Tablets Cannibalize Portable Game Players, Small TVs

There's a lot of attention being paid to tablets cannibalizing PCs. As we've said in the past, we think PC cannibalization from tablets is overstated. But the cannibalization phenomenon is real: We wrote in a June report (The Products That Lose When Tablets Win) that we expect tablet cannibalization to accelerate in the next six to 12 months as slightly less affluent consumers buy tablets and have to make tough tradeoffs. Several predictions we made in the report are already coming true. We made the call that:

"Portable game player sales will go off a cliff. Portable game players (PGPs) like the Nintendo DS already have huge penetration, so there's a natural saturation point that PGPs are reaching anyway. That saturation combined with cannibalization from tablets and smartphones, which fulfill the same casual, on-the-go gaming scenarios but also multitask with email and other applications, spells trouble for PGPs. The Nintendo 3DS is already reporting weaker-than-expected sales, and we expect this trend to continue."

Much to Nintendo's chagrin, this prediction is proving accurate, as Nintendo reported that its 3DS sales plummeted to 710,000 units this past quarter from 3.6 million units the quarter before.

In the June report, we also wrote that game console sales would not be negatively affected by tablets and could actually see a boost from increased interest in gaming as mainstream consumers find joy in games like Words With Friends and Angry Birds. 

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Promoted Tweets: How Paid Media Fits Into Your Social Media Marketing

Today Twitter announced it will be expanding promoted tweets into the user's timeline (they had previously only been in search results) on Twitter.com. Twitter is slowly rolling this out with some of its premier clients over the next few weeks. Ultimately, advertisers will now have three options for using paid media in Twitter:

  1. Promoted accounts suggesting new businesses (or people) to follow.
  2. Promoted trends.
  3. And now promoted tweets in search results and within the timeline of only users who follow them.
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Tablet Commerce: Amazon’s Tablet Heralds A New Phase In Tablet Product Strategy

My colleague Sucharita Mulpuru and I just published a substantial new Forrester report on tablet commerce, Why Tablet Commerce May Soon Trump Mobile Commerce. Basically, it’s huge already: In a recent study of 2,333 tablet owners fielded by Forrester and Bizrate Insights, we found that 47% of tablet owners report shopping and buying for something on their tablet, and an additional 13% say they’ve shopped on their tablet without buying. Even though smartphones far outnumber tablets, retailers surveyed by Forrester report that 21% of their mobile traffic comes from tablets. With tablets forecasted to reach one-third of US adults by 2015, tablet commerce only has one way to go: Up.

These findings suggest there’s a sea shift coming in tablet product strategy, which we see unfolding in three phases:

  • Phase 1 (2010-2011): Apple’s iPad catalyzes a media revolution. There’s no doubt that the iPad is used for more than just media — 20% of iPad owners report creating and editing documents on the device, for example, and the massive catalog of business, education, and other non-media apps attest to the iPad’s versatility. But our data shows that after email, media (playing games, watching videos, viewing photos, reading) are the most popular iPad activities. Apple has wrangled the best content from premium publishers, inspiring News Corp to launch an entirely new company just to produce an iPad app.
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It's Time For Tech Marketers To Go Big With B2B Social Media Strategies

Today I had lunch with a favorite colleague (from my pre-Forrester tech marketer days) who owns a marketing agency in the San Francisco Bay Area. We had a very lively discussion about how his agency is seeing an explosion in demand for B2B social media strategies. He is in the process of adding headcount to his social media team to meet the needs of his clients, and he is excited about the potential he sees in the B2B space. I have heard similar feedback from other agencies and clients who want to take advantage of the opportunities social media has opened for B2B.

Social media is playing an increasingly important role for B2B marketers who want to build improved customer engagement models that drive value. This should not be surprising considering the social nature of individuals who work in a business environment.  Information is constantly exchanged within one's network of colleagues, peers, vendors, customers, and partners. These relationships are critical for success and social media facilitates the interactions required to grow and nurture them.

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Want My Job? (Or One Very Like It?)

Don't worry, I'm not planning on going anywhere just yet! In fact, I love what I do at Forrester: Put simply, I look for the most interesting and difficult-to-answer questions in interactive marketing, I spend a month talking to really smart people and collecting data on those questions, and then I write reports and give speeches that answer those questions for our clients. (My favorite recent questions have included "What's the best way to use interactive marketing as a branding channel?" and "How can marketers use social data?") In the process I get to collaborate with fantastic, thought-leading colleagues like Shar VanBoskirk, Sean Corcoran, Thomas Husson, and Zach Hofer-Shall; I get to dig into the best and richest data anywhere in the industry; and I get to work for some amazing clients all over the world. It's a pretty sweet gig.

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How To Use Social Data - And How Not To!

We work with a lot of different types of marketers at Forrester, and we always customize the recommendations we deliver to different clients based upon their unique situations and needs. But over the past few years there's one piece of advice I've found myself giving nearly every company I work with: "Hire a listening vendor."

I love listening platforms and the social data they create; it's a powerful source of information that, used correctly, can make marketers and their programs more effective. But not enough marketers are taking advantage of these benefits.

No matter what type of company you work for -- indeed, whether you work directly with social media or not -- you should be using social data right now to:

  1. Develop your messaging. If you want to create messages that resonate with your audience, you need to know what they care about. Many of our past Forrester Groundswell Award winners have used private listening communities to craft their marketing messages; increasingly, we're seeing companies use data from public social media to guide their messaging as well.
  2. Source your creative. We know that consumers trust what they hear from other consumers more than any other source of information -- why not use listening platforms to identify positive social content that can be included in campaign creative? I've even seen a UK bank, First Direct, use social sentiment data in an outdoor advertising campaign.
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We're Accepting Entries For The 2011 International Forrester Groundswell Awards!

For the past five years, we've been running the Forrester Groundswell Awards to recognize the companies that do the best job using social media -- and last year we added an international category for the first time. We were thrilled to recognize some fantastic international social media programs in 2010 -- from companies who both used social technologies in an innovative way and were able to show how their social programs helped build brand awareness, develop new products and services, or generate leads and sales -- and I'm excited to see the entries we receive for 2011.

If you think you (or your clients) have used social media exceptionally well in the past year, and the program was targeted to consumers outside the US, we'd love to see your entry. Feel free to browse the rules here and to submit your entry here -- just remember our deadline is August 3rd. So get busy with those entries -- and good luck!

Show Off Your Innovation, Creativity, and Brilliance. Enter the 2011 Groundswell Awards!

The 2011 Forrester Groundswell Awards is in full swing and the deadline for entries is August 3. This is right around the corner, so I am posting a "shout out" to all of you fellow B2B tech marketers to get your submissions in! I know that there are many amazing marketing programs and campaigns out there that are utilizing social technologies and bringing in impressive results. I know that the majority of tech marketers are  listening, talking, energizing, spreading, supporting, and/or embracing their customers through social technologies.  I know that tech marketers love to get kudos for their innovation, creativity, and brilliance. So what are you waiting for?

The bottom line is that the Forrester Groundwell Awards provide you with the priceless opportunity to showcase your social applications and get the positive attention you deserve for your innovative efforts. Last years B2B awards recipients were quite impressive, to say the least. And companies like Spiceworks and eCairn proudly promoted their prestigious Groundswell awards to their peers, customers and partners.  Now it's your turn!

You are only 3 steps away from the chance of being this year's award winner:

1.  Read the rules

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Join The Tweet Jam On Mobile Application Measurement - Tuesday July 12 At 2 PM Eastern

 

Joe Stanhope and the Customer Intelligence team are returning to Forrester’s #IMChat Tweet Jam with a session on mobile application measurement – at 2 p.m. Eastern Time on Tuesday, July 12th.  These are weekly discussions held via Twitter on a variety of marketing topics, using the #IMChat hashtag. Everyone is welcome to join in.

Mobile applications impact many roles in organizations, but interactive marketers and Customer Intelligence professionals are tasked with determining the value of these initiatives. During Tuesday’s chat, Joe and his co-host Brian Suthoff from Localytics want to open a dialogue between you and your peers about how to measure the success of new mobile applications. They will ask:

1. What role do mobile applications play in the digital marketing mix; are they enablers of marketing and commerce, or are mobile apps products in and of themselves?

2. How do we judge the success of mobile applications?

3. What challenges do you experience in measuring mobile applications?

4. How should mobile application measurement data integrate with other marketing and enterprise systems?

5. As applications mature, is the “mobile” distinction less important than the concept of an “app”?

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We're Hiring! Principal Analyst Serving Interactive Marketers, London

Our European Interactive Marketing research team continues to grow. We've just opened a position for a Principal Analyst, preferably based in London. We're looking for someone with strong viewpoints on interactive marketing, an analytical mind, and experience solving for the added complexities of Pan-European digital programs (multiple countries, langugages, online behaviours, cultural tendencies).

If this sounds like you, then I hope you'll consider the opportunity and apply (you can do so here). Now is a fun time to be an analyst writing in the space. We get to help our Interactive Marketing clients make the right call on where and how to invest as more money goes to digital marketing, emerging tools promise richer engagement, and more robust measurement demonstrates the business results of interactive efforts. Plus, you'd be joining a great European IM team -- Nate Elliott, Lucilla de Sarlo, Tanya McCabe, Lauriane Camus, James McDavid, and me. OK, I'm a little biased here.

If you want to discuss further, then DM me @coverby. Hope to hear from you!