TV Viewing HAS NOT Changed – The Gap Filling Has!


We have yet another set of statistics that declare the living room TV Viewing habits are changing.  Let us look at this from another perspective:  I would put it to you that it is not TV Viewing that has changed it is human habits that arhave changed due to the advent of ‘New Technologies’.  If you were to take away the smart-phones and tablets from a TV centric family (as I have done at home recently) you will see that the TV viewing on the BIG Screen once again takes principle place.  Not book-reading, or board-game-playing but TV, and it quickly becomes a fight for the remote control with unhappy, sulky members of the family who are not interested in what the others are viewing….however we noticed that slowly but surely a migration back to sitting as a group with sharing-as-a-group takes place and an agreement to share what is on the TV, as it did in the time before these other access devices entrered the fray.  As a family we searched for common-content that all the family could get a little something from, be it a documentary, a film or even a cartoon that pleased everyone .  We became part of our children’s TV world and they ours, once again.  We also adhered to the ratings and respected the different viewing options based on quality of content – NO MORE VIOLENT, SEX RIDDLED,  TRASHY OR STOOPID content.  It was a pleasant and fulfilling exercise.  During the ads we went to the loo, talked and did what we always used to do during the Ad breaks – Watched some Ads and not others… (BTW Ads do not require ‘viewing only’ for them to have effect – the audio part subcontiously enters the brain even if you are not watching!).

Allowing the phones back instantly became the new distraction thus proving that easy access to communication (messaging), access to fun & stupid videos (via the internet) and access to ‘work and private’ emails urghhh, highlighted a penchant for instant gratification and removed the need to ‘work to find common-TV Centric ground’ and once again enabled what we call ‘gap-filling’ .  Each to their own simplistic and shallow needs.  The IAB piece on chaging TV Viewing Habits IAB Article states the following:

extract: For example, the incidence of checking emails is consistent during TV programmes and ad breaks (both 34 per cent) whilst texting or Instant Messaging is only 1 per cent higher during the ad break than the programme. The device tracking showed, overall, there was actually more online activity per minute during a programme than an ad break.

The information in the article is not startling and supports the findings of the experiment we carried out at home . It shows that if the viewer is not fully engaged with the programme they will still feel the need to do something else.  We saw distraction in the form of speaking and fidgeting or leaving the couch when the TV show did not fully delight a particular family member.  So what does that tell us?  It only tells us that TV is all about engaging the viewer as much as possible.  It has never been that we all sat avidly from start to finish without some form of mental distraction, UNLESS it was a TOTALLY compelling content from beginning to end.

In the old days we had a lot less content to choose from and it was a lot less ‘same-same’, as it is now in the world of 24 Hour channel stuffing. It is not TV Viewing that has changed it is the enablement of filling the ‘distraction time’ without having to get up and do something else and it is the masses of same-same stuff on TV that drives people to look for fresh and exciting, different content elsewhere, which makes the stats skewed.  The people surveyed must have been sat in front of the BIG Screen for those statistics to have been gathered…The only difference is from yesteryear to today we have technology that has made it simple to ‘visit another place’ for instant gratification. The dwindling ‘attention span’ is bad content and boredom, no matter how minor, leads to ‘gap filling’.

And to finish: The Kettle Surge moment, written in the article, is also a just sign of the developing times – We have much more efficient coffe machines and probably hear the sound of corks popping much more, as NESPRESSO and WINE has replaced the TEA drinking of yesteryear. LOL.

 

 

UBER BE SCARED: Ordering a Taxi on Television


OpenMaps liftago-taxi-1-thumb

UBER BE SCARED –  It appears that you have a new competitor – The wonderful world of HBBTV has delivered its latest ‘App’ and it may rock the Taxi App World of the Smart-Phone … I cannot imagine when you might be watching TV and suddenly think – I will order a Taxi ! … Well the Czech Republic thinks so.  Good luck with that!

Bundles: TV is Merely Changing the Transmission Media Not The Business Model


TV Will Never Be Free
TV Will Never Be Free

Telco managed TV services (i.e. IPTV) had a great deal of issues obtaining content and it struggled terribly.  Some thought it would be built on UGC (User Generated Content).  However #YouTube stole that crown.  Many Telcos bundled it with the Broadband offer and then ticked you off as a TV Subscriber; whether you watched it or not.  Unfortunately it offered a lesser experience and needed linear TV to make it palatable to the average consumer.  In the main, people just want to be fed TV programmes and not have to be their own ‘channel-line-up’ producer each time they sit in front of the box.  We are inherently lazy and Millenials are no different – If anything their attention span kills the theory of sitting down and selecting a nights viewing by App scanning; especially after a hard days work on a screen.

This New Yorker (below) story about bundles growing on Internet or Web TV is fascinating as it looks at the TV Subscription angle.  However I felt that the story should have dug much deeper.  The author should have looked at the garnered revenue from subscriptions and investigated where that money relates to content:  i.e. Explore the way content is funded because this is also an important factor in the business model of TV and the bundle, be it over-the-air, over cable or over the Internet.  Here is an article that @TimWu could reference: http://abovethecrowd.com/2010/04/28/affiliate-fees-make-the-world-go-round/ 

Here is the full New Yorker Article:
http://www.newyorker.com/business/currency/the-dreaded-bundle-comes-to-internet-tv

Extract:
“But those who predicted that the Internet would kill the bundle may have spoken too soon. Internet TV, in fact, is now growing its own bundle—the so-called “neo-bundle.” This year, Dish television and Sony have begun selling a version of Internet television that centers on a bundle, albeit one that is smaller and cheaper that the original offered by cable companies. Dish’s Sling is the most exciting and enticing: it offers ESPN and twenty other channels for twenty dollars a month. (You add an extra fifteen dollars if you want HBO). Sony’s Vue has fifty or so channels, for fifty dollars a month, but no ESPN or HBO. Apple, meanwhile, is likely to launch its own version in the fall.

In short, instead of the Internet killing the bundle, the bundle is coming to the Internet; it would not be surprising if, in the next year or two, half a dozen more neo-bundlers join the game. This may come as a surprise to those who expected the television of the future to resemble, say, a smartphone screen, where every channel would be roughly like an app that you subscribe to à la carte. But overestimating change in the television industry is a rookie mistake.”

P.S. By the way, RabbitTV already bundles ‘free-content’ for you for a small fee.  Which gives kudos to my theory that we are all lazy when it comes to TV viewing.  “I’ll pay 10 bucks to someone to do it for me instead so I can just watch it instead of wasting all that time searching & selecting.”

Social Media Success Stories


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There are a huge amount of failures in Social Media because Social Media is in the main only about success and good news stories. Those failures are hidden and never discussed. There are many overly optimistic types that can turn around a failure into a good enough positive to drive a success story such is the overly exuberance that many Social Media Experts (of which thousands use the tool of self proclamation) utilise. I have a handful of personal experiences in failed Social Media…Not because I am bad at it but because I have found that if you are in early and hit the sweet-spot you can flourish – A Big Fish in a Small Sea – if only a a Small Fish in a Big Sea then you know where that leads – often to failure.

I take Picasso as an example…who was originally a traditional painter but only one amongst many in his era…In order to stand out from the crowd he invented a different style that went against the grain and the establishment, and look where it led. Today there are millions upon millions more people on the planet equally talented, equally imaginative, equally trying to be different, however the opportunity for differentiation is rapidly diminishing. Most things, styles, products have been invented and many things which are being offered up as if they are new when in fact they are not because people just don’t look deep enough into what they have…For all the successes just as for all the inventions there is a minuscule percentage that make it. Social Media is no exception. However if at first you dont succeed then you must, if you are a true Social Media expert, try and try and yes, try again.

#Twitter Bonkers & Nigerian Kidnapping


cropped-red_rejected_stamp_400_clr.pngWhat I would like to know is  will we now have a hashtag for every incident that occurs on the planet be it a kidnapping, murder spree or some other event that affects the human race in some shape or form or are we going to deal with these incidents realistically?  This is how this whole event should have unfolded: #event – Hundreds of Schoolgirls kidnapped by Boko Haram in Nigeria.  #nextstep – UN (or some governing body) orders orders Press BLACKOUT – #nextnextstep – We send in a multi-nation Elite Forces Group – Kill Terrorists – Rescue Girls – #PressStory then reads: Schoolgirls kidnapped in northern Nigeria by Boko Haram rescued, ALL Terrorists dead – VOILA!

Lets sort out the mess and NOT tweet nonsense and vocalise DISDAIN about it as that is just what Boko Haram wants.  Sorry #michelleobama @MichelleObama but holding a hashtag poster was just not what you should have done;  You should have told hubby @BarackObama to send in the troops.

 

Playing into the CFOs hands with Quantifiable Digital Marketing – ROI


Playing into the CFOs Hands with Quantifiable Digital Marketing – ROI

People are hailing ‘Digital Marketing’ as the new paradigm for Marcomms.  The inevitable search for quantifiable marketing results in companies that want to make sense of their marketing spend is clear.  I will however argue that Digital Marketing has already started to ‘expose’ the marketing theories of the world’s digital marketing gurus and the plethora of Social Media experts who are committing to it with all of their might, even boldly claiming Traditional Marketing is dead!   They are  merely all shooting themselves in the foot because the truth about marketing ROI is perhaps best left buried under the carpet.  Sometimes it is better not to ask for quantifiable results because you may soon find out that you are exposing yourself to unwanted CFO scrutiny, followed by budget slashing and potential job loss.  When it comes to tangibles in finance nearly ALL  CFOs are heartless and cold towards the world of Marketing (a certain intangible).  With measurement comes accountability and as such you are all playing into the CFOs hands with your fabulous Marketing ROI claims.   Cutting the marketing budget is the first thing that happens when Revenue drops n’est ce pas, fighting for marketing budget each year is an uphill battle isn’t it?  I have read many an article on the work lifespan of a modern CMO,  which is now, on average, 2 years,…why?  Perhaps it is due to modern marketing accountability!

In this saturated digital media world the majority of digital marketing campaigns fall on stony ground.  OK some will be successful but the % is tiny…ROI is generally negative.  Studies of Facebook campaigns and  ‘Likes’ highlights this and it is only the tip of the iceberg.  If you were to use finance driven Project Indicators, Rates of Return,  NPV, IRR and Payback calculations in Marketing you would soon stop all projects before they start. ( The PI > 1).

Digital Marketing can be equated to our attempts at the introduction of Digital Interactive Television – i.e. Not many people really cared and did not click on the buttons as we first expected.  I suggest that the ‘new’ Social Media gurus do a psychology and sociology course as part of any marketing course in order to understand human beings.  Why?  Because people are actually NOT interested in this ‘engagement’ aspect in the main, as you are interfering with the task in hand (Surfing the web, looking for something, facebooking, blogging etc.).  In digital TV we were/are able to monitor, gathering deep information from this Digital system long before it was called Social TV.  Analytics was our new business, or was it?   We actually buried the results across the industry (still do) because whilst it is obviously the way we are all heading in Digital Media it is unjustifiable in terms of spend.  Yes it will grow, change,  and we will see positivity but not for many years to come.  Interactivity/Engagement = Perseverance and Re-Education (Changing Habits).

What people fail to understand is the bigger picture in Marketing.   The fundamentals of any Corporate Marketing initiative is ‘Presence’ and that should embrace both Traditional and Digital Marketing.   Traditional message generation or Brand Exposure is only a brainwashing of the masses who are in general doing ‘other things’ when you offer up your Brand.  Making them engage when they are in Facebook is not what you should be trying as it is distracting from the fun of Facebook so the mental state of the recipient is not tuned in.   The need for ‘presence’ in the market is paramount and a marketing cornerstone for all the marketing mix.   So what if 1000 people click on your Ad, so what if a 1000 people send a tweet does it really matter?  It is only a miniscule  % of the amount of people who have probably consciously and subconsciously  registered your ‘presence’ without interaction,  which therefore does not mean that you have failed in your campaign.  It does however if you do the math’s.

Here is something you can convince the CFO to do as a Marketing ROI exercise – Stop your Traditional Marketing and see where you head – I know that your  Company will suffer and lose market share, possibly fold and collapse.  Presence is primordial!  I  also suggest that Social Media gurus work in Companies where ONLY Digital Marketing is done to see how long they last…I furthermore suggest that they stop telling us that Traditional Marketing is dead because they do not know what they are talking about!

The VCR/PVR was supposed to kill advertising … it didn’t!  TV killed the radio star… it didn’t!   Just remember this: Web Pop Ups which annoyed people so much and disappeared were the sign that Digital Marketing is in the main an interruptive, distracting nuisance that is heavily ignored.   All Digital Ads are just a new form of  popups that I have called Popins.  Uninvited guests!

Is There Really A Loss Of Allure To CES 2013?


200px-The_Bubble_British_PosterWhen you don’t go to a Trade Show that you have been regularly visiting for the past 8-10 years it is a slightly uncomfortable feeling.    It sort of feels like you are missing out on something…but are you really?  CES is after all a gadget show and do we need to go if we are not Retailers of Consumer Electronics?  What a lot of people do not know is that there is a lot going on behind the scenes in more of a Business-2-Business nature; especially in the Television world that I move in.   A lot of networking takes place, and a lot of  ‘private suites’ allow for plenty of businessmen to gather, show of their wares in private, discuss and potentially deal-make!

However as a ‘tech journalist’ you might think that things have a different allure.  Certainly the BBC’s writer David Pogue has just publishd a very poignant article from his perspective.  It can be found in full here: http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20130104-does-ces-have-a-future

His outlook is that there is mostly years of repetition of  technology along with what I call ‘catch-up’ Companies there ‘en-masse’ with cheaper but the same gadgets from the year before and therefore swamping the floors, the industry and the news with old stuff in effect.  There is also a decline in the Big Companies with Microsoft having pulled out!   Apple is not there either and if Apple is not there how can it truly be called THE Consumer Electronic Show?  Qualcomm even did the keynote speech this year – Qualcomm?

Another journalist from our immediate industry Leslie Ellis pointed out that the the trending products were waterpoofing gadgets for your smartphones and tablets.   I suspect the Hunting Knife Company and the Mini Flying Helicopters will still be there in the South Hall and that Spearmint Rhino will still get its CES clientele.  Ummm, so what is it I miss?

Well in all honestly I do miss it as it kicks off the business year with a hectic, manic traipse around Vegas!  Therefore life without an early dose of CES certainly makes for a less-tired more calculated start to 2013.