Marketing

An example of honor by a GREAT CEO

This week the story broke about the apparent ‘bug’ in the United Airlines system on their site.  Eager travelers booked first class flights for $50 to $70 to their disbelief.  First, United stated that they would honor the bookings.  Then, they came out yesterday and said that they would not be honoring them.  This is no surprise to me.  United sucks.  They have aircraft issues, staffing issues, co-share issues and the biggest issue- the CEO Jeff Smisek.

Also a story that broke in the domain name industry almost 3 weeks ago was that online digital expert, Bruce Marler, had hand registered the domain name credit.club.  Actually, he did hand register it for about $10 and it was allocated as a premium name, such as recently sold .club domains like coffee.club for $100,000 and through RightOfTheDot at NamesCon in Las Vegas last month was wine.club for $140,000.  In my opinion, the credit.club domain name could be valued in between $100,000 to $200,000 based on the prior 2 sales and each market respectively.

What did Colin Campbell, CEO of DotClub, home of the new gtld .club, do when this happened?  He not only allowed the purchase to be completed and did not recall the domain name, but he has been an avid supporter of the fantastic job that Bruce has done on the credit.club website since the registration!  That’s what awesome CEO’s with HONOR do!

I just thought that it was a timely message considering that I just published my break-up letter with United.

 

The United breakup letter

Dear United,

As you know, I was on the rebound from #Qantas after they left me stranded with their whinging CEO’s decision to allow the pilots to strike, and there you were.  You were truly there for me.  I was filled with excitement and couldn’t wait to see you!  You served me great meals, always smiled at me and I couldn’t wait to see you again!!  I mean, after all, what could a boy want more right!?

We had such a great run you and I.  Nearly 2 years and over 150,000 miles.  Ahh, the joy that once was.  I mean, don’t get me wrong, we had a couple of hiccups along the way, like the time when we had our little spat back in 2012 when you screwed up my flight booking when I was asking about a proposed date to travel from Houston to Sydney in case my son had to have emergency surgery, and he didn’t, so I kept my flight home for his 3rd birthday as booked, and when I arrived at IAH, you were quite aggressive with me, well, really rude more like it, about how I was a “no show” for our date.  Once you figured out your own protocol about not being able to change a booking without paying, you so graciously put me on standby on 3 flights to get to San Fran to get home to Sydney for my son’s 3rd birthday party.  I missed the first one, not a problem.  I missed the second one, not a problem.  I caught the last one!  Woohoo I was so excited!  Then, well, yeh, there was that delay.  After your reassurance on the flight to SFO that they knew that I was on the flight to get my International connection, I was calm.

Well, that soon ended once I arrived at SFO.  I hit the ground running, literally to catch my flight, after I was ignored by you when I sought assistance to even finding the gate, since I had never flown out of SFO before.  I was ignored.  I was looked at like I was crazy when I asked for a cart ride from you to assure that I’d catch my International connecting flight.  So yes, I ran… not Forrest Gump ran, but more like Usain Bolt ran, dragging my suitcase and 2 carry-ons as fast as I could.  When I arrived at the ticket counter to check-in with sweat pouring off of me for my flight, you were so rude and callas to me.  You shunned me and said that you could not let me on the flight.  I was angry.  I was upset.  I was devastated.  I watched as the plane did not take off for 30 minutes as you reassured me convincingly that since the doors were closed that it was FAA rules that I could not board the flight.

You did try to console me, although, I didn’t really want to be consoled, I only wanted to be on the plane to be at my son’s 3rd birthday party.  You offered me a couple of $10 food vouchers and even a hotel voucher to stay at Best Western you told me was in Palo Alto.  When I asked how was I to get to the hotel, you smugly replied that I could just take the shuttle.  Having never been to SFO before, I stopped and asked directions from several people and the last one finally assisted me in getting on the shuttle.  After I went back and forth on the shuttle looking for signs as to where to get off of it to get to Palo Alto, I was approached by a SFO staff worker and they commented “I’ve seen you go back and forth now 3 times, are you lost?” and I replied “Yes, I guess I am.  I’ve got this voucher to stay at Palo Alto in a Best Western because I missed my flight.  Can you tell me how to get there?” and he looked like a stunned mullet and gasped “PALO ALTO?  Why would they give you a voucher for PALO ALTO!!??  You’re going to have to take a cab to get there.”

I thanked him for his information and went outside and hailed a cab.  Mind you, it was not your typical San Francisco weather, as a cold front had came in and it was pouring rain, windy and cold.  I got in the cab van and told the driver that I needed to get to the Best Western at Palo Alto.  Once we started down the highway, he received a phone call and he answered it.  He began arguing and swearing at the person on the phone, presumably his girlfriend or wife, and then proceeded to role down the window to smoke.  He hung up from the call and threw his phone to the floor and then it started ringing again to which he began cussing in a language that I didn’t understand while he began trying to reach his phone.

Angry driverYes, we crossed lanes on the wet highway and I was having the best time in the smoky filled van freezing to death while zipping across lanes with traffic, I mean, after all, you haven’t lived until you’re trapped in a cab with a crazy driver right?

When we finally managed to arrive at Palo Alto safely, barely, I asked for him to wait outside for me while I went into to check with the desk clerk about the voucher.  Yes, I know right, you guessed it, the desk clerk knew nothing about my arrival and had no availability.  So back into the death trap of a cab van I went and instructed him to just take me to the closest Best Western to the airport and hopefully I could negotiate with them.  He did drive safer this time and he rolled up the pneumonia hole for me after I said that it was unacceptable.  I arrived at the closest one, which was at the airport, and they did not have a room for me.  So I again bravely got back into the cab with the Mario Andretti of cabbies and asked him to take me to the next closest one.  About ten minutes later, I arrived at one off of the highway and they had a room for me.  I went back out and yes, he was so nice to me at the point of me having to pay him over $200 out of my pocket for your stuff up!

You did email me the next day to tell me that you had placed me on a flight out for that night.  I was so excited that I could check out at 11am and arrive at the airport with another $40 expense accrued for it to sit and wait over 10 hours to get on the plane.  Those two $10 vouchers sure came in handy too!  Wow, the bag of potato chips and can of soda I had- truly impeccable.  You were truly just too kind and classy United.

I did make it home safely and I do thank you for that.  Oh yeh, and I did miss my son’s birthday party that was rescheduled to fit my schedule in which over 30 phone calls had to be made to reorganise the date, which inconvenienced over half of guest list.  But I mean, accidents happen right?  You gave me a little $500 voucher for my problems and were so sweet and charming saying that it would never happen again.

Oh United, my fingers are just so tired already… how ever will I continue to explain to you why this break up just has to happen?  Oh!  I know, I’ll just pretend that I’m waiting for a flight of yours and have to walk around for a few hours while I wait.  I’m so sorry that you’re having to hear this from me.  I know it’s difficult, but after all, you did bring this on yourself and I’ll come back and type some more once my fingers have a rest.

And then, after a bit of thought, I had wanted to reconcile… and you were there for me again.  You said you were sorry and I said we would travel to Sydney to see my 2 children on Christmas Day.  Well, then yes, fo real, you did it again!  So you see United, I finally have my eye on another, and they’re a bit crazy, but after all, I must be a bit crazy too after putting up with you for all of these years.

richard-branson-flight-dress

*photo credit AFP

So all in all, what was making me miss seeing my children on Christmas Day worth to United?  A $500 travel voucher or 10,000 miles.  Really United?

I wanted to negotiate a priceless moment in time with a realistic value, and you didn’t.

So, I figured that I would put together a couple of little websites aimed at showcasing your now infamous poor customer service.  More to come soon.

JW

Classifieds.com.au goes to market for $1,000,000+ AUD

A marquee domain name in the .au space is now on the market and priced to sell for the RIGHT BUYER!  I am currently accepting offers to acquire classifieds.com.au until 5pm July 28, 2014.  There has NEVER been a better time to buy such a marquee .au domain name and with offers already considered, I feel that it will SELL!  Will YOUR COMPANY take control and OWN THIS VERTICAL MARKET?  Contact me and let’s talk or click here to make your best offer for acquisition.

 View the PowerPoint

classifieds-com-au-power-point-presso

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The new GTLD extensions as viable business models

Over the last several weeks, I’ve been asked what capacity I’ve been involved in the new GTLD .buzz and how I viewed the new extensions.  I blogged about this about 4 or 5 months ago and used the analogies of the stock / share markets as well as how we are evolving online.  Seriously, I’m 44 years old and if I were to talk to my 14 year old self, only 30 years ago, and said “Hey, psst- you’ll be able to access information at the tap of a pad and the click of a mouse”, I would’ve looked at my older self like I was on some sort of drugs and would’ve asked my older self why I was playing with mice.

Fast forward to the current day and the current business models of the new GTLD’s that are here and are still coming into the market- I’m a rifle guy, not a shotgun guy, and I’ve picked 2 thus far to invest in and I’m going to be investing more over the coming weeks.

For those that are interested in my methodology of picking names in this new space, I’m going to list what I own here.  I’ve protected what I believe needs to be protected with regard to names with my primary GTLD combined with .com.  If you see one that you want to register, please go ahead. :)

.BUZZ

80s.buzz.logo

 

 

 

 

 

80S.BUZZ
ACCOMMODATION.BUZZ
BASSFISHING.BUZZ
BEAUMONT.BUZZ
BIRTHDAYPARTY.BUZZ
CAJUN.BUZZ
CRAWFISH.BUZZ
CROWDFUNDING.BUZZ
DOMAINSALES.BUZZ
FATHERSDAY.BUZZ
FINDA.BUZZ
FISHINGTOURNAMENT.BUZZ
GARAGESALE.BUZZ
GARAGESALES.BUZZ
HORSERACING.BUZZ
HOTJOB.BUZZ
HURRICANE.BUZZ
INNOVATION.BUZZ
JAMES.BUZZ
LOCALNEWS.BUZZ
MOTHERSDAY.BUZZ
NEWCARS.BUZZ
OBITUARIES.BUZZ
OBITUARY.BUZZ
RAP.BUZZ
RAPMUSIC.BUZZ
RAPPER.BUZZ
SEOJOB.BUZZ
SEOJOBS.BUZZ
SETX.BUZZ
STARTUPFUNDING.BUZZ
SUMMER.BUZZ
TECHJOB.BUZZ
TECHJOBS.BUZZ
TEXASJOB.BUZZ
TEXASJOBS.BUZZ
TOURNAMENT.BUZZ
WORLDNEWS.BUZZ

summer.buzz.logo

* I’ve received an offer to purchase summer.buzz about 4 days ago for $500.  The software script that is in development now for the .buzz extension could very well demonstrate the viability of 12 to 24 month contracts for exclusive advertising that would yield up to $5,000 per month.  So why would I sell a domain name for $500 that can yield a $60,000 per year residual income?  The answer is, I wouldn’t.  The reply was simply “No thanks”.

.PICS

bass-pics-logo

 

Houston PICS 2 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

bass.pics
brisbane.pics
houston.pics
marlin.pics
melbourne.pics
nakedgirls.pics
redfish.pics
speckledtrout.pics
stripper.pics
strippers.pics
sunrise.pics
texas.pics
trout.pics

* I’ve received a confidential offer on brisbane.pics and melbourne.pics.  I have declined the offer.

If you have any questions regarding the new domain extensions coming into the market as well as still yet to enter general registration, contact me.

 

 

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Response to Facebook fraud video

This video came across my Facebook feed and also my Twitter feed.  I watched it twice.  The video link is here:

Here is my reply to video uploader that has the issue with Facebook:

Thanks for taking the time to post your findings. I believe that they are a bit skewed for 2 reasons:

1. Just because a person “Likes” your page, paid or not, does not guarantee a continuous relationship of engagement with that user/paid fan.

2. Your sample is too small. Even the BBC demonstration of 4,000 “Likes” is not enough to form a successful claim for fraud.

Over years of marketing and paying close attention to “hot buttons” of various topics that are trending socially, it is damn hard to be batting a .333% (to use a baseball analogy) consecutively. You do demonstrate a suspicious pattern, but also you haven’t demonstrated how you have or the BBC guy engaged these people. I’d like for you to demonstrate further by showing a sampling of what you’re posting and how you are “engaging” your fans.

Here is a list of other factors to consider when trying to prove the assumption of “Facebook click fraud”.

1. You cannot predetermine someone’s motive for liking something.
2. Most people on Facebook will like something without even reading it, only following the trend of others in their friend list on liking something.
3. The motivation to boost their position on sites like Klout and Kred.
4. The quality of your post.
5. The type of post: is it something to make people smile, something to make people think, something to acquire a lead; also is a text post of a photo post?
6. What time were the posts performed and how did it interact with those fans in their daily life routines- eg: working hours, middle of the night, weekend night, time of Season be it Winter/Summer for Northern and Southern hemispheres etc.
7. What is your protocol for engagement; eg- how often do you post, what are the main topics of each post and do they appeal to the broader audience of your fan base.
8. Do your fans subscribe to your updates to be notified of each post?

In my opinion you’d need to go a lot further in your approach to proving fraud with that you have put here in the video. As I shared in opening, I like the video and thanks for publishing it.

Cheers.

James

The hot chocolate story- marketing lesson from a 6 year old

I had been to have a slumber party at my great grandma’s house and we had of course played 5 card draw poker and talked about how much money we could win in Vegas.  Yes, I learned to play poker when I was 6 years old along with making pancakes, cooking bacon and eggs, stuffing a pork roast with garlic and herbs, and other things that my great grandma taught me to do.

I awoke bright and early on that Saturday morning and wanted to get the paper inside and cook my great grandma some breakfast and surprise her with breakfast in bed.  I ran outside and down the driveway to get the paper and a cold front had came in overnight.  I looked down the road at the sunrise and exhaled to blow smoke.  I thought to myself, it’s smoke blowing weather, surely it’s a day for hot chocolate!  I grabbed the paper and ran back inside to start breakfast.

When I brought my great grandma her breakfast in bed with the paper, I told her “Hey Grandma, I just blew smoke outside.  We’ve got to have some hot chocolate this morning!”  She agreed and after she had her breakfast we went into the kitchen to begin making it.  I loved making things with my great grandma because we never used a recipe book.  We started making the hot chocolate and I said to her, “Hey Grandma, do you think that I can take the card table outside and use PawPaw’s thermos and sell some of this hot chocolate?”  She laughed and said, “Well, you know we’re going to KMart about 10 o’clock so you may need some spending money.”  I said “The heck with spending money, I’m gonna GET RICH!”

We made the hot chocolate and got some styrofoam cups out of the pantry.  We got a piece of typing paper (copy paper for you younger generation) and wrote “THE BEST HOT CHOCOLATE 25 CENTS” on it.  She came out and helped me set up our poker playing table that we practiced on to get to Vegas and put a nice gold table cloth on it and taped my sign right on the front facing the road.  She said “Okay I’m going back inside, you come in and let me know when you’re RICH.” and I said “Okayyyyyy!” and was smiling from ear to ear blowing smoke just knowing that I was going to have all of the hot chocolate business for the day.

After about 5 or 6 cars drove by with the nice people waving at me as they passed, I thought “hang on a second here- my sign’s in the WRONG PLACE!”  They aren’t stopping because they don’t know I have the BEST HOT CHOCOLATE for sale!  I ran back inside and told my great grandma that we had to make a new sign just the same and put one on each side of the table so that cars from BOTH sides could see and stop for my delicious hot chocolate and make me rich.  We made another sign and she went out and fixed it up for me.  I was in business now!

My fingers were a little cold after I had been out there for another 10 minutes or so, and I thought to myself, why not have a cup to warm up a bit.  I poured me a cup.  Boy was that the best hot chocolate ever!  It was super chocolate’y!  About 20 minutes had passed and I heard my great grandma call out from behind me “Hey little tycoon, are you rich yet?” and I replied “No, not yet Grandma, but there’s lots of cars passing now so I’ll BE RICH in just a bit!”

After about 20 more minutes, I had drank another 2 or 3 cups of the amazing hot chocolate and my great grandma called out again, “Hey RICHEY RICH, are you sold out and ready to go to KMart yet?” and I cried out back at her “Not yet, but I’ll GET RICH soon!”  Another 30 to 45 minutes had passed.  The sun had rose higher into the sky and the temperature had risen enough for me to take off my jacket.  I went ahead and looked at the lonely thermos and finished it off with another cup of that amazing hot chocolate.

I had to get up and to go inside to go to the bathroom because of drinking the whole thermos of hot chocolate.  I went into my great grandma after and she said “So little tycoon are you RICH yet?” and I said, “No Grandma, and I’ve drank all of the hot chocolate.  I was thinking, it’s getting warm out there and there are lots of cars passing by now.  I think we should make some KOOLAID and I KNOW I can SELL that now!”  She laughed and went and made me some fresh red Koolaid and we made 3 new signs- one for the front and the others to flank the card table for MAXIMUM exposure!

I was back out sitting at the card table swinging my feet back and forth waiting for a car to stop or someone to walk by… but nobody did.  I looked at the pitcher of Koolaid and thought “Yep- I do need to sample it and make a moustache  because then when they pass they’ll see how GOOD it is!”  About 20 minutes later, my great grandma bellows from the porch, “HEY TYCOON ARE YOU RICH YET!?” and I replied “Not yet Grandma, but I will be soon!”

About another 30 minutes had passed, not a person stop and not a car slow down.  I had even got up and started waving my sign at the cars and pointing to my pitcher of Koolaid.  It was all for nothing.  I was there with nearly an empty pitcher of Koolaid and I was doing the ‘gotta go dance’.  I was about to race inside and my great grandma called out “HEY are you RICH YET?” and I raced by her and said “Not yetttttttttttt” as I raced to the bathroom.

She had went to the card table and saw that I had nearly drank the entire pitcher of Koolaid.  She packed up the card table and brought it back inside the house.  I had come out of the bathroom ready to go race back outside to GET RICH and was heart broken when I saw she had brought my money making display back inside the house.  I was devastated and very sad… I had failed.

My great grandma looked at me and said “Your uncle’s going to be here in 20 minutes!  We have to ACT FAST if you want to GET RICH so you can spend it at KMart!” and got a fresh pitcher of Koolaid and she told me to grab the cups.  ”C’mon!!” she said as she raced out the front door, “Let’s go GET RICH!” and I got excited and followed as quickly as I could.

We went to the next door neighbors house.  *KNOCK KNOCK* “Hi, fresh Koolaid with a squeeze of fresh picked orange and it’s only a dollar!”  I was behind my great grandma holding the cups wanting to run back to the house.  A dollar!  What was she thinking!!!!!  I sat out for a couple of HOURS with my awesome hot chocolate and then my amazing red Koolaid and NOBODY even wanted to pay me 25 cents!  As soon as I had those thoughts racing through my mind, the man said “Sure, I’ll take 2 cups since it’s got the fresh squirt of orange juice in it!”

I couldn’t believe it.  I stood there and held the 2 cups with my hands trembling because I was getting RICH!  I was in shock.  I was amazed!  I was… SELLING.

We went to the next house and then to the next house and the next and the next and the next!  We only went back home when we were out of Koolaid and had about $20 in my pocket.  I was RICH!

———————————-

Marketing and selling things, no matter what they are, is a process.  A strategy needs to be formed and of course assess risks and leverage off a spend by your way of supply/demand.  However, not giving up is the most important part of selling and being told “no thanks”, “not today”, “your product is s#it” or any other phrase that is negative and a “no sale” should not detour you from knocking on the next door, calling the next phone number or sending that next email that you have permission to send.  In other words, persistence combined with passion with the willingness to never give up no matter what the odds will always have you GET RICH in the end… no matter what your perception of RICH really is.

More to come… please sign up :)  and if you liked this and found it inspirational or a reality check on such a low level that puts common logic back into the forces of planning your sales presentation, please LIKE IT below and share it > I <3 SHARING :)

JW