Is The iPad A PC Or A Smartphone?

Today's FT reports Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer's take on this question:

"To a man with a hammer, every problem looks like a nail," he said. “We have our hammer [with Windows],” while Apple had its own hammer with the iPhone operating system that it was expanding to support the iPad.

This is a supremely shrewd observation, but it misses one important fact: Microsoft has a rival to iPhone OS in the mobile device market too, and one which would be ideally suited to tablets. The right tools are Microsoft's true mobile-optimised platforms on which Microsoft's handhelds, phones, and Windows Phone 7 are built. See more information, including photos, of the proof of concept Microsoft tablet running Windows Embedded Compact here in Engadget's Computex coverage.

This is significant. Because Microsoft has failed many times in the past using full versions of Windows in tablet designs such as Ultra Mobile PCs, Windows for Pen Computing, Windows XP tablet edition and the rest. These past failures were due to a lack of convenience. Microsoft must avoid repeating history now. So, Steve Ballmer is wrong: Windows 7 is not the right hammer for tablets to compete with the iPad. Why?

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Extending The VoC Award Deadline To Tuesday, June 8th


We experienced a brief technical glitch in our online nomination form. It was a one-day thing, and we’ve solved the problem. Now we’re taking the opportunity to provide the kind of good customer experience we advocate.

We’re making up for our one-day technical issue with a two-day deadline extension. We’ll accept award nominations up until 5pm Eastern on Tuesday, June 8th.

If you think you’ve encountered any technical issues, please feel free to email your nomination directly to me at

Otherwise, you can still submit your nomination using the online nomination form and send accompanying slides (up to five) to

People Don’t Buy What You Do, They Buy WHY You Do It

Two days ago I created a blog post entitled, "Leadership And Self-Deception And Social Media." In it, I suggested that the thing that separates success from mediocrity "isn’t how we do what we do, but who we are as we do it ... What determines how a brand’s actions create or destroy rapport (in social media) isn’t just what it does -- there is no magic social media 'to do' checklist -- but who the brand is and what it stands for."

Today I had the good fortune to spend 18 minutes with a wonderful TED presentation by Simon Sinek, author of "Start With Why," which shares Sinek's theory of effective leadership. His words are quite inspiring, and the ideas he conveys are so similar to the ones I included in my last blog post that I wanted to share this thoughtful video with you.

Sinek has studied great leaders and notes "All the great and inspiring leaders ... think, act and communicate the exact same way." That's a pretty bold statement, and he illustrates it using companies such as Apple and people including Martin Luther King and the Wright brothers. He notes that great leaders don't work from the outside in but from the inside out -- they start with Why and not What. 

And what does this mean to marketers? Sinek contends (quite convincingly) that great brands do the same. In the end, "People don't buy what you do; people buy why you do it." 

I hope I whetted your appetite to spend 18 minutes with this terrific TED Talk:

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How To Get People To Pay For Content

It's the most common question I get in my travels: Will people ever pay for content again? See what I had to say about that in a recent interview below (as posted on

Implied in the question is a belief in some yesteryear in which people did pay for content. But the good news is, they never have and never will. That's the good news? Yes, because once we stop imagining that people will someday pay for content again, we can focus on giving them what they will pay for -- access to content.

It's what people have always paid for and it's clearly what they pay for now. Look deeper into the past and you find that people did not underwrite all the pages of content in their daily newspapers. Yes, they paid for the newspaper, but that's just because the newspaper was the only way to get efficient access to that much news and information. Today, instead of paying for newspapers, they pay for high-speed data plans to their homes and on their mobile devices as well as subscriptions to content from Netflix and their cable companies, accounting for 77% of their monthly spend on content. And they will pay even more for that in the future as 4G becomes a reality. 

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The Market Research Opportunity For Listening Technology Vendors

Whenever I talk to clients about social market research, the conversation inevitably and quickly turns to listening platforms and how/if market researchers can use them. Platforms like those from Radian6 and Alterian are attracting a lot of attention right now due to the fact that social media have become so mainstream among online consumers in the US and increasingly so in Europe. And the hope among researchers is that these conversations, when tracked and analyzed appropriately, will yield meaningful insights that would have been hard to come by through other means.

The reality is that listening platforms require a significant human touch in order to sift through mountains of data and extract golden nuggets of insight. I truly believe that it’s not too much of a stretch for market researchers to get comfortable with the methodological challenges of this kind of research, such as the fact that you never know the true demographics of the sample. Instead, what’s holding market researchers back is that it’s hard to do this research in an efficient and meaningful (read: insightful) way using just a platform alone.

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How Do I Get My Customers To Download My Mobile Application? -- ESPN Case Study

I get this question a lot from clients, and I saw a good example today so . . . I thought I'd share. How should we promote our services? Should we use TV? Online? Banner ads on cell phones? What is most effective? The high-level answer is "yes." Most of our clients are pursuing using their existing media -- whether it is ATMs in the case of Bank of America, the Web site for Walgreens, or TV ads by ESPN. Many are also using banner ads on the devices with which their devices are compatible. For example, they buy iPhone ads because the audience is right, and they can connect into the App Store on the application page.


Was watching ESPN this morning and saw a commercial advertising mobile TV in preparation for the World Cup.

What they did right and what I liked:

1) Used their existing media (TV) to promote mobile services. They also used an "event" (= World Cup) as a catalyst to promote their mobile TV service. With the World Cup being played in South Africa, there will be games at night, during the work day, and at many other times when people are unable to sit in front of their TVs.

2) The ad on TV gave the viewer context. "When would I use this application?" "Where would I use this application?" The TV ad shows the person switching on mobile video when he gets out of bed, is in the bathroom brushing his teeth, parking his car, and at work. They also demonstrate the quality of the application with zoomed-in views of the video service.

Watching Video While Brushing Teeth

Watching TV at Work

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Nice To Meet You!

As you might have read, the Interactive Marketing analyst team has been growing. What you might not know yet is that I’m one of the new recruits.

I’m one of those practitioners who’s been working with social media since before we called it that — early on at and most recently at Time Inc. Check out my profile for more details about me.

I imagine it’ll come as no surprise that social media is one of my coverage areas. I’ll be looking at the operational, tactical side of social media — especially topics related to community management. Speaking of which, my first piece of writing as an analyst was published in this month’s issue of CRM Magazine. If you have a chance to read it, I hope you’ll come back here and share your feedback.

In addition to social media, I’ll be tackling some emerging topics for interactive marketers, like e-readers and other mobile devices. My early research agenda is sketched out and my first document, a checklist to prepare for community management, will be published in the next few weeks. Following that, I’ll be working on the Community Platforms Forrester Wave, but if there are particular questions you have about any of my coverage areas, or specific pieces of research that would be of interest or help to you, please add a comment and let me know.

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Takeaways From The Yahoo! Investor Day: The Focus Moves To Display Monetization

I spent last Wednesday at the Yahoo! investor day conference in Silicon Valley where Yahoo! execs outlined the future of one of interactive marketing's largest players. Yahoo! spent a large part of the day on its content and audience, touting its efforts in customization, mobile, and social integration and demoing a slick and creative web-based email client for the iPad. It was nice to see Yahoo! show off some content innovation, but what I (and I suspect many of the financial analysts in the room) were really interested in was Yahoo!'s approach to advertising and its revenue projections. That's not to say keeping and growing its audience isn't key to Yahoo!'s advertising offering. Yahoo! is as close as the web has to a "must buy", TV-scale property and that in and of itself is a strong incentive for media buyers to keep pumping dollars its way. Still, the future of Yahoo! as well as the broader online media industry isn't just about obtaining the largest audience, it's also about effective monetization.

Yahoo!'s own projections bear this out. Let's take a look at some numbers presented by Yahoo! CFO Tim Morse:

That +4-5% number labeled as "volume" is what Yahoo! expects to get from its content and user experience initiatives. The +6-7% that Yahoo! labels as "yield" is all about monetization. Yes, scale and audience engagement are going to be significant contributors to Yahoo!'s revenue growth, but even more important will be convincing marketers that an ad on Yahoo! is worth more than it is today. Some of this will come simply as the economy turns around and demand for advertising grows. Still, it's going to take more than just passive efforts from Yahoo! to hit its projections. So how can Yahoo! do this? I see two core components:

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Less Than A Week Left To Submit Voice Of The Customer Award Nominations


We’ve seen lots of interest in this year’s Voice of the Customer Awards, from both client and vendor companies.

Adding some fuel to the fire, I’d like to highlight that Ginger Conlon, Editor-in-Chief of 1to1 Media, has kindly agreed to be a guest judge! She’ll be joined by four Forrester judges: Victoria Bough, Moira Dorsey, Harley Manning, and me.

I also want to remind everyone that the deadline for nominations is Friday, June 4th.

We’ll reach out to the winners on or before June 23rd and invite them to join Forrester at the Customer Experience Forum in New York on June 29th. At the event, we’ll call each of the winners up on stage to accept the award. A lot of great press coverage came out of this last year, and we expect even more heat this time around.

Here are the links to help you participate:

Submit your award nomination using the online nomination form.

Send accompanying slides (up to five) to

Get answers to FAQs.

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Leadership And Self-Deception And Social Media

Five years ago I read a book that changed my life:  Leadership and Self-Deception by the Arbinger Institute, an organization dedicated to helping people, organizations, and communities solve problems created by self-deception. It had such a powerful impact on the way I see myself and others that I have since purchased more than ten copies for employees and friends, and I recently gave it my third rereading. 

Although the book is about personal and organizational improvement and not marketing, a recent experience with my mobile provider made me appreciate how the lessons in “Leadership and Self-Deception” apply to social media.  One of the insights in this book is that behaviors are not as important as who we are. Organizations and people can do the same set of behaviors and get disparate outcomes; the difference isn’t how we do what we do, but who we are as we do it. Nowhere is this more true than in social media.

One way of being is to recognize people as people and the other is to see people as obstacles and objects. The first way of being encourages us to connect with people and do right by them, and the latter causes us to treat people as tasks that must be disposed of as efficiently as possible.  Because people primarily respond not to what we do but to how we’re being, the difference in these two approaches is the difference between an antagonistic relationship seeded with distrust and a collaborative relationship of mutual benefit.  Which type of relationship does your brand want with its customers?

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