Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘marketing’ Category

I don’t know what’s your actual behavior and consumption of TV, but we can all say there’s probably the biggest revolution since Internet. We used to consider TV as « a whole set, environment of entertainment, emotion and information for the family.

Despite different revolutions like new consumption (VOD, OTT, catchup TV…), new wirings (DSL, DTH, DTT…), new quality (HD, 3D), TV remains a matter of contents. Believe me, as I worked for more than 10 years, in pay TV environments.

And, yes, it is still a question of content. To inform, entertain or turn upside down. It’s always contents that drive audience and make the money business. But since users started to generate contents (UGC) with social tools, the power between broadcasters, content producers and audience has been completely blended, from a steady flow, one at a time, to multi-producing anytime, anywhere, any device. And guess where we focus most of our time now?

Not on old TV formats, but the web. Web audience boosted since few years now, and consumption of any contents on mobile screens overtook the old devices.

The next big thing is this incredible second screen concept that shapes the exact new relation between:

  • audience, e.g. who becomes active/reactive and participating
  • content producers, e.g. who try to produce high potential contents and sustainable rights to engage in a longer lifetime, that is, more revenues
  • advertisers and brands (here there’s no change but the increasing need to hold revenues and efficiency, anytime!
  • broadcasters, e.g. whose job is keeping the light on overnight and increase revenue due to more audience from advertisers.

Fair game isn’t it? I’m probably writing a piece of this article on my laptop, while watching TV, sending twits
to engage with the actual TV show. And it’s not a question of the Y generation or being a millennial, as I’m neither.

 

SocialTV_ecoS

 

The fact is that, socialize relations, sectors, or industries, means tumble down the easy flow of former
relations because:

  • You won’t be able to know how many times and how long, the former viewer is now, while he can zap, play, change the content – with one finger
  • You won’t be able to value advertising and the guarantee for brands to invest in big channels, another effect of the long tail, created with the web
  • You probably will be obliged to change, quick and dirty, programming because of twitter #attacks, ongoing, throwing away all your programming strategy
  • The whole investments you do in long term programs is turned into a short formats of videos, soaps, viewed, reviewed, cached, and screened wherever but the TV

Think about how it’s changing the whole chain: skills, training, actors, eye-catching snaps, promotion, the relevance of a whole programming guide.

Where the web brought freedom and creativity, television lost traction moreover in youngest generation who nearly were born, without TV addiction. Many years ago, most of us believed that social TV was nothing more than bringing the web on TV screens and bloomed many connected TVs with new interfaces and web browsing.

Social means individualism because the essence of participating is the collaboration and the addition of multiple individual shares, talks, and debates. Soon (or already now?), you’ll be able to have an individual end for your favorite soap. The one you’ll choose, the one you’ll have, your end.

In some way, where technologies brought us the ubiquity of TV everywhere (DTH, Cable, xG Mobile, DTT, etc.), social brought us our network that awakes us more, engages us to participate, and allows us to be more aware of what’s going on.

In some way, we’re more actors than we think. We create the new content experience we finally want to see. What is more important in marketing than to have the choice to buy something we REALLY want?

Social TV is our choice, our experience, our chance to be more engaged than ever and keep the little flame for creation. Let’s light on.

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

After ten years of two digit growth, e-business showed an awesome way for innovation, and promised another smart theme for the future with mobile web. Some smiled and some cried. New pure players found gold and the philosophical stone, brick and mortar stared as if fever was on, and some other retailers tried to play with web, finding a complementary way to mix retail and online. But before this maturity in mindset, pure players set up evil, in old traditional retail business…and drove to large layoffs in the industry. Not really sexy is it?

And the least all the e-business innovation could do, was feed another story for retail, increasing traffic, targeting, consumption, accuracy in needs and shopping and so on. It seems the time has come, with so many initiatives, web or mobile, to help retail in the “new shape” of modern business.

Let’s take a snapshot of the awesome changes and opportunities that could be offered to retail, with mobile innovations. Several parts of the value chain can be shifted as:

  • the battle for information: ability to check any product, scan online and find your personal shop, with relevance, perspicacity
  • the battle for loyalty with the incredible passion for virtual wallets, saving points from consuming, winning vouchers enforcing the loyalty of customers, from an online sign up to a loyalty program. A smart way to increase consumption in retail, directly from web sessions
  • the battle for promotion and traffic, boosted with the geolocalization of both, customer and offer, enhanced the purpose debate and lead customers back to retail
  • the incredible dilemma for choice, is turned into a game with the social shopping sessions that make fun with comparing, chatting and targeting together, for a focused “buying raid” to the most relevant retailer of the place
  • the whole noise before, while and after the buying act, that makes “buying” an event in itself: dealing with fashionistas, bloggers, influencers is a full win-win combination for pure pleasure

Right now, some players cope with the whole thing with talent, relevance and friendiness. I would suggest to take a look at some of them, while they are known to drive traffic and give back to retail what the Internet has probably hijacked for a moment. Check at sites like:

  • Shopsocially, Addoway, Blippy or Buy.com
  • Pikaba, Givvy, Shopcade, Shopwithit or Buyosphere
  • myShopanion

They bring new innovation in the sale surface, allowing customers to:

  • try before buy
  • socializing between other customers and vendors
  • while walking on sale surface, ability to know best promotions, comparing and prices, close around the shop
  • sometimes consulting a screen instead of using vendor’s service: more educated, self-skilled and well informed, the social media environment allows to bring more transparency to the whole chain
  • get in touch with crafts, completing the online experience of “colors” and chatting with vendors about products, new arrivals and “fitting”: social calls social. Sales and retail are definitely a social experience, moreover than online, probably more transactional than relational in fact.
  • Share, talk and guide until the good choice (place+price+promotion+offer): the experience, experienced by others

No need to say that screen invaded us more in the house than in retail first, but then the whole chain of “screening” is played before, while and getting to retailers’ places. The long tail for learning social media empowers all the actors for this new kind of capturing attention, figures and profiles, and raising loyalty in the end.

“Revenge” could be done if retailers integrate more and up, the screens and online features, in their communication strategy to bring new services and convince (at least), own customers to shift so. But means that vendors are trained and prepared to let these new tools sometimes help, sometimes replace few parts of their jobs. Diversity functions with humans and I guess with the hybrid ability to cope with machines too, bringing on the best for all and synergy back in between retail and web.

One thing is sure is that, despite equipment, we need to think and imagine all the best experiences for customer, and do it in our times. And our times are definitely wired, connected and social. As one said, “customer may be a media” now…

To learn more:

Bookmark and Share

Read Full Post »

Fairy, funny but no tale about the fact that no company exists without customers. And if sometimes, boss turnover seems to be a sporting challenge for shareholders, customer can’t wait. And may have the last word. It’s finally if you understand it, when you will make great deals, those called “win-win”, with the genuine relation between someone who has needs you can afford. And if sometimes your real boss tries to make it his own way, remind him that he can’t exist without customers…Everybody in his company might be confronted with this and face, hold and build the true relevant relation. Because, customer is the boss in fact, and the matter of anybody in the company. And it seems urgent to see, integrate and share the concept inside companies, to deliver different ways. Why does it seem so strange and how handle it?

  • the customer rarely needs you, he has several others choices, in a single snap he can switch and forget you ever
  • the business is growing on average consumption with either, more customers, more loyalty or raising the level of engagement: in any case, you do need customers…any customer but customers!
  • loyalty is not a concept that you can organize in your corner, thinking (hoping?) it will work: ask customers first why/how he would be more loyal, and build the wrap around…
  • the customer knows much more you ever imagine about your market and your products, and value your service: don’t forget he compares live, all the offer of the market for you. If he gives you an advise, he’s probably less blind than you!
  • even if you think “customer doesn’t know what he wants or what is good for him”, his/her help would be precious, targeting the next big picture. If you build something with him for he’s already part of it, why won’t he buy then?
  • “the more he builds, the more he’s fan”: if he’s “part” of it, he’ll be the best ambassador/advocate for your values, products and services…
  • build the “customer Stockholm Syndrom“: make him part of your story where emotion takes part of your relation and make him kind of painful of your difficult story. In pain and need will grow innovation, together…
  • in some ways, as the customer says how much he is OK/able to pay for your different propositions, he’s quite establishing your salary level: and in this way too, he’s your boss…
  • If you can passion him/her with your own passion, brand and value, he’ll become your best ambassador and outcompete agent for virality: the new media we talk about, socially correct, truthly and trusty…
  • engage with your community and encourage and reward the “social search”. Because you trust more deeply ones you know
  • don’t be shy or afraid with any enpowerment of your customers: the energy they hit for you has no price for you, comparing with resources and money you should spend for the same result…
  • know how to reward: if your customers have to become your boss, give them their salary…
  • run your business, have a business but run and build it with your customers, because they have willingness and motivation to buy your products, speak about them and hold the direction ; like the real boss…
  • like Sam Walton saidThere is only one boss. The customer. And he can fire everybody in the company from the chairman on down, simply by spending his money somewhere else“. I guess Wal Mart knows how to cope with it, don’t you think?

Assets, partners, friends, loyalty heroes, anyway the name you give to customers, think about your own relation, your own “stunt show”, celebrate success with them like associates to your success. “No success in business without mess with your guests” could be your last quote for community with your best assets. Don’t miss any opportunity to raise satisfaction, happiness and loyalty with your customers, they represent a silent force (while I don’t know if we can say this anymore with social communities!) that can improve your market approach, your sales feeling and ability to shoot first, accurate and focused needs, which will save time and money. Money you’ll be able to invest in this brand new other relation with your new allies…a perfect circle of business, without thinking of business and having much fun and pleasure…

Bookmark and Share

Read Full Post »

Don’t look at me this way and probably because of you. Not the way that Marketing is a dead function, useless or released away, but the fact it all has changed…To be more focused on where, I’ve started a short list of assumptions that show in which range things have changed. You love or hate Marketing would not change that datas shifted in many parts, exploding audience, collaboration and brand footprint in the web marketplace. But let’s figure out how…:

  • connect to customers: i think it’s in the title…If you didn’t see the fact that customers want to be considered as a real people, with advice, voice and opinion, and not as number or a cash machine!
  • stop deafness: listening new insights and voices for brands shapes marketing of products and services…from the outside of the company
  • ability to make marketing accountable, with one of the “three dimensional” skills of CMO: quantitative methodic
  • staring at “where” are customers are (and “fish where the fish are”)
  • a temptation to make marketing a C-level role to strategic level
  • starting the socialization of customers with SCRM where systems are not owned by companies but fully controlled by customers
  • achieving the shift between manufacturing culture to consuming culture, with social stones
  • be “there”, after all: where are really the customers (the difficulty is the mobile era that boost the necessity of being ubiquitous for the brands)
  • “messages are bi-directional and morphing”, because brands must listen and stare at what’s going on now, from the valuable opinions all around social web
  • customers have a voice and know now, how to use it: being too much deaf would produce deaf services and products for empty market
  • “the monologue has passed away”. Try to sort of the noise confusion and get the smartest ideas from out of the box…
  • “embrace the challenge of new medias”: the abilities to “talk” to customers boosted in a multi-directional shape means using the tools where they talk, listen and take informations. The new platforms for audience…
  • reinvent marketers curiosity: more than ever curiosity is the most efficient skill to “open world” communities, and makes you “breath the trends”
  • “fail can become an option” for learning, experiment and grow the value purpose. Shorter cycles, decisions and experience samples and protos
  • customers, but employees, partners, audience, suppliers…do marketing for you too. Let’s party with them, and grow communities!
  • “like” the likers: be aside all who make effort to click and send love to you
  • identify virtual tellers and workers who shape their own opinion of your brand
  • know and learn or grow your new skills as: creativity, design but dealing with figures and datas. And if you hire, don’t hire a marketer but an artist, social inspired.
  • “marketing is experience”: make us free for customers and create the CEM for your brand (Customer Experience Management)
  • “marketing is experiences”: allow customers to share fails, tests, samples and experiences, even make them build their own with your brand/products. You can’t even imagine how fertile, collaborative and addict are your silent fans…and btw, they will shout it on the web!
  • “the customer is not an idiot, he’s your boss” ; live with it or die!
  • the new management paradigm: push/pull balance with innovation, customers, market. Marketing as a regulator, “community manager” more than the brand dictate

All lot of reason why marketing we knew has changed and is probably dead, for brands that didn’t realize it. The sum of research on the subject is huge, but always turned from the companies that stare markets, without really engaging with the customers, or doing it their way, but not on the control of who buys: the customer. Think of how you can be patient and demanding as a customer, but beyond your simple need: being considered. A best seller know as “cluetrain manifesto” lead us, 10 years ago, the frame of what’s now, concrete and operational. For those who didn’t read it, you’ll find a totally actual subject in these assumptions, with customers who were already fed up and felt upset of “bad” practices.

Renewal is king and the necessary “central” function, protected from “one to many” is dead. The fact is now to put it in the center of the debate: social platforms, everywhere, anytime of the consumer’s life, to improve experience, collaboration and efficiency, dealing with “markets” not as targets but “doers” and influencers.

Products, services, sales propositions, all are on the shelves, but on the “social shelves”, driven to success or death. It’s up to you to decide how you deal with it and which marketing you deserve. Or decide to set up, now, for your teams…

Bookmark and Share

Read Full Post »

First part of three set, including the changes triggered by the connected world in which we live. We’ll underline there all that is described by “way of doing”, now, considering things we can’t stop and have to cope with.

Did you ever live, the incredible speed of information spreading, as you first have an idea, start to tell to a friend…and what becomes next: the one tells to a friend, who tells to a friend…six degrees later world knows all about it. That shapes what is to be said: living in a connecting world allows us to save time, moments and whole phases in building innovation. You can now make work a huge diversity of people, around the clock, in a single project, getting insights from the best of them, challenging everything from seeds to concrete plan. And it changes the vision we have on anything is possible or not: speed of sourcing, evaluating and throwing an insight, our ability to get information on marketplaces, competitors or competition in a larger view. Branding or modeling prototypes and viewing them in “real” second world (3D, social games, virtual environments…). Thrilling isn’t it. Not at all but a strong opportunity.

And if it’s for us, it’s for competitors, too. Competition keeps us awake (must?), and dangers come faster than ever: from stakeholders to suppliers, or even closer partners, anyone can, without having it in mind, leak on important secrets. And for a time-based competition, connectivity might probably change the game: speed of renewal cycles, defining, correcting and sourcing make markets more demanding on the service level and innovation. Being faced in daily life to digital shift, consumers have to adopt, learn and make them, the opportunities of technology.

In production fields, the reduction of wastes, mistakes or return, driven by a more accurate forecast of volumes, needs and trends go directly on the bottom-line. Engineers can have a close feedback with marketers, for model design, duplication, customization…and on-the-go modifications. That’s an incredible change in the process, always wired, and the ability to evolve, on ongoing periods, and raise the sustainable facet of production: less wastes, less energy, less stress, as it takes part of the whole shipment way of delivering goods or services.

Don’t you know that in poor areas (like described in BOP markets with books like), 7% on the income of poors is dedicated to connectivity expenses, often before cleaning, safety water, health or food…? The only step for isolated zones to be linked, bankable and start a tiny commercial activity is to be…connected. Connectivity changed the way farmers for example, can set their prices for their crop, because they’re connected (e-choupal system) with bid marketplaces and stocks for the raws they have: they can choose quickly to do or not and with who, they are going to deal.

Hold on for the second part and “connectivity effects on resources”. Stay tuned, and meet the following part soon, here…

Bookmark and Share

Read Full Post »

At the end of 2010, strategy+business showed an interesting essay on the link between performance and strategy, underlining the increasing factor of coherence in a whole company’s strategy. Coherence seems to be a key difference advantage that enlight all the capabilities of a company, aligning all skills to the best delivered services for customers. As now, 3 elements are necessary and described as essential to be “coherent” and have an efficient strategy:

  • market position
  • capabilities
  • product and service portfolio

I tried to resume these few parts in a synthetic matrix to help understanding of global concept as:

Where you can observe more details in explanations like:

  • the necessary start with few leans, skills and financial surface
  • the temptation to quick embrace the mass market with no really “shift” in value purpose: me-like, that can’t really last for a long time before a new comer sweep all your former efforts
  • or the early specialisation with rare skills, hold and protect them from new comers and competition (blue oceans or expert strategy)
  • and finally settle a strong position built on experience, rare skills, mass delivering and brand awareness

After revealing the steps and way, result of different paths/strategies to invade markets, Paul Leinwald and Cesare Mainardi isolated four sources of value to underline the relation between coherence and performance, like:

  • process and method engineering and quick improvement driven by coherence: coherent process increase efficiency faster than competitors: we say “enhance effectiveness”
  • training further your capabilities make an enroll process for other departments and skills of your company: we say “enhance efficiency”
  • focused investment: means really increase efforts and investments on capabilities that differentiate you from competition and/or gives you a step ahead and an substantial advance on your market
  • core coherence means “spending time to give a coherent and relevant global frame of decision making, agreed and used by everyone in the company” ; no need to fight, coherence is then a desired way of business life, inside all departments and process

All of these four sources of value reinforce the others. Alignment makes an easier future for company, to greater efficiency. Growth is faster, cheaper and with a better adoption for convincing employees to the whole strategy: “a good strategy must be obvious and has not to be explained”.

Coherence calls for coherence because when you practice it, you may identify more easily the misfunctions of process and behaviors. A virtual circle, with a stairway move to grow value, service and relevance for your customers’ delivering…

 

Bookmark and Share

Read Full Post »

Loyalty is in the end a very important part of the value of any relation. Build a trusty system means years of taming and needs lots of efforts and demonstration on how you can deliver promises, and keep them alive in a long term. This concept stands with any part of modern communication and relation and rise with it. We can quote “loyalty calls loyalty”, when we see that the most loyals subjects do, because they like and spread it. While we’re facing a big shift in the way brands speak to targeted customers and drive their whole relation, customer could be considered as less “loyal”. Because of his mobility, he becomes less “catchable”, I mean in advertising terms, underlining the new technologies that keep him alive “on” with the brand: mobile devices. The way we look at customers intentions and try to catch his “brain awareness” changes. In fact, could mobile be an awesome opportunity to enhance loyalty or a silent threat to lose audience?

The mobile facts: some figures worth more than long talks…(source: ITU)

  • more than 5 billion mobile subscribers in the world
  • nearly 1 billion has access to 3G services
  • mobile networks access: more than 90% of global population and 80% in rural zones
  • already thinking of 4G networks, increasing speed and services
  • web access will overtake PC and domestic devices (wired), within 5 next years
  • 450 millions users on web mobile, end of 2009 (IDC)

This “jack-in-the-box cumulated figures” means that any people on earth (nearly…) can receive a simple message from any brand that wants to catch him…got it? Hate or like? Chance or fear? I think everybody will (have to) find rules and own behavior and reaction with this new environment…

The Loyalty goodness

Loyalty seems to be an actual goal for everyone: brands, couples, retail, habits…Why? Because it costs far less to nurture and care an “established situation” with uses and automatic behaviors, than draw, seduce and attract new ones. True for customers, new comers, new process…and new husband/wife. Now living in a always wired era drives us to more “online” behaviors, acquired to lots of any information. These new habits mean that we’re more demanding about brand communication and customer care, even if we’re not customer yet. This eco-system, self-feeding situations seems to find a regulation with user generating content, added by any citizen, in mobile situation. The more we are touched by mobile communication, the more we’re in fact, tied softly to brands, increasing our silent loyalty and attachment to companies. Loyalty is key for long term forecasts and ongoing business models, that can improve portfolios for brands.

What we see is a necessary change on how you target customers: awareness is not captured like any other situation and needs accuracy, what I see: bad moment for a SMS is a dead-born message…Life duration of a SMS and our ability to use it is in fact, few seconds…snatch for catch is the real art and skill of mobile communication. Even with PDA spreading everywhere, majority is often limited in size, shape and kind of message your mobile device can manage. Intrusion is as bad as choose a bad moment to send your message: as mobile is personal, you can’t be wrong with your target. Any disruption between the message and the profile of the targeted customer and you will have a storm against you: the action will give you the exact upset situation for the brand…So be careful. Last but not least, “personal” means directly linked to the individual and you can pledge for mistake or misunderstanding, or hide behind bulk message: you are supposed to engage conversation and give arguments, if the customers speaks to you…as an individual people.

Virality is a perfect territory of expression to spread loyalty. But no pain, no gain. Spread loyalty in fact means no more but no less than spread trust, through your customers…So they engage them in a risk they were not obviously prepared to assume, and will shame you if you betray and show them, they were wrong to do so…Absolutely disappointed. For a long time. All your efforts blowed in a single SMS…? That worths to think twice before act…Mobile tagging (stickybits, u snap, shop savvy…), geolocalization (foursquare, plyce, gowallah, tellmewhere, waze…) are so cute ways to follow you (without being too intrusive first…) and hold the link and relation between a brand and a customer. A personal and mobile one.

The independance riot

Lots of things, reactions and strange behaviors told us in history to care about machines control…This holy link for brands can quickly become a nightmare for customers, because being in mobility means sometimes a moment of serenity and  is particularly “my moment”. Do I like to be disturbed? It may transform our attitude in a sharp reaction, the “action-reaction” of throwing away all our good intentions and thoughts about the so called “friend” brand. Do we want “independance” or do we like to be plugged “all-wired” entity? Are we supposed to be en “engaged consumer” at all prices and times, where does our engagement start and end, as any sign of further involvement means we do accept, assume (like?) the ongoing phenomenia of being followed with our cute device, as a personal spy, shouting more and more commercials…

This schizophrenic question and dilemma may drive to bunch of protestants fence, leading to a community riot, boycotting brands and company, products and attitude. By doing this, “Lots lost lots”, underlines the surgerical need to be very careful about the final goals and uses of mobile opportunities. Remember independance drove people to blogs, forums and parallel sources of information, where trust can be refound. And I think it’s dangerous to lose with impulsive actions, trust you spent months to build. Moreover when it’s for sales matters and start to be boring with the mobile target, that just wanted to go apart from the “promotion noise”…

Human is anything else than an independant and rarely wants to be linked, promised, as he never asked for. But being opti§n doesn’t mean everything is allowed though: like the butterfly effect, a small SMS can raise a viral revolution…

Drawing the necessary conclusions

Nothing is really grave or irreversible in fact. We have what we ask for, when we see such passion for mobile devices, it must be important for us not cut the link with anything…And remember there’s a switch off that can resolve conflicts and harassment. Use it anytime it’s necessary…Brands too, sometimes switch off, when you have some claims on the way…

 

Bookmark and Share

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »