I’m just finishing the book Socialized by Mark Fidelman. It is one of the better books I have read of late about harnessing social media. Many of these books date very quickly, but the information in this 2012 book is still very relevant and I recommend you read a copy.
Towards the end Mark relates the story of a girl who suffers from Congenital Insensitivity to Pain, aka CIPA. It was an analogy to businesses who are heading down the gurgler at a rate of knots and don’t even realize it. Those of you who read my blogs will know about how frustrated I was to see Borders self implode, when they didn’t need to. As I mentioned earlier this week, many businesses are being hurt but not realizing it, or not knowing what to do about it. It’s that frog in the pot of simmering water. We all know the story, but many of us are sitting in that pot, enjoying the warmth and then getting severely cooked.
In my experience, it is people who aren’t institutionalized in your business who you need to talk to. If it’s not consultants like myself, at least talk to your customers, the ones you have left. Ask them why they come to your business. What is it that drew them in and how can you give them what they want and stay profitable?. I had loads of answers for the book industry, but they ‘knew what they were doing”. They focused on best sellers, general merchandise goodies and even fluffy toys. The questions you need to ask have to be qualitative, don’t give them choices you think they should answer, have conversations with them. Or get out quick and sell your business to someone while it still has some value. I still maintain if I had been on the management team or board of Borders in NZ, they wouldn’t have floundered, they would have risen like a phoenix out of the ashes of the past and their stores would be full of people, in many cases still buying paper.
Do does your business have CIPA? Are your margins declining, is your stock-turn going down? Are people buying similar products online instead of from you? Are your customers slowly churning to other sources or evolutions of the goods and services you offer? What have you done to future proof your business? As I said in my other blog earlier this week, people are reading more, listening to more music and taking more photos daily than ever before.
Got any questions? Feel free to leave them as comments and maybe we can have a discussion about this.
The Snakk Media AGM, appropriately held in the Sir Paul Reeves Building of AUT in Auckland last night, appeared to be a classic event, with typical investors, asking typical questions. However, in my opinion, it wasn’t, it was a meeting in a room made up of some of the finest minds in marketing and leading edge mobile technology.
I’m sure the media will cover the story, but here’s my take; on a tangent. I have always believed in Derek, his family and team from the day I met them, many years ago as they were preparing to found The Hyperfactory. They were the classic start up and I admired their passion and enjoyed their company, because they were driven and they were passionate about the same things I was, and still am. I love the company of positive, can do, will do people.
Snakk has allowed Kiwi investors to invest in a company that may never do a huge amount of business in New Zealand, which is really exciting, because it is not an opportunity that comes up often. As was pointed out, 2 years ago mobile digital advertising spend in New Zealand and the UK was 1% of the total spend. Today in New Zealand (where I have been trying to educate agencies on location based marketing and Augmented Reality, the percentage remains at 1% and in the UK is now 23%. In Australia they have the third fastest growth in the world (sic) of smartphone and tablet users, so it is appropriate for their head office to be in Sydney.
There was a lot of discussion about the threat to live TV with so many people now streaming to their mobiles and time shifting. Snakk didn’t mention all the technologies, but I am confident that they have a lot of tricks up their sleeves so that people like me who watch a reasonable amount of TV, while using my iPad or mobile, and MySky, will also be able to receive the messages I want.
Here’s where I get excited. I want, and assume you will too, my TV. When it comes to advertising, I’m a marketer, but I don’t generally like watching ads. I guess the main reason is because most of them are not relevant to me, or at least not relevant to me at that time. I want them when I am open to buy.
So here are some of the things that I wanted to hear (and did either directly or between the lines):
Profile. I want ads that match my profile. Having them appear on my third screen (my mobile or tablet) in conjunction with what I am watching, based on my interests is something I might welcome. If there is an interaction between my device and the TV program, then it may not matter if I am watching live or time-shifted, depending on my:
Context. A lot of the future of mobile advertising comes down to an app on my device knowing things about me. What I am interested in, where I eat, drink, play, get entertained. What I am interested in at certain times of the day or day of the week. Market food to me at a time I am likely to be considering a meal. Then of course there is:
Location. If my mobile knows where I am, there is so much more you can do. If I like coffee, I’m walking downtown and there is a cafe that wants my business, let them send me an offer together with a reward of free WiFi.
On another tangent, the awesome podcast from Asif Khan and Rob Woodbridge of the Location Based Marketing Association: This Week In Location Based Marketing mentioned that where a geofence is used for guerilla based mobile marketing, they get a 12% click through rate. Just to explain, imagine you walk into Burger King and your mobile bleeps you a notification offering you a free upsize if you go to McDonalds up the road and buy a Big Mac combo.
This is where people started to get excited and concerned about privacy and I need to mention the MAC, pun intended. Effectively it is possible for apps to learn about you and your behavior without having your personal details. Effectively they track your mobile, not YOU. It’s not quite that simple and that is why in the early days of The Hyperfactory (I didn’t actually work there, I suppose you could have called me a Hyperfactory groupie) we started to set up a Mobile Marketing Association, with the view of self regulating to ensure the Government didn’t over regulate. The key was around allowing people to know what information was held about them and giving them the right to revoke access to it.
This blog is getting way too long, so I’ll finish with a few quick thoughts on Foursquare. I wish I had paid more attention to Derek having shared an office with Foursquare, I think I made a mental note to talk to him about that, but I didn’t. Maybe I still will.
The question was asked as to whether Foursquare was viable and the general answer from the panel was, not really. Derek was more retrospect and pointed out that the issue in New Zealand has always been one of scale. In New York City scale isn’t a problem, the population is over 8 million people. They can afford to have sales people in NYC and its easy to segment them.
In New Zealand there are actually a reasonable number of users, but Foursquare hasn’t really been interested in them because we are too small. I briefly became a Foursquare Ambassador and saw big opportunities for proximity based marketing. I saw a business model for myself with Foursquare, but they would not allow me (or anyone) to manage multiple businesses on behalf of customers. Each account had to be managed individually and for New Zealand that was a fatal flaw.
Did you go last night? What did you think? I think this is going to be a very successful global company and look forward to being involved somehow, if only only the sideline. I have watched and met many successful people over the years through my business network and Derek Handley is a Kiwi that remains underrated imho despite all he has achieved to date. In my opinion the shares are well undervalued right now. I’d recommend at least buying a few.
Footnote: I do not own any shares in Snakk Media. I do not work for Snakk Media in any capacity. I would seriously consider both though:)
Nestle in the UK has come up with a very cool imho marketing campaign. They are putting GPS chips in the wrapping of 6 food bars such as Kit Kats and when they are opened / activated, within 24 hours they vow to track down the chips, send in the commandos to find, and possibly scare the hell out of the people who bought them and give them 10,000 pounds.
This is a very cool use of location based technology that will fire up marketing people and those into location based marketing like me big time. CNET says that this campaign will appeal to men and perhaps they are not usually the target market for chocolate. In this case I suspect sales will go through the roof and while this campaign hasn’t yet gone seriously viral, I’m sure it will. It is also likely to be winning awards as TV cameras from around the world follow the commandos to the lucky people receiving the prizes.
Just as well they are using TVC’s and billboards with NFC and QR Codes to promote this campaign or people will be thinking that a new war has broken out.
Location based marketing is going to play a major role in our lives going forward and those who are in early will reap rewards by standing out from the crowd. This certainly puts a new spin on guerrilla marketing.
Covering topics including the latest Gartner Hype Cycle predictions, Location and Proximity Based Marketing, Check-In Marketing, Mobile Computing, QR Codes, Business Intelligence using maps and the hot topic of the use of personal devices in a corporate market, there was something in it for everyone. Case studies illustrated not only practical use of technology, but professional processes to ensure that projects were well designed for success.
The presentation outlined the ongoing chasm between people in the ICT profession and their colleagues when it came to understanding and use of new technologies, particularly mobile and location based. I encouraged the audience ranging from consultants to CIO’s to consider how they can educate and encourage their companies to understand the new technologies and how they fit into their business frameworks. There are great opportunities for IT people to be welcomed back into the boardroom by working closely with the management team to show them how to implement and benefit from new technologies, safely and securely.
It was interesting to learn that O2 is now going to get into daily deals. They will be the first British Telco to enter this market and according to the Financial Times, they are going to invest £6 Million into their daily deals service with the expected participation of 3,500 high street brands. Shaun Gregory, O2’s managing director of media, said that their opt in process was going to be less clunky than that on Facebook and Foursquare etc. and would not require check ins. This effectively means it is not a location based service at all, but yet another spin on the Daily Deals I wrote about in my blog yesterday.
Ironically I and many other people in the telecommunications industries over the years have been trying to convince local telco’s to support payment for products via mobile, including vending machines, pointing out the enormous value in clipping the ticket on transactions. Probably about 12-15 years ago I was able to buy Coke from a vending machine at the local Ericsson office, but it was only ever a Beta service.
Amazon is also getting in on the act in the USA with Amazon Local which is yet another spin and hardly local given that it works in exactly the same way as the regional deals every other Daily Deal site offers, noting to do with check ins. It will at least support local businesses in the same way as other sites does with vouchers etc to be redeemed in local eateries and stores with the same debatable results. Amazon certainly knows the value of clipping the ticket as I mentioned in an older blog with a link to a Harvard Business Review Clip of John Donahoe explaining what his business model is, and I can tell you it is now selling books.
Eventually if you keep following this blog, I will get to the point of the value of using Location Based Marketing instead of Daily Deals. This is starting to seem a whole lot like the boring unimaginative reality TV shows that all the networks are rolling out. It’s much cheaper to imitate than to innovate and of course you are encouraging them by watching, because if you didn’t watch, then they wouldn’t be able to get advertisers to promote their daily deals businesses!
The number of one day deal sites in New Zealand grows every day. There are dozens of them and many of them now have a separate site for each region with deals for experiences, dining, accommodation, attractions and activities. This is great for bargain seekers, but doesn’t necessarily do a lot for bricks and mortar businesses.
There are scenarios where they have value, for example if a business has very large volumes of aged stock that they need to quit. It can also be useful for new businesses to make customers aware they exist. They also come at a price. The more powerful the site, the more they charge with fees being anything up to 40% of the sale of each item.
If you want to attract new customers to your bricks and mortar store, then obviously you want a coupon or something that needs to be taken to the store for redemption. Even if you are quitting aged stock, there may be advantages in getting people into your store in the hope that they will purchase other products while they are there. There are also benefits to both the customer and the retailer in not having the time, packaging and distribution costs in delivering product to the buyer. More on this in future blogs, looking at check in applications as opposed to group deals.
A study by Rice University found that 32% of businesses surveyed who used Groupon for promotions said they were unprofitable and 40% said they would not do it again. A major issue cited in the research was cannibalising existing business. Mashable quoted a statistic that less than 20% of people who purchased deals where they had to go to a store to redeem them, returned subsequently to buy full priced product.
So the question which I will come to in upcoming blogs is how to get people into your store at quiet times and more often. I believe the answer is in locations based services such as check ins and proximity based marketing. I welcome your experience or opinion on this.
The home, its technology and its inhabitants are now becoming more and more connected. Many of us now have WiFi networks in the home. We can sit with notebooks on our laps, wireless routers connected to our internet connection allow us to connect entertainment systems, iPads and other network appliances, printers, external drives, Smartphones and more.
Many other devices are now being developed that also offer the benefits of connectivity. For example Internet TV is almost here with products like Google TV being right on our doorstep.
Many years ago I had the opportunity to spend a day at the Arthur Anderson offices in Chicago for a glimpse of the future. An example was an intelligent fridge with a bar code reader that created a shopping list and could automatically send the list to the local grocery delivery company.
Bill Gates had a master plan of having a Windows CE engine in home appliances, creating an intelligent house. Smart Appliances will I’m sure be in the home soon and the idea Gates had was that if they all used Windows CE, they would all have a common platform to communicate not only with each other and with your mobile computer, perhaps your home appliances.
The European Commission has perhaps seen the light in setting up The Hydra Project. “The Hydra middleware allows developers to incorporate heterogeneous physical devices into their applications by offering easy-to-use web service interfaces for controlling any type of physical device irrespective of its network technology such as Bluetooth, RF, ZigBee, RFID, WiFi, etc. Hydra incorporates means for Device and Service Discovery, Semantic Model Driven Architecture, P2P communication, and Diagnostics. Hydra enabled devices and services can be secure and trustworthy through distributed security and social trust components of the middleware.”
This has the potential to reduce the risk of being tied to specific brands of computing, communications and other technology by providing middleware that everyone can work with. Of course the home is only one place that can benefit from this concept. It applies equally to telemedicine (monitoring patients in the home), business automation, security, agriculture, manufacturing, warehousing and pretty much any industry you can think of.
Once again Science Fiction is about to become reality. It’s taken a while, but looks like we are getting there.
The following video shows an e-home controlled by voice or even by your X Box Controller and of course you can control it from your iPhone:
Making my first coffee today in the office at 8AM I noticed a story on the front page of the NZ Herald. Funny I can’t seem to find it online, but there were loads of results on the web’s news pages.I’ll share the Huffington Post story here because I can’t find the NZ Herald story online for some strange reason.
Basically the story is that Dutch Brewery Bavaria has been selling orange mini skirts to soccer fans as an ambush marketing stunt. The clothes were available for sale in the Netherlands and as a very nationalistic country, it is normal behaviour for Dutch people to wear Orange on major occasions such as sporting events and also for children on Queen’s Birthday. So many Dutch people bought these skirts and wore them to the FIFA World Cup match against Denmark. The clothing had a tiny little label that would be very difficult to see with the Bavaria brand on it.
That wasn’t the problem though. The problem was that they allegedly paid a group of 36 blondes to wear them at the match, which is against the rules of sponsorship, where Budweiser are the only official beer sponsor of the map and have exclusive marketing rights. The story in the Herald said that 2 of the 36 women were arrested and charged and if convicted could face fines from 1,000 Rand to a term in prison. Subsequently they were released on Bail and FIFA has said they will not be charging the individuals, they will be bringing charges against the Bavaria Brewery itself.
As a marketer, I appreciate that brands pay outrageously high sponsorship fees to be able to advertise at major sporting events and expect protection, but how far should they be allowed to go? If I like a brand, why shouldn’t I be allowed to wear their clothing. I play poker and have played in tournaments sponsored by Jack Daniels and have won Jack Daniels clothing. If a group of my friends who also won their branded clothing to an event, could I be in trouble? If the organisers of the poker tournament encouraged me to wear their clothing at the event, would they be in trouble? Remember that the logo on the clothing, these 36 girls were wearing was only on a tiny tag that if you wanted to read it, you would have to get so close to the garment that you might get arrested on other charges.
Next year we have the 2011 Rugby World Cup in New Zealand and the International Rugby Board is running by the same rules. According to the IRB even the letters RWC in succession have been trade marked. In effect I could be breaking the law just be blogging the letters RWC. When did it become possible for a sporting body to prosecute people or businesses for using 3 letters in succession. I mean, we only have 26 letters in our alphabet! So what if they were the initials for your company? Are you breaking the law? If I worked for or supported the Roger Wright Centre in Christchurch, and they had corporate clothing, I wouldn’t be allowed to wear it to any World Cup matches in New Zealand.
So what happens to other companies or organisations that use RWC in their name? Have they lost the rights to their business names? What happens if their staff want to be proud of the company and go to a match in company clothing? RWC stands for Redwood City in California. It stands for Roberts Wesleyan College in Rochester New York which has a proud sporting history.
I think this is very scary and another example of large corporations wanting to own and control everything. Some of those corporations in the drug world may now own the patents to some of my DNA!
Anyway, before you go to any of the matches in South Africa this year or in New Zealand next year, make sure you don’t have any clothing showing off any brands that haven’t paid the IRB for the use of the letters RWC or any of the other trademarked groups of letters. They probably won’t have Sky in the holding cells.
In a previous blog I talked about how brands such as Subway could use Location Based Services (LBS) to promote their products to school students as a next step from their service where you can text your order through to the store. Location (x3) used to be the mantra of the retail industry, especially when consumers didn’t move far from their homes or work area. Of course today people are far more mobile.
I have frequently spoken about the value of PR as being far superior to advertising, which is a major problem for advertisers themselves. With Tivo, MySky and other services we can avoid TVC’s and with more and more people going online for their news, the advertising in print gets less views. The key point I make though is that people don’t trust advertising. In my Geosmart Blog, I wrote about the impact of this and the need to find different ways to deal with this.
Earlier this year in Amsterdam I spoke to a number of people who are developing expertise in the areas of social networking’ LBS and proximity based marketing and a common thread to this was in fact trust.
The marketers tell us that if the guys wear Lynx hygiene products, the girls will come running. In a previous blog, Why Do People Still Smoke? I showed a video of a doctor expousing the benefits of smoking. It’s no wonder that marketers and sales people are often looked at as shiny shoed spin doctors.
In 2006 Gallup asked pollsters to rate the values and ethics of a number of industry groups. Advertisers scored 11% on the high trust scale. Harris did a similar poll the same year and found that in contrast 66% of people trusted the ordinary man or woman in the street.
Amongst the changes that are happening in many areas these days are consumer advocates. Because people don’t trust advertising, and in many cases with good cause, they are turning to other consumers for advice. When I went to Jamaica a couple of years ago, I used Travelocity to read reviews from people who stayed at various resorts and used their feedback to book my stay and was pleased to find everything as I expected. As a consequence, I also used them to make my booking.
If 66% of consumers are happy to trust the man in the street, then what if we could give them access to their peers. This is of course where social networking comes in. Typically in a social networking environment, whether it is Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, MySpace, doesn’t matter, we end up developing online relationships (and real ones) with people that we associate with, that share our values and interests.
Mobile phones now offer a vehicle to extend the social networks into location. People now meet up in different parts of the world as a consequence of their location. I can use a number of applications to ask people in my network about local shops, accomodation or anything else. If I’m in LAX for 6 hours waiting for a connecting flight, I can go onto Twitter on my mobile and see if any of my friends are nearby, or ask them what’s worth seeing, where is a good place for a coffee or a meal etc. I will then get their recommendation based on their local knowledge or experience. I can trust their feedback.
So I was talking about Proximity Based Marketing. If consumer advocacy is the most reliable form of marketing, there is an opportunity for brands to harness this. Off course the codicil is that they have to provide a great product or service because otherwise the mention will be poor and they need to be consistent.
One concept I’ve considered is a loyalty program around a hospitality brand, it could be a chain of bars, cafes or any other organisation. They could have a program whereby you got rewards for bringing other people to their establishment. For example, use a social network around their brand (a starting point could be as simple as a Facebook Fan Page) and then use your mobile to see which of your friends are in the neighbourhood. You could have an impromptu meet up at Starbucks and have the ability to send your friends an electronic coupon on their mobile, together with turn by turn directions and a map, to show them how to get there.
I’ve blogged previously about distressed inventory and Proximity Based Marketing. Imagine you go to the Cirque du Soleil and book via your ticket agency who is also a social networking site, such as EventFinder. A few hours before the show you get a TXT message offering you a deal if you can entice some other people to come along. You then use the location part of their application on your mobile to see where your friends are (as I do with Google Latitude) and send them a message with an electronic coupon to join you at the show, with a 40% discount.
A number of popular web portals, such as AA Maps, Wises, Google, allow you to rate / review businesses or locations on their portal. Wouldn’t it be good if you could access this data on your mobile in real time? But it would be even better if you can link a real time recommendation from a ‘friend’ to a location based service. Where’s a good place to get a coffee at Miami Beach? A friend replies with a name of a cafe, which automatically gets linked to their geocode (location coordinates) and as your mobile knows where you are, it can then request and display turn by turn directions and the map. The friend then adds, “If you can get there for 2PM I’ll meet you there.”
All the pieces are already in place and Beta sites are starting to pop up, offering these sorts of services. GeoSmart can provide the tools and data required for New Zealand and are already working with parties to support better maps and Location Based Service for New Zealand. Perhaps you should start thinking about how you can use location and consumer advocacy to drive forward your business.
If you feel that my blog is interesting I would be very grateful if you would vote for me in the category of best blog at the NetGuide Web Awards. Note that the form starts each site with www whereas my blog doesn’t and is of course https://luigicappel.wordpress.com.
I love the Census. Every 5 years we get this massive set of questions about who we are, where we come from, what we do, where we live etc. There is an amazing wealth of information in the Census and this time the Government have made it available for free if you can find what you want without assistance.
I spend a lot of time helping people on the fringe of this and am working on the development of a web application to help people view both their own business data and relevant Census data. Watch for this in a future blog if you are following me.
One of the questions they ask us Kiwis is about our ethnicity. I remember in 2006 when there was a strong movement of people saying to each other that they had had enough of the racial issues between Maori and Pakeha (and this clearly came from both sides of the fence). A large percentage of Kiwis grew up side by side with Caucasians, Maori and people from many othr places including the Pacific Islands. They grew up as friends and neighbours and if there was discussion of ethnicity it was with interest and pride, not with any tensions or mistrust.
On that theme, 400,000 Kiwis signed their ethnicity, not by selected tick boxes for European Caucasion. New Zealand Maori etc, they signed in a text box called other as New Zealanders.
Whilst this made sense in a way as they tried to make their point, it has also caused some significant problems for organisations who use that information for decision making and the Department of Statistics is looking for ways to get better information in the next Census is 2010.
In the Statistics New Zealand Draft report, prepared for public discussion, they outlined some of the concerns and explained ways that the ethnicity data is used. Here are some examples including some of my own:
The health sector uses ethnicity data to target services for groups experiencing inequalities in health. For example, it is commonly known that Maori have a significantly lower life expectancy than Europeans.
Asian people, especially new immigrants have unique health needs.
Local government agencies use these statistics in planning and service delivery, particularly in regions experiencing significant demographic, social and economic change.
Marketers with products targeted and particular groups are able to identify where those markets reside.
Education planning needs to take into consideration the demographics that make up local communities to ensure that education services are relevant to the needs of that community. Diverisyt is a key tenet in the NZ education system, but in order to best support it and plan for it, statistics are requred.
In the business world, demographics can help with many aspects of business planning. For example a manufacturer of baby bottles found that in one area bottles with blue teets weren’t selling and in another area bottles with yellow teets weren’t selling. After a year or so with lots of stock thrown away or discounted they discovered that it was an ethnicity issue. By rotating the stock to the other areas the problem was solved.
Today we have many ethnic communities, which is a relatively new situation, at least in Auckland where most of the population lives. This can be very useful for specialist retailers or service providers such as ethnic supermarkets, restaurants, clothing, music and entertainment providers. This is also of relevance for churches who want a lot of their congregation to be able to walk to their place of worship, immigration consultants, language schools or ESOL and so on.If a business can identify where their target market lives, they can better plan on placement of their business or how to find their new customers.
From a futurist persepctive we can use this information to try to predict what the city and country will look like in the future, where the opportunities and threats lie and how to support the changing community. For many people, New Zealand is seen as a wonderful safe and green place to live and raise a family, but each one brings a piece of their own culture with them, but also bring issues of culture, work training, language, education, commerce and the need to belong to a group of people with similar interests and problems, while their children are assimilating into the local community. New Zealand has changed dramatically over the last few decades and it is essential to the wellbeing of the country that the Census accurately represents statistics that can assist in making sure that everyone is able to enjoy living in this country and able to contribute in their own ways.
The Census provides valuable information about the changing nature of our country. Unfortunately this ‘movement’ towards calling people Kiwis means that it has been very difficult to monitor the change in ethnicity in NZ from the 2001 Census to the 2006 Census, meaning that the data is difficult to use for a 10 year period.
Statistics New Zealand is now asking the country for input as to how to allow people to assert their relationship to the country, while at the same time allowing Statistics to gather important information in order to help the country meet the needs of the large range of ethnicity in our country.
I think the answer has to accomodate both the desire for people to consider themselves bona fide New Zealanders irrespective of their ethnicity, but it is also essential to understand their roots or backgrounds. It shouldn’t be hard to combine the questions in such a way as to support the need for quality of information as well as the need of people, irrespective of their origins, to feel they belong and are important players in our multicultural society today.
While this blog is starting to get a good following, I would love to get more readers and encouraging me to keep writing. If you feel that my blog is interesting I would be very grateful if you would vote for me in the category of best blog at the NetGuide Web Awards. Note that the form starts each site with www whereas my blog doesn’t and is of course https://luigicappel.wordpress.com.