By Category: New Business Technology

» Telepresence for Ad Agency New Business

Closer agency - client relationships
by Todd Knutson  |   published on April 07, 2011

ciscoI recently saw Cisco's new Telepresence system in action. My first thought was, "Wow, this is an amazing client retention and communication tool."

My second thought was that it should be a boon for ad agency organic business development. And my third thought was, it's probably very expensive...but could well be worth the investment.

A few ideas for how it might help your agency grow:

  • Easy daily visual interaction with your clients at the account level
  • Potential for much more frequent senior-level, face-to-face interaction
  • Faster visual collaboration between creative, account and client teams

From a new business perspective, I imagine a tool like this could easily enable you to ask your clients to invite the managers of other brands, divisions, etc. to online meetings, giving you a first crack at building face-to-face relationships, before competing agencies have managed to get in the door. In other words, a way to jump-start organic growth with your current clients.

I'm curious if this is a tool that your agency is using? If so, does it work this way for you?

 

» 4G: The Expectation is Faster Speeds (and higher prices)

But, will 4G really be faster? And, if so, for how long?
by Todd Knutson  |   published on March 17, 2010

4GToday's Wall Street Journal (March 17, 2010) reports that as 4G wireless technology becomes more widely available in the next year, download speeds may be 3-8 times faster than with current 3G service. But, with that increase in speed, unlimited-use pricing models may have to change.

The first challenge to be overcome is that consumers are going to have to be persuaded that 4G is really faster than 3G.

Keep in mind that as more 4G wireless devices are brought online, traffic will increase and download speeds are likely to decrease. Bill Davidson, SVP Marketing & Investor Relations at Qualcomm, Inc., says in the article, "...it's much more about preserving [the] experience that end users have now. I haven't seen a lot of people guaranteeing a lot of speed."

So, is what we're hearing just early-stage hype? Will the expectation of 4G speed be more flash than substance (introduced, or course, by good advertising and word of mouth chatter)?

 

As to pricing, what's creating the pressure? AT&T has reported that

3% of it's subscriber base, likely armed with an Apple Inc. iPhone, make up 40% of the carrier's data traffic.

Seeing this statistic, it's not hard to understand the problem from the carriers' perspective. What has to change is the unlimited-use plans in the hands of heavy data users. They're likely to be replaced by tiered plans, based on usage, which will be more in line with how you're charged if you use a data card with your laptop. However, as Roger Cheng describes in his article, there are challenges to be overcome. For example:

  • Customers don't currently have any way of knowing how much data they're using, as "phones don't usually provide a read-out of current data usage."
  • Customers aren't used to tracking how many emails they send, or how big the files are that they download, or how much they surf the Web or watch videos.

Will the benefits of (potential) speed outweigh the additional cost? It's too early to tell.

Thanks to the numbers of iPhones and Blackberrys in use by ad agency new business people, once 4G is rolled out, we're likely to initially enjoy the benefits of faster downloading and, probably, higher monthly fees. Let's hope that by the time 4G becomes the norm, the carriers will have figured out how to maintain higher download speeds in order to justify the additional expense.

 

» Tablets: A New Era for Clients and New Business?

Predicted to be a game-changer
by Todd Knutson  |   published on March 09, 2010

i-padThe editor of Wired magazine, last week at the 4As Transformation 2010 conference, predicted that tablet computers will replace laptops. He also predicted a new era for the print publishing industry. My question, "How might tablets impact new business?"

First, some of his other predictions on how things will change:

  • Tablets are going to be very personal devices: you're going to want to cradle it, lean back and interact with it.
  • It's going to be a rich media device: think of it as a large "app platform".
  • Look to the success of the Kindle as a predictor of the future, with a multiplier effect on usage once full color and connectivity are widely available.
  • We will be interacting with applications living in The Cloud, which means we'll individually need less computing power than we do using laptops today.

For advertisers and ad agencies:

  • A higher degree of interactivity with ads than ever before.
  • New software will measure everything, making it the most measurable medium available.
  • Measurement will be able to take place when users are online and offline.
  • The interactive nature of the tablet is going to allow consumers to play, touch and roam through content and ads - seamlessly.
Tablets will become a new presentation platform, offering the attraction of print and digital interactivity and measurement.

So how might tablets impact new business? Here are some wild guesses:

  • You may travel with your phone and your tablet, but no laptop.
  • You might deliver a presentation on your tablet, in portrait or landscape, or both.
  • Presentations might allow prospective or current clients to envision a campaign in a way that current digital capabilities and interactivity don't.
  • Might apps be developed to provide innovative ways for clients to find and experience potential agency partners?
  • Your agency's 360-degree digital presence will become even more important and easily accessible.

I'm sure I haven't even scratched the surface of the changes that are coming, and would love to hear your thoughts on this new medium. Regardless, I think tablets will offer a host of opportunities for innovation with current clients, as well as in your new business efforts. This should be an exciting couple of years as we all learn about and experiment with this new medium.

 

 

» A Tablet to Cure Magazine Ad Sales Blues?

Wonderfactory prototype is an exciting development
by Todd Knutson  |   published on December 03, 2009

media decoderThe Wonderfactory, in collaboration with Time, Inc., helped design the prototype of what Sports Illustrated magazine might look like on a tablet computer.

Revealed on December 2nd, this innovation could allow magazines and other periodicals to charge for content on tablet computers, and give advertisers data on who’s seeing their ads.

Stephanie Clifford of the New York Times broke the story. A few highlights:

  • Apple, HP and other computer manufacturers are expected to offer tablet computers sometime next year.
  • "The general guess is they’ll be like big iPhones, with interactive touch-screens. The larger size makes it feasible to put a magazine page on a tablet."
  • The functionality is anticipated to let readers interact with the magazine stories, ads, and content, watch videos, see additional photos, get live updates, and particpate with what's going on in the story.
  • Readers will also be able to email, print, save, and share stories and content with friends via social media channels.

From an ad sales perspective, this should create opportunities for media departments across the country. It's anticipated that readers will be able to use the touch screen to interact with ads, view video clips, product comparisons, prices, and purchase directly from a story. In turn, this should open up a whole to way of thinking about ads that will lead to increased innovation.

From a new business perspective, you have to think that this type of take-it-with-you technology - a tablet that's bigger than your i-phone but much more portable than a Kindle - will open up a another vehicle for innovative apps and offerings. Ad agencies and other marketing services firms should be able to leverage innovative offerings to generate both organic growth and new business.

While I'm generally not an early-adopter, the thought of being able to do most of my "required reading" on a highly portable tablet computer that provides online interactivity, is really exciting.