Wednesday, April 23, 2008

The ivory tower and a non sense car

Some companies seem to live in their own ivory tower. Worst is that their press office do the same.
In the last months, the much rumored ethanol was debated about being a eco fuel or a solution worst than the original problem.

Tons of articles about the impact of producing ethanol on the food prices.
The boss of Nestlè, Peter Brabeck, claimed that food price could double in a very short time because of this issue.
Some riots for the food prices are expected in the most poor countries.

On the other side, the Suv are under strong criticism because of pollution and high emission of CO2.
The London Mayor put high tax on the Suv circulating in the city limit.

In this perfect situation, GM came out with this amazing news in a car blog:

The Hummer is going green!
Within 2010, the entire line of Hummer will be ethanol powered.
And this because of GM green attitude.

The post got 34 comments in one day and guess if they were positive or negative.
Now my question is rather easy to be asked:
do they read newspapers? do they see tv news? hear the radio? got an internet connection?
how thay can imagine to spread this news in such a way and get positive comment?

The best quote: imagine Count Dracula president of the blood donors association.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Apple and the Italian mobile market

As anticipated in this blog few months ago, Apple was forced to change its strategy so to enter the Italian mobile market, which is one of the biggest and most profitable in the world.

The change of strategy reflects the way this market is moving:

- lot of attention on the newest and trendiest device
- an attitude to shift from one operator to another
- a market where operators play a really big role (two big operators, Tim and Vodafone, a medium one, H3G)
- poor wifi availability

The answer is an agreement based on exclusive distribution via Tim for 6 months, no revenue sharing, UMTS based device (44% UMTS share in Italy vs 20% France and 18% UK).

The other key fact is a consideration about device and software.
Motorola is going bankruptcy even if its Razr is the best sold device ever. Why? Because Motorola was not able to deliver contents (software, platform, etc) and get eventually caught in the price trap of the mobile market.
Apple has one chance to avoid this trap: its browser, Safari.
In US 70% of the internet access via mobile comes through Safari.

Selling more devices is the way to remain on top for more advanced market, as Italy.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Integrated marketing and the brave new world

Apparently, advertising agencies are revamping the integrated marketing approach trying to incorporate the web 2.0 brave new world function in it.

This may prove to be a rather poor way to squeeze some money out of a field they do not own nor fully understand.
But it is a sign of weakness. Strategically, if the web 2.0 activities must go along with the advertising activities it does not mean that advertising should lead the pack.
The strategy should turn from advertising to communication and communication is led by the vehicle most suitable to deliver it. And this is not necessarily advertising.

This consideration lead to a crucial question to clients and consultants: who should retain the leadership of the project?
Once it was the adv agency account. Now he is revenue driven by his own boss bottom line and this may not coincide with client's best interest.

More than in the past, the web 2.0 and the communication tools of the next years call for a bigger involvement of the client structure. But is clients ready to play this role? Do they have the resources to get into the game?

Monday, April 07, 2008

The Waterloo of strategy

You may have heard of the hilarious accident of one of the top executives , Luca Luciani, of Telecom the biggest Italian phone company.
In this video(with english subtitle), you may hear the guy talking about Waterloo as one of the best success of Napoleon. Well, maybe he got confused.
But what is really weird is the tone of his speach, pretending to motivate but with a very low profile indeed.
This should have been a motivational speach, something to make your people feeling proud of their company and of their job.

But this is not all. The worst is that Telecom try to pull out the video from You Tube: bad move.
It was uploaded under other tags and someone opened a blog to save all the comments and the video from the tentative censorship.
Now this was a very stupid move by Telecom and they should know how to handle the web.

People felt even more upset abd begun to post about the salary of the executive, the fact that he should resign.

As usual, admitting a mistake is the best way to face this issue and the only way to turn a Waterloo into an Austerlitz.

Free Tibet

This post has a rather strong political message inside.
But not only political, but economical, too, and marketing.

These Olympic Games show a rather high chance to be a fiasco from a marketing point of view.
Even if China has a lot of power, manufacturing a significant percentage of all the goods on the market, still if I was a sponsor of the Games I would be very upset.
My brand will be associated with a retrieve country, a country where censorship is a daily practice, where you can get sentenced two years of prison because of an article on a blog.

Yesterday in London and, most, today in Paris for the first time in centuries, the Olimpyc torch was turned off and a Tibet flag is on the Mayor house.