Despite the media focus on new, cool technological devices, content seems to be what is really on consumers' minds these days. In today's CMB press release: Consumers Are More Excited About Content Than Devices we shared some very interesting insights collected earlier this year about which of the recently hyped technologies consumers are most excited about. I expected to see the iPad or Droid phones at the top of the list, but content was king with movie rentals via the internet topping the list and internet via TV also ranking relatively high.
Even many of the new features and enhancements for the iPhone 4 seemed to be all about content. From video conferencing and editing to streaming movies via the new Netflix app, it's no wonder AT&T stopped offering unlimited data plans. This could be a slippery slope for consumers as they now need to become more educated on their data consumption, but that's a whole other discussion.
In a recent Ad Age article Michael Learmonth talked about the new Netflix iPhone app which streams movies either over the AT&T network($$$) or Wifi. I have to say Netflix always seems to be one step ahead of consumers, from DVD's by mail to delivery to the Wii and now streaming movies on the iPhone, they are in a great position to take advantage of this segment of the market. The presentation below shows that they have staked their claim and are clear and deliberate about their focus and their slice of the content pie.
In 2010 Netflix is expecting their subscriber base to grow to over 17 million. Although DVD-by-mail movie rentals are expected to continue to grow over the next few years, Netflix expects it to peak in 2013 and then steadily decline, eventually being replaced by online streaming. Hey why walk to the mailbox when you don't need to leave your couch!
Are you clear about how your key target audiences are evolving and what their technology needs are?
Better Understand the Needs of Your Segments: Segmentation Best Practices webinar
Watch Brant Cruz and Jeff McKenna's recent presentation best practices of market segmentation. Brant and Jeff shared tips and case studies based on their years of experience working with clients like eBay, Electronic Arts, GE Healthcare, Plantronics, and Avis-Budget. Watch here
Posted by Kristen Garvey. Kristen is CMB's Director of Communications, a mother of two, and is seriously debating making the switch to AT&T for the new iPhone 4
In this week's issue of Marketing News, Lightspeed Research released a really interesting study on Americans' usage and attitude towards mobile phones and mobile phone marketing. The study of close to 1200 US consumers shows 54% of smartphone owners say they have downloaded a mobile app in the last 6 months. And over 40% say they access the internet at least once per day.
The fact is consumers are using mobile devices for so much more we ever imagined and in a wider array of both functional and mindless ways. Open up Shazam and you can identify and buy the song you are listening on the radio on your Blackberry or iPhone. Scan the bar code at Target and see if you can get a better deal somewhere else. Apple (and now Droid) got it right when they said "there's an app for that". Just like we are now "trained" to turn to the internet for information, we are not far from regularly turning to our phone to do the same.
As mobile devices change consumer behaviors and expectations, more and more businesses are tapping into this marketing opportunity and connecting with customers to provide a better service experience and the convenience mobile technology offers.
Along with retail/e-commerce, banking has been one of the most affected industries that we serve. Jim Garrity, CMB's managing director of our financial practice, just wrote a fantastic article in the May issue of ABA Bank Marketing that talks about how smaller regional banks are using mobile apps like ATM locators to better serve their customers and better compete with the big guys. It used to be the larger banks had the competitive advantage because of the sheer convenience their vast ATM networks offered.
Smaller community banks then joined larger ATM networks to better compete by offering more ATM's in more locations, but customers often could not find them or could not easily identify which ATMS were in their network. Now smaller community banks are using mobile technology to help customers find ATM's in their network all from the convenience of their mobile device. Good examples are MyATM and Allpoint's mobile app called Go-Everywhere which helps customers find over 37,000 surcharge-free ATMs.
Using mobile apps has leveled the playing field and allows the community banks to better compete and requires bigger banks to respect their smaller competitors. Read more of Jim's article ATM Locators: Your Lead-in To Full Mobile in the May issue of ABA Bank Marketing.
Where is your opportunity in the mobile market? Surely "there's an app for that"!
Also, check out Josh Mendelsohn's post 1 Topic, 5 Blogs: Mobile Surveys in Market Research to read more about using mobile technology as a research tool.
Posted by Kristen Garvey. Kristen is CMB's Director of Communications, a mother of two, and loves mobile technology.
Once again my hopes and dreams for an iPhone have been squashed right along with the rumor that Verizon was getting the iPhone by the end of the year. Mashable reported this week that AT&T has the iPhone exclusively until 2012. This isn't the first time my hopes have been dashed and I am debating joining the Android camp, which Marketing Daily reports is taking a bite out of Apple .
The NPD Group reports Google's Android OS edged out Apple's OS for the number-two position behind RIM in the first quarter of 2010. So I'm not the only one getting tired of the wait, and quite honestly I'm not sure what I'm waiting for anyway. After all, Droid Does have a lot of apps.
So, are consumers willing to switch carriers to get the mobile device they want? Recently, in our online Consumer Pulse we asked over 1500 consumers "How likely is it that you will switch carriers to access a device that your current carrier does not offer?" While 72% said a switch is not likely, 28% reported they are either moderately or very likely to switch carriers for a specific device. Personally, I think I fall into the 72% camp. And in a different set of research we conducted in March using Toluna's phone-based omnibus we found only 13% of the 1004 US consumers surveyed said they would pay the fees related to switching carriers to get a specific mobile device.
I don't think I'm willing to switch carriers. Maybe all the Droid Does marketing is working. I'm becoming convinced that I can do everything I want with a Droid that I could have done with an iPhone.
What do you think? Would you switch carriers for a specific mobile device?
Posted by Kristen Garvey. Kristen is CMB's Director of Communications, a mother of two, and loves mobile technology.
It's about more than socio-economics and life-stage events!
I'd venture to say most consumers and, perhaps, even life insurance agents would tell you those who own life insurance are older than those who do not. Plus, they'd go on to say a person with life insurance is more likely to be married, have children, be highly educated, be employed, and make more money than someone who's not insured.
And, they'd be right. In an online study Chadwick Martin Bailey conducted among 1,500 consumers this past February, we found those with life insurance tend to be older than those without it, with the "transition period", i.e., when a person moves to being insured from not being insured, seemingly occurring in the 35-44 age range. Additionally, those with life insurance are far more likely to be currently married, have kids 18 years-of-age or younger in their household, have a graduate or professional degree, be employed on a full-time basis, and have an annual '09 household income of at least $50,000 - all of which conjures up visions right out of some 1950's/1960's TV show - older, married with kids, working and appearing to be economically stable. Only then, it was the male - can anyone say Robert Young? - who was the "bread-winner", and the CMB study shows that today, women are as likely to have life insurance as are men.
Still, age is a big determinant in when a person will consider insuring their life with the prevailing thought being that most people don't think about life insurance because it forces them to acknowledge their own mortality and, speaking for myself, and no doubt others, when we're relatively young our own mortality isn't even on our radar screens, or per Alfred E. Neuman, "What, me worry?"
This reality led CNN Money to feel that life insurance is sold and not bought, and that people had to be motivated to buy life insurance by getting them to consider the needs of loved ones, appealing to their sense of wanting to take care of their family.
However, as per the #1 Billboard hit in 1963 by The Essex, this is "easier said than done" because, as was found in CMB's research, it's a case of values and goals, the importance of which varies among people. And, those who currently have life insurance place higher levels of importance on values and goals related to "protection", "family" and, especially, "tradition" than do those without life insurance - with "tradition" surfacing in many ways including having a greater propensity to speak with an agent or directly call an insurance company when researching coverage options.
On the other hand, relative to those with life insurance, people without this coverage place greater importance on "indulgence", which links back to the "bliplessness" of mortality among some people. Further, this greater importance of "indulgence" coupled with the fact that those without life insurance are more likely to live in the Pacific states makes me think a likely candidate for life insurance isn't wearing a wet suit and yelling "surf's up"!
Segmentation Best Practices webinar
April 29th at Noon: Chadwick Martin Bailey's Brant Cruz will present best practices of market segmentation based on his years of experience he has as CMB's segmentation guru working with clients like eBay, Electronic Arts, Plantronics, and Microsoft.
Posted by Dan Gersten, an Account Director/Consultant in CMB's Financial Services, Healthcare, and Insurance Practice. Dan is a published author and former reality TV contestant on American Inventor. You never know what Dan will come up with next!
HP's quest to be a service kingpin...
While attending the HP Industry Analyst Conference for the Enterprise Business Division in mid March in Boston - the point that struck me was the emphasis on the new businesses that HP sees as its next growth engines: service delivery and networking solutions. These two areas were stressed throughout all the sessions at the conference. Indeed, the focus on services is well placed as HP's service portfolio has more than doubled in the last 2 years to encompass over 30% of gross revenue mainly through the addition of EDS's business.
HP's server and storage solutions while well represented took dual billing with the newer areas. The EDS teams presented in-depth case studies and shared their expertise in focused solution areas in telecom, financial services and manufacturing industries. These sessions really highlighted their ability to do large and complex IT infrastructure outsourcing projects.
However, while HP's service revenue is growing, not all service business should be equally valued by HP given its business model at the present time. HP's overall business model and go-to-market strategy is one that is based on scale and standardization. This works well in the server, storage, PC and arguably the networking businesses. Where this doesn't play fully today is with HP's EDS services business which is typically highly customized and specialized to specific client environments and applications.
While some of EDS's IT and outsourcing methodologies and practices can be leveraged across different customer environments, many of these cannot be easily reused today for other customers even within the same industry segment. Standardizing ITO and more commodity type BPO is a must have for HP at this point. Determining and taking advantage of delivery leverage points and processes is, in my belief, the number one challenge facing HP today as it migrates to a services based delivery company in the enterprise market. If HP can successfully apply these core business principles of standardization and scale to its service business as it has done to its hardware and solutions business, then a truly successful and profitable service business model is on the near term horizon. If on the other hand, the EDS business continues to exist as a set of one-off albeit large scale engagements, (lift and shift, your mess for less) then a successful services business model for HP built on standardization and scale will remain a bridge too far to cross.
Learn more about IT Service Delivery by downloading the full CMB Tech Pulse report: IT Services
Posted by Don Ryan. Don is the managing director of CMB's technology practice. Don is an avid tennis player and enjoys reading political commentary and spy novels. Don was assisted on this blog by Stan Lepeak, Managing Director of Equaterra (www.equaterra.com) a major outsourcing consultancy.
Smartphones are becoming the new standard for cell phones. In a recent article from Marketing Daily: NPD: Smartphone Sales Reaching Critical Mass
, Aaron Barr shares research from NPD Group showing that smartphones accounted for 31% of all handset sales in the fourth quarter of 2009 (up from 23% for the same period in 2008). While part of this increase is surely due to the drop in price of smartphones and increased availability of these devices, the launch of Droid phones and the continued popularity of the iPhone has certainly contributed to this surge.
Ross Rubin, executive director of industry analysis at NPD tells Marketing Daily, "We've seen several popular models released under the $100 price point, including the iPhone 3G, and that's contributing to the popularity of smartphones. Smartphones are moving beyond the early technology adopters to a broader consumer market."
As smartphones become more and more ubiquitous they are blurring the line between work and personal devices, thus providing owners with mobile access to professional and personal email as well as a host of mobile business applications like Salesforce.com, webex, and more.
So what does this "consumerization of IT" mean to IT departments and how are they managing the infiltration to these consumer devices into the enterprise? This topic is the focus of our next CMB Tech Pulse coming in the next few weeks.
Get all of the latest Tech Pulse findings and commentary by subscribing to our blog.
Posted by Don Ryan. Don is a senior consultant CMB's technology practice. Don is an avid tennis player and enjoys reading political commentary and spy novels.
Before Windows 7 was released CMB reached out to our own panel of IT experts as part of our Tech Pulse program to get a gut check for the planned adoption rates of Windows 7. The initial news was quite positive, especially after Microsoft had such a tough time with Windows Vista. In fact, our initial research shows that the majority of IT professionals plan to standardize on Windows 7 operating system (OS) for a variety of products in the enterprise. The research shows that 51% plan to standardize on Windows 7 for laptops and desktops, while 38% plan to do so with netbooks over the next two years. In addition, 60% plan to standardize on Windows Server 2008 R2 in the next 24 months.
I see these numbers and an early indicator of success for Microsoft's enterprise success with Windows 7 and a welcomed shift from the adoption rates of its predecessor, Windows Vista.
However, there are some challenges for Microsoft I will talk about in my next post. Google is the kind of company we all need to watch, as in the past they have demonstrated their ability to come from behind and dominate in other areas. Next we will take a look at Google Chrome and the potential threat that poses for Microsoft.
Subscribe to the CMB blog to keep up to date with the latest trends. For more information on the Windows 7 Uptake Plans download the full report free or listen to our webinar How Windows 7 is Changing Enterprise IT OS Plans
Clearly, social media was one of the hot stories of the year. Pundits claim social media has fundamentally shifted the way we communicate. If you're not convinced, join the 1.3 million people who have looked at the Socialnomic's "Is Social Media a Fad" video on YouTube .... Even if you have seen it before, it's worth spending 4 minutes to see it again.
Need more evidence? At the beginning of last year (1/09), Mashable selected Top 40 Twitter brands. One year later, we checked in with those brands to see how things had changed, and show Travel, Hospitality, and Media brands. In a word .... Wow.
JetBlue (as of January 10th when we looked) had grown its number of followers by nearly 15000! Even Tasti D-Lite has grown to nearly 3,000 followers! Spend time with these companies (on Twitter and Facebook) and you'll see that social media presents opportunities for brands to connect with customers and prospects to:
- Build and nurture customer engagement
- Introduce new products
- Reach new customer segments
- Solve problems or complaints
If you're not ‘on the Mashable list,' maybe, it's time to jump in with both feet....
Where do you start?
Given the challenging economic time for Travel and Hospitality marketers, there aren't many companies with available resources (money and/or people) who can be refocused or reassigned to social media marketing... so, where do you start?
1. First, decide what your social media objectives are... and how you will measure progress (your key performance indicators or ...KPI): How can your brand benefit? How will you prove that your strategy and investment is working?
2. Next: Integrate social media into the marketing plan. Make sure your messages are integrated and user names are easily accessible across all channels (online and offline, company and customer-generated).
3. Assign responsibilities and allocate resources based on objectives. If in-house resources truly aren't available, find a solution (part-timer? At-home mom? Digital marketing firm) that will enable you to react to customer conversation in a timely manner while maintaining and building the brand's presence.
4. Finally, understand how your customers (current and potential) are using social media and the extent to which customer generated content at these sites is driving decision-making.
5. Learn from the leaders: Get online, find your twitter password and watch what the leading companies and your competitors are up to...
6. Recognize the unique problems - and opportunities - present to Travel and Hospitality marketers. How can the brand and the individual properties ‘work together'? What role does location-specific marketing play in your conversation? (Check out @HyattConcierge and @WholeFoods for two brand centric approaches with a strong local connection).
Whether you are considering or have already launched social media initiatives, try to avoid getting caught up in the hype and getting lost in the mountains of consumer-generated content. Make sure you have a clear view of your brand's objectives, know how you will measure progress (the CFO isn't going to be all that interested in the number of followers!!) and why your customers would choose to affiliate themselves with you. Create a 2010 roadmap and you'll be better prepared to navigate the tumultuous (and very exciting) social media landscape!
Learn more about the state of social media
by downloading our report:
"Why Social Media Matters for Your Business."
Posted by Judy Melanson. Judy leads the Travel & Entertainment practice and loves collaborating with clients on driving customer loyalty. She's the mom of two teens and the wife of an oyster farmer. Follow Judy on Twitter at @Judy_LC
The question posed to the group of 5 Bloggers this month was: "Mobile surveys - For/Against, Pros/Cons, Right Situations/Wrong Situations?" Links to my fellow bloggers Annie Pettit, Joel Rubinson, Bernie Malinoff and Brandon Bertelsen can be found below.
Mobile devices are changing the way people interact with brands, each other, and market research. From the reduction of land lines among younger consumers to the prevalence of internet usage via smart phones and the proliferation of text messaging as an option. Below I have laid out some of the factors contributing to the research industry understanding and adopting mobile research as a concept.
1. "Guys, where are we?" - Charlie on ABC's Lost
Three or four years ago there were a plethora of SMS (text-message) based survey tools developed and launched in the market. Many were self serve but simple, others tried to simulate the full traditional survey experience with skip patterns and longer questionnaires. Some were connected to panels (e.g., Greenfield and Market Tools) and others were simply opt-in (e.g., Invoke Solutions). While all of them gathered great initial interest, none really took off for three primary reasons. 1) The market and use cases were not fully conceived. 2) Client side researchers weren't ready to limit the amount of information they could acquire from respondents and 3) Most of the systems weren't built to connect well with other feedback mechanisms.
In the end, while SMS based surveys received a small amount of adoption (primarily for event feedback), we learned that what was a seemingly simple landscape, one where people were paying to text to vote on American Idol, wasn't exactly what it seemed.
2. "Right now, hey, it's your tomorrow" - Van Halen
While it pains me to quote the Sammy Hagar version of Van Halen, the truth is that the use mobile technology is changing so rapidly that consumer adoption makes today and tomorrow the same, depending on who you ask. For iPhone and other smart phone users, the mobile web is about getting the same functionality as a computer with simpler formatting. For traditional cell phone users, texting is still optimal as mobile browsers are often slow and frustrating. So, what does that mean for researchers?
- Be patient. As with all technology adoption, the industry talk is well beyond the average consumers. Most people still do not own the most functional mobile devices and building gen pop. surveys around this functionality would be foolish.
- Don't try too hard. One of the upshots of great web browsers on mobile devices is that if people choose, they can complete traditional surveys wherever they are. In fact, many of the progressive interactive research techniques discussed last month can be problematic because flash applications are not available in mobile formats.
3. "The customer is always right" - Stew Leonard's and other respectable stores
Researchers need to let people participate in the way they desire, not the way we desire. For example, when I was at Invoke Solutions we ran a test of a mobile survey asking grocery shoppers to opt-in and answer a few simple questions while shopping. This seemed like a simple, valid idea on paper, however people shopping with kids or carrying groceries had no interest in filling out a survey, even for a small incentive. It was too much hassle. Yet, when we ran a program embedded in a promotional event that had on site fulfillment and a number of people prompting people to participate, we saw success.
4. "We're at the crossroad my dear, where do we go from here?" - Alicia Keys
With all of the potential downsides of mobile research, there are some great opportunities to grow.
- Qualitative research via "self-ethnography" or "diaries." Having a device on your person at all times mean you can always record what you are thinking and doing via text, photos, or recordings. A few years ago I saw my friend Rebecca from Dunkin' Brands speak about a program where they had teens record what they were thinking and doing every time they wanted coffee. The information was incredibly deep and useful. At the time they shipped each participant a digital recorder. In today's world they could have simply given them a number to call or text to.
- On-site feedback. Promotional events are by their nature participatory experiences and people are willing to give their feedback. In addition, event staff are on site to encourage people to opt-in and handle incentive fulfillment.
- Everything else. Consider making every questionnaire as mobile friendly as possible. Consumers treat their devices the same as their computers and you don't want to unintentionally block people from participating. That may mean shorter, less interactive questionnaires that include more open ends.
In all cases, we need to continually put ourselves in respondents' shoes and think "would I fill out this survey?" Just because you can utilize mobile technology doesn't mean that you should. And just because you haven't in the past doesn't mean you can't. It is all about asking yourself what the best solution is for the problem you are facing.
Read the other blogs:
Joel Rubinson of the ARF: post coming shortly at http://blog.joelrubinson.net/
Annie Petit of LoveStats: http://lovestats.wordpress.com/2010/01/15/1topic5blogs-the-only-thing-cell-phone-surveys-are-good-fer/
Bernie Malinoff of Element 54: http://element-54.com/2010/01/1-topic-5-blogs-mobile-surveys/
Brandon Bertelsen: http://www.bertelsen.ca/market-research/1-topic-5-blogs-mobile-surveys
Revised Build-Your-Own Digital Camera ACBC design
See how Adaptive Choice Based Conjoint works by building your own digital camera in this demo exercise.
Get started by clicking here.
Posted by Josh Mendelsohn. Josh is our VP of Marketing and loves live music, pugs, tv, great food, market research, New Orleans, marketing, Boston and sports. You can follow him on Twitter @mendelj2 and at The Better Research Blog
Chris Neal and the CMB team recently completed a segmentation of the server market for Dell. The following is a brief Q & A with Dell's Chief SMB Researcher, Barry Jennings, discussing his thoughts on segmentation and working with CMB.
CMB: Based on your experience, what are the key determinants of a "successful" segmentation project for Dell?
The key to successful implementation for us has been a very early commitment to change. I have been at Dell way too long and I have done segmentation a number of times. When it comes from the perspective of "this is a great idea, we should go do it and then figure out what happens," it usually fails. When it comes from a perspective of "we don't understand what's going on, but this will help us frame things out and better deal with it," that does not work either.
But when you go into a segmentation exercise saying "there are a lot of unknowns out there and we need to better understand and check out the market, we don't know how we're going to change, but we are very committed to change based off of what we learned in these key areas," that makes a very meaningful difference. It allows you to bring people to the table who may not really care as much about the research, but they absolutely care about what the research drives. That is how you get through to the organization and get people to take action based on what you've learned.
We did that with this segmentation working with Chadwick Martin Bailey and it worked out quite well. There is a strong cross organizational commitment to embracing these segments. It didn't matter what the segments were, or what the agenda was to begin with, we are now committing to this framework.
CMB: Clearly there has to be a real connection to the business- not just conducting segmentation for segmentation sake, have you seen people make the mistake of running segmentation too frequently?
In the past, there have definitely been times when we used segmentation way too much or in too niche a way, and we have also at times done it too frequently or done it for the wrong reasons, so absolutely. Yes.
CMB: What are some of the internal challenges of coordinating segmentation and what advice would you give in managing those challenges? What role can partners such as Chadwick Martin Bailey play in that process?
First up is commitment, just getting the executive to say, "This is going to be our new gospel." We had a senior management team that really held the organization to the fire in doing this. We quickly brought in the CMB team to be a part of the process very early and very broadly. We had kick off meetings with folks from engineering, from environmental design, from product development and from marketing and advertising. Many of whom who won't utilize the results for a very long time and not in their initial form but whose input and commitment was needed.
For example, the raw segmentation was interesting to my advertising people, but segmentation with the personas and with the perspective around messaging is what they really need.
Bringing them into the very first kickoff allowed the CMB team to hear how we were going to deploy and implement the findings, or hoped to, and we factored that into how the segmentation was built. That way we didn't have to crash through any walls to get people to accept it later on. You are still going to have to explain it but you're not going to have to bend the arms of people to accept it. We have had issues with that in the past because they didn't have any sense of contribution or ownership of the process. Having the CMB team come here and spend a whole lot of time In Austin to help figure some of these things out and do the working sessions, while exhausting at times, led to a very good result.
Read the rest of the interview...