Sunday, November 30, 2008

Should I Keep My Website?

This question has remained in a corner of my head for the longest time. I own, since I believe 2006. First I wanted to get, which would be more international, as I am writting most of the time in English, and the majority of my audience don't come from France (I'd say it's about 50-50 between Europe and North America, with a growing Indian crowd, which I am very happy about).

The purpose of my website
When I created my website for the first time, I believed it would represent the best way to introduce myself to people that would have interest in contacting me, especially hiring staffs and recruiters. I wanted it to be an enhanced and complete resume, as it would encompass some of my thesis and academic works, some detailed information about my work experiences.

The purpose of my blog
I actually started my blog before my website. I think it has been running since 2005. But I knew very few about blogging. I had at this time never visited any blogs, and I didn't have a clear picture of what my blog should be about. Actually I did, but I was not able to write on a regular basis. It is actually Henri Kaufman, who was my 2.0 marketing professor at Paris Dauphine, that convinced me of the interest of this art. Thus, I have started writing a lot, meeting a lot of interesting people, and acquire a status of E marketing specialist.

I am still wondering about the website... A blog is great because it is in constant evolution. It is very easy to up date your blog, posts new things, and get great visibility on search engines. This is a more difficult task with a website. You need indeed to code, and pages are statiques. My website is therefore not up to dated at all. That is also a reason why I am not even advertising it.

I still own the extension, and I will keep it as long as possible. But know I believe it might be the time to delete my site, which has very few viewers, and to put my blog onto it. My only concern is that my website was still usefull as it was hosting my academic work, but I believe my blog is more important, and by placing my blog under, hopefully I will be able to generate even more traffic, discuss with more people, and get me interesting contacts for the future.

What do you think about it? Let me know if you have been in the same situation or if you believe a website might have an interest.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Crisis Drives US Online Retailers To Slash Prices

Here is a very interesting article on the New York Times.

The financial crisis is affecting household's budgets for Christmas and this starting holidays season. Due to this factor, retailers needs to cut their prices in order first to stay competitive, but also to convince consumers to keep consuming, despite the decrease of purchasing power.

If this statement is true for any retailers, it is way more evident on the web. Online retailers are waging price wars. That also means that some smaller retailers might not be able to stay competitive against this massive discount effort, and thus to disappear.

Maybe actually this crisis might be profitable to some consumers since it will contribute to the drop of some goods prices.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Mobile Buzz Marketing Campaign By Citroen

Citroen is one of the leading French car manufacturers. In order to advertise its new car model, the C3 Picasso, Citroen set a mobile buzz marketing campaign, edited by Visualmobile, a French company speacilized in Iphone applications.

The French start up created an Iphone application where you could drive a Citroen C3 Picasso on your Iphone. The application gives you the image of the car, and it drives where ever you are pointing your Iphone at. All of that is added to the wheel that is moving while you are turning, the sound of the engine, and so on. Here are couple of pics:

This is a good example of mobile buzz marketing campaign, using the Iphone technology. This is actually probably the first mixed reality application ever on an Iphone. Hopefully we will see more and more of those type of marketing campaign in a near future.

I'd like to have the feedback of people that might have downloaded the app.

Thank you to PPC, on whose blog I have found the information. Here is the original article (in French).

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Le ton en communication aussi important que le message

En communication, parfois le message que l'on veut transmettre. Il existe ainsi différentes composantes dans la communication qui vont influencer la façon dont le message est perçu.
Par exemple le choix du média va être très important. Ainsi, une publicité télévisée permettra d'assurer la qualité graphique et l'appréciation de la marque, alors qu'un courrier signer assurera de la proximité.

Aussi, le ton de la communication. la tonalité que vous allez utilisé pour votre message va impacter la manière dont il sera perçu.

Voici un petit film qui illustre très bien comment le ton de la communication peut affecter grandement le message. Voici tout d'abord la bande annonce du fameux film "Bienvenue chez les Chtis", film comique qui a connu un grand succès l'année dernière.

Voici une adaptation trouvée sur le site de metro, le magazine gratuit. Celle-ci a été détournée, en jouant sur le ton de la communication: musique dramatique, les images au ralentit, un rythme lent...

Bienvenue Chez Les Chtis by VinzA
par vinza

Ainsi, afin d'assurer le succès de votre communication, il faut aussi prêter attention à la tonalité de celui-ci, afin de captiver l'attention de l'audience, mais aussi faciliter le passage de la bonne information. J'aime beaucoup ce petit film car il montre bien comment on peut changer le message par simplement changer le ton.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Les marques affrontent leurs déficits d'image: les cas BUT et Renault

Une marque représente l'imaginaire d'une société auprès des consommateurs. Le développement d'une marque est un art complexe, puisqu'il doit tenir compte d'une part la perception des consommateurs, les qualités réelles de l'entreprise, mais aussi l'aspiration de celle-ci. D'ailleurs l'apparition de l'Internet et le développement de communautés sur le web ont rendu le travail du brand marketer plus difficile: on ne peut plus mettre de côté l'opinion des consommateur ainsi que les défauts de l'entreprise (mauvais service client = publication sur les blogs et sites de consommateurs). Les manquements des entreprises sont mis sur la place publique, on ne peut les cacher.

Voici deux nouvelles publicités que vous pourrez trouver sur vos écrans en France. L'une pour le constructeur automobile Renault, l'autre pour le distributeur spécialisé But.

Ce qui change dans la communication, c'est que la marque assume son manque de popularité, en insistant sur le changement. La marque a compris qu'il y avait un problème, et aujourd'hui elle veut changer, et qu'elle change. C'est assez rare de voir ce type de communication. La plupart du temps, après un échec, les entreprises décident d'ignorer le produit ou le projet, et même d'effacer toute information possible pour celui-ci. C'est un peu le cas de Microsoft, qui a connu un revers avec Windows Vista, mais qui refuse de le reconnaître.

Ce qui est intéressant, c'est cet effort d'humilité de ces entreprises, reconnaissant les points négatifs du passé pour affirmer leur effort de changement.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Nintendo Places Its Customers At The Center Of His Communication

Nintendo Struggling in the 2000s
Let's go back a little bit in time. In the late 90s', Nintendo was going in limbo. After having dominated the growing video game market in the 80s and the 90s, Nintendo had to face a new competitor arriving: Sony. Afterward, the Playstation started its expansion, and Nintendo was struggling to get back on track. The Nintendo 64 was released at least 3 years too late, and they were clearly two steps behind the other competitors.
Nintendo Lost The Challenge Of Technology
The Gamecube has never been able to be close to the performance of the Xbox or the Playstation 2. The gap seemed so large that a lot of specialist considered Nintendo doomed, as Sega had already give up a little bit earlier with the too small success of its Dreamcast.

However, Nintendo did not give up, and rather than keeping on trying to make as powerful systems as the competition, they decided to be different, and focus on what made their success: create fun and innovative games.

Be Different
That is the main reason why Nintendo had experienced great success with its two new systems, the Nintendo DS, and the Wii. Both hardwares are far away for the PSP's and Playstation 3's technologies, but they have focus on designing games and a gameplay you could never approach with other devices.

By providing a unique gameplay and a very different experience, they have been able to catch the attention of the audience.

Nintendo Commercials Are Focusing On The Customer Experience
This focus on the gameplay, the innovation and the gamer experience, you can notice it while watching some Nintendo's commercials. As you can see, and that is somehow a revolution in the video game industry, you are not focusing on famous labels like James Bond or King Kong, nor on the excellent and realistic design of the characters. Nintendo show you every day life people having fun like you would with your friends.

Because actually what people are looking for when playing a video game is not to see a movie, but to interract and to have fun.

Nintendo earned back its success because it focused its product development on the customer experience, more than on the technology ability of the product. This is a great example of a company that decided to be different, work on its customers' will, and experience great success.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Is Twittering Better Than Blogging?

I have already talked about this issue on this blog. This is actually a question that has been asked all over the blogosphere about 5 to 6 months ago. Nevertheless, I believe this is still accurate to speak about it, as I believe the hype around this new service is getting lower, and we can percieve better the actually use for the mass market.

Twitter adopted and plebiscited by bloggers
Some bloggers have limited their proficiency on their blog by adopting Twitter as their new way to communicate with the community. Indeed, Twitter was in the main trend of the Internet: Being connected with your network at all time, providing the most information as possible. A lot of people actually believed blogging was obsolete, since most of the blogosphere superstars cut dramatically their posting frequency.

The problems coming with Twitter's uses
But I don't really like Twitter, even though I am using it sometimes. Twitter, even if it is in the mainstream of the web 2.0, it has the problems. Twittering is time consuming. Also, Twitter is bringing you a massive information that it is impossible to get it all. I know that might not be the purpose of knowing everything that is going on, but because of the profusion of messages you might miss a lot of valuable information hidden by the mass.

Too much information is actually one of the problem of the web: This is great to have the opportunity to access it, but you need also to be efficient and get the information that matters to you fast.

Twitter's technical problems
Also, Twitter experienced for a long time technical issues that really turned me down. You couldn't see the oldest update, and you couldn't either post new ones. This was really annoying especially for a service that based its value on its reactivity.

Therefore, I am not really using Twitter. Does Twitter has a great future? I am still doubting about its mass market adoption, even though some new enhanced version, based on mobile technologies, might show up and be interesting. But I believe that blogs provide a more qualitative content, and that is the reason why I am sticking with it.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Read & Go: Orange Working On The Next Generation Of Newspapers

FrenchTelecommunications operator Orange is investing on Read & Go, a new technology that aims to revolution the consumption of Newspapers. Indeed, the newspaper industry has been deeply hurt by the arrival of Internet and the profusion of free information on the web. Newspapers corporation are still struggling to adapt their business model, and some of them are still pursuing massive job cuts.

Information consumption on the Internet not the best solution
However, consuming information on the Internet has not all the advantages that the old fashion newspaper had. Indeed, reading on the computer is not as comfortable as reading on the paper would be. Also, because of the large amount of information proposed on the web, it is hard to get the big picture of what is going on. I am actually reading a book called "the paradox of choice: When more is less", where the theory is that in our modern society, the existence of a vast choice is overwhelming and counter productive.

I know RSS feeds exists and aggregators like Netvibes or Google Readers work great, but let's be honest, their use is still confidential and did not yet spread out on the mass market. Also, I believe their use has some limits, especially while not on the computer. I also feel we should not be forced to live in front of a computer, especially in order to consume information. Now that TV, videos, radios and news are on the Internet, we spend too much time in front of our machines, time that is not necessary.

Orange's Read & Go
The Read & Go device looks like a blank sheet. It is supported by the electronic paper technology which provides the same reading comfort than the regular paper, even in the sun and limit the battery consumption.
The device is equipped with Wifi and a 3G connection in order to get the information right when it is up. Actually, the device proposes a mix between the paper edition of the newspaper added to the RSS feed of the website, in order to get both the quality of analysis of the newspaper and the reactivity of the website.

My opinion
The device should be available by 2009, and I believe you'll need to subscribe to a specific plan (wether a 3G wireless connection or a plan with the magazine). I really like this idea because I am convinced that we haven't found yet a viable way to consume news on a daily basis, as the information on the web is way to much time consuming. Also, I really like the electronic paper technology that provides great comfort while reading for long periods (whether it is books or news).

Friday, November 14, 2008

The PSP Case Study: When The Technology Overwhelm You

You probably know about the PSP. The PSP is the "Playstation Portable" of Sony, a mobile video game hardware that was suppose to revolutionize the market. Actually, the first time I have seen the PSP in a commercial, I was very impressed. It was in the US, in 2005, and I was impressed by the technology improvement, compared for instance to the Game Boy advance, which owned the leading technology at this time. Moreover, not only you could play high quality video games, you could also use the PSP to listen to music, but (and I believe that was the main strength), you could watch movies on the go.

The technology overwhelmed the project: But in fact, the PSP is not really a success. First of all, it has been right away attacked by hackers, that would allow users to unlock their PSP to get free games on the web. Secondly, a part of the business model was based on the UMV movies you could buy. That was some kind of mini DVDs you could buy to watch thanks to the PSP. But actually the format was not that good, only supported by the PSP, and also it was very expensive to buy a UMV especially because you most of the time was watching it only once, and you didn't have such a quality that a DVD on a large screen could deliver.

The new mobile technology turned the PSP obsolete. Now don't get me wrong, the PSP is a great video game hardware. I own too of them. I play most of the time and I am happy with it. However, some new mobile technologies and apps appeared with the development of the cell phone market, and that deeply affected the interest in the Sony device. First of all, some new interfaces appeared. The Nintendo DS propose a little stick to play with, which improve the gameplay. Secondly, the Iphone has the tactile technology that is creating a great buzz, and a lot of developpers are now working on games for this cell phone.

Also, most of the new cell phones propose even more complete apps. Whereas the PSP offers you to play, watch movies, and also listen to music, most of the smart phones, Blackberry and Iphones proposes you on top of that phone option, already equiped GPS, and Internet navigation.

PSP is trying to catch up with the market, but the options are not build-in, meaning the interface is poor (especially to watch TV and surf on the web) and implies you hang around with adds on at all time.

I believe the PSP was indeed a revolution, but might have come too early on the market, and because of it, is now somehow obsolete.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

L'évolution de la grande distribution (5): les hard discounters

Après L'évolution de la grande distribution (1): les grands magasins
Après L'évolution de la grande distribution (2): L'exemple de Monoprix
Après L'évolution de la grande distribution (3): Les hypermarchés

Nous allons parlé de l'évolution du Hard Discount. En effet, le hard discount, comme je l'avais annoncé précédemment, est venu prendre des parts de marché aux hypermarchés, tout comme ces mêmes hypermarchés avait pris les parts de marché aux grands magasins.

Le concept de Hard Discount Le concept de hard discount est simple: Réduire les coûts de distribution à leur minimum, afin de casser les prix et devenir les enseignes de la grande distribution les plus compétitives.

Ainsi, un hard discounter peut se définir de la manière suivante:
  • Mise en rayon sur pallette: on ne déballe pas les palettes afin de limiter les frais de personnel. De même, il n'y a pas d'équipe de nettoyage, les employés s'en chargeront.
  • Un assortiment réduit. La plupart du temps il n'existe qu'une seule marque par produit. Cela permet d'acheter en gros et aussi de jouer sur la concurrence.
  • Pas de promotion: Une promotion signifie que le prix n'est pas au plus bas, qu'il y a de la marge pour faire des réductions. Dans le hard discount, les produits sont déjà proposés au plus bas, et donc il n'y a

Le hard discount s'embellit Cependant, on commence a appercevoir une plus grande sofistification dans le hard discount. On voit de plus en plus de marque. De même certaines enseignes, comme Lidl, font des promotions selon les jours de la semaine.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

What Are Free Customers Worth?

Harvard Business Review have recently published an article on what are free customers worth. The title is very eye catching, and I was wondering what was their definition of a free customer, but also, of course, what the article was about.

I have recently wrote a post on the 4 business models based on "Free". Indeed, on the Internet, most of the business model are based on free services, and get some indirect revenues. This article is thus speaking about one of the business model I was explaining in this previous article, where some people pay, subsidizing for free people. A large amount of people are using the service or obtaining the product at no cost, and the company is expecting to get their money back by earning from this exposure a clientele. This is actually very similar to the referral marketing concept, where you get new leads from managing your existing customer data base, at the exception that on a "by referral business", your clients offering you referrals have paid.

The idea of the article is to define an optimal way to manage this free customers portfolio, which will both gives you the most customers and limit the cost of your free customers.
I actually believe that it is a very risky situation to establish this kind of free customer business model. Having a great number of users shows your service is valuable, but it doesn't mean people are eager to pay for it. Therefore, it is interesting to study this business model, but also be aware of how dangerous it could get, especially out of the Internet sphere.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Bluenity: Air France KLM Launches Its 2.0 Social Platform

Bluenity is the brand new 2.0 social website launched by Air France KLM. This social network is dedicated to airline users.

Here is the concept:
  • Discover other travelers on your trip
  • Take advantae of their travel tips
  • Meet them at any point.

The website is available in three languages, French, English and Dutch. The goal of the website will try to leverage the portfolio of 75 millions customers of both Air France and KLM, to create a viable community as fast as possible.

I think this is a great example on how setting up an online community can bring some added value to customers and therefore generate business out of it.

Now I think we should pay a close attention to this new website, because this is a great corporate social software initiative, and will give great indicators of how profitable such a project could be. Also, Bluenity will have to compete with leader, who has already established itself over the years as the leading community of globetrotters and frequent travelers.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Those Signs That Betrade You

Henri Kaufman and PPC delivered recently a new video on those signs and behaviors that betrade your thoughts. Indeed, a lot of your postures are showing what you are thinking about what you are paying attention to, wether it is someone speaking, a movie you are watching and so on. As a communication professional, sales manager or marketer, knowing how to understand those sings are very important, because it can help you read the other person's mind. Here is the video, and below, the English translation.

7 Signs that betrade you:
  • The thumb hidden in the palm: That means you are worried, stressed, and that you feel unsecured. This is someone that has problem to open himself to others.

  • The nose: There are many signs you could have when someone is playing with his nose:
  1. Clinton used to scratch his nose during the Lewinsky trial. This is a mark that you are lying.
  2. Also when you point your finger on your nose, that means you are thinking and focus on what the other person is saying.
  3. If you are pinching it, that means it stinks, meaning that you are not agree at all with what they other person is talking about.
  • The mouth:
  1. The index touching the bottom of your lip, caressing it: you are thinking, trying to figure out a solution.
  2. The index caressing the top lip: I am also thinking, but I am trying to get the point, and understand the meaning of something.
  3. Lips closed: You are not listening to, you are not agree with.
  4. Hand on the mouth, the palm turning on the speaker: I am agree, and I am looking for a solution.
  5. Hand on the mouth, the palm turning toward your mouth: I don't want to talk.
  • The Chin:
  1. The index tapping the chin: I made my decision.
  2. The fist, closed, placed under the chin: I am deeply focusing.
  • The cheek
  1. The hand placed on the cheek, and the index toward the ear: I am thinking
  2. The index caress the cheek, right under the eye: I'd like to have further details and know more.
  • The ears:
  1. scratching your ear: I am not listening too, it doesn't interest me, and I won't do it.
  2. You are caressing the top of your ear: I like what you are saying, and it flatters my ego.
  3. You are caressing the ear lobe: I am undecised.
  • Scratching the top of the occipult: I am in a deep thinking process.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Gartner's Top Ten Strategic Technologies For 2009

From November 3 to 7, leading IT research corp Gartner, is organizinig ITxpo 2008 in Cannes, France. This is a great opportunity for the company to expose the main trends in information technologies They have identified 10 main strategic technologies for next year:

1. Virtualisation
Much of the current buzz is focused on server virtualisation, but virtualisation in storage and client devices is also moving rapidly. Virtualisation to eliminate duplicate copies of data on the real storage devices while maintaining the illusion to the accessing systems that the files are as originally stored (data deduplication) can significantly decrease the cost of storage devices and media to hold information. Hosted virtual images deliver a near-identical result to blade-based PCs but, instead of the motherboard function being located in the data centre as hardware, it is located there as a virtual machine bubble. However, despite ambitious deployment plans from many organisations, deployments of hosted virtual desktop capabilities will be adopted by fewer than 40% of target users by 2010.

2. Cloud computing
Cloud computing is a style of computing that characterises a model in which providers deliver a variety of IT-enabled capabilities to consumers. The key characteristics of cloud computing are:
  • delivery of capabilities ’as a service’,
  • delivery of services in a highly scalable and elastic fashion,
  • using Internet technologies and techniques to develop and deliver the services, and
  • designing for delivery to external customers. Although cost is a potential benefit for small companies, the biggest benefits are the built-in elasticity and scalability, which not only reduce barriers to entry, but also enable these companies to grow quickly. As certain IT functions are industrialising and becoming less customised, there are more possibilities for larger organisations to benefit from cloud computing.
3. Servers - beyond blades
Servers are evolving beyond the blade server stage that exists today. This evolution will simplify the provisioning of capacity to meet growing needs. The organisation tracks the various resource types, for example, memory, separately and replenishes only the type that is in short supply. This eliminates the need to pay for all three resource types to upgrade capacity. It also simplifies the inventory of systems, eliminating the need to track and purchase various sizes and configurations. The result will be higher utilisation because of lessened ’waste’ of resources that are in the wrong configuration, or that come along with the needed processors and memory in a fixed bundle.

4. Web-oriented architectures
The Internet is arguably the best example of an agile, interoperable and scalable service-oriented environment in existence. This level of flexibility is achieved because of key design principles inherent in the Internet/Web approach, as well as the emergence of Web-centric technologies and standards that promote these principles. The use of Web-centric models to build global-class solutions cannot address the full breadth of enterprise computing needs. However, Gartner expects that continued evolution of the Web-centric approach will enable its use in an ever-broadening set of corporate solutions during the next five years.

5. Corporate mashups
Organisations are now investigating taking mashups from cool web hobby to corporate-class systems to augment their models for delivering and managing applications. Through 2010, the corporate mashup product environment will experience significant flux and consolidation, and application architects and IT leaders should investigate this growing space for the significant and transformational potential it may offer their organisations.

6. Specialised systems
Appliances have been used to accomplish IT purposes, but only with a few classes of function have appliances prevailed.
Heterogeneous systems are an emerging trend in high-performance computing to address the requirements of the most demanding workloads, and this approach will eventually reach the general purpose computing market. Heterogeneous systems are also specialised systems with the same single-purpose imitations of appliances, but the heterogeneous system is a server system into which the owner installs software to accomplish its function.

7. Social software and social networking
Social software includes a broad range of technologies, such as social networking, social collaboration, social media and social validation. Organisations should consider adding a social dimension to a conventional Web site or application and should adopt a social platform sooner rather than later because the greatest risk lies in failure to engage and thereby, being left mute in a dialogue where your voice must be heard.

8. Unified communications
During the next five years, the number of communications vendors with which a typical organisation works with will be reduced by at least 50%. This change is driven by increases in the capability of application servers and the general shift of communications applications to common off-the-shelf server and operating systems. As this occurs, formerly distinct markets, each with distinct vendors, converge, resulting in massive consolidation in the communications industry.
Organisations must build careful, detailed plans for when each category of communications function is replaced or converged, coupling this step with the prior completion of appropriate administrative team convergence.

9. Business intelligence
Business intelligence (BI), the top technology priority in Gartner’s 2008 chief information officer (CIO) survey, can have a direct positive impact on a company’s business performance, dramatically improving its ability to accomplish its mission by making smarter decisions at every level of the business from corporate strategy to operational processes. BI is particularly strategic because it is directed toward business managers and knowledge workers who make up the pool of thinkers and decision-makers that are tasked with running, growing and transforming the business. Tools that let these users make faster, better and more-informed decisions are particularly valuable in a difficult business environment.

10. Green IT
Shifting to more-efficient products and approaches can allow for more equipment to fit within an energy footprint, or to fit into a previously filled centre. Regulations are multiplying and have the potential to seriously constrain companies in building data centres, as the effect of power grids, carbon emissions from increased use and other environmental impacts are under scrutiny. Organisations should consider regulations and have alternative plans for data centre and capacity growth. "A strategic technology may be an existing technology that has matured and/or become suitable for a wider range of uses," says Carl Claunch, vice-president and distinguished analyst at Gartner. "It may also be an emerging technology that offers an opportunity for strategic business advantage for early adopters or with potential for significant market disruption in the next five years. Companies should evaluate these technologies and adjust based on their industry need, unique business needs, technology adoption model and other factors."

source: ICT world

Friday, November 07, 2008

Credit Is A Customer Relationship Tool

I know that talking about credit in a positive way might seem awkward during this credit crisis, but I believe actually it is a good thing to remind people why credit is good and important to our consumer society. Also, I would like to remind you meanwhile that if we are in such a great crisis, it shows how crucial the credit function is fundamental in our occidental countries.

The risks of credits
Most of the time, especially in France, credits are seen in a bad way: If you are getting a crisis to buy a product, whatever it is, that means you will pay more than what you are suppose to, meaning if you would buy it cash. Also, most of the time, people are considering that getting a credit is risky, because when someone is purchasing something with a credit, it often means he did not have enough money to afford it. Actually, a lot of people in the US are in trouble because of that: People are owning big cars and nice houses without a penny in their bank account. About half of US citizens lives from pay check to pay check. This life style is risky, because whatever happen, you lose your job, get sick or have to make an important purchase, you won't be able to face the situation.

Credit as a customer relationship tool
However, credit is most of the time a great customer relationship tool. Indeed, as a retailer, by offering a credit to your customers, you are allowing them to access some goods and products they would not have been able to get without a credit. You are accelerating the ability of someone to own products that will enhance his lifestyle. Retailers are hence delaying their benefits in order to help customers to purchase.

What retailers should be conscious of
However, providing credit possibilities to customers doesn't mean you should blind yourself about the risks your customers might take. A retailer should propose credits according to the financial status of their customers. That is actually one of the main reasons why credits are most of the time becoming bad. Retailers have big responsabilities when they allow their customers to pay big credits. They must take into consideration if the credit won't hurt personal finances.

I believe that credit is one of the main customer relationship tool: a company is helping a customer to access some products in an easy fashion. However, the retailer must make sure the credit won't hurt personal finances, and be responsible of their credit allowance policies.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

A force de web 2.0 le ecommerce en oublie le principal: la marge

Je vous invite à lire ce court article sur l'obsession de la marge pour le e-commerce.

"La marge est bien souvent faible, pour plusieurs raisons :
  • Sur Internet, les internautes comparent facilement les prix, et le volume des ventes ne sera pas du tout le même si vous être le deuxième prix ou le premier… On peut donc “acheter” du volume en écrasant le prix ;
  • Beaucoup de prestations sont vendues “à la performance”, c’est à dire en prenant une partie de la marge justement. A force “d’empiler” de telle prestations, on peut facilement se retrouver avec une marge… proche de zero !"
En effet, n'oublions par que la rentabilité d'un distributeur est principalement impacté par son travail sur ses marges. Bien souvent, les e-commerçants se retrouvent dans une situation difficile, puisque l'Internet permet très facilement de comparer les prix, et donc oblige à avoir une vigilance constante sur la compétitivité de ses prix. C'est aussi pour cela que les e-commerçants développent de plus en plus les services afin de se différencier et de conserver leurs marges et de les justifier auprès du client.

Alors, est-il impossible de travailler sur ses marges sur Internet? Je pense qu'en effet, il est difficile de justifier des prix plus haut que ses concurrents. C'est d'ailleurs pour cela qu'il est important de travailler sa relation client, afin d'extraire le client de la logique de comparaison de prix, et en lui proposant de la valeur ajoutée. Cette valeur ajoutée peut être basée sur:
  • des services additionels
  • des promotions sur les prochaines ventes (de même que les principes de "miles" qui se développent de plus en plus)
  • ou bien de l'information apportant un réel avantage (par exemple des programmes de musculation pour un site vendant des appareils de fitness, ou encore l'accès à des partitions gratuites pour l'achat d'une guitare, etc...).
Aussi, comme l'explique très bien l'article, il est aussi important de travailler sur son sourcing, ses capacités de négociations, mais aussi de travailler sur la gamme afin de trouver des synergies chez le fournisseur pour faire baisser ses prix d'achats.

Qu'en pensez vous?

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

US Retailers Use Social Media To Interact With Their Customers

Emarketer has recently published a study on how retailers get social with Facebook. The main fact of this study is that 1 retailer out of 3 have created some fan pages on the social network. That proves US retailers consider Facebook and web 2.0 communities as great tools to communicate with their audience and enhance their customer relationship experience. We can see that actually not only Facebook is liked by retailers, but Myspace and Youtube too.

Below is a list of the 30 major US Online Retailers that own a Fan Page on Facebook. You can see great companies like Amazon, Barnes and Noble or Nordstorm. What is also interesting is how diverse this crowd is, with clothing retailers, book stores or sport apparels shops. Now the challenge is to use these new tools to leverage customer relationship and get interactive with the audience, in order to enhance their exposure on the web.

Orange Turns Green

French phone company Orange, sort of AT&T here, has decided to innovate and show out its ecological effort.
Indeed, Orange has decided to display the ecological impact of their products. French government will impose the display of ecological impact on January 2011, as a decision made during the "Grenelle de l'environement", and Orange is therefore way in advance on the official decision.

They won't display it on the packages of their products for now, but you will be able to access the information on their website.

Here is the detail of the information provided:
  • Energetic efficiency: Wasting energy is one of the major cause of ecological problems.
  • Waste reduction: By thinking about the wastes that will
  • Energetic resource preservation
  • CO2 emissions during the production process
  • Toxic chemicals products used for the production

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

LinkedIn Is Launching New Applications

In my opinion, LinkedIn is the best professional network on the web. However, they were lacking a lot of applications that other social network, such as MySpace, or Facebook, was owning for a while, especially applications that was allowing you to interract with other web 2.0 services. But actually, this not really what I was expecting to enhance the service.

Some cool apps
Mytravel app is pretty cool. It allows you to share with your community your planned trip, and hence, to meet with some of your contacts while you'll be at a specific town.
Also, I think it is cool to add up some blogs news on your page, as I consider my blog as the most important personnal marketing tool I own.

I must raise some concerns
My only problem is that it really messes up my profile page. That is what I hated about Myspace and the main reason why I did not use it, that was my concern with all the widgets spreading around on Facebook, and now it comes on LinkedIn. On LinkedIn it is even more problematic: your page is a resume, and the more you have on the more you dilute the main information about your career path.

I think there is plenty of space on LinkedIn's profile pages to get some widgets around. I am still curious on how people will actually use these new tools. I was more expecting LinkedIn developping some communities apps, like forum creations and so on.
What do you think about it?
I think

Monday, November 03, 2008

Mobile Apps Analytics

Everybody knows how important analytics softwares are for Internet professionals. But what about mobile applications data? Aren't mobile applications the future of information technologies?

Flurry is a new analytics company specialized in mobile analytics. This new start up is currently looking for a second, $6 million round of venture capital, in order to get their business bigger.

"Our software tells applications developers how often their apps are used, how much time is spent using them, the times of day they're used, and where consumers come from on the Internet. It also monitors how their applications behave on certain handsets. For example, does a particular application send a lot of error messages?"

Flurry has somehow the same kind of business model than Google, as they are proposing for free their analytics app in order to promote mobile advertising. Actually, I think this is a great idea, because most of the professionals are still wondering about the efficiency of those types of campaigns.

Mobile marketing is still at an early stage. The technology isn't mature enough to allow marketers to edit great campaigns. Different platforms, different web browsers and screen sizes makes it difficult to coordinate and automate such a thing. However, we can see, as the Flurry example shows, some improvement are coming fast, and you can see the business growing and getting more attractive.

To know more about mobile analytics, you can click here.

Le mythe de la ménagère de moins de 50 ans

Vous avez certainement du entendre parler de la fameuse ménagère de moins de 50 ans. Pendant une vingtaine d'année, elle représentait le saint Graal pour les publicitaires, la cible privilégiée de la publicité télévisée.

Voici la définition sur Wikipédia de la ménagère de moins de 50 ans:
La ménagère de moins de 50 ans est une notion publicitaire et marketing correspondant à une population de consommatrices fort peu précise mais qui est néanmoins considérée comme déterminante dans les dépenses du ménage, constituant donc une cible privilégiée à séduire. Ce « concept » publicitaire est apparu dans les années 1960, à l'âge d'or de la consommation de masse.

Cependant, depuis les années 60, la femme a changé, ainsi que son mode de vie.

La ménagère de moins 50 ans a changé
Beaucoup de facteurs ont contribué à altérer le concept de la ménagère de moins de 50 ans:
  • Les femmes travaillent de plus en plus. Elles passent ainsi moins de temps au foyer et sont de moins en moins responsable des achats du foyer.
  • Eclatement du foyer familial: Il y a de plus en plus de foyer mono parental, de personnes vivant célibataire de plus en plus longtemps. Ainsi, les hommes ont aussi du changer leurs habitude. La ménagère perd de son pouvoir de prescription sur les achats.
  • Développement d'activités annexes: Les activités des femmes se développent. Elles revendiquent leur droit au temps libre, et ont ainsi développé des activités annexes, qui limitent encore plus leur temps passé au foyer, et à penser aux achats du foyer.
  • La complexification des comportements: Tous ces facteurs ont conduit à une complexification des profils des femmes. Il est impossible de caractériser une cible sur le simple sexe et l'âge (qui plus est quand la tranche d'âge est si importante) d'une personne. De multiples critères, sociaux, psychologiques, et autres, font que la segmentation doit être beaucoup plus fines.
Une vrai révolution pour l'industrie publicitaire
La fin de la ménagère de moins de 50 ans a conduit à une profonde refonte et modification de la publicité. Ainsi, la complexification des femmes rend plus difficile la communication télévisée, média de masse, où il est difficile d'avoir une approche ciblée. C'est l'une des principales raisons pour laquelle des grandes marques tels que Procter and Gamble ont décidé diminuent leurs communications télévisées, car celle-ci devient de plus en plus difficile.

De nouvelles cibles, de nouveaux media
Avec la mort de la ménagère de moins de 50 ans, apparaît une communication one-to-one, ultra ciblée, et l'avènement de la relation client personnalisée. On insiste sur des communications directes, où on peut délivrer un message adapté, au lieu d'avoir une communication de masse, chère, qui ne se trouve plus en adéquation avec les individus.