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September Email Newsletter

Priority Inbox? Wasn't That Invented Some Time Ago?

Google's Gmail service continues to innovate and demonstrate the substantial advantages of 'cloud' distribution. Namely that major software updates can be rolled out 'live' rather than waiting for the next full product release.

The Priority Inbox is a much vaunted new feature being deployed to Gmail users where the inbox view is split with prioritised emails at the top of the page, and other emails being split out further down the page. As Google tracks your email behaviour it starts to learn which people are more important to you, what types of messages you respond to more, and how quickly you open or reply to certain emails.

The two key reasons why Google is rolling out this update is, in our opinion, based on existing identified weaknesses in Gmail, namely:

  1. Because it is one massive inbox and prefers to thread 'conversations' rather than use folders, it needs to add some additional clarity to busy inboxes
  2. Cloud-based systems, although offering many features, are still substantially less flexible than computer-based software

So, whilst this seems a good idea, it may not be the right time to ditch Outlook... and we believe that with a little bit of work, you can create a Priority Inbox in Outlook that obeys rules that you set, rather than relying on Google's technical wizardry.

Have you used 'Rules' before? If you have, then perhaps you've been able to setup a few to help avoid inbox clutter. If not, then please read our 'how to' guide to set rules in Outlook and make your inbox more manageable.

Do You Put Clients First? Check Our Tips

Small but subtle differences in the way you interact with clients can make all the difference when it comes to securing new and repeat business.

Are you confident that you have all of these areas covered:

  • Who Comes First When Introducing Clients?
  • Who Goes First When Entering a Room?
  • Should You Introduce Yourself?
  • What Should You Do If You Forget a Clients Name?
  • What is the Right Distance to Stand When in Conversation?
  • How Do You Introduce Clients in Conference Calls?
  • Should You Interrupt Phone Calls?
  • Should You Ever Keep Your Mobile On During Client Meetings?

To find out the answers, read the full article to find out what the right protocol is and how to best manage your clients to benefit your organisation.

Google Instant Search: We Ask "Why?"

Instant Search ResultGoogle has also announced 'Instant Search' and rolled it out to US, UK and a number of other markets. For those who are too impatient to even reach the end of a search phrase, Google
returns results from the first character you type. Arguably the most substantial change to Google since they added advertising almost a decade ago, it still provokes a question: "why?"

We ask this question because there are problems with the new search. Apart from the obvious confusion as the screen flickers different results as you type, it's also not clear how many
people will interrupt typing a phrase to click on a search result. Incomplete search results mostly offer completely wrong results in the early stages of typing. For example if you were
searching for 'training courses', then the first few results would be for trains, not for training.

Google claim that by adding instant search, they are saving searchers between 2 and 5 seconds, and that 11 hours are saved every second. However, as with all changes, although they want to make your life easier, it's not just about serving you.

We believe that these are the real reasons that Google's changed in an Instant:

  • To increase focus on top advertisers - by changing the dynamic, Google is reducing the emphasis on scrolling meaning that people are more likely to click what they see, increasing advertising revenue and reducing 'natural' click throughs.
  • To increase volume of searches - by reducing the time per search, the aim is also to increase the number of searches made. Thereby increasing Google's usage and revenues.
  • To emphasize Google's technical leadership - why people trust Google is mainly because they seem to be able to do things others can't - like Street View for example. So, part of the answer is 'because Google can'.
  • Differentiate from the competition - Even with their dominance, the competition (particularly Microsoft with their search engine 'Bing') continue to up the ante with new search services. Google sees a need to continue to stay ahead of the chasing pack.

So, whilst it's great to see Google coming to market with something completely new - we believe that training is required. You need to train your eyes to ignore the results until you've at least half-completed the search you're typing!

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