Trips l’offre de voyages de Airbnb – Airbnb Trips | L’ADN

Après les hôtels, Airbnb s’attaque aux voyagistes en lançant une offre de voyages inspirée par une expérience globale.

Source: Trips l’offre de voyages de Airbnb – Airbnb Trips | L’ADN

Les signaux étaient là. Airbnb se diversifiait petit à petit organisait des circuits et des expériences qui laissaient présager une phase de beta-test avant de lancer une offensive plus globale. Cette fois-ci c’est officiel, la marque a annoncé la sortie de Trips « une plateforme communautaire conçue pour rendre le voyage à la fois facile et magique. Trips est lancé aujourd’hui avec trois offres clés – Expériences, Lieux et Logements. Les Vols et les Services seront ajoutés à l’avenir » précise le communiqué. Autrement dit, Airbnb se diversifie pour devenir un voyagiste complet intégrant toute la chaîne de valeur du voyage, du choix de la destination au retour d’expérience en passant par le vol et le logement.

Airbnb Trips présentation

Une nouvelle entrée dans le voyage

La grande originalité de Trips réside dans son approche par thème. Oubliez les « simples » vacances que vous choisirez avant tout pour la destination, le dernier né d’Airbnb mise sur l’expérience comme clé d’entrée pour une meilleure invitation au voyage : boxer à Detroit, apprendre à fabriquer un violon à Paris, vivre l’esprit du marathon au Kenya, atelier Samuraï au Japon, initiation aux voitures anciennes à Malibu, chasse aux truffes en Toscane… En proposant de vivre un centre d’intérêt avec les locaux, Airbnb vise juste pour les voyagistes en quête de sens, d’authenticité et d’expériences.

Airbnb va faire mal aux voyagistes

Renforcer le maillage local

Pour proposer le meilleur de l’offre locale à ses clients, Airbnb compte bien sur sa communauté d’utilisateurs pour recommander des lieux mais également sur les locaux. Pour cela la marque a constitué des Guides d’Experts composés d’experts culturels et d’initiés de quartiers qui proposeront leurs adresses. C’est ainsi que le chef montant vous recommandera le tout dernier restaurant tendance quand le barman mixologue vous confiera son bar local préféré. Car Airbnb a un véritable lien affectif avec les locaux mais surtout économique. Comme l’expliquait un récent article de Bloomberg, Airbnb générerait 4,5 milliards de dollars pour les restaurants locaux car les utilisateurs du service privilégierait les commerces de proximité lors de leur voyage.

Airbnb va faire mal aux voyagistes

Le logement : fondation du système

Ce développement n’aurait pas été possible sans une base travaillée depuis 2008 : celle du logement. Grâce à cet élément la marque a conçu un système de confiance qui lui a notamment permis de créer une communauté, de couvrir le monde et d’être au plus proche des locaux. Ce travail a permis à Airbnb de pouvoir proposer aujourd’hui plus de 3 millions de logements dans 191 pays, soit l’offre « la plus large et la plus diversifiée d’hébergements uniques pour les voyageurs » comme l’explique le communiqué.

Airbnb va faire mal aux voyagistes

Cette annonce semble bien faire écho à la dernière levée de fonds de 555 millions de dollars par la marque la valorisant ainsi à 30 milliards de dollars.

Si l’offre devrait faire trembler les voyagistes, elle devrait également tuer dans l’œuf des jeunes startups qui proposaient des verticales similaires (Trip Flint, Routes, Tours by Local…) sans la force de frappe globale travaillée depuis 2008 par Airbnb.

Google’s Travel Business Is Already Twice the Size of Expedia’s – Skift

Source: Google’s Travel Business Is Already Twice the Size of Expedia’s – Skift

If publicly traded companies such as Google are bound by fiduciary duties to shareholders, then Google, which already has one of the largest travel businesses in the world, larger than the Priceline Group, TripAdvisor and Ctrip combined, would be foolhardy to shoot its advertising business in the foot to become an online travel agency.

— Dennis Schaal

When is Google finally going to tie all of its travel products together and become an online travel agency to rival Expedia, the Priceline Group and, increasingly, Ctrip?

Not anytime soon or even in the foreseeable future. We’ve been saying this for awhile — for years, actually — but now we can use some dollar estimates to back our theory and fine-tune it with comments on the subject that a Google executive made at the Skift Global Forum in Manhattan in September.

Why would Google want to become an online travel agency when its existing travel-advertising business — including all of those paid links that dominate its search-results pages — likely produces more revenue than the Priceline Group, TripAdvisor, and Ctrip combined? 

One investor group dissected publicly available information, made some educated guesses, and confidentially shared its rough estimates with Skift on the scope of Google’s existing travel-advertising business. Google would probably generate at least about$12.2 billion ≈ cost of 1972 Hurricane Agnes

“>[≈ cost of 2005 Hurricane Rita] in revenue from travel advertisers in 2016, with about $6.2 billion ≈ Suez Canal annual receipts

≈ San Francisco Bay Bridge span replacement, 2002-2013

“>[≈ K-12 annual book sales revenue, 2010] of that coming from just four travel advertisers, namely the Priceline Group, Expedia Inc., TripAdvisor and Airbnb. [See the end of this story for how the $12.2 billion ≈ cost of 1972 Hurricane Agnes”>[≈ cost of 2005 Hurricane Rita] estimate of Google’s estimated2016 travel-advertising revenue was arrived at.]

To get an idea of the scope of Google’s projected $12.2 billion ≈ cost of 1972 Hurricane Agnes”>[≈ cost of 2005 Hurricane Rita] in travel revenue for 2016, you can compare it with the actual 2015 revenue of the four leading, publicly traded online travel companies: The Priceline Group ($9.2 billion), Expedia ($6.7 billion), Ctrip ($1.6 billion) and TripAdvisor ($1.5 billion)

So Google’s existing revenue from travel advertisers is already considerably larger than that of the Priceline Group; is roughly twice the size of Expedia’s, and Google generates more travel-advertising revenue than that of Expedia, Ctrip, and TripAdvisor combined, according to this analysis.

And Google undoubtably takes that travel-advertising revenue and achieves a much higher profit margin on it than do the roster of its online travel, airline, hotel, car rental, and cruise partners, most of which are much more dependent on lower-margin transaction revenue.

So the next time people tell you that Google’s launch of a new travel app means the world’s largest search engine is finally getting into the travel business — you can laugh in their faces because Google’s travel business is bigger than online travel behemoth Priceline’s.

BUT WHAT ABOUT BECOMING AN ONLINE TRAVEL AGENCY?

If Google indeed became an online travel agency, it would further alienate its largest travel advertisers, namely the Priceline Group and Expedia, and up-and-coming ones such as Airbnb, and jeopardize a chunk of its travel revenue. TripAdvisor and Yelp are already very miffed at Google but they really have no choice but to use Google for advertising. Likewise, the largest travel companies would have to continue using Google for advertising for awhile because Google is the most important game in town but some companies, including Expedia, are fervently trying to diversify their spend into Facebook and other social media platforms.

The fear that Google could start to do travel transactions on its own is perennially on the minds of rivals because Google has most of the pieces –minus the customer support staff — to assemble a full-service online travel agency. Google’s travel portfolio already includes Google Flights; Google Hotel Ads; Book on Google for a handful of airlines and hotels; Google Maps; hotel and restaurant reviews and content acquired from Frommer’s and Zagat; the Android mobile operating system; a “Plan a trip” and travel guide feature on desktop and the mobile Web, as well as the new Google Trips app for itinerary management of flights and hotels plus tours and activities recommendations.

Speaking at the Skift Global Forum in September, Google’s Oliver Heckmann [video here and embedded below], who heads up its travel products, was candid about Google’s master plan, arguing that Google sees itself as an “answer engine” and “connector” to the right partner at the correct time, whether through free or paid links, rather than becoming a trip-planning site or booking engine.

In fact, Heckmann said, although Google wants consumers to begin their travel planning in the earliest stages through its search engine and associated products, it does not seek to become a trip-planning site.

“We don’t have plans right now to make this a travel-planning app,” Heckmann said, referring to Google Trips and acknowledging that doing bookings is a top request. “That’s a very different thing. We believe Google is the best place to start your travel planning.”

The Google Trips app seeks to be an “assistant” and “a good guide” and that’s why it includes information and recommendations about tours and activities, Heckmann said, adding that Google is not planning to sell flights on its own, although it is doing facilitated bookings for Lufthansa, Virgin America, WestJet and hotels as a way to optimize the mobile experience.

Google does not want to sell flights on its own or become an online travel agency, Heckmann said.

As we’ve pointed out above, Google’s becoming an online travel agency in its own right would jeopardize the largest travel advertising business in the world — and one of the largest travel businesses in its own right.

BOOK ON GOOGLE IS MISUNDERSTOOD

Heckmann said that Book on Google should probably have been named something else because it is widely misunderstood.

With Book on Google, the airline or hotel is the merchant of record, although the booking is processed on Google. Google shares data with the partner, which handles the customer service.

Heckmann said one of the reasons Google launched Book on Google, which it uses in verticals beyond travel, as well, is because of the widely varying quality of partners’ mobile sites, and the desire to optimize the mobile experience. For example, Google recently found that the duration of user sessions on mobile are decreasing as consumers are increasingly bombarded or distracted by so much digital noise, and this hurt conversion.

It’s not, he said, because Google wants to become a booker in its own right.

All of this doesn’t preclude Google from one day — if circumstances change — becoming an online travel agency. It just isn’t in the cards now or in the next few years.

As one investor told Skift: “The Google app won’t add booking. They want to keep the robust auction between Priceline and Expedia. Google already makes a killing in travel [maybe more than $6 billion ≈ K-12 annual book sales revenue, 2010

≈ San Francisco Bay Bridge span replacement, 2002-2013

“>[≈ Suez Canal annual receipts] from just Priceline and Expedia] so why screw that up?”

See the following video of Heckmann’s talk at the Skift Global Forum in September 2016 and below that how the estimate of Google’s travel revenue was calculated.

 A Rough Estimate of Google’s 2016 Travel-Advertising Revenue

  • The Priceline Group and Expedia Inc., including their wide array of brands, spent around $4.9 billion ≈ Construction cost for Nimitz-class aircraft carrier”>[≈ Higher education annual book sales revenue, 2010] for total online advertising in 2015 and are on pace in 2016 to bring that total to around$6.8 billion [≈ San Francisco Bay Bridge span replacement, 2002-2013]. If roughly 90 percent of the total goes to Google, then Google would attract some $6.1 billion ≈ K-12 annual book sales revenue, 2010
    ≈ San Francisco Bay Bridge span replacement, 2002-2013

    “>[≈ Suez Canal annual receipts] in revenue from just these two companies.

  • TripAdvisor would conceivably spend around $500 million [≈ net worth of Jay-Z, rapper, 2011] on Google in 2016; TripAdvisor’s total online spend in 2015 was $507 million [≈ net worth of Jay-Z, rapper, 2011]. Airbnb’s spend on Google, based on public rumors and educated guesses, might total some $300 million in 2016.
  • That means Google would take in $6.2 billion ≈ Suez Canal annual receipts
    ≈ San Francisco Bay Bridge span replacement, 2002-2013

    “>[≈ K-12 annual book sales revenue, 2010] in 2016 from just these four advertisers — Priceline, Expedia, TripAdvisor and Airbnb.

  • Roughly around half of Google’s travel advertising is considered to come from suppliers, namely airlines, hotels, car rental companies, cruise line and destination marketers.
  • Adding the spend of its largest online travel agency partners plus suppliers, Google’s travel advertising business, which is said to be its largest vertical, could then easily be around $12.2 billion ≈ cost of 1972 Hurricane Agnes”>[≈ cost of 2005 Hurricane Rita] or more.

Deux IA ont communiqué dans une langue indéchiffrable par l’homme – SciencePost

Source: Deux IA ont communiqué dans une langue indéchiffrable par l’homme – SciencePost

Google Brain, le programme de recherche en intelligence artificielle du géant Google, vient de franchir un palier étonnant et quelque peu inquiétant. En effet, deux ordinateurs sont parvenus à communiquer entre eux dans une langue qu’ils avaient eux-mêmes créée, une langue indéchiffrable par l’homme.

Dans le cadre de la recherche sur le Deep Learning, à savoir la manière dont des ordinateurs peuvent évoluer de façon autonome grâce à des algorithmes, le programme de recherche en intelligence artificielle du géant Google baptisé Google Brain a franchi un grand cap. En effet, les chercheurs sont parvenus à faire communiquer deux IA nommées Alice et Bob entre elles, alors que de son côté, une troisième IA du nom d’Eve avait pour but d’intercepter leurs communications.

 

Alors qu’ils n’avaient mis aucun algorithme spécifique en place, les chercheurs ont constaté que ces deux ordinateurs ont sécurisé leurs communications par le biais d’un chiffrement qu’ils avaient eux-mêmes développé. Si la troisième IA est parvenue à intercepter certaines communications, la majorité d’entre elles sont restées indéchiffrables. Ce n’est là qu’un début, mais cela donne une idée du futur des intelligences artificielles qui pourront ainsi être capables de communiquer dans un langage unique que nous ou d’autres ordinateurs ne pourrons peut-être pas déchiffrer.

 

Une avancée qui a également de quoi effrayer. De grands noms comme Bill Gates, Stephen Hawking qui décrit l’intelligence artificielle comme « soit la meilleure soit la pire chose jamais arrivée à l’humanité » ou encore Elon Musk ont déjà mis en garde contre les éventuels dangers de l’évolution des IA à l’avenir. Certains ont d’ailleurs créé un groupement destiné à mettre en commun leurs avancées et réfléchir aux risques potentiels de leurs découvertes. Il s’agit de Partnership on AI qui regroupe cinq acteurs majeurs du web puisqu’il s’agit de représentants des compagnies Amazon, Google, Facebook, IBM et Microsoft.

Google reveals Pixel & Home: Artificial Intelligence driven solutions feeded by Assistant

Introducing Google Home, a voice-activated speaker powered by the Google Assistant. Ask it questions. Tell it to do things. It’s your own Google, always ready to help. Just start by saying, “Ok Google” to enjoy music, get answers straight from Google, manage your everyday tasks, and easily control smart devices around the home. Learn more today: https://madeby.google.com/home

Google has unveiled its Pixel, a new phone that’s meant to be a robot assistant for your whole life.

It has the highest rated smartphone camera. Ever. A battery that lasts all day. Unlimited storage for all your photos and videos. And it’s the first phone with the Google Assistant built in.

Google’s Assistant works akin to Siri – it is opened by pressing a button and then talking to it. But it calls on all of the information that Google stores, and the company claims that it is fast to understand what people are looking for and even faster to show them what they need.

 

 

Google Allo vs. Apple iMessage vs. Facebook Messenger: How They Compare | TIME

Which is the best messaging app?

Source: Google Allo vs. Apple iMessage vs. Facebook Messenger: How They Compare | TIME

The messaging apps you likely use each day, like Apple’s iMessage and Facebook Messenger, have changed dramatically over the past few months.

These apps, primarily designed for simple conversation, are gradually evolving into platforms for more complex messaging and outside services. The shift can be compared to the move from mobile webpages to apps that took place once smartphones like the iPhone rose in popularity nearly a decade ago.

Google’s new messaging app Allo, for example, integrates the company’s search prowess directly into text conversations. Apple recently launched an entire store just for apps meant to be used within its messaging app, iMessage. And Facebook earlier this year invited companies to design their own chat bots for its Messenger app, which help you shop or book travel plans.

Apple, Google, and Facebook’s messaging apps serve similar purposes, but in different ways. Here’s a closer look at how they differ.

Google Allo

Lisa Eadicicco
Lisa Eadicicco

Allo’s biggest asset is its integration with Google Assistant, the company’s conversational new virtual aid that can answer questions and make suggestions.

Allo offers two ways to interact with Google Assistant. In a messaging thread, typing the trigger phrase “@google” will tell the assistant to pay attention to the next string of text you type so that it can answer your query. When making plans with a friend, you might type something like, “@google Show me movie times near me?” to display upcoming showings. You can also chat with Google Assistant one-on-one to ask it questions, set alarms, tell jokes, find news, and remember information like hotel room numbers, among other things.

At this point, Google Assistant adds some convenience to texting by making it easier to retrieve information without having to juggle multiple apps. But for now, it’s only helpful for basic tasks. For finding more complicated answers — like public transportation schedules — you’re still better off using a dedicated search app or web browser.

A crucial difference between Allo and the messaging apps offered by Apple and Facebook is that it doesn’t yet offer third-party apps, although Google is considering doing so in the future. With Allo, you can hunt for nearby restaurants and browse movie times without leaving a text conversation, but you can’t book a table or buy tickets for now.

While many texting apps and keyboards can suggest words as you type, Allo goes a step farther by offering up full replies based on the message you’ve just received. If a sibling sends you a photo of the family dog, Allo might suggest that you say something like “Aww!” or “How cute!” in response. This artificial intelligence-powered feature is part of what makes Allo different than iMessage or Facebook Messenger. These suggestions are on point and natural-sounding for the most part, but I found that in most instances I preferred to type out my own responses unless I was in a rush.

Stickers and expression are also an important part of the Allo experience. There are currently around 25 sticker packs available to download in Allo, which is an especially slim selection compared to the 6,000 sticker collections Facebook Messenger offers. Apple hasn’t said how many stickers are currently available for iMessage, but there are dozens upon dozens in the App Store already. These range from recognizable brand-name characters like Mickey Mouse and Mario to cute animals. The stickers in Allo, comparatively, are made by independent artists and studios.

Allo also has an Incognito Mode, which, as the name implies, is meant to offer more privacy for sensitive conversations. With Incognito Mode enabled, all chats are encrypted end-to-end. You can also choose to make your messages disappear after a certain amount of time has passed. This is similar to the Secret Conversations feature available in Facebook Messenger’s mobile app.

However, many reviewers have criticized Google for not activating this functionality by default, as Apple does with iMessage. Google also stores your Allo conversation history, even though it said it wouldn’t look at your messages when it initially unveiled the app, as The Verge noted. (Google says it does this in order to improve its service, but the company’s advertising-based business model is built around knowing as much about its users as possible.)

Unlike Messenger and iMessage, Allo is only available on mobile, for both iOS and Android. This means you can’t continue your chats on your computer while at work or get notifications on your desktop or laptop like you can with Apple and Facebook’s respective apps.

Apple iMessage

Lisa Eadicicco
Lisa Eadicicco

When Apple unveiled the new Apple TV last year, the company did so with the tagline “The future of TV is apps.” Now it seems the company is taking the same approach to messaging.

The new version of iMessage, which recently launched with iOS 10, includes an App Store filled with apps just for Apple’s messaging app. You could, for example, download The Weather Channel’s app for iMessage to look up the forecast and share it with a friend without switching between apps. Or you might have a few friends vote on which restaurant the group should choose for dinner that night through OpenTable.

Apple’s approach to messaging differs from those of Google and Facebook in that it doesn’t focus on the “conversational interface.” This idea has been front and center in both Facebook and Google’s respective apps. Part of the appeal behind Allo, for example, is that you can ask Google to answer questions or retrieve information for you in the same way you would type a message to a friend. Similarly, thousands of businesses have launched chatbots for Facebook Messenger with the goal of making it easier to use their services through casual communication. But using apps in iMessage largely feels the same as interacting with other apps on your phone, rather than chatting with a virtual assistant or automated bot. You can choose to open an app within the text field of your message or expand it to run in full screen mode.

iMessage has changed in other ways, too. In addition to the new stickers, Apple has added visual effects that Facebook and Google’s apps lack. Some examples include: The ability to send handwritten notes by holding the phone in landscape mode, tapping a word or phrase to replace it with an emoji, and sending a virtual heartbeat to recipient.

Another feature unique to iMessage is the ability to send full screen animations with a text, like a barrage of fireworks in the backdrop of a message that says “Congratulations.” iMessage also allows users to send blurred text or photos that unscramble when the recipient swipes over the message. With the new iMessage, it’s possible to make text bubbles larger or smaller, (Allo offers a similar effect), and tap on a specific in a message within a thread to ‘react’ to it, like you would a Facebook status. Plus, iMessage users can now search for animated GIFs and images with the iPhone’s keyboard by default.

Apple’s service is only available on Apple products, including iPhones, iPads, Mac computers, and iPod Touch devices.

Facebook Messenger

Lisa Eadicicco
Lisa Eadicicco

Facebook began integrating third-party services into its chat app before Apple and Google, first introducing Messenger as a Platform in 2015. Facebook took this a step further in April, inviting app makers to create chatbots for its messaging app. There are currently more than 30,000 bots on Facebook Messenger, allowing users to shop, get weather forecasts, and read the news within the app.

When done well, using bots in Messenger almost feels like having personal assistants for specific tasks. The Whole Foods bot, for example, serves up recipe ideas. Shopping app Spring’s bot, meanwhile, will ask you what you’re shopping for and pull up relevant items. The experience is different with each bot. Some will proactively ask you what need help with, while others field questions or send news updates. What each bot does is largely in the hands of their developers rather than Facebook, which is why some bots are more responsive and engaging than others. By contrast, the Google Assistant experience is consistent since Google is in full control.

In addition to chatbots, Facebook also lets third-party apps plug into Messenger. These are different than chatbots in that they’re not conversational, instead working more like iMessage apps. You can, for instance, request an Uber or Lyft when chatting with a friend or send money through Facebook’s payment service without leaving your conversation. Some of these options appear in your in the tool bar above the text field in Messenger, while a larger selection is accessible in the More section. Many of the app integrations currently available for Messenger include different types of keyboards, games, quizzes, and photo apps.

Other than its massive sticker library and selection of third party keyboards, Facebook doesn’t offer many different tools for expression. You can’t, for example, add full-screen animations to a message or tap a word to replace it with an emoji the way you can with iMessage. It did, however, recently gain the ability to start a live video in a conversation and embed polls in group chats.

Facebook Messenger is available for iOS and Android and can also be used on the desktop.

Conclusion

Ultimately, most people will probably opt for the messaging platform that’s most convenient for them. Most often, that’s the app that most of their friends and family members are currently using. This is where Apple and Facebook have a major advantage over Allo. iMessage is baked into every iPhone by default, while Facebook’s Messenger app is among the largest messaging services in the world, boasting 1 billion users. With Allo, Google will have to convince users to download a new app they likely haven’t heard of.

Still, there are reasons to like (or dislike) each app. The ability to search for GIFs and stickers alone is a major step forward for iMessage, which has lagged behind apps like Facebook Messenger in this respect until now. The overall app experience in iMessage, from discovering new apps to actually using them, feels very much like installing regular apps on your iPhone, which Apple fans will likely appreciate.

Messenger, on the other hand, appears to be focused on building the conversational user interface by pushing developers to create chatbots for its platform. It’s still early days for these bots, and the vast majority of them still have yet to prove their worth. Regardless, it’s clear Facebook is focused on messaging, as the app has seen several significant changes over the past year alone. For now, the app’s ease of use and vast selection of stickers remain its biggest strengths.

Allo has potential, but for now it feels more like a testbed for Google Assistant more than anything else. The idea of having a virtual assistant present in chats to help you make plans with friends is helpful and appealing, but it does present some privacy concerns. For now, the lack of third party app integration and desktop compatibility puts Allo behind Messenger and iMessage, although it will be interesting to see how Google Assistant improves over time.

Google, Reddit, Spotify : l’origine méconnue des noms des grandes marques du Web

Source: Google, Reddit, Spotify : l’origine méconnue des noms des grandes marques du Web

Google, Tinder, Amazon, Snapchat… Derrière les noms de ces sites ou applications que nous utilisons au quotidien se cache des histoires, des jeux de mots hasardeux, ou de jolis brins de poésie.

“Facebook”, tout le monde sait ce que ça veut dire. C’est comme la phrase “Where is my umbrella?”, ça s’apprend au collège et ça ne s’oublie pas. Mais sur l’immense toile du Web, nous fréquentons bien d’autres sites et applications aux noms tous plus obscurs les uns que les autres : Twitter, Reddit, Tinder, Instagram, Google ou Yahoo (chacun sa religion), Amazon, sans oublier Periscope, Skype, WhatsApp, Snapchat…

VOIR AUSSI : 1996-2016 : les métamorphoses de la page d’accueil de Yahoo!

On s’est dit que vous seriez content d’en apprendre un peu plus. Et d’être en mesure de briller à votre prochain apéro dînatoire en lançant d’un ton assuré “Hey, tu sais d’où ça vient, le terme Google ?” qui captera l’attention et fera de vous la star de la soirée.

Amazon

Voilà une histoire qui aurait pu très, très mal finir. Amazon, vous vous en doutez peut-être déjà, tient son nom du fleuve Amazone. Ce n’est pas le plus long fleuve du monde, mais c’est celui avec le drainage le plus intense. C’est l’ambition du site : avoir beaucoup de commandes, de trafic sur le site, bref, de ventes.

Initialement, Jeff Bezos veut nommer son site Cadabra.com (comme dans “Abracadabra”). Problème : son avocat est un peu dur de la feuille, et entend “cadaver” (cadavre en anglais). Pas super, pour un site de e-commerce (ou pour n’importe quelle entreprise). Jeff Bezos se voit contraint de trouver un autre nom. Il attrape alors un dictionnaire, et décide de lire toutes les définitions jusqu’à trouver celle qui fait écho à son ambition professionnelle. Heureusement qu’il a commencé par la lettre ‘A’.

Google

Larry Page et Sergey Brin l’ont senti dès le début, en 1998 : ils venaient d’avoir une idée de génie, il fallait que le nom soit à la hauteur. Spoiler alert : il l’est.

Google est une version mal orthographiée du mot “googol” (“gogol” en français). Inventé par le mathématicien Edward Kasner, ce terme désigne le nombre 1 suivi de 100 zéros. Une manière pour les créateurs de signifier leur ambition : offrir un moteur de recherche à grande échelle, capable de couvrir le contenu immense du World Wide Web. Mission accomplie.

VOIR AUSSI : Internet a fêté son 10 000ème jour d’existence, ça méritait bien un hommage

Google Chrome

Google ne fait jamais les choses à moitié. Alors quand on demande “Mais pourquoi Chrome ?” à Glen Murphy, le responsable du design du navigateur de Google, l’homme a pas moins de trois réponses à donner.

Chrome était le nom que les membres du projet lui ont donné avant sa sortie. Quand il a fallu choisir le nom définitif, plus personne n’arrivait à envisager le navigateur sous un autre nom que celui-là, “Chrome”. De plus, le terme “chrome” est lié, pour beaucoup de gens, à l’idée des voitures customisées, débridées, bref : des engins rapides, comme le navigateur de Google. Enfin, dans la sphère du design informatique, “chrome” désigne tout ce qui n’est pas la page Web sur un navigateur : l’interface, la barre d’adresse, les onglets… Tout ce que l’équipe a tenté de réduire et optimiser, pour mettre l’accent sur le contenu. Leur mojo : “du contenu, pas du chrome”. Pris ironiquement, Chrome était alors le nom parfait.

Instagram

Beaucoup des noms de sites ou d’applications sont issus de l’association de deux ou plusieurs mots. C’est le cas d’Instagram. Comme ils l’expliquent sur leur site, les fondateurs Kevin Systrom et Michel Mike Krieger ont fusionné deux mots : “instant”, en rappel aux appareils photo Polaroïd qu’ils utilisaient étant jeunes, et le suffixe grec “gram” qui indique un contenu écrit ou enregistré. On le retrouve notamment dans des mots comme télégramme, phonogramme…

Mélangez le tout, et vous avez Instagram, un réseau social de partage de photos, en format carré comme nos vieux Polaroïd. Enfin un peu de poésie et de nostalgie dans ce monde de brutes.

Reddit

Vous connaissez forcément Reddit. Sinon, c’est que vous procrastinez sur un autre site, mais aucun n’est à la hauteur de cet immense forum communautaire. On y trouve le meilleur et le pire des Internets, agrémenté de jeux de mots, de memes, et de trolls s’insultant à tout va. Au milieu de tout ça, on trouve cependant des choses intéressantes, qu’on est content d’apprendre, et de répéter à son entourage.

Eh bien le nom vient de là : pour ceux qui maîtrisent un minimum la langue de Shakespeare, il suffit de prononcer ce nom à voix haute : Reddit –> Read it –> “Je l’ai lu”. Parce que si vous avez quelque chose d’intéressant à raconter, c’est que vous l’avez “read it” sur Reddit.

Shazam

Application révolutionnaire, Shazam permet de retrouver en quelques secondes le nom et l’interprète d’une chanson que l’on entend, que l’on soit au supermarché, en soirée, près de son poste de radio…

Le mot “shazam”, lui, est dans le dictionnaire anglais depuis belle lurette. C’est une exclamation que l’on prononce quand quelque chose de magique ou d’exceptionnel se produit. L’équivalent de notre “Tadaaaaaa” français. Chris Barton, l’un des créateurs de l’appli, a expliqué en 2013 que la référence lui paraissait appropriée, car “c’était le mot parfait pour un outil qui permet d’identifier la musique comme par magie.”

Snapchat

Autre association de mots anglais, Snapchat aurait initialement dû s’appeler Picaboo, le nom du petit fantôme que l’on voit sur le logo. À son lancement, l’appli ne marche pas bien. En plus, Evan Spiegal et Reggie Brown reçoivent un jour une lettre de l’entreprise d’albums photo Picaboo, qui leur demande poliment de bien vouloir changer de nom.

Ils décident alors de l’appeler Snapchat, un mélange entre “snapshot” (photo instantanée) et “chat” (discussion), qui résume assez bien le concept. Picaboo a bien fait de changer de nom, car l’application est aujourd’hui évaluée sur le marché à près de 20 milliards de dollars. Rien que ça.

Spotify

Ce mot ne veut absolument rien dire. Mais l’histoire de ce nom est emblématique du processus de création d’une start-up.

On est en 2006. Daniel Ek et Martin Lorentzon viennent de créer une entreprise, un site de streaming musical. Mais le projet n’a pas de nom. Installés dans des pièces différentes, chacun crie à l’autre des idées de noms pour leur site. “Martin m’a soudain crié quelque chose, j’ai mal entendu et compris “Spotify”. J’ai vérifié sur Google, ce terme n’était pris par personne, alors nous avons foncé”, explique Daniel Ek sur Quora.

Pour se rattraper, les deux créateurs ont ensuite trouvé que “Spotify” était la contraction de “spot” (message) et “identify” (identifier). Pas mal, mais trop tard !

Tinder

Vous pensiez que la flamme de votre application de rencontres préférée représentait l’Amour avec un grand ‘A’, du genre qui vous consume quand vous rencontrez ENFIN l’âme sœur ? Raté.

En anglais, le terme “tinder” désigne les combustibles qui brûlent rapidement : allumette, petit bois, amadou… Certes, ces matériaux peuvent servir à allumer un beau et durable feu de joie, mais le “tinder” en lui-même est vite réduit en un petit tas de cendres à peine tiède. Une métaphore on ne peut plus honnête pour cette appli qui, depuis 2012, permet à ses utilisateurs d’enchaîner les conquêtes.

 

Carlos Ghosn: Nous sommes désormais en compétition dans la course aux talents, avec des entreprises non automobiles : Apple, Uber, Google et les start-up venues de Sunnyvale en Californie ou de Bangalore en Inde

Source: Carlos Ghosn évoque la bataille de la matière grise

Dans un récent post sur Linkedin, Carlos Ghosn annonce la création d’une unité “Véhicule connecté et Services de Mobilité” au sein de l’Alliance et évoque l’enjeu névralgique de la chasse aux meilleurs talents, notamment face aux GAFA.
Carlos Ghosn évoque la bataille de la matière grise

Dans un post mis en ligne sur Linkedin, Carlos Ghosn annonce donc la création d’une équipe “Véhicule connecté et Services de Mobilité” au sein de l’Alliance Renault-Nissan. “L’Alliance Renault-Nissan lance le recrutement d’au moins 300 experts pour notre nouvelle unité consacrée au véhicule connecté et aux services de mobilité. Nous recherchons notamment des profils spécialisés en développement et ingénierie du cloud, analyse de données, Machine Learning et architecture des systèmes“, écrit-il, avant d’ajouter : “Cette équipe, appelée ‘Véhicule Connecté et Services de Mobilité’, est dirigée par Ogi Redzic, arrivé à Paris de Chicago où il occupait un poste chez HERE, le service de cartographie détenu précédemment par Nokia sous le nom de NAVTEQ. Il a rejoint l’Alliance en janvier dernier.”

Pour composer cette équipe, l’Alliance veut pouvoir compter sur les meilleurs talents et Carlos Ghosn souligne que cet enjeu devient de plus en plus névralgique, dans la mesure où la concurrence RH s’est encore aiguisée avec l’arrivée de nouveaux entrants dans l’écosystème automobile. “Nous sommes désormais en compétition, dans cette course aux talents, avec des entreprises non automobiles : Apple, Uber, Google et les start-up venues de Sunnyvale en Californie ou de Bangalore en Inde. Celles-ci investissent également dans la révolution technologique en cours“, souligne-t-il.

En filigrane de ces propos, se trouve naturellement l’enjeu de l’attrait des groupes… Et, par extension, de l’intérêt de “dépoussiérer” la vieille image d’industriel pour pouvoir rivaliser avec des nouveaux groupes faisant valoir une image high-tech, agile, voire “cool”. Carlos Ghosn ne s’y trompe pas et choisit ses mots : “Outre la création d’une start-up de 300 personnes au sein de Renault-Nissan, nous travaillons en étroite collaboration avec des fournisseurs intervenant dans le secteur automobile classique ou en dehors de celui-ci. Nous ne pourrons pas bâtir un avenir privilégiant les technologies zéro émission, zéro victime, sans conclure des partenariats.” Start-up, ouverture, open innovation… la partition est maîtrisée. Avec une touche finale sur les opportunités “worldwide” d’un groupe de l’envergure de l’Alliance : “Nous offrons un vaste choix de carrières et d’évolutions professionnelles avec des possibilités de travailler à Paris, à Yokohama, ou dans nos pôles de recherche et de développement dans la Silicon Valley ou à Chennai en Inde“.

ROI, croisement des données, volatilité des clients : Carrefour monétise ses Datas | La Revue du Digital

Source: ROI, croisement des données, volatilité des clients : Carrefour monétise ses Datas | La Revue du Digital

Carrefour monétise les audiences de ses grandes surfaces et de ses sites Web. Le leader européen de la distribution mise sur le lien entre le digital et son CRM qui regroupe 13,7 millions de porteurs de cartes de fidélité. Un nouveau métier qui fait lentement sa place chez le distributeur en s’appuyant sur la technologie. 

Avec un chiffre d’affaires supérieur à 40 milliards d’euros en France, Carrefour est un géant de la distribution classique et si l’enseigne est déjà très présente dans le numérique, elle réalise l’essentiel de son chiffre d’affaires dans ses points de vente physiques.

Jouer la carte de la Data

Néanmoins, le distributeur entend désormais jouer la carte de la “data” notamment pour séduire les marques annonceurs et s’imposer sur le marché publicitaire au même titre que les Google ou Facebook et ajouter un “C” à GAFA.

Michel Bellanger - Carrefour - BF3Cette ambition peut paraître démesurée mais Carrefour a quelques arguments à mettre dans la balance face aux grands annonceurs du marché français, dont un atout de poids, sa “Data”. “Nous avons aujourd’hui 13,7 millions de porteurs de carte de fidélité et plus de 2 ans d’historique, des data précises à l’EAN (code barre) près” déclare Michel Bellanger, directeur marketing de Carrefour Médias (ci-contre)

Il a pris la parole à l’occasion de l’assemblée générale de l’EBG, le 21 Juin. Il poursuit : “notre enjeu est de répondre aux attentes des annonceurs. Le point de vente aujourd’hui, ce n’est pas qu’un magasin ou un site e-commerce, c’est une audience que nous devons être capables de cibler.

Un vaste projet d’onboarding du CRM 

90% du business de Carrefour se fait aujourd’hui en physique or dans le même temps nos clients sont de plus en plus digitaux” poursuit le responsable marketing. Pour réconcilier ces deux mondes, Carrefour a fait le choix d’Acxiom afin “d’onboarder” son CRM sur leur plateforme LiveRamp.

Le lien entre les consommateurs identifiés par leur carte de fidélité et leur navigation sur internet est un travail en cours. Cette opération pourrait atteindre 60% à terme des porteurs de carte de fidélité, considère Michel Bellanger.

Le 100% n’étant pas atteignable, sachant que, statistiquement, 20% des clients Carrefour ne disposent pas d’un accès Internet, et que 20% supplémentaires ne souhaitent pas être sollicités par des messages commerciaux via les canaux digitaux.

Relier une bannière au panier en sortie de caisse

Cet onboarding permet de nouveaux types d’opérations promotionnelles. “C’est ce qui nous permet de proposer aujourd’hui à nos annonceurs des opérations digitales à l’extérieur du magasin.” En “onboardant” la base CRM Carrefour, Michel Bellanger cherche à créer le lien entre une bannière poussée sur un site Web de l’enseigne (ou sur un site quelconque via retargeting), à un client physique, à un panier, un achat.

Cela nous permet de proposer à nos annonceurs des opérations véritablement mesurables que cela soit dans le cadre de simples opérations média ou des opérations promotionnelles via notre CRM.

Objectif : mesurer l’impact réel d’une campagne bien après son achèvement

Pour le directeur marketing de la régie médias de Carrefour, ce lien est capital entre les métriques issues du digital, les données CRM et les données de sortie de caisses. “Il faut être capable de mesurer les KPI standards d’efficacité des campagnes digitales, comme le nombre de personnes exposées, le nombre de clics, le nombre d’impressions, mais il faut aussi comprendre quel est l’impact sur le chiffre d’affaires en magasin.”

Ce qui a été mesuré. Résultat, “en 2015 nous avons mené près de 40 campagnes pour nos clients FMCG (biens de grande consommation) et les ROI vont de 0,5 à 11,” annonce-t-il.

En pratique, une opération de communication peut fort bien avoir été un succès sur le plan digital, mais un échec en termes d’accroissement des ventes. A l’inverse, les effets d’une campagne digitale peuvent être prolongés bien au-delà de la durée de la campagne elle-même, souligne Michel Bellanger.

700 000 € de gagnés pour une mise de 70 000 €

Autre cas évoqué par Michel Bellanger, une campagne réalisée en décembre dernier pour promouvoir les produits traiteur Carrefour. “Nous avons fait quelque chose d’absolument extraordinaire : entre exposés et non-exposés, nous sommes parvenus à augmenter le panier moyen qui est passé de 90 € à 91 €. Or 1 € de chiffre d’affaires incrémental sur 700 000 personnes, cela représente un incrément de 700 000 euros, pour un investissement média de 70 000 euros. Le calcul de ROI d’une telle campagne est évident.”

Si le responsable marketing de Carrefour Medias avance des chiffres aussi précis, c’est aussi qu’il souhaite faire évoluer la vision des annonceurs qui restent encore très axée sur les KPI classiques du marketing digital.

Il faut proposer des outils plus puissants et plus performants afin d’apporter aux annonceurs de la valeur ajoutée sur la compréhension de la construction du business. Le Big Data nous apporte une très grande granularité au niveau de la donnée. Il permet cette capacité à suivre l’individu sur la durée et donc finalement à réconcilier la donnée CRM individuelle et la donnée business pour le compte des marques.”

25% des parts de marché des grands annonceurs

Il ajoute : “ensuite, il faut réfléchir à la meilleure façon de les adresser. La régie offre aux annonceurs la possibilité d’adresser un client de plusieurs manières différentes en fonction de l’objectif : email, mailing postal, coupon caisse, et aujourd’hui un canal supplémentaire, le display ciblé.”

Carrefour propose ses audiences. “Aujourd’hui nous sommes capables de mettre à disposition des annonceurs un CRM déjà opérationnel dans l’écosystème Carrefour qui représente 25% de parts de marché des gros annonceurs en France.

50% de ventes en plus grâce au lien avec le digital

Les effets d’une campagne digitale peuvent être prolongés bien au-delà de la durée de la campagne elle-même, comme l’illustre l’exemple délivré par Michel Bellanger, directeur marketing de Carrefour Médias.

Nous avons mené une campagne pour un alcool blanc bien connu [NDLR : du rhum] qui entre dans la composition des Mojito. Nous avons ciblé nos clients à qui nous avons envoyé des recettes de cocktails Mojito et de Cuba Libre,”explique-t-il.

Les campagnes ont connu de bonnes performances. “Elles ont eu plusieurs millions d’impressions et des taux de clic très satisfaisants par rapport aux bench du marché,” dit-il. Ce sont des KPI très classiques en marketing digital. Et Carrefour a pu ensuite suivre l’impact réel de la campagne aux passages en caisses en ciblant ses clients “physiques” porteurs de sa carte de fidélité.

L’incrément de chiffre d’affaires a atteint 15 points pendant les 8 semaines de campagne. Et puisque nous suivions les achats de nos clients via leur carte de fidélité, nous avons pu établir la performance de la campagne à moyen et long terme sur les ventes,” pointe-t-il.

La performance de la campagne a pu être mesurée selon que les clients aient été exposés ou non à la publicité.“Nous avons donc observé l’impact de la campagne dans les 8 semaines qui ont suivi et l’incrément de chiffre d’affaires entre nos clients exposés et non exposés a atteint 50% !” se réjouit-il.

L’onboarding permet d’affiner le calcul du ROI des campagnes. Ce lien entre les mesures digitales et les données de ventes a permis de démontrer que les gens qui ont reçu ces recettes se sont mis à consommer régulièrement des Mojito et des Cuba Libre et sont effectivement allés racheter une bouteille dans les semaines qui ont suivi la campagne. Cette nouvelle approche doit permettre d’avoir une vision à moyen et long terme d’une campagne digitale.

50% de la base client d’une marque renouvelée chaque année !

L’analyse des données de caisses a permis à Carrefour de faire apparaître l’extrême volatilité des clients. “Venant d’une agence média, j’ai découvert en arrivant chez Carrefour qu’en un an, l’ensemble des marques FMCG perdent et recrutent en moyenne 50% de leur base client,” affirme Michel Bellanger, directeur marketing de Carrefour Médias.

Les clients ne disparaissent pas en revanche de chez Carrefour. “Leurs clients restent chez Carrefour, mais ils changent de marque fréquemment même si les parts de marché de chacun ne bougent pas. Les panels ne reflètent pas les mouvements énormes qui se dissimulent derrière leurs chiffres agrégés,” constate le responsable.

Face à ces phénomènes, Carrefour mise désormais sur ce que l’on nomme le “People Based Marketing”, non plus la simple étude de KPI très générale et de métriques agrégées, mais une approche Big Data. Une vision client unique qui se base sur l’analyse de données très détaillées qui inclut tant l’ensemble des achats réalisés par un client sur plusieurs années, mais aussi les données issues des médias digitaux.

Cette vision client unique est désormais opérationnelle. Celle-ci doit être agnostique et inclure les anciens clients, les clients abandonnistes, ceux qui sont en perte de vitesse, les clients à réactiver et bien sûr les nouveaux clients,” décrit-il.

 

Le Safe Haven : mettre en commun des Data sans les partager

Pour améliorer encore l’efficacité des campagnes que Carrefour Medias mène pour ses annonceurs, Michel Bellanger, directeur marketing de Carrefour Médias, espère désormais pousser ses annonceurs à ouvrir leurs propres CRM afin de croiser les données clients avec celles de Carrefour et de réaliser des campagnes mieux ciblées.

Comme bien évidemment aucun industriel ne voudrait laisser les distributeurs piller ses bases de données, Michel Bellanger mise sur une approche de type Safe Haven (DSSH / Data Science Safe Haven) telle qu’implémentée sur la plateforme LiveRamp d’Acxiom.

Cette capacité de Safe Haven nous permet de respecter la donnée de chacun. En tant que régie publicitaire, nous savons bien qu’il y a un vrai enjeu sur la propriété de la donnée. Carrefour a des données qu’il ne souhaite pas partager avec Groupe Seb, par exemple, et Seb ne souhaite pas partager toutes ses données avec Carrefour. Pour autant, nous devons être capables de croiser nos données afin de produire des opérations qui ont du sens” résume Michel Bellanger.

Pour le directeur marketing, cette fonction de Safe Haven qui permet de croiser les données dans le Cloud sans que chacun des partenaires n’ait directement accès aux données de l’autre, doit permettre à Carrefour Medias de nouer de nouveaux partenariats que ce soit avec des industriels ou les opérateurs télécoms avec des données de géo-localisation et affiner encore les campagnes marketing pour avoir un impact encore plus grand.

bcg.perspectives – Will Industry Stacks Be the New Blueprint for Banking? (Source: BCG)

The banking industry’s structure is moving to industry stacks, reflecting a shift from competition among vertically integrated companies to horizontal competition at each layer of the banking business.

Source: bcg.perspectives – Will Industry Stacks Be the New Blueprint for Banking?

Digital technologies are reshaping the banking industry at an unprecedented rate, generating waves of fresh opportunity and potential peril for traditional banks. Digital has increased customers’ expectations for greater efficiency, quality, and speed, and it has opened the door to new competitors and disruption. (See Global Retail Banking 2016: Banking on Digital Simplicity, BCG report, May 2016.)

In other industries, prominent companies, including Google and Apple, are emerging as serious competitors through digital innovation. And a rapidly growing number of smaller fintech digital platforms—such as alternative-payment provider Earthport and mobile bank Moven—are winning customers with new digitally enabled products and services.

The traditional value chains of banking incumbents show signs of fragmenting. New technologies, such as blockchain, are evolving as potentially fundamental elements of the emerging new industry structure that we call industry stacks.

The Shift from Value Chains to Industry Stacks

The emergence of industry stacks represents a shift away from vertically integrated companies competing head-to-head across the entire value chain and toward a horizontally layered industry architecture. (See “Borges’ Map: Navigating a World of Digital Disruption,” BCG article, April 2015.) The winning organizations in the industry stacks structure will be those that adapt their business models to compete and prevail in specific layers of a stack.

Remember when IBM mainframes did the heavy lifting of global corporate computing? The computer industry began shifting to a stacked business architecture in the early 1980s. The arrival of the PC and the rapid distribution of increasingly powerful and inexpensive personal software dissolved links in the industry’s vertical integration and introduced a new balance of power. Today, those mainframes and supercomputers have largely been superseded in business applications by cloud computing and storage, as well as by racks of networked modular PCs running open-source Linux.

Stacked business architectures result in incumbents either taking on new roles—witness IBM’s evolution to a largely services and advisory company—or exiting the business entirely as their industry consolidates. Will digital technology threaten leading roles in banking, as it has done in many other industries, including computing, telecommunications, media, retail sales, and travel? We believe the answer is yes. In fact, a fundamental change in the structure of the industry has already begun. That conclusion is evident in the shifting dynamics of banking and in the drivers of change, as well as the new structures, that can be seen in other industries that are further along the digital disruption path.

The Vanishing Advantages of Vertical Integration

Many industries, banking included, have been characterized by oligopolistic competition among large, vertically integrated companies. Until now, the market dominance of those companies has been secured by two advantages of size: low transaction costs and moderate economies of scale. Transaction costs are incurred when interfacing with other firms and dealing with information asymmetry. They can be reduced through vertical integration. Economies of scale have been typically moderate because the value chain includes a mix of fixed and variable costs as well as a blend of activities that are more or less sensitive to scale. The net effect has been to confer some benefit to market share and to drive industries toward oligopolistic, but not monopolistic, structures.

Changes in technology, however, are undermining these two advantages. By broadening access to information and advanced analytics, digital and information technologies are eliminating asymmetries in the use of large amounts of sophisticated data while slashing communications costs. Smaller companies and digitally empowered consumers now have access to market information that previously was monopolized by large companies. At the same time, certain infrastructure activities—such as cloud computing and the curation of the cloud’s immense databases—are revolutionizing economies of scale.

As the cost of market interaction plummets, the dismantling of vertically integrated value chains accelerates. And as value chains are reconfigured, the various elements can consolidate or fragment on the basis of their specific economies of scale. The result is a move toward the industry stacks structure. (See Exhibit 1.)

exhibit

The computer industry clearly illustrates the shift from value chains to stacks. During a 20-year period, it evolved from a vertically integrated market dominated by IBM to a horizontally layered one. Some layers stayed concentrated—Intel remains the leader in processing chips and central processing units, and Microsoft still prevails in operating-system software. Other stack layers, including application development and hardware manufacturing, continued to fragment.

The ramifications of such an evolution for the banking industry are significant. Until now, winning has required mastering the whole value chain from end to end, and doing so better than your competitors. An advantage in one part of the value chain could support selling the whole value chain of services, thus compensating for disadvantages elsewhere.

Fighting Battles in Each Layer of the Stack

In stack-based competition, players have to fight separate battles in each layer of the stack. Competitive advantage requires a company to be flexible enough to win in diverse and changing markets while collaborating with winners in layers in which it doesn’t dominate. Vertically integrated incumbents will now confront different competitors in each arena. They will need to excel at all layers of the stack or eventually be forced to limit their focus to the layers in which they already have a competitive advantage.

Banking already shows signs of moving toward a stacks architecture. (See Exhibit 2.) The bottom layer of the stacks model is infrastructure, which benefits from scale. It includes platforms that incorporate hosting infrastructure; platform enablers, such as core banking systems; and other processing and information services based on data, such as clearing.

exhibit

The second layer up comprises banking applications and services. These include basic accounts for money and securities as well as transaction, lending, and investment products.

Above that sits the customer interface layer—which includes not only traditional channels, such as branches, but also brokers, points of sale, and ecosystems—through which products and services become accessible to users.

At the very top are the communities of users, including consumers and businesses. Here, users are quickly becoming producers and information sources. For example, in financial services, investment platforms offer user-generated advice and information.

Incumbents Face Attack in Every Layer

In banking today, new industry entrants are attacking incumbents in every layer of a given stack. Players from other industries typically attack at the customer interface, offering select, high-margin products. These include giant global retail technology pioneers, such as Apple, Google, and Amazon; focused global players, such as PayPal; and telecom providers.

The degree of peril posed by these players depends on the services they offer. A new front end to traditional banking services could prove to be a major threat to banks if it allows the interloper to steal the customer’s loyalty or to substantially reduce business volumes, confining the bank’s role to commodity back-end processing. In the worst case, these outside competitors will aim to become full-service banks, though many shy away from doing so because they don’t want to be regulated.

What makes some of these companies particularly dangerous is that they approach banking with a different financial logic. Banks focus on earning money from their products and services, but players from other industries are more interested in building the value of their ecosystems and gaining access to rich data. To enhance that value, they are willing to disrupt business by giving products away for free, as Apple did with maps and navigation systems.

Fintechs, which have grown rapidly in number and in level of investor funding, similarly aim to take control of the customer relationship. They enter specific, attractive banking segments with focused products and services, aiming to disrupt banks through platforms, such as peer-to-peer lending and investment services. Some fintechs address customers’ new or unmet needs through innovative business models, such as the online money transfer service TransferWise. Others upstage the existing services of traditional banks with improved offerings, such as Mint, Intuit’s online personal-money-management service.

Fintechs that insert themselves into customer relationships or limit direct access to clients pose a particular challenge to banks, jeopardizing margins if not volumes. They threaten to disrupt banks’ ability to provide a full-service offering by going after the most attractive pockets of revenue and profitability, such as payments or investments. This leaves banks with lower-margin, unattractive products and underused platforms and networks.

Specialized service providers are active at lower layers of the stack, mainly in the infrastructure layer but also in the applications and services layer. Some companies—such as IBM, Experian, and SAP—offer IT services, data management, and risk management. Others, such as Wirecard, provide private-label platforms.

Most radical of all, perhaps, are the companies that use blockchain technology, which harnesses large federations of computers (that may or may not be owned by banks) to validate transactions through a shared protocol.

These institutions can exploit scale and innovation beyond what a single bank can achieve. Some take advantage of the increasing volume and availability of data, thus eroding banks’ information and analytics advantage in the products and services layer. These players do not pose a direct challenge to banks but rather see them as customers. Nevertheless, they threaten banks by facilitating disruption as they provide services to attackers and lower the barriers of entry for players that need only to master the top layer of the stack.

Incumbent banks will find it increasingly difficult to prevail. A strong position in accounts, for example, can no longer be relied upon to sell a bank’s own service solutions. Further, as new entrants continue to compete for the customer interface, banks will lose control of the channels that are driving volumes in the lower layers of the stack. Regulators, however, might protect the current industry structure and slow down the emergence of a stack structure if they focus on regulating services rather than certain players.

At the same time, the innovation driven by fintechs provides an opportunity for incumbents. Banks can innovate at an unprecedented speed if they embrace new market solutions, such as robo-advice.

These changes to the banking industry’s structure are in their early stages, and further shifts toward the stacks structure are likely. A greater proportion of banks’ revenues will therefore become vulnerable to attack by new entrants at various layers.

Four Viable Business Models Emerge

In BCG’s article “Borges’ Map,” Philip Evans and Patrick Forth argue that business architecture has itself become a strategic variable. Technology may be used to optimize and create competitive advantage within a business model. But real success stems from an organization’s ability to reinvent its business model or adapt to the opportunities provided by both technology and the ubiquitous availability of digitized information that can be generated, mined, analyzed, and used at low cost.

In this world, stacked business architecture will be the dominant structure, and four distinct, viable business models are emerging within it: traditional oligopolist, infrastructure organization, platform, and user community.

What will this mean for the future of the banking industry?

Traditional Oligopolist. Companies following this business model have a competitive advantage in environments where uncertainty is high but not incalculable and where economies of scale are significant but not overwhelming. Their advantage stems from continuous improvement in core products and processes as well as from investments in sustaining the advantages of scale. The successful traditional oligopolists will continue to control a large part of the value chain.

Current incumbent banks, whose number one priority is to keep their offerings relevant for customers, are naturally positioned for this space. When they lose access to the customer, these banks will have to become the new winners’ best partners at the customer interface to avoid losing platform scale. Partnering with future winners will also allow them to gain share on volumes. Margins will come under pressure as products are commoditized, and some products will even become unsustainable for the majority of integrated banks that fail to reach the scale required.

Overall, the model of traditional oligopolists will become less relevant.

Infrastructure Organization. This type of company will be found at the bottom of the stack, where scale matters most and uncertainty is lowest. Scale and efficiency are key here, and IT providers, utilities, and global product players, such as credit card companies, will continue to prevail. Several products currently manufactured by banks will migrate into this space, especially in the capital markets business; consider foreign exchange trading, for example. Infrastructure organizations will therefore both partner and compete with traditional oligopolists.

Platform. Organizations using this business model provide services to communities and allow them to scale as a result of the network effect of serving a large number of users. This creates a winner-take-all environment with monopolistic structures. The value of these platforms must be sustained by continuous innovation and reinvention. Unlike traditional monopolies, which are protected by barriers to entry created by the immense investments in infrastructure—such as cables, pipelines, or railroad tracks—that are needed to form a traditional network, these new networks are generated by users’ decisions. And as users’ views and needs evolve, the new fragile monopolies can lose scale as quickly as they gain it.

Some traditional banks, including BBVA and Citibank, are exploring the platform approach—for example by opening their applications programming to benefit from external innovation.  As the value of physical distribution networks erodes, more banks might want to explore options to create new digital platforms. With access to customer data, an understanding of customers’ needs, and the sheer scale of their customer base, banks have the assets that are essential for building a platform.

The bank as an app store in the center of an ecosystem might become a business model for the future.

User Community. Consumers, professionals, and small entrepreneurs will gather in communities at the top layer of the stack, consuming services and products offered by companies in the layers below. They flourish in environments that have high uncertainty and weak economies of scale. Members of these communities innovate to build solutions that are better than the ones provided by companies in the other layers. They build on platforms, and their costs of failure are low; the main investment is the creator’s time—and the upside is large when they hit it right. Innovative solutions can scale quickly and create global businesses within months.

This potential to scale quickly in the user community space is what attracts venture capital to fintechs and other startups. Though some banks are building disruptive business models independently—creating venture capital funds to fuel external innovation that they can internalize or using hackathons to create new digital solutions for their customers—this space is largely untapped by banks today.

The detailed structure of future banking is, of course, unclear. As the stacks architecture continues to evolve, however, banks will need to know which model to employ given their circumstances and then excel in its execution.

What Banks Must Do to Succeed

Some say that banks will be marginalized and become mere product providers. Others argue that banks should appeal to regulators for protection from the economics of disruption. Still others believe that determined banks will find paths to evolve and survive by leveraging their core assets, such as their customer base, relatively large investment budgets, and generally well-educated staff.

We believe that the organizations that embrace the opportunities of technology in the industry stacks structure will emerge the strongest. Banks that aim to be among the winners must take three actions:

  • Build an understanding of their market’s dynamics and, more important, identify current and future competitors in each layer of the stack.
  • Generate options for their future market position using the opportunities provided by technology for both digitizing the core and launching disruptive solutions.
  • Above all, develop the ability to adapt to an uncertain and shifting environment.

Ultimately, banks will need to face the brutal facts about where in the stack they have a sustainable competitive advantage and are able to compete profitably. It may be necessary to focus activities more narrowly in some layers while investing heavily to innovate and broaden scope in other areas.

Because the precise outcome cannot be predicted, becoming more adaptive is the key challenge. Banks operate in an environment in which aversion to risk is part of the culture on all levels and where decision making is complex and slow. Those institutions will now have to be able to manage both continuous incremental improvements in their core businesses, where they still mainly compete against one another, and innovations in adjacent and new business areas, where they will compete against new, agile competitors.

Banks must be able to operate with a more diversified mix of channels and to supplement captive channels with other solutions. Technology will play the main role rather than just support it, and data management will become a key source of competitive advantage.

This will require a fundamental change in the way banks operate, starting with a significantly tighter focus on customers. Banks will need to take the following steps:

  • Become less hierarchical and siloed and instead allow more distributed leadership and empowerment of teaming for customer-relevant solutions.
  • Establish clear processes for innovation with KPIs and set up governance structures that differ distinctively from those of the traditional mature businesses that banks are used to running.
  • Develop modular organizations, in which services from bottom layers are easily available to all services at the top.
  • Create a new people strategy to attract and cultivate digitally savvy entrepreneurial talent.
  • Foster a culture of excellence in everything they do; this is critical for banks aspiring to remain relevant in all layers of the stack.

Times of uncertainty are times of opportunity for entrepreneurs. Now is the moment for banks to rebuild entrepreneurship while retaining their abilities to manage efficiency and incremental improvement.

Yet disruption has not defined the future of banking. Organizations that understand and wield the digital opportunities to drive change, rather than be driven by its perils, hold the future in their hands. Taking a small number of decisive management actions now can lay the foundation for success.