Sunday, November 17, 2013

How Google hangouts can easily capture Skype's VOIP Market

Was just wondering why the better product for video calls or VOIP (Voice over internet protocol) Google Hangouts is still having lower market share for video calls when compared to skype. I use Skype a lot to talk to loved ones in other parts of the world and realized why it is tough to convert Skype users.

Doubtlessly Skype has been there for so long and people are already so much used to Skype. Everyone is used to the process from my father who is 60+ to my nephew(who is just 8-9 years old). Most Skype users are simple internet users who needs to see & talk to their loved ones abroad. So most of the time it's two generations interacting on Skype and the barrier for Google hangouts at the moment is the older generation. The blog post explains how Google Hangouts can capture the older generation who are essentially personal users. Now let's first look at the difference of the two.

The process of doing a Skype video call is (Provided Skype is pre installed and the user has contacts - case where a noob like our parents who uses Skype which is preinstalled by an advance user)

Process of starting a Skype call

  1. Clicking on the desktop/app icon
  2. Logging in and 
  3. Just clicking on the name of the person. 

Now lets look at the process of initiating a Google hangout for a similar user on a laptop or a PC

Process of starting a Google hangout

  1. Click on the chrome browser icon
  2. Click on the tiny green hangouts icon in chrome 
  3. Type in contacts name/s
  4. Click on video call 
Lets see how complicated the hangout process is for someone new to computers. Chrome browser is no issue since it's just like clicking on Skype. But the browser layout is quite different - there is an additional step in between the user and contacts. The green hangouts button is very small and hard to locate. Clicking on it opens a small box in the bigger browser which is strange for a noob who is not used to IMs like Yahoo messenger or google chat. Once again you need to type in the name of contact. There is the standard recent contacts but no contact list. And because it is part of gmail - there will be many contacts to choose from. Because of this Google hangouts is "rocket science" for a simple user.

The Solution - Lord Buddha's way
In Sunday school we learnt about how Lord Buddha tackled various tribes who were already involved in wild religious practices. For e.g. If he met a tribe who worshipped trees he never told them to "stop" worshipping trees. Because then his preaching will be rejected at once. Instead he asked them to worship Bo-tree which is connected to Buddhism in a way the tribe understands Buddhism.  Same for stone worshippers - worship Lord Buddha statue, same for light worshippers - worship a lamp & learn how the lamp fades away just like life.etc.

Same tactic for Google hangouts. You cannot tell the users - "Browser apps are the future! Get used to this." You can but they won't simply convert from the simple process they have gone through for years.

Google Hangouts Desktop Software 

Google should come up with a clone of Skype. A simple desktop software (don't even call it an app) which is installed on PCs/Laptops and a simple click on the desktop/start menu item should bring the contact list. Once click should make the call. And adding more people and all the jazz to be followed.

Once people are used to this - and once they get to know the awesome hangout features, they can convert to browser based apps.


Sunday, November 10, 2013

Viral in Sri Lanka : Most Bridesmaids in a wedding

A Sri Lankan wedding with 126 bridesmaids to celebrate lov...sorry to "break the guinness world record" is going viral in sri lankan social media circles.

A google search shows it on DailyMail UK, Huffington Post & other major online media. Sri Lankan memes Facebook page too had few memes, mostly condemning the lavish show.

On a marketing point of view - i wouldn't look down on the effort given that the event organizer (who was claiming the Guiness record) was capitalizing on the hype created by it. Imagine - if the event was planned with news releases to leverage her web site & social media profiles? To the point i haven't seen such an effort and highly doubt it. But physical organizing seems very good with many sponsors and partners & few pre-event posters like the one below.

Here's a photo of all the bridesmaids from one of the planning sessions.

On a cultural & a societal point of view it is truly a waste of money which a young couple or the organizers need in the current Sri Lankan economy.

On a funny side of things - according to Barney Stinson, HIMYM the more bridesmaids at a wedding the better the bride & the bridesmaids look. Here's my latest meme about it on SLmemes.

Watch Barney explaining it on video by clicking here What do you think about the Guiness event? Lame or awesome? Feel free to comment below...

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Best Halloween Viral Campaigns I - Jimmy Kimmel "I ate all your candy" video campaign

Got back in Digital business ontime for Halloween and Christmas. Below are some of the best executed campaigns i heard about.

Jimmy Kimmel "I ate all your halloween candy" youtube video campaign 2013

You can call it a "prank" but i see one of the best talk show marketing campaigns as the video has over 9 million views in just 2 days. He's being doing this for 3 years but 2013 is the best.

(For those new to Halloween - Asian readers) There's a popular tradition called "Trick-or-Treating" during halloween. Kids dress up in costumes and go door by door and they are given "treats" - candy(sweets, chocolates.etc.) from each house. If not given they can "trick" the house wearing scary costumes. Most kids collect about 2-3 months candy on halloween day & its like a treasure for them like Jimmy Kimmel says "it's the first time they earn something in life".

Jimmy Kimmel challenged parents to do a prank on children by telling them that "i ate all your halloween candy". There are more than 100,000 video entries. And he collected the best ones and showed the below video on air.

The video has over 9 million views in just two days. Look at the rising keyword search about Jimmy Kimmel

What are the other good Halloween digital marketing campaigns? comment about any good ones you have heard about...

Monday, November 4, 2013

How bitstrips can integrate digital marketing

Was reading the paper today & saw an article about Bitstrips. It said Bitstrips is actually a Canadian sensation going global. Was glad to know as i've been a big fan of bitstrips few months back - both personally & professionally. Here's the papercutting from MetroNews.

Personally - i like the way it can create avatars that resemble oneself quite accurately. It's like you can perfectly draw a cartoon of yourself without being a great artist (Without being able to draw a proper straight line - like they say).

How Bitstrips can become the next wave in social media marketing

Professionally i was really amazed by the potential bitstrips presented. I checked out opportunities for my clients and there were some amazing ideas that i could execute for the brands i used to manage. Then we looked in to the technical aspect of it. One of the problems is that Bitstrips was not providing an API for developers or marketers. So all the comics aer predefined. If they can come up with a simple backend for Social media campaigns they can easily be the next trend in social media marketing.

What do you think about the future of Bitstrips? Fad or trend? Feel free to share your thoughts by commenting below...