I enjoyed the many conversations I had with clients this week at Forrester's 2009 Consumer Forum in Chicago. It was interesting to listen to some of the best in the interactive marketing business. They shared with me the challenges they face regarding mobile strategy, budget issues and campaign measurement. Key takeaways from my discussions:
Social networking, watching user-created video, and listening to user-created audio online are at the top of social media activities that youth engage in at least monthly. Data from our Technographics online US Youth survey shows that boys and girls use social media in different ways.
Girls favor communication activities, such as posting comments on other people’s profiles, commenting on blogs, and contributing to online discussion groups and they are also more active at maintaining their own blogs and Web pages.
In a very democratic fashion, Google announced partnership with most of the major online music services yesterday, to allow music searchers to “find and discover” music. Check out my colleague Mark Mulligan’s poston Google’s relevance to digital music from last week. The note worthy point about Google's executionis how carefully it nudges searchers to buy music and not just stream it for free. The two main partners, Lala and iLike, that are getting premium placement by the play button, allow only limited streaming of the song. iLike lets you stream only some songs full length for the first time. After that users can only listen to 30 second sample of the song or buy an MP3. Lala also allows one free listen per song and then offers 10 cent Web singles or full MP3s.
Something interesting's afoot in the digital reading space. Quietly, companies are testing digital reading applications for portable gaming devices in select markets. Two developments of note:
EA "Flips" for Nintendo DS: A reader app for Nintendo's portable gaming system, offered for now only in the UK. Aimed at 8- to 11-year-olds (a good fit for the install base of the DS). Content partnerships announced with UK book publishers Penguin and Egmont. Revenue model will be bundled downloads of multiple (6-8) titles for an a la carte price of £24.99. Interactive elements include quizzes, operated with the DS's touch screen and stylus.
Marvel Comics and others on the Sony PSP: In August, Sony announced a digital reader app for the PSP that will launch in December in select countries (UK, US, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa). It announced a content partnership with Marvel Comics and said there would be more content partners with comics, graphic novels, and manga publishers to come. Marvel digital comics are already available online via subscription ($10/month or $60/year). Details on the app don't say how much comics will be on the PSP.
During what I call the “black and white” days of the internet in 1995, when email was a green screen “app”, I presented a direct mail CEO with a business plan for direct marketing online. When he voiced his disbelief in the power of digital marketing, I walked him back to his office, installed the Mosaic browser, and stood behind him while he used the mouse to navigate a few sites I suggested. In about 10 minutes, he went into a trance of amazement at the data, the content and the interactivity. He went on to refocus the company on interactive media.
The time may soon come when TV service providers are also going to compete for the rights to exclusive distribution to the Apple Tablet...
There are long running rumors that Apple will soon launch a new device that will look like the iPhone but with a much bigger screen and with great capacity: the so called Apple Tablet. Whether Apple launches such a device or not, there appears to be a market opportunity for a mid sized touch screen, media focused device.It seems that there are also lively debates around where consumers would actually fit such a new device into their daily life.
For a new report I'm writing I'm looking into knowledge management and what this means for Market Research. Currently, in most market research department each survey is a standalone project and it's close to non-existent that results are analyzed across surveys or data sources for gathering insights and trends. On the other side of the house there are colleagues analyzing web statistics, DM and email marketing data, brand trackers, and CRM outcomes.
However, this set-up will no longer be acceptable in the future. Consumers connect with companies through different channels and leave their feedback about the company in different places. They expect companies to understand that and they dont want to be asked about things they already shared.