Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Where in the World is Mobile Web Usage Highest?


Royal Pingdom released this study of global benchmarks for mobile web usage as a percent of total web usage by region.  Worldwide mobile users currently make up about 3.8% of all visitors to web sites. The finding that Asia and Africa exceed rest of world for this benchmark by 2x or more is completely in line with our own global research conducted with MoneyGram this Oct, which identified a similar mobile leapfrog happening in these two regions to about the same extent. Of course that’s a function of these regions having far fewer PC-based surfers in these areas, but the fact that a cheap Nokia unit with a basic browser can get someone online who otherwise couldn’t afford a PC w dial-up can’t be ignored.


Other US client sites we track seem to get 2-3% of web visits from mobile OSs, and generally iOS is #1 (iPhone and iPod), Android is 2nd and RIM is 3rd.




Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Global Payments: One Size Does NOT fit all

This article would have been a near-perfect input to a payments brainstorm I led last week for a client:




  - China has the largest group of internet users in the world, but a very low card penetration rate... which has NOT slowed the growth of ecommerce.

  - In Brazil, cards are used online, but installment payments are common.

  - In Germany, people have cards but don't like to use them online.

  - And in Europe and Asia, COD is still popular, even for online ordering.


Amazing how well this article frames the country by country opportunities based on user habits, not technology.


Sunday, September 19, 2010

The multi channel challenge

NYTimes: Why Bricks and Clicks Don’t Always Mix

The story of Netflix over Blockbuster is one of innovation for sure. It's a story of timing and of having the digital rising tide at your beckoning. But most of all, it's a story of channel focus. It's hard enough to manage a business in one channel, let alone two. As recently as 2005, analysts saw Blockbuster as a sure thing. But now, it's clear in hindsight that running a digital business well Could not be done as effectively when managing brick and mortar stores, Blockbuster's managers tried to do.
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Saturday, September 11, 2010

The world is going online

A couple of decent benchmarks in US and global traffic. In addition to Facebook taking number one in total minutes in the US:
Google crosses 1B users globally for first time, and Yahoo number one in total monthly traffic globally:
"In a research note on the latest monthly traffic figures from comScore, Citigroup analyst Mark Mahaney pointed out that Google said its number of global users crossed 1 billion for the first time last month. But Yahoo edged out Google in August to become the top site in monthly traffic, with 179 million unique visitors. Google had 178.8 million, followed by Microsoft with 165.3 million. Facebook remained the fourth-ranked site, at 148 million, up from 145.5 million in July. Rising traffic combined with increasing time spent on the site bodes well for Facebook's efforts to monetize its vast inventory."
FB ads are particularly sticky when a friend likes them:
"Research from Nielsen earlier this year showed people are 68% more likely to remember an ad and twice as likely to remember what it said when they see a friend has interacted with the ad on Facebook. The company struck a deal with Nielsen last year to help provide data to marketers demonstrating that its display ads work."

Point systems reward contributors

The McKinsey Quarterly says social starts with consumer needs, not the corporation.

check out

This article holds two gems: 1) Treat word of mouth as its own media type, and all of sudden you can measure it. And 2) Recognize that recognition is one of the most important drivers of participation. To me, that says an essential component of any initiative is to build in ‘fame feedback loops’ into whatever word of mouth or user-generated content program you do. Scoring, badges, points, credits—any or all of these make this a competition for your audience, not just a contribution with no hope of getting anything in return.
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Friday, September 3, 2010

Eric Schmidt's bad attitude gets Times Square airing

Consumer Watchdog's has taken its online privacy campaign to New York's Times Square, where it has purchased a 540 sq. ft. Jumbotron digital advertisement promoting an animated video satirizing Google CEO Eric Schmidt's attitude toward consumer privacy.

"We're satirizing Schmidt in the most highly trafficked public square in the nation to make the public aware of how out of touch Schmidt and Google are when it comes to our privacy rights," said Jamie Court, president of Consumer Watchdog, and author of The Progressive's Guide To Raising Hell (Chelsea Green, September 2010).

"America needs a 'Do Not Track Me' list and Google is Exhibit A in the case for it." Titled "Don't Be Evil?" the avatar-style animation features Schmidt driving an ice cream truck and secretly spying on children. The animated short was produced by the nonprofit consumer group to shine a spotlight on the need for Congress to enact a national "Do Not Track Me" list.

View the animated short here:

View the 15 sec. digital Jumbotron ad here:

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Google aims for the next platform

Imagine the inhabitants of Earth in 100 years. They have spoiled the planet beyond use. They need to move, all 20 billion of them.

The effort to jump the ship of mother Earth involves finding a new planet, building a ship and making the trip, and then settling in.

Anticipating the end of the PC revolution, Google has begun the first phase of the move. Mobile is the new planet, and Android is the spaceship.

Google may be in the doldrums but they have a history of bouncing back. While GOOG is down $150 this year, they are in investment mode. Mobile is around the corner, and as Android phones pump out into the market, GOOG is quietly seizing a platform of global breadth. While the Nexus One experiment hasn't hit, that was simply a marketing failure.  It's a great little phone. Android on the other hand, is aiming for world dominance and has been extremely well packaged so far, positioned as a techies revolt and user friendly interface. It's now the fastest selling mobile OS worldwide.

Google has to wait to reap the rewards of this platform. There's work to be done, specifically aggregating, processing and remixing location- and behaviorial-based data into insights for each user.

In the Journal today, Eric Schmidt offers a wide open view of Google's new strategy.  He's appealing to investors to jump on the new ship. Says Eric:

' "In general in technology," he says, "if you own a platform that's valuable, you can monetize it." Example: Google is obliged to share with Apple search revenue generated by iPhone users. On Android, Google gets to keep 100%. That difference alone, says Mr. Schmidt, is more than enough to foot the bill for Android's continued development." '

And, he takes another swipe at the Great American Newspaper:

'"The only way the problem [of insufficient revenue for news gathering] is going to be solved is by increasing monetization, and the only way I know of to increase monetization is through targeted ads. That's our business."'

The interview is here: