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B2B Marketing Key Success Factors

November 3, 2012

Below is an excellent infographic entitled “The B2B lead-gen Manifesto”, published by a landing page technology platform, Unbounce.   Along with the infographic, Unounce published some great Key Success Factor (KSFs) Nuggets for B2B marketers looking to step up their game via Content Marketing summarized here.  But we strongly encourage you to click over to check it out.

First, some somewhat surprising stats:

  • 79% of marketing leads never convert into sales
  • Nurturing leads make 47% larger purchases than non-nurtured leads
  • 85% of people would rather provide an email for an ebook vs. paying with a tweet
  • Companies that use Twitter get 2x the number of leads per month
  • 64% of decision-makers read their email via mobile devices

Next, some KSFs:

  • Principle #1. Thou Shalt Create Content that helps people achieve greater success for their business and will be willing to share their personal data for.
  1. eBooks and whitepapers: Help to establish you as a thought leader which can lead you the acquisition of customers.
  2. Blogging: Your lead can be in the form of an RSS subscriber.
  3. Videos: Add a CTA at the end.
  4. Infographics: Highly shareable content can give you greater brand exposure. Couple them with some surrounding content (like this post) and link to a landing page to generate leads.
  5. Webinars: Leverage well-known experts and co-marketing to bring in special guests from other companies to add to the desire factor.
  • Principle #2. Thou Shalt Optimize Your Lead Gen Pages.  The simplest rule to learn here is that every lead gen form – or the page it’s on – can be better. This is where A/B testing and conversion rate optimization come into play. If you’re part of an in-house marketing team or agency, you can break up the optimization workflow between your team members.  Things to test to achieve higher conversions on your B2B lead gen pages:
  1. The size of the prize: Match the perceived value of your giveaway with that of the level of data you’re asking for. I.e. don’t have a form with 10 required fields for a 5 page eBook.
  2. Try before you buy: This is a proven technique used repeatedly in B2C circles (think of Amazon’s “Look Inside”), so why not use it for your B2B campaigns? Add trust to your page by offering a totally free preview of the best section.
  3. Social proof: If you’re advertising a webinar, show a live count of registrants to encourage herd mentality. Also get your Marketing Manager to reach out for customer testimonials.
  4. A/B test your pages: Continually come up with new hypothesis to test against your original page.
  • Principle #3. Thou Shalt Market After the Conversion.  Confirmation pages are a highly neglected conversion hotspot that should be taken advantage of while your lead is at their warmest. This is known as post-conversion lead generation.
  1. For webinars: People get busy, forget, or have to attend meetings, so they inevitably miss webinars. In the case of Dan Zarrella’s world record breaking webinar (31,100 regis.trants) – 65% of registrants didn’t show up. But don’t let this be the end of the story, you now have a list of business leads, so follow up with a recording and invite them to your next event
  2. Give a bonus: To make people feel extra special, give them something else after they convert, such as another eBook.
  3. Social sharing and following: The confirmation page is the place to put your sharing and follow widgets, it removes clutter and distractions from your landing page.
  • Principle #4 – Thou Shalt Embrace the Mobile Market
  1. Make your CTA buttons big enough for fat fingers
  2. Don’t send ANYONE to a homepage: All that nudging and stretching on a smartphone is annoying and makes people hit the back button
  3. Keep your forms short: Tolerance for typing on mobile devices is low
  4. Click to call: If your prospects need a little handholding, have a clickable phone number as well as the form
  • Principle #5. Thou Shalt Nurture Your Leads.  A common marketing expression is that you should sell the fire, not the fire extinguisher. In other words, use a soft sell approach. You can do this via email by sending useful content to your leads to keep them engaged and looking at you as a subject matter expert. Over time this will create the persuasion required to turn a fence-sitter into a customer.

-read more-

 

Source: unbounce.com via Mike on Pinterest

Getting Product Right Is Imperative. But Don’t Diss Marketing!

October 20, 2012

For most New Market Entrepreneurs in the Tech space, it is religion that success is about building great product that both delights and solves real problems.  Until you do that, then nothing else matters.   That’s why most start-ups in their early days are staffed 100% with product-focused people.   But after version 1  is built, there seems to be a divergence of opinion.

Some will argue you never need anything else because good product will go viral and your users will become your sales and marketing minions… for free!  Others have the opinion that once the product is right and the concept is proven from a business model perspective– it’s time to fill the marketing tank with VC cash to fund the evangelization phase of the company’s development.  We’ve seen countless examples of both scenarios working great and also flaming out miserably.

But because we are Entrepreneurial Product and Marketing guys we think there’s an important yin/yang to this equation where both work hand-in hand.  We have shared our thoughts where great product has marketing built-in via intuitive social sharing features.  We have also echoed the important ideas of people like Steve Blank and others who passionately share the agile development philosophy that product and customer development is continuous:

For Product and Marketing-driven Entrepreneurs, there is inspiration:   The Secret Behind Pinterest’s Growth Was Marketing, Not Engineering, Says CEO Ben Silbermann

Pinterest, which CEO Ben Silbermann describes as a tool that helps people find inspiration, is now the third-largest source of referral traffic on the Internet.

But growth wasn’t easy for the company, Silbermann told a rapt audience at Y Combinator’s Startup School at Stanford University on Saturday.

The way Pinterest grew had little to do with Silicon Valley wisdom. It was about marketing — mostly grassroots marketing — not better algorithms.

In 2010, three months after Pinterest launched, the site had only 3,000 users. But some of them were active users, and those people loved the site — and both of those categories included Silbermann himself.

“Instead of changing the product, I thought maybe I could just find people like me,” he said.

So Pinterest started to have meet-ups at local boutiques, and to take fun pictures of people who attended them, and to engage with bloggers to do invitation campaigns like “Pin It Forward,” where bloggers got more invites to the site by spreading the world.

Silbermann said he realized the strategy might just be working when he heard people at a meetup having real conversations with each other about their creative projects, rather than the BS that might come from a superficial relationship on Twitter or Facebook.

“A lot of people in Silicon Valley didn’t get, and I don’t know if they still get, Pinterest,” Silbermann said. “The fact that it made sense to someone is what really mattered to me.”

Still, Silbermann added that he himself thought for a while that the secret to Pinterest’s growth woes would be finding some undiscovered Stanford grad student to build a better algorithm.

But ultimately, Pinterest didn’t need better engineering, said Silbermann. It needed better distribution.

Every month we find ourselves in similar product vs. marketing conversations with clients, consulting prospects as well as among ourselves over our own start-up projects.  In web tech, product and customer experience is indeed king.  However, we see time and time again that ‘distribution’ is no less than Prime Minister if not the wealthy benefactor funding the king.

Social Logins and Why You Need Them

October 18, 2012

When you register on a website or mobile app via social login do you use a social network or identity provider like Google or Yahoo?  Increasingly, many people are for a variety of reasons not least of which is speed and the ability to bypass remembering which username/password combo you used next time you visit.  In fact, recent research shows 77% of people prefer social login to outdated registration processes.  And similar research shows that 86% of people say they may leave a site if asked to register the traditional way.   (source is here for both those stats)  This becomes particularly true for mobile user sessions that require registration.   Who wants to fill in all that info using their mobile phone keys?

Also increasingly sites that require registration, from ecommerce, to content and everything in between are making the social login option available.  Why?

The answer is easy.  It’s all about the data.  As we have discussed many time in the recent past, Facebook’s Open graph opens a multitude of opportunities for New Market Entreprenuers.  Among them, it allows facebook members to register on your site which also allows you to gain access to a plethora of their social data (of course, you must ask permission.)  Twitter and Linked in offer similar pass alongs.   The more you know about your site’s visitors, the better you can engage them, using social media, email or just good ol’ fashioned customer service calls.

We recently discovered some great data showing the trends for social registration thanks to Janrain.  Each quarter, they analyze social login and social sharing preferences across all of their customer websites.   Take a look at the data below and click here for the report (which shares additional data by vertical).  One thing is clear, Facebook dominates the social login world.  At a billion members strong, there should be little doubt.

For the first time ever since Janrain began analyzing such data nearly three years ago, Facebook’s popularity as a chosen provider for social login eclipsed 50%.  That said, a nearly equivalent percentage of people would rather use a different social identity, such as Google, Twitter or Yahoo!, to log in to sites across the web. When it comes to social login, people want choice. 

Q3 2012 Social Login Breakdown

Facebook’s share of social logins has increased steadily during the past three years.  Facebook’s 6% growth compared to Q2 2012 primarily came at the expense of Google, whose share dropped from 30% in Q2 to 25% in Q3.  And while Twitter’s share has not flourished at quite the rate we expected three years ago, Twitter checked in at 10% share of social logins in Q3, which is an all-time quarterly high for the network.

Q3 2012 Social Login Trends

Mobile Social Login Trends

Mobile Q3 2012 Social Login Trends

On mobile applications, Facebook saw a big jump in popularity as a social login provider in Q3, while Google experienced a small decline.  Not surprisingly, these trends closely mimic desktop web preferences.

Social Share Trends

Q3 2012 Social Share Trends

Social sharing is not just for sharing articles anymore. People are now able to share comments, purchases, reviews and other content from the web to their social networks. As a result, social networks have become a recommendation engine for web users. As we all suspect, Facebook and Twitter are far and away the most popular networks for sharing, but LinkedIn and Yahoo! maintain preference on niche sites that are catered to their audience (B2B sites for LinkedIn, as an example). During the past year, Twitter has rivaled Facebook, with nearly 40% of people preferring to share content they interact with across the web to their Twitter stream.  It’s also worth noting that, since Janrain introduced the capability to support sharing via email to Gmail contacts in June 2012, we are already seeing adoption within that channel.  2% of all sharing activity on the Janrain platform occurred via Gmail in Q3, a trend that we expect will only increase over time given the continued popularity of email as a preferred channel for sharing.

If your New Market project includes the registration requirement, we strongly urge you to look into the social registration option.

DAZZMOBILE, a LaunchPad Startup, Announces First Mobile App Releases

October 12, 2012

We are excited to announce that a LaunchPad start-up company, DAZZMOBILE released its first two Showdazz Event-Mobile apps to the Apple and Android app stores!

DAZZMOBILE is taking a unique approach to event mobile.  Whether for consumer (Fandazz) or business (Showdazz) or anything in between, we believe mobile apps must facilitate deep, enriching engagement before, during and after the event.

DAZZMOBILE is proud to be working with Deltek and Software AG as our first Showdazz customers!  While these apps are attendee-only private, they signify a new set of feature-function capabilities focusing on interactive engagement including games, gamification (point accumulation), trivia and much, much more.

Selected DeltekInsight Screenshots

     

                                             see us in in GooglePlay or iTunes

Selected SAG ProcessWorld  Screenshots

    

                       see this app in GooglePlay, iPhone version coming soon. 

More about DAZZMOBILE & Showdazz

Showdazz  is designed for business-focused events from trade shows to customer forums and everything in between. ShowDazz delivers experiential solutions that fully embrace the power of a connected mobile audience in a way that captures the unique essence of the event.

All events are not created equal.  We know this.  We produce them .  What Trade Shows, User Conferences, Sales Meetings and Industry Conferences have in common is the need to attract and engage attendees and offer enough value to make them want to return and bring their friends and colleagues.  From here, the similarities end.  In fact every event is unique.  No trade show is alike.  No user conference is similar.

Enter mobile and social technology! New ballgame, baby!  Our custom branded social / mobile platform + content can uniquely engage attendees by offering a bevy of integrated smartphone, desktop, and experiences designed to elevate involvement and attendee engagement.   And our platform + content approach assures your event’s ‘snowflake uniqueness’ will be captured, defined, and celebrated.  But it doesn’t stop there.

Business event administrators have a myriad of technology point solutions at their disposal to manage registration, lead retrieval, multi-media, scheduling, polling and more. But that’s the problem!  Disparate solutions are hard to implement, manage, and get attendees to engage with.

In a marketplace jam-packed with one-off solutions, let DAZZMOBILE show you how we can springboard you toward offering your attendees, exhibitors, speakers and sponsors a platform that tracks and engages like no other.

What sets DAZZMOBILE  apart is our 25+ year heritage in event production– creating and implementing strategies to better engage live audiences–  and the unique set of insights and execution skills this experience brings.  While we have leveraged technology for decades, we are not a technology company attempting to push the same cookie cutter across the universe.  Instead, we are a content company that brings a unique ability to harness the power of today’s mobile technology, combine it with interactive content and social sharing / discovery to deliver powerful, monetizable audience engagement experiences.

Want to know more? get in touch.  Email mike at dazzmobile.com or click here to get to our site contact form.

Who noticed? iPad losing market share as tablet growth skyrockets.

October 2, 2012

Yesterday Pew published a new study focusing on mobile-device users’ news viewing habits, which in itself was quite surprising:  Mobile users are bypassing apps and consuming news on their devices via browsers.  This has the potential to be a devastating blow to the print media industry who have invested heavily in building stand-alone apps for their properties.  For more, see this excellent summary via Forbes.

What struck us, however, were a series of statistics that came out of the study regarding the growth of non-iPad tablets.  The growth over the past year caught us by surprise and is well represented by this simple graphic:

With almost 25% percent of US adults now owning a tablet of some type (and we believe this number will bump up significantly after the Holidays), the days of developing iPad-only tablet solutions are numbered.

Here’s a useful breakdown on how smartphones and tablet usage breaks out by certain demographics including education, income, employment and  age.

Who Tablet Users Are

The other interesting stat worth passing along is how people are spending their time on tablets and smartphones:

For a great summary of the report, click here for a slideshow and here for an all-inclusive infographic.

 

More Practical Advise on Building Your Following

September 28, 2012

A few days ago we shared this post offering the 70/20/10 rule of thumb for leveraging content on social media to build your following and your business.  If you have not yet had a chance to take a look, we think you will find some useful insights on how you should be thinking about sharing stuff on Facebook, Twitter, Linked In and Pinterest.

No sooner did we push ‘publish’ than this post from Hubspot (a technology platform at the forefront of automating content marketing– they call it Inbound Marketing– for companies large and small): Inbound Marketing Explained in 6 Simple Analogies.  If you are looking for a deeper understanding of the art and science associated with this style of marketing, check this piece out.   Here are some excerpts:

  • Inbound marketing is like dating …   You don’t ask someone to marry you on the first date.  But if you’re doing something like slapping ‘Contact Us’ as the only call-to-action on every page of your site, that’s essentially what you’re doing — asking your leads to get too serious, too soon.  But if you’re doing something like slapping ‘Contact Us’ as the only call-to-action on every page of your site, that’s essentially what you’re doing — asking your leads to get too serious, too soon.
  • Blogging is like jogging …  You’re going to see better results if you do it 30 minutes every other day than if you run like a total maniac just once a month.   We often hear people say they’ve tried blogging, but “it doesn’t work.” When we dig a little deeper, however, we find that they blogged three days in a row last January and then gave up when their site traffic didn’t jump. Big shock. Business blogging requires consistent, long-term effort, not short sprints of intense activity.
  • Keyword strategy is like applying to college …   You’re going to apply to reach, target, and safety schools. You might get into your reach school, your safety schools are a sure thing, and everything in between is what you’re gunning for … and with hard work, you’ll probably get in, too.   Approach your keyword selection the same way.
  • The internet is like a popularity contest …  The more people that vote for you, the more likely it is you’ll make prom queen. Or class president. Or chess club secretary.   This analogy helps people understand how inbound links work. When content is really good, people want to link to it. That’s how the “internet” knows your content is good — lots of people have linked to, or “voted for” it. And since Google only wants to return the best results in the SERPs to make their searchers happy, the more times people have voted that yourcontent is great via their inbound links, the more likely it is you’ll show up in the top search results for a related term.
  • The conversion path is like a Discovery Channel documentary …  Wait, what? Stay with me, this one’s awesome. The conversion path is like a Discovery Channel documentary. You lure an animal in, capture it, tag it, then release it back into the wild.   The conversion path refers to the process that turns site visitors into leads and customers — the call-to-action, landing page, form submission, and thank-you page. Here’s how this Discovery Channel analogy breaks down:
    • Call-to-Action (The Bait): Lure them in with a compelling offer, promoted with some enticing messaging and an eye-catching design.
    • Landing Page (The Capture): You’ve got them in your grips! You just need to make sure they don’t escape — remove your navigation, write clear copy, make sure your landing page is well optimized — before you’re able to get the information you need. Which leads us to …
    • Form (The Tag): They fill out their information so you know who they are. That way, when they leave your site to go back into that internet wild, you’ll still be able to identify them among all the other visitors when they come back to your site.
    • Thank-You Page (The Release): Once you’ve captured your lead intelligence, you can release them to explore other elements of your site, or even off-site elements like your social media accounts.
  • Marketing automation is like air travel …   You could get take three days to drive there in a car. Or you could hop on a plane and get there in 5 hours.    That’s the value of automating your marketing — where you can, at least. Let’s consider email automation, for example. You could spend time crafting a personalized email message for everyone on your email list — like, every one of the hundreds of thousands of people on your email list — and then take the time to individually email every single one of those people with your message. One. by. one. Oh, and then you can do the follow-up for all of them, too!

    Click for the entire post and/or to learn more about Hubspot.

Common-sense Advise on Growing Your Following

September 24, 2012

We frequently trumpet Content Marketing via  social media to get the word out, turning your admirers into advocates which will lead to  new-found customers who themselves become advocates where the cycle begins anew.

Ultimately, the vision is to leverage content-based social media advocacy- a key element of your marketing and sales department.   That’s right, outsiders not on your payroll perform many of the very feats of marketing and selling as your own employees!  And many companies are succeeding at it.

How to pull this off is the challenge.  Noise in social media continues to grow to deafening proportions.  Cutting through the clutter is near impossible.  How is a resource-constrained New Market Entrepreneur to add this to a plate already piled high with critical to-dos?

There is a powerful rule of thumb circulating around that goes a long way toward helping Entrepreneurs organize their Content Marketing priorities and get results.  It’s called the 70/20/10 Rule and it applies anywhere you post content in an attempt to get traction around your cause.  This includes Facebook, Twitter, Linked In and/or Pinterest.  It also includes any niche social media platform where status updates that flow into your fan/followers’ news streams.

  • 70% needs to add relevant value.    Give a tip, advice, how-to’s, link to an interesting article, talk about local news or events, ask questions; engage with your community! When posting, think to yourself, “given what we stand for (the reason your followers are following), would this post enhance their following experience?”
  • 20% needs to share other people’s content. By sharing others’ promotions, business pages, tips; you are helping spread their message to your audience. They will recognize this and most likely share your content with their network.  But don’t forget the first rule!  What you share must add value to your followers.
  • 10% can be promotional, but no more that 10%.  Ideally, these promotional messages also are highly relevant and add value.

In short, your Content Marketing is not about you.  It is about them.  It’s really hard to continuously source material that’s worthy of your cause, that is not overtly self-promoting, and that is worth the inherent distraction it will cause your followers.  However, when your content is all of these things and really good, you followers will gladly share it with their friends and followers and that’s how the cycle begins!

A few tips to help you make your postings more effective:

  • Be observant and ready to connect non-obvious dots.
  • Set yourself up with a continuous inflow of information that will serve as your source for connecting dots and sharing value added insights.
    • This is where the lion’s share of your time commitment will live.  If you leverage the very latest in powerful content curation(1) technology while focusing your sights efficiently you will actually achieve additional benefits that go beyond content marketing– namely, you will build valuable insights that will deepen your market/competitive knowledge that can only better serve future product development and sales/marketing efforts.
  • Don’t be afraid to let your own  (or your venture’s) personality show through.
  • Ask open-ended questions that encourage customers to get involved.
  • Respond promptly to customer comments posted on your page.

(1) While beyond the scope of this post, there is an arsenal of low-cost/no cost content curation technology out there that will allow you to automate the discovery of keyword-based content.  The old standby:  Google Alerts.  For a newcomer that’s  like Google Alerts on steroids, check out http://www.bottlenose.com (a real time social discovery engine).

If you are unwilling or  unable to dedicate at least one hour/day,  (every day) of your own or a staffer’s time, social-media based content marketing is probably not for you.    However, if you can find the time remember that it will pay off in many ways beyond building your following leading to greater awareness/interest and action for your product and/or service.   The positive side benefit of this commitment will help you become more informed about your space which will lead to better down-stream decisions in product, marketing and sales.

Good luck!

How Twitter is Changing Pro Sports Fandom. It’s Only The Beginning.

September 16, 2012

Sports fans who have not yet turned to Twitter for real-time info on their favorite team/athletes are missing out big-time.  We wanted to share excerpts from this recent, thoughtful piece  outlining the profound ways that Twitter is changing the rules for sports media and the fans who devour this material.  One of our internal startup projects, DAZZMOBILE, has been watching this Twitter-Fandom phenomenon unfold over the past 18 months.  After these excerpts we’ll share our views on how and why we feel Twitter  is only the beginning for sports fans!

What’s amazing to me as an outside observer is how quickly Twitter has changed how we consume sports content, and how people in all parts of the sports world interact. I’m old enough to remember how ESPN and SportsCenter killed off the daily newspaper box score, but the absorbtion of Twitter has cut across multiple segments of the sports world, at something like 10 times the speed. Quickly, let’s break it down by category:

Sports Media — Twitter is the new AP Wire

Years ago when I was a daily newspaper sports writer, the most addicting thing in the world was to go to the office to read the Associated Press wires. Those (expensive!) information streams brought scores and stories to our computers from everywhere around the world, a level of information and access that you could never fit in any bundled up package of newsprint. I also remember the charge I would get when our own stories would occasionally be picked up for national or international distribution. It was this cool secret society of people who were way more in the know about sports than your average fan on the street.

Teams and Athletes — A Direct Pipe to Fans and Followers

Beyond the media’s expected embrace is the growing coolness of athletes and teams using Twitter as a direct communication mechanism, a trend that may put a lot of boring sports reporters out of business. Who needs or wants to read bland press-conference quotes when you can hear or even talk to athletes and teams directly?

While I don’t think it will really kill off the need for sports reporting the ability to teams and athletes to circumvent the media process and connect directly with their followers has changed the sports business forever, in mostly a good way. In Twitter’s short life span we’ve already gotten much closer to athletes and the lives they lead both on and off the field. It’s made things both more interesting and more complicated but unquestionably more rich and informative. And it’s only really just begun.

Sports Marketing gets a Free, Always-On way to Announce

Another field just getting started but sure to explode is the use of Twitter for sports marketing purposes. Some savvy brands, like TaylorMade golf, are already big users of Twitter to engage fans who follow athletes in the sports their products are used. Around the big golf tournaments this year TaylorMade was all over Twitter, with fan contests, links to pictures of athletes in action, interactive chats and more. No longer do brands or teams need to wait for a media outlet to stage a press event, a promotion or simply to announce something new — they can go straight to Twitter and get the message rolling.

Fans Get a Powerful, Free Way to Make Their Voice Heard — And Communicate with their Heroes

Finally, Twitter has forever changed how a large group of fans will interact with their favorite sports and athletes. Not only can you easily follow the media and athletes as outlined above, but with a small amount of skill you can also directly communicate with top athletes the world over, in a much more rich way than ever before possible — and at a sort of arm’s-length distance that makes it easier and comfortable for the athletes to participate.

The best example of this is the fact that a “retweet” has become the new autograph. Instead of standing around for an hour after the game and trying to shove a picture or a program toward an athlete to sign — how meaningful — you can now try to get that athlete to retweet or respond to your tweet, an act that usually requires either some original thinking or at the very least an honest emotion.

-read more-

DAZZMOBILE has generated research that suggests a large driver behind sports fans’ use of Twitter is its mobile superiority.  Fans can dial in to a hashtag-based stream of live updates on their favorite topics with a couple of clicks, stay tuned to these updates and add updates of their own whenever they wish from wherever they are.  The net effect is to create a stream of topical banter around the event we like to refer to as a ‘virtual Superbowl party’.   With over 500 Twitter million users, most teams are sure to have an active dialog before, during and after gametime.  Ditto the popular athletes.

It’s all good.  In fact, it’s great.

But it will get even better.  Here’s why.  We call it the ‘Birds of a feather’ effect.  Twitter is diffuse.  When fans are in fan mode, they want to immerse themselves in the experience.   They want to be where the crowd is while they enjoy private conversations with their closest fan/friends.   In short, when they can’t be at the game, they want to simulate the at-the-game experience.  Twitter just doesn’t offer this.  We have written often about our conviction that the “Birds of a feather” effect will lead to Niche Social Networks.  It’s happening.  Here are but three recent examples.  What they all have in common is that they offer a better way for birds of a feather to be together.

  • The rapid ascent of Pinterest as visual social haven for women
  • Teens bolting from Facebook into Instagram
  • Niche-enthusiast apps like StockTwits (this serves as a double whammy as this week StockTwits, originally built on top of Twitter, just spun out of Twitter onto its own,independent platform!)

Whether at the game, in the sports bar, out-of-town looking to dive in to the action remotely, or at home, fans are turning to dedicated team platforms that offer an immersive experience.   And it’s not just limited to sports fans.   If you are new to this blog, see what we’ve posted on the topic of  Second Screen / Social TV.  In short, fans will desire more than just text-based feeds.  For next-generation team-specific platforms like DAZZMOBILE’s Fandazz,  dedicated text feeds are just the beginning.  These new platforms also offer games, trivia, media clips, stats, and– most important– the ability to earn status points as a fan.  What’s more, while exclusive to a given team’s fans, these platforms also allow users to automatically and selectively share out to their mass social networks like Facebook and Twitter– the best of both worlds.

Twitter just can’t compare due to its limitations. First, it is time-consuming to monitor more than one hashtag associated with a team (it can be done, but most aren’t aware or don’t know how).   Second, many tweeters don’t understand the use of hashtags which means their banter is not picked up– leave fans feeling like they are on the periphery.  Third, at any given time a small fraction of a given teams’ fans are using Twitter–  like being far way from the stadium only able to hear the dull roar of the crowd.

Team management has an added incentive to facilitate the transition from Twitter-banter to a dedicated platform:  Because they do it every home game, teams are uniquely qualified to offer the ultimate experience for their fans.  Platforms like Fandazz offer teams  a swiss army knife of custom, team-branded experiences that make Twitter look like Dixie cups tied together with string.  And because teams control the platform, they also control the monetization opportunities… something not possible when teams let Twitter serve the banter.   We call this the Third Arena.  Teams control their arena/stadium.  They own or get a piece of  TV rights.   Until Fandazz, they were missing the biggest percentage of their fans… The Third Arena: those who cannot be at the game and may not be able to watch on TV. Even when they are watching on TV, many have added a second screen to their viewing experience.

Twitter enhanced fandom is cool.  But dedicated team social/mobile/second screen platforms are about to make it a whole lot cooler.  If you want to learn more about DAZZMOBILE’s Fandazz offering, click here.

Smartphone Adoption Growth Will Taper Off | What it means

September 11, 2012

A lot of new smartphone penetration stats have come to light in recent days.  We thought we’d share some highlights along with some observations on what they mean for fellow New Market Entrepreneurs looking to build businesses upon the mobile wave.

It’s true that nothing lasts forever and it appears that, at least here in North America, smartphone adoption has officially entered ‘the back nine”.    Consider:

  • Mobile phone users now on smartphones
    • Pew says that among mobile phone owners smartphone penetration is 53 percent.
    • Nielsen says that it’s now 55 percent
    • comScore reports that smartphone penetration is just over 49 percent.
    • Flurry Analytics, the outlier, said in a recent report that 78 percent of US mobile phone owners now carry smartphones.
  • No surprise the younger and more affluent demographic has embraced at an even higher rate.  Here’s a demographic breakdown of smartphone ownership from Pew

Henry Blodget recently shared an analysis that supports that smartphone sales growth will taper off.  If you are building a new market venture that depends upon smartphone penetration, you need to take a look.   Here are some highlights:

Recent data suggest that the U.S. smartphone market is already more than halfway penetrated. This is important, because the growth rate of most technology markets tends to slow rapidly once the halfway point has been reached.

Let’s put some numbers on this.

  • There are approximately 310 million people in the United States.
  • Of these people, approximately 250 million are over the age of 14.
  • According to Comscore, about 235 million of these Americans use mobile devices
  • It seems likely that almost all of these folks will eventually have smartphones.
  • This creates a “total addressable market” for smartphones of about 225 million people in the U.S.

Henry goes on to site the same stats mentioned above to make the case that the 255 million addressable market is over 50% penetrated.  He then goes on to observe that thanks to the standard adoption curve, growth will taper off as markets reach 50% penetration (thanks to the math and lack of urgency behind the late majority and the laggards tend to adopt.

As the chart shows, the peak of market growth in terms of annual unit gains occurs around the halfway mark. Shortly after the halfway point is reached, the number of incremental new users each year begins to decline. And soon, when the market becomes saturated, unit growth flattens.

This would seem to be validated by this chart:

Net Adds

What does it all mean?

So what does this mean for New Market Entrepreneurs looking to capitalize on smartphone adoption?  Honestly, it’s a glass half-empty or half-full proposition where the true answer rests in examining the demographic you are hoping to win over.   We believe there will be continued rapid growth in the young/affluents to close to 100% (We believe it will cap out btw 85-90%).  Whereas the older, less affluents will be much slower to adopt and will never get close to 50% penetration.

In the high penetration potential demographic markets, if you are offering a me-too product, you will be lost in the shuffle as everybody is also gunning for them.  Alternatively, if you can offer something unique to the late adopters and/or laggards, you may be able to help to define and own a new market.  In short– as is always the case in winning new markets– you must carefully assess your target market alternatives and develop product/solutions that will make a difference.

But wait, there’s more:  tablets!  The market penetration story of the tablet space is only just beginning.  Of course, Apple’s iPad is lapping everybody else right now.  Sure, tablets are not currently as ubiquitously (inexpensively) mobile as smart phones.  And they are not as infinitely portable as smart phones.   But when considering mobile-related New Market Opportunities one cannot overlook the complementary, upside market potential of tablets.

Left vs Right-brain Marketing [infographic]

September 4, 2012

Here at LaunchPad we can proudly proclaim we are offer a homogenized array of left/right-brain services.  We’ll let you discover for yourself who is who in our bios at Launch-Pad.co !   We discovered an infographic today from Marketo that compares and contrasts the characteristics of “lefties” vs “righties”.   Enjoy!

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