Archive for May, 2010

Is it Really Worthwhile to Market on Twitter?

A new study by Edison Research provides a complex and multi-layered picture of Twitter – along with some interesting data points that suggest it may not be worthwhile for some companies to focus their online marketing efforts on the micro-blogging site.

This, of course, contradicts other studies – at least about social media, not necessarily Twitter – as well as what has become conventional wisdom on how to advance a brand, according to MarketingVOX.The other studies include a small but now infamous study by Vitrue that found one fan on Facebook is worth $3.60 and a Facebook Page with one million fans is worth a minimum of $3.6 million in earned media annually.Then there is a study by, which found that many B2C and B2B companies are successfully using social media networks to acquire customers, with more than four in 10 companies overall having acquired a customer from four major social media channels.

Brand Aware
The Edison study doesn’t discount the popularity of Twitter – in fact it reports that 87% of respondents have heard of Twitter, compared to 88% who had heard of Facebook. The findings also suggest that Twitter users are hyper-aware of brands on Twitter. The study found that 42% learn about products and services via Twitter and 41% provide opinions about products/services. An additional 19% seek customer support. A grand total of 49% follow brands or companies.

“Twitter users talking about marketing and brands far exceeds the usage on the other social networks,” said Tom Webster, the VP of Strategy & Marketing at Edison (via Social Media Today).”Combined with their above average income and above average education, Twitter users’ propensity to interact with brands make them a huge potential source for Mass Influencers,” Social Media Today concludes.

Does Not Convert into Interaction
Here is the rub: the data also suggests that Twitter users do not necessarily convert brand awareness to usage, Social Media Today says. Although 87% of Americans have heard of Twitter – only 7% actually use it. Compare that to Facebook, where 88% have heard of it, and 41% have a profile, which is a conversion rate approaching 50%, Social Media Today notes.Clearly some companies belong on Twitter – namely brands that are seeking to shape consumers’ opinions and possibly engage them in a conversation.

Who Shouldn’t
And just as clearly some companies don’t belong on Twitter – or at least shouldn’t be spending a significant portion of their marketing budget on it. These include:

Companies that don’t have a mobile strategy or presence.
There is a strong tie between Twitter and mobile, Social Media Today notes, with 63% of Twitter users accessing social networks via mobile phone, and 73% sending SMS text messages multiple times per day.

Mass-market brands with straightforward products.
Gillette is a good example, says Fast Company. Brands such as Gillette that are positioned based on functionality superiority are not likely to benefit from a social campaign, according to a study by Vivaldi-Lightspeed.

In that study, 96% of respondents in the study tout Gillette’s good quality and reliability. At that point, Gillette should take that goodwill and run, the study goes on to say.”Conversation might lead to a discussion of downsides such as price and alternative products,” says Markus Zinnbauer, a director Vivaldi. (via Fast Company).

Small businesses that don’t have a significant online or social media presence.
That group is far larger than one might realize, according to a recent Citigroup study.  Most small businesses today aren’t leveraging the basic online tools readily available to them to help grow their businesses, the study found.

Namely, in the last year 37% of small businesses have not used a website for marketing or expanding their business and 84% have not used e-commerce to sell their products or services. Additionally, 62% aren’t using basic email for marketing their business.Before such a company jumps on the Twitter bandwagon it would be far better off to master these fundamental online marketing tools – particularly email marketing. Local reputation tools such as Yelp would be the exception.

tt twitter micro3 Is it Really Worthwhile to Market on Twitter?

Reserve Bank Lifts Interest Rates Again

Australian mortgage holders are a third time unlucky this year, after the Reserve Bank board today lifted interest rates by 0.25 per cent. It is the third rate rise in as many months.

Mortgage holders will be disappointed with the increase. After being told by the Reserve Bank Governor, Glenn Stevens, that rates were getting close to normal levels, borrowers would have been hoping the pace of rate rises had slowed. Today’s 25 basis point rise takes the official rate to 4.50 per cent.

It is the sixth increase since September and means mortgage holders are now paying about $300 a month extra for their mortgages than they were in the middle of last year, says blogger and property author Carolyn Boyd. "There were a lot of mixed signals this month that may have had mortgage holders thinking they were in for a break. While inflation last week came in higher than expected, consumers have been spending less at the shops."

Until today’s decision, mortgage holders on variable interest rates were paying about 7 per cent to their lenders. The rates that borrowers pay to their financial institutions are expected to normalize at about 7.5 per cent to 7.75 per cent by year’s end.

That could signal there are still one or two more rate rises to come before Christmas.

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Commonwealth Bank Releases New Augmented Reality Application for the Australian Market

I first wrote about Augmented Reality applications back in October after I had returned from the Inman Technology conference in San Francisco, if you’d like to read that article, here’s the link to refresh your memory Augmented Reality What is it? 

I’ve been patiently waiting for the technology to start to be implemented here in Australia and now its finally arriving with news the Commonwealth Bank have announced the release of their new Augmented Reality iPhone application.

Here’s the media release from the bank:

“Building on Commonwealth Bank’s vision of banking in 2013, the Group is announcing its next digital innovation with the release of its iPhone augmented reality application for anyone buying or selling a home, or simply looking to keep on top of the property market.

The new iPhone application will take property search to a new level, revolutionising the way home buyers search for a home allowing them to make smarter property decisions with virtual reality insight in to any Australian home anywhere, anytime. 

The technology is supported by two industry leaders, the nation’s number one property portal and, Australia’s leading property information and analytics company.

The core functionality of the application utilises ‘augmented reality’ where rich data including past sales history (on more than 95 per cent of properties in Australia), current property listings and recent sales, is mapped on to a real world view through the iPhone’s camera.

Users can also switch to a list or bird’s eye view to pull in insights on properties matching their search criteria. Home hunters can then track their ‘dream house’ in their favourites, send to a friend and make informed decisions with access to detailed suburb profiles revealing demographics, median price, property hotspots and capital growth trends.

According to Mark Murray, General Manager Consumer Marketing, “We are leveraging new technology and continually innovating to deliver convenient, relevant and real-time services to make buying a home easier.

“As Australia’s biggest home lender we have teamed up with and, to help Australians make an informed decision when it comes to making their biggest financial commitment.

“The new iPhone application will be an industry first in Australia.  Home buyers and sellers can easily access a host of customised information, tools and insights on every home in Australia – for free.

“The application is a significant milestone in our 2013 vision of banking, bringing virtual reality property search to customers right here, right now,” added Mr Murray.

A video demo of the iPhone augmented reality application will be available next week with the application available for download from the Apple App Store, coming soon.”

If you can’t wait to see how the application will work, you can take a look at the video here.

As I mentioned in the opening paragraph I can’t wait to be able to download this application and start playing with it, this hopefully will be the start of more Augmented Reality applications like this, and I’d also like to see the use of GEO Fencing technology and location based applications being employed by business here as well, the use of this technology has many benefits to the end consumer.

Whilst this application is aimed at the real estate buyer, this opens up the potential of this technology to all types of businesses, imagine the impact this type of technology has for restaurants and tourism.

Being able to access prices, menus, consumer reviews and book a table or a room directly from your phone opens up a new world of opportunities for business in this country.   

Well done Commonwealth Bank and I hope this is the start of more of these applications being widely adopted by both business and consumers.

tt twitter micro3 Commonwealth Bank Releases New Augmented Reality Application for the Australian Market

US banker warns of housing collapse

skynews 1711044090 thumb US banker warns of housing collapse The man who predicted the global credit collapse of 2007 has warned that Australia’s housing bubble is ripe to burst at any time.

US investment banker Edward Chancellor has told the Australian newspaper our economy is yet to emerge from the global financial crisis.

Mr Chancellor, who works for GMO, estimates Australian house prices are more than 50 per cent above their fair value.

He says house prices would have to fall ‘quite considerably’ to revert to their average price in relation to average income.

He also warned first home buyers were among the most vulnerable, saying the ratio of their mortgage repayments to their income would rise to ‘very high levels’ as interest rates continues to rise.

A potential trigger for economic trouble and the collapse of the housing market would come if China’s demand for iron ore and liquefied natural gas slowed, he said.

Original Story taken from

tt twitter micro3 US banker warns of housing collapse

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