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The Business of Hotel Wifi

Published by on Jul 22nd, 2013, 2 Comments

hotel-wifi

I recently went to an event launching WiFi at all Tsogo Sun properties around the country. Press release blurb starts here:

In its ongoing quest to create great experiences, Tsogo Sun has installed high speed quality connectivity Wi-Fi in all its hotels that is free up to a varying data limit per room per day, depending on which grade of hotel the guest is staying in.

 

In Tsogo Sun’s Deluxe hotels, 750MB is free per room per day to in-house guests; in Southern Sun hotels, the cap is 500MB per room per day; in Garden Court hotels, the cap is 350MB per room per day; and in StayEasy hotels, the cap is 250MB per room per day. In all the hotels, these data limits are limited to a maximum of three devices per room. The free high speed, quality connectivity Wi-Fi service was launched in Tsogo Sun hotels at the start of June 2013, setting a new Wi-Fi standard in the hospitality industry in South Africa.

I think it’s a great move by Tsogo and while it might initially be painful it’s a step in the right direction. Tweeting about this led to an interesting debate: surely WiFi in a hotel is akin to having towels? Well the counter argument has two points: (more…)

Uber coming to SA – an Uber Bad Idea?

Published by on Jul 4th, 2013, 6 Comments

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A recent job posting by Uber.com shows the service is coming to both Cape Town and Joburg according to this job posting. If you’re like me you’re probably thinking: “what the hell is Uber.com?” Here are the details:

Uber is a venture-funded startup company based in San Francisco, California that makes a mobile application that connects passengers with drivers of luxury vehicles for hire. The company arranges pickups in the San Francisco Bay, New York City, Los Angeles, Seattle, Chicago, Boston, Washington, D.C., Toronto, Paris, Berlin, Philadelphia, Dallas, San Diego, Amsterdam, Atlanta, Denver, London, Melbourne, Minneapolis–Saint Paul, Munich, Baltimore Phoenix, Stockholm, Sydney, Baltimore, Detroit, Milan, Sacramento, Rome and Singapore.

Uber drivers have cars such as Lincoln Town Cars, Cadillac Escalades, BMW 7 Series, and Mercedes-Benz S550 sedans. Cars are reserved by sending a text message or by using a mobile app. Using the apps, customers can track their reserved car’s location.

Uber has indicated it is planning to expand operations to include non-taxi ridesharing in the near future.

Considering they’re taken the service to large parts of America, Europe, Australia and some parts of Asia I guess they’ve run out of places to try market the service. It’s great to see a massive startup looking at South Africa and Africa as a whole to enter however I wonder if someone forgot to do their homework. While it’s technologically a great product (you hail a car with your phone) and it’s going to be a good employer for drivers and the tech industry I’m skeptical. (more…)

The Business of iOS7

Published by on Jun 20th, 2013, 2 Comments

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October 2012, Apple reaches it’s highest price of over $700 a share. Today, it’s currently hovering around $430.

Two weeks ago we saw the announcement of iOS 7. Reactions are mixed, some people love the new look and others think it’s a candy coloured mix of chaos. My favourite commentary on iOS 7 has to be the Matt Gemmell post where he puts the iOS 6 and iOS 7 next to each other for this image:

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The two weeks I’ve had with the operating system have left me extremely confused. It’s pretty but ironically very cluttered and since it’s still a beta the OS is very buggy as is expected. iOS 7 feels like someone smashed iOS 6, Android and Windows Phone 8 together in a blender and the resultant flurry is iOS 7. I’m not mad over it and those who are comfortable with iOS 6 (read between the lines: old people) are going to hate it for being quite different visually. (more…)

Often I really hate Twitter

Published by on May 29th, 2013, No Comments

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I often think to myself: “what did I do before Twitter when I’m bored?”

The truth is, the 140 characters of time wasting are great to keep you busy and entertained however I can’t help but find complete disdain for the sins performed on Twitter. I will now demonstrate these sins with my own examples:

  • Sin 1: “My life is so f*&king awesome:

This was me posting a picture of spending a Friday in a small plane. Why… I want to look awesome.

  • Sin 2: “Here’s an article I think will make me look smart”: (more…)

The Advertising / Revenue Link

Published by on Apr 4th, 2013, No Comments

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If you’re not reading Asymco for insight into the business behind mobile technology you’re missing out. Writer and analyst Horace Dediu put a great tweet out earlier today about the marketing spend of some of the worlds biggest retail companies:

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Interesting to see that Samsung spends the most although this does make sense in that they’re advertising everything from the latest Galaxy phone to a TV or laptop (for full info on what falls under Samsung Electronics click here). These are interesting numbers but nothing without context. Twitter user @Chiphanna went and ran these numbers in order to compare marketing spend vs revenue and came up with some interesting figures:

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Essentially for every dollar Apple spends on marketing, they make $156 in revenue. Compare that to Samsung that have to spend a dollar to only make a  relatively low $46 in revenue and you wonder if someone like Samsung is doing something wrong? (more…)

Blogging and Disclosure – Is it Necessary?

Published by on Mar 27th, 2013, No Comments

DisclosureIn America the Federal Trade Commission have come out with some interesting rules on the disclosure required by bloggers and twitter users that are seeded free “stuff”. Locally we have no such regulations and it’s interesting to see what sort of regulations have been put forward:

  • Where and how to disclose: As far back as 2009, the FTC was already publicly recommending that disclosures not be buried at the bottom of a post or on a separate page
  • The disclosure needs to travel with the content: The disclosure must be in every Tweet. You can’t tweet a single disclosure that covers the whole conversation; there is no guarantee that readers will see the disclosing statement. The hashtag #spon is not sufficiently clear. The word “ad” is sufficiently clear, but needs to be in a prominent place. The FTC also suggests not using a #ad hashtag after a URL or shortlink as it could be overlooked.
  • Longer disclosure required: When an advertising claim merits a longer disclosure than is practical for the format, a hyperlink to additional information is acceptable, provided that anything material, or “triggering” is included in the original advertisement and the link is clear and conspicuous. In other words, you cannot bury CRITICAL disclosures in hyperlinked pages, but you can provide additional details.

(more…)

Dropping 8ta is a Great Move by Telkom

Published by on Mar 4th, 2013, 3 Comments

8taAPPThere’s been a lot of talk about Telkom dropping the 8ta brand despite pushing millions into marketing the brand. Respected brand journalist Chris Moerdyk essentially says this is the biggest mistake Telkom has made in ages.

Chris is quite patently wrong. Yes, Telkom have plowed tons of money into the brand and it’s now a waste but the truth is that 8ta is actually a terrible brand. It’s confusing, the colours are frankly quite heinous and their stores are clinical.

Telkom is also a crap brand but the truth is that 8ta is actually a decent mobile network. Their data is well priced and they are the cheapest for phones such as the iPhone 5.

In addition, Telkom users can now get add on data or voice contracts on their current account without extra credit checks and hassles. Telkom has suddenly expanded their footprint for walk in stores or, in the case of both stores being in a mall, save costs. Let’s not even get into the concept of business customers who now have the ability to bolt on a cheap contract to their ADSL or voice line.

The Twitterari, tech journalists and marketing consultants might think this a bad idea but they’ve clearly never been into a Telkom store during the day. It’s busy, it’s chaos and it’s an amazing opportunity for Telkom to suddenly tell the general public that they happen to have a mobile network.

(more…)

When Bad People happen to Great Brands

Published by on Feb 27th, 2013, 9 Comments

bad-employee

We live in South Africa, a country where labour is cheap and readily available. We also routinely complain about poor service in South Africa. The connection here is that since labour is so cheap it’s easier to constantly hire people, give them minimal training and then set them loose on the hordes that will enter your stores.

You’re essentially stocking your store with cattle that are unable to answer any questions but will work for the lowest common denominator salary.

A perfect example is almost any technical store. I’m not exactly expecting a salesperson to know the manufacturer of a motherboard but I do want them to avoid telling gullible customers that the iPad Mini has a retina display. I also find it fairly amusing that most iStore employees have Blackberry’s.

This isn’t a fringe case though; most store attendee’s have little care of empathy for their customers. They’re doing a job and they only care about a paycheck at the end of the month. That said, is it the fault of the store attendants or is this an issue that stems from the top? (more…)

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