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.
Four tips for communicating clearly with investors
I started writing school papers in the third grade. By the time I reached my senior year in high school, I had become a pro at stretching 100 words of substance into elaborately-worded essays to meet the 750-word minimum assignment. It wasn’t until my freshman year of college—when my philosophy professor forced us to write about hefty “meaning of life” subjects in no more than one, single-spaced, 10-point font page—that I started focusing on writing clearly and succinctly.
This same writing baggage hinders some communicators in the financial services industry, in particular those speaking to end investors. Innovation can be a tricky goal, especially as it applies to financial product development; however, being innovative with your communication can lead to refreshingly clear and understandable language.
Marketers named 2013 the “Year of the Image.” Americans continued to join and post to social media sites that favor images over text as a means of communicating en masse. Think Pinterest, Instagram, Tumblr, Vine, Selfie.
Perhaps we should not be surprised. Cognitive psychology tells us that humans are wired to favor visuals over text. We process images faster. We remember visuals better. We find well-designed visuals more credible. And when credible images engage us, they trigger emotional processing that leads to creativity and higher-quality decision-making.
All of these things—speed, recall, credibility, engagement and quality decision-making—are critical to the delivery of market research insight and to a company’s ability to turn insight into strategies and actions. Continue reading →
Fifteen years ago I started a career as a tech writer, which included predicting how the new era of ubiquitous, always-on connectivity would ultimately change our business and personal lives. As the tech bubble rose, we all predicted evermore incredible things and, of course, many were nothing more than hype. My personal favorite is the Internet Refrigerator, possibly the most oft-quoted example of what an always-on digital life would enable. Imagine a refrigerator (so the story went) that monitors the food inside it, notifies you when you’re low on milk, and even orders your weekly groceries online. I first wrote about this concept back when “dot com” was still a fashionable term, and yet a decade and a half later, my refrigerator sits dumbly with a near-empty carton of sour milk inside.
The Smart Fridge bomb of the 1990s leads me to ponder: what are the hype examples of today that are destined to become ironic footnotes of tomorrow? A straw poll among colleagues quickly offered up a likely candidate in the form of the Connected Car. Imagine a car (so the story goes) that has always-on wireless broadband, monitors its own health as well as that of its driver, communicates with key information sources (traffic, weather, even other cars), and is a hub of streaming entertainment for its passengers. Sounds great, but experience tells us that the mere availability of technology is no harbinger of success. The real question is this: will Connected Cars satisfy a genuine need and thereby stimulate ongoing consumer demand?
While building a model predicting if someone would choose their current brand/provider again today, my client half-jokingly said, “Yeah, choice is one of those things that you can never move.” He meant, of course, that share and choice are resistant to change in the short term: No matter how hard you try, your efforts seem to have little effect.
Shares do change over time though, so how does that happen? Recently, I found one answer in an unlikely place, the bestseller Superfreakonomics. In one section it’s clear that to change a consumer’s future behavior, we have to understand the relative incentives she has and the why behind them. The key point being: Consumers’ personal choices and behavior are unlikely to change unless and until they believe that change is in their best interest.