Friday, January 18, 2013

David Pogue validates our prediction about CES

Last year we predicted that CES would diminish next year, and I think the decrease in the amount of coverage indicates proves that. 

But in yesterday's New York Times, consumer tech columnist David Pogue wrote a column that validates our prediction: "Spicing Up a Ho-Hum Tech Show." 

Check out the opening sentences:
Hi boss! I’m back from the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. You assigned me to report on what’s new and exciting, but I have some bad news. The answer is: almost nothing.
I mean, think about it: Apple, Google, Microsoft and Facebook don’t even attend C.E.S.; they’d rather make their product announcements on their own schedules without being locked into this every-January thing. It’s still a big show, bigger than ever this year, with 3,200 exhibits and 150,000 attendees, but I wonder why people bother. Whose product announcement will get any press at all when it’s buried by 3,199 others?
So if you want an exciting column from me, the thrills won’t come from the news of new products at C.E.S.
 Nice to get validation from Mr. Pogue.

Look for our 2013 predictions later this month.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

2012 Trends Report Card, Part VII

Here's Part VII, our final set of grades of how we did with our 2012 predictions.  

Marketing Trends
1.     The press release will not die in 2012.  It did not die, even as some continue to say it will.  Grade: A.

2.     The role of CES will diminish next year. The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) continues to be important but SXSW is beginning to eclipse it. Grade: B+.

3.     Social media will play a bigger role in the marketing mix for B2B companies. Based on articles and conversations with prospective clients, we were right about this. Grade: A.

4.     Reporting and metrics will continue to be important for marketing functions. This will be true in 2013, too. Grade: A.

Overall grade: B+/A-.

We'll issue our 2013 trends starting in tomorrow's post.

Monday, January 14, 2013

2012 Trends Report Card, Part VI

Here's Part VI of our report card of how we did with our 2012 predictions

Tech Trends
1.     Converging technology, like the “paperless office,” won’t live up to its hype. The real story with converging media is BYOD – Bring Your Own Device to the office. We correctly identified BYOD as a trend but overstated problems with multiple devices as a topic of coverage. Grade: B-.

2.     Data will be bigger in 2012. Big Data did generate a lot of coverage, too many to cite. But we’ll one New York Times article: "The Age of Big Data," which says it all. Grade: A.

3.     Ongoing Tech Trends we expect to continue from 2011:
·         Cloud computing: This trend started in 2010 but continues to go mainstream. Grade: A but we admit this was a gimme.
·         The battle of tablets: Just because the first battle went in Apple's direction does not mean that wannabe iPad Killers have given up the fight. Competitors still want to get into the action and capture some of the marketshare. From the media's perspective, it's a two-horse race between the Kindle Fire and iPad. We expect a third option to gain some traction, but the iPad will continue to dominate. Grade: A.
·         The three most important tech trends will be mobile, mobile, mobile. Unless the three most important trends are social, social, social. For example, enterprise technology now needs not only to have an intuitive interface, it also must be accessible on iPads. Grade: A. 
·         Gaming is not just for kids. Gaming will continue to be integrated into business and training apps to keep people engaged and entertained. Grade: B because while the trend continued it did not generate the kind of media attention we expected.

We'll issue our last set of grades in tomorrow's post.

In the meantime, let us know if you have any questions or comments.

Friday, January 11, 2013

2012 Trends Report Card, Part V

Here's Part V of our report card of how we did with our 2012 predictions

General Business Trends
1.     Companies will use fees to offset declining revenue in 2012. This didn’t generate the kind of coverage we expected but it still was an issue this year. Check out this Wall St. Journal article: "Big Bank Weighs Fee Revamp; Bank of America Considers a Revamp That Would Affect Millions of Customers."  BofA got embroiled in at least social media controversy over its fees.  Grade: B.

2.     Mobile payments will increase. We saw a number of articles validating this one, including the Wall St. Journal ("Retailers Join Payment Chase; Two Words: Digital Wallet—Wal-Mart and Target Join Project Aiming to Make Plastic"), New York Times ("Many Competing Paths on the Road to the Phone Wallet"), Fortune cover story: "The Death of Cash: Tech giants - and startups like Square - want you to use your phone to pay for everything from gum to train rides. Here's how they plan to achieve cash-free nirvana." We predicted that e-wallets would be mainstream in five years but we may move that up to four years, based on the kind of media coverage we've been seeing.  Grade: A.

3.     Videoconferencing will continue to hit its stride. We still believe we’re right but we expect videoconferencing to make further inroads.  Grade: B based on a lack of strong media coverage.

We'll issue more grades in Monday's post.

In the meantime, let us know if you have any questions or comments.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

2012 Trends Report Card, Part IV

Here's Part IV of our report card of how we did with our 2012 predictions

 Ongoing stories we’ll see covered in the media
·         The 2012 election, healthcare, taxes and tax reform, and job creation.  The candidates, the process, the election as horse race, Super PACs, the strength and weakness of the Tea Party and the Occupy Wall St. movement (as well as the 99% vs. the 1%), and sometimes the actual issues. Grade: A – of course this was a gimme but it would have been odd to leave this one out.
·         The euro and euro zone economies and the debt crisis -- particularly troubled Greece and Italy and stable Germany and France -- and the impact of all of this on the US economy. Grade: B because while the EU economy did generate U.S.-based coverage, it was not as big a story in 2012 as it was in 2011.
·         Facebook’s IPO and its implications for the rest of the social media sector. Grade: A- because we did not predict that it’s IPO would be flawed.
·         The battle between Facebook v. Google+. (Interestingly, Twitter won’t be considered even an also-ran in this story.) Grade: B- because Google+ has not competed effectively with Facebook.
·         The battle between huge companies. Apple v. Google v. Microsoft. Oracle v. Everyone Else. Grade: B+ because we did not mention Apple v. Samsung.
·         The state of the media – because the media love reporting on their competitors as well as themselves. Grade: C because this was basically a non-story in 2012.
·         Online privacy will continue to be an important story. Grade: B, which would have been higher if we had linked online privacy with Facebook’s changing privacy policies. Sample New York Times article: “Facebook Changes Privacy Settings, Again.”
·         Online reviews – specifically whether they are from real customers who have bought the product or whether they are positive phony reviews paid to counteract real negative reviews – will generate coverage.  Grade: B- because while this generated some attention (like in a Mr. Know-It-All column in December’s Wired), this was not a big story.
·         The economics and environmental impact of fracking, an efficient but controversial way to extract oil and natural gas from shale. We expect climate science and global warming to be issues during the general election, specifically when discussing regulations. Grade: B.
·         Net-specific issues such as net neutrality (the need to prevent broadband providers from blocking access to competitors), the e-tax loophole (in which e-retailers don’t require customers to pay sales tax, which gives Amazon and others an advantage over bricks-and-mortar retailers that do charge customers sales tax), and anti-piracy legislation (Stop Online Piracy Act aka SOPA and Protect Intellectual Property Act aka PIPA). Grade: B+/A-. Sample Wall St. Journal article: “Cybersecurity Bills Duel Over Rules for Firms”; sample New York Times article: “Security Bills Bruised by Lingering Fight.”
·         Cyberattacks on B2C websites. As more high profile sites get hacked, expect more reports that reinforce fear and uncertainty of online commerce. Grade: A because this got a lot of attention this year. Sample Wall St. Journal article: “Cybersecurity 2.0: Encouraging companies and intelligence agencies to share information freely is a good first step.”
·         Cyberwarfare: the act of attacking one’s enemies by hacking. It’s happening on both sides in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the US media has reported that China is using cyberwarfare against the US, including corporate espionage, so expect it to spread elsewhere. Grade: A+ because this got a lot of attention this year. Sample New York Times articles: “Asleep at the Laptop,” “Expert Issues a Cyberwar Warning,”Mutually Assured Cyberdestruction?,” and "U.S. Suspects Iran Was Behind a Wave of .”  Sample Bloomberg BusinessWeek article: "Life in Cyberia: A new brand of warfare is under way. Our five experts discuss the best defenses."  Forbes:  Gauss: Yet Another State-Sponsored Virus?” Bloomberg BusinessWeek: “Cyberwars Reach a New Frontier: the Airport.” Wall St. Journal: “Iran Blamed for Cyberattacks; U.S. Officials Say Iranian Hackers Behind Electronic Assaults on U.S. Banks, Foreign Energy Firms.”
·         The rising threat of Chinese businesses, the Chinese economy and the Chinese military. Grade: A because this got a lot of attention this year. Sample Wall St. Journal article: “FBI Traces Trail of Spy Ring to China” while Bloomberg BusinessWeek made this a cover story: "Inside the Chinese Boom in Corporate Espionage" and the New York Times reported: "The Electoral Math of Romney's Stance on Trade with China."
·         One story not likely to be covered for most of 2012: Tim Tebow. Not that his 15 minutes is up. Expect the media to regain its interest with the start of the next NFL season. Grade: C- because Tebow continued to generate media attention, though not at the level of 2011.

We'll issue more grades in tomorrow's post.

In the meantime, let us know if you have any questions or comments.