We recently surveyed over 100 interactive marketers about their on-line measurement practices for my report "Committing to Meaningful Digital Metrics." I was intrigued to find that interactive marketers are not very confident in their ability to measure their on-line marketing. While traditional media is notoriously hard to measure, it has been around for a long time, so marketers are used to the metrics they have and essentially accept them. However, interactive marketing is still new, so while it seems very measure-able, few marketers have established reliable measurement techniques. In fact, even direct response marketers have major room for improvement. Here is how marketers rated themselves across three different types of interactive marketing measurement.
At the end of this year, Forrester expects mobile Internet penetration to reach 17% in Western Europe — the same adoption rate for the PC Internet a decade ago. At that time, mobile phone penetration was still below the 40% threshold and mobile shops were opening at every high-street corner. Companies were only starting to launch their web presence and to anticipate the impact of the Web. Operator-branded mobile Internet solutions would only launch 3 years after and 3G in 2003/2004.
10 years after, the mobile Internet is reaching critical mass and a virtuous mobile Internet cycle is kicking off. Consumers who have a flat-rate data bundle spend more and more time on the Internet from their mobile phones, brands begin to launch their mobile Web presence to monetize these growing audiences and engage with their customers via more relevant mobile content and services, which in turn attracts more and more consumers to unlimited mobile Internet tariffs.
The current economic climate will lengthen handset renewal cycles, foster the development of low-cost offerings, and boost the uptake of SIM-only contracts. Operators are likely to postpone major investments in new networks such as 4G / Long-Term Evolution, despite early trials and commercialization in the Nordics. However, it will only slightly reduce the pace of growth for those elements that stimulate mobile Internet usage: 3.5G and Internet-centric mobile phones as well as all-you-can-eat data plans will be widely available in the next five years. That's the reason why Forrester expects mobile Internet to grow to 39% by the end of 2014. That's a lower end point than for the PC Internet in 2004, but the growth curve per se looks quite the same.
The FCC is launching a wide-ranging investigation of the wireless industry. FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski wants to "look more broadly at all of the elements that affect the mobile marketplace."
Included in the sweeping study will be mobile application developers, software makers and mobile content providers, many of whom have an advertising component as part of their business models.
Marketers need to keep an eye on this probe. It could lead to some significant changes for carriers, and by extension how advertising fits in with mobile applications and mobile Internet services. With a probe this open, it's hard to tell how far it will go, and what new regulatory changes might be imposed. But one thing seems certain with this more hands-on commission: the landscape is about to shift.
What's your take? How will the FCC probe impact the mobile landscape and mobile marketers? Post a comment below.
If you're a marketer targeting Gen X consumers (which we define as consumers between 30 and 43), and you're not using social media or influence marketing, it's time to reevaluate your strategy. Our new report, Brands Should Reach Gen Xers Through Word Of Mouth, sheds some new light on these consumers and their use of social technologies.
Health insurance isn't cool, government agencies aren't hip and medical equipment isn't very social. However, many companies that pedal these products and services work with me on a regular basis to understand how they can make social media work for their marketing needs. Often they find excellent reasons to use sites like Twitter and Facebook, and typically the ideas are quite practical. For example, one company came up with the idea to tweet lab schedule changes back to doctor's offices so they can in turn reschedule patient appointments. Or this Facebook application from Quest Diagnostics, that they created to encourage their customers to live a healthy lifestyle. These social services are free and can create much more effective pathways for communication, so it's worth looking at social media no matter how un-sexy you think your company is.
A new report from the Cleantech Group (available for purchase or to Cleantech clients) takes on a big question: Are the Kindle and other eReaders really "green"?
In Forrester's surveys, we've found that of US online adults who are interested in eReaders, 51% say they're interested because they think that eReaders are "better for the environment." But I've often wondered if consumers just believe that eReaders are green, or if they really are.
Nearly two years ago, I heard that an influential blogger was interested in an analyst job at Forrester. I had just taken over management of our interactive marketing team and to my complete pleasure was able to hire that blogger -- Jeremiah Owyang.
I published my first report on mobile social networks 2 years ago (see here) at a time when Facebook audience was "only" around 50 million unique monthly visitors. At that time MySpace was a paid-for and exclusive experience on Vodafone-Live and Bebo was about to launching a mobile version. Needless to say lots has happened in the last 2 years.
Numerous acquisitions and parternships took place between the likes of Facebook, MySpace, Bebo, Twitter, Hyves and with handset manufacturers / mobile operators. Several mobile-only communities (AirG, peperonity, itsmy.com, buzzcity...) have gained traction and there is plenty of innovation in that space. INQ generated lots of media coverage and interest by lauching its so-called "Facebook phone" and plans to launch new devices. I am not sure what the latest Facebook mobile stats are but not that long ago rougly 10% of the worldwide installed base of FB users had registered to the mobile version. Even more significantly, the GSMA announced a few months ago that UK mobile consumers who access Facebook via their mobile phone spend, on average, 24 minutes on the site daily, just shy of the 27.5 minutes that PC-based Internet users spend daily on Facebook; mobile users of Facebook average 3.3 visits per day versus 2.3 visits per day from PC users.