP of mobile applications at Excelltech Inc., the maker of the clever Fake-A-Call app concurs. “Don’t give up. Refine your idea until it can be easily implemented, and have a list of advanced features you can add with updates if your first release is well-received.” And although he never anticipated Fake-A-Call having such mass appeal, Williams is intent on releasing frequent updates, addressing customer concerns, always keeping the app relevant — and never giving up.

Original Post


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IBM offering Facebook Marketing services? Really?

Many people still do not think Facebook is a relevant marketing and communication tool. Well, what if IBM was helping you? A friend of mine, Mike Short (who is very tall), shared this article and I thought it was worthy of passing along.



IBM Starts Unit to Help Clients Develop Facebook Marketing

By Katie HoffmannMar 14, 2011

Dallas social media speaker J.R. Atkins  is a supporter of IBMInternational Business Machines Corp. (IBM) is unveiling new software and services that help customers market and sell their products, aiming to mine a $70 billion market opportunity.

The new division, Smarter Commerce, features services such as using analysis to tailor marketing and brand assessment on Facebook Inc. or Twitter Inc. in real time, Craig Hayman, a general manager in the IBM software unit, said in a telephone interview last week.

Companies seeking the best ways to market and sell to customers are using more social media and mobile devices, Hayman said. Hardware, software and services that help companies do that will be a $70 billion market opportunity this year, he said.

“It gives you a view on your products and services and how your spend in social media — whether that’s Facebook or Twitter or any other social media engine — is resonating,” Hayman said.

The division will be part of the Armonk, New York-based company’s Smarter Planet initiative, which uses technology to monitor anything from cities to hospitals to make them more efficient. IBM expects the program to be a $10 billion business in 2015.

The services help companies analyze who views their social media efforts, by using Web browsing history and other information to give a picture of customers and how they behave.

Dallas Social Media Speaker J.R. Atkins recomends Facebook MarketingFacebook

“Say I have a Facebook page. What are the dynamics of the customers coming into Facebook? How many of them are buying? How old are they?” Hayman said.

IBM worked with one college that was trying to boost its global presence with social media. After analyzing the campaign with IBM, they learned people from only two zip codes were viewing the pages.

Last Mothers’ Day, IBM helped a North American retailer track who was buying its products and how. A trend popped up: Of customers buying from a mobile device, most — and the biggest spenders — were using Apple Inc. (AAPL)’s iPad.

Dallas social media speaker J.R. Atkins sees how Apple & IBM work together“It shows you iPad users think of their mothers quite a bit,” Hayman said. “We also could tell who was thinking of them late, tracking it hour by hour.”

The company is also working with 1-800-Flowers.com Inc. (FLWS), helping the flower-and-gift retailer track their customers’ use of the site. The service can show whether they’re looking for birthday flowers, how often they visit the site and how much they spend.

“We’ll be able to categorize all of our customers into buckets,” Chief Information Officer Steve Bozzo said in a phone interview last week. “We may actually have different promotions for the good customers.”

IBM fell $1.07 to $161.36 at 10:58 a.m. in New York Stock Exchange composite trading. The shares had climbed 11 percent this year before today.

To contact the reporter on this story: Katie Hoffmann in New York at khoffmann4@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Peter Elstrom at pelstrom@bloomberg.net.

Original Article post link.


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Is your Marketing Approach like a Leaf Rake or a Leaf Blower?

Dallas social media speaker J.R. Atkins discusses The Leaf Rake Approach to MarketingMarketing to prospective clients has changed greatly with the proliferation of online tools such as websites, email and most recently, social media. Prospects can turn to so many sources for information about you, your company, and your products or services. A recent day of yard work prompted me to explain the shift in marketing to a colleague as being “more like using a leaf blower then a rake.”

The Leaf Rake Approach

Dallas social media speaker J.R. Atkins recomends ACT for Contact or Customer Relationship Management Prior to the proliferation of on-line tools, I collected contact information from prospects such as their name, address, phone number and fax number and stored them on 3×5 cards. In the early 90’s I started using ACT, a Contact and Customer Relationship Management system, or CRM, to keep up with prospect information and to schedule phone calls, meetings, and direct mail campaigns. Armed with this information, I could mail, call, and fax prospects about my products and services. This shows the emphasis on collecting contact information, much like raking leaves into a pile.

The Leaf Blower Approach

Today, I take a different approach that is more like a leaf blower. As I meet prospective clients, I connect with them on-line via email and or social media. I have shifted from collecting and hoarding data, to giving and sharing data. In other words I blow information into the wind and wait for those who are interested to reach out to me.

Dallas social media speaker J.R. Atkins explains The Leaf Blower Approach to MarketingSocial Media is a great tool for “Leaf Blower” marketing. Once a connection is made via LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, a blog or YouTube, the prospect get’s to choose if they would like to follow you and if so, they can choose their preferred method of communication. Some prospects will discard the information you share, others will collect it and save it for the future, and some will find if valuable and share it with others, while some will act on it by reaching our my email, social media or phone. The main idea is that the prospects who are interested in you and the content you publish will “follow you” and when they are ready to buy, they will reach out to you.

Yet, there is a key point with this approach. It requires the marketer to publish content that is interesting, valuable and giving in nature. This kind of content will be shared with others and your message will take on the viral affect where it gets passed around to others very rapidly.

When using the “leaf blower” methodology, your goal is to draw prospects to you by “blowing out the information” and letting those that are interested come to you.

You probably need both

Dallas social media speaker J.R. Atkins share the Big 5 off Social Media modelTo be effective in my yard work, I need both a leaf rake and leaf blower to get the job done. In business, we need both approaches to market effectively. We should use the leaf blower approach to share good content through a website, email newsletter, LinkedIn, Facebook Fan Page, Twitter, a Blog and a YouTube Channel. Then, we can identify those prospects that have an interest in our content and target them with direct mail, email blast and direct selling content and methods.

By using both approaches we can continue to grow our business while allowing the prospect to connect with us in the way that works best for them. My hope for you is that you “rake in the money while blowing away the competition.”

March Events

3/9/11 Social Media Club of Dallas Presents SXSWi Pre-Party & Chris Treadaway

3/11/11 Chicago Symphony Orchestra – Mendelssohn’s Elijah

3/12/11 Chicago St. Patrick’s Day Parade

3/13/11 The American Choral Directors Biennial National Conference

3/13/11 SXSWi – South by Southwest Interactive

3/16/11 AIGA DFW Presents Local App Developer Success Story

3/23/11 Digital Dallas – A SXSW Recap

3/25/11 DFW AMA – How Next Gen Network Capabilities are Game Changers for Telecom Marketers

3/28/11 Dallas iPhone Developers/Entrepreneurs Meetup

3/29/11 Social Media & Your Career @ Career Jump Start


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