The Mentor in Your Business Career

Johann Lohrmann is an award-winning business analyst who specializes in increasing a company’s bottom line through strategic planning, analysis and creative thought. He holds a BA in Communications.

Dictionary.com defines a mentor as:

1. a wise and trusted counselor or teacher.
2. an influential senior sponsor or supporter.

My first professional job was with WTVI-TV. WTVI-TV is a PBS affiliate and one of the best lessons I learned was the power of mentorship. There, I was surrounded by award-winning talent that included writers, directors, producers and crew. These were guys who had decades of experience.

The job of the mentor is to serve as a guide. He is there to support and offer his wisdom. He’s also required to learn from his protégé. Now, it sounds odd to think of a mentor learning from his protégé but think about it for a minute. Would you want a mentor who is not open and capable of learning?

The job of the protégé is to listen and ask questions. He is charged with learning as much as he can on his own and from his mentor. He is required to teach his mentor what he knows.

Remember, that one day the protégé will become a mentor. The best case scenario for a mentor/protégé relationship is where both are direct, open and leave their egos at the door.

Interested in learning more about mentoring? Check out these sites.

Johann Lohrmann
The Useful Research Blog | Effective research that you can use.
https://johannlohrmann.wordpress.com/
http://johannlohrmann.com/

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Filed under Atlanta, business, Career, Resources

What to Look for in Website Design Company: Ask the Right Questions to get the Right Answers

Johann Lohrmann is an award-winning business analyst who specializes in increasing a company’s bottom line through strategic planning, analysis and creative thought. He holds a BA in Communications.

I am by trade in the communications business and am paid to understand how people think and share information.

Technology scares otherwise confident men. I’ve had executive level gentlemen express their disdain for websites and the technology behind them. These successful men know they need a website but they’re unsure even where to begin.

Frequently I get the ‘I’m too old to learn a new system’ lament.  Part of this fear comes from being afraid of making a wrong decision. Ok. Understood. The list of fears could be endless.

Let’s tackle this from another angle. What if you could learn to ask better questions?

A healthy infusion of knowledge and information can put those fears to rest. Here’s my list of what you should do to prepare. Your preparation is paramount to the success of your website. Before I hire any company I conduct my own due diligence.

Here’s How You Take Control of those Private Concerns.

1. I don’t speak ‘web’ and that (privately) terrifies me. I don’t want to get ripped off.

Solution: Review the potential website company’s past work. Why? If you like their past work then there’s a good chance you’ll like the options they give you.

2. I know that I should have a website but am not sure what it will do for me.

Solution: Having an online presence is mandatory today. If you don’t have one your customers may wonder if you’re still in business.  You’ll also be missing out on tremendous opportunities to promote your goods and services and help generate revenue.

3. I don’t have time to learn new technology or I simply have no interest in learning technology or how to build a website.

Solution: Ask the company on a scale of 1-10 (10 being the most difficult) how hard it is for a novice to learn the system.
If you’re not interested in learning or editing your content, say so up front. Otherwise, it could cost you a pretty penny down the line.

4. I’m concerned about costs and what I can do to control it.

Solution: Get the proposal in writing. Know upfront exactly what you’re paying for, the estimated time of delivery and how you will be kept up-to-date on your project.

5. I’ve done some homework and frankly, I am overwhelmed with the amount of information.

Solution: Know exactly what will be expected of you. Here’s what to ask.

  • Ask the prospective website design company if you will need to provide content (writing, images and/or video?)
  • Ask about the company’s deadlines and what your deadlines are. Make a note of your deadlines and do everything to keep them.
  • Ask the website design company to list out the process for you.

Look at these questions and bookmark this article. When you ask the right questions, you give yourself a platform of confidence. And yes, one hallmark of a good website company is they give you the space to ask questions.

Johann Lohrmann
The Useful Research Blog | Effective research that you can use.
https://johannlohrmann.wordpress.com/

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Filed under Atlanta, Strategy, video, Writing

Mobile Apps Vs. Mobile Websites

Johann Lohrmann is an Atlanta-based, Emmy-nominated and multiple Silver Telly award-winning documentary film producer who currently conducts B2B research for well-established businesses.

AM vs. FM.
Beta vs. VHS.
SD vs. HD.
Flash vs. HTML.
Mobile Apps vs. Mobile Websites.

This isn’t a new discussion. The formats may change but the question of how to best deliver information hasn’t. Open for debate is how to deliver information and entertainment on the go. Some are predicting that mobile apps will eventually devoured by all things web. Others believe that mobile apps will allow for even more target/niche marketing.

The Basics

Mobile Website– a smaller version of a main website that is on your mobile device.  Think of accessing the Internet on your phone and then going to CNN.com.

Mobile App– program that is downloaded to a specific device, typically for a specific reason. Examples of the devices include iPhone/iTouch, iPad, Android, Blackberry….

An example of a mobile app is Locate Wi-Fi anywhere. It’s essentially a directory of international hotspots. We’re talking 140 countries so it’s perfect for the traveler.

For the past few years there’s been something of a debate between the better of the two. As with most items Internet related, it really depends on the user’s end goals.

Here are three considerations when venturing down the mobile app vs. the mobile web road.

The Considerations

1. Are you interested in reaching the masses or reaching a target/niche audience?

If you’re interested in reaching the masses then a mobile website is the way to go. A mobile website gives you another channel of contact in addition to your website.  Don’t be misled with the idea of a target audience here.

If you’re interested in reaching a target/niche audience then you’ll want to take advantage of the mobile app. Typically, there are three ways a user will learn of a particular app: invitation through beta testing, online via desktop (or online in general) or through a search on a mobile device.

Ok, so there were some obvious statements made there but think about how your audience finds you. Well-known sites liked LinkedIn and Facebook are the exception to this rule.

2. Think about it from the user’s point of view.

If you want the user to use an app for a specific task or for a limited number of tasks, then use a mobile app. The functionality of a mobile app works well within a device’s native application and the bonus is an Internet connection is not always required.

If you want to deliver content, then mobile websites are certainly the way to go. Content Management Systems like WordPress, Drupal and Joomla! make it fairly easy to enable the mobile website feature on the backend of a website.

3. The Start-up Costs and the Return on Investment

Cost is a factor that should be considered when weighing the pros and cons of using a mobile app vs. mobile web. Of course, cost takes different forms. There’s the education factor and then the dollar amount.

If you’re already building a website (especially on one of the popular CMS platforms) then it’s relatively easy to activate the mobile website element. In the long-term mobile websites typically cost less and are easier to maintain. When a change is made to the parent website a change is also made to the mobile website.

Contrast the mobile website with the mobile app.  With a mobile app you are limited when it comes to the do-it-yourself option.  As well, a mobile app that works on an iPhone will not work in its particular form. To put it to you another way, you’ll need a developer to produce an app for each device. And if you want to update the mobile app then you’ll need to work with a developer to do so.

The Takeaway

The Idea Mobile App Mobile Web
The Basics Produced for a specific task (Angry Birds). Smaller version of your website (CNN Mobile).
Your Audience Reaching the masses. Targeted/Niche audience.
User’s Experience Specific Task (Games, entertainment, device utilities….) Delivering content including services and information.
Start-up, ROI Easy to activate off popular CMS platforms.
Not expensive to maintain overtime.
Each mobile device needs to have its own mobile app.
Can be expensive to change app overtime.


Mobile Website

Mobile Website

Your Audience

Your Audience

Mobile App
Mobile App

 

Johann Lohrmann
The Useful Research Blog | Effective research that you can use.
https://johannlohrmann.wordpress.com/

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Filed under Atlanta, CNN, Marketing, SEO, Sources

Top 10 Reasons Why You Need Market Research

1. The Age. This is the information age. You need information to do your job. Without information, you’re driving in the dark. Without headlights. And that’s dangerous.

2. The Right Information. You need access to the right information. Just because it’s online doesn’t mean it’s accurate. Market Research sifts through the information overload and the clutter. It brings you closer to your goal.

Atlanta Market Research Imagination

Atlanta Market Research Imagination

3. Pity the Imagination. The information you think is right may not be. Use your imagination as a part of the creative process. Use Market Research to drive your business.

4. Where’s your Audience? You won’t find your audience by simply declaring you’re open for business. How do you know where your audience lives? You have to ask. And a Market Researcher knows how to ask.

5. The Resources. A Market Researcher has accesses to public, private and pay for information databases, archives and analytical tools. We’ve already navigated through the mining field. That’s one of our strengths. This means you can now fully focus on your strengths and grow your business.

Atlanta Market Research Resources

Atlanta Market Research Resources

6. Your Imaginary Moving Targets. How do you know what to shoot for if you don’t have a baseline? Market Research provides a baseline, benchmark and a target. Otherwise, any path will take you there. And the last thing you need is to wander around the forest alone.

7. Reach Your Audience. Your clients want to know that you think of them beyond a payment plan. Understand your client’s market place, help them grow and they’ll stay with you. Market Research knows your client’s industries and their verticals as well. After all, solutions from one industry can apply to others.

8. Show You Care. It’s easy to collect a paycheck or two. Show that you really care about your clients by caring about their market space.

Atlanta Market Research Your Path

Atlanta Market Research Your Path

9. Strengthen Your Position. When you know your market then you can increase awareness about your market. That means your advertising, web pages, social media, blogs and your community outreach gets stronger and better.

10. Know Where You’ve Been. Anticipate where you’re going. Market research gives you insight to where you, your industry and your competition have been. When you know where you’ve been you’ll be able to spot the patterns for the future.

Do you need Market Research? Are you sure that it’s effective and increasing your bottom line?

Johann Lohrmann Director of Research
Bringing Research to Life for Businesses
johannlohrmann(at)gmail.com
http://www.linkedin.com/in/johannlohrmann

http://twitter.com/proresearch

http://www.atlantamediaresearch.com/

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Filed under Atlanta, creativity, imagination, Marketing, Research, Resources, Strategy

Japanese Person Finder & the Pacific Disaster Center

I posted this on my Facebook page, Friday, March 11, 2011. CNN just mentioned it in their broadcast.

If you are looking for friends, family or coworkers in Japan, please visit http://japan.person-finder.appspot.com. Japanese or English versions are available.

To use this tool simply click on the box, ‘I’m looking for someone’ or ‘I have information about someone’ box, and enter the person’s first and last name.

Find up to the Minute Information

The Pacific Disaster Center “provides information provides information research, products and services for disaster and crisis management professionals as well as executive decision makers in the fields of natural and technological hazards, and stresses to social, cultural and economic wellbeing”. Their products are used by disaster responders.

Want Pacific Disaster Center’s information at the touch of an app?

Android Users:

iOS Users:


Google Person Finder

Google Person Finder in Japanese

Google Person Finder in Japanese

Google Person Finder in English

Pacific Disaster Center Updates for Mobile

Pacific Disaster Center Updates for Mobile

Johann Lohrmann
Director of Research
Bringing Research to Life for Businesses

johannlohrmann(at)gmail.com
http://www.linkedin.com/in/johannlohrmann
http://twitter.com/proresearch
http://www.atlantamediaresearch.com/

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Filed under CNN, Global News, Heroism, Japanese Earthquake, Japanese Tsunami, Research, technology

Even the Turtles Understand the Power of Research

Mr. Turtsle understands the power of research. Do you?

Mr. Turtsle

Mr. Turtsle

Mr. Turtsle

Mr. Turtsle

Mr. Turtsle

Mr. Turtsle

 

Johann Lohrmann
Director of Research
Bringing Research to Life for Businesses

johannlohrmann(at)gmail.com
http://www.linkedin.com/in/johannlohrmann
http://twitter.com/proresearch
http://www.atlantamediaresearch.com/

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Filed under Balance, creativity, curiosity, Curious, Marketing, Research

Understand the Role of Research in a Product Launch. Or Fail.

Companies today are hungry for cash. For the small business owner payroll is at risk. Medium to large sized organizations are closely watching new industry products. Remaining competitive is a must.

You, as a business owner want to find solutions.  Your creditability, livelihood and future depend on it. Here are 4 key ideas that will guarantee your new product launch will fail- and what you can do to make sure that it doesn’t.

1. Guaranteed Failure: Not having a process in place, written down and explained to the team members.

Process

Process


If you don’t have a fully tested and robust process in place, then you will not be successful. Your team will be confused and you’ll end up treading water. Expectations and the understanding of how part A works with part C are lost. In the end, you’ll lose money, credibility and clients. Oh, and your team will think you’ve lost your marbles.

Simple Solution: Put a flowsheet together and document the process.

2. Guaranteed Failure: Falling in love with the technology too quickly.

Sweet Technology

Sweet Technology

 

It’s the latest! It’s the greatest! It will solve this problem that we have- or one that we think we have!

Stop and carefully think about the software that’s sitting in front of you. Does it address an actual documented need or an imaginary one? Just because someone builds it does not mean you need to come visit.

Simple Solution: Perform a SWOT analysis on the product that this software is supposed to ‘fix’. While you’re at it perform a SWOT analysis on the software itself. If you decide to proceed look at what else is on the marketplace and compare the tools.

3. Guaranteed Failure: Deploying another company’s beta system and charging your clients for it.

Would you sell beta?

Would you sell beta?


As a researcher, I test information. Depending on the scope of the project, I will conduct a variety of tests. Different stages of research demand different types of attention. Now, I may want to play around with a tool to see how it works. But, I will not deploy (ever) someone else’s beta tool and charge my clients for it.

For starters, beta testing is to identify problems on an external level. You’re the guinea pig.  If your client’s information is lost then you have to fix it. When a company doesn’t deliver on a promise then you can bet that bad news will travel fast.

Sell beta and you’ll lose time, money, effort and your good reputation.

Simple Solution: Don’t leave yourself at the mercy of the developer. Test internally if you must use a beta system. Establish strict parameters around doing. Limit your risk by not offering it as a billable service to the client.

4.Guaranteed Failure: Not communicating with your information technology team.

The Team. Your Company's Lifeline.

The Team. Your Company's Lifeline.


When you don’t communicate with your team you create blind spots. Blind spots are detrimental to a company as they impact morale, problem solving and creativity. When information is withheld the information technology team is left with a guessing game.

When you don’t talk to your technical team, you miss their expertise and their ability to solve complex problems. Their feedback early on could identify potential costly problems after deployment.

Simple Solution: Talk to your information technology team and ask them to provide feedback throughout the process.

Think about your Road to Success.

Do you have a map?

Do you have a map?


I’ve given you a few solutions. Now, here’s where you use solid planning throughout the project to meet your goals.

A. Approach the project launch with the end in mind. Doing this provides a roadmap on what you need to do to get to your goal- your X marks the spot.

B. Understand how the new tool fits into the company’s core products. If you’re a television company it makes little sense for you to add a financial tool kit as a stand-alone. Know the product and be aware of how it interacts with other products already in place.

C. Think how your client’s and your team will use this tool on a regular basis. Imagine your client is sitting at this desk. How does he move through the product? What happens when he gets an error message? Do the same internally. Approach the product from a multiple user perspective.

Johann Lohrmann
Director of Research
Bringing Research to Life for Businesses

johannlohrmann(at)gmail.com
http://www.linkedin.com/in/johannlohrmann
http://twitter.com/proresearch
http://www.atlantamediaresearch.com/

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Filed under Balance, Career, creativity, Customers, imagination, industries, LinkedIn, Research, Strategy, technology