C.E.O., Gobloc Insulting
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Basic Literature is a corporate satire blog, updated with satirical and humorous commentary on the corporate world, including career advice, management tips, business strategies and marketing tactics.
a satirical blog about our corporate world

How Companies Could (be) Exploit(ed by) Web 2.0

Thursday, March 27, 2008

If you never heard of the term "Web 2.0", then I'm sure your email address ends with Hotmail.com, and has already expired. I got a recent client anxious to embrace the latest digital phenomenon, but sadly, knows nothing about them. So I pinpointed him to the following slide I found on the net:

If you're working in a multi-billion corporation and got no idea what the term means, chances are you are in the highest level of the decision making chain. Like Guy Kawasaki said, the higher it is, the thinner the air will be, thus the harder it is to support intelligent life.

Hence it's a no-brainer guessing that this client is one of the VPs in his company. After some preliminary BS I pushed into his throat, I proceeded with my suggestions on how enterprises can get exploited by the Web 2.0 phenomenon.

Social Networking

You'll find more employees leaving your company after realizing what a douchebag they are working hard supporting your cheap @55 management policy. Professional networking sites like LinkedIn and Xing will give them a great sense of inferiority complex knowing that other peers with equal qualification are paid more than you could actually make per month.

Democratized Content

With emergence of social bookmarking services like Digg, your staff's IQ level will progress tremendously- backward- through reading non-credible news chosen by people that knows nothing about the subject but find it funny and 'entertaining'. Having friends to ask for help digging or stumbling their own article or blog post will also fuel this madness. And with wikis and sorts, say bye2 to 'credible and authorized' information.

Decentralized Access

Flock or Stumbleupon enables your employees to access their social features without even logging into their website. You'll have a peace of mind knowing that they actually prefer browsing through amusing web content rather than the pointless data you ask them to analyze. These websites are going mobile too, where they can check-out who updated their MySpace accounts through their cellphones while you're self-absorbed with the meeting you chair.

User-Generated content

Do you know that you can become a globally-popular figure by adhering to the following equation?

Number of stupid statements you make X number of anonymous bloggers in your company X number of tags X number of diggs = Level of stardom


As I concluded my advice on the subject,

"Web 2.0 = All play and no work makes Jack an incompetent nincompoop"

the client stared hopelessly to the ceiling and muttered "I should change my mood display on my blog"

"Don't forget to twit your followers how stupid you're feeling right now" I added.

(experience web 2.0 yourself, try any of the following link below. Hah!)
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Job Vacancy: Non-Executive Director

Friday, March 21, 2008

We're a big Marketing Consulting Agency engaged in strategic and tactical marketing consultation. In line with our CEO's request, the company is now looking for suitable candidates to attend our interview for the following position:

Non-Executive Director

  • Candidate must be at least 1000 years old.

  • Must possess knowledge and experience in anything unrelated to our business activities.

  • A fake champion of employee rights and considers ethics as another Looney Toons series.

  • A strong advocate of directors' remuneration.

  • Candidates must know nothing about PBIT, EBITDA, IBO. Confusion between Capital Investment and New York is an added advantage.

  • Must be IT-illiterate, but possess the lust for tech gadgets like hand-phones and laptops.

  • Must be on at least 100 company's board of directors simultaneously. Candidate with a higher 'conflict of interest' risk will have a better edge.

  • Possesses sufficient health risk including heart disease, stroke, kidney failures and high blood pressure. Terminal cancer is an added advantage. Alzheimer symptoms are a must.

  • Must have a natural talent to ignore presentations in BOD meetings and skip to the lunch treat.

  • Willing to serve eternally and die in office.

Interested candidate please email your resume before 1 April 2008 citing your current and expected absurd allowance.
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Retailing: Clever Tactics Targeting The Not-So Clever

Thursday, March 13, 2008

My company, Gobloc Insulting, recently received a new client who stated their desire to expand their retail businesses.

Therefore we came out with a comprehensive proposal that uses confusing jargons and over-hyped terms to convince (fool) them that they should heed our advice (and pay us).

Here is 1 part of the proposal that would be beneficial to my beloved readers- it's on how to increase sales in retail businesses, based on the common trade practices around.

They'll rush in even before you decide to sell
Be prepared for over-the-top demand

Limited stock/time only

Displaying prominently the message that any offer such as free gifts or price reduction is for a very limited time, or buyer, will create a sense of paranoia among customers to rush in and buy quickly. If you have billions of stocks left to clear, it will be more helpful if you state the following lines in your ads:

20 5 units left

Paranoid level will double with fake statistics.

Out of stock - Bait and Switch - Upselling

Promoting something that is ridiculously-priced, then telling your customer that the item is out of stock (due to high demand) is a good way to gain prospects. Use the opportunity to sell something more expensive with better margin. Don't be disappointed if some of them refuse to buy. The margin should be enough to consider the campaign a success.

.99 price points

One of the most consistent, proven yet simple technique to earn sales. You heard millions of people expressing their discontent of such psychological pricing tactic, but the fact that it has been used for decades proves that customers are not that aware of how much 0.01 cent means.

Discounts/Freebies before-hand

Offering freebies or discounts even before they start deciding to buy your product is a good way to tie them in. Customers will feel obliged to see through the deal because of:
  1. The pride because you consider him a worthy prospect
  2. The guilt that you see him as a confirmed buyer ("Must be something I did")
  3. The lack of guts to say "No" and disappoint/anger you
Denying ownership/supervisory role

If you're locked into a situation where your customer is very talented in negotiating a price, always mention that
  1. You're not the boss
  2. The price is set by your boss
  3. You'll get fired if the boss knows you're reducing the selling price
If it still fail, or your customer is leaving without purchasing, just give them the discount (pick a price point between yours and theirs) and tell them don't tell your boss or you risk loosing your job by 'helping' him.

Lucky/Selected Customers

When you're giving a customer a discount (because of price negotiations), always close the deal with "I'm giving this only to you because you seem like a good customer" and follow with "Don't tell anybody else that I gave you this". Customers will be flattered and hallucinate that he/she is getting a preferential treatment from your business. They'll come again.


Contrary to what you hear that some (even you yourself) often say that they're not as gullible as before, and often quick to detect any cliche that might trick them, these selling points still work.

The people you hear disclosing their immunity against such tactics are the wise consumers- wise enough to make their voice heard. But you won't hear consumers who brag about how they like being fooled by these tactics. The fact that so many businesses still enjoy revenues from these tactics means that:

  • There is a substantial number of gullible consumers
  • And, people who voice their opinion are always the minority
  • Thus, silent majority applies
  • Therefore, majority of consumers are gullible
  • Which, confirms these tactics work
If your business is targeting the very limited, intelligent type of consumers...I pity you.
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