The Winners And Losers Of CES 2012 | TechCrunch

The Winners And Losers Of CES 2012 | TechCrunch.

posted 5 hours ago
ces_header

CES 2012 has come and gone, and it’s time for the inevitable summary and think pieces on the directions the industry is heading, the highlights of the show, and so on. We’ll also be posting some interviews and highlights from our live coverage this week, but before that it is, of course, necessary to publish some sort of top 10 list.

So here are five winners and five losers of CES, as judged by those of us who went to the show, and with consideration both for the limited, short-term nature of the show itself and the longer-term sea of trends on which these companies and devices are sailing.

Winners

TVs

Last year, the TVs at CES were a wearying collection of the same-y junk, and everyone was pushing the same thing: 3D. I don’t personally have a problem with 3D, and in fact almost every TV we saw this year was also 3D-capable. But this time around, it wasn’t their primary feature. Perhaps as a result of the various display manufacturers’ lineups looking more or less the same for a while (not to mention the indifferent response of the market to home 3D), TV makers decided to actually add different features this year. Not all were useful, mind you, but Samsung, Sony, Sharp, and so on decided to take their own paths – whether in style of interaction, breadth of content, or sheer size (that would be Sharp). It’s good to see a TV here and actually be curious about it again.

Sony

While Sony stumbles here and there, especially with PR, they do make some really cool stuff. This year’s trip to their booth reminded us just how much stuff this company makes, and how much of it is actually pretty great. Sure, 1080p 3D binoculars aren’t the most practical thing in the world, but I like to know someone’s making them, and making them well. The Sony-Ericsson phones were also quite nice; the new Xperia Ion and S both impressed. One caveat there: they’ve been hyping their S and P tablets for so long that the devices are in danger of being old before any consumers really get a chance to use them. They have good products, but need to just trust the brand and the quality and ship the damn things.

Streaming and media services

There was a recurring theme of empowering consumers, by which many companies mean they’ll stop shoving their inferior in-house services down our throats, and let us do what they want with the device we paid for. This means that more and more devices are letting in services like Pandora, Skype, Amazon streaming, everything. If you provide a way to connect consumers with content, device makers want you to be available on their thing. As devices get smarter, it’s getting harder to defend how dumb the big brands have forced them to be over the last few years. There’s no excuse for a device powerful enough to run Netflix (to say nothing of 3D games) not to do so. TV makers are accepting this. That’s a win.

ARM & friends

While Intel has been dominating the desktop world, ARM has crept up and stolen pretty much the entire mobile and embedded market. There doesn’t seem to be any abatement in that trend, and in fact Intel’s hold on Windows machines is starting to show cracks as well. This year at CES, all the smart TVs, tablets, phones, tweener devices, and half the other stuff worth looking at were sporting an ARM processor in one form or another. NVIDIA showed a great, cheap Android 4.0 tablet, Qualcomm had a ton of TVs and powerful media devices, Marvell showed their great OLPC XO-3 tablet and powers a bunch of other things — the list goes on. ARM was probably the most ubiquitous company at the show. Intel did show off their new smartphone, though, so a new battle may be forthcoming.

RIM

I must admit I wasn’t expecting much from RIM, and I guess in the end they didn’t have that much to offer: a hands-on with the PlayBook 2.0 update. But I’m really glad we stopped by, and I think RIM showed that they are still a force to be reckoned with in some respects. The PlayBook, whipping boy of the tech blogs, is made far more complete by the addition of the email, contacts, and calendar features. If they had released this, and perhaps at a slightly lower price than they were selling it for at launch, I think the tech world would have been genuinely enthusiastic. In our interview with them, I wasn’t just buttering them up when I said I would certainly recommend the PlayBook over an iOS or Android device for the purposes of day-to-day productivity, enterprise, and so on. The PlayBook, I said, was a breach birth, its non-critical consumer-facing functions emerging foremost, and its essential business and productivity functions delayed dangerously. Now that they’ve been delivered (so to speak), I can safely say the PlayBook is a far better tablet than it was, and that Google and Apple should take a look at some of their clever and powerful gesture and UI work.

Losers

Apple

People have been saying that the shadow of Apple would fall darkly on CES, that everyone would be spooked about the imminent presence of the new iPad and the rumored iTV, that it would be a show of Apple clones. The truth is that no one really seemed to be thinking much about Apple one way or the other. We saw phones taking design in interesting directions, tablets with diverse uses, business models that move beyond iTunes, and smart TVs that the companies seemed pretty excited about, not defeatist or pathetic. The only place Apple showed up was in the accessories area, and the new items we saw, more often than not, were careful to accommodate Android and other devices as well. CES just isn’t Apple’s show, which isn’t much of a surprise to some, but others want to believe that Apple has a presence even where it isn’t. CES showed this year that, news coverage patterns notwithstanding, the tech world doesn’t revolve around Apple; it revolves around a weird and splendid panoply of overly specific gadgets, raw components, and foreign niche markets.

Consumers

Despite all the wins listed, it still wasn’t a very good show for consumers. Many device classes have been caught mid-transition: tablets and phones, only a few of which are running that all-important Ice Cream Sandwich; TVs, which are beginning the transition to smart TVs but aren’t safe enough yet to put in the hands of non-enthusiasts; car interfaces, which have not learned lessons from smartphones and tablets and are still fairly unintuitive — etc, etc. The trends are good, but you can’t buy trends. Whether it will be next year or the year after that the devices achieve the status of buyable I can’t say, but I do know that I wouldn’t recommend many things I saw this year, even if I found them promising.

Ultrabooks

The much-hyped ultrabooks were mostly snoozers: the same devices people have been making for years, but thinner. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, exactly, but it sure isn’t very exciting — it’s more like what TV makers do. And brands like Toshiba and Lenovo can’t afford to be considered as providing a commodity after this class of products has been hyped to the moon. The devices I saw weren’t bad, just not very impressive from the standpoint of a consumer standing in a Best Buy or browsing the web trying to decide what to get. I didn’t get a chance to check out Dell’s new machine, though, which Matt Burns tells me is a very nice piece of kit. And these are only the first ultrabooks, so we must give them a chance to refine themselves. It just wasn’t much of a debut.

Set-top boxes

There’s been an explosion of diversity in the set-top box space, with devices like the Boxee Box and Roku, and of course Tivo and the like. But the new smart TVs being put out by practically every TV maker take dead aim at these convenient, user-friendly products. It was a bottom-up revolution over the last two years as these nimble and inexpensive boxes took the sloppily-produced “smart” TVs of the day to school with faster updates, more content, and easy entry. Those salad days may be ending; Samsung, LG, and others are putting real money and real R&D into making set-top boxes obsolete. I’d hate to be Roku right now — well, that’s not true, they’re doing great. But over the next year they will really have to step up their game and prevent their service from being duplicated on-device.

CES

I’ve talked a lot and answered a lot of questions from people, family, and media about whether CES is in trouble. And my answer has always been: no. CES is doing fine. They had 153,000 attendees this year and 3100 exhibitors. It’s a huge, important, and interesting show, and will be for a long time to come. But when something like the departure of a partner (in this case Microsoft) causes everyone in the world to doubt its relevance, it’s not a question of practicality, it’s a question of confidence. Is the opinion at large of CES so low that such a relatively small event (Microsoft’s participation was largely symbolic, rarely substantial) would mean the difference between “show goes on” and “show shuts down”? The CEA should take this popular response seriously: it’s not a warning that their show is about to hit the wall, but rather a warning that they have failed to make understood what the show is about. They should take the opportunity to fill the Microsoft gap with something big, and do something to make the show, ostensibly trade but in reality very public, more comprehensible to people at large.


Overall the show was more promising than impressive. Products like the gesture-based TVs, the Galaxy Note, and numerous other devices and services aren’t anything I would recommend, and their benefits aren’t really obvious to anyone who isn’t deeply interested. The offspring of these products, however, will be very interesting. Unfortunately, they won’t be around for a while.

Two things I want to add: I personally would have liked to add the new OLPC tablet to the winners, but although I find it delightful, it’s not really big enough to warrant putting down. And Microsoft could be considered either a loser or a winner: it wasn’t much of a keynote or a show for them, but then again, Microsoft rarely rocks CES very hard, and they might be given a little credit for recognizing that and taking action.

What do you think were the big winners and losers at CES? Were you there? Was it a good show? Tell us below (or dispute my choices) in the comments.

Advertisements

2012 : vers un web post-social ? | Communications et internet

2012 : vers un web post-social ? | Communications et internet.

Opinion de S. Léauthier

Ville : Lyon
Twitter : @sleauthier

“A défaut d’être l’année de l’apocalypse, 2012 marquera t-elle la fin de “la bulle” sociale (je parle de web bien sûr) ?

Les grandes plateformes web de réseau social  sont nées au début des années 2000 : Meetic en 2001, Friendster en 2002, Myspace, Viadéo et LinkedIn en 2003, Facebook, Youtube et Dailymotion en 2005, Twitter en 2006.
10 ans après le début de cette vague, le social imprègne le web, le web transpire le social.
Les grandes plateformes ont atteint des nombres d’utilisateurs exceptionnels, et beaucoup se sont rués sur ce nouvel eldorado : on nous vend du social partout : livres, conférences, blogs, web agencies,…
Chacun se doit de soigner son personal branding, les marques de soigner leur e-réputation :

Les webmasters doivent “socialiser” leur site ; les community managers doivent animer des communautés, tout le monde doit soigner son e-réputation et travailler son personal branding.

Oui, mais…

Les sites web ont-il vraiment besoin d’intégrer des boutons sociaux pour permettre le partage de leur contenu ?


Pas forcément, les utilisateurs des plateformes sociales savent comment partager un article d’un site web sur facebook ou twitter sans avoir recours aux plugins sociaux.
AddThis, qui propose des outils de social plugins, a révélé récemment dans une étude d’une ampleur assez importante ( 5 ans de données sur 1,2 milliard d’individus / mois) que la pratique majoritaire du partage de contenu sur les réseaux sociaux se fait…par copier coller, 10 fois plus fréquemment que par les outils de partage.

De plus, l’intégration de fonctionnalités natives de partage dans les navigateurs web, voire dans les systèmes d’exploitation des terminaux (IOS5 avec twitter) relativise l’impact des boutons sociaux intégrés directement aux sites.
On peut se poser la question suivante : est-ce le rôle des sites web que de proposer des plugins sociaux de partage (je ne parle pas des liens vers les espaces sociaux), ou bien doit-on laisser “cette tâche” aux navigateurs  ou aux systèmes d’exploitation ?
Cela me fait penser à cette mode il y a quelques années d’afficher sur les sites un bouton “ajouter le site aux favoris”. Cette pratique a été ensuite abandonnée, parce qu’il s’agit plus d’une fonctionnalité du navigateur, mais aussi parce qu’elle posait des problèmes ergonomiques et graphiques. Voir mon article à ce sujet.

Les pages et comptes des marques sont-ils vraiment des communautés ?

Non, dans la plupart des cas, parler de “communauté” pour une page facebook ou un compte twitter est galvaudé : avoir des fans ou des followers ne signifie pas avoir une communauté, et animer de tels espaces ne peut être appellé du “community management”.
Une communauté suppose des  ”liens d’intérêts, des habitudes communes, des opinions ou des caractères communs” (définition Larousse) ; dans beaucoup de cas, le seul caractère commun est d’être fan ou de suivre une marque, et cet élément  n’est pas suffisant pour faire exister une communauté.
Voir mon article “Pourquoi les community managers ne font pas de community management ?”

Soigner son e-réputation, ne pas parler de sa vie privée… quitte à avoir tous le même profil ?

Certes, il est important de paraître un bon candidat aux yeux d’un recruteur lorsqu’on est à la recherche d’opportunités professionnelles.
Les gourous du personal branding expliquent aux étudiants qu’il ne faut pas publier leurs photos de soirée, verrouiller leur profil facebook, et bien remplir leur CV et développer leur réseau sur Viadéo et LinkedIn.
Mais à force d’écouter ces conseils, n’arrive t’on pas à une standardisation de la présence web, où tous les candidats se ressemblent et ou l’originalité et la personnalité de chacun s’efface sous prétexte qu’il ne faut pas parler de sa vie privée sur le web ?
Voir mon billet “la mauvaise réputation”
Aujourd’hui, certaines  voix commencent à remettre en cause cette pensée unique :  Jeff Jarvis avec son ouvrage “Tout nu sur le web” (Pearson Education – décembre 2011), Jean-Marc Manach avec son ouvrage “La vie privée, un problème de vieux cons” (Fyp Éditions – octobre 2010).

2012, année du post-social ?

Le web social est une réalité. Il a permis et il permet aujourd’hui de créer dans certains contextes des opportunités pour des personnes et des marques qui n’auraient pas été possibles sans.

Mais beaucoup surestiment sa puissance  et son efficacité.

La dernière conférence #leweb11 , grande messe commerciale du web (en fait surtout du web social), à Paris en décembre 2011, avait pour slogan conceptuel et pour vision du web le #solomo, pour social, local, et mobile.

Lors de cette même conférence, George Colony, CEO du cabinet Forrester Research, a avancé un tout autre concept : le “post-social” ou #poso.

Son idée est simple : il y a trop de réseaux sociaux, trop d’espaces d’expressions, comparé à notre capacité d’utilisation.
George Colony reprend en fait le concept de “social media fatigue”, qui émerge depuis quelques mois, consolidé par des études montrant une baisse de la contribution et une hausse de la passivité, sur facebook notamment.


Mais alors, que pourrait être ce fameux web post-social ?

Selon George Colony, ce sera un web plus efficace, plus pragmatique, recherchant l’efficacité et une forte valeur ajoutée des services en ligne, la productivité et la rapidité.

Comment cela pourrait se traduire au niveau des grandes plateformes ?
Cela voudrait dire pas forcément moins d’utilisateurs mais moins d’utilisation, ou en tout cas une utilisation plus rationnelle, répondant à un besoin ciblé et occasionnel : je vais sur LinkedIn car je suis à a la recherche d’emploi, je vais sur facebook car je souhaite partager mes photos de vacances avec mes amis, mais je reste moins connecté à ces plateformes de manière permanente.

Path, l’avenir du web social ?

Le web post-social pourrait aussi permettre de nouvelles opportunités et une redistribution des cartes du marché du web social.
Cela pourrait favoriser le développement de plateformes plus simples d’utilisation, avec moins de fonctionnalités, et peut-être moins ouvertes .
Path pourrait parfaitement incarner ce web post-social : une plateforme assez fermée (application mobile Android et IOS, pas de plateforme web),  une vocation à échanger dans un cercle assez étroit (limite d’amis fixée à 150 actuellement) , une simplicité d’utilisation (le design est époustouflant !), et surtout une absence totale de publicité ou de présence de marques.

On imagine que si Path évoluait, ce serait plutôt vers un modèle freemium, tant la présence de marques et de publicité est contraire à l’esprit de cette application.

Ce serait alors une rupture profonde dans le web social, dans la mesure ou la plupart des grandes plateformes dominant actuellement le marché se basent sur le modèle publicitaire et l’irruption des marques dans la sphère privée, pour permettre la gratuité de service à l’utilisateur.

Et sur le plan organisationnel ?

La possible montée en puissance de ce type de plateforme, ajouté à l’éclatement de la bulle du web social, pourrait recentrer les marques vers une utilisation plus rationnelle des réseaux sociaux, ce qui n’est pas forcément le cas aujourd’hui.
Sur le plan organisationnel, cela pourrait se traduire par un amoindrissement du “‘Community Management” qui deviendrait plus une mission, à défaut d’incarner véritablement une fonction, excepté dans les très grandes entreprises ou dans certains domaines très marqués par la dimension communautaire (enseignement supérieur, sports,…).

Et vous, comment imaginez-vous l’avenir du web ?”

The Future Is Not What It Used to Be – Our Predictions for 2012 | Business 2 Community

The Future Is Not What It Used to Be – Our Predictions for 2012 | Business 2 Community.

By , Published January 9, 2012

The title for this post comes from a presentation given by the late Steve Jobs way back in 1983.

Before looking forward, we should take a moment to reflect on the passing in 2011 of one of the greatest visionaries and marketers of our time.

The future is, indeed, not what it used to be as a direct result of this remarkable man’s contribution. In a regressive sense, we will miss his charismatic launches of new innovations: Apple will surely survive, but miss his leadership. More positively, his contribution to the frictionless society that we now enjoy has forever changed how we investigate, communicate and consume. The future of marketing is most certainly not what it used to be.

Nor is the future what it used to be when it comes to the economy. 2011 has, by most definitions, been a bastard. We entered it with the hope and promise of economic recovery: we exit it with predictions of the recession continuing until December 2013. The saving grace? We are all becoming so imbibed with the prophesies of doom that we are not even factoring past comparisons into our thinking any more. Rather than “Keep Calm and Carry On”, our rallying cry to business leaders, in homage to Jobs, is “Keep Visioning and Carry On”.

The continuing slow down had an impact on some of .

We correctly foresaw the rapid growth of mobile and the equally slow take up of geo-location networks and marketing automation in the UK. Conversely, we were evidently too early with our expectations of the Olympics and too conservative with our predictions of the importance of content generation. The world of the soothsayer is fraught with risk.

Undeterred, we turn our telescope to the future once again and bring our next set of predictions into view.

1. Further rapid growth in the take up of mobile and tablet technology

We are moving further and further into the frictionless society. Products must allow for use ‘any time, any place, anywhere’. Content must be designed to easily consume and share.

2. Marketers goals will shift from capturing leads to nurturing contacts in order to win customers’ trust and create demand

The definition of marketing is changing from a tactical activity to an ongoing strategic process of client and prospect engagement.

3. A redefining of the role of the journalist

Businesses will start to compete with the media as publishers. High quality editorial and analysis will rise above the clutter to build brand names and reputations for those that can deliver it. Every business needs to have a journalist on hand to report on its achievements and opinions.

4. A reawakening to the importance of physical engagement in the client care and nurturing process

For all the current emphasis on content generation, relationships only truly exist when all of the senses are engaged – which means creating opportunities to meet face to face. Seminars, trade events, networking and experiential marketing will be given parity with social media and thought leadership.

5. Slow take up of QR codes

Until such time as QR readers come pre-installed in smart devices and the reading technology improves, we predict QR codes will remain in the category of fashionable, not essential. There are some clever implementations out there and the seamless linking of print-media to online remains a worthy enough goal to guarantee that a viable solution will emerge in the not too distant future. Watch this space.

6. Google+ for business will drown in the shadow of Facebook

OK, so this is the risky one. We think that Google+ is too late to the party and, for all its scale and influence, time-poor businesses will make the strategic choice to stay with what they know.

Despite the climate, our agenda at The Marketing Eye remains one of growth. We have strengthened our leadership and financial management structures to allow more focus on our clients and to create a more secure future for our team.

We will continue to evolve our proposition to provide the right mix of physical and intellectual engagement marketing techniques to allow our clients to win the trust of an increasing number of prospects over time which, in turn, will help their businesses prosper and thrive.

And we will remain true to our core values of sharing our knowledge, creating opportunities for young people and contributing to the community in which we work. We met our promises in 2011 and will build further on these in 2012.

The rest, as they say, is down to fate.

May we take this opportunity to wish you and your business unfailing good health and prosperity in 2012. If you think we can be part of your story, please contact us. We will be delighted to hear from you.

6 Startups to Watch in 2012

6 Startups to Watch in 2012.

An Olympic games, a U.S. presidential election and the end of the world are already planned for 2012, but we’re more excited about the startups.

Here are six of them (in no particular order) that we expect to help define the coming year. We chose companies based on the momentum they gained in 2011, promising new takes on old problems and, in one case, the possibility of an IPO.

Did we look at every startup in the world before compiling this list? Nope. Did we overlook some of the startups speeding toward 2012 definition-dom? Yep. Which is where you come in. Let us know in the comments which startups are on your list to watch in 2012.


1. Skillshare


Skillshare is an online marketplace for offline classes. When we spoke to the startup in May, a month after it launched, more than 100 users had posted classes about everything from crocheted jewelery to how to invest your first $10,000. Eight months later, thousands of teachers have used Skillshare to teach more than 15,000 hours of classes. A few have even quit their jobs to teach Skillshare classes full-time.

While the startup began with classes clustered in New York City, it now has budding communities in San Francisco, Chicago, Boston and elsewhere. Its site interface is already set up to accommodate more than 70 U.S. and International cities. There are no or few classes offered in most of them, but by the end of 2012, we’re betting there will be.


2. Zaarly, Taskrabbit or Something Similar


We’re pretty sure that the mobile, local version of Craigslist will gain traction in 2012. We’re just not settled on which one yet. Zaarly and TaskRabbit both allow users to find someone nearby to complete odd jobs. Zaarly also lets people request items like a reverse eBay. Both are liable to gain traction in 2012.


3. LevelUp/SCVNGR


While solutions such as Google Wallet try to introduce mobile payments through NFC technology at a time when there are few devices on the market that supports it, SCVNGR has launched a solution called LevelUpthat works with any phone and any bank account. The app gives any merchant the ability to run a loyalty program that works similarly to the Starbucks App, which allows users to pay using a code displayed on their phone and collect reward points.

LevelUp users link any credit or debit card to their LevelUp accounts the same way that Starbucks links a gift card to its app. When they get to a LevelUp merchant, the app generates a unique QR code at the register that can be scanned with a merchant app to pay. Merchants can add rewards to LevelUp that are already waiting for customers the first time that they use the app, and customers earn free credit at that merchant every time they spend money there using the app.

Since launching in October, the app has signed up more than 100,000 users and has about 1,000 businesses. Meanwhile, T-Mobile has helped deploy more than 2,500 docking stations that stand in for the merchant app as a scanning mechanism at checkout counters. It’s a modest start, but LevelUp has all of the ingredients to become more widespread than competing mobile payment options.


4. Dwolla


Let’s be frank: transferring money through social networks sounds shady. Which is what makes it impressive that Dwolla, a payments startup that makes transfers through Twitter, Facebook, SMS and other virtual channels, was processing $1 million per day less than a year after launch.

Dwolla’s 70,000 users make payments through Twitter, Facebook, SMS and other virtual channels by connecting their bank accounts to their Dwolla accounts. The service integrates with social networks to alert payment recipients there is money waiting for them in their own Dwolla accounts that can be transferred to their bank account. Payments of up to $10 are free and anything larger costs $0.25 — which is cheaper than paying a credit card fee.

In December, the company launched a new feature called Instant that lets users pay on up to $5 of credit while waiting for bank transfers from their accounts, making this process instant.


5. Eventbrite


Eventbrite is the oddball on our list of companies to watch in 2012 because the ticketing platform launched five years ago. But here are some reasons we think that 2012 is a good time to keep an eye on the startup:

  • It’s on a growth streak. Last year it sold about 11 million tickets. This year it sold about 21 million.
  • It’s being taken seriously by big events. This summer, for instance, it handled tickets for a Black Eyed Peas concert in New York City’s Central Park in addition to 458,000 other events (more than twice as many as last year).
  • It’s expanding internationally. Eventbrite opened a London office in October and launched localized versions of its platform in Ireland and Canada in December.
  • It’s offline. A new iPad app lets event organizer sell tickets through Eventbrite at the door.
  • It could IPO. In a ZURB podcast this summer, Eventbrite CEO Kevin Hartz said that Eventbrite could file as early as 2012. “We have to continue to perform to very lofty expectations to do that,” he said.

6. Codecademy


Codecademy took something that scared people, learning JavaScript, and turned it into a game. And when it’s not intimidating, it turns out that learning how to code is something that a lot of people want to do. In its first 72 hours after launching this summer, Codecademy signed up 200,000 people for coding lessons. When it launched a New Years resolution class on Jan. 1, Code Year, it signed up 97,000 people in less than 48 hours to receive emails with weekly coding lessons. By the end of the week, more than 170,000 people had signed up for the class, including the Mayor.

What’s interesting about Codecademy’s traction is that its product is still quite limited. Lessons are restricted to JavaScript, and there isn’t a clear pathway for working through the lessons. In 2012, Codecademy will expand to other coding languages, and as it does so, it will also expand its potential userbase. Thanks to Code Year, the startup will for the first time have thousands of students working on specific lessons around the same time, which could present an opportunity to add social features to the platform or create curriculum.

Image courtesy of Flickr, GerlosiStockphotokizilkayaphotos and alexsl

The Top 12 Social Trends in ‘12

The Top 12 Social Trends in ‘12.

With the new year upon us and 2011 in the rear view mirror, it’s time to pay attention to where social media will go this year. In December, the Ogilvy Digital Influence New York City team hosted its year end 2011 Social Trends Lab. The team predicted 12 trends we think will shape and influence 2012. Is there a prediction you don’t see on this list? Let us know! social-media-predictions-360

And now without further ado, here is the Ogilvy Digital Influence crowdsourced Top 12 in ‘12 list of predictions in social media trends (in no particular order).

  1. Social Television goes mainstream. David A. Brooks and Chris Heydt said the trend to watch  is the emergence of Social Television.  New technology will have an effect on the television industry much like Apple iOS and Android had on the popularization of the smartphone mobile market. David noted, “It has gone beyond simply dual screen. Just like you had the advent of smartphones you will see TV technology being revolutionized which will alter viewing habits.” One area Chris said to pay attention will be advertising and engagement. “New ads in this forum using never before seen engagement technology will be able to garner instant reaction.”
  2. Social ROI must become real. Maya Swedowsky said the debate about ROI must be clarified and made concrete in 2012. Facebook analytics need to show better tracking in order to appease the 1 in 3 CMOs demanding to see how their marketing budget invested in social actually has a direct effect on consumer purchase. “Facebook metrics need to go deeper to show if marketing spends are actually worth the investment. Currently, the analytics are unable to show this but will need to in order to get CMOs to continue to invest in the platform.”
  3. Mobile apps will be the main communication tools between brands and consumers. In the week between Christmas and New Year’s users downloaded 1 billion apps. Yes, you read that correctly, 1 billion. Rose Reid thinks certain apps will become just as popular as the platforms that help amplify them. Case in point is Instagram. Instagram as a community platform will grow in 2012. “A brand will eventually tap this platform to carry out an initiative. They may use other platforms to amplify the program, but more app-specific social marketing programs beyond Facebook and Twitter will expand as a result of more people owning mobile smartphone technology which prompts them to use apps as daily utilities.”
  4. News sources that harness the power of social will be credible alternatives to traditional media outlets. Layla Revis thinks one platform to watch in this area is newsmotion.org. She thinks it will emerge as an alternative to mainstream media news. “As new technologies collide with world-changing events, the independent voice (or tweet) has emerged as a major player in news media. Like Alternet and Huffington Post, a citizen news platform like Newsmotion.org is a growing trend to watch.” The innovative platform where civic media and citizen reporting converge to connect new audiences to valuable stories, resources, and — most importantly — each other is definitely a new journalism model for 2012
  5. Social media functionality will further integrate into digital website properties. Geoffrey Colon thinks the website of the future will be laid out in 2012 with new design and user experiences. “The website as we’ve known it is evolving. Brands that have a website and a Facebook and Twitter presence and a mobile application need to merge all of these experiences together to create a unique and friendly web user experience. People are spending 8.5 hours per month on Facebook based on 2011 Nielsen research. Why would a consumer want to visit a brand website when they have community on the Facebook page or get updates on their Twitter feed? If the company website had Facebook or Twitter plug-ins integrated with the open graph this is one way brands can help customers get closer to their owned property. This actually helps brands get more from brand advocates by linking their web properties to real time conversations.” As a result, Colon thinks social aggregators will be popular on company websites and CMOs can use this data to create targeted marketing messages in real time.
  6. Apps on Facebook will become the main amplifier of brand messaging. Max Kelerstein and Stephen Cooper both think there will be an influx of apps on Facebook due to the new open graph. The ownership of verbs to track engagement and personalize a brand on one’s newsfeed will only take place with a good app that ties back to the brand message. Kelerstein states, “Making verbs personal and tying them into a unique app with great functionality is the only way many brands will ever end up in one’s social feed.” Although users tweet and post about brands, it’s more likely they will show brand love through interaction of a seamless and frictionless app in which they enjoy engaging. Case in point is the popularity of such apps as Spotify and Nike+. So brands can reach their advocates through all the clutter, a paid/earned model will become part of all successful brand marketing campaigns in launching an app.
  7. Brands will become publishers and not simply curators.  Sophia Aladenoye thinks that content production and strategy will continue to grow tremendously in 2012. Brands will be expected to be content publishers, producers & planners – pushing them to become more flexible, imaginative and proactive in the creation of great content to sustain interaction with the millions of people who follow them. People, across various social networks, will expect brands to provide them with consistent & fun content that spans across platforms. Brands that embrace this challenge and focus on developing an online personality that is easily recognizable via first, second and third-party brand content will win (in the space of online attention & relationships) moving forward.
  8. A content sharing strategy will be just as important as a content production strategy. It’s not enough to simply create good content in 2012. All brands are slowly becoming publishers. Brands will now have plan accordingly to actually create good content that can be shared. It’s the end of the “produce content, push it out and make it go viral” flowchart. A brand planning efficiently can have as much of an effect pushing through social channels as they did pushing through traditional avenues.
  9. Privacy issues will lead to rewriting personal history in the social realm. In the advent of social media, many users were carefree to share everything. This included controversial tweets and photos. Like people, brands may have disharmony in their social history. And many (unfortunately) will go about the practice of editing that history where it may seem harmful to the brand. Geoffrey Colon noted that the new Timeline on Facebook will probably lead many to edit their social history for fear of losing out on a job or to not embarrass themselves to friends or family. “Brands most likely will also have a similar timeline user interface on Facebook and many will be quick to edit any negativity to present themselves as pristine to potential consumers. Tools empowering the deletion of photos, omissions from their timeline and other actions to help protect their reputation will be the norm.”
  10. Healthcare and B2B will adopt what B2C brands have been doing for the last five years in social. Most consumers are used to engaging with CPGs like a favorite soda or fashion brand. But many will finally be able to communicate and do business with companies that were more conservative in getting involved in the social space. Digital health specialist Priya Kapoor says the space to watch in 2012 is in the healthcare social media space. “In 2011, we saw a lot of activity in the space from pharmaceutical, physicians, hospitals and patients alike. We’ve also seen how platforms such as Facebook and YouTube working with risk-adverse pharma companies so they can reach key audiences. But all of this was done at a sluggish pace as the industry awaited guidance from the FDA.” With the category ending the year by acknowledging the space with newly drafted guidance, we can expect to see healthcare and B2B finally go 2.0 and beyond in 2012.
  11. Social commerce is adopted across the board. Remember all those crazy crowds and long lines on Black Friday 2012? That will be an image of the past as retailers will adopt location-based apps to help consumers with purchase in the real world which in turn drives publicity, brand awareness and CRM. Imagine this, you check- in on Foursquare. Automatically, you are asked if you want to pay using the brand app. You download the app, scan the mouse bar code, get a subtotal, and you hit OK to purchase. The app takes the amount right out of your checking account, bills your credit card or debits a pre-existing gift card. Your receipt is emailed and you’re on your way out of the store to your next destination. Starbucks already does this using smartphones with a register scanner. More retailers want to make noise in this realm as customers will amplify how lovely the experience is and thus, we’ll see more of it in 2012
  12. Brands will become more nimble along with their agency partners.Social is a 24/7/365 business. And consumers are always talking. While brands are planning with their agencies, they’re talking. Smarter agency partners will tell their clients that they must use social to actually adopt real time messaging. For a long period of time, social sat in a silo and didn’t reflect the larger brand message. That is now history just like 2011. Smarter CMOs and agency execs know that social conversation needs to be utilized not to simply see what was happening in the past, but to communicate in real time based on current social conversation. While conversations are happening about a brand across a variety of platforms, whether it’s positive or negative, a brand can shape what it wants to talk about immediately. Not ten months from now via a television advertisement.
  13. Trends from 2011 we enjoyed: What would a forecast list of the future be without what we enjoyed this past year? Here’s some of our favorite social items from 2011: Spotify, Instagram, Socialcam, Pinterest, Path, Foursquare, Twitter reboot, YouTube reboot, Facebook timeline, Google+ launch, tablet app creation and strategy, social CRM, social business, Kim Kardashian

Détendez-vous, 2012 sera une année très chair – Tendance – Nouvelobs.com

Détendez-vous, 2012 sera une année très chair – Tendance – Nouvelobs.com.

Le besoin de toucher l'autre devient irrépressible.Le contact avec la machine est bien trop froid. (SUPERSTOCK/SUPERSTOCK/SIPA)

Le besoin de toucher l’autre devient irrépressible.Le contact avec la machine est bien trop froid. (SUPERSTOCK/SUPERSTOCK/SIPA)

Triste constat : même à plusieurs, nous sommes seuls. Une passionnante enquête menée par l’institut de sondage Ipsos nous démontre à quel point nous sommes devenus des geeks fragiles dans un monde de brutes. Pas folichon ? Désolée mais la tendance est morose : nous nous sentons désespérément isolés alors même que nos vies de cyborg ressemblent à des marathons.

Ipsos, donc, à travers son dispositif de veille internationale Trend Observer (en France, Grande Bretagne, Suède, Italie, Etats-Unis et Japon) nous informe que la mode 2012 sera à la “réhumanisation”. Pas de panique, nous ne retournerons pas à l’âge de la pierre. Le mal est fait. Smartphone, iPad, télé 3D et autres consoles de jeux ne finiront pas au panier. Mais, le high-tech va devoir laisser une place plus généreuse à l’humain.

L’écoute, la chaleur, la tendresse, que sais-je ? Nos 5 sens vont en prendre un coup.L’homme, en proie à une prise de conscience, a décidé de retrouver son “soi” comme disent les pros du développement personnel, technique d’épanouissement très prisée depuis que les machines ont pris le pouvoir.

Ainsi l’analyse de Rémy Oudghiri pour Ipsos Public Affairs est-elle pertinente. A la fois inquiétante et rassurante. A la lumière de cette enquête, on se rend compte peu à peu à quel point le progrès nous éloigne des uns des autres alors même que cette connexion permanente qu’il nous impose devrait nous permettre d’être plus proches.

“Les individus ont conscience de passer de moins en moins de temps ensemble, confirme Rémy Oudghiri. En France, 60% des personnes interrogées par Ipsos le constataient en 2006. Ils sont 73% en 2010. D’ailleurs, même ensemble, explique la chercheuse Sherry Turkle dans son livre Alone Together, on est “seul” : “nous utilisons des objets inanimés pour nous convaincre que même quand nous sommes seuls, nous nous sentons ensemble. Et puis, quand nous sommes avec d’autres, nos appareils mobiles nous mettent constamment en situation où l’on se sent seul. Ces objets induisent une très grande confusion sur ce qui est important dans les relations humaines.”

Cette enquête a identifié l’émergence et le développement de six tendances clés autour de ce thème de la “réhumanisation”.

La première est le besoin d’expériences concrètes, d’un retour à la réalité “physique” contrariée par la place grandissante du virtuel dans nos existences. Nous valorisons le plaisir et l’émotion. Le succès du film Intouchables en est un exemple flagrant.

La deuxième est liée à notre façon de consommer : nous avons besoin de retrouver une certaine confiance d’où une demande accrue de traçabilité, de retour au local, du “made in France”, bref, nous dit Ipsos, “une consommation à visage humain”.

La troisième tendance qui indique cet appétit de “réhumanisation” est un fort besoin de stabilité, conséquence de ce que l’Institut de sondage appelle “la yoyoïsation”, cette vie qui va trop vite, qui nous expose sans cesse à une actualité trépidante, à un quotidien changeant. Reprendre le contrôle de son existence devient donc nécessaire.

Quatrième signe annonciateur : la nostalgie des bonnes manières. Le sentiment d’agressivité des gens, le manque de savoir-vivre, sont cités comme la première source de stress en France (où ce ressenti atteint 60% des personnes interrogées), en Grande-Bretagne et en Allemagne. Il arrive en deuxième position aux Etats-Unis. Il y aurait donc une attente accrue de politesse et de civilité.

L’avant-dernière tendance clé est le désir d’humaniser les progrès technologiques. Comme nous l’avons dit plus haut, il n’est pas question de se séparer de nos robots mais de s’en servir d’une façon plus réfléchi. “La place dévolue à l’improvisation, à l’incertitude, à l’erreur est de plus en plus marginale” indique l’étude. Situation qui engendre une quête de sens.

Enfin, le contact humain excite les convoitises. Difficultés à accorder nos emplois du temps les uns avec les autres, manque de temps pour entretenir des relations, un trop grand nombre de projets poursuivis, et nous voilà dans une bulle : 59% des Français âgés de 15 ans et plus reconnaissent qu’ils ont “trop de choses à faire dans leur vie”, 34% des Français ont “l’impression de voir de moins en moins de gens”. Ce chiffre atteint 42% chez les femmes âgées de 25 à 34 ans et 39% chez les hommes âgés de 45 à 54 ans ! En conséquence, “passer beaucoup plus de temps en famille” est plébiscité par 74% d’entre eux.

Des humains qui souhaitent être plus humains, voilà donc la tendance de l’année 2012. Le retour aux valeurs, au contact physique, à la délicatesse et à la gentillesse seraient donc à l’ordre du jour. Il faut l’espérer. Car, que diable!, nous avons un cœur sous cette belle machine.

Valérie Domain – Le Nouvel Observateur