On Tuesday, January 25th, MITX had its first event of the year, and it was fitting that it came at the end of our blog series about 2011 predictions. Fitting, because our first event was a fireside chat with Nicholas Negroponte, co-founder of the MIT Media Lab, Founder of the One Laptop Per Child non-profit, and all-around thought-leader and forward thinker in our industry. Larry Weber moderated the discussion, which covered Negroponte’s views and predictions on the intersection of technology, media and entertainment and where it’s all heading.
Dianne Durkin, President of Loyalty Factor, led an engaging panel this morning on the generational differences in communication and work style that affect employees in offices across the globe. The speakers included Mary Truslow, Recruiting Manager, Creative Services & Marketing Division, Hollister; Kate Forrestall, Manager, Global Recruitment, TripAdvisor; Healy Jones, Vice President of Marketing, OfficeDrop; and Dan Lyons, SVP HR, Allen & Gerritsen. The presenters shared personal stories and insights, and audience participation was encouraged. Special thanks to Hollister for hosting this great event!
The goal of this event was to determine the specific characteristics of each generation in order to develop methods to promote healthy and effective communication at work. Each of the four generations making up today’s workforce can be characterized by a set of values stemming from family belief systems, and the defining events of the time period.
The Generations: Quick Facts
On Tuesday, January 25th, MITX is hosting a Fireside Chat with Larry Weber, Chairman of the W2 Group and Founder of Weber Shandwick, the world’s largest PR firm, and Nicholas Negroponte, Co-founder and Director of the MIT Media Lab and Founder of One Laptop Per Child. We asked Larry for a sneak peek of what to expect, so check out his debrief below on how the convergence of technology and media has played out in the past, and where it’s going next.
Guest post by Joe Baz. Check him out at Above the Fold, and follow him on Twitter!
On November 18th, MITX held the 2010 Interactive Awards ceremony at the Copley Marriot in Boston. Nearly 1,000 people showed up to celebrate the year’s finest advertising, marketing and design work from local brands, agencies, freelancers and in-house experts.
Guest post by Barbara Goose. As Executive Director for Digitas Boston and Detroit, Barbara is responsible for operational and client leadership in those offices. Follow @Digitas on Twitter! This is one of several guest posts in the MITX 2011 Perspectives Blog Series. Stay tuned for more posts by Boston's most influential thought leaders.
Being social has evolved since the dawn of time. We are, at our core, very social beings—it’s the way we live, and it’s the air we breathe. People want to connect with other people. And now, we have technology that enables our human connection and takes it to new levels.
Enter social media. Has there been a bigger marketing buzzword in the last few years? Probably not. It’s a term that’s taken on a life of its own. But social media isn’t what it once was. It’s becoming something bigger—something more meaningful: “social marketing.”
What’s the difference? While social media broadcasts foursquare check-ins and product announcements, social marketing asks consumers what they want and works with them to get it, whether it’s a new use for a household product or an unbiased review for a car they want to buy. Social media is the guy at the party who won’t stop talking; social marketing is the friend who wants to hear what you have to say.
Seventy four percent of consumers rely on social networks to guide purchase decisions (source). But they’re not only relying on a Facebook page that says “buy me.” They’re listening to one another online—consumer reviews are trusted nearly 12 times more than descriptions that come from manufacturers (source).
However in 2011, social marketing won’t stand alone. Its innate partner, mobility, will be right alongside. Mobility, the newest muscle in digital, is quickly becoming our primary connection to friends, family, work, and overall culture. The launch of the Verizon iPhone last week and the “year of the tablet” in full swing are examples of where we’re headed.
This social-mobile connection (SoMo) gives people personal, instant access everywhere at anytime. Whether it’s chatting, learning, sharing, or shopping, connecting has never been easier. SoMo opens up a world of opportunities.
Adapted from this interview with MITX board member Sarah Fay. This is one of several guest posts in the MITX 2011 Perspectives Blog Series. Stay tuned for more posts by Boston's most influential thought leaders.
Guest post by Brian Cavoli, Marketing Director at BzzAgent. Follow Brian on Twitter! This is one of several guest posts in the MITX 2011 Perspectives Blog Series. Stay tuned for more posts by Boston's most influential thought leaders.
Marketing in 2011 is about the power of the group. If there is one thing we learned in 2010, it was that the collective power of people connecting in social media can drive some serious sales. In the coming year, the social media practices of motivating consumers to get their friends, family, and followers to organize around a purchase activity will be the most effective way for companies to sell online. This won’t be driven by marketers looking for another way to push messages or hoping their viral videos take off -- it will be driven by Social Media’s ability to provide unique group experiences and shared value. The message may come from the marketer, but the marketing comes from the people.
The perfect example of this is the group buying phenomenon Groupon. Everyone’s been talking about them this year - and for good reason. Forbes referred to them as fastest growing company in history. It is always fascinating when a hot company turns down billons from Google, but what makes the Groupon story so important is how it has transformed social marketing and connected the web to massive retail store sales.
Group buying certainly isn’t new. (Remember Mercata?) Some of the earliest and most well-funded ecommerce sites on the web were attracting like-minded shoppers to get better deals in bulk. The problem was they weren’t social. The deals didn’t get people excited, and unexcited people tend not to share things too much.
The world is different now. The Internet has become a social marketplace. Groupon has cracked the local ad market and spawned countless numbers of imitators, but the next year will bring the expansion of this concept to a wide variety of new industries. Consumers are already sharing their latest purchases with each other for everything from scented soaps to Cisco servers. The companies that can reach a targeted audience with valuable, exclusive offers can turn that buzzing into buying.
Plenty has been written about Groupon clones and high-profile sale sites like Rue La La and Gilt Groupe. But the underlying trend is spreading fast. eBay is bringing group buying to gift giving with GroupGifts, GotGroupBuy.com is offering all types of electronics, and brides can join forces for great deals on jewelry and honeymoons on a new Knot.com site. In China, Mercedes sold 205 Smart cars in 204 minutes on a group buying site. I predict this kind of innovation will crop up in whole new verticals like insurance, financial services, and even health care, to improve the customer buying process. Look for companies to break down the walls around how groups coordinate to buy these products in 2011.
Sites like these are not about advertising. They use a promotional approach to create the kind of buzz that gets a group of people talking and buying. It takes much more than just a great deal. Here are 4 keys for “we-commerce” success in 2011:
Guest post by Emily Nagle Green, Chairman of the Board, Yankee Group, and MITX board member. Follow Emily on Twitter! This is one of several guest posts in the MITX 2011 Perspectives Blog Series. Stay tuned for many more posts by Boston's most influential thought leaders.
Are you enjoying all these prognostications from your friends at MITX? Time for an industry analyst to weigh in. I want to talk about the next technology disruption heading towards us; one which will take the full decade to fully unfold, but which is gathering steam now. It's called 4G, shorthand for fourth-generation mobile networks.
"Oh no," you sigh. "I don't have the energy to digest a big wave of hype right now," you think to yourself. Hang on -- I'm not here to tell you that 4G is going to change our world in the coming year. Far from it. In fact, 2011 is likely to be the year of mostly pain and confusion around 4G, particularly in the U.S. But you still need to know.
Why pain and confusion? Almost all big revolutions in technology start with someone -- and I'm not sure if there were industry analysts back in Alexander Graham Bell's day, but I guarantee that someone played that role -- looking at some tech breakthrough and suddenly seeing, with great clarity, what will inevitably transpire in the world as a result. But those same experts can rarely predict correctly the twists and turns that a complex ecosystem will experience in the near term as it lurches towards large-scale adoption of a revolutionary new technology platform.
Here's what I think you need to know about 4G for 2011:
There are lots of sources for info on what 4G technology is; suffice it to say here that 4G networks are faster and higher capacity than current cellular systems. That means better experiences on mobile devices like smartphones, tablets, cars (yes), and many more yet to emerge. Importantly for mobile network operators, once the conversion has been made, 4G networks promise to be much cheaper to operate on an on-going basis than current mobile network technologies, and will let them more easily offer new kinds of mobile services to consumers and businesses. That likely improvement in the efficiency of operating a mobile network that will be in high demand by all of us and our gizmos is one of the factors Yankee Group believes will propel adoption of the technology by the network operators.
And in fact, fourth-generation mobile communications networks are en route, or may have already arrived in your neighborhood. That is, if you agree with various network operators' appropriation of the term "4G" to what they're beginning to offer. In fact, that's the first point of confusion in 2011: there isn't broad agreement on which of several new technologies really qualify to use the term. Using the term broadly, in the US there are already 4G network offerings emerging from T-Mobile, Sprint, and Verizon Wireless.
Uptake won't be terribly fast in this first full year of multiple 4G networks; that's the second point of confusion, as businesses try to calculate how much time and effort to invest in supporting the industry's move to 4G in these early days. Yankee Group predicts less than a third of one percent of mobile users will be using a 4G network by the end of 2011. Part of the problem will be the need for our mobile devices to support the technology; another problem will be confusion in users' minds about what 4G is. Our surveys suggest that less then 25% of the US population today knows what it is and why they'd want it. (Within enterprises, among buyers of mobile services, awareness is higher but still challenging for mobile network marketers to sell into.)
But beyond 2011, growing numbers of users of 4G networks will each spend more time on the mobile internet. Result: similar to the impact that the introduction of the iPhone had on mobile apps -- unleashing users who said, "Oh, now I get it!" to the idea of using the Internet on a mobile device -- there will be a wave of even greater engagement with the mobile web. Mobile app revenue will continue to rise.
So the reason you need to know now, despite all the confusion ahead for 2011: Companies that begin to invest now in mobile web site improvements and media-rich mobile experiences for their customers, employees, and partners will benefit. The mobile web is here to stay, even if its evolution to a faster, more economical, and more satisfying infrastructure will be a bit of a bumpy road for a while.
Here's to a confused, but faster, 2011!
Did you just discover this series? Don't worry! You can check out our last post, by Mike Afergan, here!
Guest post by Mike Afergan, CTO & SVP of Advertising Decision Solutions at Akamai. This is one of several guest posts in the MITX 2011 Perspectives Blog Series. Stay tuned for more posts by Boston's most influential thought leaders.
1. What will be the biggest trend or innovation for 2011?
A big trend with lasting impact for 2011 will be the shift towards a more relevant Web for consumers. The power of this trend starts in the fact that it's beneficial for (and will soon be required by) consumers. The success of the trend comes from the fact that it is also hugely beneficial for marketers.
The experiences that individuals are coming to expect on the Web – on-demand access to content of particular interest to them – will largely shape how people come to accept the advertising that they see. Today, people set up and read personalized news feeds, follow the musings and links of their friends and colleagues on Facebook and Twitter, and access videos of their choice on iTunes and Hulu. The Web today has evolved towards tailoring for the individual.
Online ads will necessarily follow that trend. Frankly, if they didn't it would create a bizarre experience for consumers who are accustomed to a relevant experience everywhere else. A parallel can be drawn to standard definition ads shown on HDTVs. Quickly, brands have begun to realize that showing old ads on new TVs has significant and negative brand impact – that the cost of creating ads in HD is far less than the cost to the brand of using the old, SD ads.
As social marketing matures, marketers will have to be mindful of generation gaps. But, thanks to awesome groups like TNGG (The Next Great Generation), we are learning how to be mindful of multigenerational preferences in our marketing.
But we also need to address how multigenerational workforces are affecting our organizations – how teams work together, how managers motivate different generations, and how the recruitment process needs to consider the different preferences of each generation.
Guest post by Dean Whitney. Dean runs a social media ad agency, is a sought after speaker, blogger and has worked with many of the world’s most recognized brands and collaborated with top agencies. Follow him on Twitter, and check out his blog! This is one of several guest posts in the MITX 2011 Perspectives Blog Series. Stay tuned for more posts by Boston's most influential thought leaders.
For brands that are going to be successful, 2011 will be more focused on building awareness. The job of marketers has always been to reach customers at the point where they are most influenced to purchase products. That’s why P&G in the early years decided to produce TV shows to target housewives - hence the term "soap opera." Social media has changed fundamentally how consumers purchase products and services.
Guest post by Nitzan Shaer, Managing Partner of High Start Group. Follow Nitzan on Twitter! This is one of several guest posts in the MITX 2011 Perspectives Blog Series. Stay tuned for many more posts by Boston's most influential thought leaders.
Guest post by Jeff Janer, Co-Founder & CEO of Spring Partners, and MITX board member. Follow Jeff on Twitter! This is one of several guest posts in the MITX 2011 Perspectives Blog Series. Stay tuned for many more posts by Boston's most influential thought leaders.