Felix Baumgartner’s record jump

I came across this my pure chance from an article on Mashable linking to the live video feed and it was just amazing. The courage you need to do what Baumgartner did is astonishing, just watching it, in pretty poor quality video as some points was however, riveting…

Social Media: little to no effect on purchasing behaviour

A report from Forrester Research and GSI Commerce illustrates the fact that social media has little to no effect on purchasing power.

I’ve often thought this was the case and that people were far more inclined like myself to follow results from search engines and newsletters I get especially reghardware for example, but that might show a bit about what types of things I purchase.

I like to make up my own opinion and with what I know about Social Media I rarely trust what I see. What I can obtain myself through searching the web I trust more but not fully.

Having seen among the people I know, who are so called Social Media experts or gurus (for the others I don’t know, don’t take this personally) I wouldn’t trust them one bit to help a company truthfully promote their product nor do it in an efficient way.

Android now wins over the hearts

Following the situation whereby Android OS has taken lead in market share, the latest Nielsen report on the mobile market shows that it is taking over the hearts of the market or should we say the “wants”. People are now more swayed towards an Android phone than any other as can be seen below (click to enlarge):
Android wins over the hearts for most desired OS

From the same report (see link below) this is reinforced in the recent acquirers trend in the chart below where Android takes 50% of the market share:
Recent Acquirers: Android takes 50% of the market

Via Nielsen blog

Drop in Flash used on top websites

Thanks to Steve Souders (who works for Google), significant data shows that among the top 17 000 websites there was a 2 percent drop in Flash usage, in just over 4 months. You may consider that to be a small drop. But 2 points over such a short period of time is actually significant especially in the website industry, that in many cases, takes about 3 or 4 months to think about changing something…

Not great news for traditional Ad agencies that love Flash and have strong Flash development skills. But good news for the companies that are focusing on HTML5 and a more multi-platform compliancy approach…

Atrix: Motorola bringing you the dream setup

Just checking out the Engadget site specifically the “Motorola Atrix 4G, HD multimedia dock, and laptop dock hands-on” post and what can say but WOW.
I think this looks like a dream come true and if they have put a decent camera in there I think I’m in love…

The laptop dock is basically a screen with full size keyboard that pretty much turns it the phone into a laptop!

Sony Atrix Laptop Dock

Sony Atrix Laptop Dock

The phone dock allows you to plug in mouse, keyboard and hook up to a full HD screen !

Sony Atrix Phone Dock

Sony Atrix Phone Dock

Check out the engadget video that shows it all working and much more. It is really impressive if that is the type of experience that can be expected on the final version…

I was impressed with the Droid / Milestone but this is just great…

The User experience that is shown in the video and the amount of ways it can be used plus all the functions available through the WebTop application is just amazing.

PS: when are we getting this in Europe and moreover in France???

Now is the time to start your company…

According to an article over at FastCompany, now is a good time to start a company. The article depicts the current trends and examples of the current profiles of entrepreneurs, far more people are sticking to their current jobs while only the “wild-eyed” ones are sticking to their guns and embracing the obstacles that didn’t exist a few years ago when creating a company.
While some are providing auditoriums with speeches that include the common “the Chinese word for crisis also means opportunity”, the braver and more operational ones are taking advantage of the current situation to start their own company and hopefully become the next Microsoft, LinkedIn or Facebook…

Working too hard is not that efficient

Working too hard is not that efficient… in the long term

At a time where people are worried about losing their jobs and working all hours god sends to stand out from the pack in a positive manner it seems that they may not be providing their company with the best of themselves. Obviously if your company is short staffed and still has as much work they may not be so interested in the article over at FastCompany. But may be worth reading so at least you are aware ;)

Examples from Flickr and Facebook are provided to illustrate the misconception that getting people to work their socks off may not be providing you with the best results in the end!

Make sure you check out this great video from TED, Stefan Sagmeister is a world renowned designer who explains how every 7 years he takes a year off to pursue personal areas. He also indicates that structuring his time off was probably one of the most important parts in a successful sabbatical year. Furthermore this time often allows him to be a better designer and provide his clients with a better quality service once the sabbatical is over! Better still take the time to view the video see for yourself.

Are agencies no longer the flavour of the month?

Following on from the Twitterer is a mainly a narcissist article, the currently trendy term of “Consumer intelligence” seems to be giving clients the jitters (so agencies see it). Companies that understand the need for a consumer “pull” strategy where the emphasis is on the consumer, fits with the need to quickly respond and listen to the consumer, analyse new behaviour and habits. In a very interesting Ad-Age article the journalist explains that companies feel they don’t need agencies as much!

There is a great quote from the CEO of Unilever Paul Polman:

“Maybe the most extreme example of this is to be found in consumer-generated content, where we have invited consumers to develop communications for Omo and Vaseline as a complement to those generated by the company, and in the case of Peperami, we have even dispensed with the agency in favor of exclusively ‘crowdsourced’ content.
“However well traditional advertising agencies read the signals and recognize the need for radical change in their capabilities,” he said, “few agencies can address all the communications needs of a brand. … This is making the management of agencies increasingly complex, and raises challenging questions on how best to measure the value added by the respective partners and consequently how to manage remuneration.”

The current economic situation pushes clients to search for financially viable solutions, or at least good ROI you can present to your boss. From an agency perspective, we know this is without being prepared to accept a reduction in scope or speed to market. Although the speed to market aspect can often be better managed by agencies, the “same scope, with reduced budget” is just not always possible. Sure you can provide cheaper solutions but that generally implies a reduction in quality, even though clients may agree to it. Clients rarely anticipate the reactions from their project sponsors and hierarchy and it can fall back on the agency.
Clients who have previously externalized their marketing and branding requirements are now looking to internalize what they had given away to agencies over the years according to the above article. The likes of Forrester are pushing to get marketing and brand managers (sorry Forrester prefers Brand Advocates) to be use ‘invaluable’ Forrester insight and work in house rather than go through agencies as much.
Would this have anything to do with some of the larger digital agencies producing detailed market reports (ex: Digital Outlook) and complex dashboard systems that provide the same type of ‘insight’ Forrester is selling to clients?

I’m not sure Forrester is my idea of a company capable of seeking and identifying trends in the digital arena to serve as a catalyst for the client’s brand coverage but hey I work in an agency so I would be biased. Without denying the importance of the number crunching and analysis, it is just a small ingredient of the digital marketing mix.

Although the above article does not touch on the details or definition of an agency I think there is a tendency to consider them all to be the same. In the same way that Jon discusses how both Forrester and Gartner don’t go into enough details in their Content Management comparison reports, I feel they do the same when discussing and comparing agencies. Good digital agencies do provide support for the above areas mentioned by Forrester and far more. The intricacies and issues of implementing complicated technical solutions are part of a digital agency’s normal day. They also have a good understanding of all the other ingredients of the digital marketing mix, how it all works together down to the small details that Forrester don’t even touch on!

How many narcissist Twitterers does your product need?

…so Fast Company says in their article:
Attention Marketers: 80% of Twitterers Are Narcissists” (check out the illustration ;) )

Two Twitter happenings caught my attention. 1) The seismic effect of dear young Miley Cyrus deleting her Twitter account in order to “have a life”. 2) It seems to be a revelation for film studios; Twitter may affect box office results depending on the film, hey, they seem to be understanding what Twitter actually is!
It’s a global word of mouth booster, which kind of means that, yes you are not under the spotlight, you are under multiple spotlights, to the extent that everything is amplified at will. When a film is good, guess what, people talk about it, and I will trust (or avoid in some cases) a friends comments on a film far more than any journalist. Twitter just allows people to spread the word to lots of people quickly, maybe even people will tweet while watching the film…
So people that have thousands of followers, just cry out ‘narcissist’ for me, and are invariably comprised of celebrities telling people they have just been to the shop! The exception is the 20% that actually have something interesting to say, and funnily enough, don’t always have thousands or millions of followers.
A few articles about the Miley Cyrus Twitter account being deleted event also pick up the fact that Twitter is not really extensively used by her current target population / fans.

But the main thing is that the companies like Twitter, be they Facebook or Myspace have taken the same approach as Google:
– We will provide you with the tools and you (can) create the content.
– A footnote says “oh and by the way we’ll make money from selling adverts on your pages so don’t worry the service is free!”

‘Giving’ these tools to the crowds has changed the channels advertising agencies and marketing departments are used to. Listening to people who discovered the internet (and the web etc.) 2 or 3 years ago and explaining it to either of the above is at the moment like the blind leading the blind.

I’m astonished when I hear people saying that the social media technologies allow companies to engage the consumers. I think companies will find that social media technologies have given consumers a real voice. A voice that can get very loud. So if you are trying to sell a product that is not bad and your marketing team is promising to make it a success this is where the global word of mouth effect (like Twitter) may be waiting to bite you and any ‘engaging effect’ may only last a few seconds…

Sure you could find (or pay) narcissist Twitter gurus with millions of followers to say your product is great. But wouldn’t it be better to make your product around what consumers want. Not everyone can take the Apple stance of saying we don’t do user testing we make great products…
If you take a look at the article on All Facebook about Honda’s attempt to sway people towards the new Accord Crosstour you’ll see that the idea of using tools in a concealed fashion makes people think you believe they are tools! The big no-no of course is to try and erase comments perceived as an attempt to silence people. Being open to feedback (criticism) is in my opinion the sign of a company that is really trying to provide customers with the best possible service / product. Hey there are millions of companies that still pay enormous amounts of money to get customer feedback rather than using the web.

The social network with systems like Facebook have unleashed the word of mouth. Creating an interesting and valid buzz around a good product will unleash the crowds. Try to trick them and you will be drowned by the wave of mistrust. The same people that are creating the above events like the Accord Crosstour are often the same that complain the Facebook, Twitter et al. aren’t raking in the money because they do not understand the systems and are unlikely to understand their potential if used properly…

Joel Cohen, Warner Bros.’ executive VP and general manager, tells the Sun: “We may be putting too much weight onto the Twitter Effect. But you can see Twitter’s benefits as a communications tool that spreads the word about a film, and the negatives have yet to be proven.”
Source: econsultancy.com

Obama, Content Management and Enterprise 2.0

A very interesting video presentation from AIIM that discusses various interesting topics including that of how Content Management and Enterprise 2.0 helped Obama win the presidency:

This is the explanation provided on the blip tv site (weird player I must say but hey it does the job):

Re-recording of John Mancini’s keynote presentation at the Info360 show. The focus was on applying lessons in the use of E20 technologies in the campaign as reported by Garrett Graff in Infonomics magazine (http://www.infonomicsmag.com) and by SocialMedia8 on Slideshare to any E20 or social networking implementation.