Some commentators are suggesting that Ryanair needs lessons in how to deal with the blogosphere. However, I think it's worth noting that this style of communication is not out of character for Ryanair. The company (and its CEO in particular) appears to revel in its bad-boy image. The Economist magazine points out that Ryanair's CEO simply doesn't care if he's called a "loud-mouthed bully". He brashly brushes away any criticism that Ryanair should care about anything related to corporate social responsibility, customer service, environmental responsibility. Ryanair is all about offering cheap flights and maximizing profits. That is a formula that has worked very well for them to date.
Well... We're always advising companies to be sincere in social media. When you're corresponding directly with the groundswell, you can't "fake it". In that respect, I guess Ryanair is walking the walk. Its social media persona appears to be a true reflection of the company's ethos.
Please excuse this impersonal message: It seems to be the most efficient way to inform everyone that I am transferring to the Forrester Research London Research Centre. In London I will continue to work as a member of Forrester's Customer Experience research team, supporting Customer Experience professionals. I will be writing research with a European perspective, while keeping an eye on some Customer Experience trends in Japan.
Regarding my schedule - I'm traveling to London next week to find a place to live and set myself up in Forrester's London office. I'll return to Tokyo briefly in early April. And I'll be in London full time from late April. I apologize for not making an earlier announcement of this move.
I want to thank you for your support since I've been working in Japan. From establishing Forrester's presence in Tokyo to becoming an analyst and helping to introduce personas to Japanese companies, the last eight years have been filled with wonderful experiences and opportunities, I feel very lucky to have had the chance to work with so many brilliant and inspiring clients and partners in Japan.
It is often difficult to step back from the flow of news coming out from Barcelona but here's a quick take on the main announcements.
- new handset makers such as ACER are entering the mobile space highlighting the fact that boundaries between computers and mobile phones are being blurred. Toshiba, HP are already here and Dell or Lenovo could well follow. Will they succeed? Well they need to master not only the hardware but also the software, offer scalability/economies of scale, negotiate with operators and revamp their brands. This will not happen in one night but some of them have bold long-term objectives
- As always a great autumn/winter device collection from the usual suspects: Nokia E75, SE "Idou", LG Arena or Smasung Beat DJ. Despite few announcements (2 devices with Android OS), Google and Apple cast their shadow over the congress though. Apple because most phones were still compared to the iPhone even though the device was announced 2 years ago. If many visitors were disappointed not to see more Android handsets, one should bear in mind this is still the early days and that there is a strong support from the Open Handset Alliance. No doubt this is a long-term play and that Android is here to stay.
- Appstores are the new retailing/merchandizing paradigm. Many handset/OS vendors announced their own "vertical" solutions but operators also joined the dance such as Orange with its Application shop. The parntership between T-Mobile and OVI is one of the most interesting announcements at it shows that operators can also offer an "horizontal" layer and offer a large reach/distribution to developers. Not everybody will succeed but it is likely that both types of stores will co-exist.
On Friday, Forrester published new research on one of the most active groups of people ever seen when it comes to social participation -- buyers of technology products in the business-to-business (B2B) sector.
I teamed up with Oliver Young to write the report, "The Social Technographics of Business Buyers," based on a survey conducted online between December 2008 and January 2009; you can access the full report if you're a Forrester client, or arrange to buy it if you are not. You can also register to download the slides or hear the replay of our Webinar on the topic.
Marketers are certainly focusing their efforts on improving the ROI of their campaigns these days. Often, behavioral targeting factors into their plans. This must be why I have so many different projects focusing on BT. In addition to my report that recently came out, I will be presenting a webinar on March 5. You can sign up here. Finally, I'll be presenting after lunch at the OMMA Behavioral Summit on Thursday the 26th.
BT has a lot of great attributes, namely that marketers can find so much value in aggregating behavior over time. However, I also think we need to see more continuity across the market and that consumers deserve a standard opt-out that they can manage across sites. To hear more, sign up for my webinar or meet me at OMMA. I look forward to hearing your thoughts on the matter.
One of the most common misconceptions I hear is that social technologies like Facebook, blogs, and Twitter is just for kids. Yet in reality, our data on social technology usage of Boomers indicates that there's adoption in many generations. With Obama's campaigning to reach middle America with Facebook, Blogs, and YouTube, he continue to reaches the citizens in his ongoing administration --this ain't kids stuff no more!