Ultra HD is the New HDTV

Image of Happy New Year 2013

Happy New Year all! It’s been a while since I’ve posted to my personal blog and I’ve resolved to do a better job in 2013 keeping up with the digital Joneses.

In keeping with this resolution, here’s the first of several posts today that address my wheelhouse subject matter pertaining to the the intersection of marketing and technology.

This Wall Street Journal article on Ultra HDTV’s details the pre-Consumer Electronics Show hype around the latest and greatest in HDTV…Ultra HD also known as 4K because it features four-times the resolution of the current 1080p HDTV’s (that’s EIGHT million pixels in Ultra versus the measly two million pixels in just HD tv) …never mind that the human eye is incapably of discerning this pixel difference on any TV under 200-inches in diameter (I’m making that last part up…I don’t know how big an Ultra HDTV…or house to contain your TV, for that matter, you’d need before the resolution difference on blackheads in the facial pores of your local 10p news casters face are clearly evident beneath their make-up).

See, for an industry apparently running out of good ideas, Full HD, thinner HD, more stylish HD, 3D HD and Internet/Wireless-Connected HDTV’s haven’t been enough to feed the sales and profitability margins of either manufacturers or retailers. Prices continue to fall as consumers wait for the AppleHDTV or whatever it will be called. Did anybody mention, what consumers really want is content that’s remarkably different from the “must subscribe to 500-useless channels” version we now are forced into?

Over the holidays, when attempting to purchase a HDTV for my daughter and grand daughter for their Christmas gift, I was shocked at how low the prices have dropped…not in Best Buy or Sears, but in the secondary market. CraigsList is full of good deals on HDTV sets that just five years ago were selling for thousands of dollars. I was able to get a 55-inch Sony SXRD, which offers a great 1080p image, in a slightly more thick and bulky form factor, for just $200! I purchased this TV’s slightly larger big brother, the 60-inch SXRD, as a year-end gift to myself in 2006. And, even though Sony was one of my clients at the time and I received a generous vendor discout, it still cost me over $2,000! So, in under six years, the price has dropped off a cliff. It’s still a great TV and the only problem I’ve ever had is having to replace the somewhat pricey bulb ($200) every couple years. True, it’s not as sleek as an ultra-thin LED but try replacing one of their burnt out bulbs yourself!

 

 

Winning at the Zero Moment of Truth

Google report on the Zero Moment of Truth

Jim Lecinski, managing director of U.S. Sales and Service for Google and all around good guy, has kindly given us permission to distribute his phenomenal report entitled Winning at the Zero Moment of Truth. The 73-page e-book documents the startling changes in consumer researching and buying behavior occurring as the internet, social networks and channels, content like user reviews, ratings and other consumer-generated content,  search engines and “always on” smart phones and other mobile devices converge to create a new kind of world where your brand is not what you say it is but what the consumer says it is.

In reality, the “internet of things” arrived a bit earlier than anticipated. It came in form of the Internet of US! It came about because of our iPhones, iPads, Androids and other smart, mobile devices, perpetually connected to the internet, broadcasting our likes and dislikes…our sharing, creating, commenting, reviewing and recommending. The hard cold truth for most brands is not that the technology is ahead of their marketing efforts…their customers are ahead of their marketing efforts!

Marketing model for the first moment of truth
Legacy Marketing Model: First Moment of Truth

In order to understand the Zero Moment, you have to understand the First Moment of Truth concept popularized by Procter & Gamble. It referred to the first place a brand had to win…when the consumer, stimulated by some kind of marketing communication or advertising like a TV spot, a coupon or a magazine ad stands in front of the product at the retail shelf and decides to put the brand in their shopping cart. The marketing model that goes along with this concept is simple: run creative advertising to get the consumer to be aware, to have interest, to go to a retail location and buy your product. A tremendous amount of time, money and effort has gone into perfecting this system.

graphic depiction of the zero moment of truth concept

What’s changed is huge critical moment now occurs between stimulus and shelf. It impacts every product or service category, whether it’s a considered good like a $40,000 automobile, a $2,500 HDTV or a $3 bottle of body wash. It has implications for both business-to-business and business-to-consumer marketers.

Consumers still may watch your TV spots or see you magazine ad. But they now immediately  grab their laptop or smart phone and search for reviews to see what others are saying about your product. They go to Facebook or Twitter and ask their friends if anyone has used the product and if so, what they think. They may go to YouTube and look for a vedeo of someone demoing the product…or making fun of it. Before they’ve even been able to go to the store, they have all the information they need and they’ve already made up their mind.

The Zero Moment of Truth describes this dominant role these connections, community and content are now playing in how we research, learn, search and ultimately find and buy products and services.

Jim sites several examples of zeros moments of truth in his report:

  • A busy mom in a minivan is looking up decongestants on her mobile phone as she waits to pick up her son from school.
  • An office manager at her desk, comparing laser printer prices and toner cartridge costs to determine which office supply store has the best price
  • A student in a cafe, scanning user ratings and reviews while looking up a cheap hotel in Barcelona.
  • A winter sports fan in a ski store, pulling out a mobile phone to watch video reviews of the latest snowboards
  • A young woman in a condo, searching the web for juicy details about a guy with whom she’s been set up on a blind date

Kim Kadlec, worldwide vice president of Global Marketing at Johnson & Johnson puts it this way in the report:

We’re entering an era of reciprocity. We now have to engage people in a way that’s useful or helpful to their lives. The consumers is looking to satisfy their needs, and we have to be there to help them with that. To put it another say: How can we exchange value instead of just sending a message?

That’s the question every marketer should be exploring and using to examine every piece of traditional advertising and marketing. Is it delivering value? Is it helping to answer the consumers need for information. Is is designed to engage and amplify across this environment filled with zero moments of truth. Something to think about.

10 Trends in Mobile Technology

Mobile Gaming

From the Wall Street Journal the top trends in mobile for the coming year. Here they are:

  1. Tablets will take over the world
  2. Android will take over the world
  3. Apps will take over the world
  4. 4G will take over the world…eventually
  5. Parts for mobile handsets and networks will be in short supply
  6. The attorneys will have a field day protecting turf via patent warfare
  7. Security and privacy will be insecure and not so private
  8. China will screw everyone
  9. Your phone replaces your wallet/purse
  10. Location, location, location…as in using your phone to broadcast yours to everyone and allowing marketers can know your location so they can bombard you with coupons, offers and other Minority Report-like advertising assaults.

Mobile Virtual Goods Generate 4X More Revenue Than Ads

There’s gold in them ‘thar hills of virtual stuff. According to data from analytics firm Flurry, mobile virtual goods are hot. So hot, in fact, they’re far surpassing the revenue generated from mobile advertising.

The study, conducted using data collected from leading iOS social networking and social gaming apps, shows that in September of ’09, out of close to every $2 of mobile revenue… either advertising or virtual goods…over 2/3rds went to advertising. Just one year later, not only has the amount of revenue grown significantly, the amount going to virtual goods…swords, gold coins, respect points or plum trees for farm plots…has shifted dramatically to where virtual goods now account for $8 of every $9 in revenue. And, because Google’s Android Market does not yet support in-app purchases or micro-transactions, the data doesn’t include users from this rapidly expanding platform.

Virtual goods sales were already going gang busters on social sites like Facebook. Michael Pachter, Wedbush Morgan Securities video game analyst, reports that social gaming revenue has grown from approximately $600 million in 2008 to $1 billion in 2009. Further, he forecasts that social gaming will generate nearly $1.6 billion this year, and grow to more than $4 billion by 2013. That’s a lot of quarters for plum trees on your Farmville farm.

The convergence of social and games will continue to expand their reach into our lives. In fact, social gaming is reaching a tipping point and with Wal-Mart and Verizon now selling iPads, the size of social gaming’s audience will quickly surpass prime time television viewership.

For marketers, this sweeping technology, entertainment and behavioral change represents tremendous opportunity to create highly engaging content built around the core premise of your brand, then invite consumers into a branded experience that extends far beyond your physical product or service. In fact, maybe it’s time to start thinking beyond the five “P’s” when it comes to marketing. Maybe it’s time to add a “V”. Seems plausible doesn’t it…the brand manager of the new realities has to think about Product, Price, Place, Promotion and Virtual. Can you imagine what a virtual version of your brand or brand experience would be, could be? If not, you should start dreaming. There’s money to be made for the imaginative mind.

Top 5 Emerging Brand Trends on Facebook

This was an excellent and comprehensive Mashable overview of the five major trends brands are using to connect, transact and serve customers on Facebook. There’s some very impressive innovation going on in the space, lead by some very big brands like Ford and Nike. What have you seen brands doing on Facebook that impresses you?

Old Spice Guy Social Media Campaign: The reports of my death are premature


This post from eConsultancy, is a much more in depth analysis of the fervor over the supposed lack of performance of the Old Spice Guy social media campaign than what was reported earlier in the week by a number of sources jumping all over the fact one of the fastest and most popular social media campaigns in recent memory was a failure in terms of sales. Turns out, sales data showing Old Spice Body Wash down 7% was for a 52-week period that ended BEFORE this effort even started.

My money’s on the potential of this lifting sales significantly.


Social Influence Markering Trends


Excellent presentation on Social Influence Marketing by former RazorFish digital strategist and author of Social Media Marketing for Dummies, Shiv Singh. What’s social influence marketing, you ask? It’s the reason you get your company into social media in the first place…to have influence.

Apple Face Time Commerical: Perfect


Apple once again demonstrates what an intelligent and intuitive marketer they are, not just in terms of product development but in advertising…yes, advertising. This is a beautiful spot for Face Time on iPhone 4.

In this almost two-minute video, they show you BENEFITS of a feature. And, they make it seem like Apple just invented video chat, which has been around for years. But, in a way, they have invented it because video chat has never been so mobile.

What’s a benefit, you ask? You know, those reasons people actually buy something in the first place, not to be confused with features, which marketers take as the reasons people buy. Do people want a better camera or do they want to take better photos? Do people want a better smartphone or better, more intimate communication?

Other manufacturers in the consumer electronics category would have laden this ad with features, FEATURES and MORE F-E-A-T-U-R-E-S plus a ton of legal disclaimers taking up the last third of the spot. Reminds me of the brilliant and hilarious YouTube video entitled, “If Microsoft Designed the iPod packaging”.

Apple gets humans. They know we like beauty. They know sometimes dads travel for business and at the end of the day, sitting in some lonely hotel room, want to be reminded of why they go through all this in the first place and want to connect with their family. They know sometimes grandparents can’t be there for the graduation but want to experience it anyway. I got chills when the military dad watches the ultrasound of his unborn baby, while it’s happening. Do you notice the tear in his eye? I have to admit, I got one in mine.

This is a beautifully shot piece. It taps right into your emotions without a word. Apple gets humans. They know we communicate a lot with just our expressions and gestures. You can feel the reverence for the human experience. Maybe I’m too much of a fan of Apple but I don’t think so. I just admire the way they respect me, they anticipate me and understand that what I’m looking for is not a better widget but a better experience with other humans. How nice.


via Apple Face Time Commerical: Perfect.

Old Media Starts New Media Agency

If I were a client, I’d be highly skeptical that a dinosaur of the old media, like print, could attract the talent to help me develop best-in-class new media campaigns and activations. After all, the premise of all these business development operations within media companies is to keep the dollars on the publishers books. How does this really fit with a “free the content” strategy? I’ve been here and done that and I can tell  you, the client gets a “you can have any media you want as long as we own it” distribution strategy.

I guess they’ll find some takers and Meredith has certainly been aggressive about acquiring new media agencies of late. But, the same issue always does these guys in…it’s hard to innovate without cannibalizing the golden goose of your existing business.

Tribune Co. gets into consulting business with digital unit | Crain’s Chicago Business.

Think Local Search, Social Networking and Mobile Gaming on Mobile Devices


Compete just released it’s Smartphone Intelligence survey (redundancy there) and there’s some interesting insight into consumer behavior trends mobile is enabling. Think Local Search, Social Connectivity and Gaming.

Search

According to the survey, 1 in 3 smartphone owners has called or stopped in a local business after finding it using a local search app. In just first quarter, over a third of Android and iPhone owners discovered at least two new businesses that they were not previously aware of thanks to using these local search apps.

Social

Thirty-three percent of smartphone Twitter users post tweets primarily via their smartphones. Of those accessing Facebook via their smartphones, they’re reading news feeds, posting status updates, replying to messages and posting photos.

Gaming

iPhone owners download and play games more than any other handset owner. ..37% play games of some kind at least daily.

Implications:

Anyone with physical locations would be wise to find ways to make their presence known to smartphone users. If you’re really smart, you might want to think about a way to combine local search, social and gaming all in one…like a Foursquare or Gowalla.

via Think Local Search, Social Networking and Mobile Gaming on Mobile Devices.