Posts Tagged ‘shopping’

Location, Location, Location

November 8, 2010

One of the keys to having a good business, the old adage goes, is, “Location, location, location.”  Now, despite what  a Pew Center report says that location-based services like FourSquare and Gowalla have not caught on–the measure is not mass, at least not yet.

As mentioned in this space in August the reality is there are people out checking in, and leveraging location-based apps and services.  If the Pew Center numbers are correct, 1% of adults in the US use LBS apps and that number is 4% of US adult internet users.  Yeah, percentage wise that’s a small number–but mass wise, that’s a pretty big number.

And something to keep in mind, is something Larry Kramer (like me, he too is former CBS Digital)–those users are  a premium to advertisers today.  Kramer actually said this morning on Bloomberg TV that the future of TV advertising is actually positive if you add in the ability to target–demographically and via geography.

From experience that can be more than 3X an ad buy.

Again, smallish numbers today, but numbers that get better and as the data is better mined, and the targeting better refined–that premium goes up.

On the product side–as I opined in August, Facebook would help drive the LBS market–and is slowly is.  This week, an updated to Facebook places went live.  Add to that some innovations going on–like what another former boss of mine is doing at Shopkick taking LBS into the store–and the actual user experience is becoming richer.

As the user experience gets better–which means the likes of FourSquare, Gowalla, Bright Kite-and the ones we don’t know about yet make their apps better–the user engagement goes up.  That 1% easily becomes 3%.  The 4% becomes 10%.

And the driver for this will be the ad dollars on the table now, and in the future.  It is a business.  Yes, it’s a moment when product is ahead of consumer demand–but as that gap closes–winners will survive, losers will be cut and ultimately a viable product will be left.



Putting the Social into Social Media

June 8, 2009

So, here is a pretty compelling little story about a group of folks who are in the same industry (real estate in this case) who have largely found a great way to socially connect and professionally help one another via Twitter.

Its a case study in putting the social into social media.

I mentioned that I have a friend on Twitter @MayaREGuru who is in real estate.  I have even mentioned a group she helped found called TwitterQueens.  Now at the risk of running afoul of the group–which I think now totals more than 150, these are mostly women in the real estate business.  They live across the country–and have found that Twitter, Ning, Facebook and other social network platforms have helped them grow their businesses and their friendships.

Over the last few weeks, the TQ group has done different teaching/leaning events-Twitter 101 I call them.  Now while I am not sure that anyone really needs to sit in a room for hours to learn how Twitter works-its an effective way to grow business socialization, so I have to give some props.

Now in a semi-social, semi-business (probably all shopping) event, the TQ’s are coming to NYC.

I have no idea what their real agenda is, or if it will be time well spent–but I do know that this is a case where a group of folks with a common interest, spread across the country have pulled it together and are transcending the 140 and the random posts–to go old school, and just interact.

Its nice to know there is an endgame to some of the social interactions that take place via the computer (and iPhone and BB etc).

An Unexpected Boost

February 23, 2009

So my Sunday morning (and in fact most of my Sunday) did not go exactly according to plan–but there is a happy ending to it all, so I guess I should not complain.

It was about 730, and I was on my way home and getting off the LIE notfar from my house.  Suddenly, although my foot was on the gas pedal, the car was not accelerating. It was still moving, the engine revving, just not going over 25 MPH.  I knew the problem.

With some cajoling I got it to a service center I knew would be open on a Sunday, if for nothing else to confirm the worst.  My 8 year old (150k miles) Saturn has a blown transmission.  According to the diagnostic, the car was not seeing second, third, fourth and reverse.  About what I expected, but not good.

So, what does all this have to do with social media you ask?

This is where it all comes together.

Partially because I was going to start dumping plans for the day, partially because according to one of the Twitter analysis services (I can’t remember which one) and partially because it was something to do, I put out an update that I was off to the land of the car dealer.

On my way I got a DM from Twitter from one of the best negotiators I know with some tips on how to position this instant purchase to my advantage-thank you, it worked grat.

I got a Facebook message from an old friend who’s husband has  a couple of used car dealerships in his portfolio-could be a destination for what is left of my Saturn.  Thanks.

I got a slew of recommendations on cars. Always helpful since I was going to make a car purchase with no research.

And when I settled on the Forrester, I got information on the costs and sticker prices seen in  CA, MA and TX.  Again thanks for all of that.


A couple of Tweets/FB updates and I had a negotiating strategy, research, well wishes and a possible disposal of my old car.  Now that is effective since the car dealership I was going to is no more than 20 minutes from my house.

Outside of walking away from financing under 4%, $5k off sticker and a dealership that jumped through hoops to put me in my car on a Sunday–there is a great case study here about the true power that these tools can harness.

Just for the fun of it, last night, I started to Google a little bit of new car information, and I was well into it for 45 minutes, with not nearly the progress I made in less than 20 from posting on Twitter and Facebook.  and I still did not have a full picture or the comparative analysis.

Yes, I have a pretty broad network (perhaps too broad).  But its a great tool to tap into–because I am not an auto-motive expert by any stretch.  I am not a keen negotiator by any stretch.  But yesterday-because of my extended network, I was.  And when I needed it, it was there.

So thank you to all who shared with me yesterday, and I look forward to helping–as I did ot a friend who dropped their Bold into a sink.

We’re all in this together–and unless we are getting direct TARP we need to help one another (OK that was a little political).

Am I Connecting? Or Re-Channeling

January 26, 2009

A conversation I had last night keeps reverberating with me-and has had me thinking a lot this morning (was helpful on the treadmill to think about something other than my sore calf muscles).

Sometimes I joke, and sometimes I am serious that I can have a very anti-social streak in me.  Given the choice I would rather sit at home, watch sports and just shut out the world.  Yet, I am pretty active in social media circles, I work for one of the largest media companies in the world, I process 100’s of emails/day-seven days a week.  I am always communicating.

Last night, for the third or fourth time, I took the option to self-scan items at the Stop and Shop.  A)nd I don’t mean in the checkout lane without a cashier. I mean, getting a portable scanning gun when I walk into the store and a handful of bags, and then scanning the items off the shelf as I bag them.

A friend (the person I was talking to last night) and I have dubbed this “anti-social shopping.” And it is.  It keeps me from looking at anyone, chatting with anyone or even interacting with anyone.

Flash that against my Twitter stream-pretty aggressive in two way conversation.  Flash that against my commuting habbits, where generally I can chat away with anyone on the train on the way to or from work.  There is  a disconnect I think.

So, now I am thinking that there is a limit to the amount someone can communicate in a day or week–and rather than expanding my communications channels-I am re-channeling that effort.

Mind you, I am pretty sure the conversations on Twitter, Plurk, Social Median, Digg etc are far better than the idle chitter/chatter I would encounter at Stop and Shop–but I am just not sure how it all fits in.

No changes planned-but perhaps I should find a way to study the communication paths I choose-and figure out which are more effective.; which are more fulfilling and which are simply to pass the time of day.

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