11 trends / effects of the economic crisis on Marketing & Communications in 2009

October 23, 2008 at 10:25 am | Posted in Control, Conversation, Customisation, Disruption, General, Innovation, Integration, Mass, Metrics, Segmentation, Strategic planning, Trends | 1 Comment

1. Fragmentation of mass audiences to continue

a. For people who have passed a disruption line, expectations have already permanently changed. These shifts in expectations (control, customization, conversation, connection) can not be undone.

b. Fragmentation process / access to disruptive devices will slow (restricted access to credit – especially for middle class)

c. The only things that variable that can be disrupted is the overall value proposition e.g price related, perceived value and other brand related attributes

2. Discretionary content expenditure under scrutiny

a. Need to buy / construct customer / consumer loyalty

b. Focus on subscription packages rather than a-la-carte (e.g. newsstand sales will suffer)

c. Free content to thrive

3. Less innovation

a. R&D to be reduced

b. Fewer software upgrades

c. Less interface development – focus on existing or standardized formats etc to drive efficiencies

4. Safe harbor

a. Clients will become risk averse

b. Increased need to understand the risk profile of decision stakeholders

c. Intelligence & Research will be reduced chasing short term results

d. Standardised / tried and true interfaces / formats

5. No major events

a. Fewer annual event sponsorship packages

b. Pressure on visibility properties

c. Focus on message segmentation (rather than content separation)

6. Increased need for alignment and integration

a. Lots of desperate tactical proposals (media vehicles & agencies in survival mode)

b. Essential to agree to what is of value (can be integrated, aligned with core idea)

7. Tactical flexibility

a. No major events – focus on tactical buys

b. Variable, highly sensitive demand driven market

8. Increased focus on accountability and efficiency

a. Need to align metrics with business goals / KPIs

b. Need to define success (impossible to measure results without predefined success parameters)

c. Reduction in the number of campaign content pieces (fewer better quality, planning content to be versatile across platforms)

9. Focus on loyalty

a. Consumers / customers, under pressure, will be more promiscuous and more likely to challenge premium priced / value added products and services

b. Concentration of sales strategies – 80/20 rule – consolidate heavy user business

c. Branding & relevant customer conversation becoming more important.

d. Get closer to customers to reduce tactical promotion driven churn

e. Increased power of trusted advocacy e.g. word-of-mouth (free, credible, easily found e.g. blogs)

10. Content costs

a. Increased global content distribution to leverage critical mass

b. Imported content costs increasing – favors local content producers

11. Tension between mass and segmented marketing (targeting and messaging)

a. Mass appears to be efficient (based on tactical execution metrics), but has a generalised message and significant impact wastage.

b. Segmented marketing has a better probability of message relevance and ROI (Strategic metrics)

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BABELFISH – Top Headlines August 29, 2008

August 30, 2008 at 3:11 pm | Posted in Control, Digital thinking, Disruption, General, Integration, Mobility, Segmentation, Strategic planning, Through-the-funnel, Top-of-the-funnel, Traditional, video | Leave a comment

Survey: Many executives say on-the-job Web surfing is OK | The Business Journal
Why you should be interested:  One of the biggest challenges in corporations is to foster a digital culture. Obviously, web based tools and enterprise content access systems can generate considerable efficiencies. Web based tools encourage self service / pull information rather than companies having to hire people to manually push content out to users.

The line gets blurry when managers see staff appearing to waste time on Instant Messenger or in non-work related social community blogs. Flipping the coin, hypocritical corporations can’t ban at work social web use while they continue to invade employee personal time with intrusive devices like Smartphones / Blackberrys (always on / always connected to boss and client syndrome).

Similar to corporate policies regarding access to pornography, companies can establish rules of engagement without over-policing staff (or causing unnecessary tension between work and personal functions). Sure, employees need to respectful and have some limits on socializing during work hours, but a the same time, managerial styles need to change to reflect disrupted consumer expectations, especially regarding control, multitasking, content rights management, collaboration and networking.

Blocking access to information and tools that encourage digital culture is short-term corporate thinking. Maybe corporations need to cater to the growing expectation to balance / multitask personal and work based content consumption and integrated social and work based tools (like the way people use IM).

 

Yahoo Launches Fire Eagle To Manage Location-Based Information | Washington Post
Mobile phones will become main marketing tool: KV Kamath | The Economic Times

‘Sports Illustrated’ Sells Ads Via Online Auction | Advertising Age
Why you should be interested:  Location based targeting is the emerging frontier of segmented marketing. It is liberating small to medium sized businesses to use once mass media content forms and vehicles.

The pioneers in this area are the US cable companies e.g. Comcast. They have been able to isolate demographically (and behaviorally) down to specific households (based on Cable TV billing details and viewing habits)

Geographic or location based targeting, is complicated and limited via traditional internet alone. Most people connect to the internet via an ISP (Internet Service Provider). The problem is that ISP’s are not organized geographically (you could be using an ISP backbone based in India for all you know). Hence, to geographically isolate information via internet, the user either has to nominate where they are (e.g. a drop down menu on entry…resulting in extra clicks) or we have to ask consumers to register and provide their geographic location.

Mobile is opening up a whole new level of geographic targeting because it allows marketers to send messages to consumers within a specific location (Via Bluetooth or Infrared) or target people in a specific region relative to the internet base station that they are using to connect. This opens up efficient marketing opportunities to a whole new market of local businesses.

Another linked trend is the development of low cost / template based content generation / management tools e.g. SpotRunner. These tools facilitate good quality, extremely dynamic production, flexible for localized versioning, at a very low cost.

Lastly, internet based bidding systems are allowing vehicles to efficiently monetize once fragmented, unsellable or undervalued space.

When you link the three efficient elements (Space + Content + Targeting), you have a functioning version of the accountable and dynamic future of marketing.

 

Imagining a World of Interactive Movie Theaters | Advertising Age
Why you should be interested:  Without sounding like an advertisement, cinema inherently has many qualities that attend to the needs of the digital era, including: a) an  attentive, captive audience, with few distractions b) one of richest and most efficient content forms in video c) geographically and behaviorally segmented audiences.

Arguably, live performance / interaction is the most powerful content form because: a) it’s ability to engage all of the senses (including smell and temperature), b) ability to adjust messaging on the fly to the audience mood c) geographically and behaviorally segmented audiences d) facility to offer product samples and value added material e) ability to easily measure exit attitudes and opinions.

As many music performers have already discovered, when you combine the two, video with interactivity, you have a very powerful experience. Moving forward, when you incorporate automated feedback mechanisms e.g. using mobile devices / phones, the cinema environment becomes a very powerful marketing tool.

 

ZAP & BuscaPe Unite to Integrate Classified Ads and Online Shopping in Brazil | PR Newswire
Why you should be interested:  BuscaPe is a price comparison site. Zap is an online version of traditional newspaper classifieds. The combination of the two provides significant scale and a richer online shopping experience journey (both new and used products). As e-commerce business models mature, keep an eye out for these disruptive mergers / integration of tools and content to gain a competitive value added advantage.

 

If you have a few more spare minutes, a more extensive list of headlines is available – click here: BABELFISH Full latest headlines

BABELFISH – Top Headlines August 5, 2008

August 5, 2008 at 1:07 pm | Posted in Agency Model, Control, Conversation, Customisation, Digital thinking, Disruption, General, Infrastructure, Innovation, Integration, Mass, Path-to-purchase, Segmentation, Strategic planning, Through-the-funnel, Top-of-the-funnel | Leave a comment

Why the Internet Enhances TV Advertising | Advertising Age
Why you should be interested: Cheap cost-per-thousand distribution combined with an extremely powerful content form in video, has helped sustain TV advertising as the default weapon of mass distribution. 

 

Many a client has been heard to scream in frustration at the relatively unaccountable nature of mass demand generation. What happens in the cloud of uncertainty between the mass demand building message and the moment the customer walks in the shop door to purchase??

 

Fragmentation of this mass distribution power combined with new tools that enable segmentation of messaging are setting mew marketing practice precedents and challenging the concentration of marketing efforts in mass messaging.

 

Along this complex path to consideration, purchase intent and ultimate purchase, marketers now are acknowledging that there is a delicate balance mass demand generation and segmented messaging.

 

TV will still remain a powerful mass demand generator, but the world of segmented content distribution, led by the internet is where the exciting stuff is happening.

 

Consumers find ads in long-form online video ‘reasonable’ | BizReport
Are Short Videos Best for the Web? | eMarketer
Why you should be interested: Moving from a world of standardized content lengths to a more free-form environment, we need to test the elasticity / expectation of users. Of course the answer is ..the form and duration of content depends on the idea / message objective. This study shows that users will tolerate longer form video content on the relatively smaller computer screen, although I believe that the motive is more convenience of on-demand than preferred viewing experience.

 

Digital ad agency reaches out to old media | Washington Post
Why you should be interested: For many years, digital agencies have been building credibility / equity with clients by getting closer to their business, building segmented messaging strategies and providing measurable results. So, it is no surprise that digital agencies are trying to leverage this equity by expanding services into the relatively vacant strategic space left by the once dominant big mass messaging agencies. Big agency culture provides many barriers to change, and arguably, in the short to medium-term, digital agencies are in a very good position to find fertile revenue growth in the integrated strategic planning space.

 

Recognizing Transformation Triggers…Before It’s Too Late | Accenture

Why you should be interested: One of the greatest challenges for any organization is to gauge how aggressive they need to be in building capabilities in a dynamic marketplace.

 

Change in the communication space is manifesting itself in two forms 1) The need for communication innovation (driven by content distribution fragmentation and consumers resistance to irrelevant messages) 2) The need for always-on content (to facilitate brand related conversation and answer specific questions to influence purchase decisions). The iterative steps to achieve competitiveness are logical, but the eternal question remains as to how fast do marketers need to change.

 

This very good article argues that for significantly disruptive change `It is crucial to spot the impending danger early on and make fundamental rather than incremental change`

 

If you have a few more spare minutes, a more extensive list of headlines is available – click here: BABELFISH Full latest headlines

 

 

 

 

 

 

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