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It Continues to Look Bleak for Newspapers

by Admin 16. April 2009 10:04

This post will be a follow up to my previous post, Would you Pay for Your Online News?, which examined what will happen to newspapers as advertisers leave in drives due to the recession and more people switch to reading online for free.

There was a very interesting post in the NYTimes about "hyperlocal" web sites and blogs that are bringing community news to the community as the major papers are cutting back on this news. These "hyperlocal" online sites are filled with links to news articles and posts from local bloggers, data feeds from city government, crime reports, restaurant openings and specials, locations for road construction and traffic, etc.

The biggest question is how these sites will make money and the answer appears to be advertising, although in a different form, and this is where the innovation of this idea could become a huge business. “When you slice further and further down, you get smaller and smaller audiences,” said Greg Sterling, an analyst who has followed the hyperlocal market for a decade. “Advertisers want that kind of targeting, but they also want to reach more people, so there’s a paradox.” 

However, he means large advertisers. But what about small ones? Numerous small businesses have never put ads online before and their estimated worth by 2013, according to Peter Krasilovsky, is $32 billion. Let's have an example.

We at OfficeClip are a small company located in Atlanta (Norcross, specifically). At present, we advertise online but not too much locally besides listings. Now let's say there is some very local news on this "hyperlocal" website about the police department nearby or a local chain restaurant adopting a new software or technological device to make their business run better, etc. That would be a great place for us to put an ad for our web timesheet software or web contact manager software. We might not reach as many people as we do with Google, but it probably would not be as expensive either. Also, there is a dedication that small businesses have to other local small businesses. This would enable them to know about one another more easily.

In all, this is probably bad for the newspapers, since they did not come up with it, but these "hyperlocal" sites still get information from them so they need to get advertisers quick in case their main artery newspaper fails. I still think this is a great idea and could really benefit local companies willing to participate!

Big Brother Technology or Smart Advertising?

by Admin 4. February 2009 09:02

I am always on the lookout for new technologies, especially when it comes to marketing. When I discovered that tracking systems are being developed for use in video screens in shopping destinations, I was very surprised.

The technology is in limited use right now, but according to the New York Times, small cameras can be embedded in screens or hidden around them, tracking who looks at the screen and for how long. The software can determine the viewer's gender and approximate age range and can change ads accordingly. So if the screen determines you're a middle-aged female, the ad will change from lawnmowers to anti-aging cream.

I am unsure how I feel about this. I do marketing here at OfficeClip and I use the web contact manager to manage customers, accounts, etc. in addition to other ways to track potential and exisiting customers. Does something like this go too far? It seems a bit "Big Brother" to me, but on the other side, I can see how companies could really use this kind of information to provide targeted ads  to shoppers.

Would you use something like this as part of your marketing strategy? Would you be ok with this being used in your favorite shopping spots? Share your thoughts.

Tech-Users Go Low-Cost

by Admin 30. January 2009 09:01

With everyone pinching pennies these days, it's no real surprise that people are opting for cheaper versions of, well, just about everything. The technology industry has shown it's not immune, either. With so many low cost or free alternatives to expensive gadgets and softwares, it comes as no surprise that these alternatives are being snapped up in the current slow economy.

According to the New York Times, there are some bright(er) spots if you are in the business of low cost technology, such as the $200 Netbooks or inexpensive software that users still need.  Recessions “can cause people to think more about the effective use of their assets,” said Craig R. Barrett, the retiring chairman of Intel. “In the good times, you can get...not focused as much on efficiency. In bad times, you’re forced to see if there is a technology” that will help.

This seems especially true for companies that want to be more productive during the recession and save as much money as possible. Affordable management software, like OfficeClip, can be great value for money. Web Contact Manager, Web Timesheet and Web Issue Tracking can all help businesses to reduce waste, improve accountability and become more organized.

What are some ways you are saving money in the technology industry? Leave us a comment and share your ideas.

Controlling Costs in a Tight Economy: Hosted Web Software

by Admin 28. August 2008 16:08

As banks make it more difficult for small and medium sized businesses to take out loans, expenditures for improving internal business processes can rapidly shrink or disappear altogether in an economic slowdown. Customers reign in spending, businesses suffer and look for ways to streamline their business with cost-effective solutions, only to find that the bank will no longer give them the loan to make it happen...and so the cycle continues....

The New York Times notes that the witholding of credit comes as the economy tightens and joblessness grows, making it difficult for companies who would be able to grow to secure the funds to do so. By mid-June 2008, the credit that banks were giving was decreasing at the rapid rate of more than 6 percent. In dollar terms, that's about $150 billion dollars that companies at present (and very likely for awhile into the future) cannot get for their business needs. Imagine wanting to do internal restructuring to be more cost effective and needing to make a large expenditure for the softwares, etc. to accomplish it....and then not being able to get the money for the investment.

 
So one question certainly becomes..."What do in a tight economy when I want to improve my business?" The answer is to be creative. If improving customer relations, employee management and project management to reduce costs and increase flexibility are what you want to do, consider the benefits of hosted web software. Hosted web software is a way to do these things without using a large captial expenditure or taking out a loan from the bank for expanding your business and in times like the present, you may not be able to get the loans even if you want/need them.
 
According to Jeff Pyden of OmniVue Business Solutions, hosted online software has many benefits for companies who find themselves in these kinds of situations. First, hosted software is done on a pay-as-you-go basis and can be done monthly, yearly, etc. This allows you to easily add or remove users as your business changes and there are no upfront software costs, but there is always the ability to get premanent licenses later if you need them. In general, since no money has been spent on internal resources, there is less risk and more affordability and flexibility which can be ideal for the current economic situation.
 
Hosted web software, like OfficeClip, are internet based solutions, giving you the ability to access your data anywhere, anytime, anyplace with just a web browser. Data and applications such as Web Timesheet, Contact ManagerOnline Calendar and Document Sharing are managed easily and quickly, and the hosted version allows you to add or remove applications as your needs change. If you have financial concerns, are worried about the economy or simply want to try something new to improve important aspects of your business, hosted web software may be perfect for you.

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