Internet trends: marketing research & predictions

What it takes to be a digital woman

April 18th, 2010 by

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I was honored to be invited to speak about digital women at Microsoft’s Women Think Next conference. About two hundred women engineers and tech developers from top leading companies were invited to participate in an event which was dedicated to those rare ones.
Dina Dublon, one of two women members in the Microsoft’s Board of Directors gave an inspiring speak on her personal struggle to reach the top. She shared very important insights and tips. Yoelle Maarek, one of the world’s leading search expert, now working for Yahoo Research presented her women role models, and Orit Zuckerman presented few of her amazing interactive media projects .

I named my talk “What it takes to be a digital woman”. In the presentation I reviewed the current state of women in the business world, and focused on digital women. I used research done by Harvard Business Review to show the age breakdown where women leave technology professions and simply break out from the industry.
I have included some personal experiences, out of my entrepreneur journey in technology, developing TrendsoScope, the trends discovery platform. I felt comfortable among the women audiences to share my struggle through masculine venture capital companies while trying to get their attention to a woman presenting financial predictions and technology development (it turns out that they have a real hard time confronting women..). My presentation ends with practical tips: how women working in IT companies can use the Social Media to professionally lead and influence.
I have described that as a “work around” option. Companies’ success in Social Media relies on professional team members sharing their insights and works. I believe that women can find that stage as a source for learning, improving and leading.

Think Next Women event was part of Microsoft bigger initiative – Think Next.

Twenty promising tech inventions were presented there together with exciting projects created by Microsoft’s innovation labs. Craig Mundie (chief research and strategy of Microsoft) gave an overview of Microsoft’s involvement in all things to come. Project Natal was also presented with its motion control system (which now includes gender-facial recognition and ability to track and differentiate between two players within one frame). As we already have covered here – women are getting to be dominant game players. Moshe Lichtman – Corporate VP Microsoft who was responsible for the two meetups,  has cleverly suggested that women are needed in the games industry. He said that women must take part in the development of games and contribute in identifying new environments different than the masculine ones of fighting and killing.

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Digital Early Adopters: What has changed?

March 25th, 2010 by

diigital early adopters adage Digital Early Adopters: What has changed?

I was recently interviewed by Laura Rich, a digital media reporter, for an Advertising Age paper: Shiny New Things: What Digital Adopters Want, How to Reach Them and Why Every Marketer Should Pay Attention.

I recommend that you read the article as it presents many new angles and insights provided by professional researchers, marketers and early adopters (as Bill Tancer from Hitwise, Steve Rubel from Edelman, Robert Scoble, and many more).

I wish to further develop some of the points I suggested in the article:

Digital Adopters: what has changed?

Following the adoption of technologies in many consumer domains, a shift can be observed in the last few years in the segmentation and characteristics of early adopters. I tend to attribute this change to the wide and global adoption of the internet.
Technology is no longer the domain of a small minority of young male experimenters (previously known as “geeks”). It is now one of the main communication and business channels available. Consumers are no longer passive to new technology, but are fast learning – active producers.

Here are some evidences to the shift in the concept of early adopters:

  • Gender differences are weaker than ever: Women are embracing new technologies.
  • Adoption rates have shortened: from decades to years, from years to months (Facebook, iPhone).
  • Social behavior and technology advancementare well combined: The first smartphone users are first to adopt social networks (Facebook, Twitter), to experiment with apps, to view TV via internet / mobile. (see PEW survey: 39% of internet users with 4+  internet-connected devices use Twitter) and next to use location based solutions.

The power of early adopters:

In the last five years, early adopters have received a stage to influence others. Social Media gave them the screen power.
Early social media users have grown to be the main influencers, and their influence is far beyond technology. They have become the new celebrities. As part of their positioning, they are expected to act as early adopters, much the same as celebrities are needed to keep updated with fashion.

What should marketers consider when marketing to early adopters?

Early adopters are physically easier to reach but now much harder to “buy”. Most of the brands (and Apple is one big exception) have lost their attractiveness. Brands that can provide early adopters a good reason why – will have a chance to influence. It’s all about proven value.

If early users will find your product handy – they will be willing to spread it. Otherwise – they will not hesitate to share their real thoughts.
I suggest you will follow one of the first Coca Cola initiatives in the social media domain. They choose Brazil as their beta site and sent bloggers a free gift. We named it “Rent a blog strategy” which obviously failed…

Marketers definitely need to learn and understand the new social norms shared by early adopters.

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The “Next” Generation: What Chatroulette Can Teach The Social Media

March 19th, 2010 by

I believe you have already heard of Chatroluette, the new video chat platform that has attracted the attention of millions (in February – there were 30 million unique visitors to the site, that’s one million new users each day). The site made quite a buzz on the news media, blogs , and Twitter. Comscore reports one million US visitors in February with a dominance of 18-24 year old males.

The platform looks premature (it might be part of its charm) as it comes with one feature only -the “next” (by clicking next you are skipping from one user to another).  The next feature is vital as it gives the user a sense of control. I would even consider naming the hype around its users – the “next generation”.
What a powerful (yet dangerous) tool that can be for people who seek to experience the control they lack in their personal life. The “Next Effect” is well embedded in the whole Chatroulette random experiment.

What social needs such a platform serves?

Psychologically speaking, these random experiences can teach us on few important needs from social interactions:

1. the crave for peeking,

2. (online) face to face,

3. control (and at the same time – lack of control)

4. The no commitment effect.

Combine the four together and you get to understand the power and the addiction potential of Chatroulette.

We are all well familiar with the above needs:

  • Peeking into strangers’ lives- is what brought popularity to the reality TV shows. We humans receive instant gratification from the arousing feeling that we are allowed inside private personal places.
  • Face to face interactions are certainly not new experiences on the web. But they are getting into extreme when you personally encounter strangers in their natural surroundings.
  • As to control, Chatroulette can well imitate an act of meeting strangers on the street. You can choose between two acts: you can play active or passive. They are both highly addictive. You can actively approach, and they might not get interested in you. You keep on trying… At the same time, you can choose to be the one who turns down interactions. That can be satisfying don’t you think?
  • The no commitment part is achieved by users anonymity. Chatroulette doesn’t require any identification or user subscription. You don’t have to work hard and fake your identity.

Finally -  there is something new in these sets of random acquaintances that leaves you unprepared. This surprise element can never be achieved offline. While Twitter and Facebook let you follow strangers you choose to, Chatroulette adds more dimensions to theses interaction. It is no longer about your friends whereabouts or images, nor on reporting “whats going on now”. Its live and you get a chance to play with an imaginary sense of control. While in real life you hardly talk to strangers, here you get it as a social norm.

The future of random interactions:

I can think of several ways making these interactions more intriguing – mobile interactions on the move (following people wherever they go) would definitely be hot, as well as the option to filter the people you meet by their location, age or gender.
But forget that for now, if succeeded to control immoral and pornographic activity, what a great human experiment that opens!

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The New Entrepreneur: Research Slides Report

March 9th, 2010 by

The New Entrepreneur:

TrendsSpotting.com has provided a research review on entrepreneurs for our client – Grasshopper.com, who designs virtual phone systems dedicated to the needs of entrepreneurs.

In this report we provide facts about entrepreneurs: profiles, inspirations, home based workers statistics, incomes and revenues.

We explore the influence of the recession on new jobs, profits, and the establishment of new businesses.

We look at the future and suggest a lookout on the main trends influencing entrepreneurs’ activity in 2010 and beyond.

Enjoy.

The New Entrepreneur:

View more presentations from TrendsSpotting.

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Dogs and All The Rest: Twitter Trends

February 28th, 2010 by

Cross examining Twitter with its 50 million daily tweets, and seeing such pattern on other social networks and blogs it is obvious that people largely refer to “friends” more than they do to any of the closest relatives they have. We take this for granted in the age of the Social Web. Thus, spotting this on Twitter is not much of a surprise. But, wait for this:

While doing a 2.0 research for one of our clients on pets on the Social Media, we have discovered that people tweet on their dogs more than they do on any other relative they have, but their mom.

 Dogs and All The Rest: Twitter Trends

We have compared dogs mentions (“dog”) to important female figures and learned that dogs are more tweeted on than “wife”,  “daughter” and “girlfriend” (in this order).

Comparing tweets on dogs to our beloved male figures, we find this order:  dog, dad, husband, father, boyfriend.

Dogs overcome “cat”, “kid”, “child” and they equal to  “son” (which is is skewed by the Spanish word)- they are all less frequently addressed in our tweets.

On our market research we have found clear indications for the importance of dogs in all aspects of our lives. This was highly reflected in the social web as well. Dogs are not only most common among pets in most (if not all)  countries, (western as well as Asian) but are perceived today as an integral part of a family structure from all kinds (couples with kids; couples without kids as well as singles) for many of them dogs complement the family or can even substitute a child. For information about the research scope, and major findings – you are welcome to contact me.

I can’t help thinking about the popular book “My Family and Other Animals by Gerald Durrell.

Some more insights:

Do you find any more to share?

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Is Twitter “Losing” or “Gaining”? Recent Stats

January 26th, 2010 by

Recent analysis by RJMetrics pulled from Twitter’s API may suggest that Twitter is losing popularity:

  • The average Twitter user has 27 followers, down from 42 followers in August 2009.
  • Twitter is losing 20% from its July peak: The monthly rate of new user accounts is currently around 6.2 million new accounts per month (or 2-3 per second).
  • A large percentage of Twitter accounts are inactive, with about 25% of accounts having no followers and about 40% of accounts having never sent a single Tweet. Only about 17% of registered Twitter accounts sent a Tweet in December 2009, an all-time-low.
  • About 80% of all Twitter users have tweeted fewer than ten times.

But,

RJMetrics findings suggest a twist to the above results: cohort analysis reveals tremendous loyalty and engagement from  Twitter users who stay on the system after their first week as members

1. those who do come back tweet so much that it makes up for all the people who left.

2. Users who joined more recently tweet with far greater frequency in their first few months than their 2008 counterparts.

3. With 75 million total accounts, an active user base of around 20% still leaves around 15 million highly active tweeters.

Twitter new users1 Is Twitter Losing or Gaining? Recent Stats

Read past research on Twitter:


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Summary: TrendsSpotting 2010 Influencers Series: Trend Predictions in 140 Characters

January 20th, 2010 by

influencers 2010 predictions Summary: TrendsSpotting 2010 Influencers Series: Trend Predictions in 140 Characters

TrendsSpotting Market Research has completed the release of the “2010 Influencers Series: Trend predictions in 140 characters”. We have followed major trends in six of the most promising categories to dominate the web this year: Social media | Consumer Trends | Tech and IT | Online Marketing | Video | Mobile.

In this series we featured the predictions of digital and marketing experts on the big changes awaiting us.
By adopting the “tweet style” format (limited to 140 characters), we were able to provide our readers with a more focused image of the predicted trends. Many of those trends were actually re-tweeted individually.

Cross Dominating Trends for 2010:

Reviewing the trends across the different categories, 2010 will be a year in which data will be placed in clouds. Increase use of smartphones will lead to new users habits dominated by local information, providing a new exciting (and at the same time – terrifying) bridge between the “real” and the “virtual”. Apps will continue to be hot as consumer goods. Netbooks will be replaced by cheaper notebooks and smartphones. Video (together with 3D and games) will take bigger steps in replacing traditional Television as the main entertainment platform.

There are smart advertising solutions in all the above channels, ready for brands to experiment, measure and retain better ROI. Expect those who dare to put aside ROI – to enjoy an innovative brand image that can last and overcome competition.

Consumers at large, have adopted new expectations from brands and from themselves as shoppers. They are much more aware (price, health, value) and skeptical. At the same time – they aren’t sacrificing any technological advancement.

Final words:

Hats off to the experts who participated and submitted their insightful prediction tweets. We also wish to thank all of you that helped us create the buzz for the reports.

By now, we have enjoyed over 40,000 views on Slideshare.net alone, not including the news mention at the New York Times / RWW, Mashable, eXaminer, and the many of the blogs’ reviews, tweets and Facebook’s notes.

@2010 Social Media

@2010 Consumer Trends.

@2010 Tech and IT.

@2010 Online Marketing.

@2010 Online Video.

@2010 Mobile

Personal remarks:

I find it a challenging experiment, to influence by spreading the trends.
As a Social Psychologist with an advertising background, I realize that the very act of predicting trends, can influence how trends actually catch on. In any case, it will be an exciting year if all the expectations we’ve covered will come true.
Taly Weiss and The TrendsSpotting Team.

Continue following us here and @trendsspotting.

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2010 Mobile Influencers: Trend Predictions in 140 characters (6th report)

January 18th, 2010 by

“2010 Mobile Influencers” is the sixth and last report from the series “2010 Influencers Series: Trend Predictions in 140 Characters“.

Findings: Major trends in 2010 Mobile:

Across many of these predictions, we have identified the following trends suggested to influence Mobile in 2010:

# Payment      # Commerce      #Metrics

# Advertising:  networks,  SMS, display, search, premium

# Smartphones: Apple, Apps, iPhone, Google, Android

# GPS      # Location      # Augmented Reality

# Gaming      # Music      # Video

2010 Mobile Influencers: Trend Predictions in 140 Characters, By TrendsSpotting

View more documents from TrendsSpotting.

Already released from the Trend Prediction Influencers Series:

@2010 Social Media (published also at NYTimes / RWW, Mashable, Examiner)

@2010 Consumer Trends.

@2010 Tech and IT.

@2010 Online Marketing.

@2010 Online Video.

@2010 Mobile

I wish to thank all experts who participated in the 2010 Influencer Series, and submitted their insightful prediction tweets.

Many thanks to the TrendsSpotting team, and most to Apurba Sen, Nizan Malkit, Aviv Sher, and Yotam Shochat who made it all possible in such a short time.

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2010 Video Influencers: Trend Predictions in 140 characters (5th report)

January 8th, 2010 by

“2010 Video Influencers” is the fifth report from the series “2010 Influencers Series: Trend Predictions in 140 Characters“.

Findings: Major trends in 2010 Online Video:

Across many of these predictions, we have identified the following trends suggested to influence Online Video in 2010:

# TV Everywhere      #live      #mainstream      #search

#data      #direct      #mobile      #standards

#advertising      #30- second

#YouTube      #Hulu      #boxee
2010 Video Influencers: Trend Predictions in 140 characters, by TrendsSpotting

View more slides from TrendsSpotting.

Already released from the Trend Prediction Influencers Series:

@2010 Social Media (published also at NYTimes / RWW, Mashable, Examiner)

@2010 Consumer Trends.

@2010 Tech and IT.

@2010 Online Marketing.

@2010 Online Video.

@2010 Mobile.

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2010 Online Marketing Influencers: Trend Predictions in 140 characters (4th report)

January 5th, 2010 by and

“2010 Online Marketing Influencers” is the fourth report from the series “2010 Influencers Series: Trend Predictions in 140 Characters“.

Findings: Major trends in 2010 Online Marketing:

Across many of these predictions, we have identified the following trends suggested to influence Online Marketing in 2010:

#social media #games #e-mail

#real time #direct response #measurement

#mobile #geo-location #video

#niche

2010 Online Marketing Influencers: Trend Predictions in 140 characters by Trendsspotting

View more slides from TrendsSpotting.

TrendsSpotting Market Research is now running its third annual prediction reports following major trends in six categories. We will be featuring the predictions of digital and marketing experts on the big changes awaiting us in the coming year.
This year we are adopting a new “tweet style” format, easier for you to focus on, comprehend and forward.

Already released from the Trend Prediction Influencers Series:

@2010 Social Media (published also at NYTimes / RWW, Mashable, Examiner)

@2010 Consumer Trends.

@2010 Tech and IT.

@2010 Online Marketing.

@2010 Online Video.

@2010 Mobile

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