CRM software runs my life

Month: June 2009

Top 10 traits of bad leaders

Harvard Business Publishing summarised the 360-degree feedback data on over 11,000 leaders from a study completed by Jack Zenger and Joseph Folkman. Here are the 10 most common leadership shortcomings, how many apply to you or your leader?

  1. Lack energy and enthusiasm
  2. Accept their own mediocre performance
  3. Lack clear vision and direction
  4. Have poor judgement
  5. Don’t collaborate
  6. Don’t follow the standards they set for others
  7. Resist new ideas
  8. Don’t learn from mistakes
  9. Lack interpersonal skills
  10. Fail to develop others

It is interesting to note that the most successful and least successful differed most significantly in their energy and enthusiasm. Can a good leader therefore be trained or are they born? I see some similarities to the concept of “culture comes from the top”. If the CEO demonstrates energy and enthusiasm this has a huge impact on their report’s motivation to follow, and this energy in turn cascades down the chain. Finally poor management is one of the top 10 reasons employees quit their job, so the consequences of bad leaders are serious.

MasterChef – Generation Y Best Practice Marketing

MasterChef LogoMasterChef has been a huge surprise hit in Australia. The TV ratings have been sensational for Channel 10, with an average of 1.96 million viewers nationally (not bad from a total audience pool of just over 20 million). What keeps this average so high? The key, ironically, is the stickiness created by the side dishes. The MasterChef website gets an equally, if not more, astonishing 2 million views per week.

This website content is what keeps people engaged. Full show episodes stream very quickly from the site not long after screening, letting you catch up if you have missed an episode or just feed your addiction. Every recipe on the show is uploaded and available for those at home to have a crack, and beautiful images are cycled past the viewer. The taunt of “Can you master this MasterClass dish?” next to a picture of a beautiful coffee eclair is a great teaser to engage those at home.

The engaged community that has been built can be confirmed on Twitter. There doesn’t seem to actually be an official MasterChef twitter account, but that hasn’t stopped loyal fans creating unoffical ones and swamping Twitter with comments about how hungry they are, which recipes they love and who they want to get kicked off. The episode finished over an hour ago, but tweets are still coming in faster than one per minute. I really hope someone is monitoring this community really closely, what a great way to get feedback on the franchise directly from your customers.

Even if they are not monitoring the Twitter community, they will at least be monitoring their public forums. Yet another nod to the importance of communities in building a loyal following behind a brand. Over 30,000 posts proves that people are enjoying it, and breaking down the forums by participant gives a great selection criteria for the next season’s contestants (rumoured to be celebrities). Finally, they also have a Digg-like rating system on each recipe, so again the community can feel engaged and contribute back to itself.

How do you then cash in on this community? The product integration with Coles is subtle yet very effective. Recipes have a cost from Coles listed below them, for example this tasty soup is a mere $3.50 per serve. The PDF that you print to take to the shops of course has a Coles logo in the top right corner, as well as any notes about whether Coles stocks the item or not. They could have even taken this to the nth degree by having “MasterChef Prefilled Shopping Carts” from Coles Online, what armchair chef doesn’t want the ingredients delivered straight to their house? Even better, you could pre-empt the episode and deliver the Mystery Box challenge ingredients on the night of the Mystery Box episode! Now that would be challenging our engaged community.

The only thing that Channel 10 have done wrong, is screen Biggest Loser USA directly after MasterChef on a Sunday night. Then again, for some reason Biggest Loser makes me hungry too… 🙂

What happens when a domain name expires?

Recently I noticed that the scottsavage.com domain name was not being actively used and was about to expire. Having historically been on scottsavage.net, I thought this would be a great opportunity to quickly grab it. It turns out the process takes a very long time, giving the current owner plenty of time to renew their registration. I found this chart to be the best explanation of what happens during the process:

Flow chart of the Domain Expiry Process

Flow chart of the Domain Expiry Process

 

As you can see it takes almost 3 months from when a domain expires to when it is finally available for public re-registration by a different owner. You can track the progress of a domain name towards expiry by using a whois tool.

Once it is available you can register it through any domain name reseller, or if you are really keen (like I was) you can use a domain name backorder tool which will automatically buy the domain name as soon after it ‘drops’ as it can. I have used the Godaddy domain backorder tool twice, and have been successful twice so I strongly recommend it. I still think however that the biggest risk is the current registrant renewing some time before the final deletion phase, which of course is unfortunately completely out of your control.

So as you might have guessed, as of this week I have secured scottsavage.com! It expired on the 24th of March, so that illustrates just how slow the process is. The next question is whether I migrate my blog to that domain or not, and what effect this will have on my SEO… hmmm… too scared to do this until I do some more research…

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