Mad Men In The Modern Tech World
April 3, 2012
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I’m a big fan of Mad Men, from every single episode you can learn a lot about business and advertising. Today I have found the following infographic from Infolinks, where they want to express how every single characters would use today’s technology and Social Media.

Should You Pin It or Fancy It?
April 2, 2012
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Great Infographic by

The State of Europe at SXSW 2012
March 12, 2012
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I have to say that SXSW Interactive 2012 can be called “an experience”. This is something that gives you new ideas and grow, by giving you the possibility to meet together with innovators and young entrepreneurs from the valley (and a lot of internationals) all coming to learn new trends and share experiences and ideas.

During the conference, I had the possibility to network with people from different countries, making me start thinking about how different each culture has its business approach and how they were curious and wanted to innovate. When you want to Do Innovation, to change the status quo, you need first to be willing to change yours, by listening to others people opinions, share your ideas and try to look everything with others eyes. This need of discovery, is what often push people to evade from their usual environments (as offices or even countries), go where people with the same ideas gather and challenge themselves (and their security) to acquire new knowledge and ideas.

A country  (as defined on Wikipedia) is a “geographic region associated with sets of previously independent or differently associated peoples with distinct political characteristics“. This concepts in my opinion, applies to European Union (form now on shorted as EU) as a legal union of countries, with different history, language, mentality and relative approach to innovation, while USA is an union of cultures and heritages that share a common feeling.

As said before, every EU Country has a different culture, mentality and its own approach to innovation, that indoctrinate in different ways their people to new discoveries, and making them understand the possibilities that making a long trip to meet people alike, can give them. Its particularity, that is instilled inside a person by a country’s mentality. To understand if this idea was true (or wrong), I just counted all the participants coming from each EU Country. I logged inside the “Social Portal” that SXSW gave to each subscriber, parsed the data and analyzed each person interest (as interactive, music, film) by looking at the specific package purchased. The following chart, provides a meaningful insight, on the overall participation level.

The renowned long tail is present also here, showing how United Kingdom is by far the leading country with its 1400 participants (all the other EU countries together have 1428). I think that a big part of the credit has to be given to the mentality, but also to the language that permits them to fill easily the communication gap, their government, taxes, salaries and currency exchange, that gives them the possibility to invest on themselves and travel to Texas. Here below you can find the detailed data referred to the graph above (and relative colors).

Another analysis that can be done, is understanding in which countries supposedly is better to develop on Innovation. Innovation isn’t an exclusive of the internet-related environment, people keep create new trends on other fields like music and films, and SXSW has different tracks, where people with different passions are trying to discover something new. As you can see from the table below, I have summed and listed the countries that are more interested in discovering different trends in specific fields.

While writing this article, I was thinking why the USA is good in creating innovation and why EU is following. I think that one of the many reasons (beside their mentality) is the fact that USA owns the privilege in being young as a nation, giving them the possibility to build together their own mentality and spirit. EU on the other side, often has to deal with an old and built culture, making people often losing energies on trying to make “the new” live together with “the old“.

Another data, that isn’t related to the SXSW but that I have analyzed, is the percentage of population that uses Internet in each EU country and give you a clear understanding on how some countries are more open and interested in using new internet services and standards (the detailed list can be found here).

Percentage of Internet users in every country

Quality is about Details: Check your Grammar
March 8, 2012
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A lesson that I learnt in my early working years (and that has always been valid) is “Luxury stays in the Details“. For some this quote can seem obvious, but includes a full spectrum of meanings that can be used in every single step of your business or value-creation process, and its the key for a solid TQM (Total Quality Management) business approach.

Details are important when are aimed to be noticed, so that the final user would be able to add extra value on your product or service. By providing the feel that even the smallest detail has been taken care, you would be able to build on the customer’s mind the idea that the same quality has been given also to what he can’t see. The cure given to your job, is the key factor that would make you recognized as a professional that takes seriously its job, and this concept delivers better results (on brand reputation) than some expensive communication strategies.

Details are probably more important when they are noticed because they are missing. Part of the cure you put on your product/job will not be noticed by people, that’s because a certain level of quality is always expected depending on what you do and on what’s your core business (for example if you have a restaurant, clients expects you to use high quality products and a cure on preparing a dish). Clients would notice if those “expected” details are missing, making them think that you don’t pay enough attention on what you do, and on the long period it could hurt your brand reputation.

Sometimes we all need to deliver something in a rush, and this means that you can’t take care of every single detail and consequently the overall quality tend to gradually decrease. Anyway something that can’t be forgotten, is the need to always deliver an error-proof spell and grammar, that is the base of every good communication.

For example even if I’m not an English Speaking native, I write approximately for the 90% in English, and beside a continuous study of this language, I have the habit to check what I produce for grammar and spelling errors. To do that I use some online services, and below you can find four of them:

  • The best way to simply check a single phrase (or tweet). It is able to identify errors and propose you different solutions, delivering you a final and correct text.
  • Text Trust: While working on a project (and periodically on the ones that I’m responsible for), I use this tool (by paying a fee) to check for errors on a whole website.
  • WordReference: A great tool to know the definition of a word and its synonyms.
  • Google Search: When you are in doubt for the spell and the meaning of a word, you can just Google it! With a single interaction you can see if the word is correct and how others are using it (see image below).

Just Remember “Quality defines who you are“.

What to do at the SXSW
February 27, 2012
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Next week I will leave Italy for a short professional USA tour, aimed to network with some of the smartest people on the web and discover new internet-trends and brand new startups. After a brief stop in Boston, where I will meet with Mr.Piskorski of the Harvard Business School (suggest to read this paper about Social Media), I will go to Austin to attend SXSW 2012.

For me this would be the first time at that conference and I want to get the best from every single moment, so looking around for suggestion of people that attended the years before, I came across with this inforgraphic, explaining what need to be done during this days. I have the feeling that #8 would be at the top of my bucket list 😉

This is a great way that an event have to make their attendants loyal, by helping to have a great time outside the event. By being an Event, part of the Destination, its important to make people understand and feel all the opportunities that the city is able to show, and make them feel welcome!

Delta Airlines shows its hidden part
February 22, 2012
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As it is said, content is king and for this reason Content Marketing is Vital. This branch of marketing (in my opinion) is often the very starting point of all communication strategies, because you need to create something new and interesting to offer to your followers, in exchange for their attention, and later, loyalty.

If you want to conquer your customer’s respect, you have to be on their mind an opinion leader and a point of reference. To do that you have to provide good insights regarding the different thematic of your professional field, and share your knowledge.

A good example of content Marketing, has been done by Delta Airlines during their iPhone App promotional campaign, where they shoot a very interesting video about an hidden part of their service… the baggage management. They decided to show the way they work, by answering to a question that at least every traveler once thought about: How does my bag arrives to destination?

The three main points of this video are:

  • Reality: This is not a planned commercial that show how things actually work. This is a real video showing what really happens at every person baggage. Delta is also able to show people also about how hard is the hidden part of their organization, and customers are able to see how big the company it is and perceive how professional they are.
  • Consistency: The content aim is to find and effective way to launch their baggage tracking app, and the content is consistent on the subject.
  • Leverage: Delta used as main psychological leverage the human curiosity. Everyone wants to know more about something they only wondered about and the brand managed to use the high level of user’s attention to show also the real dimension of the company.

This commercial, managed to reach their goal, not only because has been seen more that 1.500.000 times, but they also managed to consolidate a line of trust inside users’ mind, by showing how professional the company can be, in wanting to make them travel peacefully.

Kindle and iPad Compared
February 10, 2012
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Amazon is really one of the starter (and innovative) companies in the world and this Ad is a clear demonstration of this, in every single way.

In the video above you can find all the values that Amazon wants to associate to its products, mixed together by a masterpiece technique. In detail:

  • Comparison: not only the main features of both products are listed in a simple way, but they also managed to  compare the price in a simple way, not by using the cost but highlighting how many items you can buy for, at the same price of one competitor’s product.
  • Family Values: the main caracther is a mom with two kids, used to showing how she is relaxed to give the kindle fire to their kids. Delivering the message that kids can play “intelligent” videogames like scrabble or see teen movies in full security. The mom has nothing to worry about, Amazon took care of everything!
  • Fun: the irony stands on two levels, personal and technological. You can see it on the technology side because the guy approach the lady to try to win the competition, and on the personal side he is not able to seduce her. The men loses on both ways, he simply can’t stand from the beginning.
  • Colors & Setting: the set is a vacation resort and the colors are truly relaxing. This enhance the transmission of brand values, like safety and relaxation that are explained before.
An Infographic about the Psychology of Color
February 9, 2012
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I stepped by this great infographic realized by BitRebels that explains in a simple and effective way, how people’s mind tend to react in presence of different colors. I have to say that this kind of notions, can be useful to everyone that need to create a communication campaign or a product, and for this reason I decided to share it with you all!

How to Share your Blog on Pinterest
February 6, 2012
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Pinterest has been a typical internet overnight sensation, something that has been there for years and that gone viral between internet users. The design is really impressive, intuitive and most of all simple to use, the feeling is like having your own “Fancy” or “Piccsy“. Part of its success, comes from the fact that some brands used this web-service, to show their products and create contests so to create new relationships with their customer base (with great engaging success).

Recently I have read an article on Mashable, where was explained a study saying that Pinterest was driving more traffic than other Social platforms combined. Following this article and knowing that you can share only pictures and videos, I decided to make a little experiment, aimed to find a way to generate some traffic on your Blog, only using images. Or in this case, banners!

What you need to do, is to create a vertical banner as explained in the image above. Here are the steps:

  1. Find an Image: Find something that can represent your post (or the link you want). More attractive is the topic’s image, more easily the users would be attracted and inspired to click.
  2. QR Code: A solution could be translate a link on an image that mobile devices can read. By doing so, would be able to easily pick up the phone and read the article, allowing them to discover the content they want. (Suggestion: use tags on the link to have a better tracking).
  3. Short Link: To cover the part of users that doesn’t have the possibility to read the QR Code, it’s possible to insert in the image the post’s short link, so that it could be easily copied and written on a browser.
  4. Merge and Upload: Once you do the previous points, all that remains is to merge everything on a single image and upload it.

As said before I have tested first person this possibility and I can’t hide it gave me some promising results (promising cause the account is really young) in terms of clicks. Anyway what I will keep doing in the next weeks, is create some variants of he banner, so to understand which version perform better!

The Map is not the Territory
February 3, 2012
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I love traveling in Milan by using the public transportation, not only because I can get to places in a shorter time, without finding myself on some dead-end streets, but mostly for  the sense of community that I always find. The fact that a lot of people find themselves in the same place traveling and respecting each other, is something really important in my opinion. In the time shared together, you can learn a lot from people, just by observing them, and you can have a real feedback on new trends and how the society is evolving.

Part of my job consist in understanding how to place specific products on different segments of market, by understanding who is willing to pay a price for that product, identify the best way to attract the target and deliver the message in the most effective way possible. What market studies sometimes can’t tell you, is the everything regarding the product-user experience, like: How people are going to live the product? how tare going to use it? if it would be comfortable. Questions that could be easily answered by looking first person at the market.

Take for example the Amazon Kindle, its success is not given only by the price, books availability and battery length. The experience that customer have with it is the real success factor, think about how easily you can read the screen on a crowded metro or you can put it away n a short time… things that only by observing the market can be truly understand. You can provide everything people want, but it they can’t use it as they want, the product risks to fail.

The previous considerations brings in my mind this quote: “The Map is not the Territory“. This explains the fact that, for how much your data could be correct and detailed, you can’t have their real understanding, because you can’t place them into the target’s reality. Once you become for a short time part of your market, you would be able to understand the real questions and see the challenges.