When Did Apple Become Boring? (Or) More Reasons Why I’ll (NOT) Buy The iPhone 4 SE

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We want expandable storage

Storage is not as expensive as it used to be. So why charging the premium for the experience Apple? A product’s price shouldn’t increase just because of the storage it boasts, this type of marketing is so yesterday.

We want better batteries
I think I got two powerbanks preventing my phone to go off, some have more. This is a cons of the new Galaxy S7, if Samsung brought swappable batteries back it would have nailed it.

We want waterproof
It rains in tropical countries…a lot! We are walking on rough terrains…a lot!
So yeah, please, make the phone’s glass stronger and bring us real waterproof. Nobody wants to put their phones aside and wait to buy a plane ticket to repair their phones to your ‘far away’ store.

The future of computing?
To whom? There’s no USB ports on the iPad, you can’t plug external hard drive. As a professional, you can’t even get the full software experience, like on Windows 10. It’s even harder to make it part of your workflow because you are always struggling on how you’d be sharing the stuff you’ve created without relying on an inexistent fast internet connection.

In conclusion, users don’t want to change their gadgets every year. The ‘there’s-an-app-for-everything’ thrill is gone. People want now to make stuff. They want stable and lasting solutions for their needs. Unlike Samsung, Apple has shown that listening to its customers’ wants is really not part of their strategy. It wasn’t all dark, interesting battles were addressed at this event like revolutionising health care or fixing the environment issues. But stagnant design, aging product lines –Macs, my finger is pointing at you– can’t cut it anymore. Assuming that the emerging countries will be your next milk cow by serving them better specs in micro waved products will only drive you to the gutter. May be it’s time for a profound change of the iOS system.

I’ll not upgrade to the new iPad Pro because I think that Microsoft’s Surface Pro line brings more things to the table in terms of productivity and desktop replacement, I wish the new Galaxy TabPro S got more powerful specs. On the smartphone side, I’ll also wait for the new Galaxy Note 6, hoping it will keep the same interesting features that Samsung –finally– delivered to the Galaxy S7.

Your share! What will be your next mobile device purchase and how this Apple’s event make you feel?  Let me know in the comment section below.

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16 Best Practices To Increase Your Social Media Engagement (Part II)

* Read about the ’16 Best Practices To Increase Your Social Media Engagement (Part I)’ in a new tab first


12-Master the hashtags
Hashtag rule Instagram and Twitter. Find what hashtags are running in your niche, and add them to your posts. Don’t put more than two or three hashtags, at the risk of sounding like a presenter on The Shopping Channel.
13-Ask politely
Great appraisals on your work i.e. testimonials, heartwarming messages will come your way. And you’ll want to use them in your social media marketing materials. Nothing wrong about that but ask the person’s permission first. Make sure to hide his/her name and profile pic if you are not really sure of the outcome. It’s common to quote people on Twitter, but not that easy on Facebook.


14-Get those emails
An email is personal, it’s like a phone number. People will stay away from social media for a while but how long can they avoid their mailbox? You need emails to build your list, send invitations, or just say hello. Your marketing depends on it: ask for the emails.


15-You have something to say
Social media is a lot about trials and errors. I think everybody got something interesting to say, I’m a big fan of great stories, so are you. Don’t belittle yourself


16-Pick your poison, to each his own
I don’t like Snapchat, it took me a week to test it and I uninstalled it right after. The app was opening on my face every time, and I always had to shut down the camera to get down to the chat part. My thoughts afterwards: “this is an app for people with big ego”. Maybe I’m wrong. Pinterest? It’s a huge source of inspiration for me and a great mood board. Pick your favorite platform and stick to it.

 

In conclusion, no matter what you do, it’s vital nowadays to keep the conversations going and using the same courtesy rules of the real world on social media. When you’ll stop communicating, you’ll lose your mojo. I like to stay organized and track my discussions by using Nimble. It’s a CRM which keeps all your social media conversations in one place. A great follow up tool!
Your share! Let me know about your tips to leverage your conversations and keep an high engagement level in your social media strategy


About the author:
Lionel Thomas is the founder of KILIFORI, a creative agency dedicated to helping businesses from both Africa and further afield to meet their marketing goals by telling their stories in a simple, uncluttered way that allows the most important elements to rise to the surface. His approach is distinguished by a passion for stories, drawing, photography, design and interactive media. 

How To Specialize When The Demand Is Everywhere?

I was having this great discussion with an african friend of mine, and it was based around this book from Alan Dib called ‘The 1-Page Marketing Plan’. I started with a simple question and it went like this:

Me: ‘You know what? I don’t understand, since I started this agency 3 years ago, I’ve touched every field: health, construction, education, food, coaching, even wedding! I could barely reject these projects by saying ‘hey i’m a specialist in that _____ field’…what if I wanted more specialisation in my business?’

Friend: ‘I think that, when you are in the communication business, you shouldn’t specialise! Especially when the market is very open like this: in Cameroon (and that’s the case for most african countries), the government IS the biggest client, and there are very few private businesses. The government which got every needs you can imagine. They just need to free up some cash in their budget for the corruption part. That’s it. Oh, the government is also the slowest buyer/payer. Why should they specialise?’

‘Let’s put it this way, if you have a heart disease will you go see a doctor or heart surgeon?’

‘You go check the doctor first, who’ll lead you to the surgeon…but if there are no doctors you’ll never know about your heart condition.’

‘You got a point, but you know the first signs of a heart problem, so no need for doctors basically when you got the specialist’s number.’

‘In most cases, you die before you get to see the specialist…generalists don’t exist, you should be one of them.’

I think this is the problem we have in African emerging countries, you’ll meet business owners who are running multiple businesses in one, who want/need multiple solutions to solve their problems. The consumers are not really at the heart of their strategy, money is…by any means. How not to be a jack of all trades to survive in such an unstable business environment?

Image copyrights Winston Scully

5 Succesful Ways To Build Your Website

 
You are about to step out of your car. Suddenly you catch an interesting show on the radio. You don’t even realize that your hand is still on the key, the door is half open, winter   breeze bites you, you start getting cold, you don’t care. You hear the host’s voice but you don’t  get his name. The topic is great, he speaks the right words with the right tone and pace that makes you want to stay there forever. A voice in your head forces you to ‘turn it off now, or you’ll be late to work!’. Later in the evening you’ll try to download the entire show in your iPod and will finally get the name you was searching for, Google it, Like his page on Facebook, Follow him on Twitter. You’re a fan! And the podcast is still playing.

You know this scenario very well, right?  Great content sell product and services like crazy.  As a matter of fact, you’ve been sold. Remember, you heard it on the radio first, and opened your web browser, searching. What if it all started on a website. Your website?  These are the 5 ways leading to a succesful online experience.

1- Plan ahead

People invited on talk shows are there for a reason, they know what to say and how to say it. They rehearse their content, like a basketball player rehearsed his shots until it becomes second nature, you need to get your content right. Who are you going to talk to?  What are their problems?  Do you have the solutions? How are you going to make them feel better? 

2- Know yourself

Nobody is like you nor want to be like you. You are different. Get the idea that you are ‘just’ a professional among others out of your head. If you don’t tell the stories your way, you’ll become a commodity. By knowing yourself you’ll attract the right type of customers for your business. You’ll also have the courage to say no and set your boundaries. It seems obvious, but hard to put it to action. Your website is you, your business.

3- Design sells

Design is not about things looking nice but how they work. Where is the spirit that your logo and graphic charter should convey? It’s story. The colors on your site mean something. And you have to know what they mean to ‘you’. Same for the typefaces. Look for the details. Test things out: if this paragraph was shorter and placed elsewhere? Is this photo tue right one to tell my story? Shall I crop it, make it bigger?

4- Make it simple

Simple doesn’t mean cheap or easy. If you can’t find a talk show episode on a radio’s website and download its podcast easily, if you can’t find the ‘Post A New Thread’ button on a forum, it’s going to be a painful experience and you’ll use the ‘Contact us’ form to vent your frustration. Put yourself in your audience’s shoes.

5- Great content is in the journey

Sometimes you’ll not be in the mood for blogging, your promotion footage will suck and will need more edits, your Facebook post will not perform well. Great content is about trials and errors. It takes years and a lot of practice to nail it. Your website is just the tip of the iceberg. Content is key. Your website is the case, please make it awesome.
Most entrepreneurs got it all wrong when they bring their online presence up. They think it’s all about putting things out quickly, using free or cheap online publishing tools. They skip the fundamentals of design, marketing and positioning. They don’t think about great experience. They hope that using shortcuts, it might do the trick. Oh! If it was that easy! I often hear this ‘we are short on the budget’. No, maybe you are short of ideas, that’s normal. But just because the money runs short when you start building a house doesn’t mean you have to find shortcuts to finish it. Pause the construction. Spare the money. Finish the house like you planned. A house is never finished anyway…