Thursday, August 30, 2012

The World of Multiscreening

Well, one time not long ago people watched TV and just relaxed, but that was before the need to comment everything you saw on Twitter or Facebook. The world of multiscreening is here at full strength. Download a report on the subject by clicking here.o

The Use and Expectations of Social Media 2012


Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Six ways to make volatility your friend

This article from Accenture discuss how to increase the company agility in order to stay ahead of the competition. If you don´t have the time to read it, just browse through the twelve-point checklist and see how your company have prepared for rough times:

  • Does your organization have at least three scenarios for how your industry is most likely to evolve over the next 36 months? Does it have good options for responding?
  • What three big opportunities would your company be pursuing if it were more agile?
  • Imagine three possible sources of competition that you haven’t thought would be likely until now. How will you respond to them?
  • Put yourself in your top competitors’ shoes. What could they do to disrupt the market in the next year, and what are your plans for outsmarting them?
  • How is your company augmenting its ability to quickly sense new market anomalies? Are you taking full advantage of the new capabilities of today’s analytics tools?
  • What are the three biggest factors preventing your organization from being more agile? How do you plan to overcome them?
  • Did you make such big cuts during the recession (particularly in terms of talent) that your agility and ability to grow have been damaged? If so, how are you compensating now for those cuts?
  • In what areas should you be collaborating with your competitors to drive changes in the market?
  • Who among your organization’s new leaders will be most effective at taking advantage of volatility? What makes them different from your longtime leaders?
  • Which of your customers are the best leading indicators of future market opportunities?
  • Where would faster decision making be of most benefit to your company?
  • Have you been able to cut your company’s fixed costs in the past few years to improve its agility?"
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    Kraft Foods: How We're Experimenting with Social TV

    Kraft Foods: How We're Experimenting with Social TV, presented by Beth Reilly from on Vimeo.

    Slides below


    Saturday, August 25, 2012

    The Perception Gap


    Thursday, August 23, 2012

    Getting Started In Social Media


    Tuesday, August 14, 2012

    Bringing style home - how tastes are shaped online

    Does the ideal ratio of couch to rug size keep you up at night? Are the exposed wires of your stereo causing you angst? Is that crocheted toilet paper cover kitschy enough to be cool? If you wonder, then you are not alone.
    For Concordia University’s Zeynep Arsel, such questions have led to exciting new research into buyer behaviour. The assistant professor of marketing at the John Molson School of Business teamed up with Jonathan Bean from Parsons The New School of Design in New York City to co-author a recent article in theJournal of Consumer Research. Together, they investigated how the notion of taste can be seen as an integral part of personal identity in addition to serving as a boundary that sets one apart from the crowd. 
    The researchers turned to a surprising source for their findings: Apartment Therapy, a popular website with a fresh take on present-day interior decorating that has had more hits than Martha Stewart’s online empire. Arsel and Bean painstakingly combed through hundreds of thousands of posts and comments on the website to uncover how its readers were forming their own notions of personal taste by following a prescriptive view of what constitutes cool when it comes to interior decorating.
    “It turns out that reading Apartment Therapy or watching a do-it-yourself home decorating show is way more than just a passive leisure activity,” explains Arsel. “It’s really an element of practice that influences how people relate to objects and what they do with them.”
    While our choices in interior decorating may begin as a simple imitation of what we see online or on TV, those decisions eventually become ingrained.
    Arsel herself was not immune to this pattern of consumer behaviour. She first came to the Apartment Therapy website out of personal curiosity rather than academic interest. “I was just getting my first apartment as a new PhD,” she recalls. “It was a lower duplex that was totally typical of Montreal and I wanted some decorating ideas to help me liven up the dark space.”
    Through personal experience and in-depth research, Arsel and Bean developed a new theory that sees taste-making as a tripartite process that involves problematization, instrumentalization and ritualization.
    First, the consumer problematizes his or her own environment by comparing it to the prescriptions on the web site and acknowledging that things could be improved. Then, they rationalize a design choice or purchase through the process of instrumentalization or, in other words, linking this choice to goals and meanings. Finally, imitation becomes ingrained behaviour through repetition and ritualization.
    “We start by looking at these decorating sites and emulating what we see. But through repeated exposure, we develop our own standards for what can in fact become personal taste,” says Arsel.


    Consumers Perceive Risk When "Price" Means More than Money

    When companies combine different pricing structures – such as asking for effort or information in combination with or instead of money – consumers perceive a greater risk in the decision to buy. 
    That’s according to University of Cincinnati research, by doctoral marketing student John Dinsmore. His paper is titled “Mental Accounting, General Evaluability Theory and the Framing Losses Posed by Partitioned Monetary and Nonmonetary Prices.”According to Dinsmore, shoppers routinely arrive at buying decisions by categorizing and evaluating prices, a process known as mental accounting that helps consumers judge a level of loss or sacrifice posed by pricing strategies.

    “Companies have lots of options when pricing products. They can charge money, or they can require something else such as watching an advertisement,” explained Dinsmore of UC’s Carl H. Lindner College of Business. 

    And in the eyes of the consumer, greater sacrifice means more risk, he added. 

    This risk can be tied to cash outlay and an additional consumer sacrifice to obtain a good or service, such as time spent evaluating product information, partaking in services or registering personal information to be granted user access.  

    Dinsmore’s research, for which he won an honorable mention from the Fordham University Pricing Center, New York, as one of three finalists in the 2012 Behavioral Pricing Dissertation Competition, consisted of an online survey of about 300 people in which he presented them with identical product descriptions and randomly used three different pricing structures. 

    Surveyed “consumers” were asked to consider different expenses (money, time and information privacy) and assess anticipated risk.

    “I found that products with multiple monetary prices did not appear any riskier than products with a single price,” he said. “Products with different price categories, for example charging money and requiring consumers to view an ad before buying a product, seemed riskier.”

    In other words, these nonmonetary costs evoke different mental considerations, a field of study known as behavioral pricing research that observes buyer behavior as it relates to characteristics behind perceived value.

    What does it mean for businesses? It’s all about striking a risk balance, Dinsmore explained. 

    “As businesses seek new ways to make money off their product or search for new revenue streams, there could be negative unintentional consequences for combining  different categories of prices, “ he stated.

    Dinsmore added that for each type of price a company attaches to a product, a different set of consumer concerns may arise: “The wider array of concerns (e.g. privacy), the riskier that product seems.” 

    Businesses will need to assess whether they can afford if their product is viewed as slightly more risky, he said.

    “Companies may be better off charging a higher monetary price than opting for a seemingly cheaper (monetarily) but combined pricing strategy,” according to Dinsmore.

    Targeting Confident Consumers? Focus on High-Level Product Features

    Confident consumers pay more attention to advertisements and product information that focus on high-level features of a product, according to a new study in the Journal of Consumer Research. Less confident consumers, however, focus on the basics.
    “When we feel confident, we think that abstract information is more relevant to us. But when we feel doubtful, we think that concrete information is more relevant. The more relevant we perceive information to be, the more we will focus on it,” write authors Echo Wen Wan (University of Hong Kong) and Derek D. Rucker (Kellogg School of Management – Northwestern University).
    The authors conducted a series of experiments to examine how psychological confidence affects consumers’ attention and scrutiny of product information.
    In one experiment, the authors induced participants to feel either confident or doubtful and then asked them to describe the action of “locking the door.” Confident people tended to describe it in terms of its high-level meaning of “securing the house,” whereas doubtful people tended to describe it in terms of its concrete action of “putting a key in the lock.”
    In another experiment, confident consumers paid more attention to an ad for a health club when the message was focused on the idea of long-term health, a high-level and abstract benefit. They paid less attention to the ad when the message was focused on the idea that they could enjoy daily workouts, a low- level and concrete benefit. When consumers felt doubtful, the opposite occurred and they paid more attention to an ad when it discussed concrete as opposed to abstract benefits.
    “Feeling highly confident prompts consumers to consider things from a global perspective and focus on the high-level and essential aspects of products, whereas feeling less confident or uncertain makes people focus on low-level and contextual details,” the authors conclude. 

    Don’t Burn Out: Enjoy Your Favorite Products More By Consuming Them Less Frequently

    Consumers enjoy products more in the long run if they don’t overuse them when first purchased, according to a new study in the Journal of Consumer Research.
    “Consumers are naturally prone to consume products they enjoy too rapidly for their own good, growing tired of them more quickly than they would if they slowed down,” write authors Jeff Galak (Carnegie Mellon University), Justin Kruger (New York University), and George Loewenstein (Carnegie Mellon University).
    We often face decisions about how rapidly to consume products we enjoy: how quickly to eat a favorite dessert; how often to listen to a favorite song; or how frequently to play a new video game. But do we make choices that maximize our enjoyment of such products? It turns out that there may a selfish reason to resist the temptation to overindulge.
    The authors asked consumers to eat a well-liked food such as chocolate or play an exciting video game either at their own pace or at longer intervals. When consumers were given the ability to choose a rate of consumption and that decision was constrained to force them to consume slowly, they enjoyed the overall experience more than those who either chose their rate of consumption in an unconstrained manner or those whose rate of consumption was chosen for them.
    Because consumers choose to consume too quickly, they don’t appreciate that spacing out consumption decreases satiation and thereby increases enjoyment. Paradoxically, we tend to make choices that will bring us less pleasure overall.
    “When you are lucky enough to be able to choose how often to consume the things you enjoy, space out your consumption. Not only will the experience last longer, but it will be more enjoyable as well,” the authors conclude. 

    Ownership Increases the Value of Products: How Does Gender Matter?

    The price a consumer will pay for a product is often significantly less than the price they will accept to sell it. According to a new study in the Journal of Consumer Research, this occurs because ownership of a product enhances its value by creating an association between the product and consumer identity.
    “Our studies support the idea that ownership enhances the attractiveness of a product because ownership creates an association between the item and the self,” write authors Sara Loughran Dommer (Georgia Institute of Technology) and Vanitha Swaminathan (University of Pittsburgh).
    In several studies, the authors found a link between possessions and consumer identity. They also discovered that men are more likely to consider a product’s association with specific social groups when making a purchase. “Men strive to differentiate themselves and group distinctions are more significant for them. In contrast, women are focused on forming connections and less likely to classify themselves as separate from others. They are less likely to purchase products because of an association with a particular social group,” the authors write.
    Businesses can benefit from creating feelings of ownership through promotional strategies such as free trials, samples, and coupons. For instance, a consumer may be more willing to purchase a couch if they are offered a free trial, clothing stores increase sales by having customers try on items, and sporting goods stores could allow consumers to try out equipment in the store to boost sales.
    However, companies wanting women to identify with and purchase their brands need to work harder to emphasize the identity differences across brands. A good example would be Apple’s recent Mac versus PC advertising campaign that depicted the distinct identities of the two brands.
    “If ownership increases the value consumers place on products, then companies could benefit from any action that creates feelings of ownership before actual purchase. Our findings regarding gender differences also suggest that in certain situations companies may benefit from prompting female consumers to make intergroup comparisons,” the authors conclude. 

    Friday, August 10, 2012

    History of Marketing Channels

    History of Marketing Channels Revisited

    Wednesday, August 8, 2012

    How Weather Conditions Change Our Shopping Behavior

    Weather conditions can play a big role when consumers are planning to purchase a car or a home.
    That’s the message from a paper published this month and co-authored by Jorge Silva-Risso, an associate professor of marketing at the University of California, Riverside’s School of Business Administration.
    Among the authors’ findings, which control for seasonality:
    • A 20 degree increase in temperature equaled an 8.5 percent increase in convertibles sold.
    • In the two to three weeks following a snow storm of about 10 inches, the percentage of four-wheel-drive vehicles sold increased 6 percent.
    • A 20-degree increase in temperature leads to a 2.1 percent reduction of black vehicles sold. And moving from overcast to clear weather reduces the sale of black vehicles by 5.6 percent.
    • A swimming pool can increase the value of a home by $1,600 if it’s sold in the summer instead of the winter.
    “People often talk about impulse buying,” Silva-Risso said. “Our research shows it is real. Our research also shows that under certain conditions consumers would do best to avoid that impulse.”
    Silva-Risso, who has been at UC Riverside since 2003, previously worked at J.D. Power and Associates and has done contract work for General Motors, Chrysler, Ford, Honda, Toyota and BMW.
    He co-authored the paper with Meghan R. Busse, an associate professor at Northwestern University, Devin G. Pope, an associate professor at the University of Chicago, and Jaren C. Pope, an assistant professor at Brigham Young University.
    The paper, called “Projection Bias in the Car and Housing Markets,” is part of a working paper series published by the National Bureau of Economic Research.
    Projection bias refers to the tendency to overpredict the degree to which future tastes will resemble current tastes. For example, the popular adage “never shop on an empty stomach” is a caution against projection bias: consumers are likely to overpredict the degree their future selves will appreciate the purchases that their current selves crave.
    For this paper the authors used data from more than 40 million new and used vehicle transactions. That represented a sample of about 20 percent of all new car dealerships in the United States from Jan. 1, 2001 to Dec. 31, 2008. The housing dataset included more than 4 million single-family residential properties that sold in the United States between 1998 and 2008.
    From a policy perspective, the results of the paper suggest that consumers would benefit from laws designed to help them better evaluate their decisions. For example, laws that allow consumers a “cooling-off period” for durable goods or goods for which consumers sign extended contracts may provide significant benefits.
    The Federal Trade Commission has a “cooling-off rule” to deal with high pressure sale situations such as door-to-door sales. However, the rule does not apply to real estate and automobile sales even though there clearly can be high-pressure sale situations for costly items.
    The authors’ findings also suggest that projection bias may be prevalent in other important decisions – such as whether to get married, take a job or have a baby – that are similarly distinguished by having large stakes, state-dependent utility, and low-frequency decision-making.

    Tuesday, August 7, 2012

    The Perils of Multitasking

    Multitasking is a way of life...but is it as efficient as we think?

    Please Include Attribution to With This Graphic
    Multitasking Infographic

    Thanks to Peter Kim and for this one.


    Saturday, August 4, 2012

    Augumented Reality - The Possibilities

    The possibilities of augumented reality are just about to be uses in several apps for smart phones and games. This is a step in morphing the digital life and real life and has many uses as I have covered in previous posts, like the one on "the dictionary of the future", or the Coke product display. The following video is made by two Israeli student filmmakers, that explores the potential of augumented reality in the future.