Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Great marketing I've received

In the past 24 hours I've been on the receiving end of two great examples of social media marketing:

Firstly, Italian Daniele Mauri sent me a message via LinkedIn with some tips on how to improve the search engine ranking of our videos at - His not didn't cost him much more than time, but it certainly impressed me with its usefulness. It makes it likely that I'll recommend him to others; maybe use his services for our own company activities; and I was able to repay the compliment by providing him with a LinkedIn Recommendation.

Secondly, I got a note from a California-based company who'd picked up on one of my earlier blog posts. They want to highlight their app and I thought this was a great example of how to get a positive mention from a blogger:
Hello Mike, 

I am reaching out to you in relation to an article you wrote called My top iPad apps on 2/25/2013 

I work for Centigon Solutions, and our team is socializing our mobile location intelligence platform called GMaps Mobile ( 

I very much enjoyed your list as I have been researching experts who cover top lists of apps for business and enterprise. I wanted to suggest our location intelligence App called GMaps Mobile for consideration as you round up your apps list. 

We are a leading producer of location based visualization for SAP BusinessObjects and have found a way to increase productivity for mobile workers who on on the ground selling, delivering, repairing, and performing other tasks as front-line employees with actionable, location intelligence.

I wanted to invite you to check out GMaps Mobile ( ) and I would certainly be interested to get you on a conference call with our CEO, Ryan Goodman who has a wealth of knowledge and experience in business intelligence, analytics, location intelligence, and enterprise mobility. I hope that you will consider us if in the future for any quotes or references you are still covering this storyline. 

Best Regards, 
Centigon Solutions, Inc.

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Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Transparency in the Internet era

Over the past weekend we released Version 1.1 of Starfish CI to the App Store. Within hours we'd discovered that a bug had crept in between v1.0 and v1.1 - the app continues to work, but the screen resolution on Retina iPads is screwy and it doesn't look as good and professional as it did and as we want it to. We're embarrassed that this slipped through our testing.

Now, with so few users of such a new app it was really tempting to stay quiet about this and work hard on the fix before too many people noticed. After all, what we'd lose in short-term disillusion we'd gain in that there'd be no Internet history of the blunder for people to find through Google in future.

But we think that's entirely the wrong approach. It doesn't sit well with our ethics; and it doesn't make sense in the Internet era - If we don't blog and Tweet and acknowledge our problems (as well as shout about our good points) then others will. And we'd look worse.

So, in practical terms, we've done some things:

  • We've written a blog post; and we're updating that regularly with new information as it becomes available
  • The post admits we got it wrong; says 'sorry' and asks for patience while we fix it - and gives, we hope, sufficient info about what went wrong and what we're doing to remedy.
  • Each update to the blog is highlighted on our Twitter account.
  • We're using other parts of our Internet presence appropriately: we updated the App Store description to refer to the blog; we've used LinkedIn; even this blog post might help ...
  • We've learned (the hard way) not to have just one communications channel (because that might be the thing that goes down!).
We've tried to learn from experience: while we are having our, relatively minor, hiccup Google Drive is apparently 'down' (we saw this from other Twitter users): even the biggest companies have difficulties from time to time with software. And there are plenty of stories of major brands suffering as a result of their silence.

Further, years ago in another company, one of our suppliers went out of business in the early hours of the morning, affecting us and each of our customers. While colleagues worked on a a solution, I made contact with our customers a top priority. Within hours we'd restored service and re-located the business operations to an emergency location where we stayed for a few weeks before we could make a planned, controlled, move back to new facilities. We kept everyone informed throughout.

In that last case what could have been disaster turned into a positive illustration of the lengths we'd go to for our customers. In this present difficulty we're too busy resolving the problem to be playing it for positive spin for the future. But still we hope that customers will appreciate that in the UK we worked on this until 03:30 this morning; and there's not been much sleep in America, either!

On balance, I'd rather be transparent, for better and for worse, than try to pull the wool over others' eyes.

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Friday, March 1, 2013

Gaining business competitive edge with mobile technology

Some of us in the iPad for Business forum on LinkedIn have been observing the disruptive nature of mobile technology.

By taking an iPad or two to replace paper forms on a clipboard, businesses can make their field staff so much more productive. But it doesn't stop there. As this video shows, incoming data can transform the business processes back at head office to cut cost, improve speed, reduce errors and gain competitive advantage.
More details and examples are at Starfish CI