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Posts Tagged ‘Mobile App Development’

Online Video Monetization Strategy: Opportunities for Growth and Improved Brand Loyalty

Overview

The digital retailing experience is nothing like shopping at your favorite community store or the familiar highway mall. No longer is there a simple buyer and seller business relationship. These days, consumers have the opportunity to interact with retailers, in addition to traditional venues, in a variety of virtual ways via web and mobile apps, social media sites, and Blogs. At the same time, consumers have the ability to receive ‘push’ alerts from retailers on new and sale merchandise directly to their mobile devices and can easily access a wealth of product information with a few click of a mouse. It is indeed a whole new and exciting playing field for both retailers and consumers alike with abundant offensive and defensive plays available to both sides!

Online Video Trends and Opportunities

Over the last ten years online video has matured from an obscure hobby among the populace into a sizeable and profitable market created around a thriving ecosystem of content creators, publishing platforms, and an array of enabling technologies, services and smart devices Currently, we are witnessing the continual and growing consumer interest in online video and the analogous investment by brands and retailers to exploit and target segmented audiences with sticky monetized content.

Within this digital setting, the retailer class is paying attention to the unending demand for new and imaginative lifestyle-centric videos with a direct electronic path to e-commerce sales and revenue. This trend is an extraordinary opportunity for retail executives to leverage their video production capabilities and assets in an attempt to significantly improve their online sales performance.

Conventionally, the most fashionable way brands and retailers monetize video assets is through advertising, the video content itself is free, but money is made by selling ads before, during, or around the video experience. Recently, we have seen the emergence and acceptance of video annotation where video objects are made clickable with displays of meta data, graphics and links to e-commerce thereby adding a valuable new tool to a content creator’s tool box.

Life Style Segmentation and Monetization

There is a widespread sentiment emerging among retailers and other sectors that ‘lifestyle’ is seriously influencing video content context production and placement. Segmentation based upon way of life interests is resulting in attractive and successful personalization of video content. We are in many ways returning to the theoretical view of 1 on 1 marketing with an online personalization line of attack, albeit, with a better likelihood of victory in its reincarnation!

In this regards, there is a bona fide requirement for content creators to obtain the technical capability and tools to link video displayed products and associated metadata to e-commerce and social media sites. For instance, if you are watching a Big Bang Theory episode and are keen on the bizarre shirt Sheldon is wearing you may desire to identify the brand and where it can be purchased. Choices for the consumer could include pausing the video to display the product data and e-commerce link or waiting to view the product data at the video’s post roll. Also, the capability to record consumer product ‘Likes’, publish product comments to Facebook, and announce video viewer only product sales during or at video conclusion would definitely be marketing pluses for retailers.

Online Video Monetization Examples

Recent market intelligence reveals that growing consumer lifestyle video demand is a prime force driving brands and retailers to adopt new and creative ways to monetize online video activities. As retailers get serious in accepting video as a strategic medium to reach targeted consumers, they will need to fully identify with and appreciate the key technologies to support this valuable revenue impacting approach. Topical Nielsen study reveals that streaming video is now the second most popular and common online activity, trailing only social networking and video web viewing is up over 20% while mobile video viewing is in excess of 200%.

A successful monetization approach, by and large, represents a mosaic framework supporting an array of customized and fully integrated technical components. Some examples include:

  • Online videos made clickable with select objects (products, locations, and other items) annotated with associated metadata, creative graphics and links to external sites.
  • Online annotated videos embedded within other annotated videos to further highlight targeted consumer lifestyle interests via projects, locations, interviews etc.
  • Video player with two viewing displays incorporating (Display 1) annotated video and (Display 2) another annotated video, and / or a combination of Power Point slides meta data, creative animation, graphics, and links with external sites. In this approach, both displays would be synced improving the richness, visual, and cognitive experience for the viewer.
  • Online web and mobile sites designed and developed with imaginative and integrated visual effects including use of creative animation and graphics, annotated videos, and links with external sites and / or live events.

Adware, Viewers & Monetization

Over the years, consumers have adopted clever techniques to steer clear of viewing TV commercials and web displayed adware! Will people also avoid viewing annotated videos because of their subtle commercial implants? The jury is still out on the reaction of the population to the pros and cons of people investing scarce time in viewing annotated videos. However, what is known is that consumers will characteristically search for and view ads they favor and are associated with their life cycle and purchase patterns. Also, it is believed, that ads that don’t resonate, entertain, engage or lack relevancy will be avoided at all cost! People by and large will choose ads that they want to watch and hopefully will include annotated videos.

Monetization Challenges & Decisions

Realization of the benefits of video monetization is predicated on the successful development and execution of a formal strategy. Strategy building encompasses an array of business and technical elements that form the basis of the strategy. The key questions typically addressed in a monetization strategy are outlined below:

Subject Matter Understanding:

  • Are both technical and business stakeholders suitably conversant on the variety of visual video and online annotation effects and techniques used in the monetizing video process?
  • Has ample information been gathered to support that annotated videos will be acceptable to the company’s target audiences and their end users?
  • Has sufficient analysis been completed that validates that widespread use of annotated videos will have a positive and quantifiable impact on the company’s product sales and revenue?

Enterprise Strategic influence:

  • Is the annotation value proposition in alignment with the corporate marketing strategy and financial plan?
  • Has the competitive landscape been analyzed to identify key competitor current and future plans and decisions for the use of annotated video?

Video Design & Standards:

  • Has annotation visual effects types and styles been agreed and documented as standards?
  • Is there a company process to create annotated video design specifications and development work orders in a professional and quality-centric manner?

Video Touch Points:

  • Has research been completed and analyzed on the ease (or difficulty) for viewers to interact with annotated videos and web and mobile sites segmented by user age, computer literacy level, profession, life style interests and other viewer characteristics?

Video Production & Support:

  • Will the video annotation process be an in-house or an outsourced business activity?
  • Have online video platform (OVP) providers been identified capable of supporting annotated videos?

Technical:

  • Are all known technical issues and problems typically associated with online video use identified, plotted within a risk management framework, and mitigated as to potential negative outcomes?
  • Have the technical platform(s) and device(s) to support the company’s annotating videos been identified?
  • What delivery mode(s) for viewing the company’s annotated videos will be used? (Corporate web and mobile sites, Facebook and other social media sites, reseller site, Blogs etc.)

Conclusion

Consumer expectations in the digital space are at an all-time high and companies are under pressure to keep customers happy and loyal to their brand, improve profitability and maintain or obtain a competitive market advantage. With this said, in the era of the smarter and empowered buyers, retailers need to grab the’ brass ring’ quickly and demonstrate through their innovative technology use that they understand and are reacting to market demands.

In conclusion we will leave all with a topical Peter Drucker quote:

“The best way to predict the future is to create it.”

The 3 D’s of the Mobile World: Data, Databases, and Decisions

It’s been fun watching the computing world mature, from the days when mainframe computers occupied an entire operations-intensive room to the power of applications on our mobile phones. Have we finally awoken to the reality that mobile communications has caught-up with the Dick Tracy comic character and his 2-way wrist watch phone? Technology has been (as predicted!) evolving so quickly, that even professional prognosticators are merely guessing where we will be in another 10-20 years; Science Fiction has rapidly become Science Fact.

Technology & Lifestyle Morphing

Today, data intensity is enveloping our business and social worlds – from airwaves, to telephone circuits, computer cables, and mobile devices we are growing into data junkies relying on our next data fix to help us make the smallest of decisions! Our lifestyle and habits are changing radically with our dependence on technology to support our daily existence. In this new digital-centric way of life businesses that provide services and products supported by digital highways and mountains of data must pay close attention to the operation and performance of their technology infrastructure. On the other hand, consumers need to develop reasonable expectations on the value and use of the data retrieved and used. For example, do we rely completely on sourced data or attempt to balance with our lifetime of experiences and insights contained in our sensory, short and long memories?

Information is King. That was true a thousand years ago, and it is true today. It was also true that gathering information, for the purpose of making informed decisions, was and will always be the most critical success factor in almost any undertaking. Leveraging the digital environment: What has changed immeasurably today over a thousand years is the ability to find and access data. If you can access the internet from your handheld, you can access more than a thousand years’ of human learning almost instantly.

But, what do you do with it? Furthermore, how do you handle structured versus unstructured information? Can you aggregate the information as you need it? Probably not, there’s too much there. What about a web application though? There things get more interesting, because you may be able to interface with the data you want, already organized in a useful manner in a database. In effective decision making the big challenge is making sure that the data is being aggregated into actionable information and subsequently used to generate new tacit knowledge accurate, complete, and appropriate.

The astonishing acceleration of data growth and the heterogeneous character of the data mean that organizations whose IT infrastructures transport, store, secure, and replicate large amounts of data, have little choice but to employ ever more sophisticated approaches, techniques, and tools for information management, security, search, storage and database management. Add mobile into the mix and data management presents a new level of complexity for ensuring total accuracy, high level of performance and successful rendering of data and information with the different technical environments. Effective data and database management empowers business and technology executives to use current information as the basic building block of high-quality decisions.

Enterprise Data Challenges

That said, let’s talk about your corporate database and remote access. Some of your data and information is customer facing, some of it is internal-eyes only. You probably have some information that you simply don’t want accessible from a web application without VPN protection. What happens then when you have an off-site conference, sales event, or activity? And what happens when you are missing either the VPN or the internet access?

You need to give your off-site workers access to critical data in order to facilitate their decision-making processes. The ability to get the right information to the right mobile devices and mobile workers has gone from a “nice to have” to “mission critical.” We are in a whole new work environment — much different than in our grandparents’ days when the work day was 9-5 and they left work to enjoy the remainder of the day with their family. Contrast that with today’s typical executives or workers who are expected to respond quickly to after-hours calls and emails on their hand-held devices and be in a position to instantly make decisions and collaborate with colleagues!

A Typical Data Story

At a recent event on a cruise ship, it was observed that the sales staff struggling to get sales desk set up because they did not have the information they needed at hand. Customer information was missing; inventory information was missing; and the ability to connect past sales with present sales (essential for a variety of reasons) was not there. Their helplessness to process transactions on a timely basis and without correct information cost them over 6 figures in sales for the event. This is not isolated to cruise ships; outdoor events in remote locations have the same issue, no cell tower, and no internet access. Even some higher-end hotel locations may not have disabled VPN connections through their own pipelines.

There are two potential solutions to data helplessness: first, you can create the custom database access application (to your remote data) for the remote (handheld) device; second, you can put critical, selected components of the data directly on the remote device. Both cases are probably meat for a couple of additional blog entries.

Your “feet on the street” need access to the right data, right now, for two reasons: first, it maximizes sales and improves customer service and loyalty; second, if you don’t do it, your competitor will! The simple truth is that data needs to be proactively managed and accessible 24/7 if we are to reap the significant benefits from leveraging and exploiting our valuable corporate data.

In conclusion we leave all with a topical Albert Einstein quote – “The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing. ”

Authored by Jeffrey Garbus, President of Soaring Eagle Consultants Inc. (http://www.soaringeagle.biz/) and,

Kevin M. O’Sullivan. President of The Knowledge Compass, Inc. (http://www.knowledgecompass.com )

Synergy: Mobile Devices and Knowledge Management

Introduction

Traditionally, knowledge management (KM) in a business context focuses on offering organizations a pragmatic but formal approach to increase productivity, improve customer service and reduce human knowledge loss. Over the years, a library of KM ‘best practices’ have highlighted successful knowledge-focused implementations recognizable as both specialized standalone solutions and business systems embedded with KM functional components. However, these legacy applications, for the most part, have shown signs over the years of too narrow functional footprints, lack of real integration with enterprise-wide business systems, and weak and inflexible collaboration capabilities.

Current market intelligence reveals an outsized percentage of large and medium-sized companies nationwide still lack the capacity to supply employees real time access to corporate systems during their down time (scheduled and unscheduled) while working on company premises and offsite.

The hypothesis is that organizations generally amplify the intensity of their corporate operational and financial risk when employees are restricted by ‘location and time’ to access important information required to support mission-critical decisions. In the current economy where innovation and speed are critical strategic assets, the contours of industry are changing rapidly, demanding quicker, more insightful and effective decision-making during a 24-hour business cycle. To come to the point, the provision of employees with ‘any time access’ to vital corporate information and documents is viewed as a critical success factor (CSF) for maintaining or attaining competitive market or product advantage and market leadership.

KM & Mobile Context

A significant problem identified many decades ago during KM’s infancy was the seemingly lack of appropriate automation support to harvest and realize the full organizational knowledge-influenced value. The problem with a good number of KM solutions is that they require a focus on KM as a unique process or discipline. Unfortunately, it’s just not the way we work as our personal working activities usually involve being somewhat chaotic and unsystematic along with forgetting things.

Technology executives and bloggers alike recognize, appreciate, and believe that mobile devices provide a powerful new set of tools to extend the corporate reach beyond the traditional business boundaries of location and time based on the KM mobile synergy.

KM is re-emerging as a valuable approach to support the wide mass of mobile users who rely on these dynamic devices to support their business as well as personal decisions from the mundane to the complex.

Dynamic Mobile Environment

In recent years, smart phones have evolved from unsophisticated communication devices to powerful hand-held processors. Currently, they support mastery and recall a wide range of information that encases our work and social interactions. In 2009, for the first time ever, smart phones were reported to be used at a higher percentage for accessing and using content than for calls.

The integration of KM and mobile can accomplish two goals, that of making KM ubiquitous (moving away from the desktop) and that of making mobile computing useful (focusing on the user and assisting actively).

Currently, we are witnessing a rebirth of KM as a truly convenient and practical approach to personal KM with ‘widgets’ representing the new access points to fulfill our ‘just-in-time’ need for actionable information and knowledge. In summary, the intent of KM mobile is to enable people to do what they do best – access new and familiar situations and arrive at situational decisions in real time.

The Synergy

Knowledge in the mobile environment is created by transforming the traditional knowledge value chain into knowledge ecology. Each component within the ecology is interrelated with every other element endlessly. Knowledge creation and creativity resulting from regular use of knowledge ecology should differentiate the most innovative product development and service businesses of the future.

Within a strategic KM mobile view, organizations are involved in significant paradigm shifts from supporting sizeable investments in packaged and customized KM systems to mobile-based KM apps that make possible the real-time fusion of explicit information contained in situational mobile apps with the individual’s tacit knowledge resulting in faster and more successful decisions.

It is well understood that the best decisions are achieved by spending less time on information gathering and more on the thinking process (bringing together explicit knowledge and actionable information and combining with internal tacit knowledge).

A challenge for technology executives is keeping employees pro-actively informed of mission-critical and rapidly changing information all within a corporate control and information security approach. To address this need, companies are leveraging smart mobile devices to push critical information to employees in the field.

They send information updates (trigged by specific events or activities) to individuals and provide documents through e-mail alerts and text messages with a link to the downloadable document. Videos, presentations and audio clips are also distributed.

Given that mobile KM apps generally don’t require the employee universe to adjust their unique work habits or require significant learning curves to become proficient, they’re more likely to be accepted and used. This makes it easier for people with different roles and skill sets to use the same information in an assortment of contexts; while the same information is expected to be viewed by a larger number of people.

KM & Mobile Value Proposition

The key benefits generally realized from KM mobile use include:

• Increase relevant information and knowledge access for immediate decision-making by employees, customers, and partners.
• Facilitate collaboration and knowledge-sharing among business groups
• Retain and enrich institutional knowledge as intellectual property
• Overcome organizational and geographical boundaries to conducting business
• Shorten cycle time for mission-critical processes thereby increasing employee productivity

In conclusion I will leave all with a favorite Peter F. Drucker quote – “Knowledge has to be improved, challenged, and increased constantly, or it vanishes.”

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