Google's Mobile Payments Announcement Clarifies The Opportunity For Banks And Card Providers

It has been 96 hours (give or take) since the Google's announcement that rocked the mobile payment space. During that time, I read literally dozens of news reports and blog posts to help me understand what this announcement really means. Incidentally, I found a great article that explains how this partnership will work.

Here is my take.

  • The embedded NFC chip in phones is the most exciting part of the announcement. In order to get mobile payments off the ground, NFC chips must be embedded in phones (unless we all want a sticker on our phone - ugh!). We got step closer with the Google announcement and will now wait for Apple's inevitable announcement on the same point.
  • Google got their mobile payment architecture right. The focus on existing providers (i.e. MasterCard, Citi, First Data) is the way to go. Reinventing the payment verification and settlement process is not smart and Google avoided that. 
  • Vendors can now start innovating. The embedded NFC chip and associated standards will do for mobile payments what the embedded camera did for mobile deposit. It gives an innovative vendor the opportunity to take advantage of a technology well integrated in a mobile device. The winner here is not Google (from a mobile payments perspective at least), but instead the next "Mitek Systems" that will take that embedded chip to develop a mobile payments service.
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Unlikely Data Partnerships: A New Reality?

I was intrigued by the recent announcement that MasterCard and Brighter Planet were teaming up to mine carbon emission data based on corporate cardholder data. This announcement got me thinking about unlikely data partnerships across verticals to productize data and form mutually beneficial partnerships using data as the currency. 

But what’s really interesting is that it elevates the conversation of customer intelligence beyond better campaigns and ROI to the use of customer data for sustainability efforts — a relatively uncommon use case for customer intelligence. 

The concept of data sharing or data partnerships is not new — entire business models exist on making these services available to organizations for smarter targeting and remarketing. Retail data co-ops, online media audience aggregators, and data coalitions are just a few examples of these models. And MasterCard even sells its MasterCard Advisors solution to provide merchants with enhanced data and targeting capabilities.

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Social Intelligence On The Road: June 2011

After the longest winter I can remember, it's finally getting nice out in New England and it seems summer is finally around the corner. Along with the weather, the market's interest in social intelligence is heating up, too. I'm filling my days talking to marketers interested in using social media data to inform their business strategies.

As a result of this growing interest, I'm hitting the road in June to share my research. Along with a packed series of client and vendor visits, I have a few events coming up that I hope you can attend:

  • On June 8th, I'll speak at MeasureUp — a conference dedicated to marketing measurement. My session is on "Social Network Analysis" and covers the theory and practice of understanding your customers through the combination of their online conversations with social network connections, all made possible through the customer database.
  • On June 16th, I'll speak at the Vocus User Conference, in a session titled "Combining Public Relations With Customer Intelligence." In this talk, I'll speak about the different ways social media data is driving a revolution for the PR industry.
  • On June 20th, I'll lead a session with Forrester's Customer Intelligence Leadership Board (our networking community of CI professionals) on new trends in customer influence. For this session, I'll share some of the data I showed at SXSW this spring and give a sneak peak at my upcoming research on identifying, measuring, and utilizing customer influence.
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Advertising The Customer Experience

My research director Harley Manning has a lot of quips that we affectionately call Harleyisms. One of them goes like this: All ads promise one of three things — you’re gonna get rich, you’re gonna live forever, or you’re gonna get (um, I’ll be polite here) some nookie.

While this might have been somewhat true during the golden age of advertising, I’ve noticed a new ad trend over the past several years: More marketers are advertising the customer experiences that their companies deliver. Here are a few examples:

  • Apple’s iPhone and iPad ads put viewers in the perspective of holding the devices in their own hands, all while demonstrating how easy they are to use and the real-world value they provide (like finding the best price on a book or getting step-by-step cooking instructions).
  • JetBlue promoted its customer experience in a series of hilarious ads that poke fun at the draconian policies employed by its competitors.
  • Virgin America’s San Francisco subway ads say, “LAND WITH AN EMPTY INBOX. SFO -> DALLAS FORT WORTH WITH WIFI.”
  • San Francisco bus ads for Saint Francis and Saint Mary’s hospitals promise: “ER WAIT TIME: UNDER 30 MINUTES.”
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Join Forrester’s Tweet Jam About Social Media Measurement: May 31st (Today!) At 2 pm Eastern

Join us again for this week's #IMChat, a weekly tweet jam hosted by the interactive marketing team at Forrester. We know that social media is important to you – during last week’s tweet jam about your digital initiatives, the term came up more than 20 times. So today, our conversation is on social media measurement. We’ll talk about existing challenges and ask how your peers are breaking through them. We even have a social media measurement pioneer, Nichole Kelly from FullFrontalROI, on hand to offer her ideas about how to make social marketing accountable.

To participate, just follow the #IMChat hashtag at 2:00 p.m. If you’d like to learn more about the rules of engagement, visit this community discussion on The Forrester Community For Interactive Marketing Professionals. To read some past archives, visit the documents section of the same community.

Here are some of the questions we'll be discussing during today’s tweet jam:

1.       What are you current challenges with measuring your social media initiatives?

2.       What tools do you use to measure social media today?

3.       What social media metrics resonate with your CMO today?

4.       Are there other marketing metrics that your senior leadership understands and appreciates?

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Guest Post: James McDavid On Mojitos And Minimal Techno At 35,000 Feet

Our London-based Interactive Marketing Research Associate James McDavid chimes in with this great tale of how listening to and embracing your fans in social media can create powerful word-of-mouth marketing:

As every dance music aficionado knows, Miami is the place to be every March as it hosts the Winter Music Conference (WMC), an event that brings together leading lights from the industry to party, share records, and make fun of Paris Hilton. So when Dutch airline KLM announced they'd be launching a new route between Amsterdam and Miami at the end of March 2011, a couple of Dutch DJs tweeted KLM to see if the airline could move the flight forward a week to coincide with the WMC. The DJs claimed that they could fill a flight from Amsterdam to Miami solely with revelers and ravers. KLM, seeing a great opportunity to show off their social savvy, offered the DJs a challenge — if they could get 150 people to register in seven days, then KLM would move the inaugural flight forward — and, as a bonus, let the DJs spin some records in the cabin.

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How Should Tech Marketers Address Procurement Professionals And Procurement Directories?

Some of you were looking for me, Peter O’Neill, at Forrester’s IT Forum 2011 in Las Vegas last week. My apologies; I was originally advertised as speaking at this event, but we decided to keep me in Europe after all, where I contributed to the first of a series of two-day partner trainings being run by Dell around the region (see my previous blog post on the topic). I will definitely be at the Forrester’s IT Forum EMEA 2011 in Barcelona next week though: I have four presentations to make and look forward to many interesting one-on-ones with tech marketers in between that packed schedule.

I wasn’t too upset about missing Las Vegas; ‘tis not my favorite place — did you know that I am invited to visit Las Vegas around six times a year? Clearly, I cannot attend everything as I must also do my day job: working inquiries, writing reports, and providing advisory; so my rule is to visit each vendor’s event every two years. Missing Las Vegas also meant I could go to the Ariba Live 2011 customer conference in London last Wednesday, which fascinated me because Ariba was one of the software vendors I worked with very closely back in my HP days in the late 90s. I was involved in several exciting eBusiness joint ventures then (BroadVision, Intershop Communications, and Yahoo were my other projects) most of which were really too visionary for those times. Ariba’s, and HP’s, vision was of an electronic procurement process running as an intranet application supported by Internet-wide directories and exchanges of suppliers.

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Payments Evolution Adds Complexity To The Multitouchpoint World Of eBusiness

Though Google’s announcement of its new Wallet product is unlikely to be terribly disruptive initially (see Charlie Golvin’s post about it), it does signal yet another point of complexity facing eBusiness professionals today. We’ve been writing about this topic and advising clients about how to address it all year. We expect this subject, fundamentally agile commerce, to be a persistent theme for quite some time. So I thought it would be a good time to pull some of the good work my colleagues have been doing together around this topic of multitouchpoint proliferation (that’s a mouthful). 

Charlie Golvin and Thomas Husson have a fuller assessment of the Google announcement published that augments their existing blog investigation of the evolving multitouchpoint space.  Plus, they have been looking into the complex and changing mobile and payment space lately. See: Welcome To The Multidevice, Multiconnection World.

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The Data Digest: Are Consumers Using Their Mobiles To Shop?

Since the dawn of mobile commerce, retailers have dreamed of leveraging mobile phones to deliver an immersive multichannel experience for in-store shoppers. And finally the time seems right. With the uptake of smartphones, it has become much easier for both consumers and retailers to add mobile phones to the purchase process. Retailers have been busy developing mobile web versions of their online stores as well as dedicated mobile shopping applications for iPhone and Android phones.

But how many consumers are using their mobile phones for shopping-related activities? Our Technographics® research shows that about 6% of cell phone owners have used a shopping application. Dedicated shopping applications that allow consumers to research and purchase products directly from their phones, like the ones from Amazon.com or Domino's Pizza, drive uptake and usage.

It is tempting for retailers to use this technology solely for marketing purposes; however, organizations should focus on services that enhance the customer's multichannel experience. Balancing informative notifications with marketing offers will build trust with customers and lead to better acceptance, as well as higher uptake.

Apple Store 2.0: Why Customer Experience Leaders Should Care

This week, Apple upgraded its in-store experience. In case you missed all of the hype, iPads placed next to every Apple product now provide interactive product, service, and support information — and the devices also give shoppers the ability to beckon a store employee to their side at any moment. In addition, the updated Apple Store app provides shoppers visibility into the number of people in line ahead of them and the wait time to talk to someone at the Genius Bar.

Customer experience leaders outside of the retail space might be tempted to file this away in their cool-but-not-quite- relevant-to-me drawers. But I see three compelling reasons why executives should take notice, regardless of what industry they’re in.

Reason No. 1: Apple continues to raise the bar on your customers’ expectations.

Brands no longer compete solely against the companies in their immediate industry. Why? Because customer experience leaders like Apple (and Zappos.com, Disney, and a handful of others) delight their customers on a daily basis. These great customer experiences, in turn, continually reset people’s expectations for the types of interactions they believe they should be able to have with the banks, insurance companies, TV service providers, and airlines they do business with. The Apple Store 2.0 has yet again upped your customers’ expectations for the type of in-person customer experiences they now expect from your brand.

Reason No. 2: Even with a heavy technology focus, human help seems even more accessible.

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