November 28, 2011

Something For Everybody

Traditionals (old-school marketing), Transitionals (online-focused), and Transformationals (mobile/social/viral) all can benefit from the content provided by Mary Meeker (Click Here).

Here are the slides, if you're so inclined: (Click Here For The Slide Deck).

Think about some of the insights in the presentation.
  • Page 18 = 60% of Pandora traffic is mobile.  This is what I'm talking about when I talk about "Transformationals" ... if your customer is "Transformational", then mobile and social must be built-in to the fabric of your brand.  Now, if you're "Cuddledown of Maine", well, it's a whole different ball game, isn't it?  That mobile/ Transformational customer, even if you had a wonderful mobile experience, isn't likely to buy your merchandise.  The Cuddledown of Maine brand, as a result, focuses on profit from Traditional customers today, focuses on the Transitional customer for future profit, and simply watches as the mobile/social world evolves.
  • Page 26 = Jambox.  What the heck is a Jambox?  I bought one ... I read this slide, I went to Amazon and reviewed the item and read user-generated comments and bought one with free, two-day shipping.  This is a "Transitional" customer experience, isn't it?  Jambox didn't rent 1.2 million names from a co-op, they produced merchandise that caused somebody to want to share information about it, and Jambox gets a low-cost (hint, free) new customer out of it.  This is such an important trend for businesses that deal with a Transitional customer ... Transformational businesses excel at getting low cost / free newbies.  Traditional businesses, however, cannot fathom this ... it's all about how to pay a reasonable rate for access to names.
  • Page 30 = Look at the curve.  You'll say, "no, that looks like a straight line".  Well, you could easily fit a power function to that, and if you did that, you'd come to the conclusion that e-commerce, as a percentage of total retail, is going to flatten out.  Think of the ramifications of each outcome ... continued linear growth takes you down one path, the end of unfettered growth means quite another thing, doesn't it?
  • Page 31 = Target generates $1.5 billion in mobile sales.  One stops and thinks "WOW".  Of course, Target will generate $67 billion in total net sales this year, and sales will increase at a normal rate, so that tells you that this is all about cannibalization of existing channels.  And then, if the sales are from an iPad while the customer sits on the couch, well, that's not even mobile, is it?  Do you track laptop sales?  Why would you, right?  But mobile folks are going to take credit for iPad purchases ... a simple evolution of e-commerce.  This will be an issue in the future, because tablet activity is not going to be mobile, and it isn't going to be e-commerce, it's going to be a new genre that, in my opinion, we cannot yet fathom but when it appears, we'll say "DUH".
  • Page 34 = Local commerce. Well, local commerce has been around since the days of the Old Testament, right?  What you're seeing here is Local Commerce 0.1, not 2.0, right?
  • Page 36 = Print advertising disconnect.  There's a reason print spend outpaces mind share ... it works!  Online advocates don't get this because they don't focus on Traditionals as a customer segment.
  • Page 39 = Time spent on social ... just 'cause time is spent there doesn't mean share of wallet will be there.
  • Page 61 = US Government Profit and Loss Statement.  Oh boy.  OH BOY.  If this was your business, what would you do?  How much longer would you be in business?  Ignore politics, just review this like it was your profit and loss statement.  How would you fix this?
Does any of this make sense to you?  We have three broadly classified customers.
  1. Traditionals.
  2. Transitionals.
  3. Transformationals.
If your business caters to Transformationals, then yes, catalogs are dead, heck, email is dead, too.

If your business caters to Traditionals, then catalogs mean everything, and you mock the social world because your business was only able to get 197 followers via Twitter.  And both sides are right.  It simply depends on your business, your target customer, and how you approach having a relationship with the target customer.

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