Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Tracking Santa Online

Merry Christmas.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Most Popular Browser?

From yesterday I learned that Microsoft IE is no longer king of the browser wars. Well - sort of.

Here is the chart showing FireFox 3.5 as the current most popular browser.

Not the beginning of the end. Certainly not the end for IE. In fact, if you total all the versions listed, IE still leads by a lot. But the trend is clear.

Does your site, service or software work on all current browsers?

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Six Levels of Engagement

In Ken Auletta's new book Googled there is a discussion  of Albie Hecht's idea of the six levels of engagement he uses to evaluate an online product or service.

The audience must be able to

  1. Watch on any device
  2. Learn by searching for information about it on the web
  3. Play (games)
  4. Connect - social networks, IM
  5. Collect - money on the web
  6. Create - user generated content

Hecht says "If we have four of the six, we put it into development. If we get six out of six, we think we have a hit."

Now I acknowledge all of us are not working in the same business vertical as Hecht, but I think this is a very, very valuable tool for thinking about any web site or service.

Looking at your web presence, how does it stack up.

I'm going to go out on a limb and guess the two items most will feel don't apply to them are Play and Collect. You will say you are a business so how do you incorporate Play. You will say your goal on the web is to drive customers to your off-web business so you have no need to collect.

I will tell you that getting paid online is something you need to redesign your business to do or you have just limited yourself to local and business hours. The web is all about everywhere and 24/7.

I will challenge you on Play. Be creative. Try things, then try other things.

I also bet most of you just skipped over the "on any device" piece. What? You don't have an iPhone app? You should start thinking about this.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Offense or Defense

Are you playing offense or defense?

The play on offense is to run hard and fast. Gain ground. Leave the rest behind. In a changing world, getting there first has a value.

The play on defense is to hold onto what you've got and watch others over reach and fail. Win by letting the other guy lose.

In today's world is it a fool who looks for logic in the victories of the past?

My opinion is it depends on what past you look at.

I don't believe you can hold onto what you have had in the past. It is leaving and we can't stop it.

If that is true then you have to grab hold of something else or you end up with nothing.

So how do you decide what to defend and what to go for?

Defend spending money and time on activities that create revenue.

Defend spending money and time on bringing your existing customers forward to a better platform or level of service. Notice, this probably doesn't mean getting them to pay to upgrade. This means getting them to stay - and maybe even for less. Keep them and keep some revenue. Lose them and keep no revenue.

Don't spend time or money on upgrading an old platform or service. If you can't get your customer to move to a better service what is wrong. Is the service not better? Does the customer just not want to change?

In the short term you can make more money servicing a declining group of users at a premium price. But the day comes when there are just not enough of them left. Your toast on that day. Just add butter and jam.

At a very real level, because of the changes in technology and the economy, we are all start ups. As a start up we have to play as much offensive as we can stand. Maybe more than some of us can stand.

In a changing world waiting for the other guy to lose is done by moving ahead and watching the defensive player wait to change. While he waits, the game changes. I believe if you are sitting back and waiting on the other guy to lose, you are going to find out that other guy is really you.

I've always thought the next best thing to playing and winning is playing and losing. The worse thing is not to get to play.

Get in the game and play some offensive.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Things That Became Obsolete This Decade

Biana Male has a thought provoking list of things that have become obsolete this decade over on .

Think about why and then think about what is going to fall into that same logic in this coming decade.

The list includes...

  1. Email accounts you have to pay for
  2. Getting film developed
  3. Movie rental stores
  4. Maps
  5. Classified ads
  6. Long distance charges
  7. Fax machines
  8. Phone books and yellow pages by extension
  9. Paper

Now the whole list, but notice how many things you used to pay for are now free? What are you making or selling? Could it be free?

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

More Top Tne 2009 Videos

Another of Mashable's top 10 viral videos of 2009...

I can't help myself apparently.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

top Viral Videos of 2009

From Mashable , one of their top 10 viral videos of 2009.

Maybe more to come. I just really enjoy this kind of thing.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Cell Phone Homes with No Land Line Phone

An interesting article in the San Francisco Chronicle about mobile phones replacing land line phones as the only or primary phone in households in the U.S.

According to a study by the CDC, 20.2% of all U.S. households have no land line phone - only mobile. An additional 17.4% have a land line but still use their mobile for almost all calls.

This chart - from the CDC study shows the population with no land line by age.

If I am marketing to the 30 and under crowd, I better be thinking hard about my mobile web app or my i-Phone or Droid apps.

This is even more pressing when combined with this ReadWriteWeb article predicting 1 billion plus mobile web users in 2010 - that's next year - wait - next month - friends.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Hidden Messages in Christmas Specials

OK - Gawker - I have a weakness for conspiracy theory nuts.

Here is the story on the "REAL MESSAGE"  - I love jokes.

Be sure to click on the pictures in the post to see the real story.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Stand By Me

Yesterday while driving to Charlotte and back for a meeting I heard the song Stand By Me on the old sattelite radio. I love that song and hadn't heard it or thought about it in a long time.

This morning I was thinking - what a great song for brand building for any company offering sercurity and protection - like an insurance company.

I mean, it is nice to hear that everyone can save me 15% or $500, but you know what, I don't really believe that no matter how loud they shout.

But I would want and believe that when I needed some one they would Stand By Me.

That is what I am buying after all.

Here are the lyrics so you can sing along...

When the night has come
And the land is dark
And the moon is the only light we see
No I won't be afraid
No I won't be afraid
Just as long as you stand, stand by me

And darling, darling stand by me
Oh, now, now, stand by me
Stand by me, stand by me

If the sky that we look upon
Should tumble and fall
And the mountain should crumble to the sea
I won't cry, I won't cry
No I won't shed a tear
Just as long as you stand, stand by me

And darling, darling stand by me
Oh, stand by me
Stand by me, stand by me, stand by me

Whenever you're in trouble won't you stand by me
Oh, now, now, stand by me
Oh, stand by me, stand by me, stand by me

Darling, darling stand by me
Stand by me
Oh stand by me, stand by me, stand by me 

Monday, November 16, 2009

Which Twitter Client do You Use

More interesting data gleaned from ReadWriteWeb

Which Twiiter clients have the most marketshare?

Which client's users are the most frequent Tweeters?

Book Review

I am a fairly active book reader. Maybe more than I should be - after all my reading directly impacts my TV viewing - I feel as if I am not helping the economy.

Anyhoo - Mashable had a nice video book review this week of the Top Five Must Read Social Media Books.

I have not read them all. Oh well, more missed TV. Thank goodness for DVR.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Real Time Streams of Micro Messages

I think about things a lot. To my dismay I often find I can not clarify my thinking well enough to express it clearly. Of course this allows me to think highly of my thinking abilities without having to hold myself to any bothersome form of proof. Very handy in the self image game.

Tech Crunch has a post which clarified my thinking on Twiiter and real time better than I have been able to. As Clint Eastwood said in Bronco Billy - I like it when people come around to my way of thinking. Like I am saying here - especially when they can express my way of thinking better than I can.

Getting to the point...

The post All Aborad the Micro Bus says this...

"Realtime streams can be thought of as a micro-message bus which carries information instantaneously between people. The power of a micro-message is its ability to carry data, usually in the form of a link. It is a vehicle for passing links and other information. The value of a Tweet or status update or a Yammer or a Wave is not only in what it conveys about the sender, but where it leads to."

It has taken me two years but I also have come to the conclusion that the greatest current value of Twiiter and other micro messages is carrying links. These links take me to more information or bring others to more of my information.

Here is the next thought - today's web is still a web of pages. I think tomorrow's web is a web of data and pages. What will be the version of micro messages which will carry data? How will it be received and accepted and acted on? By people or by services?

Agency Boot Camp

Last week I had the interesting experience of running a one day boot camp on how to use the Internet for your local insurance agency.

As part of doing that I set up a new blog -

I will be posting material on that blog about the basic and the mechanics of getting started moving your business online.

I will be continuing to post things on this blog that follow the same types of things I have been posting for teh past year.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Average Age of Social Network Users

Ever wonder about the average age of users of the most popular social networks?

According to a post on ReadWriteWeb the average age for the leading networks is

MySpace 26
Twitter 31
Facebook 33
LinkedIn 39

The Pew Internet and American Life Project has this graph showing young users adopting Twitter.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Scamming Social Networks

TechCrunch has an ongoing series of posts educating us about how we are being scammed on social sites such as Facebook and MySpace.

The original post titled Scamville - the Social Gaming Ecosystem of Hell is an incredible eye opener. Did you have any idea what is really happening with your data and personal information?

Here is a link to a post from two CEO's that said no to these scams and millions of dollars

This is an BIG issue and a series worth following.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The Web In 5 Years

Another gem from ReadWriteWeb - what the web will look like in five years according to Google.

Here are the highlights according to ReadWriteWeb article...

  • Five years from now the internet will be dominated by Chinese-language content.
  • Today's teenagers are the model of how the web will work in five years - they jump from app to app to app seamlessly
  • Five years is a factor of ten in Moore's Law, meaning that computers will be capable of far more by that time than they are today.
  • Within five years there will be broadband well above 100MB in performance - and distribution distinctions between TV, radio and the web will go away
  • Content will move towards more video.
  • t's because of this fundamental shift towards user-generated information that people will listen more to other people than to traditional sources. Learning how to rank that "is the great challenge of the age." Schmidt believes Google can solve that problem.
There is the full 45 minute talk on the post at ReadWriteWeb.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Nowmium - the Value of Now

Most online businesses are built on the value of now.

Nowmium defined - the value derived from getting it now.

(Woohoo - I think I just coined a phrase)

The Incredible Power of Now

Given the choice of paying to get something now and getting the same thing later for free, which do you choose?

Here’s the Deal

There is something you want. It is something specific. It is on your mind. You need it for some reason.

  1. I will give it to you now for a fair price
  2. I will give it to you later for the same fair price
  3. I will give it to you now for free
  4. I will give you it to later for free

Which do you decide to take?

My Choices

Between choices #1 and #2, I believe everyone will choose #1, get it now.

Between choices #1 and #3 I believe it depends on how specific the thing I need is. If I need a copy of Charles Dickens Tale of Two Cities and the difference is hard cover or paper back – with paper back being free and now – I will take the free paper back now – you know, as long as it is new – I hate used books when I don’t know who the previous owner was. If I need the same book and the free offer is for any other book or maybe just a summary of this book, I will take the paid copy now.

Between choices #1 and #4, if I need it now I will pay to get it now instead of free later. Let’s say I need proof of insurance today to be able to get a job contract. The biding ends today. I need it now. Later is of no value to me. Now is the value.


Free gets all the press because all the press can be had for free online.

Now gets money if the thing is specific, not available for free and needed now.

Build you web presence around the value of now if at all possible.

Examples? I have plenty, please suggest your own.

How to Create a Facebook Ad

I have been talking to a lot of groups lately and always seem to get to Facebook advertising.

This link...

has a great slideshow walking you through creating a Facebook ad.

The primary difference between a Facebook ad and a sponsored ads in search is the source of your keywords.

In search ads you are guessing at what terms people will use for search.

In Facebook ads you are using the terms they actually have entered in describing their interests, etc. As you try out keywords in Facebook's ad creation program, Facebook actively suggests terms in actual use and then tells you exactly how many users fitting you criteria you are marketing to.

Facebook ads are best used to tightly target many small groups. Use a unique ad for each group you target that addresses their stated interest.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Google Wave

Here is an interesting and entertaining use for Google Wave. A scene from Pulp Fiction in the Wave. It contains the exact dialogue - which is somewhat foul depending on in which branch of the Navy you served.

WARNING - at least R rated.

Some people have very little to do - and I enjoy how they do it.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Literal Videos

A literal video takes the original video, keeps the music, but writes new lyrics to describe what is actually happening in the video.

Here is a good one.

I love it. New things to do in the digital age.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Most Visited Web Sites From Mobile Phones

Read Write Web post interesting numbers on which web sites have the highest usage rates from mobile devices - cell phones? - during a five day period for one unnamed provider in the US in September 2009.

MySpace and Facebook were both in the top ten. See the chart below.

The source report can be found at OpenWave .

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Losing Control of the Device

One of the great things about blogging is that I can reference other blogs that are better than mine.

JP Rangaswami' Confused in Calcutta is one of many that fall into that category.

He has a great posting on losing control of the device - the computer desktop - and what that means to business as the next generation moves in and takes over the workforce.

You know I believe the currently recession/depression is masking to really big changes.

JP's post will give you some things to think about. Don't just think about them. Take some action to deal with them.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Losers and Winners

Have you or your kids or your school ever participated in a tournament or other competition where only one person or team wins?

My kids played tennis. A typical tournament would have between 10 and 20 players in the draw they were in. In a tournament with 16 players in a draw, 15 kids lose. But for some reason my kids kept signing up to do it again.

And no, we didn't just raise stupid kids. Stupid parents maybe, but not stupid kids.

So why does everyone else go?

It's because they all get something out of it positive - right?

In a track or swimming event they focus on personal bests. Or they like the social connections. Or who knows what.

But it is as plain as day there is something that keeps bringing us back or these types of events would have died out years and years ago.

You have to be honest, most people in any tournament or race don't think they have even the slightest chance of winning. But they still like whatever it is they are getting from participating. They don't think they lost. They know they got what they came for.

All this is to say that insurance companies who have basically killed the comparison rating business because they are afraid to compete and be compared don't really get it. There isn't a single winner and then a bunch of losers. You have to understand what you came to the event to get.

How do you define winning? Pick a niche? Better than last year?

In the process of being afraid of the opportunity, these companies are killing their independent agency sales channel.

Maybe we could set comparison raters up like a tournament. What is that missing piece again?

Saturday, October 3, 2009

The Death of Mass Marketing

Yesterday I mentioned Bob Garfield's book The Chaos Scenario. It is a good, informative, thought provoking and fast read.

It is one of a recent spate of books about the trials and tribulations of the mass media industry - you know, newspapers, TV networks, magazines, books - things you could do in the bathroom where Internet connections are still not the norm.

If you are not in the media business - say you are a local independent insurance agent - why should you care?

Because the large national businesses you compete against have used advertising in the mass media - which you could not afford - to beat you like a rented mule. With that platform in serious decline, those guys can't hit you with it as hard, or at all, anymore.

Now that the bully has lost his club, how can you hit him back? Won't it feel good? Plus, you can make some money in the process.

Bob has put two interesting videos on YouTube that may help you with some ideas. The first is about 3 minutes, the second about 33 minutes. Enjoy.

Here is a link to the longer video -

Friday, October 2, 2009

Are You A Stuntman?

I am going to make this post something I have never done. It will be basically cut and paste of an email I received from Bob Garfield and the Chaos Scenario. I think it is too well said to try to re-word. Do check out Bob's book.

Bob got it from Greg Stielstra of PyroMarketing

"Are You a Stuntman?

Most people will skin a knee or break a bone if they slip and fall on a sidewalk, but a stuntman would spring to his feet unharmed. Two factors make the difference and teach an important lesson for business and life.

Surprise vs. Expectation
People injured by falls were often surprised by their fall. They didn't see it coming and their surprise contributed to their inadequate response.

Stuntmen are rarely surprised by a fall. Not only do they expect to fall, they plan for it, rehearse it, and even initiate it when the time comes.

Stopping the fall vs. Starting to land

The first reaction of most people injured by a fall is often a futile attempt to prevent it. If they slip on the stairs they turn back trying to grab the railing. This prevents them from preparing to land which, in turn, causes awkward landings and injuries.

Stuntmen, by contrast, don't try to stop their fall. They know the truth of the old joke, "It's not the fall that kills you, it's the sudden stop." That's why the instant their fall begins, they shift their focus to landing properly. Though their fall often appears more dangerous, the result is safer.

Please try this at home
Businesses that don't expect to fall--those that expect the circumstance that gave rise to their industry to endure forever--never prepare to land. But history teaches that every business falls eventually. None are immune.

So, expect to fall. Actively look for the things that might trip you up. Watch for shifting environmental circumstances. And when you spot trends that may impact your business don't try to prevent them--you can't stop cultural shifts as immense as the digital revolution. Instead, immediately begin deciding how to land by exploring ways you can adapt. The courageous among you might even initiate the fall. If you do, then you'll be the first in your industry to land on your feet and best prepared for your next scene. Spread the fire. GS"

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Winners and Losers

I recently read a wonderful rule of thumb about how to pick winners and losers in business strategies.

This rule of thumb was for purposes of investing in companies. The basis of the idea is that technology is fundamentally changing the way businesses and consumers behave.

If the strategy is defensive - protecting your current business model - you will definitely lose.

If the strategy is to aggressively extend your business model and go after new activities enabled by new technology, you have a much higher chance of winning.

So the choices presented are a certainty of failure versus and possibility of success. Not really much choice.

Does this mean I shouldn't try to protect my current customer base by providing great service and better products. I think it means I should try this but with newer tools and communication methods.

I believe the great change technology is making is the way we all communicate with each other.

How do you think your company would be seen by investors based on this criteria?

Think you might want to consider some changes?

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Internet Usage Rates

There is an interesting post at ReadWriteWeb today on the change in Internet usage patterns from 2003 through 2009.

Communications web sites - online email and instant messaging - are the big losers. Looks like content sites are big winners.

Here is a copy of the chart...

This never mentioned time spent on applications for software as a service. These are almost always behind firewalls. That would be an interesting number.

The general consensus seems to be the continued decline of email. How do you think this affects your business?

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Web Site Traffic - Free Search vs Paid Search

Following up on my notes on Facebook ads, I thought there might be some interest in the comparison of one of my sites sources of traffic. Specifically comparing free search traffic and paid search traffic.

For some groundwork:

  1. This is a mature web site. It has been around for over five years. So the ratio of returning visitors to new visitors is different than a new site would have.
  2. Very good free search placement. Almost every one of the 100's of pages is a top 5 result in free search for it's targeted keyword.
  3. Top paid search placement. I pay to almost always be the #1 result in paid search.

So here is a quick peak:

Source of Visit % of Total Visits

Google Paid Ads 11.20%
Google Free Search 11.23%

Bing Paid Ads 2.84%
Bing Free Search 2.83%

Yahoo Paid Ads 1.79%
Yahoo Free Search 1.64%

You will notice this totals only 31.53% of the visits to this site.

Look back at my posting on our Long Tail for Keywords and you will see that most of our traffic comes from places we would never have guessed would create traffic. This is something that builds over time.

The result here is that paid search doubles my traffic. If your results in free search are not as strong as mine - always is the top five results - paid search will have an even larger effect. Of course, you have to decide if it is profitable for you. It is easy to get visitors, it is a challenge and constant chore to make money from visitors.

Like my Daddy always told me, that's why they call it fishing instead of catching.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Facebook Ad Click Through Rates

What to Expect From Advertising in Facebook

For the past two months I have been very actively working to put together hard numbers on Facebook advertising for local insurance agents.

Facebook Advertising is Similar to Google Adwords

Both Facebooks ads and Google Adwords do the following:

  • You bid for the ad
  • You only pay when some one actually clicks on your ad
  • Getting the click is only part of the value – the page the click take people to has to be successful in getting those people to take the next action you want them to take
  • You can set a daily and monthly budget
  • You can turn the ad on and off in real time

Facebook ads have several features you cannot get in Adwords. Facebook lets you filter the people you want to target your ad for based on most all of the person’s Facebook profile information. You can decide only to show you ad to people in very small geographic areas – perfect for a local business. You can filter by age, income range, occupation, interests and more.

Facebook is at a disadvantage to Google in one key area. Google shows your ad only to people who are looking for your product or service. Facebook shows your ad to folks who are not looking for your product or service. This makes Facebook advertising more like newspaper, radio or TV ads. It is an interruption hoping to catch the attention of some folks.

Click Through Rates

Based on the information from actual Facebook ad campaigns run over a period of months I have seen click through rates from less than 1 click per 1,000 impressions to as high as 7 clicks per 1,000 impressions of ads.

I have seen cost as high as $1.90 to as low as a few pennies.

Google click through rates I know about range from 5 per 1,000 to 300 per 1,000. Because folks using Google search are actively trying to find something it is no surprise the click through rates are higher.

I have seen Google costs for these same keywords from well over $10.00 to as little as 10 cents for very narrowly targeted niches.

In general you get more clicks and you pay more per click with Google than with Facebook ads based on the information I have available to me.

Return on Money Spent

I do not have hard numbers on your return on money spent on Facebook ads.

Even if I did, the problem is always the quality of the page to which the ad takes a person clicking on the ad. The landing page effectiveness is the main factor in return on money spent on ads. I have personal experience with at least a 1,000% difference with the exact same ad and different landing pages.

This is a topic for another time.

Conclusion – Facebook Ads Are Worth A Shot

I personally have found Facebook ads have created additional sales worth more than the money I spent. I recommend you give them a try and carefully track results.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Augumented Reality? What's That?

Augumented reality can be a hard idea to get across with words. Ah, but a video of it in use is pretty self explanatory.

I don't know about you, but I think this is just the tip of the iceberg for geo location services. Remember, every cell just about now has GPS on board. This is a great example of mashups with online maps - like Google maps.

Along those lines have you tried to use Google Maps MyMaps feature? Take a look.

Going from ready now to the fringe, did you see this post on bionic contact lenses?

Here is the video on that - I want this right now for myself - the four eyes I have been oh these many years...

The Facebook Age

The folks over at Media Post have a very interesting post on current rates of use of the social web.

Here is a quick summary of their facts:

  • 4 in 5 U.S. online adults use social networks at least once a month
  • 1/4th of online U.S. adults are creators of content
  • 1/3rd of online Americans still take part in activities like posting reviews and commenting on blogs, fewer now contribute to online forums
  • Joiners swelled to one in two online adults. Half of online adults now belong to social networks like Facebook and LinkedIn, a 46% growth rate year-over-year
  • 3 in 4 online Americans now consume social content
  • Inactives now represent less than one-fifth of online adults, as only 18% of U.S. online adults don't use social tools in 2009 -- down from 25% in 2008
  • Only 3% of 18- to-24-year-olds and 10% of 25- to-34-year-olds are socially inactive

And here is ther big finish...

"The message here: Social applications are necessary in every marketing plan that targets young adults."

Blatant self promotion warning...

This is exactly why we have built SehHey and are putting so much energy and resources in to enhancing it.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Uncle Guy

Yesterday my Uncle Guy passed away. He was 86 years old and had a very full life.

Guy was my ideal of the perfect Uncle. So for myself and others who may aspire to be a good Uncle, I thought I would say why Guy was a perfect Uncle.

Guy accepted me for what I was. He never imposed his desires or expectations. Parents can't do this, but Uncles can.

Guy was always there to take me on a little more of an adventure than would have been appropriate for a parent. I remember him giving me sips of his beer at my Grandmother's house when I was only 3 or 4 years old. The excitement of the forbidden fruit with the safety of trusted and loving family.

Guy never contradicted my parents, but sometimes this may have been because there were things my parents had not been asked clearly enough to create any possible contradiction.

When I became an adult and lived for two years with Guy's Mother and my beloved Grandmother Mimi, Guy would frequently spend several nights at a time with us at her house. This common bond and common experience allowed us to move beyond the relationship of my childhood to one of adult friends.

Guy had several difficult challenges with personal loss in his life. When I found myself facing this possibility, Guy was there to talk to in conversations I could not have with anyone else.

Guy gave me stories I will tell again and again for the rest of my life.

Guy also taught me that tickets to sporting events were most valuable and enjoyable when shared with or given to others. And that no matter what, these were never things to be sold. Their value went so far beyond any amount of money you could ever receive.

Guy was not my Father, my Brother or my Child.

He was my Uncle and I found him to be perfect in that.

I loved him and he will be forever Uncle Guy.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Social Media Revolution

OK, another video to the same music and a few of the same statistics, but enough new to be worth the time.

The text for these statistics is at Socialnomics .

Long Tail for Keywords in Search

I have been talking to a lot of groups about how to get found in free search results - actually how to get to the top of the free search first page.

I talk about the long tail of keywords that get traffic to a web site.

As a concrete example I am going to show you one of my sites July 2009 charts on keyword sources of visits. What amazes me about this is how much of my traffic comes from keywords that are not in the top 100.

The charts below show a graph for all keywords, for the top 100 and for the top 5. I had a total of 3053 different, unique keyword searches that led to a visit on my pages.

My top five keywords gave me 22% of my traffic.

My top 10 keywords gave me 29% of my traffic.

My top 100 keywords gave me 57% of my traffic.

After the top hundred, I got 43% of my total traffic.

In other words, the vast majority of my visits came from keyword searches that were only entered 18 or fewer times in July of 2009. Without all the long tail of infrequently used keywords I would never make enough money off this site.

Here are the charts.

All Keywords

Top 100 Keywords

Top 5 Keywords

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Why the NFL Hates Twitter

I was listening to 850 the Buzz sports talk on my drive to lunch today. The topic was NFL fines for players using Twitter.

The host was wondering why the NFL hates Twitter so much. I thought I would venture my guesses.

With Twitter, anyone can follow any player. They don't have to be invited to be friends as they would in Facebook or MySpace.

This lets thousands - even hundreds of thousands - of fans have a direct connection with their favorite players. There is no one in between. Read this as no control by and no payment to the NFL.

If an NFL player said the exact same thing to a friend, a print reporter, or a TV reporter would the NFL fine them. I don't think so. But the NFL has no way to control personal conversations with friends - free country and all that sort of thing. ( Hey, that might make a good joke -"An NFL player, a newspaper sportswriter, a TV Sportscaster and Twitter go into a bar")

With reporters the NFL may at least feel there might exist some adult supervision from editors. And if the reporter gets out of line, the NFL can just ban them from the games and locker rooms.

Then there is that contract package with the TV networks that pays billions. You've got to let those guys talk to players. Of course here the NFL and TV have exactly the same interest in keeping the NFL popular. Money, money, money. We all like money.

I guess a good question would be if I can get all my news about a player from the player himself, why do I need to watch interviews, read newspapers or listen to sports radio? There is a good answer. Do you guys at 850 the Buzz know what it is? Here is a hint - its not just the Buzz Babes.

To be kind to the NFL I am willing to believe they are just trying to help Twitter figure out how to make money. Contract with the NFL so all player tweets have to go through an NFL subscription. Twitter makes money, the NFL makes money - can I get a residual for the idea? If so, I like it.

Monday, August 3, 2009

An Idea for Your YouTube Videos

Do you remember the Apple ads from 2002? I didn't - but I saw them when reading Fast Company.

I have embedded them below. Wouldn't this be a great appraoch to creating some YouTube ads for your business? Maybe a series with different customer types?

Ad #1

Add #2

Ad #3

Ad #4

Friday, July 31, 2009

How to Make Money with YouTube

This is a great story from Read, Write Web on how Sony, Amazon, iTunes and Google have taken a different approach to posting of copyrighted material in a mash up format.

A wedding video which in 2 weeks has over 13 million views using the song "Forever" as the soundtrack for the best wedding dance entrance I have ever seen.

Instead of having the video pulled read the link and see how they monetized it. Maybe this is part of what is to come.

Oh, here is the video...

Thursday, July 30, 2009

New Measurements Show Online Growth Changing

A recent report from Universal McCann shows new trends in Internet usage.

Social networks are the big winners this time. Two thirds of all Internet Users spend time managing their online profiles.

96% of active social network users have visited their friends pages.

In the U. S. 60% of active Internet users are active managing their online profile - last years number was 43.2%

At the same time a new Forrester Report shows Internet usage leveling out.

As this reports notes, this is more about a saturated space maturing than - definitely not a decline in usage.

What does this mean? I am guessing it means that as more and more people get used to being online, they form habits and tend to use familiar sites more than exploring new sites. It also looks as if they like to have more general purpose sites like Facebook for activities they used to use single purpose sites such as Flickr for.

You think that means you should make your site or service a Facebook app?

Shatner, Palin, Poetry and Twitter

See the genius and power of Shatner - the beat poet. (Especially like the sandals in the Twitter poem)

Here is the Twitter feed as beat poetry...

Looks like a great career move for Priceline Bill.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009


Once again I have learned something new from Wayne Sutton. In this post on a site called Posterous .

As they say on their site - the dead simple place to post everything.

Here is my first post - just something to test the service with.

No sign up. I emailed them a short note with the video as an attachment. Within less than a minute I had an email back with a link to my post.

Fascinating idea. Give it a try.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

I just finished reading Louis Gray's post on Crunch Pad. Here is a short video on the prototype...

Do you think there is room for a tweener device? Between the full computer - laptop or desktop and phone or game device?

My wife likes my netbook. She calls it her iPhone because the screen is big enough for her to read.

I suppose the Crunch Pad could be your phone using Skype.

I don't see it as a Kindle on steroids - but I am not a Kindle user.

I will be interested to see if I am interested enough to try anything in this category. Now - if it were an embedded device in my head - then...

Friday, July 24, 2009

Airlines as a Business

This past week I had the pleasure of attending the High TECC Summit in Vail, Colorado. Then I had the displeasure of flying American Airlines back.

I mention American Airlines only because this was a specific flight, but my thinking here applies to all airlines and the industry as a whole.

Years ago I adopted the attitude that once I entered the airport everything about my trip was out of my hands. I took the attitude that I would never expect to arrive on time anywhere and only moderately expected to live.

This week I found I could no longer stay so emotionally unattached.

The flight from Denver to Dallas was delayed, but since I had two hours before my connection to my flight to RDU I had no issue.

We boarded on time for the RDU leg. I thought things were looking up.

Then we sat. And sat. And sat.

There were no weather problems. No mechanical problems. We were good to go. But we sat.

Finally the Captain told us we were waiting for about 15 folks on a flight that was late from San Francisco. He said it would be about 10 or 15 minutes.

I was OK with that. American has held flights for me for that long and I appreciated it. Plus, that much of a delay in departure is always easy to make up by flying faster.

We sat for 1 hour and 20 minutes.

So here is what American Airlines did - to make 15 customers happy they disappointed 60 customers.

No wonder they have money problems.

So I started thinking about this issue. I mean I don't think the folks at American are stupid. I do think they have lived in the airline culture so long they don't even see alternatives. Well, I do, so here they are for what they are worth.

Here is my quick list of public transportation industries:

  1. Airlines
  2. Buses
  3. Ferries
  4. Trains

Only airlines has this constant problem with on time.

I admit weather has a larger impact on airlines. But that is not the major cause of delays in my personal experience of 40 years of flying commercially.

The major cause may be overbooking of airport access - maybe.

Regardless here is my thinking.

I would be glad to pay a 50% surcharge for an airline that absolutely guaranteed on time departure. If I am late the doors are closed. Trains, buses and ferries do this all the time. Heck, it is the norm.

If the airport is closed, I will accept the delay.

But if the airport is busy I want my flight to have priority access to departure. The airline should pay more to the airport for this access - maybe 50% more.

I rarely fly first class because you still are on the same plane that was not on time. That is of almost no value to me.

I would always fly guaranteed on time. That is of great value to me and I will happily pay for it.

Plus, guaranteed on time is a true marketing differentiator. I have been in sales and marketing all my life. I could sell that difference in a heart beat.

I would also want a financial penalty to apply to the airline if it did not leave on time for any reason other than the airport being closed. Maybe a double my money back - and not crappy airline dollars but those real United States cash dollar bills kind of dollars.

So to recap, the airline increases it's cost, increases it's revenue, the airport increases it's revenue, I pay for a better value.

That is change I can believe in.

Oh, by the way - here is what American Airlines should have done.

They saw the options as making 15 people happy or making 60 people happy. They apparently never saw the option of making all the people happy. They should have let my flight leave on time and trotted out another plane and crew for the late crowd.

I can hear the hollering about the cost now. I can tell you for a certainty, the cost of providing terrible and inexcusable service to those of us who were held up for 1 hour and 20 minutes is many times the cost of the second plane and crew.

You can never save your way to growth and health. You have to make yourself worth more. I suppose the most common mission statement in the airline industry is "We are no worse than the other guy."

You reap what you sow.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

The March of Technology

Fantastic video on the progression of information technology, researched by Karl Fisch, Scott McLeod, and Jeff Brenman, remixed.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

What Will People Pay for?

Another benefit of reading Dan Bricklin’s recent post on New Interaction was finding the link to his post from July 11, 2000 titled What Will People Pay For?

With all the conversation about Chris Anderson’s new book Free, I thought a look back might add some interesting touchstones.

First, Dan didn’t think eCommerce was where the Internet was headed.

From 8 years later I would have to say eCommerce has done OK.

But he was very prescient in his next thinking…

“Look at how regular people use cellphones, especially if the cost is low like it is in many countries outside the USA. Listen to cab drivers with their own cellphones, bus drivers, mothers, kids, etc. They mainly talk to their friends and loved ones for very personal, mundane things. "I finally left the office, but traffic is light", "Yes, I can pick up a pizza on the way home", "I've got a free minute and thought I'd say hi", "Did you find it yet?", "Where are you?", "No, I didn't do it, I thought you were going to do it", "Well, tell him Daddy says no, too", "What's up? Wanna do something tonight?", etc.”

“People like to interact with people they care about. The interactions are often simple, but personally important. They are willing to pay money for this. That's why they pay for cellphones, for Internet access, and for postcards and postage, and for souvenirs. It gives them emotional satisfaction. They pay money to travel to visit family and friends.

I get an image in my head when I see people on the street having these simple interactions on the phone. It's that image of primates sitting next to each other grooming one another. Simple, kind interactions with the ones close to us are innate.

People also pay money for other forms of emotion that aren't through other people directly: listening to music, watching movies (usually with other people -- doing it alone with TV they won't pay for), seeing something beautiful or interesting.”

//Here Ends Quoting//

The Internet – MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, etc – made these things essentially free. This is Anderson’s premise. So Dan missed on paying for everyday interactions. But he did not miss at all in understanding this would be the primary value of the Internet. And where there is value, some folks will find ways to make some kind of business around that value.

The phone comparison is such a fine analogy for the additional reason that the telephone industry is in so delicate a balancing act of losing voice to VOIP but gaining Internet on mobile. Too bad newspapers, record companies and video content providers do not have semi monopolistic control of a distribution channel.

I suppose the challenge for Disney and Spielberg, CBS and FOX , The New York Times and the Statesville Record and Landmark, is to learn to compete with our family and friends and loved ones dominating our time and attention “for very personal, mundane things.”

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Dan Bricklin and New Modes of Interaction

Dan Bricklin published a wonderfully thoughtful paper titled New Modes of Interaction. To best explain the post I will let his opening paragraph carry the load…

Every decade or so there has been a change in interaction styles between computers and their users. This change impacts both what the user sees and what the programmer needs to do when architecting an application. This change is brought about by innovations in both hardware and software. At first, mainly new applications are created using this new style, but as time goes on and the style becomes dominant, even older applications need to be re-implemented in the new style.”

Dan is addressing most of the things that have been rolling around in my head for the past couple of years as I have begun to understand just how much of a watershed we are at in computing.

Dan focuses on the technologies in Microsoft’s Natal and Google Wave. But to me his list of “other technologies” is the jewel in this paper.

Here is his list…

  1. Pervasive inclusion of webcams
  2. Online video
  3. Latency of responses using the Internet
  4. Ubiquity of access to shared data during conversations
  5. Screen size and number through price drops
  6. Acceptance of gesture-based systems
  7. Direct manipulation systems
  8. Movement away from using a mouse
  9. Real-time mixed streams
  10. Tagging
  11. Inexpensive disk and portable (flash) memory
  12. Consumer-level installation of IT infrastructure
  13. Notification in stream
  14. Seamlessly move to mobile
  15. Battery life
  16. Mashups
  17. Plug-ins and external APIs
  18. The decline of paper (and not just the newspaper) - Rather than having paper as the ultimate destination, the screen is now the ultimate destination

This is a heck of a list.

Towards the end of the paper, Dan mentions that "social" is a driving force and that "social beats out the mechanical."

To avoid simply repeating the paper, I urge you to take the time to read it. It takes a while. But if you are involved in where computing is going this is a goldmine.

To be clear on my thinking, I do not believe the goldmine is yet in the PAUI interface of the Natal technology. I believe it will be, just not yet.

I do believe the immediate future – 1 to 5 years – is in the need to create systems that work the same on all devices, especially mobile, and that are based on working from a single source document.

My small effort to contribute a tool to this new generation is SehHey. The touchstones I am trying to build on are these…

  1. A user is just a user is just a user. We are trying to build a tool based on people instead of documents and hierarchical structures.
  2. Who do you want to share / work / interact with?
  3. What do you want to share / work on / interact using?

Here is a 3 minute and 46 second video of where this effort is as of July 10, 2009. It is exciting to us. It has a ways to go. But what a thrill to be going.

You will notice another of our services in this video - Cap Dat ACORD. At the moment SehHey is an extension of this service. We will be breaking it out and creating API's to allow it to interact with any other system.

Thanks Dan for making me feel am not to far off.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Mark Lazen Thinks Facebook is Dying

A post from socialmediaschool from May made the claim the the Facebook Deathwatch has officially begun.

The basic point is Facebook is trying to be all things to all people and will fail as a result.

Mark Lazen does concede that Facebook will make tons of money while dying.

So if Facebook is making this grande mistake, what opportunities does that open up? What is the next big thing?

My personal opinion is that we are in the deathwatch for Microsoft, Google and Facebook. But we have been doing the same for IBM and General Motors for a long, long time.

Maybe The Who were right in My Generation - hope I die before I get old. But I think there is just too much money to be made during the death watches of these companies to worry to much about it.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

More on Freemium

Since writing about the "free" business model yesterday I have spend extra time reading other bloggers thoughts.

Phil Wainewright has a good set of thoughts going over at ZDnet in his post Free is not a business model - thanks to Dan London - - for making me aware of this post.

Wainewright notes there are three alternative revenue sources to charging your users directly.
  1. Advertising
  2. Freemium - my favorite
  3. Syndication
He links to a post by Fred Wilson titled Freemium and Freeconomics - I have to be honest, it is nice to have a break from made up words based on Twitter, twisn't it.

Fred has some very interesting numbers on Facebooks revenues and sources of revenue. I quote his post...

"Earlier this week, we spoke to several sources who each have some insight into Facebook's financials (none of them know precisely). Taking the sources' input together, we'd estimate the company's expected 2009 revenue this way:
  • $125 million from brand ads
  • $150 million from Facebook's ad deal with Microsoft
  • $75 million from virtual goods
  • $200 million from self-service ads.

These numbers are similar enough to others that I have heard that I feel comfortable republishing them here. Facebook has 200mm+ monthly active users worldwide. Let's say they are doing $50mm per month in revenue. That's a revenue per monthly active user of $0.25. Low for sure, but enough to operate at breakeven."

This is an interesting look at revenue per user based on advertising.

To compare this to Freemium businesses of which I have a personal knowledge, they seem to have a monthly revenue per user of $1.00 to $5.00. This makes freemium much easier to run profitably at fewer than 200,000,000 users. It may be a better fit for the business that has a more niche focus and a limit of 100,000 to 1,000,000 total users.

Of course I feel the need to add a word of caution about start up times and cost. The source of high margins in online ventures is based on the relatively true statement that the marginal cost of each additional user is almost zero. The flip side of that is the cost of your first user is your total development and operating cost. It can take a significant period of time to attract an adequate number of even free users.

I have read the typical runway to this break even point should be planned as four years. My experience is your doing great if you get there in three years. It is possible with very strict attention to cost controls.

As a final comparison, in the pure software model where nothing is free - in a niche like property and casualty insurance, Applied Systems, an Insurnace Agency specific back office system - the average monthly revenue per user may be $100 to $250. This is a slower sales model, but each sale covers it's unique cost from day 1 - minus of course development and probably direct selling cost.

How is all this relevant if you make your money from selling things you can offer for free?Examples...
  • Amazon with books
  • An insurance agent with insurance policies
  • A lawyer with legal advice

These are all products that have proven to be profitable online for many companies. I guess you can make money online without giving everything away for free afterall.

Maybe I should spend some time getting me some of that knowledge and understanding.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Free and Selling on Price

I have been following the media controversy - could it be manufactured ( how cynical have I become?) - surrounding the Chris Anderson book Free .

It is interesting, but what really interested me was the discussion of an experiment by M.I.T. behavioral economist Dan Ariely, the author of “Predictably Irrational.”

Here is the quote...

"Ariely offered a group of subjects a choice between two kinds of chocolate—Hershey’s Kisses, for one cent, and Lindt truffles, for fifteen cents. Three-quarters of the subjects chose the truffles. Then he redid the experiment, reducing the price of both chocolates by one cent. The Kisses were now free. What happened? The order of preference was reversed. Sixty-nine per cent of the subjects chose the Kisses. The price difference between the two chocolates was exactly the same, but that magic word “free” has the power to create a consumer stampede."

Why did 75% of the folks choose the more expensive option in the first case? Product differentiation?

Why did 31% continue to choose the paid for product in the second case?

Anderson's focus is on the different market once "free" is a price. Of course chocolates are not digital goods so offering them for a price of "free" changes the premise of Anderson argument to an extent.

The Internet - especially Google and Facebook - have made many of us think "free" is a new and wonderful business model. While it may be wonderful, it is certainly not new.

Still, what is most interesting to some one who wants to make money is what is it about the Lindt chocolates that made 31% decide to pay instead of taking the free alternative. Figure that out and I want to hear about it.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Web Side Story

Found through

Truer than most might think.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Live Video for Your Business

It might seem like I am on a Kipp Bodnar binge here yesterday and today. Actually, I am just spending a lot of time looking into uses of video for your business and Kipp has been doing this for a long time and has great advice.

Take the 12 minutes to watch Kipp and Wayne Sutton from tell you how to use live video streaming.

Think about how this might be good for your business.

This is where many folks think the next big thing will be.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Clay Shirky - How Twitter Can Make History

A great insight into the changes we have in front of us as businesses. Communications have changed.

Thanks to Kipp Bodnar at

Friday, June 5, 2009

Collaboration Tools - Part 2

To start part 2 of my ramble about collaboration I want to thank the 3 folks that commented on yesterday's post. Apparently this is a topic of interest. I promise to include each of these services in future posts.

But for now, as promised, here are my thoughts on Google Docs.

I have used Google Docs for about a year and a half on a limited basis. I find the Word processor very easy to work with. I personally have found the spreadsheet just different enough to make me not use it as much as I would like. I have played with the Presentation tool, but I have not used it for a final product.

My attraction to Google docs was not for collaboration, it was for storing things I needed access to as I traveled with a variety of computers. I was basically looking at it as an alternative to a flash drive. Of course I also have several flash drives.

I started using Google Docs as a way to keep several manually generated spreadsheet reports up to date and in sync. Each day I track many stats on my various web sites. I originally thought about just permanently moving these spreadsheets into Google Docs and working with them there exclusively. This is when I found I really did not want to take the time to learn the differences - whatever they were - between my desktop spreadsheet and the Google spreadsheet. I am certain this was compounded by my traveling with a Mac but using a Windows desktop in the office.

When I bought a new office Windows PC recently it did not come with Microsoft Office. I thought I would take the opportunity to shift from Office to Google Docs. I am disappointed in myself that I have not followed through on this. I eventually installed Office. I am not even sure why. The point is my experience and expectations for Docs has been more along the lines of a replacement for Office instead of a giant need for a collaboration tool.

The feature I have appreciated the most is the ability to upload a Microsoft Word, Excel or Power Point file and have Google Docs automatically convert them. The reverse is also true, I can save Google docs to my desktop in Microsoft formats.

On the big plus side, Google Docs is free, it is clean, it is fast and it is pretty intuitive.

Next up is 37Signals.

Fantastic Parody

Thanks to John Battelle from Twitter - - for this...

So true. I wish I had the talent to do these things.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Collaboration Tools Part 1

This is the first in a series about various collaboration tools. If I miss your favorite, please let me know.

The first digital collaboration tool I recall using was the Microsoft Office - Word and Excel. Early on we would just copy the file to a disk and pass the disk on to the person with whom we were sharing. later we would put the file on the local area network server. Finally we got real slick and started emailing the files as attachments.

How badly did I just show my age? Before email? Yes, there was such a thing.

What made these programs collaborative was the ability of the party you shared with to edit and change the document. It was nice when the software tracked changes and managed version controls, but just the ability to pass the document on, have it changed and returned was the great benefit.

The comparison to typed or hand written notes is hard to image these days, but that was the giant leap when these tools became available. Folks would pay $3,000 to $5,000 for the PC and software in the 80's to get this improvement. In today's money that would be at least twice as much. Who would pay that now? Now we all expect it for free or almost for free. And I have to admit I love my under $300 net book.

Once we became used to these tools we learned to complain about the limitations. The big limitation was most apparent when sharing with groups. If you sent the same Word document to two other folks, getting a single merged version was the issue.

Of course, in software, every problem which can be clearly described becomes the specifications for the next generation.

Next post - Google Docs.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Flying Through Cincinnati

Yesterday I flew up the Albany, New York to have lunch with some folks. Yes it was a long way to go for lunch. We ate at the Panera Bread because they have free wifi Internet. The food was good too.

I was unbelievably impressed and disturbed by what I saw at the airport. Parking at my home airport - RDU - was the easiest it has been in my memory. At least half the parking deck between the two terminals was empty. I wasn't there all that early. And the same was true when I got back last night.

But the emptiness at Cincinnati was mind blowing. The place has three terminals - A, B & C. Terminal C has been completely closed. I walked through it and all the stores and restaurants were gone. Lights turned off. Just plain empty.

The gates at terminals A and B weren't all that busy. Plus I saw something I can never recall seeing - a 50% off sale sign on an airport retail store.

I had read earlier this year that air travel was down 30%. I have no current numbers, but based on what I saw yesterday it was 50% or more.

I wondered if the impact on Hubs like Cincinnati - a Delta hub - is worse. Is there some multiplier? I mean if traffic to RDU is off 30% and it is just a destination, would traffic to a hub - which has mostly traffic to change planes as opposed to coming to that destination, be off by a larger percentage. At first it doesn't make sense. But...

Here is the thing in the back of my mind. When retail sales in the US are down 5% it seems manufacturing unemployment in China went up to 30%. Why the multiple?

If you have a formula for this I would love to see it.


Wednesday, May 20, 2009

My Little Sister and Michelle Obama

This is a short example of how to absolutely let your big brother know you are not just a baby sister anymore.

Last night I called my baby sister - I have three - about something. She was not home. I go one of her kids. Here is more or less the conversation...

Me: "Hi. This is Uncle Duke. Is my little sister there?"

Kid: "No. She's in DC. You can maybe get her on her cell."

Me:"OK. You sure I wouldn't be interrupting her?"

Kid:"No. She was supposed to be going to Taiwan, but that got changed. So she had been invited to have lunch with Michelle Obama. She had turned it down since she would have been on the plane, but since she decided not to go to Taiwan she called and said she could do the lunch anyway. But that is not til tomorrow. So you can call her now."

Just to let you know, I had lunch by myself at Five Guys Burgers and Fries. So there baby sister!!!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

LifeStream, The Space of Flows or Just Stream

Today I read David Gelernter' interview on The Edge.

He was talking about the concept of LifeStream. It struck a cord with me.

"38. A "lifestream" organizes information not as a file cabinet does but roughly as a mind does.

39. A lifestream is a sequence of all kinds of documents — all the electronic documents, digital photos, applications, Web bookmarks, rolodex cards, email messages and every other digital information chunk in your life — arranged from oldest to youngest, constantly growing as new documents arrive, easy to browse and search, with a past, present and future, appearing on your screen as a receding parade of index cards. Documents have no names and there are no directories; you retrieve elements by content: "Fifth Avenue" yields a sub-stream of every document that mentions Fifth Avenue.

40. A stream flows because time flows, and the stream is a concrete representation of time. The "now" line divides past from future. If you have a meeting at 10AM tomorrow, you put a reminder document in the future of your stream, at 10AM tomorrow. It flows steadily towards now. When now equals 10AM tomorrow, the reminder leaps over the now line and flows into the past. When you look at the future of your stream you see your plans and appointments, flowing steadily out of the future into the present, then the past."

I have been working on a new project we are calling SehHey - more later. For one feature we were stuck just calling it "My Stuff" or even "Stuff". 

As a part of this feature you are able to place things - files, gadgets, pictures, links, documents, etc. - into a carousel. The carousel "flows" when you move from one group to the next. Kind of like a stream flows.

I like it. The SehHey Stream. Create your own SehHey Stream. Sounds good.

Any opinions?

Monday, April 27, 2009

Customer Retention

The American Agent and Broker magazine has a timely post on the value of keeping your existing customers. It Bears Repeating... 

While Laura Toops is focused on you keeping your current customers - and I agree - I think you also need to find cost effective ways to get the 8% to 15% of insurance buyers who are changing carriers this year.

Here is the list I believe in for why people change insurance companies:

1 - bad experience with current company - claims, service or premium increase
2 - move to new area
3 - buy first car, or in some demographics buy new car
4- new relationship with some one in the insurance business they would trust and like to work with
5 - sold by active sales approach

I have no idea of the order these fall in for volume. I'd be interested in your feedback.

Reasons 1,2 and 3 would be sales you get as a result of being found.

Reasons 4 and 5 would be sales you would get as a result of being active.

Where do you and your business come out on these?