Jeffrey Trachtenberg and Geoffrey Fowler's article in the Wall Street Journal today really got me thinking. Trachtenberg and Fowler report that some publishers are withholding the release of eBooks until the hardcover printing has run its course--which we see as the latest manifestation of publishers' shock and denial of the digital revolutionand the catastrophic change it will wreak on their industry.
In the article, the reporters quote a literary agent comparing eBooks to DVDs, arguing that the film industry would never release a DVD at the same time as a theater release, so why should publishers cannibalize hardcover sales by releasing eBooks simultaneously? Well, here's why we think publishers are wrong:
Today, Forrester takes the incubation tag off our sales enablement research agenda and is launching a new coverage area called “Technology Sales Enablement” targeted for sales and marketing professionals involved in improving the performance of the sales organization. When you put “sales” and “enablement” together, you get a lot of different points of view.
So, what’s Forrester's view on thissubject? What perspective do we have to offer?
I recently came accross this quote in the Financial Times from the former Vodafone CEO on November 19, 2007: "The simple fact that we have the customer and billing relationship is a hugely powerful thing that nobody can take away from us". Would you still agree with this operator statement written in golden letters at the forefront of any "smart pipe" operator strategy?
Since then, new entrants such as Google and Apple have shaken up the value chain. I have two examples in mind showcasing the tectonic shifts happening: 1) Apple imposing a direct billing relationship via iTunes/App store and 2) Google managing to create its own location data base (via cell ID or Skyhook's wireless technology) without relying on operators' network.
As early as in July 2007 (before the 3G iPhone version embedding a GPS chip), Google Maps on iPhone (the combo of Google's and Apple's strengths) started offering the "magic blue circle" experience. You could benefit from a compelling user experience like never before, with instant localization without any GPS chipset. Of course, the accuracy may not be good enough if you are looking for a pure turn-by-turn navigation, but honestly this is so simple and useful if as a pedestrian you're looking at the streets nearby.
Location is at the very heart of the mobile value proposition.
Wikipedia defines Customer Intelligence as the process of gathering and analyzing information regarding customers; their details and their activities; in order to build deeper and more effective customer relationships and improve strategic decision making.
Amazon dropped the price of the Kindle 2 today from $359 to $299. Are we surprised? No. It's predictable that prices decrease for consumer electronics as manufacturing volume scales up (just ask those poor saps who paid $499 for a 4GB iPhone in 2007). But there's also some pricing pressure specific to the eReader category that Amazon is responding to. In particular:
Analysts as a breed have a tendency to create new buzz words and phrases, neologisms that capture emerging trends and themes. But what we are now calling the media meltdown — where traditional media business models based on scarcity and control are fundamentally challenged by the new realities of digital media consumption — is not some abstract economist notion.
For many of our clients, including media companies that create and distribute content to users, the media meltdown is already a painful reality. Users want more and more content for free, while advertisers are struggling to engage fragmented audiences. The old business models aren’t working, and the new ones aren’t yet in place.
But while the media meltdown equates to pain for many companies, it is also creating opportunities for non-media companies — including telcos, hardware manufacturers, and FMCG brands — to increasingly use content directly to engage users. In other words, we are all media companies now — and, as such, have to embrace new ways of thinking.
You can expect to hear more about the media meltdown from me and my fellow Forrester analysts in the next couple of months. We believe this is a seismic shift that has huge implications for marketers, advertisers, content managers and product strategists across a whole range of companies. We also believe we can help our clients negotiate this challenging period.
Fortune just published its Global 500 2009 list which
outlines the largest 500 corporations in the world.
A few observations on how the list is evolving, with a particular focus on the
top 15 countries (those with eight or more Fortune 500 companies listed this year):
Chances are you've seen an online video contest lately. In fact,
you've probably seen a lot of them: more than 20% of interactive
marketers -- including category leaders like P&G, Nike, Coca-Cola
and Sony -- tell Forrester they've run campaigns asking users to submit
online content in the past year. I've been collecting a list of dozens
of great video contests, and one contest clearinghouse site says there are 115 user-generated video contests accepting submissions right now, across a huge range of categories.
I'm pleased to announce that Forrester's five year forecast is now complete and live on Forrester's site. It feels like this has been a long time in coming from my side too! Please see the full report for detailed explanations of the trends affecting overall marketing budgets and the growth of the channel in the forecast.
You may remember we previewed our forecast at Forrester's Marketing Forum at the end of April. If you cross reference this post to the one we posted as follow up to the forum, you will notice that the "% of all advertising spend" has changed. The absolute forecast is still the same, we just changed this calculation to make sure it was done in the same way as in years past. See below for the most recent release:
This research will certainly help marketers plan their channel strategies.