Tuesday, February 27, 2007


Dr Joe Part 2; Greenspan's Forecast; Agency Clients Unhappy; Meetings Make Us Dumber; Dell to Start Selling Linux

Part 2 of Margie Dana's interview of me has now appeared

Alan Greenspan expects a recession in 2008
"When you get this far away from a recession invariably forces build up for the next recession, and indeed we are beginning to see that sign," Greenspan said via satellite link to a business conference in Hong Kong. "For example in the U.S., profit margins ... have begun to stabilize, which is an early sign we are in the later stages of a cycle. While, yes, it is possible we can get a recession in the latter months of 2007, most forecasters are not making that judgment and indeed are projecting forward into 2008 ... with some slowdown," he said. Greenspan said that while it would be "very precarious" to try to forecast that far into the future, he could not rule out the possibility of a recession late this year.
There's only one good thing about this. Despite his reputation, Greenspan's record as a forecaster was actually quite horrible. Bernanke has had a much better record, though obviously much shorter. The comments about profits are very funny. Since the media portray profits as "bad" perhaps they'll start reporting profits declines as "good" news? :)

Agency clients are more unhappy than anyone imagined, according to a new Forrester study
...a whopping 76% of marketers had no way to determine their return on investment from their lead agencies. Sixty-nine percent said ROI is too difficult to measure.

Spectacular print ads get spectacular results
... when the results are measured as recall. Sales are the best results. Recall is not always what it's cracked up to be. Remember how Alka Seltzer had its famous "I can't believe I ate the whole thing"? The ad was very memorable and won Clio awards, but Alka Seltzer sales went down, and the campaign was pulled (and the Clio rules were changed). Recall is used because the direct attribution of sales to an ad campaign is difficult. This is why there is continually growing emphasis on the use of direct marketing techniques.

Alka Seltzer redid the ad three decades later with Peter Boyle
Boyle died a few months ago, and will always be near and dear to the Webbs because he was "the monster" in Young Frankenstein, the movie we saw on our first date.

There's always David Letterman's famous "Alka Selter suit" from 1984... he stopped being funny a couple of years after that...

Meetings make us dumber
We knew that all along because of this famous Despair.com poster

Dell will soon start selling Linux notebooks!
The general expectation is that notebooks will be a lot cheaper. Sorry! Vista's OEM price as preloaded is dirt cheap, perhaps $50-75. The notebooks will be cheaper mainly because they can be configured with less horsepower than running Vista requires. As a special feature, look for Dell to offer dual-boot (Windows and Linux) systems. Dell already offers Red Hat Linux for servers, so it is quite possible that will be their main offering. Some postings on their customer blog indicate that they will probably offer Novell's SuSE Linux and Ubuntu as well once the program starts. Linux is gaining steam, but it's not about to unseat Vista. It will be nice to finally have a choice, however. If Linux does start becoming a good portion of business, I wonder how HP, Toshiba, and Gateway will react. (Gateway is the big PC disappointment... boy, did success and an IPO really ruin that company!). And... will Apple react in any special way? I bet if Linux starts doing well that Apple will start to finally license its OS as well.

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