Saturday, December 31, 2011

2011: A Year To Remember

In these times, it is a tradition to look back and go through all the main events which happened last year. 2011 has been a long year, full of important moments.

Here is a melting pot of the different events that marked the year:
  • The Japanese Tsunami
  • Fukushima's nuclear catastrophe
  • Usama Bin Laden's death
  • The rise of democratic protests in the arabic world
  • The Greek crisis
  • Then, the following Euro crisis
  • The death of Steve Jobs
  • The Dominique Strauss Kahn affair
  • The Lybian war
I don't remember another year which could have been so full of important events. 

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Some Facts About The Mobile Application Market

Mobile application has been a gold mine for a lot of people. And it is indeed a category still growing at a fast pace. I found this very good article which gives us some data about how mobile applications work.

It is a very interesting information. That shows you want should be your target depending on the platform in order to consider your application productive. You can see that there great gaps between the different services. That shows that a lot of the different services may disappear soon. For example, Blackberry has unfortunately failed at developping an interesting app plaftorm. Google has clearly become the leader in the market.

Freemium is becoming a more and more important part of the business model of mobile applications. The bigger the audience will be become, the larger the advertizing opportunities will be, and the easier it will be to propose free applications.

This is an interesting one, because supposely it explains that mobile advertizements are more efficient than Internet once. However, I would like to know what they consider as mobile campaigns. It is more and more difficult to identify mobile campaigns, as now they are closely linked to the Internet. The consumption of email and social media thanks to mobile devices constantly grow, and it is important to consider these new usage to propose an accurate way to deliver commercial messages through those devices.

I remain skeptical about the methodology of this chart, as I do not know the data itcomes from, but I believe there is something to digg there.

The mobile aplication market is for sure a marketing with a great future ahead:

  • The penetration rate of smartphones, and other mobile devices allowing to download and use applications is growing at a very fast pace.
  • The market is becoming mature, and users are increasing the number of applications they download.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Insights About Marketing On Facebook

I wanted to share with you a great article I found on a blog about the cost of marketing on Facebook. It has been a long time now that I have interested myself in social media marketing, and it is impressive how fast it grew. 

You can check the figures, they talk for themselves. But I just wanted to underline some facts about it, that I believe are interesting to understand and notice:
  • It does cost money to communicate on social media. A common wisdom, especially at an early stage was that it was cheap and almost free to communicate on social media. Also, a lot of people thought it would be a great opportunity for small business to communicate, as it was a fast growing medium, and the freedom of speech would bother and limitate big corporations. However, it is the total opposite that happened, as the medium became pricy, and the efforts need to be high in order to bond with the community.
  • There is no cost scaling possibilities.Whatever your number of followers/fans is, it will cost you per user about the same price. It is very diffferent from the other "direct marketing" tools, where the bigger the data base, the cheaper the costs are.
  • There are big gaps for cost per clicks. Now it would be interesting to see the return on investment of the different categories. Indeed, cost per click is not really important. What does really matter is the conversion rate, and the way you may transform one lead into a customer.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Quand Google prend la plume

Je souhaitais réagir à l’édito du numéro de décembre 2011 de Marketing Direct Magazine. En effet, cet édito est consacré à Google, et notamment à la stratégie de recrutement du géant de l’Internet.

Le cœur du modèle économique de Google est le « référencement payant », avec les fameux « keywords ». Google, et ce depuis de nombreuses années, à recours à des campagnes de marketing direct pour démarcher les entreprises, petites ou grandes, en offrant des offres de tests avec des bons de xxx € d’achats.

La rédactrice, Dominique Fèvre, met l’accent sur le côté incongru de cette société vivant sur la révolution du marketing direct vers le numérique, qui utilise un support pour le moins traditionnel, qui plus est en crise (il suffit de voir l’état économique de la poste américaine).

Mais, comme elle le signale, ce n’est pas si abérrant : le média papier, et courrier reste un média très important dans la relation client. En effet, parce qu’il se rarifie, il en prend encore plus de valeurs. Le média papier est beaucoup plus personnel que le média Internet. Il conserve par ailleurs d’excellent taux de transformations.

J’ai toujours été partisant du mailing. Il est d’ailleurs, bien qu’ancien, l’un des médias qui permet le plus de laisser libre court à la créativité (choix du papier, des couleurs, de la découpe etc…).

Google a bien raison d’utiliser un média papier, et depuis le temps qu’il le fait, je suis sûr que c’est pour une raison.

Et vous, qu’en pensez vous ?

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Where Is Heading Twitter ?

I have always been a big user of Twitter, which is actually my favorite social media. Nevertheless, and for quite a while, I have been wondering about their business model and their ability to generate long term revenues.

One figure comes up to my mind. Twitter has 100 million users. It is a pretty large base, and it makes it one of the most used social media in the market. But when you pay a close attention to this figure, Twitter is by far smaller than Facebook, and on an international scale, it remains small. Will it be enough to become an unquestionable media?

To me, the question is not solved yet. I have learned recently that Twitter is still raising funds in order to develop their advertising platform. It is for sure a very important step they are taking. They now focus all their efforts on developing this needed business model, and achieve profitability. But it has been several months that they are working on it, and still, it is unclear if they have really made any progress.

Twitter is a new medium. And most of the new medium, like television or radio, have started by providing great quality program before becoming profitable. Eventually it works. Twitter has no questioned change the way we consume information. Twitter it also changes the way we interact on the Internet. And it really brings added value to the user.

Twitter suits well for:
¨     Accessing information fast on a mobile device thanks to its short text messages
¨     Being informed to the most recent news.
¨     Interact with others who share the same interests.

But once again, Twitter really needs to find a way to monetize its service, otherwise its system may have no future.

I think they should have focused on this point right from the beginning, as it would have been easier afterwards to adapt the platform to advertisements.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

How To Bring Value Thanks To Customer Experience

French newspaper "Le Nouvel Economiste" dedicated the headlines of its Leadership & Management section to customer experience. It is a vast topic which is very familliar of mine. Indeed, I am a true believer that top of the line customer experience can bring long term revenues to a company. You can take as an example Starbucks, Nespresso, or other popular ones.

But what is customer experience?
Customer experience encompasses all the emotions linked to a purchase, before and after it. Therefore we can consider two main components:
  • The shopper experience: Before the good or service has been purchased.
  • The customer experience: When the customer uses the good and after.
The goal is to propose more than a product, and being able to bring added value aside of the product's one. It becomes more and more difficult to bring "real" innovation through products as markets and technologies become more and more mature. Therefore, the best way to create something extra is to base it one something immaterial.

The key factor of success to create such an experience is to pay attention to all the different channels the customers use to get in contact with the brand. It goes from the packaging to the websites, and of course, there is a particular attention to pay to the point of sale. 

There is also one trap not to get into: To create a customer experience which does not take into account the company's profitability. Indeed, creating a great customer experiences implies a lot of costs in terms of branding, design, communication and so on. But it is also very important to size the increase of profitability it leads to. This is a very difficult task, because as an intangible concept, customer experience takes into account a lot of different costs, from stores furniture to the sales people uniforms, and linking the increase of sales or of marketshares generated from it is most of the time a difficult task.

You may monitor your customer experience efficiency through your after sales/ feedback management service, where you will be able to identify what goes wrong and misses into the experience you propose.

Customer experience also does not imply bringing a high quality experience, based on what you may find in the luxury market. If you look at Ikea's customer experience, it is great because it also implies low cost and an easier way to purchase furniture.

Nevertheless, customer experience is something vital for companies, and it is important to look after what you offer to customers in terms of experience, in order to understand better their expectation.

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

LeWeb 2011 Starts Tomorrow

As a lot of people may know, French event about the Internet and social media Leweb is starting tomorrow, December, 7th. Leweb has been created couple of years ago by French serial entrepreneur Loic Lemeur, who has been one of the trail blazers of blogging in the early 2000s. Since then, the conference did not stop growing at a fast pace, and has become now the leading event in Europe about the web economy.

I have never attended the event, because most of the time I was not available, and I must say the tickets are a bit pricy to me (even though it is very affordable for professionals, especially when compared with other events). Nevertheless, I always check what is going on on my Twitter account, and also, for some conferences, I watch the streaming videos (which are very helpful).

A lot of people has criticized the event, saying it got worse, but in my opinion, but I have two thoughts about that:
  1. Social media events used to rock at the early stage, while every one was starting and enthousiast. The last couple of months we have seen a lot of services shutting down, due to the financial crisis of course, but also as a natural event, as markets and players starting to define their playground. This is the reason why it is less "spectacular".
  2. It is still great to be able to access in Europe to such prestigious speakers, and simply for that, I want to warmly thank Loic.
I don't know if you will be there, but I hope you will enjoy Leweb this year.