Category Archives: NZ Business

Queenstown Police use Facebook to arrest burglar



Recently the Queenstown Police’s investment in social networking paid off. A burgler stole some goods on 12 Jan 2009, his picture from security camera footage was uploaded to Facebook and he was arrested the next day.


Click here to read the Police’s official post thanking people who helped them. Also notice the timestamp on the post (4:21pm).

The implications of this event are quite significant. For a start, it is quite clear that government agencies are really beginning to tap into social media and are actively using it.

There are also loss of privacy implications, and we will now see the emergence of private personal networks.

Article on All Facebook providing more detailed analysis.


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Filed under Media, NZ Business, online PR, Social Networking

Great Google – World Bank mash up

As I was doing a research for my “Are we in a recession” post, I came across this great little utility from the World Bank.

They have mashed up their geo-data with Google maps to show users how to do business in different marketplaces.

Have a look

It really brings their information to life, for example I did a search to see which country was the easiest to “Get credit” in .. doh!

Really illustrates the point.

In addition to this, they also have another mash-up that shows the work that they are doing around the globe –



The feature I liked best was being able to pull up snapshot data by clicking on a country. The information is a little out of date (from 2006) but now that they have the structure, keeping it up to date should not be such a big deal I hope.

Update :

Actually the information is of varying age. When selecting more information relating to “Getting Credit”, it took me to this site which has information on the NZ credit market from 2008.


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Filed under NZ Business

Direct Response Radio to Internet advertising – does it work?

I was driving along today and got stuck in traffic. Getting stuck in traffic is very rare as I don’t drive around all that much.

I decided to turn on the radio to listen to traffic reports. The first thing that hit me was an ad-break advertising a number of products and services. Apparently it is true, you can automatically tune them out.

But then I heard something very interesting .. or rather I didn’t.

I was expecting to hear a call to action like, call this 0800 number now. Instead, the ads’ sole call to action was visit a website.

They repeated the web address three times, and I thought I had remembered it.

Got to my desk to type it in, and experienced a blank.

Next step, do a Google search, but now I couldn’t remember the name of the company and so I couldn’t remember what to search for!

So why would you spend all that money making an ad, putting it on the radio and then having me forget ?

Well a couple of things struck me :

  1. It was smart to drive all the traffic to a website as it means there is no extra expense of having a telephone centre to respond to the calls
  2. There was a wasted opportunity by not reminding listeners that they could search for the product if they forgot the web address
  3. Radio is a great direct response (DR) generator, but you have to allow the consumer to react to it immediately otherwise they will forget.

This got me to thinking about how I would have changed the ad to make it more effective.

My solution, get them to TXT a number in response to the ad and allow the advertiser to make a call back. There are three key benefits to this approach:

  • Interested consumers can act on the ad instantly
  • The TXT engine will send them a TXT back thanking them for their interest and giving them the web address in the message
  • The lead can be actively followed up with a phone call.

[insert clever flow diagram when I get graphics package]

For a small business owner this is a perfect solution for lead generation and management.

OK so it might increase the cost by requiring a follow up, but it will be more effective in the long run.

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Filed under Media, Mobile, NZ Business

QuoteIT : a great idea for NZ business

I recently subscribed to the QuoteIT service, to test how many people would use the web to get quotes for service

The concept behind QuoteIT is really simple, allow businesses to register on the website for $50 +GST. The registration allows the company to select which business categories they belong to.

In the case of SPHILO, I selected “graphic desgin, web design, Internet marketing, email marketing, strategy and a few other terms”.

In the past 8 weeks the QuoteIT system has delivered over 25 leads, of which 10 have been good quality. In addition to this, the system allows the user to directly make contact witth the customer via email. This means that a quote request can be recieved, responded to and accepted within a matter of minutes – without the need for phone call!

What this really means though is that the Internet has definitely come of age in New Zealand. With over a million people subscribed at one point or another through Trade Me, we can now be confident that B2B transactions over the web are here to stay.

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Filed under NZ Business, strategy