I'll stick to my comments and continue to believe that regulation had a stronger impact on the mobile sector than the economic crisis. The recent announcement that the French telecom regulation authority eventually (after years after back and forth discussions and lobbying) granted the 4th 3G license to Free/Iliad (one of the largest ISPs) is a good example of that. The new entrant will not launch before early 2012 but aims at captuting 10% market share by introducing cheaper tariffs (a competitive 3 hour package for less than 20€), bundling Internet access and offering interesting conditions to MVNOs. Evolution of termination rates or roaming tariffs as well as other regulations on spectrum have a much greater impact on operators' bottom line than reduced spending from consumers.
...(Subtitled) Or at Least Marketing as We Know It!
But first, since this is my first blog post as a Forrester analyst, I thought I'd make a quick introduction. I'm Augie Ray, a new Sr. Analyst of Social Computing serving interactive marketing professionals. Prior to joining Forrester's Bay Area office, I was a Managing Director at Fullhouse, a social and interactive communications agency in Milwaukee, WI. I'm very excited to be part of the Forrester organization and eager to help clients with research, data, and consulting on the profound and exciting changes underway with Social Media Marketing.
The terms "earned, owned and paid (aka bought) media" have become very popular in the interactive marketing space today. In fact, taken together they can be applied as a simple way for interactive marketers to categorize and ultimately prioritize all of the media options they have today. Nokia was an early pioneer in this space (see Dan Goodall's posts on the subject). They now categorize all of their global interactive media as earned, owned or bought. Many agencies, including R/GA, Critical Mass, Sapient and Isobar (my former employer) also use the model to help develop digital strategies. On top of that, many industry leaders such as Pete Blackshaw, Fred Wilson and David Armano have written about the subject.
Yet as popular as these themes have become, they're often loosely applied across the industry and essentially no one is speaking the same language. Therefore we just published research defining each type of media and providing interactive marketers with prescriptive advice on how to best apply them. Here's a summary of how we defined each type of online media and their roles:
Some of you may know that I started my career in interactive marketing at Advertising.com, now part of AOL Media. I have a soft spot for the "good kind" of ad networks, those who keep the advertiser and publisher interests in mind, who strive for good quality advertisements and content, and who have killer optimization and targeting technology. I have always looked at ad networks as a key technology driven service who fills important needs for both the buy and sell side.
As a Forrester analyst I get to work with a fantastic team of researchers – including Tom Cummings, who contributes some great work to our research on social media marketing and a wide range of other topics. Below, Tom discusses a piece of research we collaborated on, covering how marketers are using Twitter:
ACCOR, the global hotel chain, just launched an iPhone application.
This is just one of the many examples of travel brands leveraging the mobile momentum. Airline companies have always been at the vanguard of integrating mobile into their strategies, but it looks like many other travel brands from hotel chains, airports, rail companies, car rental companies, and travel-related brands (from Lonely Planet to luxury brands) are now tapping into existing mobile opportunities and building mobile products that meet burgeoning customer demand.
Travel is indeed inherently mobile. Now that the promise of location-enhanced services is beginning to be fulfilled on mobile phones, travelers are starting to use their devices as personal travel assistants. More than 10% of European Internet travelers use their mobile phones to look up flight or train schedules. Frequent business travelers are the ideal target group, as they are more likely to be regular users of the mobile Internet and are more likely to spend while traveling. More than 30% of them are interested in booking train tickets or checking in for a flight via their mobile phones.
Another interesting announcement was made this morning at the LeWeb conference in Paris, where Orange officially announced the launch of its Application Shop (available in beta in the UK and France for several months). This shop will first be available to 1 million customers in these two countries before being roll-out to millions more customers throughout 2010. For now it gives acess to 5,000 applications.
Replicating Apple's success will not be an easy task and operators should not follow this route. They should on the contrary leverage their key assets to offer:
We've been writing a lot about eReader devices, but let's focus on the content for a moment. Why? Because selling a lifetime of eBook content to consumers is the end game of many companies in this space, especially Amazon and Barnes & Noble. They sky's the limit here. Consumers don't own digital libraries of books, as they did with music: When mp3 players came out, most consumers owned CDs that could be easily burned to a computer and downloaded to a device. Not so with books.
And the market for digital books, while catalyzed by the existence of dedicated eReader devices, will extend across multiple devices including desktops, laptops, mobile phones, netbooks, tablets, MIDs, portable gaming devices, and devices that haven't been invented yet. As we discuss in a new Forrester report, Forrester's data (based on a mail survey of 4,711 US consumers conducted in Q3 2009) shows that 3% of US consumers read eBooks on their desktop computers today; 2% read on laptops; and fewer than 1% read on dedicated eReaders, mobile phones, or netbooks, respectively. When it comes to future demand, 19% of US consumers say they're interested in reading eBooks on their desktop PCs, 14% say they're interested in reading on eReaders, 11% voice interest in reading on netbooks, and 5% say they're interested in reading on their mobile phones. What this means: Consumers are reading books digitally on multiple devices, and they will continue to do so.
I've spent the last year living and working in Vancouver, Canada -- speaking with many Canadian interactive marketers and agencies, and collecting survey data on Canadian consumers -- so I'm pleased to say that yesterday we released a new report, Canadian Social Technographics Revealed, and added our latest Canadian data to our free Social Technographics Profile Tool.
2009 has been a breakout year for eReaders and eBooks--device sales will have more than tripled by the end of this year, and content sales are up 176% for the year--but 2010 will be anything but boring. Here are Forrester's predictions for what will happen in the next year: