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A business (2.0) titan bows out

By Francis Moran

My favourite magazine arrived this week clad in a plain-paper wrapping.

No, not that kind of magazine, or that kind of plain-paper wrapping.

Rather, it was the October 2007 issue of Business 2.0, which announced on a white, wrap-around cover that this is my last issue.

I knew this was coming – the magazine revealed its decision to stop publishing a couple of weeks ago — but it’s still sad. And it represents a triumph of accounting and business case analysis over passion and excellence.

I am a huge fan of good journalism. I am passionate about writing. And I love new technology and gadgets. And every month, Business 2.0 was required reading for me because it consistently hit the excellence mark on all three points. In fact, aside from the Globe and Mail, which I also consider required reading, Business 2.0 was the only periodical that came into this office that people were under orders not to file away but, rather, to immediately put it on my desk. By the time I finished reading an average issue, several of the pages would be dog-eared so I could do further research on the stuff I had read.

It is a rare thing that a publication can excite the kind of passion in its readers that Business 2.0 engendered; even rarer for a publication that covers boring old business. I don’t care what the accountants’ numbers said, Time Inc. is mad to kill that passion.

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Canada ragging the puck on cleantech

By Francis Moran

While the rest of the world is moving like legendary ice-hockey great Wayne Gretzky by reading the play and positioning itself to be “where the puck is headed,” Canada is in danger of being called for delay of game, according to Ottawa-born clean technology guru Nicholas Parker, who was the keynote speaker earlier today at the Ottawa Venture and Technology Summit.

In a speech that emphasised that the shift has undeniably been made from the “save the world” social passion of environmental technology to the multi-trillion-dollar business opportunity of clean technology, Parker told the assembled entrepreneurs and venture capitalists that Canada is ragging the puck in this exciting, fast-moving and potentially immensely profitable game.

In particular, Parker, who co-founded and chairs the Cleantech Group, LLC, faulted Canada for its delay in implementing an effective carbon-trading regime. “At the Cleantech Group, we don’t really care about carbon trading,” he said, referring to a stock market-like system where companies can trade in tonnes of the carbon emissions that are the main cause of global warming and climate change. “What’s important about (carbon) trading is that it sets a price.”

That price, and the expectation that it will rapidly rise, is beginning to unlock the trillions of dollars in global investments in the development of clean technology, with Parker and his peers estimating that 2,500 jobs are created for every $100-million in new investment.

“Are those jobs going to be (created) in Shanghai or Stockholm or Silicon Valley or closer to home,” Parker asked. His answer was painful to hear. “Canada is still trying to decide if we’re going to do this,” he said, referring to the stalled efforts to launch a carbon-trading system in Canada. “Canada is lagging,” he said, and the dollars being directed into clean technology in this country “are drying up.”

The bottom line, according to Parker? “If we don’t develop the technology, we become a branch-plant economy.”

Congratulations ciboodle

By Danny Sullivan

More from Call Centre Expo. I just have to say a big well done to Graham Technology for winning the show’s Best Product award for its customer interaction platform, ciboodle.

I have had the fortune of working with Graham Technology since ciboodle’s launch last year, and the marketing team made achieving this award as a goal ever since. Mission accomplished – great job guys!

Dialling in to Call Centre Expo

By Danny Sullivan

I spent yesterday in bitterly cold Birmingham, attending Call Centre Expo, the U.K.’s major contact centre tradeshow.

Despite the cold, the show was doing its best to warm things up inside. Contrasting sharply with the straight-faced, serious demeanour of last week’s ECOC event, Call Centre Expo was bustling with activity. Exhibitors were engaged in all kinds of activities to raise their profile above that of the competition. Jugglers, magicians, cocktail-spinning bartenders, Nintendos, musicians and actors were just some of the tactics employed by the hundreds of companies vying for attention.

With all the marketing dollars on display, the contact centre technology market is clearly one that is in a robust state of health. Competition is fierce, and, unlike the telecoms sector, there are obviously many different options available to those responsible for building contact centres… Do you go with a hosted or premise-based solution? Do you choose IP over traditional telephony? Do you buy each component product as you need it or deploy a complete solution that can handle everything you might ever want to do?

Lots of good questions and lots of companies putting forward good cases for each side. Glad I’m not making those desicions!

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Marketers shouldn’t use bad marketing to sell themselves

By Linda Moran

Every day for the past week or so I have been receiving emails – via the company’s general delivery box – promising me “Leads! Leads! Leads!” and that I will “get so many leads my sales will go up!” Though faintly reminiscent of Viagra-type communications, I’ve been reading these messages from a “marketing publicity” agency. As a marketer, I pay a lot more attention to the brochures, magazines, direct mail pieces and emails that are sent my way than most people would. As a person who also buys marketing services, I get a lot of this stuff.

OK, so the emails are promising me leads and huge increases in sales if I use them for my media relations program. Do I want more leads? Yes. Oh yes. That definitely plays into what most B2B tech companies are looking for. Do I want to work with a company that sends me multiple unsolicited emails, with hyperbolic claims, no Web site link and a call to action that involves clicking to have someone other than the signatory get in touch with me? No. And if this is how you are trying to engage prospective clients, how are you approaching editors? Because, surprise surprise, I actually know something about PR. (An aside: why do so many vendors assume we marketing communications professionals are a clueless bunch and need every single thing explained to us in detail?)

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Recent Comments

  • The Future of A&R – Walabe : [...] http://francis-moran.com/marketing-strategy/top-10-questions-every-strategic-communicator-should-ask... [...]

  • Traditional Marketing is Dead – Long Live Bikini Waxer Marketing | Scalexl : [...] pointed out by Alexandra Reid on the Francis Moran website content marketing is becoming more and more like journalism. So, it is not just about the content, [...]

  • It’s Summertime…and the Networking is Easy? | THE MERRAINE BRAIN : [...] In fact, summer is perhaps one of the times least used to network, yet at the same time has shown to be the most productive time to network. People tend to be in a brighter mood compared to during the gloomy winters-especially where I am from in England! Networking needs to be fun and not approached as another chore, like mowing the lawn. (http://francis-moran.com/marketing-strategy/social-media-strategy-why-meeting-in-the-real-world-matt...) [...]

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