Friday, January 30, 2009

Creating Content As A Key For Financial Institutions During Crisis

A vicious cycle for both customers and financial institutions
The crisis is still unfolding and everyone is scared about what might happen in a near future. As the way is unlighted, both customers and financial institutions are wondering when this whole recession will be over. Banks are loosing a lot of business and whereas customers are reluctant to get their money on the stock exchange market, banks which are already struggling to earn money are not able to propose interesting products. In France, Le livret A, which was the most conservative and popular saving program, has seen its interest rate dropped from 4 to 2.5%, and most of the other saving products are about to do the same.

This situation is not helping clients to trust the end of the tunnel is close. This situation is creating a feeling of fear. Fear is a feeling that shows up while there is an unknown situation which we believe will drive us to an unpleasant end. That is exactly the situation we are in right now: a crisis that is still unfolding, where a lot of people are impacted, and leaders are announcing us more trouble.

Fear drives the information need
Fear is turning the need of information, as information is probably the best way to limit and fight this fear. You might not like news that fear you but actually you are eager to listen to them because they are impacted you in a very important way.
Therefore, customers are seeking for information, and that is important for companies to leverage this fact in order to generate new leads.
Actually, the person that will be able to calm down customers' fear will stand out as the expert of the situation, and will be the best placed to generate leads.

Banks must focus on content
That is the reason why I consider banks and financial advising corporations should focus right now on their skill to create high quality content. This content could be available thanks to different ways, public relations, blogs, podcasts, or online videos. That will help them generate leads and also secure their customer relationship.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Four Ways To Boost Cross-Sell Results

Cross Selling
Cross selling is the technique in order to sell to one customer some products that would complement the purchase of another product. For instance, once you buy a laptop, a cross sell process would help the customer to buy a mouse and a suitcase. Cross selling is one of the key component of retailers' arsenal to generate more sales, and improve its turnover.

I found this article writen by David King, CEO of Fulcrum, where he expose four ways to boost cross-sell results. Here they are.

1. In-Market Timing
Many retailers who have developed an ability to anticipate when customers are interested in buying have done so by building a standalone model, and then face the logistical challenges of working with multiple models to account for both choice and timing in any customer’s purchase decision. Your analytics department or vendor needs to have the capability to take both of these dimensions into consideration in one integrated modeling framework.

How could your cross-selling results improve if you were able to not only anticipate what each customer or segment is interested in, but when their interest will be highest? And to eliminate individual customers or segments from further solicitations of the same or similar offer when they are no longer interested? And do both while also taking into account your competitions’ plans?

2. Repeat-Purchaser Focus
Every retailer has a percentage of single-transaction customers, but few retailers design and implement specific strategies to increase their number of repeat customers. Aside from the data management issue of identifying a first-time customer (not an insignificant issue in itself for many retailers), the other challenge is deciding what exactly to offer these customers to encourage a second purchase. Even with the limited data that you will have on file for these customers, an analysis can identify at either the individual or segment level the specific second-purchase decisions with the highest potential acceptance.

3. Cross-Channel Offer Affinity

Every retailer knows the importance of delivering consistent messaging across customer channels, and many are in the process of making significant strides in this area. Yet, despite widespread consensus that cross-channel integration is critical, many retailers struggle to find and deploy practical strategies to infuse more cross-channel intelligence into their marketing programs. In many cases, the concept of “offer affinity” affords retailers an immediate opportunity to provide meaningful communications to customers across channels.

“Offer affinity” is based on a marketing analysis that finds a pattern of one type of purchase naturally following another. To use a home improvement example, a purchase of deck lumber would have an intuitive follow-up sale of deck stain, but an analysis of transaction data could point to other “missed purchase categories” such as joist brackets, and flashing.

Finding these “potential pairings” is something that in-store merchandising display departments have studied and reacted to for years, but now that kind of intelligence can inform both offline and online customer communications.

4. Marketing Agility
A decade after the launch of marketing automation systems to execute and measure direct marketing strategies, many retailers remain locked into campaign-centric views of their marketing programs. The demands of today’s marketplace require that retailers be able to respond to smaller and smaller segments of customers with increasingly targeted and timely offers.

Your database marketing platform needs to provide a cross-channel marketing management solution that provides a high degree of customization at either the individual customer or segment level. Such a platform will allow you to transform the way you think about marketing, breaking out of the traditional campaign-centric view to truly deliver customer-centric marketing.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Tropicana's New Packaging

I invite you to read this great article about how Tropicana has designed its new packaging. Let's not forget that packaging is among of the most powerful marketing tools nowadays. As the Moment of truth concept emerged thanks to Procter and Gamble, we have noticed how important it was to own an attractive packaging because customers make their decision on which product to buy about 5 seconds before handling the product.

Therefore, as TV advertising is becoming less and less profitable, packaging represents a wonderful way to get customers' awareness, and improve sales.

Also, as I have recently exposed in this blog, packaging can be used for customer relationship management purposes. Therefore, this is the perfect time to work on packaging for marketers!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Food Brands Adapt Marketing To Economic Downturn

We are definitely experiencing a great economic crisis, where all industries are impacted. As consumption is getting lower, food brands such as Tropicana or Kellogg's need to adapt their marketing in order to keep their competitiveness.

Actually, this crisis might not be so bad for these companies. Indeed, "to save money, consumers are eating more meals at home and fewer meals at restaurants. Though marketers typically cut back during economic downturns, big purveyors of packaged foods are trying to raise the profiles of their brands.' Also, according to this article, automatic vendors' figures are decreasing as people are trying to limit their consumption of snacks on their workplace.

Therefore, instead of trying to be more aggressive with promotions and discount, food brands are focusing on providing better quality meals, in order to convince customers to buy these products instead of going to restaurants, which would be more expensive for them.

Also, on a more general basis, economical downturns represent great opportunities for some companies to earn market shares as competitors which would not have a safe financial situation or don't have developed a great technological advantage might struggle.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Global Brands Must Think Local

The arrival of powerful media like TV and radio turned some brands between the 50s and the 70s global. Indeed, it was possible for a company to spread the world with its product thanks to these new media that could cover nations, and later on, the world. Based on these media, some companies like McDonald's or Marlboro have been able to become global brands.

The myth of Global Brands
There is indeed a myth of the global brand, which has such a powerful personality that it can spread the world and go beyond cultural differences. Thus, it is true that people in Europe, America or Asia all go to McDonald's, use L'Oreal products or like to wear Diesel's jeans.
Also, some of the main brand features of these brands are spread thanks to their country of origin. Levi's vehicle the american dream, and Emporio Armani the Italian style.

But actually, in order to be able to settle down in a country, there is still some adaptation to be done, in order to suit the local culture and social background.

This is the concept of "Glocal": a global brand which owns very unique features, but also can adapt to local cultures and way to do business. McDonald's is a great example: they have about the same best sales products all over the world, but adapt their communication and some of their products to the local market. That is the reason why McDonald's develop some fish burgers in Israel, and non beef burgers in India (since the cow is a sacred animal there).

The temptation is great to have a global brand that you would manage from the mothercountry and would simply broadcast all over the world. The cost efficiency of such marketing program is great, but actually, there is a high risk to fail, as you are not fitting customer's expectations nor needs.

Some counterexamples
However, some of these international campaigns work, as Apple that market the same way all the different market, but some other didn't which can explain why Burger King did not success in France.
"Unilever, for instance, sells the same deodorant around the world under a variety of names: Degree in North America, Sure in Britain and Rexona in much of the rest of the world. A few years ago, sales of Guinness beer surged in Africa on the back of a campaign far removed from the beer's Irish roots; it featured action movie-style ads, with a Jamaican-born actor as the hero."

It is still very important for a brand not to neglect cultural differences, that might actually become more important in the future, as this article exposes. People are still very involved with their local life even though new technologies enable them to interact with the whole world. Therefore, adapting global brands' strategy seems to be more than ever important.

What Are Cell Phones Made For?

The answer seems obvious: to call! But this fact seems not that obvious for most cell phone companies. Indeed, technology is getting more and more portable, and therefore there is a large effort by handsets producers to promote other uses for cell phones. Also, phone companies are marketing a lot their 3Gs plans, and other services using these new technologies as new ways to generate growth.

Indeed, According to a new report by The NPD Group, 45 percent of U.S. mobile phone users prefer to use their mobile phones to make calls, and not for other available multimedia features. Only 20 percent of mobile phone users prefer to use their phones as an all-in-one multimedia device for music, videos, Web surfing, and other activities beyond making phone calls.
Moreover, let's not forget that smartphones, which are the most advanced kind of cell phones in terms of other apps (email, Internet, PDA, and multimedia) only counts for 13% of the cell phone market.

Actually, I believe that this fact is one of the main reason why mobile marketing (or m-marketing) is struggling right now. Potential is huge, the technology is constantly improving, but it doesn't seem that customer's interest is there yet.

New operating systems like Apple's or Google Android are great because they provide an easy interface to benefit from these new technologies. But I believe there is still a great effort of education ahead of us, in order to help customers understand how to use these new technologies and get the best out of them.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Referral Marketing: le bouche à oreille et l'exemple du crédit du Nord

Alors que je me balladais dans ma rue, je passe devant le Crédit du Nord. Dans la vitrine, une publicité m'attire l'attention: « 2 clients sur 3 sont venus chez nous par le bouche-à-oreille ». La société met ainsi en avant cette stratégie de dévelopement commercial en avant, car elle est aussi une preuve de qualité de service. Si les clients du Crédit du Nord parlent de leur banque, et convainquent leurs amis de venir chez eux, cela veut dire qu'ils ont été satisfait du service.

Cette idée du bouche à oreille est depuis longtemps à la mode, notamment via le web et le fameux buzz marketing. Ainsi, grâce à la formidable capacité de l'Internet à diffuser de l'information entreliée, elle permet de faire du bouche à oreille de façon exceptionnelle.

Mais cette publicité m'a surtout rappellé une technique marketing qui est utilisé fréquemment aux Etats-Unis, et qui repose sur ce principe, le referral marketing.

Referral Marketing
Le referral marketing regroupe toutes les techniques et pratiques permettant de trouver des prospects via les recommandations de ces propres clients. Le constat est simple, il est très difficile de trouver des clients. Cela coûte cher (frais de publicité, temps passé à démarcher) et en plus souvent cela détériore la prestation: tout le temps et les efforts qu'une personne passe à trouver de nouveaux clients l'empêche de se concentrer sur sa relation client.

Le but du jeu est de garder des contacts réguliers avec ses clients, afin de les fidéliser, de les convaincre de la qualité de la prestation, et en même temps de prospecter de nouveaux clients.

Ainsi, le referral marketing vise à optimiser son effort de prospection, et le potentiel de sa clientèle afin de trouver de nouvelles opportunités de business. De nombreux coachs existent aux Etats-Unis, notamment Brian Buffini, le pape des agents immobilliers aux US, qui permettent de comprendre mieux cette technique.

En tout cas, je trouve que cette communication est innovante, et qu'elle met réellement en valeur la qualité de service que la banque offre aux consommateurs.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

The Phone House: publicité frauduleuse

Je voulais attirer votre attention au sujet d'une offre frauduleuse que vous pourrez trouver dans vos magazines ou centre commerciaux. En effet, The Phone House, l'enseigne spécialisé dans la distribution de téléphone mobile, propose une offre à "-50% sur tous les mobiles". Bien sûr, il existe une petite astérique, mettant en garde les consommateurs sur les termes de l'offre.
"Du 07/01/09 au 02/02/09, -50% de remise immédiate en caisse dans la limite de 50€ pour tout achat d'un mobile, sauf Iphone avec abonnement à un forfait 2h et plus. Voir conditions en magasin."

-50% dans la limite de 50€?????? Alors que bon nombre d'appareil coûte beaucoup plus que 100€!! Sur 49 modèles proposés sur le site Internet de The Phone House, 14 coûtent plus que 100€, donc ne bénéficie pas de 50% de réduction, soit environ 1 appareil sur 3...

Par exemple, pour un Blackberry Blold (le téléphone qui m'intéresserait), qui est à partir de 199€, the Phone House le propose à 149 euros, soit une remise de 25% au lieu des 50% affichés.

Je pense qu'il existe sincèrement une publicité abusive, et j'espère que la DGCCRF qui se charge de ce type de fraude, en aura prix connaissance, surtout que cette annonce est une offre nationale, proposé aussi bien sur le site Internet, que dans tous les magasins, mais aussi en publicité sur le Metro du mercredi 14 janvier. Déjà qu'on pouvait se plaindre des agissements des opérateurs souvent limite, si les distributeurs si mettent...

Monday, January 12, 2009

Gregoire's Success Story: How A Great Web 2.0 Example

My French audience probably know about Gregoire's success story, but I believe it is not that known on the other side of the ocean. I wanted to tell about it on this blog as it is a great example on how the Internet and the web 2.0 could change the way companies need to think their business model.

Gregoire is a new French artist.
He registered on a website called MymajorCompany. This is a kind of web 2.0 major company, where users can produce artists by giving them money to finance their album.
Users can finance anything from $5 to 1600$, and once the artist collect $70000, he has enough money to produce his album.
Thus, Gregoire decided to post his music and songs on the website in order to get some audience and find some people that would finance his first album.

Indeed, it worked: He found 347 producers (who you can see in the video clip of the song below), and has been able to use Internet to get exposure. Whereas no one has never heard of him before, Gregoire's song "toi plus moi" is now on most of French radios.

It is now a huge success in France, and he sold more than 200 000 albums so far. This is a great example on the power of web 2.0. This story will probably inspire some new artists or new ideas. Indeed, the power of scale of the Internet has helped big time the artist to both get financing and to get exposure.

What do you think about this story?

Sunday, January 11, 2009

What Do You Think About This Blog?

I am dedicating this page to my audience. Indeed, I have started blogging in 2005, and this blog has changed a lot since the first time I posted. Therefore, I would like to get some fresh ideas and the opinion of my audience in order to improve this blog.

My purpose is not to limit my topics, but to have a feedback, wether you have visited this blog once, or you are a regular visitor.

I would like to know:
  • Why did you come for the first time on this blog? From where did you come?
  • What did you like or dislike about my topics, or my posts?
  • What do you expect while you connect to this blog?
I wish this page will help me define better what my audience like, and therefore, give you the best content possible.

Thank you all for making this blog's success, and to follow me on the web.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Sponsored Opinion: When Blog Comments Are Paid

Would you imagine that people could earn money by posting a blog comment about a product? Let's imagine Nike gives you 20$ whenever you say you love the new Air Force 1 on a related blog article? This is actually one of the issue this article of Business Week is raising.

Famous Blogger Chris Brogan has been approached by Kmart to write an article about cool articles he could find in the retailer's store for $500. This is a new way to see Internet advertising.

But also this issue raise some free speech concerns. Blogging has thrived on free speech and the fact it is not related to any big companies nor any money concerns. But with time, blogs have become one of the key information medium. Some of them have great audience, and can make a living out of this activity. Also, some advertisers have expressed great interest in it, and have looked for ways to use this tool to get exposure.

Hence, sponsored blog posts have appeared, and a lot of companies provide free products, premium information to bloggers. This Business Week article is going further: it is not about sponsored posts, but sponsored comments.

"Sponsored Opinion: "Writer's Feet Ache. Need Zappos!"

Scoble hinted at a second problem with paid posts: They may elevate topics to positions of authority that don't reflect their true relevance. That was the likely reason Google blacklisted authors back in 2007; all those paid Web writeups were gumming up the search giant's ability to filter real results for consumers hunting at

The new paid posts continue to push topics to Web relevance, often by creating vast Web "link structures." A recent Izea promotion for Sears, the one that Scoble turned down, created three levels of Web links—a $500 paid initial post talking about a Sears shopping spree; a prize of $2,500 to attract additional bloggers to rewrite the original post; and a competition among those bloggers to attract the most comments from other readers. One influential post times 300 potential reposts times 20 potential comments each equals 6,000 potential Web reviews all pointing at Sears.

Not bad for a $3,000 ad budget. You try influencing Web opinions for 50¢ each.

We ran all this by Dirk Singer, head of the London PR agency Cow, who has been critical of paid posts in both the U.S. and Europe. Singer says marketers should question the value of any paid online writing or link schemes. "Sponsored links… [give] the advertiser the illusion of having word of mouth endorsement, but it's not as simple as that," he says.

Sponsored Opinion: "Let's Spell-Check This Column in Microsoft Word!"

At the end of our conversation, Brogan asked us whether his remarks about paid posts had changed our mind. "There is an ethical line between buying ad position and buying an opinion," we responded. "But honestly we don't know where that line is."

To help determine where it lies, let's expand this commercial experiment—to sponsored opinions in all human communications, online and offline. Tell your boss in the next board meeting that it's time to benchmark your customer service against Kmart. Tell your wife you love her dress but she should have shopped at Sears.

Sponsoring real-world opinions will unlock the real potential for advertisers to influence consumers. Consumers, in turn, earn badly needed cash. Heck, this revolutionary advertising model could lift the world out of recession, simply by monetizing chatting.

There are many technical details to work out: who tracks placing the ads; how do we monitor the "consumer chatting" inventory; what about conflicts of interest that leave you tossing out opposing brands in the same sentence? But surely Google scientists can work out these details within a week.

So let's sell, people! Embed paid promotions into the fabric of life. Tell your kids to behave if they want an iPhone! Then ask Steve Jobs to send you an Apple (AAPL) gift card! We can call it Sponsored Paid Opinions in Human Meetings, or SPOHM—not to be confused with spam."

Indeed, commenting is a key part of a blog. The most exposed blogs receive thousands of comments a day, and it is part of the blogging concept to leave comments opened. So why companies would not leverage it to sponsor some comments and to get new ways to advertise? Actually, a lot of advertisers are still struggling to use web 2.0 to get advertising spaces, so this is an innovative way advertisers should think of for their web 2.0 media plans.

Web 2.0 dilema
Also, web 2.0 is powerful for brands as long as the communities are free to express themselves as they want about these brands. If tomorrow brands faken the conversation, will web 2.0 still be interesting? Will community members be so active? I think there is a high risk if this kind of sponsored "web 2.0 activities" wether it is commenting, or blogging is actually spreads out.

What do you think about it? As a emarketer, or as a web 2.0 users? Would you be interested in such a marketing campaign? I think the question is worth to be discussed, but should be handled with care.

Friday, January 09, 2009

VOD Service On The WII Scares TV Channels

Nintendo is about to launch a video on Demand service on its Wii. A new VOD platform will born allowing Wii's users to access some different movies and video contents, which will be free or not, depending on if the user is willing to have commercials or not.

Some TV channels are still wondering about the potential of such a bid. Indeed, Nintendo, which sold 35 million Wiis around the world, has been able to collect important information via the Wii vote system, where users can vote for their preferences in term of entertainement. Also, through such a system, Nintendo would be able to provide to advertisers a great way to target customers thanks to their preferences. Also, 40% of Wiis are connected to the Internet, which enable the video on demand access.

Therefore video games hardwares are a great threat for traditional TV channels, because they have more skills to target customers. Also, we can see that video games companies have made great effort in order to diversify their business models, via advertisement, in video games, but also now with new media services.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Il y en a marre des soldes!

Aujourd'hui, mercredi 7 janvier 2009 marque le début de la traditionnelle période des soldes. Celles-ci permettent aux distributeurs d'écouler leur stock d'invendu afin de préparer les nouvelles collection, et bien sûr aux consommateurs de réaliser de superbes affaires, les produits étant souvent beaucoup plus bas que d'habitude.

Mais voilà, les soldes sont une pratique strictement encadrée par l'état. En effet, on ne peut pas solder quand on veut, et il existe ainsi deux périodes de soldes à l'année. L'une des principales raisons des soldes et de ce contrôle strict de leur période est que la période des soldes est la seule période où un distributeur peut se permettre de vendre des produits à un prix plus bas que celui d'achat (due à la dépréciation de la valeur du produit entre la date d'achat et la date de vente).

Cette protection a été établie afin de pouvoir éviter toutes reventes à perte de la part de la grande distribution, qui risquerait de faire couler le petit commerce, qui ne serait pas capable de survivre à ce type de dumping.

Mais moi je pose cette question: est-il toujours normal d'avoir ce type de règle de nos jours? En effet, bien sûr le petit commerce est toujours concurrencé de façon très forte par la grande distribution, mais on assiste depuis plusieurs années à un regain de ce commerce de proximité, grâce à plusieurs facteurs, notamment sociologiques. Aujourd'hui, alors que le pouvoir d'achat est le sujet principal de préocupation des français (celui-ci étant étroitement lié avec la crise), cette pratique de limitation dans la durée des soldes ne permet pas d'améliorer ce pouvoir d'achat.

En effet, alors que le distributeur pourrait proposer des soldes tout au long de l'année, afin de pouvoir écoulé ces stocks et donc avoir une gestion plus saine de son activité, il pourrait faire baisser globalement le prix de vente de l'ensemble des produits et doperait la concurrence.

Aux Etats Unis, on peut voir des produits soldés tout au long de l'année, permettant ainsi de faciliter le pouvoir de consommation, puisque les familles n'ont pas besoin de se serrer la ceinture pendant des mois afin d'attendre la miraculeuse période de soldes. D'ailleurs, ce pouvoir des soldes génératrice d'activité en magasin pèse tellement sur les magasins que certains se retrouvent en difficulté lors des saisons de soldes basse (notamment comme ce qui c'est passé il y a deux trois ans).

Je pense donc qu'il serait temps de déréglementer les soldes, afin d'offrir plus de liberté aux distributeurs, mais aussi baisser les prix de vente en général sur les produits assujetit à ces périodes de soldes.

Et vous, qu'en pensez vous? Etes vous pour ou contre? Pensez vous que cette déréglementation peut affecter effectivement les prix à la consommation?

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Brands Still Fears Social Media

This is difficult for international brand to embrace social media, as it goes against their will to control all the aspect of their communication. Indeed, companies have spent billions of dollars to vehicle a powerful image, and hence, to secure the way customers perceive the brand’s tune and positioning. But social media have allowed customers and people to speak about what they actually think about the brand. While before customers could chat about their feeling about brands with their relatives, they can now spread the word of mouth worldwide.

Nevertheless, brands and companies were forced to use these social media since they are getting more and more important, as mass media audience is plummeting and social media are rocketing.

Methods Used by Companies* Worldwide** to Minimize the Impact of Online Negative Comments About Their Brand, Products or Services, September 2009 (% of respondents)

Ways that Companies* Worldwide** Use Twitter, September 2009 (% of respondents)

Now I have already discussed on this blog about the issues company have with social media. And I understand them. But I have seen the past year a lot of effort from different actors of different industries developing some community managing activities, which are promising. Now I think that most of companies are not entering yet into a relationship with social media users, keeping a up to bottom strategy in terms of communication, instead of actually interacting as the media allows them to.

But it is a matter of time companies will have staff and teams able to work on it.

Monday, January 05, 2009

Portrait de Christophe Ducamp

Philippe Jeudy vient de faire un très beau portrait de son ami et camarade Geek Christophe Ducamp. Je vous invite à regarder la vidéo qui suit qui a été tourné par Henri Kaufman lors du fameux Geek Trip 2008 à San Francisco.

C'est d'ailleurs à cette occasion que j'ai rencontré Philippe et Christophe, deux personnalités attachantes, deux réels experts de la Toile et du web. Ils sont très accessibles, et aiment partager leur savoir.

Aujourd'hui, Christophe est un évangéliste pour la France de deux projets innovants et intéressants pour le web: les micro formats et l'Open ID.

Je parlerai certainement dans peu de temps de ces deux sujets, mais je vous invite à visionner cette vidéo, où l'expert, Christophe Ducamp parle de ses projets.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

The web in 2008

January is the best time in the year to have an overview of what happened the previous year. Here is a good video summarizing what the greatest thing on the web were in 2008.

Here are the two main things that marked the 2008 year:

  • Apple: Apple had a tremendous year, whatever people could say. They launched with success their new Iphone, which allowed them to become n2 on the smartphones market. They also innovated with their Itunes platform, focusing on selling more video contents (movies and TV shows), but also thanks to their new Iphone, cell phones apps and games. The McBook Air has already been a great success in the laptop market.

  • The Instant web: The Instant web has been one of the main trend in 2008, and should remain one in 2009. Thanks to all the new web 2.0 services and the Internet more and more accessible on the go thanks to cell phones, the information is becoming faster and faster, and you can access to instant information wherever you are. The instant web, it is Twitter, Friendfeed, and also Facebook which new interface focus on the freshest information accessible from your community. The Instant web is on, and will probably shadow the "web 2.0" that most of the new start ups don't like the term anymore.

What about you? What did you think that was remarkable in 2008?

Ventes de systèmes d'exploitation: vers la fin de la vente liée?

La vente liée est une pratique commerciale qui oblige un consommateur à l'achat d'un produit ou un service dans le cadre de l'achat d'un autre produit ou service. Ainsi, cette pratique est très répendue dans le domaine de la vente d'ordinateurs, puisque 90% des ordinateurs vendus en France se font avec le système d'exploitation Microsoft installé sur l'ordinateur (Windows XP, ou maintenant Windows Vista.

Cette technique commerciale a permis à Microsoft de dominer le marché des systèmes d'exloitation pendant de nombreuses années, et de devenir la référence, en établissant des partenariats avec les constructeurs de PC pour équiper ceux-ci de Windows.

Hors cette pratique est pointée du doigt par les politiques. Ainsi, en forçant le consommateur a se procurer Windows Vista lors de l'achat d'un ordinateur (car il n'a pas forcément le choix de l'acheter équiper par exemple de Linux), cela ne favorise pas la mise en concurrence. Ainsi, il existe peu de distributeur, qu'ils soient on line ou offline, distribuant des ordinateurs hors OS Windows, comme par exemple les logiciels Open Source, qui sont pourtant très performant. D'ailleurs je me souviens que j'avais demandé à la Fnac s'ils vendaient des ordinateurs neufs équipés de Linux, et le vendeur m'avait dit que non, et que si j'installais Linux sur la machine, l'ordinateur ne serait plus couvert par la garantie.

Dans le cadre de la loi sur la modernisation de l'économie numérique, le législateur a décidé de remédier à ce problème et ainsi limiter l' usage de cette pratique.

"Concrètement, deux actions sont ainsi rédigées dans ce sens : - « Action n°64 : Promouvoir un affichage séparé des prix des logiciels et systèmes d’exploitation pré-installés. - Action n°65 : Permettre la vente découplée de l’ordinateur et de son logiciel d’exploitation. Réunir un groupe de travail rassemblant les acteurs de la distribution, les associations de consommateurs, les fabricants et fournisseurs de logiciels pour mettre en place un test dès le premier trimestre 2009. »Concrètement, deux actions sont ainsi rédigées dans ce sens : - « Action n°64 : Promouvoir un affichage séparé des prix des logiciels et systèmes d’exploitation pré-installés. - Action n°65 : Permettre la vente découplée de l’ordinateur et de son logiciel d’exploitation. Réunir un groupe de travail rassemblant les acteurs de la distribution, les associations de consommateurs, les fabricants et fournisseurs de logiciels pour mettre en place un test dès le premier trimestre 2009. »"

Concrètement, est-ce que cela va changer énormément de chose dans les prochaines années sur le marché des ordinateurs? Pas forcément. Il reste tout de même difficile pour un novice d'installer un système d'exploitation sur un ordinateur, d'autant plus que celui-ci a été habitué à des produits vendus clé en main, prêt à être utilisé dès son achat. Ainsi, on compléxifie l'utilisation de machines qui font tout pour être simple. Cependant, il est sûr que cette loi va dans le bon sens, et offre une grande opportunité pour les systèmes équipés de Linux de faire une percée sur le marché.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Online travelers Choose Suppliers' Websites

This is an interesting stat. Fully 61% of online travel sales are now made directly at supplier sites, compared with 39% for online travel agencies (OTAs) in 2008. This balance is projected to hold steady through 2010.

"Online travelers have learned to book their reservations on travel suppliers’ Websites to avoid intermediaries’ service fees and collect loyalty points. Suppliers save money from direct bookings and thus encourage this behavior with aggressive, lowest-price guarantees."

Frequent leasure travelers and business roaders are seeking for financial benefits from supplier's, which explains their choice.

Indeed, customer relationship programs have incentived clients to remain loyal. If this stat doesn't give the whole picture, since infrequent leasure travelers would rather log on an online agency website, but that proves an efficient loyalty program could contribute to increase competitiveness, and therefore profitability.

Principe des enchères inversées

Je voulais revenir sur le principe des enchères inversées alors que j'ai déjà abordé ce sujet cette semaine. En effet, les enchères inversées ont révolutionné le métier de distributeur ces dernières années.

Les enchères inversées et la négociation
En effet, l'un des métiers fondamental d'un distributeur, avec bien sûr la gestion de la logistique, est d'acheter les produits les moins cher possible au plus grand nombre, afin de dégager de la marge. C'est pour cela que la négociation représente une part importante du métier de la distribution. Dans ce cadre, le système d'enchères inversées à faciliter grandement le travail.

Les enchères
Vous savez ce qu'est une enchère? Un produit, d'une certaine valeur, est mis en vente et disponible à un nombre d'acheteur potentiel déterminé. Ensuite, pendant un laps de temps donné, les acheteurs doivent renchérir sur le produit afin de pouvoir l'obtenir. Ceci résulte à une augmentation progressive du prix de cession de l'objet, puisqu'à chaque fois qu'un acheteur potentiel marque son intention d'achat, le prix de vente augmente.

Les enchères inversées, comme son nom l'indique, c'est exactement le contraire. Un acheteur potentiel va contacter des fournisseurs, afin de leur confier un cahier des charges comprenant les caractéristiques du produit qu'il désire acheter. Ensuite, à une date et pendant une durée donnée, les différents fournisseurs vont baisser leur prix afin de s'aligner sur la meilleure offre.

Ainsi, les enchères inversées est un très bon moyen de mettre en concurrence des fournisseurs afin de leur faire baisser les prix.

Cependant, ces enchères peuvent avoir un effet pervers. Aussi, deux des règles fondamentales des enchères sont:
  1. Pratiquer les enchères inversées sur des produits de base, peu évolués. Plus un produit sera évolué, en terme de conception, plus la qualité de cette conception sera importante. Il faut ainsi pratiquer ce type de procédé sur des produits peu technologiques.
  2. Ne pas baser uniquement son choix sur le résultat de l'enchère inversée. En effet, à la suite de cette pratique, l'acheteur aura une liste des offres, de la plus intéressante à la moins intéressante. Il ne choisira pas forcément l'offre la moins chère, car il devra vérifier de la capacité du fournisseur à tenir ce prix tout en gardant un produit remplissant les conditions du cahier des charges.
Ce principe est pratiqué maintenant par la plupart des distributeurs, et à prouvé son efficacité.

Je prépare une prochaine intervention sur le sujet des enchères inversées dans le cadre du Vendor Relationship Management qui ne devrait tarder.

Happy New Year 2009

I wish to all my audience a happy new year. I hope 2009 will mark the end of the financial crisis, and will bring up some great technological innovations.

2008 has been a very important year for myself as I have moved back to France, and could see the audience of this blog growing constantly throughout the year. I hope I will stick to this trend, and weave more and more contacts thanks to this amazing tool.

Once more, I wish you the best for next year.