Friday, January 23, 2009

Apple in Good Health Despite the Economy

We've almost got used to turning on the TV or reading the headlines to hear the latest doom and gloom. While Intel is to layoff 6000 employees worldwide and Microsoft 5000, you'd think the entire tech industry is coming to an end. Sure, the economic downturn has had an effect on PC and consumer demand, but you have to dig deeper to see what is going on with some of these ailing companies. If it were all about the economic downturn, then why is Apple immune to this recession? Perhaps because they remain innovative and competitive and in touch with the consumer. Firstly, Microsoft's Vista has been a dismal failure in itself and that in turn has probably affected the lack of demand for new PC's in order to run Vista. Note the recent announcement of Windows 7 which apparently won't require such a massive hardware upgrade, (we'll believe it when we see it) and the fact that Microsoft is abandoning Vista. In the meantime, the Apple Mac environment is still years ahead technologically speaking and the Company continues to deliver products that consumers actually find exciting and usable. Sales of iPods, iMacs and iPhones remain healthy.

Apple sold nearly 23 million iPod digital music players, up 3 percent over the year-ago quarter, and 4.3 million iPhones. Apple also sold 2.5 million Macs during the quarter (ending Dec. 08), representing 9 percent growth over the year-ago period. The company had $7.2 billion in cash at the end of the quarter.

Staying ahead of the competition is obviously a strategy that helps in a recession. For those companies who were or are complacent, such economic times only serves to accentuate their already existing problems. Innovation in technology continues and we'll likely see more success stories as the year progresses. Watch out for the new and much awaited Palm Pre with new operating system and Google's Android is still in its early days.

Perhaps if the general media gave more time to good news, we might actually get out of this recession sooner!

Post your comments or e-mail me at businessissuestoday.com

Monday, January 5, 2009

2009 - The Year of Social Media Marketing

While the general media continue to focus on the doom and gloom of the economy, exciting things are happening online and online advertising continues to trend up. However, if companies continue to use the Internet just as a static place, they are unlikely to make their goals, achieve traffic growth and ultimately increase revenues. The Internet is now a dynamic and socially driven medium of communities. For example, video social networks is positioned to replace television as the dominant medium for influencing consumers, voters and the public in general; Twitter may well displace Blogs in 2009 as shown by the News media in the 08 elections. But don’t expect social media marketing to produce immediate results. Just as getting picked up by search engines takes about three months, expect social network marketing to take about six months to grow. You can expect about a 10% conversion rate so for every 10,000 people invited to your network, about 1000 will actually join. That’s a much higher conversion rate than the old days of direct mail and even email and, at a fraction of the cost. Dell computers says Twitter has helped it bring in $1 million in revenue over the past 18 months via sales Tweets and other promotions. Can you afford to ignore social media marketing in 2009? Post your comments or email me at businessissuestoday.com for a private consultation.

Sociable

 
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