Wednesday, April 26, 2006

first dutch crossmedia congres

Today I had the honour of co-chairing the first dutch crossmedia congres in the RAI. It was an interesting day in which we could see that from where companies might start, be it newspaper publishers (PCM), television (Endemol) or telecommunication (KPN), the convergence was noticable. PCM is starting projects on the internet AND on television. Endemol is going into distribution together with KPN and KPN is starting as a television provider. (IPTV) Everybody is getting into the competition on other fields. In comparison to a year or two ago where the general meaning was that this will come sometime somewhere, action is being undertaken today. The Dutch industry is starting to get awake. Still if you compare to the UK and the scandinavian countries sophistication in crossmedia thinking is not to big. But in Holland we do have the perfect starting situation, infrastructure is excellent as also noticed by Dick van der Graaf from Endemol. What we need is disruptive thinking. I did not here very much of that today. But then are the big institutionalised companies ever the ones to disrupt? I dare to question that. Difficulty is that you have to keep your share in the current market and at the same time attack the system you thrive on.. The Dutch advertisers (the money) in the market are still a little to anxious to try really new disruptive crossmedia projects. But this is what we need to foster catalysing growth. Look for, be open to and try new (low cost) things. Start small and then let it grow organically, by users pulling on the concept. Like a circle that starts small from the middel and gets bigger and bigger all the time.

Monday, April 24, 2006

social currency

I have been thinking about this concept that popped up in my mind a couple of months ago, during my work with the p2p tribler project group: "social currency" it has to do with getting the value out of the ever growing folksonomy that is being created by us all.

A good visionary blog on this is:

As massmedia are deteriorating in there strength, how to grasp what is going on?
The internet is a wonderfully logged place. Logs are being tagged and connected to other people;places.. But what are the connections and more importantly what do these connections between people mean?

An opinionleader in one field creates social currency when he/she exhibites knowledge or tips. At the same time the opinionleader will be a follower in a completely different field. What is the value of his knowlegde node network. In other words what is his social currency?
And can you trade social currency? One currency for another? What is the value base?

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

The space is a medium, let's make that accountable!

I have worked for several years now at a product that is using videotracking technology to capture movement of people in spaces, such as stores or stations or events.. etcetera.
From 2003 to 2004 I conducted a pilot in a store in Roosendaal, Netherlands to explore the possibilities of videotracking to get information on behaviour of people. This resulted in developing 2 applications to generate keyfigures to look at behaviour...
near a screen, near an assortment, in a waiting line, on an airport... You name it. I condensed the information to media key figures such as OTS and Window of Opportunity.
It is a very intelligent product that is still very easy to work with and that can generate amazing results, especially for centrally organized organizations. Imagine we lifted turnover by up to 10% in some weeks in our pilot store. If you take that centrally and work through the adjustment in say all stores. Also if effects are not that strong overall, It may still very well turn a smile on your face. Because the measurement is continuously you can learn through time what has worked well and what did not and you can adjust seasonal products as they go. Off course you can also see effects of new products more timely and make adjustments right away. After a while it may even be possible to use the information in your storage policy and personell planning. It takes time to tell the story though and it takes even more time for most companies to do really new things. Working with this instrument forces you to take what happens on the floor into account strategically. But the pressure of needing a measure for the effects of narrowcasting, digital signage accelerates the need for information on what happens in spaces where these installations are installed. After all there are sometimes large investments involved that need a return. In order to calculate this, we need a measure of the effects. Not to forget we need a measure of the effects on screen level, if we want to attach a rating to the messages on screen. RetailTreks (that is the tradename of this product) is very well able to give you information on the effects of digital signage. In a store we can even look directly at the effects on category level. Did the message of a product result in more visits to the assortment? And after that, did the assortment visits generate more sales?... This first step is an important step to make by the way, only looking at sales uplift to see if digital signage is effective, may have you ending up working at a message that was effective in the first place, not getting the conversion went wrong on assortment level, and if you do not measure that you will not see the difference, turning on the wrong screw to get it better!)
And while you are looking at the effects of digital signage and can make up a rate card for third party advertisers, you may as well look at improving your total retailformula and take alongside the percentages of improvement you can make with that. It is what we say in Holland to catch two flies in one stroke.