Updates from May, 2011 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • drdianehamilton 12:11 pm on May 26, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Business Cards, , , , , , , qrcode.kaywa.com, , , , , ,   

    Using QR Codes to Get a Job or Promote Your Business 

    You probably have seen QR codes and don’t even realize it.  Perhaps they were on a marketing ad or a flyer someone handed you.  You might have seen them on a promotional piece or on a poster at a local store.  It may have looked so under-stated that you probably passed right by it and didn’t give it a second thought.

    Start looking for them.  You’ll be surprised at how many places are using them.  What are they?  Think of them like a bar code that lists a lot more information and can direct you to specific websites.  Companies are creating these codes to be used with smartphone apps.  This is an example code that I created for my book, It’s Not You It’s Your Personality:

    It’s really simple to make one.  You can go to a site like Qurify.com and type in the information you want to be encoded.  It may be something as simple as a website address.  You can go to the Qurify site and type in your website URL address. If you don’t have a website, consider putting in your Linkedin profile page.   Click on the Qurify button and then download the image it creates as a jpeg file.  Now you can take this file and put it on your business cards, on your resume, or on any other information you create. 

    Anyone who has a QR Reader app on their phone can simply start the app on their phone and point it at your code.  When they do that, they will be directed on their phone to the URL address you entered on Qurify.  It couldn’t be easier. 

    This can really make you stand out from the rest in the job search.  Just having that code on your resume will make those that don’t know what it is, look into it why it is on your resume.  For those that do know what it is, they will appreciate how technologically you savvy are.

    If you have your own business and want to promote different parts of your website, these can be useful as well.  To show examples, I created several of these QR codes for Dr. Robert Spies’ plastic surgery site.  To see how they work, first download a free QR Reader app onto your smartphone.  Then open that app and point it at the codes listed below.

    This code directs you to information about facelifts:

    This code directs you to information about tummy tucks:

     This code directs you to information about breast augmentation:

     By having different QR codes like this, you can customize your marketing material to direct people to the appropriate websites.  For companies like a plastic surgery practice, this can be a very effective tool to target people that have a strong enough financial background to own a smartphone as well as those that are interested enough to point their phone at the code for more information.  It is a great tool to specifically target the appropriate population. 

    To find out more about how these codes work, check out information from the guys at how stuff works technology podcast. 

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  • drdianehamilton 3:51 pm on May 25, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , Kansas, Kansas State University, , Tuition payments, , University of Texas-Austin   

    Where Your College Tuition is Spent 

    Many people are going back to school to further their education in the hope of being more marketable in the workplace. As tuition increases, students may be wondering where their money is being used.

    Onlinecolleges.net reported 10 Telling Stats on Where Your Tuition Money Goes. It is interesting to note that the professor’s pay is not a big factor in these increases. It may be surprising how much goes to construction and renovations. Also of note is how much is being spent on entertainment. “Travel and entertainment are major expenses for universities. For example, Kansas State University spent $9 million in travel and entertainment related expenses in 2010.” For the complete list explaining where your funds are being spent, click here.

     
  • drdianehamilton 1:00 pm on May 17, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , , ,   

    Marketers Target Impatient Customers through Smartphone Quick Response QR Codes 

     

    Quick Response or QR codes are the latest bar code system that allows customers to use their smartphones to obtain discounts, gather information and even order products ahead of time so that they are ready upon their arrival.  For an instant gratification generation, these new codes can connect customers to products faster than ever before.

    Companies are putting these codes in their advertisements and on their products so that customers can scan them with their smartphones and gather more information, find out about discounts or even order the product.  Although these codes aren’t that new, companies are starting to use them more due to the increased frequency of consumers using smartphones. 

    It’s simple to install an app on a phone. In fact some even come with the app pre-installed.  Wall Street Journal reported, “Scanby Inc., a New York company that develops and manages QR codes, estimates that 30 million people in the U.S. have a code-reader app on their phone.”

    Companies like Ethical Bean are taking advantage of the code to get their coffee products into their customers’ hands more quickly.  Customers simply need to order their coffee through the use of these apps and it will be ready when they arrive to pick it up. 

    These apps can also give more information about the products being purchased.  Customers can find out recipes, ingredients and more.  The Wall Street Journal had some statistics about the use of these codes:

    • 32% of consumers in a recent survey said they’ve used a QR code
    • 70% plan to use QR code again or for the first time
    • 53% are motivated to use it by getting a coupon, discount or deal
    • 52% are motivated to use it by getting more information
     
  • drdianehamilton 3:27 pm on May 16, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , Ticker symbol, ,   

    Linkedin Going IPO: Concerns of Its Value Being 200 Times Its Earnings 

     

    On Thursday Linkedin will have the ticker symbol of LNKD.  Linkedin is finally going to become an Initial Public Offering or IPO.  Becoming an IPO means it will be a publically-traded company.  In this case, the company has the hope of raising $274 million.  

    IPO’s have been of concern recently as companies are being valued at far higher levels than they are returning.  If Linkedin is able to price their stock in $32-35 range, that would make their value just over $3 billion.  According to the Wall Street Journal, that is “nearly 200 times last year’s earnings of $15.4 million.”  

    Many companies have been using venture caplitists to fund them until they can go IPO like Linkedin.   However, the dot com crash has had a big impact on how venture capitalists invest in the current market. To understand why, it is important to know a little history about the impact of the Internet and why these investors are leery. For more information about fear of IPOs and over-valued companies, click here.

     
  • drdianehamilton 3:14 pm on May 15, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , , Minnesota,   

    Millennials Hoping for Boomers to Retire 

    Dashboard 1

    A recent article titled Millennials Have Hope: The Boomers Will Retire caught my attention.  The current economy has led to fewer jobs available for a larger potential workforce.  Many people who used to retire in their 60s are continuing to work, making it harder for Millennials to find employment. 

    Younger generations may be obtaining their college degrees in the field in which they would prefer to work, only to find they are taking any position they can get.  According to this article, “Nationally, 13.2 million people are unemployed, and the jobless rate for the under 20 age group is 21 percent – 15 percent for 20- to 24-year-olds. The ratio of unemployed workers to job openings is 4.3-to-1.”

    The author of this article included the chart listed above, which I assume is just for their local area in Minnesota.  However, it gives a good indication of a general timeframe of when the change from predominantly Boomers to Millennials should start to occur.  To read the entire article, click here.

     
  • drdianehamilton 3:29 pm on May 11, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Conversation, , hashtag, , , , Trending topic, , What The Trend   

    How to Find Hashtags on Twitter 

     

    Hashtags are a popular way to start up a conversation about a specific topic within Twitter.  By putting the # sign before a subject, it creates a conversation that others can join.  For example, if I wanted to tweet about plastic surgery, I could include #plasticsurgery within my tweet and it would list my comment on the discussion being held within Twitter about that topic.   As you can imagine, a recent popular hashtag topic was #royalwedding

    The challenge comes with finding all of the conversations you would like to join.  One site that is helpful is called What the TrendMediabistro.com reported, “What the Trend shows you the top hashtag and non-hashtag trending topics. It lists the 10 top trending phrases at any given moment on Twitter, along with a short description of each. Just underneath the written description is how long ago this phrase started trending, and when it received its description. What the Trend also shows you the top trending topics in several geographic areas. You can also view all of the trends from the past 24 hours, and sort by verified trends, explained trends and much more.”

    Trendistic is another site that can tell you just how popular a hashtag is on Twitter.  If you type in the hashtag phrase into their search, it can tell you not only the most recent conversations about that phrase but also how active it has been for the last 24 hours, 7 days, 30 days, 90 days and 180 days. The site also gives embedding information so that you can put their charts on your blog or website.  Check out the right side of the main Trendistic site to see a list of the top trending topics.

     
  • drdianehamilton 12:17 pm on May 11, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , Julia Roberts, Larry Crowne, , , ,   

    You Are Only as Good as Your Last Deal: Top 5 Ways to Avoid Being Expendable at Work 

     

    There is an expression that is often used in sales:  “You are only as good as your last deal.” What is meant by that is that management has a short-term memory and no matter how good you were in the past, they are focusing on what you can do for them right now.  It may seem unfair to those who have worked very hard throughout the years to find out that their jobs may be on the line due to one poor month of performance.  However, this is a reality in this market.

    The new movie, Larry Crowne, with Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts, is about Hanks’ character, a top performing employee who has won the employee of the month something like 8 times.  He is self-confident that management has requested his presence in their office to tell him that he has just won for the 9th time.  Instead, he finds out that they are letting him go due to his lack of a college education. 

    This is a pretty common situation that happens in today’s workplace.  Employees are becoming concerned about keeping their positions.  There are a lot of people with strong work histories out there that are in the market for a job…your job.   There are some important tips to keep in mind when trying to avoid being expendable at work.  These include:

    1. Work harder than your coworkers.  That may seem to be common sense, but it is surprising how many people overlook the fact that they may not be number one in the office.  There is an old expression:  I don’t have to outrun the bear.  I just have to outrun you.  Think of being laid off as the bear and you have to be better than your coworkers to survive.
    2. Multitask.  One way to be more efficient at your job is to multitask.  Some may argue that there is no such thing as true multitasking but there is such a thing as combining small jobs together so that you get more done in less time.  I often share an example with my students of how I would type my call notes while “dialing for dollars” so that I could make twice as many phone calls as my coworkers who waited until the call was completed to type up their notes.  Find ways to combine things like this to be more efficient.
    3. Add value through education.  The Tom Hanks example is a good reason why you should consider furthering your education to compete. You might find that a certification is enough.  You might find that an MBA would add value.  Find the thing that makes you stand out from your fellow coworkers. 
    4. Put in the time.  If you are the last one to get to work and the first one to leave, you may find that management has noticed.  Look around your office and pay attention to who gets there late, who lollygags around and doesn’t work hard.  Put in the hours but also be sure that management sees how hard you are working.  There is no shame in copying them on things that show you have done well.
    5. Work smarter vs. harder.  Some people think that just putting in more work hours means they are working hard.  If you are the guy/gal who plans the plan to plan the plan, then you are not efficient.  A plan is important to keep you on track. Just be sure you don’t spend all of your time planning and none of your time doing. 

    If you do these 5 things, you’ll be well on your way to outrunning your coworkers and avoiding the bear (loss of employment).

     
  • drdianehamilton 8:15 pm on May 10, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Andreessen Horowitz, AQuantive, , EBay, , Janus Friis, , , Voice over IP,   

    Microsoft Buys Skype 

    NEW YORK — Microsoft Corp. said Tuesday that it has agreed to buy the popular Internet telephone service Skype SA for $8.5 billion in the biggest deal in the software maker’s 36-year history.

    Buying Skype gives Microsoft access to a user base of about 170 million people who log in to Skype every month, using the Internet and Skype usernames as a complement to the traditional phone network and its phone numbers.

    For the rest of the article see: huffingtonpost.com
     
     
     
  • drdianehamilton 2:05 pm on May 10, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Bob Newhart, , Danny Gans, Digital Marketing, , John McCarthy, Kenny Loggins, Larry Miller, , Martina McBride, ,   

    Pharmaceutical Representative Jobs Being Replaced by Computers 

    Ask anyone about a pharmaceutical sales job and you are likely to hear something good about it.  People have this conception of the job being glamorous, well-paid and well-respected.  It can be glamorous working in a sales division of a large manufacturing company.  There may be company cars, plenty of perks, some traveling and even entertainment at events.  In my years in pharmaceutical sales, my company paid big bucks at meetings bringing in high end entertainers including:  Bill Cosby, Bob Newhart, Kenny Loggins, Martina McBride, Danny Gans, Harry Anderson, Larry Miller, Huey Lewis and many more.

    Those days of big spending on the sales force are changing.  In fact, the drug makers are not only cutting back on entertaining their sales force, they are actually getting rid of them, replacing them with digital tools.  Wall Street Journal reported, “Tens of thousands of pharmaceutical sales reps have been eliminated in the U.S., creating a void that drug makers are now increasingly filling with websites, iPad apps and other digital tools to interact with doctors who prescribe their treatments.”

    I was going on my 20th year at AstraZeneca when I quit in 2002.  When I first started with the pharmaceutical division of the company in 1987, sales reps didn’t even have computers.  Notes about conversations with doctors were handwritten.  A sales rep was given certain zip codes as their territory and they had a lot of control over their day and how they interacted with doctors. The plan was to call on each doctor once a month and explain the products.

    Fast forward to the early 2000s and by that time, the reps all had handheld computers.  Instead of one representative calling on the doctors once a month, sometimes there were 5-10 representatives all calling on the same doctor with the same message every month.  Somewhere along the way, big pharma management decided that if the doctor heard a message two times, they were more likely to remember it.  That changed to 3 times, 4 times and so on until they hired so many representatives per doctor that when I left, these poor doctors had to listen to the same message delivered to them at least twice a week. 

    It turned doctors off to the idea of a pharmaceutical sales representative calling on them.  Many of them became “no see” doctors which meant they would no longer allow representatives to call on them.  According to the Wall Street Journal, “In 2009, one of every five doctors in the U.S. was what the industry calls a “no see,” … Just a year later, that jumped to one in four.”

    Before I left AstraZeneca, they were already beginning to work on some computer-based sales presentations.  Doctors were not really catching onto that idea a decade ago, but the digital market has become much more popular since then.  The Wall Street Journal reported, “AstraZeneca set up a digital marketing group in 2009 and substantially ramped up its work last year, says John McCarthy, vice president of commercial strategy and operations in the U.S. The group, which is primarily focused on marketing to health-care providers as opposed to consumers, created “AZ Touchpoints,” a website doctors can use to ask questions, order free samples and ask about insurance coverage. The site also contains brochures and other “educational materials” that doctors can print out.”

    What does this mean for the pharmaceutical sales representative job?  “Last year, AstraZeneca said it planned to eliminate 10,400 jobs by 2014, including thousands of sales positions in Western markets. The company said the cuts, amounting to about 16% of its work force, would help it save $1.9 billion a year by 2014.” 

    Looks like I left at the right time . . .

     
  • drdianehamilton 7:28 pm on May 9, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,   

    Fear of Past Dot Com Crash: Venture Capitalists Only Interested in Consumer-Targeted Companies like Facebook or Groupon 

     

    NOBOOM

    The dot com crash has had a big impact on how venture capitalists invest in the current market. To understand why, it is important to know a little history about the impact of the Internet and why these investors are leery.

    The Internet became commercially popular in the mid-1990s.  By 1995, there was an estimated 18 million users on the net.  This led to the creation of online businesses which led to speculation about how big these companies could grow.  The problem came with how much these companies were actually worth vs. how much they were perceived to be worth. 

    What causes a bubble and eventual crash?  When people get excited about a company stock, it can drive the price up but if it inflates to an unrealistic point where investors get wise to the fact that the company can’t be worth as much as they hoped, people bail, sell the stocks, the price drops, and the company crashes. 

    The pain of those dot com crashes are still felt today.  Venture capitalists now may be more hesitant to invest.  Tom Abate with SFGate.com said that venture capitalists in 2000 made about 8000 investments valued at $100.5 million.  “In 1999 and 2000, Wall Street invested in 534 venture-backed initial public offerings.” Those, who cashed in early, made a lot of money.  As large amounts of money were being put into the market and speculation was growing, the bubble was forming.  NASDAQ hit its peak on March 10, 2000 at 513252, only to lose 78% of its value by October, 2002 when it dropped to 11411.

    In 2001-2002 while a lot of companies were over-valued and going bankrupt, people found their stock purchases were not such a great investment.  So now when Facebook and Twitter are considering going IPO it has some potential investors concerned.  This is especially true in the case of Twitter that has yet to publically show their business plan. 

    What has the effect been on venture capitalists investing?  An article in Investopedia stated, “In the year 1999, there were 457 IPOs, most of which were internet and technology related. Of those 457 IPOs, 117 doubled in price on the first day of trading. In 2001 the number of IPOs dwindled to 76, and none of them doubled on the first day of trading.” SFGate.com reported, “In 2008 and 2009, a total of just 18 venture-backed companies went public.”

    Investments have picked up for the consumer-oriented companies like Facebook and Groupon.  However there has been a venture squeeze for companies with business products.  Wall Street Journal reported, “In the first three months of this year, venture-capital investment in consumer tech companies nearly tripled to $874 million from $310 million a year earlier. Meanwhile, investments in tech firms with business products rose at a slower rate to $2.3 billion from $1.9 billion a year earlier.  The shift away from business-oriented technology start-ups has been gathering steam over the past few years. Venture investment into such companies was $11.9 billion in 2010, down 35% from $18.4 billion in 2006, according to VentureSource. The overall number of financing rounds these companies received also dropped 18% to 1,261 during that time.”

     
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