Friday, October 26, 2007

Face(book)ing Up to A New Reality

So Microsoft pays a bucket of cash for a thimble full of Facebook. Congratulations to the young man who established himself as yet another digital billionaire... those few years of hard work have really paid off!! (must break the hearts of those families who amass those sorts of fortune over generations... but this is business at internet speed!!)

Behind the headlines are some interesting stories. I have read three articles on this and so I still have to learn a lot more about it, but a couple of interesting tidbits come out. The first big one (and the topic of this blog) is that as part of the consideration, Microsoft secured the rights to sell banner ads (display ads in industry parlance) on facebook pages in all locations outside the US. Now THAT is interesting...

Microsoft has bought a business in which they are buying the advertising rights.... no talk of "platform integration" and "technology" ... this is all about traffic, customer profiles and marketing .. at least from my initial reading.

And all this a few months after they bought a company that sells an online advertising management platform.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Nicely Niche...

Over the last couple of months I have discovered, and have been using a great new site called and I have to say this this is a great example of clever niche site dvelopment. The offering from the MapMy... team (they have several sites in the "family") is to use current generation mapping tools to allow users to (ans the name suggests) Map their run!

Based on the Google Mapping application, the MapMyRun tool allows users to draw a fairly detailed map of their run / walk / jog / wheel / whatever and then collect and create a fair bit of information about it. Obviously, you finally get a chance to find out just how far you have actually gone (and it nearly ALWAYS been less than the usual boasting value we ascribe) but you also get a whole pile ofother information. Google maps contain altitude data, so you get to know how high (or low) you have climbed. Add information such as you weight and the time you took and it will caclulate the kilocalories you have burned. It even allows you to create a log for your shoes and you can build up a record of how far those shoes have travelled.

In addition to providing an ability for me to get a better understanding of my training and allowing me to build a permanent record, the application also allows me to share my runs with others and join groups and so on. The MapMy... team have created something which is personal and pertinent and also allowed me to connect to a community. This is a very clever construction of a powerful niche marketing platform and marketers should look for similar well executed niches as channels for their targetted online marketing.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

China, Macau and Hong Kong .... welcome!!

A very brief note - we announced today that we have finalised the deal to acquire the Applications Services business of Getronics NV in Greater China; Shanghai, Hong Kong and Macau.

This business, which has been in the region for more than 15 years and once traded as Wang (a VERY well known technology group), brings with it a very mature foundation for us to grow in the region. We have acquired an outstanding team, all the infrastructure and inputs we need to operate a business and a history of performance. This gives us the opportunity to further develop some strong, long term client relationships. We would never take these relationships for granted, but by focussing on continuing to provide good service, by building on the success of the past and adding new capabilities and services from the broader Hyro group, we can add even more value in the future.

It is very exciting and is a measure of how the changing nature of digital services - the fusion of marketing and technology - is creating opportunities for companies with the skills and experience to leverage them. It is even more exciting to be a part of something with the people, the vision and the resources to act on those opportunities.