quinta-feira, 24 de janeiro de 2008

There is a pot of gold in the end of "In Rainbows"

Last year, the band Radiohead release the whole album "In Rainbows"on their webpage, where fans could download it and pay what they wanted for it. If you wanted it for free, you could get it.
The band did not publish how much they earned with it, but they probably got a very good profit, as everyone knew about that.
The most curious fact is that, when they release the physical record, it reached the top of UK and US charts, putting in doubt the importance of record labels for the whole process, instead of using a company only for production and distribution.
And it's not only Radiohead that is making money this way. Another band did an experiment quite like that.
Nine Inch Nails released their last album ("The Inevitable Rise and Liberation of Niggy Tardust), for free (in medium quality mp3) or pay $5 (for a high quality mp3). Nearly 30000 people paid for the high quality version, so the band got, so far, an income of nearly $150000. That's considerably more than they made with their previous album, what made them richer and their songs much more known, as a lot more people also downloaded the medium quality version.
But if you think that online marketing for music only works with well-known bands, you are mistaken!
In 2006, a band called OK Go, with a home made Videoclip called "Here it goes again", which was published on the web by accident, got more than 500000 downloads in less than a month, and it was seen more than some million times on Youtube.
The most unbelievable fact was that they won a Grammy in 2007 as best videoclip! How incredible it is for a home made video of an independent band, which did not have a label when released it, winning the most important worldwide music awards?
Open your eyes for brand new marketing strategies that are not only coming, but are already consolidated among us!

OK Go - Here it goes again: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pv5zWaTEVkI

segunda-feira, 21 de janeiro de 2008

A step back, many steps ahead

If you ask an American or Japanese middle-aged man what he likes doing the most when spending time with his family, what do you think he would answer? Barbecue? Picnics? Camping? Fishing? Maybe...but it is also very likely that he would say "playing videogame".

Something that was very unlikely some years ago, is now part of family routines: family gatherings for playing videogame. That all started because of a sales phenomenon: Nintendo Wii.

Nintendo reinvented the videogame approach by stepping back in technology and reinventing interactivity.

They thought that the main objective of videogame had been forgotten long time ago: fun! Lately, videogames have been more and more complex and demanded the player to memorise tons of sequences of keys and to use several commands at the same time, what used to scare women and older people.

What did Nintendo do that was so revolutionary? They invented a movement sensitive controller that is totally intuitive, and the player does not need to study commands and techniques before playing. It raised interactivity remarkably and improved interaction among players. For example: Instead of memorising a list of commands to make moves in fight games, all you have got to do is move the controller accordingly and the move comes out. How simple and brilliant is that?

The result of this revolutionary approach is reflected in numbers: Only in the USA, 6.3 million Wii were sold, against 2.6 Playstation 3 (which leaded last videogame generation) and 4.6 million Xbox 360. In Japan, the phenomenon is the same: 3.6 million Wii, 1.2 million PS3 and 260 thousand Xbox 360. One quarter of japanese players has a Wii.

Although Nintendo increased Wii's production twice, every single unit that comes to an american store is sold. Due to that, "the Big N" has become the second biggest company in Japan (Toyota is the first).

Nintendo proves that videogames should focus more on fun and less on technology, trying to recall the times where games were simple, but thrilling. Who would say they are wrong?

sexta-feira, 11 de janeiro de 2008

E-Commerce - Sales Increase Strategy

I am such an online shopping addict. So is a large amount of the Internet users.

An online shopping addict buys everything he needs online: from electronics to food. So do I. What are the main advantages of buying online?

1. It's practical.

You can just go to the webpage, click on the product you want, insert your credit card number and...voilà! The product is sent to you.

Another point is that it's easier to find the product you want. The sections are usually organised by a practical search criteria, which is much better than digging through dusty shelves in a physical shop.

2. It's cheaper.

This is the point where people disagree with me. They ask themselves: "If I pay for the product and the freight, how can it be cheaper?". This is simple. Although the customer is the one who affords the freight, online shops haven't got to spend money on a fancy physical structure nor on hiring many employees. So, with a small structure, you can sell a large amount of products, spending little on operational costs and being able to sell more for less.


That's the main point of this post. What can probably go wrong?
These last days, I bought several products online. Some were better than expected and some a lot worse. I will list the problems I had below:

1. Delivery time.

I bought from two different shops a book and a notebook computer.
This book is imported from the USA, and they promised to deliver in two weeks, which is a long deadline considering online buying. It's been one month since the purchase confirmation and I still haven't received the book. They send weekly status of the order to my e-mail, giving the same excuse: availability.
A rule of any kind of commerce, including e-commerce, is that, to keep your customer satisfied, you have to comply with deadlines. I was a regular buyer from this online bookstore, and I will no longer be buying books from them, considering they have no conditions to supply them on time. As in Brazil importers do not pay any import taxes for books, they should have shipped it through mail (which would take around a week to get here) or even through courier (which takes around 2, 3 days), if they wanted to keep the customer. The amount they would lose with these services is far below the money they could make with a regular customer.
The notebook computer was bought in another online shop. They informed the delivery date in one business day, and I bought it on a Friday, expecting to receive it the following Monday. Saturday morning, for my surprise, it was delivered! This was so unexpectedly good that, from this day on, I have become a huge fan from this store.

2. Page Complexity.

These past few days I realised something very interesting: Most online shops pages have not got efficient search engines, what takes valuable time to get to the products you want. And after choosing it, you have got to make a long registration and follow endless processes to finally place an order.
This confirms a study I have recently read: 95% of the online buyers give up the order during the ordering process. So, what actions should be taken?
Instead of focusing your page on gorgeous graphics and animations, focus your effort in having a clean, intuitive and simple page, with a very fast purchasing process. You should also give some special attention to your search engine, to make it as accurate, simple and fast as possible. If your customer can get to any product by two or three clicks and no difficulty, you found the yellow brick road to increase your sales.

From today on, due to my lack of time, the posts will be available only in English.