SoLoMo Or So Not Yet?

Are you thinking about SoLoMo yet?  My clients definitely are, and I haven’t been surprised by the number of questions I’m getting about it considering that 86% of US online adults engage in social media and 2/3 of online Generation Y fall into the SuperConnected category of Mobile Technographics®. But what does SoLoMo really mean?

It’s a concept that brings together social, local, and mobile media — and it’s intriguing to marketers because incorporating social engagement, local targeting, and the mobile customer into a single program seems like it should lead to especially creative and effective engagement. But I’ve been researching this topic over the past couple of months and I have a couple of concerns:  

  • First, the way we talk about SoLoMo puts too much focus on the technology and easily lets marketers slip back into technology-first strategies driven by trends rather than audience insights.   
  • Second,  SoLoMo programs often take the form of a check-in offer today. This can certainly be an effective marketing tactic for retailers and brands with brick-and-mortar presences. But isn't there something SoLoMo can offer other brands?
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Online Market Research — To Incentivize Or Not?

This week there was a lot of discussion about panel quality and engagement after a respondent panel at CASRO. Part of the discussion was around incentives. Throughout my tenure in qualitative research, I have had many discussions on the pros and cons of offering incentives when conducting (online) research. In addition to my thoughts around incentives, I also surveyed Forrester’s online community of US consumers to get their opinions on the topic (quotes in italics below).

Generally you should always offer an incentive to participants for online research. However, what you offer and the value depends on a number of factors.

First, consider what you are asking of your participants.Are you asking for their feedback on a product they own or personal experience with a brand? This is where a lower incentive or, in some cases, no incentive could work because consumers who care about the product or brand are usually willing to share their experiences, and they can provide feedback on this type of topic fairly quickly. You see this, for example, a lot in co-creation communities. But when you ask a participant to complete a long study or multiple studies or when you ask for participation in a longer-term engagement such as an online community, it always requires an incentive to sustain their participation and ensure good-quality responses.

“It really depends on how much time I have to invest. If it’s a quick survey that doesn't take much time, I don't expect anything in return. But if it's going to be a lengthy process, I want something for my time.”

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The New iPad: How A Gut Renovation Masquerades As Incremental Innovation

We’ve gotten greedy. We — the media, the industry watchers, the tech enthusiasts — have an insatiable hunger for novelty. The original iPad wowed us because it introduced an entirely new form factor. iPad 2 slimmed down and got a snappy cover. The new iPad shares nearly nothing with the iPad 2 hardware, according to Apple executives I spoke with. Its retina display has 1 million more pixels than a large-screen HDTV. The new A5X chip has, according to Apple, four times the processing power of Nvidia’s Tegra 3 chip. Compared with iPad 2, it has a nicer camera, a video camera, dictation input, and 4G, while still squeezing out 10 hours of (Wi-Fi) battery life. It’s a wee bit thicker and an ounce heavier. And yet, in my conversations with numerous reporters over the past few days, the theme they kept bringing up was “incremental innovation”: Will the next iPad be innovative enough to maintain Apple’s momentum?

If the iPhone 4S is a case study, the answer for consumers is a resounding “yes.” The 4S, though not as dramatic an update as the technorati hoped for, has been the best-selling iPhone ever. The new iPad will fly off the shelves too: We expect tablets, led by the iPad, to reach 60.7 million US adults by the end of the year, or 19% of the US population. The engineering feats accomplished in the new iPad would have been inconceivable in the early days of personal computing, when colored pixels were in themselves a revelation. We the tech watchers may be jaded, but Apple’s consumers still appreciate the mesmerizing beauty of an ever-nicer screen.

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Online Customer Service Is Essential To Successful Social Marketing

Here is a picture of a cute cat doing something Internet related! 

(Click image to see larger version) 

That got your attention didn't it? Something else which gets a lot of attention is when customers share stories of exceptional customer service online (if those examples include cats that's just a bonus). This fantastic forum thread  taken from UK ISP Be Broadband is currently doing the rounds. In it the customer complains his wireless network is frequently disrupted by his cat's fascination with the router. After some playful banter that issues with feline "agressors" are a known problem the customer was supplied with a tactical decoy router. Subsequent images of the clearly fooled cat were posted by the customer showing success.

Wow. If you were currently feeling disatisfied with your ISP what would your brand perception of Be Broadband be right about now?

Customer service impacts social marketing

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Forecast Update: Amazon Expands Tablets’ Addressable Market

Apple’s anticipated iPad update comes as the tablet market is white-hot. In a new report published for Forrester clients today, we’ve revised our US consumer tablet forecast upward: We now expect 112.5 million US adults to own a tablet in 2016, which will equal 34.3% of US adults. In Europe, the numbers are similarly impressive, with an expected 105.7 million tablet users, or 30.4% of consumers 16 and older, in the EU-7 by 2016. With an assumed replacement rate of two years, cumulative unit sales will be much higher: In the US, we forecast that consumers will buy 292.5 million tablets from 2010 to 2016.

Tablets are a global phenomenon—we estimate that US consumers constitute only 43% of Apple’s 55 million iPads sold through the end of its last fiscal quarter, with the rest going to consumers and enterprises in the rest of the 90 countries where the iPad is now sold. Tablets are also a worker phenomenon: Although the No. 1 place where consumers use tablets is in the living room, 37% of US tablet owners take them to work as well. In a recent Forrester survey of 9,912 technology end users at SMBs and enterprises in 17 countries, we found that workers in BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China) and Mexico actually led demand for wanting to use a tablet for work—and being willing to share the cost of the device with their employers.

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Social Media Can't Predict Super Tuesday

A few weeks back, I wrote a post denouncing the idea of predicting the Super Bowl using social data. I had some fun pointing out the questionable research practices behind using consumer opinion to "predict" the outcome of a sporting event. One key issue I argued was that in sports, the public opinion has no influence over the event outcome. But what about using consumer opinions to predict a political election? This can work, right?

USA Today has an article running in parallel with Super Tuesday, aptly asking that same question: Can Social media Predict Election Outcomes? If my post's title wasn't enough of a spoiler, if you read that piece, you'll find a few quotes from me speaking out against the concept. Because, although predicting an election using online opinions is a much more plausible concept than predicting a football game, it's not going to work. And here's why:

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Everybody Has The Same Three Strategic ISVs

 

I (Peter O'Neill here again) had the pleasure of visiting Twickenham rugby stadium in London last week – sadly, not on the Saturday to watch my national team beat England but on the following Monday to meet Dell executives and hear about their Enterprise Spring Launch of new products and services. As I listened to the speeches about new servers, storage, networking, and end-to-end applications, I kept thinking to myself how difficult it is these days to sound different from other infrastructure vendors who do the same thing - and often with the same technologies. I remember making those same speeches over 15 years ago and it was difficult enough then! My colleague Richard Fichera has commented on the product details, so I’d like to review the most important one, for me: Dell’s solution program. As far as I am concerned, only those IT infrastructure vendors who market at the business technology level will enjoy success in the future – and that means solutions marketing with commitment.  

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Q&A With Tamara Schenk, Vice President Of Sales Enablement - T-Systems

Many of our clients are building named account or strategic customer programs in order to drive more revenue from their existing customers.   Unfortunately, few are even close to realizing their expected results. Understanding the challenges associated with cross-selling within large account structures is one of the track sessions at our upcoming Sales Enablement Forum

Joining me in my track will be Tamara Schenk, VP of sales enablement at T-Systems. Tamara has definitely followed the path of the manager of “broken things” to evolving sales enablement as a more strategic function within her company.  Here are some of her thoughts:

1. How has the role of sales enablement changed inside your company?

The role of sales enablement changed fundamentally inside T-Systems. We started with sales enablement three years ago after the consolidation of many different portfolio views to ONE portfolio. Consequently, we also consolidated the variety of different sales portals by implementing one cross-functional multidimensional sales enablement platform called SPOT ON. The hard work behind SPOT ON was to analyze existing sales content, to be brave enough to throw away thousands of documents and to define everything else in terms of target groups, content, purpose, mapping to sales outcomes, RACI matrix for each content type, content generation and content publishing activities including a content localization process.

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SEO Should Be Top Of Mind For Financial Service eBiz Professionals (And Not For The Reason You'd Think)

On Wednesday of last week, I had a chance to sit down with Seth Besmertnik, CEO of Conductor. Conductor is a search engine optimization (SEO) analytics vendor that provides a software solution that analyzes, reports, and recommends changes to a website based on third-party search engine data (e.g., Google).

The conversation was enlightening to me from many different perspectives. Previously, I had assumed that SEO was the realm of interactive marketers as evidenced by reports from my colleagues in the space. As Seth and I spoke, I soon realized I was dead wrong. SEO may be driven by interactive marketers but success in the area is highly reliant upon folks in eBusiness that build websites. Additionally, better websites can be built using insights drawn from SEO analysis. Here’s why:

  • Search is first step in the acquisition process for many financial service purchases. 52% of US online consumers who research a financial product online started at a search engine, and that was nearly five years ago. Today, that percentage has surely increased with the increasing number of online researchers. For products like credit card, the percentage of online researchers is more than a third of researchers overall.
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NFC Points To The "Pay-Per-Action" Market

My recent paper looked at the "tap" paradigm exhibited by technologies such as NFC. I want to explore the implications of how the innocuous "tap" points the way to a not just a richer mode of marketing interaction but hints at how the "pay per" market might develop due to offline/online convergence.

There are primarily two models to the placement of NFC campaigns — the first is on your own property, which may be anything like a store, product, poster, or packaging. The second is on the outdoor network of enabled bus stops, cinemas, smart posters, and public screens. Many large shopping centers and 0ut-of-home (OOH) media stations are already enabled with NFC tags and their real-estate can be addressed dynamically by marketers to put apps, links, and media on them.

Examining the campaign management systems for tag-based approaches shows their toolset to be very similar to pay-per-view (PPV) , pay-per-click (PPC), and display tools. The difference with pay-per-tap is that the location the marketing message is delivered into is a tag rather than a a slot in Google Search results or a display location.

The figure below shows a recent campaign undertaken by Blue Bite and RMG Networks. Doesn’t it look just a little bit like the purely online models? 

 

LOOKING AT OFFLINE AND ONLINE IN CONCERT REVEALS THE "PAY-PER-ACTION" MARKET

The PPC and display industries easily have the smartest profiling, placement, and measurement systems but they aren’t addressing the real world, which is slowly filling up with tags and other digital touchpoints.

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