Study: Big brands could do better on social customer service

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Some weeks ago, we have written about the importance to be fast on response time on Social Media platforms. We made clear, based on some research by Convince & Convert, that companies need to react in not more than 60 seconds on complaints, customer enquiries and questions that appear on company’s and brands‘ social platforms.

Now, a recent study of some of the biggest brands in the U.S., like Coca-Cola, McDonalds, Visa or Starbucks shows that providing a top standard of customer support on Twitter is not really as fantastic as it seems. Although some readings of all those good posts about these brands and their Social Media efforts might assume the companies do whatever they can in Social Business terms.

In the study, four Software Advice employees used their personal Twitter accounts to address customer service tweets to 14 consumer brands in seven industries – McDonalds, Starbucks (Fast Food), Coca Cola, Pepsi (Soft Drinks), Visa, Mastercard (Credit Cards), Wells Fargo, Bank Of America (Banking), Walmart, Home Depot (Retail), Apple*, HP (Consumer Tech), Gillette and Colgate (Personal Care).

They sent each brand’s Twitter account one tweet per weekday for four consecutive weeks, from „Urgent, to Positive/Negative, or questions about FAQ or technical issue. Then, brands were evaluated on their average response time and rate. See the results in the following infographic…

Mobile Video Advertising – Why there is a positive future ahead…

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The market for mobile advertising is growing at high speed. More and more companies invest their first advertising budgets (although still not huge…) in apps, onsite or instream commercials. In 2012 the market for mobile advertising is said to increase to 1,5 Billion USD. In 2010 mobileSquared estimated the size for the mobile advertising market at 800 Million USD by 2015, and this sum is expected just for Germany.

One of the main drivers of this development could become mobile video advertising. Looking at the numbers of researchers and analysts, there is a bright future ahead. The market research company Strategy Analytics saw a growth by 958% of mobile video commercial views. They published figures from April 2012 which illustrate how the mobile video advertising market might be growing. While they counted 108 Billion mobile video views 2011, they expect that the market more than doubles to 280 Billion for 2012.

The challenge for mobile video advertising was partly based on the size of smartphones which did not allow massive advertising opportunities. Partly it was lacking the believe of the management in mobile video advertising up to now. And when we look at the minimum volume of ad campaigns in Apple’s iAd program which was downsized from 1 Million to 100.000 USD, it shows that expectations were bigger than the first mobile budgets. Often traditional campaigns are simply extended to mobile without bigger creative invest.

However, this might change with mobile video advertising.

The actual „viewing time“ of video commercials in audio-video content is still just 1,5%, found Comscore. A recent study by Juniper Research stands against this and forecasts a “viewing time” for mobile TV of 186 minutes per month in 2014. That offers a lot of opportunities for commercials.

The content offering will also change with the future of the social web. In 2010, some Cisco research stated that 57% of the Internet traffic in 2014 will be audio-video content. This outlook gets support from the massive use and sharing of video content in social networks. And if we think about the fact that Facebook already has 488 Million mobile users, then it comes as no surprise that many social media advertising suppliers like ebuzzing, Hallimash oder unruly try to conquer the social video advertising market.

The creation of banners will still be responsible for the length of the viewing and staying time. According to some new insights of Medialets the mobile „engagement stimulus“ of users increases by 35% when video content is displayed. Those users that opened or expanded a banner stayed 20 seconds with the ad format. The integration of video or product catalogue information propelled the staying time with mobile banner formats from 20 seconds to more than one minute, said Medialets. Apart from that, comScore Video Metrix published some stats showing that video ads surpassed the 10 Billion mark and showed an increase by 117% year-over-year.

The development is positive which we can also see in these interesting insights. No surprise that Nielsen forecasts a growth of 70% for the mobile advertising market. And mobile video advertising will get a good chunk of it.

Will the tablet be the catalyst in this development? Sure… By 2013, 47% of the U.S. Internet population will own tablets (117.4 million users). One in ten tablet users watches online video daily according to comScore. Just think about the parallel usage of mobile devices like tablets and smartphones with TV (especially in Prime Time), there could be fantastic opportunities for marketers and their agencies to create intelligent convergent multi-platform campaigns.

Isn’t this some great outlook for mobile video advertising…? if you have some more figures you can add, let us know…

PS: These numbers were put together from me for my moderation of the dmexco Night Talks 2012 (see picture).

Study ConnectedTV – What’s the leading strategy?

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© carlos castilla -

GoogleTV or AppleTV? How is the future of connected TV going to look like? TV and Internet companies realize the power of connected TV but are still not quite sure what’s the most effective TV strategy to go forward.

This is the main finding of a recent study conducted by MPP Global Solutions which tried to figure out which company has the best strategy to be successful in terms of the connected TV market. The findings of the study which was done during an online webinar showed that the respondents were undecided on where the successful future could be found.

The research which was called ‚Redrawing the Lines in the Battle for the Living Room‘ states that just 26% of senior industry managers identified Apple’s future TV service as successful in the long run. However, this findings was also mentioned by others with 22% who saw Google-TV and Netflix (17%) as creating the right effective strategy for the future. The MPP Global Solutions study analyzed the current position of the connected TV market as a whole and the major players within the industry.

„This inconclusive result reflects the content of the discussion; that the Connected-TV market is still coming out of the early adopter phase and even major players such as Apple, Google and Netflix are still trying to identify the best approach for success“. James Eddleston, Head of Marketing, MPP Global Solutions.

Although some big companies like Google, Apple and the likes are working on their connectedTV strategy, the user is not there yet. A recent study by YouGov found out that just 35% of connected TV owners use their devices for on-demand services, with one in four (25%) having never connected it to the internet at all. It will take time until the user is following the connected TV trend as a whole. The study makers said connected TV sales is set to increase by 70% by 2016.

Spot On!
For companies trying to address the connected TV market, it is essential to develop an effective strategy for the right user experience. Until companies find some intelligent solution the user will probably stay with the magic combination: TV and the second screen: smartphones and tablets. At the moment, users love to do multitasking as we learned from the latest Yahoo and Razorfish study. The respondents of that study said 80% do multitasking while watching TV. More than 60% use their mobiles once or twice while watching TV. And I am quite sure this will stay for quite a while. Or is the split screen a solution? Or the one-in-one program as a time-shift solution? While you change to the internet, the TV program goes in a stand-by mode?

iKnow – Let’s foresee the future

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We all want to know how the future looks like? What are key trends? What is the next bid thing in technology or our industry? The challenge is… How can the future be foreseen? Well, maybe there is a way if collaboration succeeds as the new imperative of humanity…

A new European research project by the EU Commission is challenging the unforeseeable future. The platform iKnow Futures aims at interconnection knowledge via an „innovation, foresight and horizont scanning system“. And ideally it will help companies, societies, political systems, science but also individuals to identify upcoming risks and dangers as well as potential opportunities long before the next economical crisis, the next virus, or the next weather desaster.

The platform is meant to give insights in new tools and technologies which could change the future. It displays latests projects and research which could foresee trends in science. And it shows first signals via „weak signs“ when there is some danger, threat or risk on the horizon that might affect a country, a county or a just some cities that already can be made out as critical.

The long-term EU project collects insights in academic research and collects data to make the world easier for interpretation and economical planning. Whether this is a new form of common knowledge that might revolutionize the world’s approach to common intelligence needs to be seen. Nevertheless, everyone of us can participate and help to make this place a better world with less unpleasant surprises.

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Collaboration for a better world sounds somehow fantastic, and the project is definitely deserves a closer look. Imagine someone could have predicted 9/11 attacks with a Wild Card? And what if they become Weak Signals? Would this have saved the world from a nightmare, and would this have changed the ecosystem of planes and traines? How could collaboration platforms become the next „chaos prevention radar“?

PS: And let’s hope Apple won’t try to claim and aim for the name…

Study: Web economy expected to double in G20 by 2016

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We all know that the web economy is exploding at the moment in terms of activity and users. In the next four years the value of the web is expected to achieve a valuation sum growing from 2.7 to 4,2 trillion pounds. This means that the value of the web economy in the G20 countries is nearly going to double in the next four years.

The global web user base is expected to increase foe 1,9 to 3 million users by 2016 – almost half the world’s current population. All these findings are based on a new report commissioned by the Boston Consulting Group. Still, the report also states that there is at present no standard way of measuring the parts of web economy that is ‚digital‘.

Boston sees the growth in the evolution of the mobile web access as 80% are assumed to access the web via smart mobile phones. Thinking back to 2010, which is just about two years back, mobile internet access accounted for just over 4% of the G20 economies. The study makers claim that each household has an approximate valuation of 2,000 pounds worth of purchases online before buying.

Some more key conclusions from the study…

– Digital transformation is key for companies. Companies have to build their digital assets and reduce the digital liabilities that limit their ability to tap rich opportunities. People, processes, and organizational structures need to change and adapt them to the digital world.

– IBM forecasts 1 trillion devices to be connected to the Internet by 2015. This has an effect on the ways companies interact with customers and run their supply chains but also how traditional industries have to build their business.

- Companies such as Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google shape the Internet, in China this might be Baidu and Tencent or in Russia Yandex.

– The power of digital experience goes far more local in terms of impact on everyday life, reflecting economic, political, national characteristics and social influences specific to individual countries.

– The “Millennials” have different expectations as employees, consumers, and citizens. TheArab Spring protests and grass-roots “occupy” movements in the West are the most visible manifestations of the power of the Millennials to shape society and commerce.

Spot On!
Seeing the rapid economical and market changes, the intensity of competition will improve and increase. Companies and brands will need to plan more flexible in terms of their strategic approaches how to reach clients than in earlier years when long-term planning cycles were the common status. Today, it will be important to create an adaptive strategy planing and restructuring process.

PS. A challenge might be if evangelist entrepreneuers like this guy spread market distraction and confusion….

comScore: Smartphones and tablets boost European media consumption ‎

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The digital environment is chaining very fast, based on the evolution of the modern mobile devices which are offering new opportunities and challenges, depending on whether at home or at work. Some forecasts already proclaim the death of the desktop. Today, mobile devices like tablets and smartphones change the daily lives of Europeans, and the way we use our mobile devices was explained in one of my last posts. .

A recent study by comScore, Inc. and Telefónica Germany called Connected Europe -published during DLD Conference today- shows some five developments and gives an outlook where the mobile evolution is heading to. The study was based on a survey of mobile subscribers age 13+ and their primary device. These are the key findings the study is coming up with…

Smartphones and Tablets make PC more and more redundant.
Reasons: Lower hardware costs, increased subsidies, and aggressive operator price plans. A majority of non-computer web traffic comes from smartphones (65%) and especially tablets (25%) are picking up momentum in the EU5 (France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom).

Mobile Media is booming.
Reason: Ubiquitous 3G/4G networks delivering mobile ready content to multiple screens (PC, Smartphone, Tablets). 75% of the EU5 use mobile media users in October 2011 which is an increase by 62% in the past year.

Apple connected use wins in fragmented EU5 market across ecosystems.
Reason: However, there are powerful competitors (Nokia and Google), Apple’s iOS has the top spot when combining smartphones, tablets and other devices: 30% share of connected devices in use! Nokia’s Symbian and Google’s Android win in terms of the highest market share among smartphone.

iPad boost Apple’s market power.
Reason: iPad enthusiasm is not limited to Apple enthusiasts. Users of other phones such as LG (86% more likely) and Motorola (72% more likely) were overrepresented amongst iPad owners, as compared to their respective shares of the smartphone market. Obviously, iPhone owners were quite likely to have an iPad (66 times more likely).

Mobile commerce is increasing and changing expectations for the retail industry.
Reason: Smartphone users are massive mobile shoppers and push retail with double or triple digit growth rates across European countries. Just look at the use of modern mobile devices and their apps in the Prime Time and you won’t be surprised anymore.

Spot On!
According to the study, Germany had the fastest growing (increase of 112% year on year) user base and witnessed the quickest adoption of emerging technologies, such as QR codes. Interesting to me were two facts…
a) Men are still more likely to have a tablet than a smartphone compared to women, whether this is based on business issue or interest the study did not give an answer…

b) Smartphone and tablet is not an issue of income aspects. 65,4% of a household income under 40K EUR have a smartphone and 56% own a tablet.

Would you agree that calling a smartphone and a tablet your own will become as important as having a TV in the past?

Study: In-car internet to become „the norm“

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Never will I forget the day some time between 2001 and 2002 when I went to the BMW pavilion exhibition in Munich to get an understanding of what „Connected Drive“ means. Those days, even the people in the pavilion could not help us, and it took BMW three days to give us some proper feedback on this term via telephone. Today, the term is clearly defined as driving with internet access which enables all sorts of connected infotainment, and if you want to know more about it, you can get plenty of information here.

Every day today, people are sitting in their cars, grapping their smartphones while waiting at traffic lights – although a great Facebook page tells us not „Text-and-Drive“. The future will be different though…

According to the world’s top car bosses, in-car internet access is close to becoming reality. A recent survey by KPMG called „Global Automotive Executive Survey 2011“ shows that speech recognition and internet connection with Wifi and 3G will become the norm in the future.

The results of the study state that 37% of the 200 responding car executives see „infotainment“ to be almost as important as car safety. It makes clear that over the next five years, car buyers will see in-car gadgets provided by the big tech firms like Apple, Google or Microsoft.

The new Toyota Avensis commercial in Germany features in-car texting and internet.

Intel already announced some collaboration with Toyota at the end of last year. Intel forecasts that the connected car is the fastest growing technological device following smartphones and tablets.

According to Reuters, Mercedes-Benz USA is bringing Facebook to its cars with the new in-vehicle telematics system that will be unveiled at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this week. It allows drivers to access Facebook on the road. However it is not exactly the same as using the social network on a personal computer or a smartphone. „The version of Facebook offered in Daimler AG’s Mercedes is stripped down to a limited set of features, specially designed for drivers and centered around the locations of friends and businesses.“ Audi’s A7 series already offers a built-in 3G wireless which shall be extended to other new models.

Spot On!
Car manufacturers will look out for cooperation opportunities with IT companies as well as telecoms and the music industry. It will be interesting to see how much the in-car technologies will evolve and develop in combination with the Hybrid technology that will get the main investment according to 53% of the car execs. Apart from that 57% see speech recognition and built-in navigation as important product issues for consumers in the future. Just imagine you can send your tweet, write a blogpost or a Google+ status update without taking your eyes from the streets. If speech recognition performs, a lot of the dangerous texting and driving could end. Although it will take some time for people to adapt to the nex technology.

Study: Mobile and TV – Users beloved combination…

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Some weeks ago, I have written about ConnectedTV as the new hype. And we have acknowledged that mobile apps and TV have got TV prime time as the main usage time. Still, we don’t really know how much people use mobile and TV at the same time. A new study sheds some light here…

According to a new survey issued by Yahoo and Razorfish, 80% of web-enabled mobile device owners say they multitask while watching television. They rely on smartphones and tablets to communicate with friends and family. They look up content which is related to the program they’re watching. They might also access information which has no relationship with the TV program.

And the combined usage of mobile and TV is not low. The study shows that 70% of mobile multitaskers use both platforms at least once per week. 49% even report multitasking daily. Over 60% use their mobiles at least once or twice during a TV program. And 15% don’t leave the mobile web for the time of the show they are „watching“.

The main categories for multitaskers are: reality, news, comedy sports, and food. The statement „Using the Internet on my mobile or tablet device while watching TV enhances my viewing experience“ was agreed by 38% of the respondents. Nevertheless, another 38% „find using mobile devices while watching TV to be distracting“. Text content leads all channels, beating talking, email, social networking and IM.

„This seems to be an opportunity for content producers and advertisers alike. Some people find multitasking to be a boon, and we have only begun to scratch the surface in terms of providing an engaging dual-screen experience. It’s like the early days of smartphones where it was remarkable that people were making purchases from sites that were not mobile-optimized. If folks were willing to go through that much effort, it stands to reason that making the experience easier and more streamlined will lead to even more passionate participants.“ Jeremy Lockhorn, Vice President Emerging Media, Razorfish

Some more findings from the study…
• 94% of multitaskers engage in some kind of mobile communication
• 58% of men „fact-check“ information on their mobile browser while attending a live sporting event, with 47% checking out scores of other games and player updates.
• 52% use their mobile device to escape awkward social situations
• 44% seek information unrelated to the current program – 38% searching for data related to it
• Apple’s iPhone 4S leads all mobile phone searches according to Yahoo Shopping data, followed by the Samsung Galaxy S2, the Samsung Galaxy Nexus, the Motorola Razr and the Nokia N9

Spot On!
Men seem to be more comfortable with mobile shopping processes. A former Performics study suggests that men are social shoppers and women the „Likers“. This study also finds that 70% of men under the age of 35 have made online purchases on their smartphones, compared to 64% of women in the same age demographic. And obviously the extention of TV to mobile starts to work: 36% say they go looking for more information related to a commercial they just viewed. Marketers need to start thinking multiscreen when planning their campaigns and ideally sync their mobile and TV campaigns immediately…

Study: Why most mobile brand apps don’t work…

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The hype about mobile apps is still omnipresent. In which marketing meeting you are, people get mad about creating the next killer app. A recent study by Deloitte gives insights what makes a mobile killer app and why most of the developed apps don’t work.

Last year, the average Apple user downloaded 51 Apps, and it is expected to grow up to 83 of the approximately 400.000 in 2011. And although the app industry is growing as of the increasing tablet market, just a few apps become killer apps.

The study states that less than 1% of apps published by global consumer and healthcare brands were downloaded more than a million times. Whereas, 80% of all brand apps found less than 1.000 people who downloaded it. However, chances are high that people download your app. The study findings say that 45% of consumers with a smartphone download an app at least once a week.

So why is it a challenge to find the rock star app? What makes it so difficult to leverage the brand impact through an app in the mobile market? What are companies doing wrong?

Well, basically most companies don’t think about the value add and the service that these brand apps are meant to provide. Deloitte states that if you obey the following criteria then the chances increase that your brand app reaches the top apps…

– Portability– 81%
– Accelerometer – 77%
– Sophisticated touch screen use – 61%
– Location-based services – 61%
– Camera – 59%

„The app market has some way to go before it rivals TV or the web for penetration, but it is of growing importance for brands. Brands view apps as a golden opportunity to communicate directly with consumers and in a more meaningful, long term manner. When brands get it right, the returns can be huge.“ Howard Davies, Media Partner, Deloitte

Which leads us to the question how to make things right, right?

Spot On!
First of all, companies need to understand that handing over an app to the customer is like a promise to care for the customer. It is not just another marketing or communication channel that brand can play around with – at least if mobile apps are not meant to get out of essential impact for business and web strategy in the future. If you as a brand manager think about some strategic approaches, I would be surprised if you don’t find the right „app fit“ for your customers. And if you bear in mind that the app shops are quite crowded already, you will not forget to promote the app. Otherwise nobody will find it…

Ads on iPhone & iPad: Double the click rate to relative Android devices

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MediaMind Technologies Inc. today released a new study „Tiny Screen, Huge Results„. The new mobile research finds that the iPhone is the trendsetter in the mobile advertising revolution delivering higher Click Through Rates than devices with other operating systems.

MediaMind reviewed over 230 million mobile impressions in Q4 2010 and Q1 2011. They discovered that devices based on Apple’s iOS operating system result in twice the performance of phones based on Google’s Android operating system, and even five times the performance of BlackBerry phones.

Above that, mobile ads achieved an impressive Click Through Rate (CTR) of 0.61%, while standard display banners for PCs are cited with a CTR of 0.07%.

When Mediamind analyzed the browsing habits of mobile users, the study revealed that people browsing PC screens peaks during business hours between 9 am and 5 pm. Mobile browsing are high during the evenings. Mobile Click Through Rates find their peaks in the evening and gain higher CTR than PC at any time of the day.

The study also found that most verticals achieved a high CTR, beating out benchmarks for browser Standard Banners. Entertainment, Retail and Financial Services are among the highest performing industry verticals on mobile, while Apparel and Government have the lowest CTR.

„Mobile is proving to be one of the most financially rewarding formats in the media mix“ (…) This is most likely the result of mobile ads being a new experience for many users, and that they occupy a larger portion of the screen as compared to browser ads.“ Gal Trifon, President and CEO, MediaMind.

Spot On!
At this point, however I rate these results as they sound amazing (and need to be obeyed and checked for the future of mobile advertising), it needs to be asked whether these results came together because of the curiosity of users using a new device, fingers are sometimes too big for the tiny screen, or people just not realizing that they are clicking on banners as people are not used to knowing where the banners are placed. It is still early stages in mobile ads. I have clicked on some banners and not intended to do so quite often on my iPad and iPhone. The study would be a perfect seelling piece for iAd, but I am asking myself if these results have any connection to marketers, agency people and creative heads using iPhones predominantly, and thus being more open to marketing messages than Android „developer-minded“ people. But maybe I am thinking too far here. Any comments…?

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