Archive for the ‘Biz wanderings’ Category

Socialise your company: a Web user groups segmentation (prompt!)

November 11, 2010 Leave a comment

As soon as the organisation exposes itself to the social, Web environment, it will be necessary to allow users to move and experience a given company in a personalised fashion. Web 2.0 is all about users being individually relevant. The ability to create/collaborate in creating the Web contents (e.g. via social networking interactions), using the contents or uploading information, and above all users/clients being able to create their own “Company” experience will dramatically increase the Web site appeal, and will customise the experience according to each user (or user group) needed experience level.

To clarify the segmentation (thanks also to

  • Peekers. Some users are very critical in approaching the Web, overwhelmed by information, trends and unable to follow up and close the “generational” gap from 1.0 to 2.0. The experience is scarce, driven by pure necessity and lack of alternatives. Preferred tools: profile, myHome.
  • No Frillers. Some users may be overwhelmed with information or not interested or willing to adopt a new phenomenon unless some of the parts fit a purpose (theirs). The Web and its social aspects are simply a channel amongst others to be used for a given “problem solving” exercise. Preferred tools: feed, profiles, myHome, forum.
  • Twinsumers. The power of referral is fundamental in this grouping. Twinsumers are looking for the “best available” and would not accept any other comment or indication but from a known and respected peer group. Less social than others, are very active nonetheless. Preferred tools: social bookmarking, blog, profile, wikis, myHome and feed.
  • Crowd Clout. Crowd Clout are users that have manifested their “intention”, active, they are quite likely to clout and determine the fate of a given product/service/social tendency. They are action-ready and like-minded. They are able to generate an important social movement within the “peers”. Preferred tools: profile, myHome, social bookmarking, feed, blog, upload, wikis, forum.
  • Trysumers. Experienced Web surfers, Trysumers are very active, and have full access to different information sources, reviews, and are able to compare efficiently. This allows them to try and adopt new “services” and brand new “products” with enjoyment and drive. They move fast to other items should the discovery being not up to the standard that stirred the initial interest. Preferred tools: blog, feed, content upload, social bookmarking, mashups and forums.
  • Master of Youniverse. This is one of the fundamental pillars of the new “Web”. Users within this grouping are in (perceived) total control of their Web and social experience. They determine their own space, playground, interests and network. Very active and restless, able to customise, deeply connected and strong, almost compulsive communicators. Free, mobile and independent, they share their worlds. Preferred tools: myHome, profile, widgets, social bookmarking, content upload, feed, blog, mashups.
  • Generation C. Users in this tribe are most interested in handling, managing, creating and sharing contents. Currently, the Content based markeplace and users “are” the Web. Participative, creative, willing to gather and share, these users are the engine of an evolutionary web experience. Preferred tools: blog, content upload, social bookmarking, feed, widgets, myHome, profile, wiki, mashups.

Each of this user group, plus all the others that a deep analysis of a company potential Web ecosystem may suggest, are able to deliver the best of their value, this being their transformation from “surfers” to interested prospects and clients, solely if enabled by the relevant Web tool sets.

To fill the gaps it is mandatory to understand which user groups are more likely to fit best with the market strategic scenario an organisation would like to develop, and develop accordingly with the appropriate tool sets.

Blog and social communities are generally speaking the easiest way to start implementing a “digital nervous system” for the company, as they allow for immediate interaction and response to any given corporate activity and communication (that goes viral). Social networks may sustain the overall corporate “brand equity”, not only when considering the external environment but also “internally”, within its own human resource base.

To complete the Web transformation it is thus necessary to include those features that will allow users to deeply collaborate in “creating” the new organisation identity, and thus being conceptual shareholders of the success of the company. Consolidation of all activities, from offline to online, and the launch of participative tools, such as wikis, will hit the most radical part of the Web audience.

The controlled escalation, from a discussion-enabled environment to a creative ecosystem should ensure:

  • a strong user satisfaction of the overall experience;
  • an experiential lock in;
  • a constant flow of market, users and client information directly from the source, with or without ad-hoc prompting.

However, to achieve all of the above, a company has to demonstrate a total organisation commitment, a desire to evolve and a clear end-game scenario to target.


Nokia facing stiff competition.. again!! Part 3: whoooops!!!

October 22, 2010 Leave a comment

More data are coming out from darkness..

Nokia has certainly posted a nice profit, or considering last year results, that was a nice profit, and yet some hiccups are peppering the scenario:

  • sales in the core, high growth countries are not performing as expected, Middle East-Africa andAsiaPac are slowing down Q0Q and YoY (-10% / -6% and -12% /- 9% respectively)
  • Nokia high end market is improving, 3Q10 smartphone shippings are on the rise (26, 5m units), growing by 61% YoY, but the competition from Apple and Android is eroding opportunities in high growth areas, those traditionally favourable to the Finnish giant (low-priced handset running on Android are a rather interesting option in low-income countries..)
  • 1.800 jobs will thus be cut to revamp the company’s software strategy.

Which, ultimately, it is the problem. Software. And more than this the overall customer experience value net.

iPhone is a brand per se, iTunes same story, AppStore not worth mentioning, iPad, Apps, all brands. Android is a brand. Those are all user experiences.

Symbian is not. MeeGo not even close. OviStore is for the already-a-Nokia-client, won’t move people’s heart and conquer attention share..

Software makes the difference between an average experience and a XXI century one (which is an obvious statement, but if it is so obvious, why on earth we are here discussing those results!?)

Nokia still is a brand.

Experience value net is high in Apple, fairly high in Android, averge (?) with Nokia.

What to do is there, see whether Nokia is able to stand the challenge and take back the lead. Numbers may say the opposite, but Nokia is no longer a leader, is a rather fatigued chaser.

Nokia facing stiff competition.. again!! Part 2: the hero..

October 21, 2010 Leave a comment

In Finland someone is beating the drums of war, heavily!

The (much) awaited results came in, and Nokia posted a significant +4,7% growth in sales revenue in 3Q10, this without the contribution of the new smartphone(s) that

the company hopes will reshape its fortunes

Nokia went back to profit, after a full year of rollercoaster, hitting the €529m net profit, back from a valley of tears in 2009 (- €559m same timeframe). It may well be this was done because of the dominant position in broad but yet (slightly) under-developed markets such as the ones we just commented about here.

All in all, this is a nice comeback, furthermore if considering there could be some better news ahead, provided the company does not “match race” the smartphone competition, but rather try and hit hard leveraging what is still a massive asset: the brand.

Ah, btw

Nokia shares soared after the earnings announcement, climbing 7.3% to €8.28.

Cheers anyone, this morning?! 🙂

Nokia facing stiff competition.. again!!

October 21, 2010 1 comment

Nokia new CEO Stephen Elop has got a massive challenge ahead: Nokia leading position into the mobile handset market has been challenged and almost eroded by a strange bunch of competitors.

Gone are the days in which you had to face a faster, or more creative manufacturer, today the duel is about creating hype and communities, experience and personalistion, create a new brand equity your customers will buy.

To state the truth, Nokia has still got a strong foothold into those growing econonmies, namely India, China and Indonesia (around what, 3bn people, say 70% potential phone users?), where actually the current disposable income does not allow the market to move away from “normal phones” and embrace the smartphone race..eventually not yet.

Overall Nokia seems to have dropped its stock price by a significant 32%,  and yet it seems that stock analysts from reputed firms such as Jefferies are slightly overlooking the impact Microsoft may have with its Windows Phone 7 newly launched OS, coupled with top-notch handset manufacturers to create a nicely knitted value net. It may be an endless slide..but..

All in all, we will see how the market will respond to the upcoming business results Nokia is going to post in a few hours, and still, market should not forget Nokia has got some US$10bn cash in the pocket to support a “deadly weapon” development, a new product able to push competitors out of the market!! New N8 won’t do that at all…. is ti because of the phone or the Symbian OS, a lessser (seemingly) choice if compared to Apple OS experience or Android (and, again, Win Phone 7..)

It would be nice, it is always nice to see an older hero taking back its place!! Kind of romantic, isn’t it?!?

AOL and Yahoo, Google does it all.. is it time for Net Butlers?

October 15, 2010 2 comments

Is is real, are those just rumors?? AOL is really taking over to Yahoo? Is it happening??

This morning, whilst brewing my coffee, I heard about Google posting some massive growth (again):

“Google had an excellent quarter,” said Eric Schmidt, CEO of Google. “Our core business grew very well, and our newer businesses — particularly display and mobile — continued to show significant momentum. Going forward, we remain committed to aggressive investment in both our people and our products as we pursue an innovation agenda.”

More interestingly, the BBC reporter was stressing the fact that Google keeps on scanning and investing in a range of sectors, including green energies and other “amenities”..

What strikes me is the fact that a number of market super-powers are extending their reach to serve “the net” (as a whole planet of beings, rather than else, with peculiar needs and behaviours) as if they were perfect butlers, able to serve and satisfy any need, desire, wish..

We will increasingly have “working tables” upon which express ourselves, or ask for something to be delivered and arranged exactly the way we want. And you, out there, better be good at this!!

So, no more concentration on core businesses (for those who can extend beyond boundaries), no more ramping up towards excellence or evolution (you may simply put together some innovations and there you have, evolution..), but serve, serve, serve as to drag out as much as possible in attention share..

And, ultimately, this is what is (again, yep, again..) the main currency, attention. A few days ago, I went mad at someone trying to argument about “the client being at the center..” Poor little thing, the problem is not whether your small little business is putting the client as pivot of all its activity (as if you were able to do it..), but rather if YOU ARE AT THE CENTER OF ANY CUSTOMER ATTENTION…

Having an ego sometimes is like a curse..

PS Thanks to Trendwatching..

Executives are surprised when things change. So much for innovation!

October 12, 2010 Leave a comment

Sometimes, some words are inspirational, some others make you wonder… (tks to Harvard Business Review and The Daily Stat)

Many executives are surprised when previously successful leadership approaches fail in new situations, but different contexts call for different kinds of responses. Before addressing a situation, leaders need to recognize which context governs it — and tailor their actions accordingly.

I know someone that should rush to get out the credit card and buy the article/book/whatever..

If you then consider that the link above was “related products” to the following:

The average organization has the potential to more than double its ability to make and execute key decisions. On a decision-effectiveness scale of 0 to 100, the best companies score an average of 71, while most companies score only a 28, according to Marcia W. Blenko, Michael C. Mankins, and Paul Rogers, authors of Decide & Deliver: 5 Steps to Breakthrough Performance in Your Organization.

🙂 have a nice eve!!

SlatePC on the rise, smartphone on the rise.. and salaries?!?

October 5, 2010 Leave a comment

As it seems, we are heading towards a massive technology upgrade, at society level. Slate PC are making more than simply the press, and most hardware producers are beefing up their portfolio with at least one model, ready for the Christmas rally , as mentioned before and at IFA Berlin. On tablet (slate) PC there is such a huge hype that are considered something like a media to deliver ad hoc value: Next, the UK high-street clothing company is going to sell own’s tablet PC.

Despite the fact that, when travelling this summer, in across Italy and Europe, I have seen a huge amount of netbooks and not one single iPad or the like (OK, iPad, so far..), it seems we are heading towards a massive deployment of tiny, intensive data usage devices (what about the User Generated Content once we deemed as the next big thing..) (won’t be able to do much on those “things”, or touch displays will be all capacitive and thus give the average user a good grasp on how to, say, modify a picture, give some comments on it, post it anywhere and respond to the comments into any given social site..).

On top of that, smartphones are posting growth as never before, the boost from Apple, then Android, then the new Windows Mobile OS, not to mention the steep move of RIM to release a new OS based on QNX, good for all devices (including, obviously, the new PlayBook):

Over a breakfast event today at the BlackBerry Developer Conference, a RIM VP confirmed that the QNX operating system announced in their new PlayBook tablet would in fact be finding its way to smartphones in the long run, and ultimately replace the existing BlackBerry OS. Of course that kind of major transition would take time, and he said BlackBerry 7 would likely be a stepping stone to a full switch.

So massive the rise, content providers are actually rushing to deliver for the smartphone market.

This is all so nice, ever so interesting. Still.. it is quite likely to grow in importance the “transmedia” concept (go browse!!), as it is actually interesting to notice that, in such a marry-go-round of good news, the overall consumer spending is rising, but a mere 0,4% in August (Forbes stated), whilst a Gallup research stresses the opposite. In EU, consumer confidence is on the rise (Northern?), but this does not immediately translate into “opening the purse” as nicely stated.

The point here is about levelling a tech hype, some due social advances, a dare need for innovation with a current historical and economic climate that does not cater for immediate commercial success. Better still, when analysing  market opportunities in high tech sectors, particularly in the consumer arena, quite rarely I have seen anyone take in consideration the variables such as disposable income, purchasing attitudes, replacement cycles, product substitute et alia.. far too easy to say, leveraging the top-notch sales performance into early adopters, big spenders clusters, that some “newConcept” will surge to stardom.

Markets are people. People are not made to buy technology. People are made to be happy, or dream about it.

What is an affordable, shared, valued dream? Is it really “my” dream?

It is just the start of the week, weather in Milan is grotty, thoughts may clutter a bit, but have a go at the above!