XDisplaying posts tagged: digital life
Internet access often is a pet peeve of mine. Wait strike that.
Lack of internet access, often is a pet peeve of mine.
When in a cafe, pub, restaurant, waiting room, hotel room, train carriage… Any place where I spend a lot of time, often idling waiting for someone or something, I want access to the internet. From my phone. My Kindle. My iPad. My laptop. From whatever device I have with me at the time.
Businesses not taking advantage of my addiction to being online are missing out on a marketing opportunity. While I don’t want to pay for internet access when out and about (although I might if I could pay for just the minutes I used without having to pull my credit card out, now there’s an idea for someone…) I am more than willing to part with my email and even other personal information.
When I last was in Sweden I stayed at Hotel Tylösand, just outside the town of Halmstad on the west coast.
Great hotel. Beautiful rooms, located more or less on the most beautiful sand beach in Sweden, a fantastic restaurant (Akvarell, without a doubt one of the best places to dine in the area), excellent conference facilities, very much part of the Halmstad night life in the summer (I hardly think owner Per Gessle would have it any other way), luxurious spa and gym facilities. Heck, they even have a decent website!
There is this one thing they really nailed though. Yes, internet access.
From the moment you set foot on the hotel grounds, all you need to do is start your device, connect to the free WiFi, hand over your email address, and you are online. Nothing much special about that, you can do the same thing at Starbucks. Except that when I’m saying “from when you set your foot on the hotel grounds” I am not exaggerating.
This particular hotel has made sure to cover the entire beach area, well beyond what can be considered being a service for their hotel guests, with WiFi! You can literally move around all over the hotel, from your room to the spa to the restaurant, and all over the beach while still getting your Twitter fix and posting your Instagram photos.
Awesome: since this is a public beach, they reach every beach visitor, all of them a potential paying customer at the hotel facilities.
Or consider this: earlier this summer they hosted a conference for a big Swedish IT company. How happy do you think their geeks were when they could mingle on the beach while online? And how much social media marketing of the IT company, and indirectly the hotel, happened as employees shared updates, photos and videos throughout the conference days?
Who wouldn’t share a sunset like this one to all their social networks, bragging about where they are?
Sure, there is an ulterior motive to this: marketing and data collection.
Everyone who wants to connect to the WiFi using their web browser are first brought to a “virtual reception” where the spa, restaurants (they have several), upcoming concerts and so on are presented.
Since you don’t have to be a guest at the hotel to enjoy these things it makes sense to make as many people as possible aware of them. Especially people lying on the beach, enjoying the sun! Why make plans for lunch or dinner in town when you can walk over to the hotel and spend your money there?
To then get access to the actual internet you have to give up your email address. At this point the hotel of course asks if they are allowed to send you marketing about what’s going on in and around the hotel. They don’t ask for much, just your email. While that generates a very unsegmented database, it provides for very quick growth in volume.
Hotels of the world, please follow the example set by Hotel Tylösand. See free WiFi for your guests not as a cost, but as a marketing opportunity. It would make my digital life so much easier.
Can’t believe I missed this! While tagging up a photo for Jessica’s Recipe Bag in their mouthwatering Flickr photo stream I noticed a link in the Actions menu I hadn’t seen before: “Edit photo in Aviary”… I clicked it, and got this beautiful HTML5 (hey, works on iPad!) based photo editor where most common image edits are easily done, and the photo then saved back to Flickr.
Beautiful implementation, simple controls, so fast… Love it! I was gutted when the old editor, Picnik, which was developed by Google disappeared.
Apparently Aviary has been integrated with Flickr since April, it has just slipped under my radar. Sure, Facebook may be the biggest photo sharing site in the world, and Instangram the sexiest, but Flickr remains my favourite. It is also one of the few online services I don’t hesitate to pay a subscription fee for.
Read the full low down on the Flickr and Aviary love affair at TechCrunch.
Happens every time. Putting the actual site layouts and content structure together takes no time. Getting the actual content in place, so slow. I’m even guilty of this myself!
These days, the technology is usually very much the simple part. What makes a brand stand out is all about dedication, unique content, attention to detail. That can’t be faked or even outsourced.
I must say, I like my brand new logotype and the business cards I had printed over at MOO.com. Love their services. Note the thin red inlay between the front and back of the cards… Lush.
Thank you very much Mathias from Early Media for sorting me out with such glorious graphics!
Seth Godin on conversion of audience to taking action. Signing up. Paying. Sharing with friends. Your job as a business owner and marketer is to get as many as possible to take action. Not many do.
Maybe it isn’t a funnel though. Since mass marketing no longer seems to work very well, is there a better simile, a mental model that serves better? With so many touch points, in so many channels, and so many ways to reach a customer, a funnel seems like a blunt tool. Maybe a maze with lots of dead ends is more correct… And your job is to open up the dead ends and align them with your business’ door.
Personally I like the Customer Decision Journey more than the ancient funnel. Check it out: Aligning with the Consumer Decision Journey
If you have five minutes to spare, here’s a great video presentation covering the concept.
To those who say it can’t be done, get out of the way for those who are doing it.
It never ceases to amaze me how easy it is to set up a thoroughly branded, entirely digital and cloud based, social and connected, great looking entity on the web these days.
From domain registration at a great web host supplying FTP storage space, via Google Apps for mail and calendar hosting, to Twitter and Tumblr for social / blog presences it takes about an hour and a few tens of dollars (hey, quality blog themes are worth money) to get started.
Compared to what this was like in the early 90s, it is such a breeze. All of the requirements to market yourself and communicate online have been completely commoditised.
Getting web hosting, blog and social media tools free or for a small fee is one thing. But add to that proper advanced and complex services like Google Docs, Dropbox, Trello, MailChimp, freeagent.com, browserstack.com, usertesting.com, unbounce.com, all available for a small monthly fee… …and it is hard to see why anyone would ever buy a locally installed software ever again.
I can’t think of anything I can’t get as a subscription these days. Even PhotoShop can be bought for a monthly fee!
What are your favourite online services and why can’t you live without them?