Friday, March 30, 2007

iGoogle


A decorated Google page? Huwhaaat?!?

Yup, that's my personalized Google page you're seeing above. I started personalizing my Google page a few months ago since I do a lot of searches using the search box in my Gmail and I'm quite happy with the new look of my Google page.I put in the "bus stop" theme since it reminds me that my work has exposed me to a multi-cultural environment and it's cute! What I'm excited to see are the changes that will occur during the day because the look will change depending on the time of the day, the season and the weather.

Check out how to personalize your Google page. Go here.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Will Print Become Obsolete?

There are talks and there are talks. But personally I don't think print or any of the other traditional media will become obsolete. Not for a hundred years perhaps? Think of it this way, would you logically and practically accept the fact that every single person on this planet will have a gadget to read the news electronically? In the first place, literacy has never reached the 100% mark and that's the biggest hurdle.

New media complements traditional media. A few weeks ago I was speaking to the president of an advertising agency. He said that they're looking for new ways to advertise their clients. He has accepted the fact that doing traditional media is very expensive and advertisers are looking for new means to promote their products and services.

Fact is, media has transformed in so many ways in the last decade. Mass marketing is no longer the way. Marketing your products and services has to be more personal, direct. Why? Because consumers now have more power. They have more ways to get information. They can easily turn off the TV and find better entertainment on the net. New media bridges the gap.

I was telling the president of the advertising agency that new media is not something that would make traditional media obsolete. It in fact complements it because it reaches a different segment of the market. It's no longer just targetting the "16 to 34 year olds" because these consumers have different profiles. One would be a techie, another would go for traditional print, another would be into music. So profiling your target market accurately is very, very important.

So where do we go? As I said new media bridges the gap. Businesses have to make themselves searchable online and provide content for their consumers. Websites/blogs is the online form of print. Podcasting, online form of the radio. Videos, online form of TV.

Methinks, advertising agencies should take new media more seriously. That's where we all are going.

For more info, catch me at the 38th National Marketing Conference (NMC), organized by the Philippine Marketing Association on May 23-24, 2007 (I'll post more details soon).

Monday, March 26, 2007

March 2007 :)


Google University
De La Salle University
March 2, 2007, 1:00 to 2:30 p.m.







Conference on FOSS and E-Governance
March 7 & 8, 2007, 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.,
EDSA Shangri-la Hotel










National E-Commerce Congress
March 16, 2007
Dusit Hotel






Putting Your Business Online
with Digitalfilipino.com
March 17, 2007, 2:00 to 5:00 p.m., Davao City

Davao Blog Parteeh
March 17, 2007, 6:00 p.m. onwards, Davao City







Google University
Ateneo de Davao
March 19, 2007









Google University
University of the Philippines
March 19, 2007

Meet-up with Davao Web Group (SEOs)
March 19, 2007, 8:00 p.m.,
Blugre Landco, Davao City






Putting Your Business Online
Department of Trade & Industry
March 20, 2007, 2:00 to 5:00 p.m., DTI Davao







Saturday, March 24, 2007

Search Engine Marketing for Non-Techies

I didn't know that as early as 1999 I was already doing search engine marketing and optimization. Back then I was an entrepreneur with my Mom and we were trying out our hand at exporting. Our main revenue source was getting leads through our homemade website. Aside from including the URL in our business cards, catalog and flyers (all homemade!) I thought that it would be imperative to make our website searchable.

During that time I was an avid user of Altavista and Yehey. I simply submitted our website's URL there and to other search engines and directories. I also made sure that our website was structured well and I didn't use that much graphics (well, uh, I'm no fab web designer!). Little did I know that this was already SEM and SEO work.

Tagging or labelling is also very important. I guess since I worked for the YP for quite some time I got used to classifying/categorizing things and this has helped me label my posts easily. One of my friends said that it's unfair that I'm a natural at tagging stuff. I guess this is because I think like a user, well I AM a user (an avid user!) that's why it's easy for me to think of labels for my posts.

Who would've thought that when you search for "rich pinoy" my blog would come out second in the search results? (Now I gotta work on being that rich Pinoy!).




















And who would've thought that searches for "Puerto Galera" would put my blog at number 2?




















I'm no SEO expert, if you want in-depth SEO advise I suggest you speak with Marc or Ely or find a SEO through SEO Philippines. Just make sure you:

(1) add your URL in Google;
(2) define your content architecture properly (think like your user!);
(3) have a SEO around during web development; and
(4) for those with blogs, label your posts properly (again, think like your reader!)

Friday, March 16, 2007

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

All Ye Cricket Fans

For one-stop shop cricket information please visit www.google.co.in/cricket

And BTW you can also write, share, debate about and enjoy the Cricket World Cup and not just read :)

Sunday, March 11, 2007

How to Earn from Blogging

This post is dedicated to a dear friend who's been asking about passive income for the summer. I know there are many ways to earn other income, but I thought since he's taking his Masters in English Language Education and I want to encourage him to utilize blogging as a medium of communication with his students, I suggested that he should start blogging.

It's easy my dear friend!

Create a blog in 3 easy steps!

Step 1: Sign-up for a Google Account here. Your Google Account also gives you access to other Google services like Gmail, Picasa etc.
Step 2: Go to Blogger and sign-in using your Google Account.
Step 3: Create your blog.

And then you can start blogging away! Got loads of photos you want to share? Download Picasa! I just love using the "I'm feeling lucky" button to fix-up my photos. Plus the buttons at the bottom make it easy to upload chosen photos and directly blog (through Blogger) about it. And Picasa has increased storage to 1 GB! Yipeee!!!

BUT! Of course, you want to earn from your blog.

First, you have to sign-up for an Google Adsense account (you'll find a link inside Blogger.com).

When that's been approved, don't forget to install Google Adsense in your blog, you can tweak this in the "layout" section for each other blogs that you create. Click on "add a page element" and then choose "add Adsense". Don't forget to save your changes!

For tips on earning from Google Adsense, visit Ely's blog and get inspired as well with these stories:

What Google Adsense Bought Me
http://wildthoughtsfaq.blogspot.com/2007/03/what-google-adsense-bought-me.html

The House that Google Adsense Bought?
http://www.jozzua.com/2007/03/05/the-house-that-adsense-bought/

Friday, March 09, 2007

Google Summer of Code

Do you or your organization have what it takes? Join the Google Summer of Code!

Google will start accepting student applications beginning March 14. Until then please check out http://code.google.com/soc/ for more details.

Don't know what this is? Find out more here.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Sago’t Gulaman Marketing (Marketing Without a Budget)

Tubong gulaman.

Marketing is not all about spending loads of money. I managed to grow the products I handled before and hone my marketing skills with almost no budget at all.

Let me tell you my secret.

I took the wrong course in college, so I had to learn the ropes of marketing on my own and the hard way. Six years ago I was product manager of a niche online directory for exporters. The back-end of the product is Colorado-based World Access Network of Directories, managed by PCCW for the South East Asia region and they expected the product to be promoted big time. Yeah right, as if I had the budget.

Anyway, so I had to be the most creative product manager in the group. My trade show recommendations were approved with a catch – immediate ROI. So, I carefully chose the events that I joined. That’s were defining your target market accurately comes in. Know who needs your product, this way you won’t be wasting any time barking on the wrong tree.

One of the most memorable events I joined where I spent only PhP17,000 was the Philippine Furniture Fair organized by the Chamber of Furniture Industries of the Philippines (CFIP) held at the Clark Expo Pilipino, Pampanga. I was forced to bundle in two other services with my product. So that meant having to sell at a higher price. Armed with 2 sales people, we were off to Pampanga. My collaterals then were only a couple of brochures and the tarps for the booth. Now that’s what you call being frugal.

Know how to sell your product yourself. As product manager, the best way to learn how to sell your product is to sell it yourself. I hate selling (that’s why I’m in marketing). I don’t like being rejected (ayaw mo eh di huwag!) and I don’t really have that much patience in doing follow-ups. I was off to the National Trade Fair one time and waited for my AE. I waited and waited and waited. He didn’t show up. I ended up doing the pitches myself (booth to booth) and was surprised to have 5 signed contracts in just an hour!

Value proposition and strategy. Aside from showing your client what kind of value your product has, impart to them where your product fits in their strategy. It may be branding, expansion, diversification, revenue generation or whatever. Be their partner and be open.

Teach your salespeople how to market and not to sell. You can motivate your salespeople with all the incentives you can give, but without a person-to-person relationship you won’t really get any support. The only sales experience I had during that time was from Smart (my previous job) and I can say I sucked at it. My boss was adamant that I could handle sales people and pushed hard for me to succeed. At the end of the day it will just be you and your staff who has the responsibility to make your product succeed. Work as a team.

Anyway, going back to that event I had at Clark, Pampanga, we just had 2 days to sell. We first targeted to get 7 closed accounts. So, I went around with my AEs for the first few presentations, teaching them how to pitch and then I left them to be the ‘promo girl’ at the booth. We closed a total of 27 accounts in 2 days. I was giving my boss then SMS updates and by mid-morning on the second day he was saying “I love you” already. Did we get ROI? Mega-duper kita!

Another show I did with 8 sales people was the Manila FAME International. 3 were veteran AEs and 5 were still under training. Using the same formula, I spent PhP10,000 for the booth plus an insignificant amount for food. We closed 54 accounts in 2 days.

We were so successful, me and my whole team were moved to the bigger directory :)

The secret? People skills, accurate target marketing, exact product positioning, cowboy marketing (a.k.a. huwag maarte) and being creative.

Translations:

tubong gulaman - profiting at almost no cost
ayaw mo eh di huwag – if you don’t want it, then don’t!
Mega-duper kita! – we profited!
cowboy marketing – marketing simply, without fanfare but effective
huwag maarte – be simple

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

I Love E-Yellowpages!

Of course! I spent 5 years of my life being a walking yellow pages.

Google ads now fully integrated in the Electronic Yellow Pages!




Thursday, March 01, 2007

Why Search Advertising Works

I was at the De La Salle Canlubang yesterday morning and I was assigned to speak about "how to convince your customers to patronize your product". Now let's assume you already have your product, did market research (Dr. Ned's way) before you actually produced it. And the market said it's acceptable and that they will purchase your product.

You can have the most extravagant, biggest, noisiest marketing campaign ever but there would still be consumers that won't even mind your campaign, change channels during your commercial, tune out your jingle and not even notice your print ad... much less buy your product. Why? Because they do not NEED it.

I asked my audience yesterday, "When you see a pancit canton TV ad, would you immediately ran out of your room and buy one at the nearest sari-sari store?" They all shook their head, no. Unless you're extremely hungry or craving for pancit canton then that's the time you'll purchase one or cook one (if you have it in your pantry).

Stuck in traffic, half-asleep in the FX, you hear a plug for a movie premiere. It's the latest film of Jackie Chan. Are you going to call the number and reserve for tickets? Unless you're my friend Ruth who's gaga over Jackie Chan, I highly doubt you'll buy tickets. Print ad? I know you get the drift...

Fact is, unless the person seeing/hearing/watching at your ad needs your product, today, tomorrow or next week there wouldn't be purchase at all.

The yellow pages is the most tangible way to describe what search advertising is. I am sure you do not open the yellow pages unless you are looking for the telephone number of a product/service or person you are looking for. Search advertising is where you make yourself available in a medium (be it print or web) and your consumer finds you or clicks you at the precise moment of their need. The UAI study of DPC Yellow Pages in 2005 showed that of those who saw the ad in the YP, 78% bought the product/service. Print was 15%, Radio 37% and TV 26%. Piper Jaffray's "The New eCommerce Decade: The Age of Micro Targetting" also said that the most efficient marketing channel is SEARCH.

Search advertising allows you as well to target your market precisely. You don't need to be seen unnecessarily, thus allowing you to spend your marketing budget on those who actually need your product. Your customer's need brings him to you. But this doesn't mean you shouldn't do any branding activity. Now, that's a different ballgame.

There are three models of online search advertising as discussed by Abe, I think the best among them is still the click-through model, but of course, if it's a branding activity you are doing, better go for the impressions. Both are available in Google Adwords anyway.

March Activities

Google University
De La Salle University
March 2, 2007, 1:00 to 2:30 p.m.

Conference on FOSS and E-Governance
March 7 & 8, 2007, 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., EDSA Shangri-la Hotel

National E-Commerce Congress
March 16, 2007
Dusit Hotel

Putting Your Business Online
with Digitalfilipino.com
March 17, 2007, 2:00 to 5:00 p.m., Davao City

Davao Blog Parteeh
March 17, 2007, 6:00 p.m. onwards, Davao City

Google University
Ateneo de Davao
March 19, 2007

Google University
University of the Philippines
March 19, 2007

Google University
University of Mindanao
March 19, 2007

Meet-up with Davao Web Group (SEOs)
March 19, 2007, 8:00 p.m.,
Blugre Landco, Davao City

Putting Your Business Online
Department of Trade & Industry
March 20, 2007, 2:00 to 5:00 p.m., DTI Davao

Philipping Blog Awards
March 31, 2007