SWOT #19: Free WiFi, Pay Walls and New EU Directives

Sean's Week On Twitter 

As the world gets ever more mobile it is creating a fantastic opportunity for businesses.

Consumers are using their phones to find their way around more, and to communicate with others about where they are and what they are doing, leaving a rich trail of marketing data.

Both Starbucks and John Lewis (in the UK) have announced they are enabling free WiFi access and Heineken are working with pubs in London to provide access at over 100 outlets.

They are not doing this as a favour, but because they are aware of the opt-in data they can collect at the point of access. In addition to the rich consumer conversations and free real-time marketing it gives them on Social Networks.

Most of this information is available to businesses of all sizes free of charge, all you have to do is two things:

Join the platforms that your customers are using to communicate; Facebook, Foursquare, Twitter, Google+Enable them to access the Internet close to, or on, your premises.

So if you have a physical location that your customers visit, open up your WiFi to maximise your marketing potential. It’s virtually free!

Something else that is free is Sean’s Week On Twitter. In SWOT #19 I have 5 more picks from the best links I have shared on Twitter for you. All comments welcome as usual:

I know, yet another Social Network, but this one is different, I promise. Based around interests rather than people; the idea is that you follow topics and get to see updates from a wide range of people submitting updates around the topic. It’s prinicpal is similar to Facebook Groups, but better executed, and like doing a Twitter search on a Keyword, but with richer results. Early days, but an opportunity to establish yourself as a key contributor on a specific topic.

Google are planning some updates to Google Reader that will make content curation easier for all those that use it in their workflow.

They are updating everything else so why not? A new version of Gmail is due soon which will bring it inline with redesigns to other Google platforms.

Member countries have some new rules to negotiate in the next couple of years, when it comes to trading online. As well as banning pre-ticked boxes on online forms, any online purchases will be able to be cancelled within 14 days for a full refund. The aim is to prevent checkout trickery whereby some companies are stealthily selling additional services through the checkout process. In my view a welcome ruling, one of few to come out of Brussels.

Charging for content works. Well what a surprise; whilst many thought that raising pay walls would kill the online newspaper industry it seems that the New York Times are getting the formula right. Giving away enough free content to entice subscribers in for a more detailed view, and turning their third quarter into $15 million profit following the previous quarters loss.

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