2015: 5 ways our experience of the web will be different from 2014 (VentureBeat by Himanshu Sareen)

2015 predictions: 5 ways our experience of the web will be different from last year | VentureBeat | Business | by Himanshu Sareen, Icreon Tech.

This past year, we saw the rise of Uber, Apple jumping into the wearables arms race, and large acquisitions like Facebook’s $22 billion bet on Whatsapp. So what big changes can we expect to see in 2015? With the New Year already upon us, here are a few predictions for the year ahead:

1. Say hello to the simplified experience

2013 and 2014 were years in which the web dramatically embraced the power of HTML5 and all that it could do for content authoring. Layouts became more complex and rich, for example, take a look at NY Times Snowfall and The Verge’s Fanboy. The movement towards complexity for its own sake, however, has slowed, as editors and marketers in general have slowly begun to opt for cleaner, simpler ways to produce engaging content. Companies like Medium are reaping the rewards of a movement towards elegant simplicity when it comes to digital content.

2. The super contextual web

Analytics, business intelligence, and marketing automation tools have for years made it easy for eCommerce companies to create super personal experiences for shoppers. From being able to recommend related products for you to buy to knowing exactly when to serve you an ad for that new pair of shoes you’ve been wanting to buy, eCommerce companies have always had a pulse on your buying tendencies.

However, these technologies are now being adopted by non-eCommerce companies to give you better-curated content. Expect your favorite blogs, news sites, and gossip columns to be able to offer you startlingly accurate predictions of what content you’d like to check out next.

3. Card design everywhere

Every customer, consumer, and professional experience should be designed for mobility — we all know how important that is today. Too many people use smartphones and tablets on a daily basis ignore them. But with this increasingly large audience, it’s important we design with the constraints of smaller devices by creating morsels of “digestable” information. In comes “card design,” first popularized by Google Now. Cards are an ideal way to give information to users without inundating them with too much information, further pushing the web towards quick and impactful experience. While the concept has been around since 2012, we see this approach becoming highly popular in 2015.

4. “SoPro” apps

SoPro, or social productivity, is the use of inherently socializing business software to make businesses more efficient. For years, tools like Salesforce Chatter and Microsoft’s Yammer have been around to help enterprises be more “communally” productive to close sales, engineer products, or collaborate on documents. But newcomers like Slackhave gained tremendous buzz for transforming the workplace, helping organizations take on the daunting task of reducing the dependence on almighty email. Based on dozens of startup products and work done by giants like Google, Amazon, Microsoft, and Salesforce, expect to see your workplace adopt SoPro apps moving forward.

5. Smartwatches will be a huge flop

Sure, smartwatches have been around for almost two years now, with companies like Pebble pioneering the way. But this year, both Android Wear and Apple Watch will jump into the market with fully-matured options. As consumers, we’ll realize that a smartwatch just doesn’t provide the value these companies are hoping it will. In their current state, they’re tethered to the smartphone, provide a highly select bit of information, and compete with fitness trackers for attention. Until the industry can 1) make a multiday battery, 2) appeal to the luxury timepiece market, and 3) decrease the smartphone dependence, expect smartwatches to be compared to the 3D TVs of yesteryear — a somewhat interesting riff that just doesn’t quite capture mass interest.

88% of executives stated: their company is undergoing a digital transformation (The 2014 State of Digital Transformation by Altimeter Group)

The 2014 State of Digital Transformation | Altimeter Group.

The State of Digital Transformation” also features expert voices as part of Altimeter Group’s previous qualitative research, including Sephora, Starbucks, Westfield, Ford, GM, LEGO, Discover, Intuit, Nestlé, Univision, a multinational financial services business, a multinational CPG company, and an American pharmaceutical company, among others.

Defining Digital Transformation

To focus our initial research, Altimeter defined digital transformation as a movement through a customer-centric lens:

The realignment of, or new investment in, technology and business models to more effectively engage digital customers at every touchpoint in the customer experience lifecycle.

From the onset, we learned that digital transformation means different things to different people, and that’s okay; we’re all learning. What’s important to realize however is that investing in new digital technologies, such as social, mobile, big data, cloud, etc., doesn’t in of itself equate to “digital transformation.” It’s about uniting individual technology efforts around a common vision supported by an updated, integrated infrastructure to effectively compete as a unified business in connected markets.

You’ve heard it before…people, process, technology. But without vision to see how markets are shifting and leadership to identify, organize and drive new opportunities, digital transformation can become yet another victim of technology-first efforts that miss the human mark. This is why we focused our research on the digital customer experience initially. It’s a tremendous effort.

Strategists often equate digital transformation with a shift in technology investment. Its true implications though span far beyond technology and into the realms of infrastructure, organization, and leadership. More so, it leads to and is inspired by a renewed focus on the entire customer experience. As you can imagine over the years ahead, digital transformation will leave in its wake modernization, improvements and innovation across everything from HR to collaboration to sales to supply chain and beyond.

We learned that 88% of executives and digital strategists stated that their company is undergoing a formal digital transformation effort in 2014. Yet, only 25% had mapped out the digital customer journey. This is  especially interesting in that participants were given Altimeter’s definition of digital transformation at the beginning of the survey.

Not surprising, a majority of strategists, 42%, reported that while they have not yet researched the customer journey, but were investing in new digital channels any way. At the same time, 17% of digital leaders are now in the process of studying the digital customer journey.

Digital transformation doesn’t just mean increasing digital investments. It means thinking and acting “digital first.”

Figure 3_600

We asked strategists to help rank the most important digital transformation initiatives they were pursuing. Here are the results…

1) Improving processes that expedite changes to digital properties, ie. website updates new mobile or social platforms, etc. (80%)

2) Updating website and ecommerce programs for a mobile world (71%)

3) Integrating social, mobile, web, ecommerce, service efforts and investments to deliver an integrated and frictionless customer experience (70%)

4) Updating customer-facing technology systems (66%)

5) Further research into customer digital touch points (63%)

6) Overhaul customer service to meet the expectations of digital customers. (46%)

Figure 5_600

 In our previous report, we learned that it is a rare occurrence when digital transformation is led by the CEO. This time around, we also learned who the players are in championing or sponsoring change. Here, digital transformation is often driven by the CMO, CEO, and CIO (54%, 42%, and 29% respectively.)

Figure 6_600

Change of course is not without its challenges. And it is most interesting, yet not surprising, that the greatest antagonist to change is company culture (63%). That’s just the beginning however. Digital transformation is as much about introducing new technologies as it is seeing new opportunities and working toward them differently than in the past.

Additional challenges facing digital transformation specific to DCX include…

– Thinking beyond a campaign mentality (59%)

– Cross-functional collaboration (56%)

– Resources (56%)

– Understanding digital customer behavior (53%)

– Securing executive support (42%)

Figure 7_600

Digital transformation wouldn’t push forward if it didn’t bear fruit worthy of the effort. There are other fantastic reports, like this one by CapGemini and MIT, that cover different aspects of digital transformation. They all agree that in the end, those organizations that invest in new technologies, people, and processes to compete in digital markets realize business-level returns including market share, greater margins and profits, talent, among others.

Digital transformation impacts the bottom line. It leads to boosts in collaboration and productivity. Additionally, digital transformation helps companies assess and aspire to enhance the real customer experience.

Since our work focused on DCX, we were also introduced to more performance-oriented benefits…

1) Lift in customer engagement (75%)

2) Improved customer satisfaction (63%)

3) Higher digital traffic (53%)

4) Increased lead gen/sales (49%)

Conclusion

It’s clear. We still have a lot to learn about digital transformation: what it is, what it isn’t, and what it offers businesses that explore its permutations. But what’s clearer is that change has to start somewhere.

Remember, in the end, the key to digital transformation is to adopt technology as enabler for something bigger. Behavior, whether it’s related to customers, employees, values, or expectations, is as important (or more so) as becoming increasingly digital through new investments in strategy and technology.  Thus, digital transformation becomes a catalyst for re-imagining the overall customer (or employee) experience.

Businesses undergoing digital transformation are each, in their own way, creating new processes, forming new business models and teams, and investing in new technologies and systems to work in ways that are more relevant to the state and evolution of today’s markets. In doing so, they’re leveraging digital transformation to become more customer-centric, more human, and renewing their culture for a new generation of customers and employees.

There’s so much more to the report. Please take a moment to download it here and also share your story with us.

The latest edition of the annual Internet Trends of KPCB (Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byer) is out ! 164 inspiring slides.

The latest edition of the annual Internet Trends report includes: 
1. Key Internet trends showing slowing Internet user growth but strong smartphone, tablet and mobile data traffic growth as well as rapid growth in mobile advertising. 
2. Emerging positive efficiency trends in education and healthcare. 
3. High-level trends in messaging, communications, apps and services. 
4. Data behind the rapid growth in sensors, uploadable / findable / shareable data, data mining tools, and pattern recognition. 
5. Context on the evolution of online video. 
6. Observations about online innovation in China. 

CMO Spend 2014: Running on Digital (Gartner Infographic)

CMO Spend 2014: Running on Digital (Gartner Infographic)

Selon une enquête de Gartner, menée entre juillet et septembre 2013 auprès de marketeurs américains de grandes entreprises, les budgets de marketing digital devraient augmenter de +10% en 2014.
En 2013, le marketing numérique représentait 28,5% du budget marketing total, contre 25,5% en 2012. La plus grosse part du budget était consacrée à la publicité digitale (12,2%), contre 10,3% pour le site internet corporate, 9,6% pour le commerce numérique et 9,5% pour le marketing mobile et social. En moyenne, les entreprises ont dépensé 10,7% de leur chiffre d’affaires 2013 sur l’ensemble de leurs activités marketing, et 3,1% en marketing digital, contre 2,5% du CA en 2012, soit +20%. En 2014, les dépenses en marketing digital devraient représenter 3,3% du CA.

Mobile World Congress 2014: 5 Key Takeaways by Havas Media

By Rori DuBoff, Global Head of Strategy, Havas Media Group

This year at the MWC, manufacturers, telcos and content providers all seemed to share a common goal: to bring technology and Internet access to every corner in the world. Beyond the bigger and better screens, faster processors, and integration of new functionalities in mobile devices, there was a notable shift in focus from high-end devices to less expensive and more accessible technology.

Five key areas of focus for 2014 in the mobile industry:

1. More affordable smartphones
Brands have made it clear that their objective for the next years is to reach the next 1 billion consumers by continuing to eliminate cost barriers between feature phones and smart phones. FirefoxOS presented a smartphone that will be sold for $25 in partnership with the Chinese manufacturer Spreadtrum Communication; LG, winner for “most innovative device manufacturer”, introduced a smartphone to bring 4G to the masses; Nokia presented its first Android-powered phone, and Canonical, developer of Ubuntu, the most mainstream Linux distribution, presented the mobile version of its mobile OS in partnership with Meizu and BQ phones.

2. More ubiquitous connectivity
During his MWC inauguration speech, Mark Zuckerberg communicated his desire to “make Internet access available to the two thirds of the world not yet connected”. That raised the discussion about whether “Over The Top” providers (companies that deliver content through third party networks) should provide significant investment to build the infrastructure. Already we have seen settlements between cable operators, telecommunication companies and content providers in some countries, but the real challenge will be in developing markets, where the investment in high-speed internet connection infrastructure hasn’t event started.

3. More sensors make life smarter
The trend today is around MEMS (Micro ElectroMechanical Sensors), small and inexpensive sensors that can?be placed anywhere (such as a refrigerator, car, or room) to capture data and transfer it back to the consumer’s smartphone display through technologies such as NFC or BLE. Brands seeking to better connect with consumers are focusing on finding ways that sensors can add value, from managing energy usage, tracking movements or monitoring room temperatures.

4. More fashionable, wearable devices
Realizing that consumers don’t necessarily want to look like robots, new players (like Lumus and Weon) are creating augmented reality devices, smart watches, and fitness bands that consumers feel comfortable wearing. The space is growing rapidly as brands recognize that wearable technology is becoming a meaningful part of consumers‘ lifestyles.

5. More awareness around privacy & identity protection?
As consumers become more concerned about safeguarding their personal data, brands are starting to launch products, services and features such as facial detection software and fingerprint and biometric scanners. Blackphone, a carrier and vendor independent device, is allowing users to control their communications by offering them the possibility to encrypt all incoming and outcoming calls, messages and files. We expect to see personal security features become even more prominent and sophisticated going forward.

* * * * * * *
For marketers, more people connected to the Internet in more places through more touch points (sensors everywhere), translates into a need for better data management, more micro targeting and more customized ways to deliver meaningful messages and experiences.

View video footage from MWC 2014: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_dyLKbZxMNo

Les 10 tendances de consommation technologique en 2014

Les 10 tendances de consommation technologique en 2014.

Ericsson, via son CosumerLab, propose une infographie des 10 tendances de consommationtechnologique qui changeront le quotidien des consommateurs en 2014 et au-delà. Selon Michael Björn, directeur de la recherche au ConsumerLab, « la tendance majeure qui se dégage de notre étude est la demande massive en applications et services dans différents secteurs industriels et sociétaux (…) ». Les10 tendances :

– Les applications vont transformer la société : les applications deviennent aujourd’hui plus importantes que le téléphone lui-même.

– L’utilisation du corps comme mot de passe : 52% des utilisateurs de smartphones souhaiteraient utiliser leurs empreintes digitales à la place des mots de passe et 48% seraient intéressés par la reconnaissance de l’iris de l’œil pour déverrouiller leur écran. Ils sont au total 74% à penser que les smartphones biométriques vont s’imposer en 2014.

– Le moi quantifié : 40% des personnes interrogées souhaitent pouvoir utiliser leur téléphone pour enregistrer toutes leurs activités physiques et 56% veulent pouvoir surveiller leur pression artérielle et leur fréquence cardiaque à l’aide d’une simple bague.

– Internet accessible partout : une qualité de signal suffisante pour un appel vocal ne l’est pas forcément pour surfer sur Internet

– Les smartphones réduisent la fracture numérique : 51% des personnes interrogées dans le monde estiment que le téléphone mobile est l’équipement technologique le plus important et, pour nombre d’entre elles, il constitue le principal outil d’accès à Internet.

– Les avantages d’Internet prennent le pas sur les inquiétudes des internautes : 56% des internautes s’inquiètent des problèmes liés au respect de la vie privée. Toutefois, ils sont seulement 4 % à dire que cela les pousse à réduire leur usage d’Internet.

– Vidéo sur commande : 38% des personnes interrogées regardent plusieurs fois par semaine des clips vidéo qui leur ont été recommandés par leurs amis. Il en va quasiment de même pour la musique et les blogs.

– Visibilité des données : les personnes interrogées sont 48 % à utiliser des applications qui leur permettent de mieux comprendre leur consommation de données. 37 % des utilisateurs de smartphones utilisent régulièrement des applications pour tester la vitesse de leur connexion.

– Présence de capteurs partout : près de 60 % des personnes interrogées pensent que, d’ici la fin 2016, des capteurs seront utilisés dans tous les domaines du quotidien : soins, transports publics, voitures, maisons, lieux de travail, etc.

– Lire, mettre en pause et reprendre la lecture ailleurs : sachant que 19 % du streaming se fait sur tablette ou téléphone, l’endroit où les consommateurs regardent la télévision tend de plus en plus à changer au gré du quotidien.

Ce programme de recherche, à l’échelle mondiale, s’appuie sur des enquêtes menées chaque année auprès d’un panel de 100 000 personnes résidant dans 40 pays et 15 grandes villes.

L’intégralité du rapport est consultable ici.