Thursday Humour

What were you expecting for 2038h on a Thursday night? I’m cream crackered.

¿uʍop ǝpısdn ǝdʎʇ oʇ pɹɐoqʎǝʞ ʎɯ ʇǝs ı ʍoɥ buıɹǝpuoʍ ǝɹɐ noʎ ʇǝq 11,ı

Google Privacy – Something For Nothing?

I’ve just had my lunch interrupted – I was watching the news on BBC One – shortly after finishing the Heinz post.

Google is being accused of putting its customers – the buyers of AdWords as far as I can work out – before, get this, the consumers. There is then a cut to a vox-pop of a woman saying that she doesn’t want to be sold to etc etc.

Well,  DON’T USE THE FREE SERVICES then. Excuse my yelling, but really. All these Google products that Google has very cleverly made so useful and appealing are free. Yes, free. It’s a VAT number and not a charity number.

How do these people think that Google pays for all the free services they supply? I am beside myself at the naivety of the consumers, press, Big Brother Watch – another lot wheeled out because of their Orwellian name – and the journalists.

I think that if you need pictures drawn to explain this then perhaps you ought to go and educate yourself as a consumer. If you can read – this blog – then you can educate yourself. Arrrrggghhh

Big smiles and deep breaths. Back to my now cold lunch.

Image representing Google as depicted in Crunc...

Image via CrunchBase

Who is “the customer”

Easy huh? The person who buys your product. Doh. Possibly there is more to it.

What if you use a distribution channel like a Reseller (in IT lingo) or a supermarket, Cash and Carry, corner store etc? Take Heinz Baked Beans – a staple in our home –  for example. There are the packaging and raw materials suppliers (they must buy tons of beans – geddit?) to Heinz, the supermarkets and wholesalers that Heinz supplies, the smaller shop-keeps that buy from the wholesaler and the likes of you and me that buy from the supermarkets, corner stores and CostCo‘s of this world. Suddenly there are many more customers in the equation as money is changing hands between a host of parties.

However, not all are buying Heinz Baked Beans in the same way. Heinz itself is buying the raw materials to make the beans so as the product originator we can move their eligibility to one side. That leads the others in the supply chain. I’d argue that resellers are buying more of a commodity item as they are buying beans in bulk to meet consumer (that’s you and me again) demand. The consumer is the one choosing the Heinz brand over – for example, Crosse and Blackwell – other baked bean brands. Although our money makes it to Heinz some of the amount is kept by the suppliers in the chain.Except, hang on a moment here, the resellers are specifying Heinz and not generic beans. Can they buy Heinz from more than one source? Now there is a competitive marketplace that isn’t seen by the general public.

Heinz Baked Beans - Woolworths QV AUD1.32

Although Heinz doesn’t sell to the consumer we are the one of the many customers. Look at where the marketing is directed. The consumer is sold the “Beanz Meanz Heinz” concept and the retailer fulfils our demand. This is the entire thing simplified.

All pretty convoluted eh? Nonetheless, I’d contend that there are many customers involved and their needs are often totally different. I want 1 can for my lunch and Sainsburys want 100,000 cans for stores dotted all over the land.

What this means is that customers can be directly “related” to you – me and Sainsburys – or removed several times – me and H.J. Heinz – but they are customers nonetheless.

The real lesson is in understanding that “the customer” is often not just someone involved in a direct relationship with the manufacturer. Think about this before making assumptions about who “the customer” really is.

’nuff of this talk. I have some cold beans (Heinz, obviously) and sausages in the fridge. Nom nom.

Will it make the boat go faster?

Mrs S was at a conference yesterday and Ben Hunt-Davis was the guest speaker. Will It Make The Boat Go Faster is the name of his book and his theme. What I understand is that the Olympic 8 that won gold in 2000 applied a very simple filter to all of their activities; Will it make the boat go faster? It was a great way to dodge all the tedium that other people can suck you into.

When one looks at ways to effectively manage a commercial relationship, whether it be 1:1 or 1: many,then it is a pretty good test of an idea. So many “initiatives” put in place utterly miss this fundamental concept. I’d tweak it to, “will we sell more?” and then apply the test to everything.

Personally, I am job hunting. “Will this help me get a job?” is the test I have already started applying to my activities. I can see somethings going by the wayside already. And before you ask this blog is about increasing my digital footprint which is part of rebuilding credibility after a nearly 4y gap.

As a counterpoint; I am also a human being with the pretty standard desires as defined by Maslo in his famous hierarchy of needs. Regarding esteem and self-actualisation I am really enjoying getting back into my trombone playing so am doing c. 30 min a day of practise. Will it make me play better? is a parallel test I will need to apply.

Diagram of Maslow's hierarchy of needs.

In fact, I guess this means that there can be more than one test running in your head regarding each activity you do. The skill is recognising the priority to give to each question.

Off to brush up on The Entertainer now. One day I might be this good.