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Archive for February, 2011

Just How Big Is The Biggest Company In The World?

Monday, February 28th, 2011

Over the past few years during conference presentations I have asked the question what company is the biggest in the world which a number of people aren’t aware of and follow that up with how big is that company. The range of answers for that question is a lot, from $10 billion to $350 billion.

So here are the answers to those two questions:

Wal-Mart is the biggest company in the world with revenue of over 408 billion dollars. To put their size into perspective:

  • Americans spend $46,000,000 at Wal-Mart every hour of every day.
     
  • This works out to $27,273 profit every minute!
     
  • Wal-Mart will sell more from January 1 to St. Patrick’s Day (March 17th) than Target sells all year.
     
  • Wal-Mart is bigger than Home Depot + Kroger + Target +Sears + Costco + K-Mart combined.
     
  • Wal-Mart employs 2.1 million people
     
  • Wal-Mart is the largest company in the history of the world and over 120 billion dollars bigger than the 2nd biggest company in the world Exxon Mobil
     
  • Wal-Mart now sells more food than any other store in the world.
     
  • 90% of all Americans live within fifteen miles of a Wal-Mart.

For me I am amazed at the size of Wal-Mart! They have a need and desire to continue to grow by adding services and products.

  • Did you realize how big Wal-Mart was?
     
  • What numbers surprised you?
     
  • Is there anything they don’t sell that you believe they should?
     
  • What services or products do you think they will add?

I look forward to reading your comments.

Attention Researchers Did You Know That Mission Impossible Exists In The Research Industry

Friday, February 25th, 2011

Did you ever watch the old TV show Mission Impossible? Well I did and Field Agent reminds me of that. Raise your hand if you have ever heard of Field Agent? I would love to see if anyone has their hand up?

I presented Field Agent at a conference a few times in the past 3 months and the only person who ever heard of it was from Wal-Mart. Yes Wal-Mart the largest company in the world. This person not only had heard of Field Agent but used them and had a very successful experience with them.

Basically Field Agent is a system that connects people who need information with people who can provide it. It begins by a client requesting specific information on their website. Clients might need a simple price check, retail audit, in-store photo or maybe a new item analysis. In addition they can also do surveys. They broadcast the request to people in the field (currently they have 60,000), who they call Agents and give the Field Agents a certain amount of hours to complete the task and let them know how much they will be paid for to complete the task. The Agents use a mobile device to return the needed info, which they get paid for.

Their website says they are in all 50 states and have an average Response Time in Populated Area of 2 hours and a 98% project completion. Clearly those numbers are very impressive.

  • Have you heard or used of Field Agent?
     
  • What do you think of their offering?

I look forward to hearing your comments.

Attention Vacation Goers…. Thumbs Up Or Down To Taking A Cruise?

Wednesday, February 23rd, 2011

A few weeks ago I was having a conversation with some friends regarding vacation spots and they were saying they were excited about taking a cruise. They pointed out they love taking a cruise because there is something to do on the ship for everyone, you can go to a number of different islands in a span of a week, you can eat a ton and even gamble!

They ended with a big statement who wouldn’t like a cruise! My answer was ME! I understand all of their points and agree that there is a ton to do on a ship and yes you can see 4-5 islands in a short amount of time. Yes they have a open buffet pretty much 24/7 however I haven’t found the food to be that good. On the cruises I’ve been on I thought the entertainment was very weak not to mention the fact that I could never find a deck chair and my cabin was really small. In fact way too small for my liking!

I noticed a number of new ships are scheduled to make their Maiden Voyage in the next six months. That list includes:

  • Marina – Jan 22
     
  • Disney Dream – Jan 26
     
  • Carnival Magic – May 1
     
  • Seaborn Quest – June 20
     
  • Costa Favolosa – July 7
     
  • Celebrity Silhouette – July 23

Clearly with 6 new ships there is a huge demand for people to take a cruise.

  • Are you a cruise person?
     
  • What is the one reason you love to take a cruise?
     
  • What ship would you recommend?
     
  • What is your funniest cruise story?

I look forward to reading your comments.

Attention Marketers Time To Avoid These Words In Your E-Campaigns

Friday, February 18th, 2011

A few weeks ago my friend Steve S asked me what I thought of the look of his invitation and if I was going to be able to attend his company celebration. I said I don’t recall seeing anything and asked him about the dates. Even though I couldn’t make it I was curious. I searched and low and behold his invite was caught in my spam filter. Looking closer at the invite I mentioned to Steve and his colleague Amber the problem was they should avoid using the word party in the invite because I am sure that was the cause of the email never getting to me.

I was curious as to how many emails get caught in my spam filter daily. The number was truly amazing. I assume I get about 200 emails a day and my spam filter trapped another 272 emails. Yes you read that right – 272 emails or 57% never made it to me!
This gave me a chance to pause and think about building a list of words we shouldn’t use in marketing campaigns. Of course I will leave out the obvious ones like Viagra, sex etc.

I did a little research and here are 12 words and phrases that you should stay away from:

  1. #1
     
  2. 100% satisfied
     
  3. Amazing
     
  4. Congratulations
     
  5. Guarantee
     
  6. Marketing solutions
     
  7. Never
     
  8. Opportunity
     
  9. Performance
     
  10. Solution
     
  11. Special promotion
     
  12. Success

A few of these words/phrases like amazing, solution, success surprised me. Lots of companies in our industry are still using them and based on spam filters shouldn’t moving forward. All of us should avoid using these spam filter trigger words in our e-campaign subject line if we can. Be creative, and find a different way to say your message!

  • What words on the list surprised you?
     
  • What words/phrases are you using that give you the best success?
     
  • How successful have your E-Campaigns been?

I look forward to reading your comments.

Here Are The Top 10 Ten Best And Worst Cities For Men In 2011

Wednesday, February 16th, 2011

Based on a recent Men’s health survey here are the best of the best and the worst cities for men in terms of health, fitness, and overall quality of life.

The Worst:
St. Louis, MO
Overall ranking: 100th
Health: 98th Life: 74th Fitness: 97th

Philadelphia, PA
Overall ranking: 99th
Health: 99th Life: 76th Fitness: 89th

Birmingham, AL
Overall ranking: 98th
Health: 96th Life: 82nd Fitness: 93rd

Detroit, MI
Overall ranking: 97th
Health: 95th Life: 99th Fitness: 70th

Memphis, TN
Overall ranking: 96th
Health: 90th Life: 87th Fitness: 92nd

St. Petersburg, FL
Overall ranking: 95th
Health: 84th Life: 95th Fitness: 91st

Baltimore, MD
Overall ranking: 94th
Health: 94th Life: 56th Fitness: 83rd

Charleston, WV
Overall ranking: 93rd
Health: 94th Life: 36th Fitness: 99th

New Orleans, LA
Overall ranking: 92nd
Health: 100th Life: 14th Fitness: 76th

Toledo, OH
Overall ranking: 91st
Health: 82nd Life: 86th Fitness: 77th

I was a little surprised with the worst cities for men in 2011. No I wasn’t surprised that Detroit made the list – they appear to be on everyone’s worst list for everything. Sad but true. Since I am not a huge fan of New Orleans personally I can see it on the list but would have thought it would have rated higher in fitness. My biggest surprises on the list were St. Louis, MO as the 10th worst and frankly I am shocked that St. Petersburg made the list – they got a fitness score of 91 really? Not sure I agree or that makes sense. I must admit that I thought NY would make the list.

  • What do you think of the list?
     
  • Who are you surprised to see on the list
     
  • Who should have made the list?

 

The Best:
Seattle, WA
Overall ranking: 10th
Health: 5th Life: 54th Fitness: 22nd

Virginia Beach VA
Overall ranking: 9th
Health: 9th Life: 20th Fitness: 36th

Aurora CO
Overall ranking: 8th
Health: 12th Life: 45th Fitness: 2nd

Austin TX
Overall ranking: 7th
Health: 15th Life: 19th Fitness: 4th

Lincoln NE
Overall ranking: 6th
Health: 10th Life: 6th Fitness: 33rd

San Jose CA
Overall ranking: 5th
Health: 1st Life: 62nd Fitness: 7th

Burlington VT
Overall ranking: 4th
Health: 2nd Life: 7th Fitness: 43rd

Plano TX
Overall ranking: 3rd
Health: 4th Life: 23rd Fitness: 13th

Fargo ND
Overall ranking: 2nd
Health: 7th Life: 1st Fitness: 18th

And the winner is
Madison WI
Overall ranking: 1st
Health: 4th Life: 3rd Fitness: 16th

Yes I was more shocked at this list. Surprised that two cities in Texas made it but Phoenix, AZ didn’t make the list. Also Madison WI was number one on the list? And in the top 16 of all three categories? It is freezing there and they got a ranking of 16 in fitness?

  • What do you think of the list?
     
  • Who are you surprised to see on the list
     
  • Who should have made the list?

I look forward to reading your thoughts.

Yes Most Of Us Are On A Diet BUT When You Want To Sneak Something Sweet What Are You Eating?

Monday, February 14th, 2011

Since it is the beginning of a new year that means that lots and lots are people are now going to the gym and probably on a diet. Well today let’s forget about the diet discussion and go right to the:

“Hey I want something sweet”
“Hey I need to reward myself for being good”
“Hey one little candy bar or brownie won’t really make a difference”

Discussion! As you know I love sweets (thanks mom!) and lots of different kinds. Some of my favorites are:

  • 7 layer brownies!
     
  • Kit Kats
     
  • Chocolate covered Oreos (thanks PW for making sure they are always in my office refrigerator)
     
  • Hot tamales – doesn’t everyone love hot tamales?
     
  • Charleston Chew
     
  • Pecan Pie

Mmmmmmmmmm mmmm good! Wow – thinking about those treats make me feel like going to a vending machine right now!

  • So I ask you when you are craving something sweet what are you eating?

I look forward to hearing from you.

You Are Going To A Wedding …. Where? Did You Really Say A Funeral Home?

Friday, February 11th, 2011

I must admit I was a little shocked to read in USA Today last week that funeral homes were now being rented out for:

  • Birthday parties
     
  • Anniversaries
     
  • Holiday parties
     
  • Proms

And weddings – yes weddings. First of all I love the creativity of the funeral homes for looking at different revenue streams. With the economy being what it is all business executives need and should do this. But a funeral home?

One of the funeral halls that was mentioned in the article hosted 10 weddings in 2009 and in 2011 has already 99 booked. WOW – lots of words come to mind: I am surprised, blown away with those numbers, have NEVER been invited to a wedding at a funeral hall, don’t know anyone who has and frankly not sure what I would do if I was invited!

What do you think?

  • Have you been to a nontraditional event at a funeral home?
     
  • Would you consider getting married at a funeral home?
     
  • How comfortable would you feel at a funeral home wedding?

I look forward to hearing from you.

Attention Researchers Forget River Sample – I Believe There Is A New Ocean On The Horizon!

Wednesday, February 9th, 2011

I am sure the title may have gotten you a little interested, perhaps a little curious of what I would like to share. Over the past few years river sample has become very important in the research industry. Well in my opinion that river sample will need to move over for a new ocean called FATWIN!

Yes you heard it heard first – FATWIN!

IN FACT HERE IS THE LOGO I CREATED!

Ok so now I probably have your attention let’s take a closer look at these three social networking giants!

FACEBOOK

  • Launched February 2004
     
  • More than 500 million active users
     
  • 800 million in revenue in 2009 (haven’t seen 2010 numbers)
     
  • Since January 2009 most used social network

TWITTER

  • Launched July 2006
     
  • 190 million visitors monthly
     
  • 4 million in revenue in 2009 (haven’t seen 2010 numbers)
     
  • Since February 2009 third most used social network

LINKEDIN

  • Launched May 2003
     
  • 60 million members
     
  • 17 million in revenue for 2008 (last number I could locate)
     
  • Adds 1 million members every 12 days

In addition check out this activity level at a random amount of time!

  • Shared links: 1,000,000
     
  • Tagged photos: 1,323,000
     
  • Event invites sent out: 1,484,000
     
  • Wall posts: 1,587,000
     
  • Status updates: 1,851,000
     
  • Friend requests accepted: 1,972,000
     
  • Photos uploaded: 2,716,000
     
  • Comments: 10,208,000
     
  • Messages: 4,632,000
     
  • Likes: 7,657,000

ALL THIS HAPPENED OVER A 20 MINUTE PERIOD OF TIME ON FACEBOOK!

 

I truly believe these three social networking sites will be in the research world on the horizon. In some ways they will be a vendor and on a different day they will be a competitor. 

Here are some things they have in common and I why I believe FATWIN is a reality!

  • Access to millions of people
     
  • They have an Opt in process
     
  • They are TRUSTED by almost everyone
     
  • Today/Tomorrow this will be the communication of choice
     
  • All of these social networking sites will be looking for revenue
     
  • They already took a swing at research and missed – rest assured they will again and BE successful!
     
  • They all have Apps which will be huge for our industry!

What do you think?

  • Am I crazy?
     
  • Isn’t LINKEDIN perfect for business to business sample?
     
  • Is this an area that the research community has struggled with for years?
     
  • What can/will FACEBOOK/TWITTER/LINKEDIN do with respect with research?

I look forward to hearing from you and discussing this VERY important topic.

Here Is A Riddle What Do Tweets And Lawsuits Have In Common? In My Opinion Plenty!

Monday, February 7th, 2011

Yes this is a great country, yes we have freedom of speech and yes you can say whatever you want, whenever you want to whomever you want….. but aren’t there consequences?

The world we live in now word travels fast. Sometimes tweets from Twitter are emotional and very pointed and certainly with the power of the web that message spreads like wildfire. Let me give you two quick examples of recent sports tweets:

Miami Heat star LeBron James tweeted a few weeks ago after Cleveland’s 55-point loss to the Lakers, it read: "Crazy. Karma is a b—-.. Gets you every time. It’s not good to wish bad on anybody. God sees everything!" Even though LeBron backtracked a little bit the tweet was directed at Dan Gilbert – owner of the Cleveland Cavaliers.

The second example is a tweet from Jacksonville Jaguars star running back Maurice Jones-Drew who was heavily criticized following the NFC Championship game for tweets regarding Bears QB Jay Cutler. Cutler left the game in the third quarter with a knee injury but was later seen standing comfortably on the sideline. Maurice Jones-Drew had this to say: All I’m saying is that he can finish the game on a hurt knee… I played the whole season on one…”

Is it a big leap to say that Jones is calling out Cutler? Saying he is soft? I think he is! Is it a big leap for a lawyer to say that may cause him damage? May cause Cutler to lose out on a future contract in the NFL? Will cost him future money and endorsements? Doesn’t/couldn’t  that  even lead to a defamation suit?

I for one say it will and VERY soon!

I am sure that LeBron and Maurice (who did try and retract some of his comments) regret what they said. They got caught up in the moment, took a shot at someone and unfortunately with the way that things spread now can’t take it back!

So I ask you:

  • Are personal attacks through tweets going to lead to lawsuits?

I really look forward to your thoughts.

Wow I Was Surprised To Hear That Over 400 Of My Linkedin Connections Changed Jobs In 2010!

Friday, February 4th, 2011

Lots of my contacts (and yours I am sure) have recently changed jobs. It seems like a day doesn’t go by where I hear of someone else leaving there company for another or being in transition. I knew the number was huge until I got an email from LinkedIn I didn’t know how many and how big an issue it really was.

Over 400 of my LinkedIn contacts (415 to be exact) started something new in 2010. To put that into perspective with over 1900 contacts that means 21% or 1 in 5 people I am connected too started something new! WOW – not sure there is a better time to be connected to people than now!

2010 was a year of change. 415 of your LinkedIn connections started something new. Here are a few of them:

  • What is your secret to stay connected to people?
     
  • What social networking sites do you really find helpful?
     
  • Which ones do you try and stay away from?
     
  • I love LinkedIn but haven’t gotten on the Plaxo bandwagon – should I?

I look forward to hearing from you