Co-Creation Contests: Q&A With The CEO Of eYeka

This is the fourth in a series of question-and-answer blog posts with the CEOs of the vendors included in my recent Forrester Wave™: Co-Creation Contest Vendors, Q3 2011 (blog and report).

Today we’re talking with François Pétavy, CEO of eYeka. eYeka, a Paris-based firm, was identified as a "Leader" in that report.

 

Doug:          Co-creation contests are a new opportunity for product strategy professionals to solve business challenges, but many people are unfamiliar with them. What is your “elevator pitch” to potential clients about co-creation contests and the benefits they deliver?

François:    Our clients value three main benefits in leveraging co-creation contests: innovation acceleration, consumer intimacy, and re-empowerment.

Online co-creation communities enable organizations to dramatically accelerate the pace of innovation, bringing down the ideation cycle from months to weeks. Involving external, creative, decentralized points of view provides our clients with consumer-rooted collective intelligence, which is now critical as markets become even more globalized and as marketers need to intimately connect to consumers' unmet needs.

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Analytics Needs A "Creative" Makeover

Analytics and creativity are seldom used in the same sentence. The natural instinct is to delineate the two as left-brain and right-brain pursuits. Analytics and creative teams speak different languages, use different tools, and find inspiration in different places.

Customer Intelligence (CI) professionals are usually closer to the world of analytics. They capture, manage, analyze, and apply heaps of customer data using advanced analytical tools and techniques. But in order for them to step out of a perceived geeky image, CI professionals should think about how to add a dash of creativity into their roles.

Analytics made its way to the creative world especially with various testing tools, but has enough creativity made its way into analytical projects? How can analysts and CI pros add some creativity?

  • Ask the same questions, differently. Arriving at the hypothesis or questions to pursue when analyzing data can be an output of a creative brainstorm. Framing the question to ask of the data is as important as the analysis itself.
  • Summarize data in creative ways. New types of data are pushing the limits of what traditional data mining and analytical tools can do. This requires creative ways of uncovering relationships between seemingly unrelated entities.
  • Make the data sing. Data visualization as both a data-mining tool as well as a presentation method is fast becoming popular to communicate complex trends and results into a digestible format, especially when the audience is not analytically inclined.
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Why Don't European Marketers Spend More On Social Media?

European marketers are as excited about social media today as ever before. In fact, according to our annual survey, three-quarters of interactive marketers in Europe either already use social media or plan to use it by the end of 2011 – and they expect social media marketing to grow in effectiveness more than any other online or offline marketing channel in the coming years. But there’s a problem: European marketers still aren’t spending very much on social programs. In fact, a quarter of the marketers in our survey plan to spend less than €35,000 on social media this year – and many of the rest won’t spend much more than that. And most European marketers said they had no plans to increase their social media budget this year compared to last.

I think this lack of spending is both a symptom, and a cause, of problems inherent in how European marketers use social media:

  • It’s a cause, because the resources aren’t there. One of the biggest problems social media marketers face right now is a lack of resources. When it comes to social media they have trouble finding budget, staff, time, and even good help from their agencies. And that actually makes a lot of companies afraid of success. You’d be surprised how often I hear statements like "I want to start a Facebook page, but what if it takes off? I don’t have the budget to staff it full time!" When marketers are afraid of success, rather than failure, then you know you’ve got a problem.
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Corporate Customer Experiences Need Startup Mojo

I’m a Dropbox customer. I originally signed up for the basic plan — 2 GB for free — but ran out of space quickly and decided to upgrade to 50 GB of storage. So I forked over my $99 and got the following confirmation page:

A gold star! A hand-drawn cartoon! Now I know this page wasn’t designed specifically for yours truly, but when I saw it, I felt special. Like the people at Dropbox actually gave a damn that I had just given them $99 of my hard-earned money. 

Compare that with the $700 I spent recently for several nights at a large hotel. My final bill was printed on a plain white sheet of paper and was so devoid of any brand messaging that I feared it would raise eyebrows with our finance department! Consider the $1,600 I just plunked down for a multi-leg transcontinental flight. The airline’s confirmation email didn’t waste any time trying to sell me on a rental car, hotel room, and credit card — but didn’t even wish me a pleasant trip. Or take my credit card company — which processes tens of thousands of dollars of business expenses for me each year. When I look at my bill, the things that pop out are how much I owe them, by when, and a late payment warning — key pieces of information, yes, but reading that bill leaves me feeling like I need a shower.

These small touchpoints — a receipt, a confirmation email, a bill — play a functional role in customer interactions. But they also represent prime opportunities for companies to reinforce their brands and (perhaps even more importantly) make customers feel good about where they spend their time and money.

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Reducing The Call Center Cost of Login Recovery Should Be A Top eBusiness Priority

Several weeks ago, I blogged asking for insight into the contact center costs of login recovery to help inform a project I was working on. Many companies responded — for which I thank you  — and I wanted to share some of the insights that were provided.

In the words of one eBusiness executive, “Helping customers resolve login issues is by far the largest call driver to our contact center. The costs are high — probably higher than we fully realize. But we look at it as the cost of doing business.”

Among the companies surveyed, the percentage of login issues among B2C contact center contacts ranged from  3% to 40%. Only one company was on that lower end and, while their 3% may seem small at first glance, their call center receives more than 10 million calls per year so 3% represents a hefty number of contacts. The higher end  of 30 to 40% of call center volume related to login was more common. Overall, among the companies who responded to my request for information, the operational cost of login issues ranged from $250,000/year to well over $1,000,000 per year.

These high dollar figures do not have to be the cost of doing business. Instead, eBusiness leaders should:

  • Ensure their login recover adheres to best practices. My document called “Mastering Login Issues” will hopefully provide helpful insight.
  • Consider social login, which lets users log in to your site with their social identities from Facebook, Twitter, and other social sites. This may be particularly useful for news, retail, media, entertainment.
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Gamification Q&A — Let's Play!

Twitter is a great platform for crowd-sourcing ideas and questions around certain topics. That's why I'll be hosting the next #IMChat this Tuesday, September 20th at 11:00 a.m. PT on gamification. We published our first report on the topic this week and so far we've received some great feedback from our peers and clients. To keep the momentum, we've come up with 5 questions to help fuel an interactive dialogue next week. We've also invited some leading vendors in the space to participate in the discussion, and I'll be joined by my team and researcher Jennifer Wise.  The discussion will help to shape upcoming research on the topic and gather some best practices.  

Here are the questions we'll be asking next week:

  • Have you gamified any of your marketing strategies?  If not, do you plan to in the next 3-6 months?
  • Why do you think gamification is the hot buzzword of late? What’s driving it?
  • Do you think that gamification is here to stay? Or are you skeptical about results?
  • For those of you who have tried gamification — did you see an increase in engagement? How much?
  • Do you think that social media is a key element of gamification?

Have any other questions about gamification?  Tweet me @shaw_smith2 and let's chat. 

Yahoo's Potential Suitors Are A Motley Crew

My Customer Intelligence colleagues and I, like many others, can't help but wonder how Carol Bartz's departure from Yahoo! is going to play out for the digital behemoth. Shar VanBoskirk's post last week summarizes Yahoo!'s current state, and I agree with her assessment that the company's assets are worth far more piecemeal than as a whole. As she points out, Yahoo!'s advertising capabilities are one of its greatest assets.

But from a CI perspective, so is its OpenID-based Yahoo! ID, which enables single sign-on (SSO) functionality for its more than 273mm global email-service users. Now, while a relative minority of those users actually take advantage of Yahoo! ID across the web today, the demand for SSO and federated identity is growing such that Yahoo!'s broad user base and consumer trust is already tremendously valuable. 

So, who are the "unusual suspects" that have the most interesting opportunity for acquiring Yahoo!'s personal services/communications/identity management business? 

  • Wal-Mart. Yep, you read it right. Wal-Mart, despite being the world's largest retailer, continues to lose digital market share to Amazon, and it clearly wants to change that. Last month, it restructured its online organization to better align with its brick-and-mortar presence and just this week announced plans to to buy "key assets" of mobile ad targeter OneRiot. Yahoo! ID would give Wal-Mart the single sign-on capability that it doesn't have today, with some nice benefits over Amazon's closed-ecosystem identity service. And Yahoo!'s user base is, demographically speaking, a slightly better fit for Wal-Mart than other major big-box retailers.
     
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Co-Creation Contests: Q&A With The CEO Of Jovoto

This is the third in a series of question-and-answer blog posts with the CEOs of the vendors included in my recent Forrester Wave™: Co-Creation Contest Vendors, Q3 2011 (blog and report).

Today we’re talking with Bastian Unterberg, CEO of jovoto GmbH.  Jovoto, a Berlin-based firm, was identified as a "Leader" in that report.

Doug:    Co-creation contests are a new opportunity for product strategy professionals to solve business challenges, but many people are unfamiliar with them. What is your “elevator pitch” to potential clients about co-creation contests and the benefits they deliver?

Bastian:     By providing a social and collaborative work environment, jovoto motivates creative communities and enables them to collaborate, driving better results.  Organizations are able to access these communities and their members to solve creative and innovation needs.

Benefits to product strategy and other professionals involved in the innovation process are:

  • Better results. A vast amount of diverse, independent talent which collaboratively, simply, delivers better creative results.
  • Unlocking the art of the possible. New and refreshing perspectives, filtered through a peer review process, explore a diverse set of solutions. A collaborative process facilitates solving complex problem.
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The Global Mainstreaming Of Smartphones

Thanks to the phenomenal popularity of Apple’s iPhone and Android’s growing traction — more than 550,000 Android devices are activated each day — many product strategists tend to assume that smartphones are a mass-market phenomenon.

The reality is that in a global population with more than 5 billion subscriptions, smartphones are still niche. However, in the US and some European countries, smartphone penetration is racing past 25%; smartphones are going mainstream, albeit at a varying pace across the globe.

Consumer product strategists should anticipate the consequences of moving from a smartphone target audience of early adopters to one that is more mainstream.

When targeting the second wave of smartphone users, we believe strategists should: 

  • Design specific mobile products by better understanding new smartphone owners. New segments of smartphone owners will emerge, with a much more diverse profile than the first wave of smartphone early adopters. One way to obtain more detailed information about these consumers is to use the basic connectivity of the smartphone to establish the beginnings of a digital customer relationship. The promise of ongoing product upgrades is one incentive that may convince these new customers to share their information, but free content such as an application is more likely to win their confidence.
  • Carefully monitor new smartphone owners’ usage. There is always a huge gap between the features available on a smartphone and the actual use of these features. It is critical to constantly analyze how smartphone users are using their devices; this will allow strategists to optimize the road maps not only for new devices but also for those products and services to be delivered to the second wave of smartphone users. 
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CMO Best Practices For Hiring And Retaining Digital Talent

I’m currently working on a report around how to hire and retain good digital talent. So the CMO panel featuring Brian Lauber of OneAmerica, Jared Blank of Tommy Hilfiger, and Chris Krohn of Restaurant.com that addressed hiring and staffing was music to my ears.  A few takeaways on how to nurture your digital employees:

 *Create an emotional connection between employees and your brand. This helps to brand your company externally. OneAmerica CMO Brian Lauber finds that “Your employees are your best branding.  He tells every single employee that they are the brand. “I tell them to look like it, act like it, talk like it.” Every day. In everything they do.

 *Don’t rely on HR to do everything alone. Creating a strong digital organization isn’t just about having good recruiters. It’s about creating a culture that employees feel part of and proud of. And this lands on managers to create. Chris Krohn of Restaurant.com says his role has two primary components: 1) Make sure the marketing strategy is clear; 2) Make sure we have the right people doing the right things. 

*Create benefits beyond financial compensation. Tommy Hilfiger employees get discounts off of clothes. And buyers of media and of clothes get 10% of their regular budgets to play with. “We want people who are passionate about clothes.  And about our clothes. So we give them a reason to buy our things for themselves.  And we make them accountable for 90% of their budget.  The other 10% they can spend on whatever they think is cool.”

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