Since banks like Bank of America launched native iPhone apps for Apple’s app store in late 2008, there has been an ongoing discussion about whether the future of mobile banking will be dominated by native apps or browser-based services.
With the adoption of smartphones that let people download mobile apps (like iPhones, Andoid phones, and BlackBerrry devices) still being small today, banks will need to continue offering browser-based mobile banking services to reach most of their customers. But with smartphone ownership growing fast, I expect that most growth in mobile banking adoption will come from native apps and not from browser-based services in the coming years because:
1) Native mobile apps offer a much more compelling mobile banking user experience:
Apps are easier to find. App stores have become an important way for consumers to discover content. To find a mobile app, customers simply need to search for the bank’s brand name in the app store. Furthermore, mobile banking apps often appear in the list of most popular free apps — which creates additional promotion. Banks promote their native apps heavily since it positions the firm as an innovation leader and associates their own brand to other popular brands like Apple. By contrast, it is more difficult for customers to find out about their bank’s mobile banking Web site domain. Initiatives like dotMobi, with specific domains for mobile-dedicated sites still suffer because it is not clear which sites carry the .mobi extension and which don't. Furthermore, — since mobile search is in its infancy —searching via search engines like Google require additional effort.
Interested in managing and growing the European business within Forrester's largest Marketing & Strategy Leadership Board? Then I would love to speak with you. We are hiring a Senior Advisor for our Forrester Interactive Marketing Council, based out of London. We're looking for someone who loves interactive marketing as much as we do and is motivated to help our leadership board clients be successful practitioners in the space. You'd be joining our growing European IM team: Nate Elliott, Lauriane Camus, James McDavid, Lucilla DeSarlo, and me. Experience in interactive marketing and client-facing work is a must; interest in football and good food a plus. ;-)
Here's the job description. You can apply for the position directly from the page. Hope to hear from you!
Our internal deadlines are looming for Forrester’s Marketing And Strategy Forum EMEA 2010, to be held in London on November 18 and 19. Pretty soon, all of our presentations have to be reviewed, content-edited and fact-checked, and then submitted. In case you hadn’t noticed, we have put together a special track at this event for marketing professionals in the tech industry; this runs on the Friday from 11:40 till 15:30. I will kick off and moderate this “conference within a conference,” where we will explore the idea that tech industry marketing should no longer be communicating product differentiation; it should be the difference. As technology becomes commoditized, customers take control of the vendor-user interaction, and social media becomes a standard interaction channel, marketing must move its contribution from just educating customers and persuading them to accept the product to a more strategic role of enabling interactions with customers to solve their problems -- an engagement model that Forrester calls "customer enablement."
We will also be talking about community marketing, marketing in a global economy, and aligning sales and marketing. Some of the presentations are based on our previous Marketing Forum held in Los Angeles back in March. But I have cajoled my colleagues into making sure that they illustrate their presentations with EMEA-based case studies and examples. I have been particularly energized to do this in the past few weeks as I have been looking forward to attending the bi-annual Ryder Cup golf contest between the USA and Europe, held this weekend in my home town in Wales.
Not all advocates are created equal—someone who “likes” your brand or follows you on Twitter is not an advocate (yet). This is an important fact to realize before you plan and launch an advocacy program. Building a program can be costly, so you need to invest wisely in advocates who can create the biggest bang for the buck. While it’s nice to have anyone advocating on your behalf, you need to get the Mass Influencers doing so.
As introduced in the Forrester Peer Influence Pyramid, Mass Influencers are the minority of those in social media who create the majority of the influence posts and impressions about products and services. These are the people who combine influence, trust, relevance and scale to create powerful advocacy.
There are three ways to create mass-influencing advocates:
Promote them: Take people who have little influence on their own and make them Mass Influencers through involvement in your program. The Walt Disney World Moms Panel is a successful example of this approach.
Eric Schmidt has seen the future, and it's "autonomous search." That's a fancy term that means "discovery." But no matter what words you use, it still means the same thing: more empowered consumers and greater value in earned media.
Some people are creeped out by portions of what Schmidt said, but he has suggested an exciting future for empowering people to create greater influence and be armed with timely, relevant, and useful information. At TechCrunch Disrupt, Schmidt envisioned a future where people and technology come together to create "a serendipity engine . . . a new way of thinking about traditional text search where you don't even have to type."
As you look into the future, the distinction between “search” and “discovery” gets muddy. While it sounds like science fiction to suggest that technology can help search for things you don’t even yet know you want, the opportunities to improve human discovery are very real. Combining a person’s context—where they are, who they’re with—with their past opinions and actions and the opinions and actions of others can create tremendous value and relevance.
Since 2007, Forrester has tracked the growth of social behaviors. For years we’ve seen increases in more complex social behaviors such as Creators—those who generate social content including YouTube videos and blog posts. But for the first time, we’re seeing a change in the growth trend. Our latest 2010 Global Social Technographics report demonstrates that many social behaviors have reached a plateau. Why, and what does this mean to marketers?
There is not a single answer to those questions. The reasons span things as complex as human nature and as simple as Web site usability. For example, is it sensible to believe that Creator behavior will ever be universal? Not every person has a burning need to be a reporter, an industry expert, a videographer, a musician, a thought leader, an editor or a broadcaster. The fact that more than 1 in 5 online adults in the US are exhibiting Creator behavior is a testament to how social technologies have lowered the bar, since these tools have allowed more people to create and distribute their ideas, opinions and creations than was ever possible in the past.
If you’ve ever talked to Forrester about social media, chances are you’ve heard of the Social Technographics® Ladder -- our tool for measuring how people use social technologies and for helping marketers (and product strategists and market researchers and others) understand how to engage with those people in the social Web.
Today we’ve released our new 2010 Social Technographics data worldwide (you can see the US data here), and you’ll notice that this year, for the first time since we introduced the ladder, we’ve added a new category of social engagement. The new category -- “Conversationalists” -- is designed to capture the short, rapid conversations that are now taking place on Twitter and through Facebook status updates. How many people are engaged in these behaviors? Almost one-third of European online adults participate in these rapid public conversations every week. In just over two years, this activity has come from nowhere to become one of the most popular social behaviors we track.
And this Conversationalist activity has come along at just the right time, too -- because more “traditional” forms of online contribution have levelled off. The percentage of online Europeans who post their own blogs, videos, photos, or other media -- what we call “Creators” -- hasn’t grown in either of the past two years. And the percentage who participate in message boards and forums or who post comments on blogs or other social sites -- what we call “Critics” -- has grown just one percentage point in Europe each of the past two years.
Two and a half years ago, Forrester introduced Social Technographics®, a way to analyze people’s social technology behavior. Today, we want you to take a moment and think about the uptake of social media in your company. Ask yourself the following question:
From the following list of statements, please select where your company stands with social media. (Please choose all that apply)
My company currently has a social media strategy.
My company is thinking about developing a social media strategy.
My company is trying to defend why we don’t have a social media strategy.
My company is currently trying to understand what social media is.
We're less than a week away from the release of The Social Network. What do you think the film's US box office will be? Are we looking at a $150-million blockbuster? A $100-million success? Or a $50-million disappointment? Post your predictions here or tweet them on Twitter to @augieray with the hashtag #SNBO (for Social Network Box Office), and you could earn not only bragging rights but also receive a free copy of Empowered, signed by best-selling author Josh Bernoff. You must post your prediction before 8 a.m. PDT on Friday, October 1, and we'll declare a winner on Monday, October 25.
It seems everyone in the world (or at least everyone in my world) is buzzing about The Social Network. In case you're living in a cave, The Social Network is the fictionalized story of the founding of Facebook, featuring real-life characters such as Mark Zuckerberg, Eduardo Saverin, Dustin Moskovitz, Sean Parker, and Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss.
Earlier this week, Ulster Bank announced that it launched the first free mobile banking app in Ireland for the iPhone. The bank follows many other European banks that have jumped on the iPhone app bandwagon in the past 18 months.
In a report titled "The State Of Mobile Banking In Europe: 2010" that I published earlier this year, I argued that thanks to its large-screen, touch-screen interface, the app store, and the fact that it mostly comes with fast all-you-can-eat data plans, it opened many people’s eyes for the potential of the mobile channel. In fact, iPhone users are about three times as likely to use mobile banking as other mobile phone users.
Of the 42 largest banks in the UK, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands, and Sweden, as many as 28 now offer iPhone banking apps — a whopping 67%. Although their launch has generated a lot of free PR, these iPhone apps have limited reach today. According to Forrester’s Consumer Technographics data, only about 2% of European mobile phone users have an iPhone and no individual country exceeds 4% adoption.
To reach more customers, many banks are launching apps for other platforms these days. So far, 12 out of the 42 European banks we reviewed offer apps for Android (29%). But only two banks (5%) — Spain’s la Caixa and Germany’s Sparkasse — can be found on RIM’s BlackBerry App World.