Showing posts from March, 2015

You've Been Targeted

If you've ever used Google to search for something, odds are that you've been targeted. Web sites and services feed advertising to you based on your searches - and in some cases, based on the content of your email or social media messages. This sounds intrusive, but it could actually be a win-win situation. From your perspective, if you are searching for a romantic Parisian hotel for your second honeymoon, advertisements for holiday deals in the French capital might be interesting to you - as a consumer, you win! From another perspective, you are more likely to click on "Romantic hotels in Paris" than you would on "$200 diesel lawnmowers" - advertisers win! Shall we sit around the browser, hold hands, and sing Kumbaya? Not quite. This cozy consumer/advertiser arrangement does have a few flaws. For starters, targeted advertising is based on search history. Most often, the advertised products and services are those I have already considered. What I really w

Five Ways to End Procrastination

I wanted to procrastinate today, but I'll push it off until tomorrow. There are many reasons why we purposefully delay doing the things we know should be done. Here are five ways to beat the procrastination blues. 1) Break it down If the task is too big and you don't know where to start, break it down into lots of smaller tasks. For example, don't tell yourself that you need to edit a 250-page manual. Instead, tell yourself that you need to edit chapter 1. When that is done, edit chapter 2. Similarly, when you need to clean a room, mentally divide it into sections and concentrate on cleaning area 1. When that is done, focus on area 2. In effect, you create small, achievable goals, which give you a sense of accomplishment as you cross each one off your list. 2) Start strong This is an interesting one because you could look at it in two opposite ways, both of which work, depending on your personality. Either start with the easy tasks, so that you get a bunch of things

Welcome to the Service Economy

During the last few years, almost every single industry in the world has undergone a quiet revolution. The service economy is here, and if you run a business and don't know what that is, you'd better start paying attention. It used to be that "service industries", such as hotels, needed to focus on providing excellent customer service. It is their business to give you a positive experience that you'll remember the next time you are looking for a service provider. "Product industries", such as car manufacturers, needed to focus on providing quality goods so that you'll return to that brand when you need to buy that product again. While quality is still very important, consumers today are looking for a great experience. In other words, quality matters less than service. Consumers will just as easily buy from the next business if their customer experience at yours is sub-standard. Though important, quality, features, and even price are no longer t