Archive for the 'Blog' Category

Work Smarter with Adwords

Here is a freebie strategy I use all the time.   Seems obvious but quite often gets overlooked.

This is the most simple way you can increase sales online whilst decreasing costs (over the medium to long term).  It’s the Adwords Long Tail Strategy.  Simple, quick and effective.

What to do after running your Adwords campaign for a period of time (say 3 months):

  • Do long tail analysis of impressions.  (How? get keywords, total impressions over time period, graph)
  • Find the head of the graph
  • Target those keywords via seo
  • Cover the rest with adwords


  1. Decrease acquisition costs by gaining visitors you already know convert
  2. Increase traffic.

I have increased traffic at organisations whilst decreasing their acquisition cost by up to 75% with this simple strategy.

July 31st, 2008

Thought vs Action

Take a look at this graph.

  • The curve x+y represents the theoretical sum of attention / time / work.
  • We all shift up/down the curve.
  • If you follow from left to right suggest you are more strategic in your approach.
  • Follow right to left you have a more emergent strategy.
  • The curve shifts up/down due to external pressures (ie stress, day job)

Trouble for entrepreneurs is quite often they spend too much time at the left. (suffering from lack of action)

They need to find their sweet spot.

What is the right mix of thought and action? to get the desired results.

July 29th, 2008


Here’s an idea.  A free one.  Take it and run with it.

Microfunding.  Microspends.  Micropayments. Whatever you want to call it.

Take the concept of the long tail and apply it to spending online.  Imagine the long tail of ‘small purchases’.

You could blow this wide open.  Here’s $0.05 for that interesting pdf on your website.  $0.10 for the youtube video i loved.  $0.25 for that podcast that entertained me for an hour.

Doesn’t sound much does it.  But imagine that 1 in 100 of your fans is a loyal fan whom will contribute $0.10/view.  Now 10,000 regular visitors translates to: $10/day.  Soon adds up.

Current ad rates ~$1cpm.  Equates to: $0.001/visitor.  If you could convince on average every visitor to contribute $0.01.  Increased revenue 10 fold!


Now imagine you are the company that facilitates all these micropayments.

July 27th, 2008

Commanding Time

How much time do you command?

For example since launching this blog

I have garnered:

59,746 seconds of attention or 991 minutes or 16 and a half hours of focused attention.  Wow!

What would you pay for 16 hours of focused attention from the influencers in your industry.

I’ve paid:
1.5 hrs / week
a morning setting up this blog
a few hours preparation.
Maybe 20 hours all up.
Now imagine over the long run as my audience increases.  My investment remains relatively flat.

Look at that return on investment vs that fax flyer campaign you just paid for.

Oh, something else, Interaction! I have received 13 comments, 20 or so emails.  Compounds things a little.

What is that worth to you?

July 24th, 2008

They get it

Him get it. (Band)

417,000 friends on Myspace

214 videos on Youtube, millions of views

Fan Club that fans actually want to join (and pay for)

Extended dvd’s and limited artwork for die hard fans

Limited dvd releases that are actually limited

I can see why Him are so successful. Can’t you?

Marketing is more than advertising.

In fact advertising takes up the smallest component of my marketing strategies…

July 22nd, 2008

12 Hour Startup

What is a 12 hour startup?

From idea to prototype within 12 hours.



Relates to simple ideas that can be executed quickly.

Downside/risk virtually zero.

Potential upside > 0. Profitable.

Commit to a 3 month trial.

Close if crap.  Expand if good.

Underlying theme? give it a go, 1000 12 hour ideas are probably going to yield at least 10 (1 in 100) good ideas that will last.

I’m happy to give up 12 hours every week for something like this.  Even 12 hours/month cool.

Idea: Take this concept and apply it to your business.  Can your team come up with some new product ideas / extensions and go from idea to concept within 12 hours.

Background: the 12 hours business I have been throwing around for some time, and it’s been thrown around enough to be blog proof.  Have some case studies in the works.

Update: Follow up post on the 12 hour startup here.

July 20th, 2008

I fail lots

Well, I do…

At least 2 – 4 times / month


I also learn 2 – 4 things / month that don’t work

I only recently realised that

I have become so accustomed to failure that I bounce back virtually instantaneously


but awesome! this means I am willing to give anything a go.

Chances are the cost of doing it outweigh the cost of not doing it…

plus every now and again i come up with something brilliant!

this blog being one of them 😉

so go ahead

try some crazy ideas, fail lots and win sometimes.

(believe me, you’ll soon forget the failures, learn the lessons and win overall!)

(and you’ll get better at minimising risk and limiting the downside)

(oh and once your no longer afraid of failure the world is your oyster)

July 17th, 2008

Repetitive Behaviour

Looking for an idea? or to crack open a whole new industry.

Look at behaviour.

Behaviour is changing constantly.

Identify new repetitive behaviour and innovate.

Better yet.  Create a new repetitive behaviour.

July 15th, 2008

Give users what they want

Have you thought about giving users what they want?

Have you asked them what they want? Why not.  Give it a try.

During the weekend I attended Barcamp Auckland.  Barcamp is essentially a conference that evolves to what it’s attendee’s want.  Sessions are put forward by attendee’s on the day.  You go to the sessions you want.

I put forward three ideas, hoping to present one.  I presented three!

1) Tech Productivity

I was first up.  No planning.  Had to go off the cuff (which went well).  I talked over various methods of being productive but mainly focused on getting a discussion going (giving the users what they want).  I quickly got to the core of their problems and let them help each other.  (a metaphor for marketing that I constantly use, help me help you)

2) Creating a compelling experience online

No planning here either.  I simply outlaid the framework discussed here.  Then applied it and got a discussion going.  The 45 minutes flew by!

3) SEO Strategy

This was a much smaller session but was of good quality.  I talked through about SEO Strategy and gave away a few trade secrets (to some attendees annoyance).

Overall great day, great end result.  Everyone appeared happy.  As above give people what they want.  If they don’t know what they want show them some options, they will pick.

For photo’s visit the Flickr groupTwitter Discussion (via summize).

Great to meet those that read my blog.  I will also be attending ‘Demystifying Angel Investment‘ run by the IceHouse on the 23rd July, Auckland.  You can read more here.

Great chance to get free food / beer.  Find out more about angel investment, the angel network and networking. (I know you were sold on free food / beer).

July 13th, 2008

Challenges faced by Live Search in creating a Compelling experience

I have decided to share my Scholarship winning essay on Live Search.

In Challenges faced by Live Search in creating a Compelling experience my argument is that Live Search has been hindered by lack of a compelling experience.  Compelling experience is driven by flow.

You can read the whole essay online below as ipaper.  You can also download a pdf copy.  Either way enjoy 🙂

My key findings (for those less akin to reading academic material):

  • Model put forward by Hoffman, Novak was used to examine Live Search’s challenge in creating a compelling experience
  • Compelling experience is driven by flow.  In order to create flow need to stimulate variables: Skill/Control, Challenge/Arousal and Telepresence/TimeDistortion
  • Skill/Control: Skill is users capacity for action.  Control is perceived ability to successfully navigate.
  • Challenge/Arousal: Challenge is the users opportunities for action.  Arousal is a correlate of the challenge.  Challenges must be perceived as of a level capable by the user.
  • Telepresence/TimeDistortion:  Telepresence is the perception that the virtual environment that the user is engaging in is more real or dominant that the physical environment.  TimeDistortion is the perception of time passing quickly.
  • Lowering challenge barriers increases arousal | Users need to feel challenged (but not perceive the challenge as being too hard)
  • Low load times and response to inputs encouraged great interaction
  • Relevance of results indirectly influences perception of challenge
  • Live search is lacking in creating a compelling experience.  For example, compare the search for ‘waterblaasting’ on Google vs Live Search.  Now try ‘blastin123455’.
  • For the former, the challenge provided is easier, click the correct misspelling.  The latter again is easier, how does a 12 year old understand ‘try rephrasing or using synonyms’.  Given 30% of internet users have low literacy! (reference in essay)

Practical wise:

  • Keep language barriers low
  • Ensure your service responds fast to input
  • Make the process as streamlined as possible, Google providing the correct spelling as an option to search for vs no result, shows the ease at which users can slip into flow on google vs live search.
  • Keep page load times down.
  • Ensure challenge barriers are low (easy to user interface)
  • Relevance of information is always crucial

To remain competitive in today’s environment this level of analysis is required.

Scholarship Winning you say?!? Yes i have decided to return to University.  How? Why? Well I can do my Masters in 1 year at St Andrews in Scotland (yes, the golf course university aka third oldest university  in the world aka allows focus on Marketing and Web Technologies).  I submitted this essay and have received a 2000 pound scholarship.  Yay!

However I need to raise approximately another 20,000 pounds to cover fees, living costs and other incremental costs.  (Did i mention in order to get my visa i need to do this by August 1st!).  If you would like to support a kiwi making things happen through donations, linking it, passing the post on, or sponsoring me contact at [email protected].  Be great if you could help me get some attention….

Otherwise enjoy! I love being able to share my research / thoughts with you all 🙂

Update: Join the conversation on FriendFeed: Creating a Compelling Experience | Twitter @bwagy

Note: This essay was constrained to 2000 words so there is always room for more analysis / research for those that are keen!

July 8th, 2008

Wow i'm here now

My goal was a 2 month blogging trial.

I hesitated with blogging (in a serious capacity) for a while.

I did not feel I have anything valuable to add [clearly I was wrong].

However I aimed for 2 months, 8 posts.

I have come out the other side 15 posts plus 16 drafts! (enough for another 2 months).

So now time to step it up.  Let’s go another 3 months for 3 posts/week!

I put up a very succinct guide to the strategy I propose to firms looking at blogging.  For those that have missed it, check it out on my Blogging Strategy page.

Why am I sharing this? (and it applies across new ideas, development, marketing)

Limit your commitment.  Define when you will give up.  Makes it easier and provides a red flag mechanism.  Defines success at the same time.

July 6th, 2008

Leverage your existing assets

Leveraging is great.  Get your existing assets and use them to leverage your profit.

Here’s my idea.

Say your a Mechanic / Doctor / Lawyer / Tattooist?

Any one on one service.

Your existing assets are your clientele.

What is the biggest selling point for new clients? Recommendations.

You could go away and build recommendations into your site ask your clients to jump on.  Might work.  Requires effort.

What i suggest is jump on  Create an account.

Set up an account for your organisation and each of your individual service level staff.

Instead of sending clients emails.  Ask them to add you as a connection on LinkedIn.

Customers with great experiences will send through recommendations.

(Lesson: go where your customers are)

Set your profile to Public.  Search engines will pick it up.  So new clients ‘googling’ you can find you and all your recommendations.

Take it one step further.  Create a Networking group on LinkedIn ie PBC & Son Networking Group.  Allow your clients to network with other clients.  Help them (help you).

All of this only takes a few hours to setup.  No fee.   So what are you waiting for?

For the naysayers:

  • what if i get bad reviews? Deal with it. Buck up.  It will provide a balanced view.
  • The downside of not doing this is the lost potential of utilising the 100 people this year that had a fantastic experience
  • Going to where the customers are breaks down the barriers, you will get more reviews
  • Are you going to go to a doctor / mechanic that has no reviews over the one that has 50 reviews in the last 6 months from satisfied clients.
  • No money down.

Just another idea for you.  Chucking it out there.  As usual, those whom are motivated will reap the rewards.

July 1st, 2008

What are you doing all the way down here? You could:
- View my about page
- Or for first timers the New Here? page
- Or maybe email this to a friend
- Or subscribe to get blog updates