David Byrd : Byrd's Eye View
David Byrd
Chief Marketing Officer for ANPI

Why Pivot?

In business, a pivot is a strategy change (especially in Lean Startup processes). When you look at brick-and-mortar companies like RadioShack,...

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Thoughts on the Industry Right Now

All the forecasts: have any of them been accurate? Or is it just a way to sell reports? If it is,...

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Hosted PBX Sales Increasing

Blame some of it on the TDM-to-IP transition, but a lot of the reason that Hosted PBX sales are increasing is...

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Intel Buys Way into Tablets While $99 may be Microsoft Sweet Spot

Intel recently reported earnings and the takeaway is the company is going to focus more on Android and ramp up subsidies to...

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Why the Fax Isn't As Outdated As You Think

I wrote a blog about faxing a few months ago and got an overwhelming response. Got some comments via email and...

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Camera-Phone Opportunity Exists for Samsung

There exists an opportunity for a superior camera with 10x or greater zoom coupled with the traditional things we are used to...

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Tomorrow is Purchase Google Glass Day!

If you are a wearable tech fan, tomorrow is a big day as you will finally be able to (if you are...

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Plugging Social Media for SMBs

July 7, 2010

Social media has helped revolutionize the way people connect in unforeseeable ways.  10-15 years ago archaic chat boxes peppered AOL accounts as users began interacting with unknown counterparts in the online space.  Today, users utilize their phones, laptops, or tablets, to give their friends and followers up to the second information from anywhere in the world.  In other words "Social Media isn't a fad, it's a fundamental shift in the way we communicate."

As Social Media has moved into the main stream, businesses have been finding ways to monetize these tools to increase retention and customer interaction.  It is now desirable to have a presence on multiple social media services including Facebook, twitter, flickr, LinkedIn, and YouTube, in order to respond to opportunities and concerns that may arise from customers and partners.  Broadvox has established presence on all of these sites to support our product offering and sales. These media services allow unobtrusive access to our clients to let them know the goings on of Broadvox and details pertaining to new products or updates without spamming their inbox with emails.

Our endeavor into the social landscape is still very experimental.  We are continually testing new services and new ways to utilize these platforms to increase our advertising and market share.  We have found that twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube offer the best access to provide information about the company to our VARs and customers.  These 3 websites provide a great avenue for information distribution and interaction.  We have also seen success using Facebook, but Facebook is inherently geared to avoid the business to consumer interaction.  I anticipate in the coming months that Facebook will make major changes to their platform in order to allow businesses greater access to their customer base.  In order to compete with the upcoming Google me social media product, Facebook will have to find new ways to monetize their brand and customer interactions.  By allowing businesses greater direct access to their database, they will be able to stay competitive with Google's ambitious venture into social media.

SEM Campaigns and Tracking

July 2, 2010

Today I will discuss how Search Engine Marketing (SEM) can help our VARs in their marketing efforts.  Please keep in mind that this is not a walkthrough, but some ideas to keep in mind if you are going to attempt your own SEM paid search campaigns in the near future.

When setting up your first SEM campaign you must remember that SEM is a form of "Pay per Click" advertising.  This means that you are placing ads on the search engines and although many people can see those ads, you only pay if your ad is actually clicked.  This type of advertising can be beneficial twofold.  First, if your ad receives a click, it means that you're getting your message across and have the potential to land new business.  Second, even if a person doesn't click your ad, they still saw your ad or in web parlance generated an impression.  This helps to build long term branding for your company and help associate you with larger competitors who may be spending greater sums on advertising. 

Another benefit of search engine marketing is scalability.  Google, Yahoo, Bing and the other search engines have created an advertising platform that is scalable from a 10-mile radius to global advertising.  This is very beneficial.  Campaigns can be created to only show up locally or regionally and gear a message to a specific area or audience. This provides an advantage over others that are peppering the entire nation with advertising.  Another option is to utilize the "long-tail" approach for generating online leads.  This concept consists of adding more specific terms to the search campaign to lower the cost and execute GEO targeting.  For example, instead of the key term "business voip" or "hosted voip" you would incorporate a location such as "business voip dallas" or "hosted voip dallas".

SEM...Pay to Play; Is It Worth It?

June 30, 2010

Search Engine Marketing, unlike SEO, is a paid approach to search engine advertising.  Companies pay the major search engines for placement in the sponsored links sections typically on the top and right hand side of the search engine results pages (SERPs).  The placement of a company's sponsored ad depends on a Quality Score derived by the search engines based on the quality of content on the company website, the context of the ad, and the amount a company is willing to pay per position. For the most part, the business model works well for the search engines, advertisers, and potential customers.  Unfortunately, there are a couple of glaring issues with search engine marketing.

The first issue with SEM is that there is a 95 character limit on ads for paid search.  It is nearly impossible to offer product differentiation from company to company when confined to 95 characters.  This makes ad copywriting a very creative and difficult task, as you need to find a way to provide relevant information as well as your value prop in a very confined space.  To add a little perspective, twitter, which some view as restrictive, allows a tweet to be up to 140 characters.

The second, more issue with SEM is the persistent rise in cost per lead acquisition.

EVOO and SEO

June 28, 2010

I came up with the title for this blog before I began cooking this weekend. I had only one task. Create a dish where extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) was the star. However, fate decided differently.

Grilled Stuff Pork Chops

June 28, 2010

Ingredientsnocoupons

  • 4 double thick bone-in loin end pork chops
  • 3 tablespoons salt
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 quarts water or apple juice
  • 4 ounces Pepperoni
  • 4 ounces mozzarella cheese
  • 2 ounces pickled jalapeno peppers
  • 4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

 

Directions

In a plastic container put the salt, lemon juice and apple juice.

SEO, SEM, Social Media sells IP

June 25, 2010

It has been at least a year since I discussed the need to expand your marketing efforts to include more on line elements. Most of the Broadvox VARs are SMBs and have few, if any, resources to expand their online efforts. However, the world has changed a lot and there are many ways that a SMB can inexpensively gain a better understanding and strategy to improve their online marketing efforts. The number of consultants has increased, as well as both their skill sets and potential incompetence.

IPv6 Pushes to the Forefront

June 23, 2010

Last year some estimates for running out of IPv4 based addresses was placed in 2012. Today as a result of a huge increase in demand by Asia for Internet numbers John Curran, CEO at the American Registry for Internet Numbers is moving the date to as early as mid next year. In any case, ISPs and companies that have put off preparing for IPv6 will have to do so quickly. Moreover, they will need to support it and IPv4 for many years until the older addressing scheme is phased out.

Simply a Grilled Cheese Sandwich and SIP

June 21, 2010

One of the simplest things to make is a grilled cheese sandwich. Yet, many of you wait until you go to a Mexican restaurant to have a quesadilla, a grilled cheese sandwich. The only difference is the use of tortillas versus sliced bread. I have chosen to provide you with a basic recipe that calls for chicken, steak or shrimp.

The Third Way Moves Forward

June 18, 2010

Yesterday the FCC voted to issue a Notice of Inquiry (NOI) regarding the application of some elements of Title II of the Communications Act to ISPs. With the courts having determined that the FCC cannot apply net neutrality under currently defined regulatory boundaries, it has decided to ask for a restructuring that may save or destroy the progress and innovation of IP communications in the US.  It may save it by assuring ISPs cannot arbitrarily affect various applications or competitive products traversing their networks. It may destroy it by causing the same ISPs to determine they cannot afford to expand their networks if they cannot manage negative traffic impacts.

AT&T is threatening to halt or slow the rollout of U-verse IPTV and Verizon has joined them in complaining that the Third Way is unfair and unnecessary. A few weeks ago, I noted that AT&T has asked to decommission their TDM network within ten years.

BP and IP

June 16, 2010

As I sat this morning watching the live feed of the oil unleashed by British Petroleum (BP) in the Gulf of Mexico, I wondered about the role of IP communications in the event. Certainly, the reason that I can see the oil gushing out of the earth is because of the Internet. Most of what I read about the tragedy comes via Internet news sites and other IP sources. But, what role on a daily basis does the technology play?

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