What's your strategy? Game Mechanics to navigate your company's products and services

2:06 PM

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Game Mechanics at Work and Play — Competing on Execution

Meri Gruber from Competing on Execution makes a very good observation about game mechanics with her trip to a kids science fair, one that actually reminded me of what people are doing in location based products like Foursquare.

In thinking through it a bit more it may be as simple as providing a subtle bit of organization, which is the key driver. As noted Meri had two experiences, one in which she attended an event that had a list of all exhibitors (art fair) and another (science fair) that had a similar list in the form of a passport where you collected badges once you had seen the exhibitor.

In the end the passport badge format of the science fair provided a much better experience because she didn't miss any exhibitors and there was a sense of accomplishment at the end, no reward mind you, but just the knowledge that she came to an event and saw all that it had to offer. In the end Meri wrote about the science fair, which in and of itself says a lot.

From a strategic marketing standpoint there are some good takeaways here:
  • Are you making it easy for customers to navigate all of your offerings - checklist, tracking process, making a game out of it?
  • Are you providing a reward or recognition for being a great customer - Meri was a great customer of the science fair?
  • Could you tie into the game mechanics of a partner for both of the above?
I would also add that this is more than just a traditional loyalty club question, it really goes beyond, it's about a higher level of engagement, in essence a game!

Thanks,

Ed Loessi
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What's your Strategy? - Google Streamlines, Targets Search: Its Biggest Change in Years

9:34 PM

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Google Streamlines, Targets Search: Its Biggest Change in Years | Fast Company

In his Fast Company review Dan Nosowitz did a good job of highlighting the key points of Google's newly update search interface. In my opinion, one of the key points that may actually pass over the heads of many people was:


"Novice users may finally try out the different types of Google search, now that they're sitting right next to the general results and are targeted more specifically."

So, why is this so important? Well, let's look at the realities of search at the moment:
  • The millions of average searchers today generally go to web and for the most part Google, since it is now a verb, and they type in some words and then they see what comes up on the first page or in the top 1-5 Adwords positions and they click on something that catches their eye.
  • Marketers of course covet these positions and spend millions/billions of dollars a year in SEO and PPC programs to be on that first page and get the clicks from people who have largely been blissfully unaware of the other types of web content that were up above their eye line (at the top of the web page) or mixed in with the rest of the content further down the search pages.
So, what has changed with Google's major update?

Well for many web searchers they are going to suddenly find out that for their keyword searches there are actually videos, blog posts, Twitter (and other micro-blog) updates and discussions that pertain to what they are searching for, essentially many pages not just one, in essence a whole new world of content just a few clicks away.

However, the real change is going to be for marketers. There is now no longer just one page to try and be in the first 10 listings of, there are at least 5 pages that first page relevance is going to be required because Google has essentially added a first level filter right on the left hand margin where people can actually see it.

This means that as a marketer you will need to be producing video content, blog content, Twitter conversations etc. because millions of people can now easily filter you right out of the equation.

Give it a try, if your company currently appears on the first page of a Google search, enter in those keywords and bring up that page. Now, click on the filters along the left and see what happens to your position (or should I say lack of position) and now you will have a good feel for what will be happening now that it is both apparent that there is other content in the world besides your SEO optimized web site.

I've tried this with a few client sites and for those companies who have primarily relied on having had a web site for a long time or having gotten lots of links to their home page, it's ugly. All of a sudden your competitor who has 50 YouTube videos or 3000 Twitter followers is all over page one of the video or updates filter and they are no where to be found.

Best advice, you better get cracking and start producing content where you have been lacking because that nice SEO authority that you enjoy now will quickly be disappearing and your competitors will be madly producing content to gain that first page advantage.

Thanks,

Ed

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Ed Loessi

How to Predict Whether a Startup Will Succeed or Fail: Testing the

3:51 PM

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How to Predict Whether a Startup Will Succeed or Fail: Testing the “Disruptive Innovation” Model

This is a very interesting article, I still think the main question is what teams can be successful implementing the paths that are suggested. Using Thurston's model for predicting the right path is fairly straightforward and should be used by people as a barometer to determine are they reading the market opportunity correctly. The big trick is to both read the market and get people that can actually do something about it.

Thanks,

Ed



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