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Posts Tagged ‘Forrester’

Orbitz Pitches More Expensive Hotels to Mac Users

June 26th, 2012 06:00 admin View Comments

Travel site Orbitz has confirmed that it uses predictive analytics to show Mac users different and more expensive hotels in search results than Windows users might see. It’s still not clear how widespread the practice is, nor what its implications might be. But there are ways to avoid the hard sell.

The Wall Street Journal reported on Monday that “Orbitz found Mac users on average spend $20 to $30 more a night on hotels than their PC counterparts, a significant margin given the site’s average nightly hotel booking is around $100, Orbitz chief scientist Wai Gen Yee said.”

After analyzing its own site’s data and determining users’ buying patterns, Orbitz now presents search results in a slightly different way, with higher-priced options floating near the top of the list for Mac users.

This sort of adaptive display of options makes a certain amount of sense. The WSJ article notes that the “average household income for adult owners of Mac computers is $98,560, compared with $74,452 for a PC owner,” according to technology analyst firm Forrester. Given the availability of more income, Orbitz is simply differentiating more granularly what the market will bear.

Is Orbitz the Only One?

Travel sites Expedia and Priceline have denied that they engage in this kind of targeted marketing. However, a quick test of Expedia revealed some curious results.

An initial Expedia search for a room in Miami Beach from July 12-15 for two adults on a clean Linux machine (no cookies present) gave a result that had the first five rooms averaging $173.60. The exact same search on Expedia using a Mac in the same network gave a list of results with the first five rooms averaging $227.80.

The curious part? Every test after this showed identical results on every machine (Mac, Windows, Linux) in this network. Were the first, lower results a fluke? Or did Expedia recognize that someone inside my firewall owned a Mac and adjusted accordingly?

Either way, this kind of user positioning shouldn’t come as a surprise. Did we really expect online marketers not to use big data’s predictive analytics to boost sales? Whether we notice it or not, using everything you know about a potential customer to help sell or upsell goods and services is already happening.

How to “Opt Out”

Concerned consumers will need to start managing their online presence more closely to reveal these marketing attempts and control how they are offered.

The easiest solution is to make sure you view search results sorted by price or some other objective category, not as “Recommended” or “Best Value.” Data presented in these subjective categories can be curated the same way Orbitz handles their own results.

Specifically, Mac users can tune their browsers to hide the fact that they are using a Mac:

  1. In Safari, click Preferences in the Safari menu.
  2. In the dialog box that appears, click on Advanced and then click the Show Develop menu in the menu bar checkbox.
  3. This will activate the Develop menu, which has the User Agent option that enables developers to test their sites based on different browser specs.
  4. From the User Agent submenu, you can choose how you want your browser to report itself, including as a Windows version of Safari.

This solution won’t exempt you from every predictive analytic trick – you need to properly manage your cookies and online identity for that – but it should help mitigate the hard sell from any site that gets the idea to emulate Orbitz and try to entice Mac users to spend more.

Source: Orbitz Pitches More Expensive Hotels to Mac Users

Orbitz Pitches More Expensive Hotels to Mac Users

June 26th, 2012 06:00 admin View Comments

Travel site Orbitz has confirmed that it uses predictive analytics to show Mac users different and more expensive hotels in search results than Windows users might see. It’s still not clear how widespread the practice is, nor what its implications might be. But there are ways to avoid the hard sell.

The Wall Street Journal reported on Monday that “Orbitz found Mac users on average spend $20 to $30 more a night on hotels than their PC counterparts, a significant margin given the site’s average nightly hotel booking is around $100, Orbitz chief scientist Wai Gen Yee said.”

After analyzing its own site’s data and determining users’ buying patterns, Orbitz now presents search results in a slightly different way, with higher-priced options floating near the top of the list for Mac users.

This sort of adaptive display of options makes a certain amount of sense. The WSJ article notes that the “average household income for adult owners of Mac computers is $98,560, compared with $74,452 for a PC owner,” according to technology analyst firm Forrester. Given the availability of more income, Orbitz is simply differentiating more granularly what the market will bear.

Is Orbitz the Only One?

Travel sites Expedia and Priceline have denied that they engage in this kind of targeted marketing. However, a quick test of Expedia revealed some curious results.

An initial Expedia search for a room in Miami Beach from July 12-15 for two adults on a clean Linux machine (no cookies present) gave a result that had the first five rooms averaging $173.60. The exact same search on Expedia using a Mac in the same network gave a list of results with the first five rooms averaging $227.80.

The curious part? Every test after this showed identical results on every machine (Mac, Windows, Linux) in this network. Were the first, lower results a fluke? Or did Expedia recognize that someone inside my firewall owned a Mac and adjusted accordingly?

Either way, this kind of user positioning shouldn’t come as a surprise. Did we really expect online marketers not to use big data’s predictive analytics to boost sales? Whether we notice it or not, using everything you know about a potential customer to help sell or upsell goods and services is already happening.

How to “Opt Out”

Concerned consumers will need to start managing their online presence more closely to reveal these marketing attempts and control how they are offered.

The easiest solution is to make sure you view search results sorted by price or some other objective category, not as “Recommended” or “Best Value.” Data presented in these subjective categories can be curated the same way Orbitz handles their own results.

Specifically, Mac users can tune their browsers to hide the fact that they are using a Mac:

  1. In Safari, click Preferences in the Safari menu.
  2. In the dialog box that appears, click on Advanced and then click the Show Develop menu in the menu bar checkbox.
  3. This will activate the Develop menu, which has the User Agent option that enables developers to test their sites based on different browser specs.
  4. From the User Agent submenu, you can choose how you want your browser to report itself, including as a Windows version of Safari.

This solution won’t exempt you from every predictive analytic trick – you need to properly manage your cookies and online identity for that – but it should help mitigate the hard sell from any site that gets the idea to emulate Orbitz and try to entice Mac users to spend more.

Source: Orbitz Pitches More Expensive Hotels to Mac Users

Executives, not Employees, are Driving the Consumer Tech in the Enterprise

May 30th, 2012 05:02 admin View Comments

Corporate IT is in turmoil as users shift from company-issue hardware and software to consumer offerings. Tech marketers like to think that employees are leading the way, but a pair of Forrester surveys reveal that executives are driving the change. And they’re listening more to their customers than their employees.

Late last year, Forrester polled 1,000 U.S., Canadian, and European corporate executives from companies of 1,000 employees or more. Their top four business concerns, in order:

• improving business capabilities

• increased customer expectations

• pressure to cut costs

• increased competition for goods and services. 

89% ranked improving business capabilities a high or critical priority. Only 58% ranked the pace of technological change as a high or critical business concern, with a mere 16% counting it as critical.

As James Carville said: It’s the economy, stupid.

Executives: IT is the Biggest Roadblock to IT

Forrester conducted a similar poll among 1,047 North American and European IT managers with responsibility for their companies’ budgets. Guess what? In every category of IT operations performance, the IT workers rated their own efficiency more highly than did the executives. And that difference in perception, Forrester concludes, is driving business departments to take more responsibility for IT purchasing and deployment decisions.

“Senior management is frustrated with IT’s ability to deliver,” Forrester’s John C. McCarthy writes. 

15.7% of executive respondents said they’re increasing their departments’ involvement in IT, in an effort to decentralize procurement and deployment away from their IT departments. 59% say they get IT support from a centralized IT resource, while 20% say it comes from a dedicated, division-specific IT resource.  (That last figure is up 9% over last year, by the way.)  Among those who are increasing their divisions’ involvement this year, 75% agreed with the statement, “Technology is too important for the business not to be involved,” and 54% agreed with, “IT does not understand the business issues and priorities to do it by itself.”

If we were to stop there, we might conclude that corporate departments want to move decision-making closer to the executive suite. However, when asked what they intend to do when they do get control of the IT process, a tremendous number of executives said they were planning to outsource it.

A full 36% of executive respondents said they plan to outsource IT services – a 19% jump over last year.  And 25% said they plan to hire systems integration consultants this year, a 7% rise over 2010.

What do businesses expect these consultants to produce first?  A total of 46% of executives responding said they either have already tasked these consultants, or are making plans within the next 12 months, to have them… build a Web site for them.  Not a Facebook page, not a social gathering point, but a Web site.

Safety Still Leads to Hesitancy for the Cloud

You might think that cloud technology would play a more prominent role in affecting these executives’ planning decisions.  As it turns out, only 34% of executives responding say they use a SaaS application for customer relationship management or human resources – the two top categories of SaaS.  Another 6% are requesting to use such service, and 19% are thinking about it, but the total doesn’t even eclipse the two-thirds mark.  And every other category of SaaS ranked lower on Forrester’s executive survey.

What’s keeping businesses from finally making the leap?  The result was an absolutely clear signal, from both the executives and the IT managers polled:  Some 38% of executives and 46% of IT managers polled agreed with the statement, “We cannot manage security to our strict standards” – far higher than any other statement in the list.

To summarize:  Businesses absolutely know they need to cut costs in this economy, and they know both mobile devices and cloud applications are means to that end.  But they don’t know what Step 1 should be.  Executives know the IT department isn’t taking Step 1, so they and their division leaders are taking the reins for themselves.  But once they have the control, they don’t know how to begin either, so they hire consultants – even creating new external IT departments to take over from the internal ones.  What’s keeping them from going forward with what should otherwise be a simple implementation plan, are fears about security, compliance, and identity management.  Simple solutions are being obstructed by complex problems – far more complex than the consumerization of IT.

 


Stock photo by Shutterstock.

Source: Executives, not Employees, are Driving the Consumer Tech in the Enterprise

Tablets Want To Kill Your Laptop

May 9th, 2012 05:31 admin View Comments

Laptops are doomed. In the next five years, tablets will displace notebook-style computers to become the dominant personal computing platform. And the transition from laptop to tablet has already begun.

That’s the key finding of a new Forrester Research report that predicts the end of the laptop’s 15-year reign. The trend is already well under way among people born between 1980 and 2000, known to demographers as the millennial generation. In the U.S., 30% of tablet owners in this age group have purchased a tablet in place of a PC, compared to 20% of baby boomers. 

“For this growing body of [millennial] users, PCs will seem like clunky trucks rather than sleek cars, dampening their long-term propensity to buy conventional PCs,” says the 19-page report authored by Forrester analyst Frank Gillett.

But the tablet won’t replace the laptop all by itself, Forrester says. File-sharing services such as Box, DropBox, SugarSync and Apple’s iCloud will be critical enabling technologies, as well as a new type of stationary display the analyst calls a frame, due to become commonplace by 2015. 

Sales projections back up Forrester’s forecast. Tablets are expected to outsell laptops in 2016 as tablet shipments quintuple from 81.6 million in 2011 to 424.9 million by 2017, according to research firm DisplaySearch. Tablet sales will increase at a compound annual growth rate of 46% during the same period, Forrester predicts, reaching 375 million in 2016. A third of those sales will be directly to businesses, as tablets become standard tools for executives, sales staff and other information workers.

China and other emerging markets will drive the fastest tablet growth because they aren’t already saturated with laptops and smartphones, according to Forrester. Emerging markets will account for 40% of tablets sold by 2016.

For users, the rise of the tablet will bring one outstanding benefit: Convenience. At 1.75 pounds or lighter, tablets are half the weight of the sleekest laptops. They turn on instantly, are easier to use and have a long battery life. In time, they’ll acquire more processing muscle and move beyond today’s most common uses: reading email and documents, browsing the Web and watching video. Eventually they’ll come to rival laptops as workhorses. Apple is already pushing in that direction by making iWork available on the iPad. Microsoft is expected to make the Office suite available for tablets next year.

One stumbling block in the tablet’s path to dominance is screen size. At 7 to 14 inches diagonal, tablet screens are too small to handle the gamut of computing chores comfortably. That’s where frames come in, according to Forrester.

Frames will be large, stationary displays that a person can use to wirelessly show video, documents and any other tablet-based content. They’ll be laden with sensors, so people can interact with them through touch, voice and gestures (via motion sensors similar to those in Microsoft’s Kinect). Forrester envisions frames as fixtures in homes, offices, hotel rooms, coffee shops and conferences. Forrester analysts expect them to reach the mass market in 2015, when they will spark an acceleration in the displacement of laptops. 

The presumed ubiquity of frames might be the report’s most iffy prediction. But the technology’s forebears are already on the market, Forrester points out, including the Apple Thunderbolt, Samsung Central Station and Sony Power Media Dock. Apple AirPlay wireless technology enables the iPad and iPhone to send video and audio to TVs or external speakers via Apple TV, and Intel Wireless Display technology moves content from PC to TV.

More than the iPad

Note that tablet dominance doesn’t mean iPad dominance. Apple’s market share will shrink from its current 68%, dropping below 50% by 2017, according to the NPD Group. Nevertheless, Forrester predicts that Apple will continue to lead in the enterprise and among premium buyers worldwide. Tablets based on Google’s Android platform will capture the low end. Microsoft Windows 8 tablets, expected to reach stores by the end of the year, will become a strong competitor in 2014.

While laptops will no longer be the center of the personal computing universe, they won’t disappear for a long time. The transition to tablets will take years, and meanwhile laptops will be used for graphic- and processing-intensive tasks such as graphic design, engineering and complex calculation. But as tablets become better-suited to a wide range of tasks, and the support technologies become more widespread, most people will find them simpler and more convenient. Then, Forrester says, even die-hard laptop lovers will ditch their notebooks and jump on the tablet juggernaut.

Lead image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Source: Tablets Want To Kill Your Laptop

Does Apple’s Growing Dependence on China Make It Vulnerable?

May 4th, 2012 05:00 admin View Comments

Apple seems able to do no wrong. In its most recent fiscal quarter, the giant consumer electronics maker posted a 59% increase in sales and a whopping 94% rise in profits. Such stellar numbers disguise the possibility that Apple’s near future may not be so prosperous, particularly if it falters in China.

Apple’s steady climb in sales and profits has fueled a 435% rise in its stock price over the last five years – making it the most valuable nongovernmental public company in the world. While happy to reap the benefits, shareholders are also skittish over when the good times will end. No business can continue to soar forever.

During the two weeks leading up to the earnings report, Apple’s stock fell five days straight over fears that iPhone sales would weaken if mobile phone carriers started cutting subsidies to improve margins. While the earnings report calmed nerves for now, investors are still hypersensitive to any signs that Apple might be losing steam.

China Mobile Is the Key

The best indicators of Apple’s future are likely to be seen in China, where the company is trying to strike a deal with the country’s largest carrier, China Mobile. Apple already has deals with the much smaller China Telecom and China Unicom to sell the iPhone in what has become the world’s largest mobile phone market – with 1 billion subscribers.

So how important is China Mobile to Apple? “Apple needs the partnership in order for them to continue to expand their share there,” says Crawford Del Prete, analyst for market researcher IDC.

China is stoking growth in the Asia-Pacific region, which accounted for 26% of Apple’s $39.2 billion in sales in the first quarter of this year. Nearly all revenue from the region is from the iPhone, which accounted for 60% of Apple’s revenue in the quarter. If these growth rates continue, Asia Pacific will soon surpass Apple’s biggest market, the Americas.

Without China Mobile, Apple could find it difficult to keep sales rising fast enough to satisfy investors, based on the latest projections from Forrester Research. Adding the carrier would raise Apple’s share of the smartphone market to between 15% and 20% by 2014. That amounts to 40 million iPhones, or more than a quarter of Apple’s overall annual iPhone shipments today, according to Forrester analyst Bryan Wang in China. In the first 12 months, China Mobile would be expected to add 10 to 15 million new iPhone subscribers.

Is China Mobile Enough?

Even with China Mobile, though, Apple faces hurdles. Competition in China is fierce, and Apple will be fighting against less-expensive Android smartphones from Huawei and ZTE, and new models from Nokia, which is using the Windows Phone platform in a partnership with Microsoft.

That price differential is a huge problem for Apple in China. The premium-priced iPhone is truly affordable only to high-wage earners in China’s top 20 cities. To move into the Chinese broader market, Apple would have to sell versions of the smartphone that cost much less than the iPhone’s current starting price of almost $800, which is more than a month’s wages for many Chinese. “That is actually way beyond what the average Chinese can spend on a cellular phone,” Wang noted.

In China, carriers typically require people to pay for the phone up front (any subsidies are credited over the life of the contract), which is why the best-selling smartphones in China sell for around $150.

Of course, disappointing iPhone sales could be offset by the iPad. Wang expects that Apple’s tablets will sell very well as replacements for netbooks, the inexpensive mini-laptops that are still popular in emerging markets. They could even top iPhone sales.

However, for that to happen, Apple must win its legal battle over Chinese rights to the iPad brand. Proview Technology Shenzhen Co., the mainland China arm of Hong Kong-based Proview International Holdings Ltd., claims to own the name and is suing Apple.

In a country lacking a truly independent judiciary, it’s difficult to guess Apple’s chances of winning.

Source: Does Apple’s Growing Dependence on China Make It Vulnerable?

Wozniak Praises ‘Beautiful’ Windows Phone

May 1st, 2012 05:32 admin View Comments

Cellphones

judgecorp writes “Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak has praised the user interface of Microosft’s Windows Phone, saying that aspects of its user interface are more ‘beautiful’ than comparable sides to the iPhone. The comments, in a New Domain, follow on from a comment by Forrester boss George Colony who blogged that Apple would decline in the post-Jobs era. Both pieces have kicked off the kind of online argument you would expect.”

Source: Wozniak Praises ‘Beautiful’ Windows Phone

An Insider’s Guide to Technology Analysts

April 20th, 2012 04:00 admin View Comments

Gartner. Forrester. IDC. And lots of smaller fish, too. You can’t read a tech-industy news story, attend a conference or listen to a sales pitch without someone quoting an industry analyst. For tech companies, analysts are big news and big business, promising to help with transformation, monetization and a slew of other things ending in “-ation.”

But what do technology industry analysts really do? And how do you find the one that’s right for your company’s needs. Let me try to explain, from the inside. You see, from 1999 through 2001, I was an analyst at Jupiter Research, now part of Forrester Research.

It’s a tough job to explain. Analysts write and speak and pontificate – all the things you see in the news – but their true value lies elsewhere.

Companies pay analysts the big bucks to provide educated gut checks before making major strategy moves, for help mapping competitive landscapes and to get the dirt on vendor features and pricing you can’t find anywhere else.

Analysts deliver numbers to justify your hunches, and they can even take the fall when execs need to save face with board members or investors. The best ones make life easier and more productive, but how do you tell which analysts are worth your time and money?

Well, analysts are fond of lists, and old habits die hard, so here’s a list of key criteria:

Don’t Believe the Hype

When I was young and green, I spoke to a crowd of IT managers about testing tools. They nodded, took notes, asked questions and seemed satisfied with my answers. An analyst from a rival firm followed me and ranted for 20 minutes. He was way out of his depth in the Q&A, and was obviously making up answers when he got stumped. He fell back on “You don’t understand – the Internet changes EVERYTHING!” several times. The guy was a jerk, but I felt bad for him.

When the lights came up, the “jerk” had 15 people waiting to speak with him. I had four. Afterward, he shared some wisdom I’ll never forget.

“Always tell them it’s different. Especially when it’s not.” He may have been a goon, but the guy knew how to sell. Seeds of doubt grow into juicy contracts, and for marketing purposes, a controversial statement is worth 10 correct ones.

Marketing is the highest-profile part of an analyst’s job. Don’t get sucked in by the controversy. When evaluating an analyst firm, you can safely ignore just about any controversial headlines or projections, particularly if they show up in the subject of a press release. Whether you agree or disagree with an analyst’s published findings, you’ll need to dig deeper to see whether there’s a useful business partner underneath.

The one exception to this rule is a finding so patently off-base that it’s just silly. You know the ones: “80% of commuters will be using hovercrafts by 2015.” In these cases, the analyst lacks either a brain or a spine. Any way you slice it, that’s bad news.

Examine the Goods

When you buy a subscription to an analyst firm, you’re buying access to the analysts themselves. The research is secondary.

Before you plunk down cent one, set up a call or face-to-face meeting with the analysts who interest you. You might not get to meet everyone you’d like, but the sales team will bring someone with an A-game. This will give you a good idea of the firm’s character and how well its analysts can work with you.

Assuming an understanding of your business and their coverage areas, the basic ingredients of what an analyst has to offer are pretty simple. Look for communications skills, a network of vendor and client relationships, and a healthy dose of business sense. The trick is finding someone who balances all three in a way that works with your business.

1) Communication

Your first introduction to an analyst will probably be a written report. This can help you assess the firm’s target market and general level of technical understanding, but a face-to-face meeting is essential to gauge his or her communications skills. You should feel comfortable explaining your issues, and the responses to your questions should seem considered.

The analyst may not be able to answer all of your questions, and that’s fine. An “I don’t know, but I know who to ask, and here’s why” is infinitely better than getting steamrolled with pat answers or desperate fakery.

Beware of overused buzzwords and cliches, and don’t be afraid to ask analysts to explain their statements in greater detail. Absolutes and one-line mandates are for sales pitches and keynote addresses, not one-on-one conversations. Analysts who won’t listen to you probably won’t listen to vendors or customers either, so they won’t have a lot of secret wisdom to broker.

2) Connections

Prominent analysts at powerful firms command greater respect from vendors and can dig more details from them. This doesn’t mean the analyst needs to be in bed with the vendors it covers. Some of the best, most respected firms are the most resented by vendors. For example, Real Story Group (formerly CMSWatch) is fairly small, but it covers only content management, and it’s never taken a dime from a vendor. This focus and objectivity has earned the firm an incredibly devoted following, forcing CMS vendors to show their cards.

On the flip side, an analyst who consults with a large number of clients in a particular area will be able to broker a lot more collective experience on your behalf. One disgruntled customer of Vendor A could be a fluke, but knowing that 10 have complained to your analyst in the past week could save you from a very expensive mistake.

This is probably the biggest value an analyst brings to the table. We all learn from mistakes, and a well-connected analyst is learning from the mistakes of dozens of clients all the time.

3) Business Sense

Analysts will never know your business as well as you do, and you shouldn’t expect them to. But they should be able to see patterns and linkages you haven’t. The best question you can ask an analyst about anything during a meeting is “How does X apply to me?” X can be a report, a competitor’s press release or something you heard on the news. It’s always a valid question, and the answer isn’t always the most important thing.

What matters is that the analyst listens to your question, considers your specific circumstance and comes to a logical conclusion based on the information provided. If you get an answer that’s counterintuitive but still makes sense, even better. You want someone who can shake things up. If you get back a rehash of the same pitch you heard from the sales rep, move along.

Analysts aren’t superheroes. At their best, they’re smart people who sit in the middle of a lot of valuable information, which can make them a valuable asset to your business. And doing a little homework can help ensure you get what you pay for.

Source: An Insider’s Guide to Technology Analysts

Why Second Screens Beat the Super Bowl

February 7th, 2012 02:30 admin View Comments

shutterstock_football_field.jpg“If the Super Bowl is such a meaningless game, why are so many people posting updates about how they’re not going to watch it?” said one of my Facebook friends, as the game approached halftime.

OK, I don’t follow football. And I especially don’t know anything about the Super Bowl. After the Super Bowl, I was wondering why Nicki Minaj and MIA (aside from her Cee Lo flick-off) didn’t play a bigger role in Madonna’s halftime show. I was also pretty relieved that Madonna made it through that entire performance without slipping, though she did come scarily close. I was truly impressed by some of the throws (Eli Manning!) and was also curious about the stories behind the football players’ tattoos.

What I do know about the Super Bowl is that the Giants won (go New York!), and I got to hang out with some very awesome friends and my friend’s dog, who I want to steal. I also have a few witty one-liners thanks to my more football-savvy Facebook friends because I, like most other social TV watchers, checked Facebook and Twitter during the game.

A new report from Forrester report focuses on how marketers can use audio fingerprinting on second screen messaging to sync with what consumers are watching on the television screen. This, of course, assumes that the person watching the show is focused only on that show. For a mass media spectacle like the Super Bowl, however, the picture is not as simple. More than 40% of U.S. consumers who own tablets or smartphones are using them while watching TV. How can these second screens compliment – and perhaps even trump – the first screen TV experience?

The first thing to consider: Consumers often use their second screens as a space for commentary, not necessarily as a replacement for the first screen. Some consumers may prefer to watch TV while chatting with friends on their iPads. They may or may not be talking about the show. Other times consumers will just text with friends during the show, essentially ignoring much of it.

A co-viewing app, however, recognizes that the consumer is actually watching the show. This is where audio fingerprinting comes into play. If a consumer is using a co-viewing app, audio fingerprinting can be used to deliver relevant content to the second-screen device. In other words, open a co-viewing app and you’ll definitely receive content that is related to the show you’re watching.

Miso is one such social TV check-in app that uses audio fingerprinting. It quickly figures out what show the viewer is watching, and then delivers content based on that. The hope, as always, is that you will share what you’re learning through the app onto your social media accounts. There are quite a few similar apps that use audio fingerprinting, such as IntoNow, which syncs related news headlines, tweets and stats, and Shazam, which gives consumers the opportunity to receive customized offers and information.

Popular entertainment check-in apps like GetGlue ask the consumer what they’re watching, but do not use audio fingerprinting.

But what if you are watching the Super Bowl not for the athleticism and the actual event, but for the critique of the event itself? Or maybe you’re watching for the, um, football players? These might be some of the thoughts that crossed your mind during the Super Bowl.

Have marketers discovered an social TV app that delivers witty criticism from friends and family members?

Oh wait, yes, they have! It’s called the Facebook news feed.

At the halftime show, another Facebook friend of mine asked the question we were all wondering but too modest to ask: “Why is Cee Lo dressed like Aretha Franklin?”

I showed the status update to a few friends at the party, and we burst out laughing.

Source: Why Second Screens Beat the Super Bowl

Daily Wrap: How Pinterest Impacts Purchases and More

January 30th, 2012 01:00 admin View Comments

dailywrap-150x150.pngAlicia Eler looks at how Pinterest is impacting purchases. This and more in today’s Daily Wrap.

Sometimes it’s difficult to catch every story that hits tech media in a day, so we wrap up some of the most talked about stories. We give you a daily recap of what you missed in the ReadWriteWeb Community, including a link to some of the most popular discussions in our offsite communities on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+ as well.

What Pinterest is Doing That Facebook Isn't

What Pinterest is Doing That Facebook Isn’t

Facebook drives traffic. Pinterest drives traffic. The big difference is that Pinterest is driving target-market traffic and impacting purchases. How is Pinterest perfecting what Facebook has been trying to do for some time? Alicia Eler says Facebook confuses the social graph with the interest graph. To learn more about how Pinterest is knocking it out of the park, read, What Pinterest is Doing That Facebook Isn’t.

More Must Read Stories:

Google Fires Kenya Lead Over Mocality

Google Fires Kenya Lead Over Mocality

Google has reportedly fired its Kenya country manager, Olga Arara-Kimani, over a fraudulent use of Mocality’s data.

Nairobitech reported:

“The Google Mocality saga has drawn its first casualties. Kenya country lead for Google, Olga Arara-Kimani formerly of Safaricom has been let go by the company. Also axed is a technical guy in Zurich… It is not clear how Olga was picked for the fall but as one observer noted, sometimes a sacrificial lamb has to be found for the brand name to weather the storm.” (more)

Feds to Megaupload Users: Tough Luck

Feds to Megaupload Users: Tough Luck

Well, now we know what happens to our data if federal authorities ever seize a website we were using, arrest its owners and shut the whole thing down. For former users of Megaupload, the prospect of losing their data forever is now a very real one. The companies that host all of that data could start deleting it later this week, according to prosecutors. (more)

Why Goodreads Gave Up on Amazon

Why Goodreads Gave Up on Amazon

Goodreads, the social network for reading and reviewing books, had to make a change this month. It moved away from its main source of book data, the Amazon Product Advertising API, citing its “many restrictions.” It completed the transition to Ingram Book Company’s data today, and it also draws from other open data sources such as libraries. The transition went smoothly, but Goodreads did lose some data. “Fewer than 2% of our 7 million users have books currently affected,” Goodreads says. (more)

What Does Siri's Future Look Like?

What Does Siri’s Future Look Like?

It’s only been three months since Apple unveiled Siri, the voice-controlled personal assistant built into the iPhone 4S. Although the product is technically in beta, it has already spawned imitations and Web video parodies. What is perhaps most exciting about Siri is not what it does now, but in its potential future uses. (more)

Hollywood Isn't Ruining DVD Rentals On Its Own: Netflix is Happy to Help

Hollywood Isn’t Ruining DVD Rentals On Its Own: Netflix is Happy to Help

It’s easy to slam Hollywood for not understanding how technology works, or for putting its legacy business models ahead of user experience. Especially when big media companies do things like restrict digital access to movies and then cry about piracy.

But Hollywood isn’t always acting alone. Sometimes, the savviest Web companies around – Netflix, for instance – are playing along, with their own agendas. (more)

Forrester Ranks Mobile Marketing Companies, Ignores the Brightest Startups

Forrester Ranks Mobile Marketing Companies, Ignores the Brightest Startups

The necessity of having a clear and cohesive mobile marketing strategy has never been greater. Companies that do not have a mobile marketing strategy now are light years behind the curve in the face of booming smartphone adoption and changing consumer behavior. Research firm Forrester took a look at some of the biggest and best mobile marketing companies to see how they stack up and what benefits they can add for companies. (more)

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Forrester Ranks Mobile Marketing Companies, Ignores the Brightest Startups

January 30th, 2012 01:30 admin View Comments

Forrester_Logo_150x150.jpgThe necessity of having a clear and cohesive mobile marketing strategy has never been greater. Companies that do not have a mobile marketing strategy now are light years behind the curve in the face of booming smartphone adoption and changing consumer behavior. Research firm Forrester took a look at some of the biggest and best mobile marketing companies to see how they stack up and what benefits they can add for companies.

There is a problem with Forrester’s research. Mainly, it looks only at the biggest and best. It is an enterprise-focused report that narrows in on nine mobile marketing companies and the strengths behind each. Fundamentally, this is the wrong approach to take in a world where dozens of innovative startups are tackling the idea of mobile marketing with fresh ideas and eager teams.

The nine vendors that the Forrester Wave research report focused on are: AKQA, iCrossing, Ogilvy, Possible Worldwide, Razorfish, Rosetta, SapientNitro, TribalDDB and VML.

It is important to note the criteria in which these companies were chosen for inclusion in the report:

  • A comprehensive mobile services offer: the ability to provide core mobile marketing services with strategy, native and mobile Web development, messaging, advertising and management.
  • Experience developing mobile programs: five years of experience.
  • Strong and growing revenue stream from mobile marketing: met or exceeded Forrester’s threshold for revenue from mobile services.
  • Recognition of mobile work from peers and marketers: Forrester asked agencies to name mobile marketing competitors. It also asked “11 mature mobile marketers” to share the list of agencies in their selection process. A company needed to be on each list three times to be included in the report.

As you can see, the criteria makes the selection process stacked in favor of established entities. The “leaders” of this survey were SapientNitro (with the highest score across all criteria), AKQA, Ogilvy, TrialDBB and Razorfish. All the other companies figured into the “strong performers” category.

Clients looking for mobile marketing strategies would do well looking to these companies. They have strong development teams and good strategic initiatives. Most include analytics and audience insight into their offerings. There is nothing wrong with choosing a so-called industry leader, even if the criteria in which is was chosen is inherently flawed.

Yet, if you are looking for tools that are more powerful or are under the radar of this enterprise-focused group, there are a variety of terrific startups across the country. For instance, Apsalar has an innovative and ambitious set of mobile marketing tools and robust analytics. Flurry and Localytics are both great startups with intense analytic tools and engagement philosophies. In the gaming world of native apps, PlayHaven has a great dashboard to produce results. Jumptap is emerging as a leader in targeted mobile marketing.

Each of these companies has one or two tools that could be of significant use to companies looking to make a splash with their brand on mobile devices. What they often lack in comparison to the so-called leaders is the experience (as an established company) and the development shops that enterprise-grade mobile marketers have. More often, they can be classified as “tools” better than fully well-rounded mobile marketing shops. There are perhaps a dozen more startups in the mobile marketing arena that are worth consideration.

There is nothing wrong with going to a smaller company that has the tools that are right for you. Often the smaller companies will be more attentive to your needs. What they lack in scale they make up for in innovation and eagerness. That is not to say that the bigger mobile marketing shops are not eager but the point is that there are plenty of options. A company does not have to match some set of obscure criteria to be a great option for mobile marketing needs.

Source: Forrester Ranks Mobile Marketing Companies, Ignores the Brightest Startups

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