Sunday, June 28, 2009

Consumer Insights from News: Market Sizing

Three events this year have generated a lot of interest from consumers:
1. President Obama's Inauguration
2. Iran Elections
3. Michael Jackson's demise

There are interesting insights to be gleaned from analyzing patterns in data across channels that deliver news -or music, in the case of recent tweets over the Michael Jackson tribute song- to the consumer.

Kick off for Rigorous Analysis?
Keeping thoughts of rigorous analysis aside- how about plotting each of these event on 3 axes? These three events can be compared to other, more "regular" events like the NBA finals. The key point to note is that some of the delivery channels are pretty nascent and they may not have a large universe of comparison points.

The Objective?
The deep dive may help size the market for various solutions, like developing quick reaction advertising patterns that respond to breaking news, to more effective tools for the media and advertising industry. Of course, from experience, I would like to emphasize the sizing can only supplement your own acumen about the market opportunity.

What do you think?

Note: Updated with the 3 axes plot approach to kick of analysis.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Brands, Economics, Blink, Twitter & Facebook: Part II

Almost titled Part II: Economics, Brands, Blink by Malcolm Gladwell, and Social Networking- Twitter & Facebook. Brevity is the soul of the blog... oops.

Part I of this Post:
Thanks to Twitter, I was reminded of an article on “Predictably Irrational” behavior:

Some more background can be found in my Part I post here:

Marketing and Behavioral Economics.
The day care center experiment on the effects of social and market norms colliding provides interesting results. More importantly, it can serve as an interesting starting point for marketers to think about how to participate in conversations with their customers on social media sites.

Looking at the social media marketing vehicle as a "participant" on the social marketplace, it may help illuminate patterns that help the marketing vehicle navigate uncharted 'mindfields' with their experiential partners (read customers).

While this perspective should not be news to skilled brand managers, the key here would be developing patterns and tools that help brand managers make more effective decisions.

These theories could be used to:
1. Create markets with specific incentives (watch out for unintended consequences),
2. Make decisions that drive the market entity's/ brand vehicle's behavior within a marketplace, and,
3. Leverage various market players' behavior in a marketplace to your market entity's/ brand vehicle's advantage.

Points 2 & 3 can be interpreted as old school, carpet bombing, bulk-broadcast-media-buying strategy & social network or conversational marketing respectively.

Social Media and Behavioral Economics.
A potential application- could it help a brand decide which social media site to develop its presence on, especially if the brand could utilize all 3 approaches to negotiate? There are social marketers that would recommend using the third approach listed above as it is more "authentic". This seems to have become the prevailing thought in the B2C arena.

Where does Microsoft's strategic investment in Facebook, more a B2B deal that has B2C impact, fit across the 3 approaches listed above?

What do you think?

Update: To be even more explicit in my messaging:

1> Everything Must Go!?
As a marketer looking at the channels to reach out to your customer, you may need to understand how to leverage the new channels that have sprung up where your customer is not a "couch potato". As you learn more about the new channels and more about your customer, you will find new ways to apply your experience, knowledge and acumen in the new channels. You do not necessarily have to toss everything out of the window. :-)

2> Marketing Future 2.0
Marketing Future 2.0 arrives in baby steps- while there is an advantage to be being ahead of the learning curve, your best friend is still your ability to distill it into impact on consumer buying.

Now, what do you think?

Economics, Brands, Blink, Twitter & Facebook: Part I

Almost titled Part I: Economics, Brands, Blink by Malcolm Gladwell, and Social Networking- Twitter & Facebook.... As if that wasn't enough, did I mention Physics? I will, however, refrain from mentioning Star Trek... oops.

Some thoughts on Bob Pittman's perspective of the money making potential of the internet in this post, to give you some background:

Behavioral Economics: Isn't that an oxymoron?
Have you read Blink by Malcolm Gladwell? There is an economics' field that seems to agree with Gladwell that human beings are not all rational masters of their emotions.

Behavioral Economics around us.
Thanks to Twitter (Paula Drum RT), I came across an article talking about behavioral economics:

Most of us have helped implement a behavioral economics based solution to the pension enrollment challenge: If you want people to enroll in the pension plan, then automatically enroll them — and let them opt out if they want to.

The article also covers an example of how government intervened to incentivize teens against getting pregnant. Predictably, this will get you thinking about how this theme ties in with prevailing thoughts on financial market regulation. The article cautions that the government could itself become an "imperfect decision maker" as a market participant.

The physicists amongst us must be wondering whether economics and psychology got together to give birth to either the observer effect or the uncertainty principle.

Behavioral Economics and Game Theory.
The article got me thinking about the interplay between behavioral economics and game theory. How would an approach to less-than-fully-rational-decision-making impact game theory cases like prisoners dilemma where rational decision making leads to "seemingly sub optimal" outcomes?

I found a paper that talks about behavioral game theory:

The tweet also reminded me of another article on "Predictably Irrational" behavior:

Now, what has all of this got to do with Marketing, Tweeting and Authentic Branding?

What do you think?

Part II of this post can be found here:

Sunday, June 7, 2009

NYC Internet Week: Business Impact of Innovation

As part of a NYC Internet Week gathering, I got involved in a discussion on business impact of innovation in technology with two representatives from, Dana and Tom.

We discussed the poster child for technological innovation- the XEROX PARC center at Palo Alto. It was filled with the brightest minds who came up with amazing innovations in computing that are taken for granted today. Dana mentioned that the facility is a shadow if it's former self and is reflective of Xerox's current state of affairs.

The center had the first PC like workstation ready in the early 70s (the mouse was at hand in the 60s) and the Graphical User Interface available in the late 70s, but these brilliant ideas lay around within the walls of the facility. However, they captured the imagination of Steve Jobs, who successfully pushed them out to the market and created a successful company out to them.

The question is, was Steve Jobs alone responsible for the business impact of such innovation? Was Bill Gates the primary force? Would you also consider advancement in manufacturing technology, as well as the Palo Alto cluster of innovation bringing skilled individuals together as important factors in the business impact of innovation?

Another thought to consider- isn't Xerox also continuing to innovate in some way? Are there levels of innovation? Based on my brush with managing innovation at a beverage company, can a gated process truly manage innovation?

The impending release of newer versions of the iPhone, and the apparent dependence of Apple stock value on Steve Jobs' presence in the company, are interesting cases that make you probe the nature and sustainability of innovation.

What do you think?