Bou Le Fou

…und der Himmel ist Blau!

Tag: Lebanon

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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F in Exams

Not to be on the dramatic side of having failed an exam, everyone has been there.

You prepared well for your exam, reviewed twice(the maximum I have reached) your study book – cover to cover, had your mum’s zaatar sandwich(dry thyme, sumac, toasted sesame seeds & olive oil) to “help you” stay vigilant while studying and to stimulate your brain during the exam, prayed the entire rosary for the first time in years and had your mum build a shrine in ur room, with candles & bakhour(incense) burning in the background. No, this is not a voodoo session but I enjoyed the outcome of it all: breakfast, snacks, lunch, fruits, dinner, desserts & tea. All delivered briskly and lovingly to wherever I was studying: bedroom, living room, roof, kitchen, balcony, neighbors, garden & often the mountains.

Please note that studying for exams would bring everything to a halt at home. There was this bold unwritten rule while we had exams: no works should be done, no loud TV/Radio, dare anyone honk, never ring the door bell, only knock the door, parents go hush hush & we were able to use the home phone for as long as we wanted under the excuse of “it was a classmate on the other side of the line”.

Armed with a holy yellow candle your aunt lit for Saint Rita & Mar Charbel the entire day on your honor, you sit for your exam ready to take on the unexpected, freeze when you receive the papers and then go blank! Classic fail!

Here is a book F in Exams by Richard Benson. It is a combination of extremely amusing & laughable wrong exam answers given by students and apparently an all American bestseller! No doubt! :-D

Here are my favorite snaps of my favorite pages.

F In Exams by Richard Benson.
Answers that cracked me up!
How close to math is this?
Can’t get funnier!

Have you ever failed an exam? what exam was it? and what was the most stupid answer you gave or thing you did during an exam?

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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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My Inspirational Top 10 Books on Desserts & Sweets

 A good friend of mine always mentioned that he have never met a cookie he did not like! Those Top 10 books explain why! I have taken a picture (above) of the best ten books I own that inspired me all this while. Sticky, crumbly, chewy, baked or frozen, desserts are highly satisfying & gratifying. […]