For years now, every new secured site function has had a business case built on getting users to access their accounts more often. So much so that you'd think every online banker would now spend half of their day checking out their accounts online. The reality is that there are just a few functions that can really drive incremental increases in activation.
Because I wear a music-industry analyst hat on occasion, I'm allowed to indulge in a top 10 list. It was a good year for new music - better than movies (and I'm not the only one who thought so) - so of course sales are down. I bought 40 albums, which is 10 less than last year. (I qualify as a high-spending, digitally active "aficionado," in Jupiter's music customer segmentation; which numbers me among 16% of online adults.)
Without actually citing a source, WSJ reporter Martin Peers declares that the problem is overcapacity and the solution is to let top stations in the local market merge to "reduce overcapacity":
That means shuttering weaker stations and consolidating ownership of others in individual markets to allow for greater cost-cutting. One of the biggest costs is local news operations, which can account for between 25% and 33% of net revenues. Allowing one top station to buy another top station would spread such costs across a bigger revenue base. Regulators might consider relaxing ownership limits given the industry's parlous state.
A thoughtful post from the guys in Stamford. If marketers really figured out social media, wouldn't that be the death of traditional mass media? Probably not - at least not soon - says Gartner's Andrew Frank.
The French Competition Council - the Conseil de la concurrence - ordered yesterday that Orange's iPhone exclusivity be immediately suspended, with the result that any French carrier (SFR and Orange) is now able to offer Apple's iPhone.
Orange will appeal the decision before the Court of Appeal in Paris, but in the meantime (it may take as long as 12/18 months to have a final decision) Orange's competitors will be able to sign distribution deals with Apple. SFR annnounced it had anyway already 45,000 unlocked iPhones active on its network. However, the time those agreements are in place, Bouygues and SFR cannot benefit from the Xmas sales period. After one year of its exclusive partnership, Orange announced that they will have sold over 150,000 first generation iPhones and over 450,000 3G iPhones. But beyond the idea of attracting high-end users, such an exclusive agreement was a key way for Orange to differentiate from competition, drive traffic to shops to cross-sell other Orange/France Telecom products and to nurture the brand (iPhone being all about "convergence").
I had fun judging some mobile content yesterday. I'm sworn to secrecy, but trust me, the winners were cool. And some of them even integrated advertising gracefully.
However, I was a bit disappointed - as were several other judges - about how many of the apps missed out on applying some core values. Way too much "port over a Web app, and try real hard to accommodate the small screen and keyboard."
Since this is my first post here, let me begin with an introduction: I've worked at JupiterResearch — now a division of Forrester — for almost six years, first in New York, then in London, and now Berlin. During that time my research has focused primarily on video and rich media advertising, social marketing, and search marketing. I joined Forrester via their acquisition of Jupiter in July 2008, and I'm excited to announce that starting in January I'll be working as a Forrester Principal Analyst serving Interactive Marketers, and that I'll be based out of Vancouver.
Forrester recently released our 2008 Customer Experience Index, a ranking of 114 companies by consumers who responded to an online survey asking how useful, easy to work with and enjoyable the various companies were. Get this, six of the top eight were retailers. The top retailer on the list? Barnes & Noble. So, what does this mean for retailers?
1. A great customer experience is a must-have in brutally-competitive, margin-thin industries that comprise most of the retail landscape. It is not an option. Not surprisingly, the ten worst performers in the index were TV, wireless and web service providers and health insurance companies--regulated industries that give consumers no choice but to interact with them.