Greg Mishkin

About Greg Mishkin

Greg is a vice president in the Telecommunications Division but works across all divisions and is in high demand as a speaker and author in the market research and telecom fields. Greg's responsibilities include managing and growing key client relationships while maintaining a special focus on the integration of large-scale behavioral data with Market Strategies’ traditional market research solutions. He is known for turning extremely complex data into actionable insights and turning data into competitive advantages for his clients. Currently, he has four patents related to data-focused market research methodologies. Greg earned a master’s degree in business administration from Kennesaw State University in Kennesaw, GA; a master’s degree in clinical psychology from University of Hartford in Hartford, CT and a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Union College in Schenectady, NY. When not on the road for work, Greg can usually be found driving his 14-year-old twins to their respective symphony rehearsals, piano competitions, choir practices or various other performing arts activities that are invariably too far from home.

The Fight for Today’s Video Consumer: How to thrive in a rapidly evolving industry

Today’s Video Consumer

Editor’s Note: This is the first of a three-part series on understanding the streaming video consumer. Be sure to bookmark FreshMR so you don’t miss an issue!

It wasn’t long ago when consumers had three choices for video consumption: free TV (using antennas), paid cable TV, and, if going with cable, whether to add a movie channel like HBO. There was little competition, little innovation and very few choices. What a difference a few years makes!

Those simple days are almost unrecognizable in today’s chaotic, cluttered video world.  Sure, consumers can still view local broadcasts over-the-air, but the insatiable appetite for content has dramatically increased our options. Having so many options can be overwhelming to customers but also confusing to the telecommunications and entertainment companies that provide and deliver content.

Continue reading

All iWant: Putting iPhone 7 Rumors to the Test

Putting iPhone 7 Rumors to the Test

This summer has seen no shortage of analyst reports of what the soon-to-be-released iPhone 7 will look like and what features it will (and will not) possess. Continuing what has become an annual frenzy of leaks and predictions, rumors are flying about its multiple screen sizes, memory capacity, camera quality, headphone jack and water resistance. Most notably, some speculate that there may not be any dramatic changes at all as Apple waits for 2017 to release a world-changing 10th anniversary iPhone 8.

Market Strategies International decided to put all these rumors to the test to find out which ones really resonate with consumers and which do not. We asked more than 1,100 consumers about their current phones and preferences among the most frequently rumored iPhone 7 features, including:

Screen features
  • Larger screen
  • Smaller screen
  • Curved screen
  • Wraparound screen
  • Better screen quality/resolution
Memory/Storage features
  • More memory (the latest iPhones have 2GB RAM)
  • More storage space (the latest iPhones have a maximum of 128GB)
  • Expandable storage capacity
Internal features
  • Faster processors
  • Electronic SIM chip
  • Longer-lasting battery
  • Wireless charging
External features
  • Thinner
  • Lighter
  • Waterproof
  • Two speakers (the latest iPhones only have one)
  • Different color options
  • Higher quality camera
Other features
  • USB connector (Micro USB or USB Type-C)
  • Available stylus/pen
  • No headphone jack (the latest iPhones have a standard 3.5mm headphone jack)
  • Virtual reality headset

 Who Wants to Buy the iPhone 7?

Several of the findings are quite intriguing and have significant implications for telecom leaders. One thing is for sure: The difference in iPhone 7 needs and wants varies greatly based on customers’ current make and model, wireless carrier and brand loyalty. Understanding who these customers are and what differentiates their interests in upgrading to the iPhone 7 is of paramount importance when developing messaging campaigns, forecasts and product roadmaps. In our report, iPhone 7 Market Landscaper, we explore these differences and provide the data telecom leaders need to optimize their marketing plans. Download iPhone 7 Market Landscaper now or contact Greg Mishkin, vice president of Market Strategies’ Telecommunications division for more information.

Download the Report

Will content providers hold telecom carriers hostage?

Will content providers hold telecom carriers hostage?

A few weeks ago, I wrote a Point-Counterpoint article with my good friend, colleague and sparring partner, Paul Hartley, which focused on fast lanes, free lanes and net neutrality. Interestingly, this topic has become big news again—albeit with a very unexpected twist.

It came to light that Netflix has been downsampling or degrading the quality of the content it delivers to AT&T and Verizon networks (yet not to Sprint or T-Mobile), not because these carriers want Netflix to do so but rather because Netflix feels it is in its own best interest.

On the surface, this may appear counterintuitive. Why would Netflix want to deliver lower quality video to the two largest mobile carriers in the US? Their logic is interesting–Netflix believes that AT&T’s and Verizon’s business model, which allows for overage charges if customers exceed their data caps, will discourage customers from wanting to stream movies for fear that overages will kick in. T-Mobile and Sprint, for the most part, don’t assess overage charges when customers exceed their data allowance—rather they throttle down the network speed to limit how much additional data can be effectively downloaded.

There are valid arguments on both sides of whether it is better to throttle or charge for overages, and this is not what I intend to debate here (although Paul and I may take this up in a future Point-Counterpoint article). Rather, the fact that Netflix is even able to do this because it’s not bound by net neutrality rules raises a very important issue that needs to be acknowledged and addressed.

Continue reading

Telecommunication Market Research: Syndicated vs. Proprietary

Syndicated vs. Proprietary

Most market research firms specialize in syndicated or proprietary (i.e., custom) research. Depending on the firm’s offerings, account reps usually give one-sided justifications why their approach is superior. Market Strategies has custom and syndicated practices so the purpose of this article is to present a more balanced view of the benefits and risks associated with each type of research as they relate to the telecom industry. We pose three key questions that will help you determine which type of research is best suited to your brand’s unique needs, and we explore why custom research may be more advantageous given current industry trends.

Continue reading

Hold the Phone!

Not Everyone Hates Contracts   

Telecom Brand Love

Editor’s Note: This is the third post of a three-part blog series that examines how changes in the wireless industry have led to commoditization and what carriers must do to truly differentiate. Register for our December 17 Telecom Brand Love webinar now.

The past two years have brought a seismic shift in the US wireless telecom industry. Market Strategies has been writing about how this once highly differentiated marketplace has been transforming into a sea of beige, making it difficult for customers to differentiate between providers. T-Mobile is doing a brilliant job delivering on its brand promise to customers, but other carriers seem to be following suit instead of honoring their own brand promise. By jumping on the no-contract, one-size-fits-all bandwagon, carriers may be missing an opportunity to understand the generational and lifetime value differences of their own customers.

Continue reading

To Contract or Not to Contract

Telecom Brand LoveEditor’s Note: This is the second post of a three-part blog series that examines how changes in the wireless industry have led to commoditization and what carriers must do to truly differentiate. Register for our December 17 Telecom Brand Love webinar now.

Living in a more rural suburb in Atlanta, I am used to not having the most cutting edge technologies available at my home. This is why I was incredibly excited to learn yesterday that AT&T was finally offering U-verse to my address—and, even better, it isn’t just standard U-verse but U-verse with GigaPower for Internet speeds up to 1Gbps! GigaPower is 40 times as fast as what I currently have with Xfinity, and the promotional pricing for GigaPower is actually $7 cheaper than what I currently pay.

Seems like a no brainer to fire Xfinity and sign up with AT&T, right? It’s not that easy.

Continue reading

Why do dissatisfied customers stay with their wireless carrier?

Telecom Brand Love

Editor’s Note: This is the first post of a three-part blog series that examines how changes in the wireless industry have led to commoditization and what carriers must do to truly differentiate. Register for our December 17 Telecom Brand Love webinar now.

The best reason to remain a loyal customer is because you’re receiving exemplary service and support. However, looking at the American Customer Satisfaction Index, it is evident that wireless carriers are not overwhelmingly satisfying their customers. In fact, the wireless telecom industry scored lower for overall satisfaction than every other industry except for other telecom specialties (including ISPs, Pay TV and wireline phone) and the government. Despite these low ratings, the wireless industry continues to have extremely low churn rates. So, if customers aren’t satisfied, then what is driving low churn rates?

Continue reading

A Race to the Bottom: Carriers Must Diversify To Thrive

A Race to the BottomHere we go again.

T-Mobile’s John Legere recently announced the latest in his “Un-carrier” program—a new plan that allows customers to upgrade their phones anytime, up to three times per year. This was followed by the Mobile Without Borders plan which extends T-Mobile’s coverage to Canada and Mexico. Un-carrier, Legere claims, is intended to force a change in the way that wireless carriers treat their customers. In this, there is no denying that the program has succeeded in forcing the industry to change. (See below for a timeline of the 11 Un-carrier moves Legere has implemented since March 2013.)

Every time T-Mobile makes one of these dramatic changes, the major competitors follow suit by coming up with their own response, which typically has involved creating some variation of T-Mobile’s offering. T-Mobile advocates point to this continual “upping of the ante” as demonstration of how Legere has differentiated T-Mobile from its competitors and how much these actions have improved the overall wireless communications landscape for the customer.

It would be difficult for anyone to objectively claim that T-Mobile’s Un-Carrier moves are not having significant impacts in the overall wireless marketplace. However, it can be debated whether these moves have improved the industry’s overall customer experience.

I contend that they have not.

Looking Back at T-Mobile’s Un-Carrier Moves

It should be noted that while provocative, the Un-Carrier moves are not always made on the offensive. Legere himself admits that the Mobile Without Borders plan was introduced as a defensive response to AT&T’s recent expansion into Mexico. Yet, even in this defensive mode, Legere is quick to point out that in true Un-Carrier fashion, Mobile Without Borders is provided without additional cost to the customer.

Continue reading

The Foreseeable Consequences of #NetNeutrality

Net Neutrality AheadThe FCC has taken a firm stand on Net Neutrality, making it clear that internet providers cannot sell access to “fast lanes” on their networks. The news media and other consumer advocate talking heads have been chiming in from all directions trying to convince the public why this is either the best thing or the worst thing that has happened since the creation of the internet. There are merits to both sides, but there are definite logical consequences of the FCC’s ruling that internet providers would be well advised to consider.

Continue reading

Telecom Trends to Watch For in 2015

The stage is set for 2015 to be a chaotic year of rapidly shifting landscapes for the telecommunication industry. While nobody can predict with absolute certainty what the future will bring, here is a rundown of some of the more likely scenarios:

Continue reading