I am thrilled to welcome Augie Ray to Forrester! Augie is coming aboard as a Senior Analyst supporting interactive marketers and focusing on Social Computing. He's starting on November 15 and will be based in Forrester's Foster City offices (Augie is relocating from Milwaukee and eagerly anticipating the warmer weather!).
I've been the hiring manager for nearly a dozen positions at Forrester, and I've come to recognize a particular feeling when I'm talking to a special applicant. Sure, there are lots of people with strong CVs and interviewing skills. But a great candidate brings ideas to life, and the interview becomes a fun gallop through the world of marketing themes, customer behavior, and the craft of writing. My first conversation with Augie was exactly that.
Pretty soon now, you will be noticing that I am no longer posting reports or blogs on the Vendor Strategy Professional pages. This does not mean that I have left the stage. It is just that I am assuming a new research focus and targeting my reports at a new role, one serviced within the Technology Product Marketing and Marketing pages. I will be building up research for one of my favorite marketing contributors, the Field Marketing Manager, that true marketing schizophrenic.
Today Roku launched two new players to complement the original $99 Roku player. Perhaps somewhat obviously, the two new players come in at $79 and $129, allowing Roku to test whether there's price elasticity in this market.
I'm not sure this was a necessary move. The cheaper box (called Roku SD), simply removes HD playback from the original Roku Player (now called Roku HD). The $129 version offers wireless-n wi-fi streaming to deliver dramatically better video quality. I don't personally need that since I hook up my Roku player -- which is in constant demand in my home -- via ethernet. (Yes, being a nerd has its advantages including a fully self-wired home that has over 24 ethernet ports in it.) So while I can see the value of the more expensive box for wi-fi users who have wireless-n routers (do you know if you do? betcha don't know), I think muddying the waters with 3 boxes instead of a maximum of 2 just feels like unnecessary complexity. A bit like Amazon announcing it would sell two versions of the Kindle in the US, one that's domestic only and one that can roam abroad, a decision doesn't appear likely to last very long.
In a world where users approach the Web with ever increasing expectations, a firm's Web site has become critical for building a company’s relationship with its customers. Today, the Web site is often the first, and sometimes only, place customers interact with a company. Unfortunately, many sties offer lackluster experiences that leave an emotional void.
Last week, the Customer Strategy Group is
held its inaugural summit on customer engagement – an intimate,
executive conference designed for B2B marketers who manage customer
reference programs, advisory boards, and the emerging area of online
communities. I spoke to about 75 marketers and sponsors about “Understanding the Value of Customer Engagement”.
I’m excited to announce the release of my latest report: “How Chief Customer Experience Officers Gain Active Executive Support.” Executive involvement is critical to the success of any customer experience transformation, but it’s hard to get. I interviewed several successful CC/EOs to find out how they got their peers on the leadership team on board.
Let's be a bit provocative after this week's announcement from Apple letting us know that they had sold 7,4M iPhones during the last quarter (+7% yoy). Apple's stock valuation was even higher than that of Google (as of October 20, 2009): $179 bn vs $173 bn. I am not a financial analyst so I won't comment the results from a profitability perspective, but would just like to throw out a couple of ideas to discuss whether this trend will last in 2010. Let's add a pinch of salt without taking into account the fact that Apple could (and certainly will) surprise us with new products.
Beyond the terrific iPhone user-experience, the power of Apple's marketing and the AppStore's ecosystem, part of the success is due to Apple's new business model introduced in July 08. When launching the 3GS, they also announced lots of international (and non-exclusive) deals with operators worldwide and finally accepted to let operators subsidize the device. No doubt there is a huge consumer demand for the iPhone but operators will have to solve a complex equation. It is a little dirty industry secret that many carriers are analyzing the profitability of the iPhone model:
Affluent consumers have different expectations from their financial institution. Data from our Technographics online Affluent survey shows that while online affluent consumers prefer the Web over phone and in-person for getting balances and checking holdings, 58% prefer in-person meetings with their advisor for long-term financial goal planning.i
Affluent online consumers like to use the Web to update themselves on their investments, but they don't have a need for mobile tracking yet: A mere 6% of affluent consumers with a mobile phone are using mobile investing. The main reason: lack of urgency.
The past week has seen two significant online retailers make
announcements about their global plans: last week Gap indicated its intention to
expand into Canada and the UK and yesterday Buy.com launched sites for Canada, the UK,
France and Germany, with Italy