Saturday, April 24, 2010

Industrialized IT

IT is industrializing: What does that mean to me? | The View from Forrester Research |
Manufacturing process improvements like the assembly line and just-in-time manufacturing combined with automation and statistical quality control to ensure that we can make products faster and more consistently, at a lower cost. Most of the products we use could not exist without an industrialized model.

Wal-Mart has industrialized retail, by perfecting industrialized supply chain management. Supply chain management at Wal-Mart (and many other game-changing companies) is incredible. Products are always moving and the supply-demand cycles ebb and flow almost instantaneously to market demand, with inventories kept at a bare minimum everywhere and always. Service companies like FedEx, Amazon, and Apple’s iTunes also demonstrate the power to destroy the old models of business because their business models are based on the same principles of industrialization.

A good, thought provoking article. But I must admit that words like "assembly line", JIT and manufacturing don't usually make a good impression with puritan geeks. Task 0, therefore, would be to find geek friendly terms to all this buiz jargon :)

Friday, April 02, 2010

The Biz School Chronicles :: What the bleep is a buyer persona?

"A buyer persona is a detailed profile of an example buyer that represents the real audience – an archetype of the target buyer. Marketers can use buyer personas to clarify the goals, concerns, preferences and decision process that are most relevant to their customers. Imagine how effective marketers could be if we would all stop making stuff up and start aligning our messages and programs with the way real people think."
I just came across a nice blog dedicated to the study of "Buyer Personas". The above explanation is from there. The author also posts some practical examples ...
"Design engineers frequently build user personas as a part of their product development process. The application of personas for marketing is less common, but hardly without precedent. Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush successfully campaigned to the soccer mom persona during the 1992, 1996 and 2000 elections. By 2004, the soccer mom had morphed into a security mom persona as school violence and terrorism became big issues. The Presidents' campaign staffs used dozens of personas like these to focus their messages and win more votes."
So where do we need buyer personas? I feel that it is ideal to develop your buyer personas immediately after Segmentation of your potential market. Now that you have an idea about your market segments, and the next logical steps in the process are targeting and positioning, developing buyer personas for the target segments would help a lot moving forward.

Case studies, brochures or any marketing collateral for that matter will benefit immensely if you have a buyer persona in mind when you develop it. This makes targeting more accurate and the whole positioning exercise a productive one. Otherwise a marketer falls into the abyss of messaging to no one in particular, which is a costly mistake. The blog I mentioned above takes Sugar CRM website as an example of doing things the right way ...
"I recently visited the Sugar CRM website and saw a series of demos for their Customer Relationship Management product, one for each of the five personas who influences the decision to buy. Navigation to these role-based demos is labeled for each buyer's functional role -- sales, marketing, support, executive and admin -- a great example of the application of persona-based messaging. This website offers visitors a chance to hear how this single solution addresses the needs of whichever buyer persona lands there, and as a bonus, SugarCRM can readily measure which of their target influencers is spending the time to listen to their message."

So that's what the bleep a buyer persona is :)

Google Web Toolkit + HTML5 = Javascript Qake2 ?

Confused? Some of the engineers at Google have used their 20% time to port Jake2, a Java port of the Qake 2 engine to Javascript.
"We started with the existing Jake2 Java port of the Quake II engine, then used the Google Web Toolkit" (along with WebGL, WebSockets, and a lot of refactoring) to cross-compile it into Javascript. You can see the results in the video above -- we were honestly a bit surprised when we saw it pushing over 30 frames per second on our laptops (your mileage may vary)!"

Here's a demo. I, for one, can't wait to try it out (and have a look at the GWT code of course).