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Stupid billboard – or key differentiator?

Every day on my way to work, I pass a big billboard for St. Elizabeth’s Hospital. Included on this big billboard is a big digital clock which proudly announces the hospital’s current emergency room wait time.

My first thought – do they really pay somebody to update that thing?

If you’re badly injured or your wife is in labor, you don’t shop around for the best ER wait time. You go to the place you know, the place closest to you, or wherever the EMT takes you.

I hastily dismissed the billboard as “stupid.”

I’d like to take it back.

Boston has an abundance of quality medical institutions. In More >

TSA – Not So Bad

Like several million other travelers, I was dreading my trip to the airport last week. I had no real desire to have my pseudo-naked body show up on someone’s screen, and my privacy fly out the window.

And while I love to be right, I was wrong. The TSA squad was well-behaved, and JetBlue lived up to its reputation of putting customers first. Now Boston’s not exactly known for down-home friendly chatter between strangers, but people were noticing, and they were happy.

By Saturday night, when I got home, foursquare was filled with happy travelers. I didn’t bother to join the chorus, but count me More >

When Marketing Hits the Supply Chain Failure: Not There Yet

There’s a lot written in the supply chain world about sales and operations planning. About the need for marketing and the supply chain to work together so customers get what they’ve believe they’ve been promised. So much of it focuses on making sure that manufacturing can ramp to meet whatever demand marketing drives, but what about that last mile – the actually delivery of the product? Thanks to Apple, I just learned how hard it is for a company to execute on that piece – especially when we’re talking about delivery outside the U.S.

A recent effort to purchase and ship an iPad to China More >

Be Careful What You Promise. (Especially When You’re Marketing.)

So here’s a little story about retail, and how our expectations place ‘unfair’ burdens on anyone selling – but too bad. That’s how it is. Because as buyers – whether it’s IT or consumer goods – we’re coming to expect convenience and customization. And the details had better hold up – at any price.

Scene 1. The New York Times promotes a gallery of art photos, because apparently the newspaper business isn’t so hot lately. I’m ready to buy, until The Times decides that it knows what size is good for me. But I want it big. Expectations: Unmet.  Postscript: the photog I really like has his own More >

Can a Phone Be Female?

A recent study out of the UK shows men are much more likely than women to purchase Google’s smartphone, the Android. Lady Geek, a company dedicated to helping businesses sell technology to women, partnered with market intelligence firm You Gov Sixth Sense, and asked more than 78,000 phone customers in the UK about their phone preferences. Less than 5 percent of the women surveyed said they would purchase a Droid.

This data is in line with the Mobile Metrics Report from AdMod released earlier this year that revealed 73 percent of Android users were men whereas gender breakdowns of other More >

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