Archive for 'Marketing'

Map Your Fishing Products

Cardinalus’ business is focused on enhancing is clients business value through the incorporation of location technologies.

For recreation, I enjoy flyfishing.  So when I saw how Cheeky Fly Fishing was using maps to help explain the range of fishing reels they offer, I was intrigued.

Cheeky offers a number of fishing reels to suit different fishing environments.  Those environments are location dependent so they use a clever map to illustrate where the reels are best suited – from the mountain streams and ponds, to larger rivers and eventually the open ocean.  By sliding the mouse over the various product labels different regions of the map are highlighted to illustrate the preferred zone for each reel.

Cheeky Reels

The application is effective but certainly not advanced in terms ofdata handling and representation. However it caused me to think about other applications companies might consider to more effectively illustrate their product and service offerings.

A few quickly came to mind:

  • a product manufacturer with a diverse product offering and an extensive distribution network could illustrate on a map both location of distributors but also which of their product line each distributor offers;
  • a retail business with multiple stores within a city or region could leverage real time inventory management and mapping to illustrate which products are available in various store outlets

Those are just a start.  The point is that spatial representation of your company’s product and service data can benefit your customer’s experience.  And that’s a good thing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

GoGeomatics is leading the charge in bringing together the geomatics community in Canada.  While the company’s initial focus has to serve as a bridge between people and job opportunities in the geomatics sector, they are doing much more to promote the Canadian geomatics industry.  Their most recent articles have shone the light on women in the industry providing valuable insights into careers, challenges and opportunities facing women in our business.  Check out their new website – they are developing as an important platform for people and companies in the Canadian geomatics sector.

Opportunity: Geomatics Commercialization

Geomatics Canadian Technology Commercialization

 

 

 

For many geomatics companies the challenges of bringing new innovation to the market can seem insurmountable. If you are an SME and don’t know who Tecterra is you should find out.  Tecterra a Canadian commercialization support program with a mission to help Canadian companies bring innovative geomatics solutions to market.

Small or medium sized geomatics technology company based in the Ottawa area should consider attending a one day event being organized by Tecterra at the end of February that will focus on Investing in Geomatics Innovation.

The event will include several interesting and informative guest speakers (Ed Parsons of Google and General Rick Hillier, Former Chief of the Defence Staff of the Canadian Forces) as well as representatives from Tecterra who will provide information about the various investment and support programs they offer.

The exact date is February 29.  There is no charge for the event but I understand seating is limited so request your invitation early.

Love or hate, award shows are part of our lives.  And in the tech world The Crunchies are the ones to watch when it comes to technology startups and innovation.  With 20 categories, they cover the gamut in the technology world.  That includes startups in the area of Location Based Services.

The 2010 Crunchies Awards have just been handed out.  Among Location Based Services startups, five bubbled to the top based on the opinion of the over 500,000 voters:

This year’s winner being Foursquare.  Runner up was Facebook Places.  Congratulations also to Gowalla, SimpleGeo and Uber.

If you missed the event and still want to watch – check it out here.

Real Estate Gets It – Location is Everything

A recent article in the Financial Post reminds us of what the real estate industry has known for a long time – location is everything.  Many factors influence the price of property but in the end, location is fixed and according to Elton Ash of Re/Max “The location is always critical. The location is directly tied to price. Nothing beats location. Ever.”

So what about other industries?  Absolutely for many.

Geo-industry analysts predict returns to strong economic growth in 2010 for technology companies in the sector while broader based technology gurus are consistently recognizing the importance of location within other technology products and services.  Erick Schonfeld of TechCrunch puts “Geo” in second spot in his prediction of technologies that will have a significant impact in 2010.  He points to the recent Twitter acquisition of Mixer Labs, creator of the GeoAPI as evidence that tech companies see geolocation capability as a must have in their products and services.

My opinion is that increasingly opportunities will exist for geo technology companies to leverage their expertise in markets outside their traditional areas of business.  The challenge will be to identify the real opportunities from the fluff.  Many of the opportunities will look quite different from traditional location based markets and the winners will be the ones who can figure out how to structure themselves to match the market requirements.

Rabkin’s ROI has a great post on the impact new technology has on our “baseline experience”.  Barry Rabkin points out that when new technology is seen to add value to our lives or improve the way we go about our business, a new baseline of expectation is established against which we measure future technology.

His post is a good reminder that disruptive technologies are always changing market expectations.  While we may believe our product is the disruptive one, we can can never lose sight of the reality that our competitors are also responding to changing market conditions.

For companies in the spatial technology world, this change is all too evident.  Particularly as one observes the business of organizations such as Microsoft and Google and others as they continually raise the bar of expectation among consumers with respect to access to spatial information, ease of use, etc.  What was pretty heady stuff a few years ago has now fallen below the threshold of user expectation.

I not sure the saying “a rising tide lifts all boats” is entirely true in a competitive market place but it is clear that even when the bar is being steadily raised by some large market players, opportunity remains for others.  In the spatial technology field we continue to see many companies thrive (not all to be sure) and new companies emerge, set to introduce their own technologically disruptive products and services into the market.

The challenge remains to innovate around sound technology with a sharp eye on what the market requires.  Recognize the market expectation is always changing, don’t forget that your competition is probably gauging the market as closely as you are, anticipate what  they will do and have a plan to deal with it.

In the world of technology, it seems the focus is usually on the early stages of the product lifecycle curve.  While we dream (and hopefully plan) for the point when our product moves beyond the realm of the visionary and early adopters, much of our effort and challenge remains with those early stages.

On June 22, 2009 Kodak announced the end of the line had come for its Kodachrome film products – after a 74 year run.  Amazing.

Kodachrome Announcement

In today’s technological world, to imagine a product life cycle of 74 years is hard.  But Kodak succeeded with Kodachrome for many years..

Marketed to both professional photographers and the rest of us more in the snapshot category, the Kodachrome film products  were known for their vibrant colors, fine grain, sharpness and archival qualities.  For many, it was the film of choice.  The product line made its way into a popular song recorded by Paul Simon in 1973.

In making the decision to discontinue this product line, Kodak indicated that today Kodachrome generated revenues had declined to a fraction of the company’s total revenue.  Its product life cycle peaked in the 1950s and ’60s but as Kodak’s business changed in response to the disruption of digital photography sales declined.

The reality is that the end of the cycle comes for all products.  Often in the technology world, the cycle is disrupted by new innovation and the tail of the curve is cut short.  But for some – like Kodachrome the cycle is long and successful.

For the nostalgic, Kodak has compiled a gallery of iconic images shot with Kodachrome film.

“Kodachrome
They give us those nice bright colors
They give us the greens of summers
Makes you think all the world’s a sunny day, Oh yeah
I got a Nikon camera
I love to take a photograph
So mama don’t take my Kodachrome away”—Paul Simon, 1973