Tag Archives: eMarketer

Making Snacks

Another thought-provoking report from the folks at eMarketer last week.  This one is called “The Smartphone Class: Connected Consumers Transform US Commerce and Culture.”  When you think about it, are you aware of anyone who has purchased a new phone in the last year that hasn’t bought a smartphone of some sort?  I don’t want to sound like a techno-snob and I’m well aware that the installed base of “feature phones” – those that some things such as text beyond just voice but aren’t really smart phones (Android, iPhones, etc.) is still pretty large (as in almost half), but giving them a ton of thought is akin to filming TV showsin black and white when color became the norm.

While Apple has not listened to my complaints ...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In any event:

eMarketer estimates nearly 116 million Americans will use a smartphone at least monthly by the end of this year, up from 93.1 million in 2011. By 2013, they will represent over half of all mobile phone users, and by 2016, nearly three in five consumers will have a smartphone.

Turns out, eMarketer underestimated how quickly they’d be the majority:

50.4% of U.S. mobile subscribers owned smartphones in March 2012, up from 47.8% in December 2011, according to Q1 2012 data from Nielsen Mobile Insights. Broken down by operating system: Android was first with a 48.5% share, followed by Apple’s iOS (32%), RIM‘s BlackBerry (11.6%), Windows Mobile (4.1%), Windows Phone (1.7%), and other (2.1%).

What’s interesting is how this has changed user behavior.  People with these devices are “always on.”  They are constantly consuming content, generally in small increments.  A few minutes of news, a funny video, 10 minutes of a game while commuting.  The issue becomes how are the old guard of content producers adapting?  It’s great that TV shows are available across platforms, but the study tells us that a 20 minute TV episode is unlikely to hit the sweet spot of consumption.  Could it be that the nature of TV itself changes?  What made the 30 or 60 minute episode king other than an ability to tell people when to tune in?

So while “consuming content in frequent, small portions means more touch points for marketers,” it seems to me that users want to be touched differently from how they’ve been in the past.  If we’re producing content, we need to keep that in mind.  And I’ll just leave it there before we head into weirdness.

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But enough about me…

We’ve all been to the party where someone is firmly ensconced in a corner or at the bar telling tales about their favorite subject:  themselves.  Sometimes, especially if we’ve never heard them before, these stories can be funny and interesting.  I don’t know how you feel but I always get a little weary of them after a while.  If you hang around long enough, inevitably the person senses a fresh audience and repeats the same old tales, always with themselves in a leading role.  Then again, given the ages of some of my friends (and your author), it’s quite possible to write the repetition off to having forgot that they’ve told the tale already!  Maybe by telling the same stories these folks give themselves the appearance of establishing intimacy while really doing nothing of the sort.  We’ll leave that to the psychologists.

I bring this up this morning because of a piece I read on how brands are using Facebook and how their behavior reminds me of the tale-tellers at the cocktail party.  The report was in eMarketer, and the gist is this:

In December 2011, consulting firm A.T. Kearney analyzed the conversations happening on Facebook between 50 of the world’s top brands and their fans, comparing their interactions to those in December 2010.

The study found that in 2011, 94% of the 50 top brands’ Facebook pages directed users to a one-way communication page, such as a tab or a closed Facebook wall that didn’t allow consumers to initiate a conversation. This was up from 91% of the top 50 brands’ pages in 2010. Additionally, 56% of those brands did not respond to a single customer comment on their Facebook page in 2011; the same percentage of nonresponses as in 2010.

I suspect that part of this is due to those brands not wanting to deal with issues such as moderation (how to look for and deal with offensive comments and language), or full-time support of social marketing efforts.  Too bad.  Like the person who speaks only about themselves, these companies might think they’re engaging with their audience while the reality is they’re turning them off.  I’m sure you’ve been on company pages that are nothing more than an endless stream of promotions.  I’ve taken more than a few of those out of my news feed and I gather from the research I’m not alone.

If we’re going to use the tools of modern marketing the way we used the older, non-interactive tools, we’re missing the point and wasting the advantages these newer forms of marketing can bring.  That’s what I think – what do you think?

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3 Reasons Companies Aren’t In Social (Yet…)

Let’s start the year with a quick report on a survey released over the holidays wich you might have missed (the study, not the holidays – hope you had great ones!).  It comes from InSites Consulting via eMarketer and the report begins with the understatement of the year (which at this point is pretty easy to be).  The topic is social media, something that as we enter 2012 is not a “what” but a “how” issue for most businesses.  But let’s start at the beginning. Continue reading

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