Thursday, July 16, 2009

Which social media site has the most users?

So, who wins the race to the top by having maximum number of users. Is it Facebook, MySpace or Orkut?

The answer is that at present Facebook is the market leader by having more than 250 million users worldwide. It is being reported that more than 50 million users have joined since April.

Facebook is usually preferred over others as it allows for more privacy in comparison to sites like Orkut. Although security concerns have risen from time to time but the truth is that everyday 120 million people log onto facebook and spend more than 5 billion minutes on facebook every single day. 30 million users update their status at least once a day and 8 million users become fans of a page everyday. And surprisingly enough, 1 billion photos and 10 million videos are uploaded each month. (Taken from Facebook Statistics)

I guess very soon, ‘facebooking’ would be a word in the English dictionaries.

The second to follow after Facebook is MySpace with more than 185 million users.

And other sites follow subsequently.

The growth in social media sites is amazing. It has opened doors and opportunities for individuals and businesses both. These sites have become the perfect platform for marketing your business worldwide.

Furthermore, such growth is proving the all so traditional concept of ‘Word of Mouth’. People are inviting and others are joining the new way of ‘keeping in touch’.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Which countries pollute the most and who is being affected?

Three areas of the world, that is, United States of America, European Union and China account for 50% pollution in the world. 150 plus other countries account for the other 50%.

Looking at the Carbon Dioxide contribution in tonnes per year, out of the World total of 27 million tonnes, USA contributes 6 million tonnes, China and Taiwan 5 million tonnes and European Union contributes 4 million tonnes. (According to WikiAnswers)

China is also a major pollutant because of its use of cheap fuel like coal. Although such sources are cheap but are extremely harmful for the environment.

According to the same source, China leads in the overall pollution in the world. But I believe, USA follows close by. Even in Ocean pollution, China is leading at present.

According to the United Nations, nearly 5,500 people die everyday as a result of consuming polluted water and food. Nearly one sixth of the people in the world do not have access to clean drinking water and 2.4 billion people do not even have access to a proper latrine.

The greatest killer of children in the world is respiratory infections while the second most killer is diarrhea which takes away 2 million children every year. Other diseases are cholera, typhoid and polio.

What has been the use of all the developments in the world if it is killing people so cruelly? With all the inventions, we are unable to provide a safe haven for the children of the world. Its heart breaking when we hear that children die of pollution and its more distressing when we hear that people in Africa die because they have no food and water.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Social Media Revolution: Facebook, MySpace, Orkut, Twitter!

The traditional marketing media of television, radio and newspapers may remain but the new BIG thing to take everybody by storm is the Social Media!

Within America, marketing analysts now feel that you can target more than half of the country's population between MySpace and Facebook and nearly 80% on 46 other social media sites!

Facebook, MySpace and Orkut are a dream cum true for marketers! It is allowing them to fulfill their dream of directly targeting the customers and the best thing is that the flow of information is both ways. The firms are able to understand people's preferences by the groups they are joining, causes they are fighting for or the sort of quizzes they are taking. This is also helping the adverts to be made more focused and customized!

The Social Media is allowing marketers a global coverage. Now a customer anywhere around the world can know 'Whats happening?', 'Whats Hot and Whats Not' sitting in the comfort of his own home.

Social Media sites are also encouraging and helping the rapidly growing trend of Online Shopping!

And how can I forget! Its bringing people closer to the celebrities. Now a person can write on Paulo Coelho' blog, can ask Roger Federer questions and wish Serena Williams best of luck!

Monday, June 29, 2009

Overcoming Marketing Myopia and doing it the 'Disney' way

'Marketing Myopia', a term which was first coined by Theodore Levitt in 1960, refers to defining the purpose of your business too narrowly. In his article, which was published under the same name, Levitt emphasized the importance of defining the purpose of your business correctly in order to be successful in the long run.

For example, it is important to understand that whitening toothpaste companies do not sell toothpastes but 'smiles' and 'confidence'; car companies do not sell cars but a 'means of transport'; Refrigerator companies do not sell refrigerators but 'freshness'; skimmed product and exercise equipment companies sell 'smartness' and 'high self-esteem'.

For service-oriented industries, defining the purpose of business correctly becomes even more important. This is because, the service industry lacks tangibility and the intangibles have to be defined properly.

Furthermore, in the service industry, it is extremely important that not only are the customers satisfied but the employees are also motivated and happy with their working environment. The idea is that happy employees will automatically make customers happy. This is because the intangibility in the service industry makes the role of the employees that of prime importance.

To further elaborate this point, lets see how Walt Disney is doing it the 'right way'.....Walt Disney defines its business correctly and sells 'entertainment'!

Walt Disney was started as the Disney Brothers Studio by Walter Disney and his brother in 1923.

Walter Disney had dropped out of school at the age of 16 and had struggled his way to start the company, failing many a times but always starting anew with fresher ideas. He never gave up his passion for animation.

Walt Disney Productions has come a long way since then. At present, they have studios, movies, animated films and amusement parks under their esteemed banner.

Walt Disney, along with McDonalds is rated as one of the best service providers in America. This is because Disney follows a motto of loving and satisfying people, whether they are customers or employees.

One of the ways in which Disney does this is by having week long programs of 'cross-utilization'. During this program, the office executives or bosses leave their suits and ties behind and don a 'Mickey Mouse' or any other character costume. They then head to the amusement park to work alongside other employees.

They help in loading and unloading rides, sell pop-corns and hot dogs or do any on-stage job entertainment job.

At Walt Disney, there are no 'workers', only "cast members"; they do not have a 'Human Resource Department', but 'Casting' and they do not have 'customers' but only 'Guests'.

For them, each job is not work but a show to be presented to entertain the Guests. At Walt Disney, they emphasize the importance of the Guest by putting a upper case 'G'.

Even in their offices, informality is stressed. Everybody, including the President wears a name tag but only with the first name.

Walt Disney has set a precedent in the service industry by showing how to get more customers and sales but doing it the 'right way'!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Pakistan's IT sector looks promising

Pakistan's IT sector has been performing above expectations for the last three years, with exports exceeding the set targets for the last two years. Further investment is also expected by the Japanese, especially in Pakistan's IT Park in Karachi.

This sounds extremely promising and reassuring for Pakistanis, especially keeping in mind the rapid growth in the IT sector in their neighbouring country, which to a great extent is concentrated in their city, Bangalore, also known as the second Silicon Valley. India's IT industry contributes on average $ 40 billion annually, which forms nearly 5.8% of their GDP.

Pakistan's IT exports exceeded by $13 million in 2006-07 and by $8 million in 2007-08 and were recorded at $175 million and $116 million respectively. (Figures from Jang group)

In the last two years, the IT industry alongside Pakistan's other industries has seen a decline because of the looming energy crisis. Unless or until the Pakistani government finds a permanent solution to this crisis, many industries will continue to suffer and not reach their full potential.

Despite all of Pakistan's problems, software houses in Pakistan are doing a remarkable job of meeting the targets but this is a sector where growth and opportunities are endless and Pakistan should do its utmost to have its presence felt in the world.

Recession makes car makers look at a new market......China

Some of the automakers missed some of the car shows but there was one car show that none of the automakers wanted to miss and that was the Shanghai Auto Show.

Nearly everybody was there, especially keeping in view that markets in US and Europe has seen a great fall in demand in present recessionary times. Hence, a market as large as China is luring these automakers to find opportunities here, especially for the year 2009.

However, it is also being forecast that this will not remain a very lucrative market for foreign automakers. This is because the local automakers are taking over the market by manufacturing better and more environmentally friendly models. The local manufacturers have a cost advantage over the foreign manufacturers as they enjoy more government incentives. These manufacturers are working to improve quality and make safer cars. They have even started producing electric cars which are more environmentally friendly.

Sony working on PS/PSP phone

For nearly a year now, it is being rumored that Sony is working on a mobile phone / PSP which will allow customers a totally unique gaming experience.

Since Sony has an edge in both these areas, it is quite possible that these rumors will materialize soon into a tangible product!

Till then lets keep our fingers crossed and see where technology is going to take us!