December 25, 2010

Squirrel Feet Earrings?

From the vault of weird stuff, more unique Christmas gifts that you’re unlikely to receive this year.

1. Squirrel Feet Earrings (freeze dried) – not sure whether these are for formal functions or just an accessory for kicking back at home in front of the TV. You decide.

2 – Decapitated Teddy Lamp – traumatise your nearest and dearest for life with a gift that resembles a closing frame of a horror flick!

3. Fetus Cookie Cutter - you know that any dinner party hostess that receives these from an arriving guest is likely to be speechless. Nothing says thank you like a nice shortbread fetus!

Posted by Rob Booth | Filed under: All, Comedy, Useless but amusing | 1 comment - read it or leave a reply

December 23, 2010

Not so Easyjet

Interesting web analytics article from Brian Clifton that explains how Easyjet, the UK’S most popular airline website, is estimated to be losing approx $400 000 a month in online bookings ($4,8 million per year), simply because it’s booking engine is not compatible with Google Chrome Web Browser!

Bottom line is that there are so many elements in a company’s e-marketing strategy that can actually affect its final results if not executed properly from :

  • the Media strategy,
  • online touch points selected to communicate message,
  • online formats chosen to communicate the message,
  • the message itself,
  • relevance of message,
  • timing of message,
  • targeting of message,
  • the client’s product offer,
  • the competitors’ product offer
  • relevance of client’s site landing page to the media touchpoint that brought you there
  • the ability to find what you want on the site quickly – navigability and usability of transactional site
  • to browser compatibility, in the case of Easyjet.

If there is one industry that is looking to save every penny in 2010 since their margins are continually being squeezed, it is the airline industry.

So hypothetically if Easyjet wants to make themselves an additional $12 million dollars in bookings in the next 3 years, I would suggest that improving their Browser compatibility is relatively Easy Peasy to do!

Brian Clifton’s full article here :

Posted by Rob Booth | Filed under: All, Useful | No comments yet - be the first

December 22, 2010

#1 most dangerous children’s toy in history: Atomic Energy Lab 1949 (No joke!)

I’m presuming that the company, Gilbert, had the corporate motto: Ignorance is Bliss, when they decided to launch unquestionably the world’s most dangerous toy, the U-238 Atomic energy lab that contained (and this is absolutely true) :

  • U-239 Geiger Counter (children’s toys don’t get more hardcore than this!)
  • 4 Uranium ore samples (oh, maybe they do!!)
  • Low level radiation sources: Alpha, Beta and Gamma particles!!
  • A ‘prospecting for Uranium’ book!
  • Several other psychotic, irresponsible articles.
  • and a Gilbert toys catalogue

It makes 2010 toys containing high levels of lead seem rather lame !!

Posted by Rob Booth | Filed under: All, Comedy, General, Useless but amusing | 1 comment - read it or leave a reply

December 22, 2010

Consumers on sites with free shipping, spend 45% more per transaction

Recent Comscore study in US for week ending Dec 5th 2010 shows that :

  • websites that offered free shipping vs paid shipping, had a 45% increase in average order value (amount spent per transaction) on their sites
  • Free shipping sites generated average order value of $125.20 vs. $86.58 for sites with paid shipping

So any online retailer worried about offering free shipping should seriously consider that any reduced or free shipping costs are likely to be offset by an increase in amount spent per transaction

Posted by Rob Booth | Filed under: All, Useful | No comments yet - be the first

December 21, 2010

Kitty Wigs: The Sequel – the feline madness continues.

Following on from my previous Kitty Wigs post, I came across some more amusing and disturbing information regarding the Kitty Wigs website that I discovered recently.

Here is an actual photo from the website with the word for word description below that comes with one of the four  wigs available for sale (at $60!). The feline madness speaks for itself!!!

‘Silver is all about sophistication. Indoors or out, this wig takes Shaft to a special place — where everything is sleek and svelte, young and foxy.

Silver makes your kitty feel sexy and smart, like a cougar on the prowl.’

Posted by Rob Booth | Filed under: All, Comedy, General, Useless but amusing | No comments yet - be the first

December 20, 2010

Problem with the pyramids

Much has been written in recent years about how unprecedented, future demographic changes will dramatically affect society via authors like David Foot and futurists such as Andrew Zolli and I always wanted to know exactly what that meant in clear terms. Consequently, I have tried to to summarize below some of the potential ramifications on our daily lives that these shifts may bring.

In a stable, developed country in normal times, a typical population pyramid (see 1950 graph below) has a lot more younger people in population vs. a small amount of older people at the peak of the pyramid

However, as the baby boomer generation passes through, society in developed countries shall be faced with a huge number of challenges as an unprecedented situation shall arise: the older population will become the vast majority and the pyramid shall be inverted. (see above 2050 pyramid.)

  • Baby Boomers, who are in the vast majority, have always redefined each of their life stages and as a group have not generally followed rules. As retirees, they are unlikely to want to fit the traditional mould of older people with slippers, a cup of cocoa and relative inactivity. They are likely to be adventurous and active, and certainly want to retain the last grasp on their youth
  • In addition, the North American population will continue to become more Multicultural and more female skewed

Boomers at retirement are expected to fall into 2 groups:

  1. Those who didn’t save enough and have to continue working long into retirement &
  2. Those who made a hell of a lot of money over their lifetimes, who shall simply take a permanent vacation and eventually party themselves to death!

Consequences of this demographic shift on the Work Place

  • Likely to create difficulties for some Gen Xers in the workplace since the Boomers who do not have enough money to retire shall continue in the workplace for as long as possible, preventing Gen Xers from rising higher. Some estimates suggest that the future retirement age around 2030 could be 74
  • However, on the other hand, the huge numbers of vacationing retired Boomers may leave a huge void in the workforce that cannot be filled by Gen Xers, simply because there are not enough of them for the posts that will become available
  • Behind the Gen Xers are the Millenials with their IT skills, a lust for social media and an abundance of self belief, that could clash hugely with the mentality of the much older Boomers

Consequences on Family Life

  • For those Boomers who run out of money at retirement, of which there shall be many, many are expected to return to live with their kids.
  • The typical modern family unit of the future is expected to resemble a family of the early 1900s with 3 or 4 generations living under one roof.
  • In addition, for Millenials who expect to live forever, it is predicted that they shall drag out their early adulthood by staying at home, adding to this larger family unit

Consequences for us as marketers

  • This older generation of boomers shall hold vast reservoirs of disposable income
  • Products and services shall have to evolve to tap into this extremely powerful demographic of Boomers so that they are attractive and easy to use for older customers
  • Smart marketers shall help them retain their youth in an adventurous exciting way with new products and services aimed at their mindset
  • Marketers shall need to figure out how to engage their products and services with multi generational families

Devices, products and the way we communicate to this powerful group need to alter radically and those brands who figure it out are going to be cruising into the marketing sunset like Henry Fonda in Easy Rider!

Posted by Rob Booth | Filed under: All, General, Useful | No comments yet - be the first


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