About Me

Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Len focuses on helping small and new businesses succeed through developing appropriate marketing and sales strategies. Len enjoys mentoring, relishes in getting both arms and feet wet in addressing technology, marketing and sales issues. He understands the drivers impacting business results for today and tomorrow including time-to-market, time-to-revenue, marketing, sales channels and social media.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Tablets - Does Your Small Business Need One?

In January my family gave me a Samsung Galaxy Tablet for my birthday. This is a pretty nifty tool and I have quickly adapted to it for a lot of personal viewing. But as I use it I am considering how it can be of value for a small business?

What I Currently Do with My Tablet

1. I view my email and respond. The keyboard interface is easy to use. I wish the @ sign was accessible from the QWERTY keys but you can set up different standard keyboards and experiment to see which one best fits your needs.

2. I use the tablet as an indoor e-reader. I download books from Google, my Kobo account and am now starting to use my library account to access ebooks. You don't want to use this as an ebook reader outdoors on a sunny day. It is almost impossible to see text. I use my Kobo reader for outdoors.

3. I watch lots of video on my tablet whether it is news releases, clips from or entire TV shows, movie previews, etc. The screen is high definition.

4. I access the market to look at the many Android applications and have downloaded many free ones. The ones I use the most include finding the local theatre where a film is playing, looking up restaurants, or finding items in stores in the local area. My tablet is aware of my location and search  results reflect this.

5. The tablet has GPS although I have yet to take it with me in the car to use it as a route planning device.

6. I have created presentations on my desktop and transferred them to the tablet when going on a sales call. PowerPoint and other Microsoft Office applications have their equivalents in the Android world and Office file formats can be displayed through these product suites. The tool I have downloaded is Polaris Office and it is free.

7. I do a lot of browsing on the tablet. The Android browser seems to have little problem with most web sites. Some sites display differently than on Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome, looking like mobile web page views rather than those you see on a computer screen.

As I continue to use my tablet I'll keep you updated.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Deploying Business Social Networks to Create Online Exchanges

I invite you to read my latest article on this subject posted on CMSWire, the online magazine.

I've been neglecting this blog for a bit but promise to be more faithful in recording my ideas here in the coming weeks. So keep reading and I hope you enjoy the article.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Your Social Network Profile May Get You Hired

Social networks are mined by HR and recruiting firms today as a primary recruitment source according to Jobvite, a U.S. company that monitors hiring by companies. In its June 2010 survey nearly 75% of organizations indicated that they were using social networks to find candidates and almost 60% reported successfully hiring someone they found through social networks.

What does this mean for sites like Workopolis and Monster? They are still a primary source for recruiting but new hires increasingly are coming from site searches in places like LinkedIn, Facebook and even Twitter.

What does this mean for anyone posting information to a personal profile, a discussion group, or fan page in Facebook or other popular public social networking sites? If employers are finding new hires through personal pages online, those pages need to present individuals in a professional manner.

When HR or recruiters come calling what will your social networking profile say about you? Here are 7 points to ponder.

  1. Are you professional?
  2. Can you be trusted to act responsibly?
  3. Does your profile reflect positively on you and therefore the organization that hires you?
  4. Are you sharing information or joining groups where what you say and contribute could reflect badly on you?
  5. Do you have pictures on your site that demean you?
  6. Are your Tweets and Wall postings fatuous or a positive reflection of your work ethic and values?
  7. Are you linked to friends and associates that positively reflect who you are and who you know?  

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Why Your Small Business Needs to Look at Social Media as a Marketing Strategy

If you still think that social media is not relevant to your small business, think again. Marketers are discovering that social media represents a significant avenue for getting to potential customers. This is particularly true if your company is in a technology field.

R2i, an Internet marketing company, reports in a recent survey that 61% of U.S. marketing professionals it interviewed used social media for lead generation. In that same survey 27% indicated that they used social media to monitor online conversations about what was being said regarding their products or services.

What makes social media like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and MySpace so attractive to marketers who are looking for quality leads? After all, these are social networks, not business networks. It is precisely the social aspect that makes these sites valuable. People reveal information about their interests, what they do for a living, what they read, their hobbies, personal stuff that can help marketers build strategies for creative approaches. Social media isn't a hard sell place. Marketers who recognize the nascent customer, the one who is not going to buy today but who can be reached over time, will be able to develop qualified prospects in employing the right social media strategies.

Those strategies employ cause and emotion more than price and promotion. So think about what you are marketing and who your customers are (a typical profile or a number of typical profiles) and do a little experimenting on a social network if you haven't already.

If you do your homework you will soon find many more reasons to deploy resources to social media to help you generate revenue. At worst you will find out what your competitors are or are not doing in the social media space.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Who do you think are the Top 10 Mobile Phone Networks in the World?

These numbers are the latest and represent the first quarter of 2010. When we think of wireless providers we tend to see North America as the primary market. But in fact the largest market by far is in Asia, followed by Europe and Latin America. Although India has great potential in terms of growth it significantly lags behind China in mobile customers.

RankCarrier# of SubscribersPrimary Areas ServedBrands
1.China Mobile Ltd.
China, Hong KongChina Mobile
2.Vodafone Group Plc
Europe, Middle East, Asia, Africa, U.S.Vodafone, Vodacom, Verizon Wireless
Spain, Latin America, EuropeTelefonica, Movistar, O2
4.America Movil
Mexico, Central & Latin America, U.S.Telcel, Claro, Comcel, Tracfone
5.Telenor Group
Scandinavia & EuropeTelenor, Pannon, Kyivstar
6.China Unicom
ChinaChina Unicom
7.Deutsche Telekom
Germany, Europe, U.S.T-Mobile
Sweden, EuropeTeliaSonera
9.Bharti Airtel
India, Sri Lanka, BangladeshAirtel
10.France Telecom
France, EuropeOrange

When planning marketing strategies, even small companies have to pay attention to where market opportunities lie. Often they aren't in your own backyard as is the example shown here. Asia represents fertile ground for anyone in the mobile communications space.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Does Your Small Business Web Site Create Customers?

According to a recent Citibank survey of 552 small business executives, 37% reported that they did not use a web site to help them market their business. In that same study 84% indicated that they had not sold products or services using e-commerce and 62% did not use e-mail for marketing purposes. Of the 63% who did report that they had a web site, almost three-quarters found it to be an effective way to generate business.

No doubt you have experienced the fear, uncertainty and doubt, the FUD that comes along with making marketing investments in online activities. You are not alone. Many small business people feel compelled to create a web presence and then find themselves challenged by what next steps to take.

Creating that web site is a great first step in taking advantage of the omnipresence of the Internet as a means to communicate with prospects and existing customers. Driving them to your web site and turning it into an order taking mechanism to drive revenue requires considerable thought and then action.

"A website's ability to convert a visitor to a customer is a measurement of its effectiveness," states Joel Book, in the May 2010 issue of Electronic Retailer. Brooks talks about:

1. Driving Conversion Rates
2. Landing Page Optimization
3. Abandoned shopper re-engagement strategies
4. Creating repeat customers

In the next few blogs we are going to talk about all of these strategies in greater depth. I invite you to follow along, share your experiences by contributing to the conversation.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Latest CMSWire Article Focuses on Using Private Social Networks as a Mechanism for Improving Collective Wisdom

Organizations spend money on buildings, office equipment, and people. When needed it's easy to change the first two. People, however, represent a bigger challenge.

Experts on organizational change like Dr. Lewis Frees of Harmony Inc. focus on the people investment that businesses make with a focus on triggering collective intelligence. Check out my latest CMSWire article on this topic and let me know what you think.