Bou Le Fou

…und der Himmel ist Blau!

Category: Bulletin

It Doesn’t Always Take a Book to Understand the Title

Inspired by the Social Media Week – Beirut.(Yes already)

While the world has already moved towards facts, figures, studies, results & analytics; in Lebanon, marketers, panels & social media experts are still delving deep on personal thoughts, ideas and on “Our Father, Who Art in heaven”.

ROI, SMM, SEO, Crowd Sourcing, Converging, Readiness, and dearly so many other words that dominated nearly every other presentation but lacked every other number to back up what’s been said, made it clear that we are not on top of it.

At the Business Social Media Readiness 90:10ME presentation, the audience have had an extensive array of detailed  & credible insights, trends, facts and figures. However none was relevant. Why? It measured the U.S.A. market. The purpose of social media lies in its definition and is related to the society in which its members are communicating. A fact that keeps the Lebanese market, businesses and their readiness lacking behind the technology and its attributes and enjoying only international market’s left over successes. Yet another profitable opportunity in the drain.

On the other hand, Nokia Team managed to live up to what was promised in the title. Mainly based on insights, the “Thinking Global, Acting Local” presentation offered a concrete evidence of their consumer power in the Lebanese & regional market. A power that reflected a confident presence that was slightly disturbed by Ralph Nader’s ill use of the 
wireless presentation remote control. A fun fact that did not deter the team from presenting us with their latest in harboring talents and providing them tools and knowledge to develop applications that suit the region’s needs, wants and demands.

As for the Beyond Web 2.0 with Berytech Entrepreneurs, the panel tried hard to answer questions about how to evolve & what works in social media. The panel consisting of Makhsoom, WonderEight and Keeward have dodged questions they had no answers about as the Lebanese market is not measured except demographically. Yet, with social media, psychographics are essential and more valuable as trends are fast moving, and capturing value from followers or fans is beyond the age bracket or sex at a certain location. It is as well about how the fans, followers & subscribers, think, behave, react and why.

This short review is not intended to fire at any of the mentioned businesses that managed to break through the Lebanese market. It is only a confirmation of what they are seeking to find out and accomplish, requires a pilot study that would have been a breakthrough if it was executed not only for the Social Media Week but also for the entire Lebanese block.

Have you attended the Social Media Week in Beirut or abroad? What are your thoughts? Please share below.

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Consumers: Your Bread & Olives

A couple of decades ago, it was very common and expected  in Lebanon to share someone’s bread and olives as a sign of commitment particularly when the times got tough.

This very basic form of human relationship is still very much relevant nowadays and will evolve to be a critical aspect of any business’s success as personal interconnections with clients are as essential as your bread & olives in your daily life.

Personal Experience

When I started with my own business, my main focus was the products and how great they were; indeed they were of a high quality with a story behind each item.

After a while, there wasn’t anymore enough words to describe the greatness of these products and it became less appealing and repetitive. I realised I suffered marketing myopia.

Then I turned my attention to our loyal clients and that was a hit! There was no other way to it and I believe that clients are the clue for a guided success. Shifting the company’s focus from product to client was one of the best decision ever taken.

Some clients become your best friends, your inspiration & mainly your bread & olives.

It is very important to hold your clients captive. But remember those are free captives! The moment you start abusing your relationship with them, they will walk out of captivation, freely.

Never share your clients’ details with a third party. It is a better practice to send your newsletters from your own domain rather through a third party website that will sell your database and bombard your clients’ email addresses with irrelevant emails.  Remember, your clients are free to unsubscribe and studies have shown that they will start thinking less of your products and offers. We personally did it through Constant Contact & I recommend it.

Certain clients love personal attention, the others dont! You need to get  to know who you are dealing with, first. Their needs, wants and demands. Not through never ending questionnaires & forms but through genuine conversations that lead to profitable relationships for both. These genuine conversations have to be consistent with ever changing factors such as season, religion, psychological, political, etc.

Never miss an opportunity to engage your clients in a two way conversation. Sometimes, the only thing you have to do is listen effectively.

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Social-ism: in a network near you

Inspired by the U.K riots.

We all know what social networks are and the least knowledgeable of us can cite at least 5 different mediums and platforms from which he or she can throw a revolution. I am not  blabering about Khloe Kardashian hosting a night at the Beatles Revolution CLub, nor about Polo Ralph Lauren dropping the word Polo from its brand name. Instead, in todays world, I call these revolutions: FataDiversions mingling closely with Mental Distress. Not only because it is a global phenomena but also because it is continuous and reoccurring under different names and forms: political, economical, religious & cultural.

According to Merriam-Webster: “Socialism is a stage of society in Marxist theory transitional between capitalism and communism and distinguished by unequal distribution of goods and pay according to work done.”

“Socialism—defined as a centrally planned economy in which the government controls all means of production—was the tragic failure of the twentieth century. Born of a commitment to remedy the economic and moral defects of capitalism, it has far surpassed capitalism in both economic malfunction and moral cruelty. Yet the idea and the ideal of socialism linger on. Whether socialism in some form will eventually return as a major organizing force in human affairs is unknown, but no one can accurately appraise its prospects who has not taken into account the dramatic story of its rise and fall.” by Robert Heilbroner.

Just as socialism failed to sustain countries and governments, lately social networks have shown signs & symptoms of states of illnesses that need to be addressed. One of those issues is morality. If moral reasoning is an individual or a collective practical reasoning about what, morally, one ought to do: start torching neighborhoods and looting while using Twitter & Blackberry messenger to organize, regroup and launch assaults, then I believe social networks have to be closely monitored & controlled as an open source to anything including the bad.

For Britain, with Love.

Effective Communication: A Valuable Beginning

I have always wanted to initiate writing a blog for a while now and I could not find a relevant topic to start with until last night’s dinner with a group of friends inspired this valuable beginning.

According to Merriam-Webster, communication is a process by which information is exchanged between individuals through a common system of symbols, signs, or behavior”.

Hence, effective communication is how well you send & receive those verbal, written or recorded messages and what you make or make not out of it. Good communication is not only essential in our personal lives but also it is invaluable in our professional life as it does offer tangible benefits like:

  • quicker problem solving,
  • increased productivity,
  • steadier work flow,
  • strong personal & business relationships &
  • improved response from everyone around you.

I have always come across communication in the form of sending only or receiving only and this is where unwanted problems arise.

Whether with friends, family or colleagues, ordering food, at the bank or in the office, always allow for a dynamic, two-way process of effective communication. It is common to voice our requests or thoughts, yet it is sheer courtesy to pause for an effective respond.

I have attached this link to light things up: Very Effective Words of Communication!