In the E-Commerce Times, my friend John Mello published an article on Adobe’s reported massive drop in prices and the reasons for them.

The market has shrunk, and sellers in various industries are dropping prices, so the relative cost of their products to those of others has decreased. This strategy potentially inflates demand, so they can often liquidate excess inventory at a loss.

This strategy cuts across industries and can cause problems because it erodes margins, resets expected value with buyers, and can put companies out of business if they don’t have the resources to cover an extended revenue shortfall. There are not enough large reserves for

Once this crisis is over, we will have far fewer companies, but what are the options? Is there a better way to ensure revenue without unnecessarily sacrificing profits? Let’s explore that this week, and we’ll end with our product of the week: a new Thunderbolt laptop dock from the Microsoft Surface folks.

problem of price war

Because the cause of the problem is economic – recession, fear of US default, and inflation struggling – these price drops may not have a material impact on volume, especially if other sellers in the segment do the same. Price wars are ugly, and surviving them can be incredibly painful.

Businesses usually resort to this strategy when leaders lack marketing knowledge. They go with what they think. Lowering prices is a knee-jerk reaction to trying to increase sales volume and reduce inventory. They either forget or don’t realize that their competitors’ response is now a price war, and they must continue to cut prices until they reach some arbitrarily low number and tap out. Can’t do it

You may have to react to a price war, but you never want to start one, because unless you have a significant cost advantage, there is a real risk that you will not survive it.

textbook feedback

I have many degrees, but my first degree was in merchandising, which is an applied form of marketing, and I’ve been in and out of marketing my entire career, most recently as a consultant.

The textbook response to a slump in demand is to ramp up marketing spending on effective demand-generation marketing to draw people to your product. You can bundle or tie-in and target people with what you are selling or will soon be in the market for.

However, there are traditional problems with this. The effect is not immediate. It takes time to create, test, and run a demand-generation campaign, a process that will take months when vendors are already in crisis. Also, we have some new problems due to streaming and digital content. Traditional marketing doesn’t seem to have the same impact as it used to.

People, especially younger demographics, are no longer watching ad-driven TV or radio. Print media has declined since the launch of the Internet, and Google (which dominates online advertising) and Facebook (which should be moving into targeted advertising) don’t understand how to do marketing, so their platforms don’t deliver. Conversion rates that advertisers want.

Influencer marketing has been badly damaged by influencers misbehaving and diluted by their ever-increasing numbers, and placement (where you put the product in the content) hasn’t resulted in the successes we’d hoped for.

Generative AI may be the answer

I thought Facebook and social media in general would be the answer. Facebook, over time, learns a lot about you and should be able to serve timely and effective ads. However, its approach of allowing almost anyone to advertise has resulted in so much fraud that many of us don’t trust Facebook ads anymore.

You could go straight to marketing, but staffing a call center is expensive, and pushing that call center to another part of the world with lower labor costs really pisses off potential customers.

But what if you harnessed the full power of Generative AI?

Generative AI can sound like almost anyone, respond as if you’re talking to a real person, and even develop massive relationships with them. You can train the AI ​​with the best skills and then let it loose. If you act correctly, the subscriber may appreciate the call or message.

However, you’ll need to approach the problem like a top salesperson, which is to provide value, connect with the customer, and build a relationship. This method is easier if they are already a customer and if you can offer either information or a service for free that the customer wants in order to further the conversation and establish a deeper relationship before committing to something new.

If the AI ​​is properly funded and conceived and the customer is profiled correctly so you know enough about them so you can build a deep relationship, this should solve the marketing issue. You can use this same technique to get feedback on what you’ve sold, market-test future product ideas, and get early warnings about product problems before they happen. That the customer throws out the product and blacklists your brand.

Generative AI is the future of marketing, but judging from what is happening, that future may have to happen now.

wrapping up

As John points out in his article, many, if not most, markets are in freefall due largely to strategic price constraints, resulting in unexpected price wars.

A better way would be to increase marketing. But not only has marketing talent declined over the years, but market development funds (MDFs) have also rolled into the margins and are not funding marketing, and the places we used to market are becoming less and less effective. are becoming

Generative AI is emerging as a powerful tool to better engage with customers and sell to them. I don’t think we can wait that long. Maybe it’s time to hit the gas and start funding generative AI marketing before a large number of companies become history. just saying…

tech product of the week

Surface Thunderbolt 4 Dock

Laptop docks have gone through a lot of evolution. They began primarily as a mechanical way of securing laptops to desks and were primarily focused on theft. I personally saw their benefit when one of our overseas offices was visited by a fake tech at lunch, and our employees came back to the office with laptops surprisingly clean.

Since then, security on laptops has reduced the risk of theft, and with lower prices, the risk of having a computer stolen isn’t as high as in the office. If one gets stolen, your car is more likely to be stolen (never leave one in front), while you are traveling or you have left it somewhere.

Docks are now more devices of convenience that allow you to connect power, wired Ethernet, some peripherals, your keyboard, mouse and monitor with a single plug. They make life easier by enabling you to leave your charger at home, in your laptop bag, or backpack, and more easily connect and disconnect everything connected to the dock.

Thunderbolt docks have the added benefit of extremely fast throughput. Still, it generally only works well with Intel-based products and for those that need to work on large datasets, images, movies, or AI. The new Surface Thunderbolt 4 Dock is one example.

Microsoft Surface Thunderbolt 4 Dock

Surface Thunderbolt 4 Dock (Image Credit: Microsoft)

While it will likely work with other Intel-based Thunderbolt-enabled laptops and (with degraded performance) non-Thunderbolt products (such as most OEM-sourced power supplies and docks), it will work best with Microsoft Surface products: Surface Laptop 5, Surface Laptop Studio, Surface Pro 8 and the Intel-based Surface Pro 9.

Remember that Microsoft designed its Surface family to appeal to people who desire a design-forward product like Apple’s, but who, like me, don’t want to deal with Apple. With a Thunderbolt connection, this dock will support up to two 4K monitors, which is all I want now that I’m writing on a laptop on a plane and missing out on my home office screen real estate.

It has a decent port out – analogous to a desktop computer – and an audio jack if you prefer to use wired rather than wireless headphones. The power supply is remote and can sit on the floor, and you can bolt it to your desk if you’re concerned that one of your co-workers might “borrow” it.

Dock side view of Microsoft Surface Thunderbolt 4 ports

Surface Thunderbolt 4 Dock Port (Image Credit: Microsoft)

As with most Thunderbolt docks, it’s pricey at $299.99, but for those who have a Surface Laptop with Thunderbolt support, it’s worth it (as mentioned, it will work with non-Thunderbolt laptops, but for those you’ll Can save almost $ 50. Scrambling down on the Surface Dock 2.

One of my favorite laptops is the Surface Notebook; Nice balance of design and performance, and this dock makes that laptop even more useful, so the Surface Thunderbolt 4 Dock is my product of the week.

Unless you’re one of those rare people who shy away from cell phone use, you’re walking around with a cyber bomb in your pocket.

Smartphone malware is an ever-increasing threat. More than 5 billion people use mobile phones worldwide. More than 90% of those individuals rely on smart- or Internet-enabled phones, with an average of 40 installed apps on each phone.

By the end of this year, more than 200 billion apps will have been downloaded from the virtual app store. Therein lies the danger.

Official Apple and Google-controlled software stores are cautious in weeding out unsafe apps. But many cell phone users rely on rogue and third-party download repositories that become overrun with infectious malware.

The danger doesn’t end there at App Stores. Cybercriminals have a toolbox full of ways to slip malicious mobile malware onto your phone. All you have to do is visit the wrong website, click on a link embedded in an email or text message, or open an attached document to enable Cyber ​​Trap.

know the risks

Mobile malware is a growing cyber security concern. This may result in the theft and subsequent sale of your personal data.

Adware is now the cause of 42% of new mobile malware worldwide. Banking malware threats, especially on Android devices, have increased by up to 80%.

According to the latest reports regarding enterprise security, having most of the free or even paid antivirus apps on your phone does little to help detect or prevent sophisticated cyber attacks. About half of free Android antivirus programs do not detect malware effectively.

iPhone security isn’t impenetrable either. Although Android malware is much more prevalent than iOS infections, cybercriminals are getting better access to iPhones. Both platforms are susceptible to malware that opens backdoors into phones through text messaging and other shared file exchanges.

Cybercriminals want your data. Most mobile malware is designed to peer into your digital data to steal your various usernames and passwords. This moves them to your bank accounts.

But cyber thieves do not stop here. They also have invasive software that lets them view your audio and video and track your locations.

What to do

Start by fixing some of the shortcomings in the way you use your smartphone. You want to make it more difficult for cybercriminals to take advantage of you. Taking stock of your installed apps is a great start.

android phone

Go to the Settings panel and open the Permissions section. Its exact location will vary depending on the Android version installed and whatever user interface (UI) is used by the phone’s manufacturer.

Normally, you can go to Settings > Apps > View All Apps. Then tap on an app’s name and scroll down the list to tap Permissions.

Check each app for permissions granted by default. Remove all that the app needs. Question why access to the camera, microphone, documents and photos is needed. These are the ways app developers collect your data in order to monetize the software.

Be sure to toggle on the option to remove permissions and free up space for unused apps. Even better, long press on the app name to uninstall the apps you don’t use.


Go to Settings > Apple ID > Password & Security

Work your way through the menu items to set your preferred options. Pay particular attention to the Apps using Apple ID section. This is where you can find third-party apps, such as fitness or email apps, associated with your accounts.

Keep this list short. Be sure to remove apps you no longer use by touching the Edit button and the red “Remove” icon.

Got Malware?

Be suspicious at the first sign of your phone behaving strangely. Both Android and Apple smartphone platforms offer the same set of common symptoms that indicate that malware may be running inside your device.

It helps if you know the most recent apps you’ve installed and the documents or text links you have open. This knowledge can help you troubleshoot a potential malware issue.

If your phone has one or more of these six symptoms, it may be caused by malware:

1. Unusual messages and pop-ups
Inappropriate messages or unwanted advertising pop-ups are sure signs of mobile malware or spyware.

2. Titles in your app drawer or library that you don’t recognize
Search the Internet for the title. This can indicate whether the app is secure or not. Delete all unknown app titles.

3. Slow Performance
This could mean that you have almost maxed out on your available RAM (Random Access Memory). Remove unused apps and restart your phone. If the slowness persists, suspect malware.

4. High Internet usage and/or increased battery consumption
These two symptoms often go hand in hand when malware runs on a device. See below for how to perform a system reset to clear your memory and storage, as well as remove malware.

5. Unusual noise or static on your phone connection
This is a telltale sign that a surveillance app is spying on your phone conversations.

6. Funny Voicemail Messages or Text Messages
Receiving messages and calls from unknown parties are major indicators that access to your phone has been compromised.

remove malware

Resetting or restoring your smartphone is one of the most effective ways to remove suspected malware. Before you waste time and money buying and downloading so called mobile security solutions, do this. Like most battery saver and memory clearing apps, they are pretty much useless.

When finished with these steps you will need to set up your phone again.

Follow these steps to reset your Android smartphone:

Make sure your data is backed up to Google Drive or a comparable solution (see below). Backing up to Google Drive isn’t a requirement, but it’s an easy way to proceed. You need to at least make a backup of your personal data. Otherwise, a copy of your data that was on the device prior to resetting will no longer exist.

  • Open Settings and select System
  • choose reset option
  • Select Erase All Data (Factory Reset)
  • Select reset phone at the bottom
  • When prompted to confirm that you want to do a factory reset, tap Erase Everything.
  • Re-download and install your apps from Google Play

Follow these steps to reset your iPhone:

Back up your data using iCloud or any of the other solutions listed below. However, make sure that your stored iCloud data is not infected.

  • Go to Settings > General > Transfer or Reset iPhone
  • Tap “Erase All Content and Settings” to clear all apps and data – again, make sure you back up your data to iCloud or to a local drive!
  • Restart your iPhone and set it up again
  • Re-download and install your apps from the App Store

We cannot stress enough to make a backup copy of your data.

You will not have access to the data on your device before the reset. So please understand that backing up your data is your only defense against losing it.

Alternative backup locations not mentioned above are Microsoft’s OneDrive or other cloud storage service you use, an XD card in the device, your local computer, or external media such as a USB drive.