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Techaisle Blog

Insightful research, flexible data, and deep analysis by a global SMB IT Market Research and Industry Analyst organization dedicated to tracking the Future of SMBs and Channels.

G20 SMBs: PCs and Servers will be the top areas of IT investment as Economy Improves

G20 SMBs to spend US$455 Billion on IT in 2010 accounting for 89 percent of Global SMB IT spend
G20 Consumer/Households will Likely Spend US$96 Billion on IT in 2010 with a Household PC Penetration of 44 Percent
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The Power of Value Based Communities

There's been a lot of talk and blogging about communities being central to people on the web. The web, pundits say is changing from one of passive consumption to a participatory (I hate the word "interactive") experience. A lot of web x.0 sites such as Diggit, MySpace, facebook are exactly about that. Despite the talk and clear evidence marketing departments are mired in traditional approaches that do not directly address the power of Value Based Communities. Lets just call them VBCs for simplicity. I believe that these marketers ignore communities at their own risk. So what are VBCs and why are they important? Its easy to define a VBC - a community that comes together as a result of shared beliefs. Those beliefs could range from an interest in saving the environment, a love for dogs (or other animals), a passion for astronomy and so forth. Communities have existed throughout evolution. The first community was drawn together with a common belief in survival resulting in early instances of prehistoric man hunting in groups and forming families. Communities then are the basis of existence! indeed great changes have come about as a result of communities being created along shared values - The creation of America being a prime example. But enough about history. What about today? What role do communities play and why are they ever more relevant? One has only to witness the current election where Obama's message of "Change" is creating a voter community sharing a common belief and value that change is essential in government (Politicians in my view have been consummate marketers to creating and pandering to communities). It is amazing then that so few marketing efforts focus on understanding and mining the power of communities engaging instead in traditional marketing efforts. Market research in particular tends to fall short in this respect. Here are some reasons why marketers should actively focus on VBCs

1. Shared values = MOTIVATION: Every marketer seeks to understand what motivates a customer. Values are the strongest form of motivation that spurs action

2. Community = ACTION: A community comes together for the purpose of taking action, driven by a set of values. All communities without exception can clearly identify their purpose and values. Conversely, communities that cannot do so eventually fracture and fade away or give rise to new communities

3. Community = VALUED PEER INFLUENCES: A community's members are highly instrumental in impacting each others choices about a variety of things. The affinity brought about by shared values often leads to valuing a peer's recommendation and eventual purchase

As stated earlier, current marketing approaches often ignore these realities, in most cases either totally ignoring their existence or ignoring the values that created the community in the first place. Traditional marketing tactics place emphasis on a standard criteria such as customer's location, demographics, purchase preferences, race, age, education etc. - in other words, marketers understand the "what" and the "how" but rarely do they venture into understanding the "why" from a values perspective. And if at all they do, there is a broad generalization that hides critical differences among individuals. Among voters, for example, labels such as Republican or Democrat are supposed to indicate shared beliefs but the truth is that such generalizations mask shifts in values occurring within each party. Each party now has sub-groups such as Liberal Republicans and Conservative Democrats. Consumer group descriptions such as GenX, GenY also mask a multitude of values. I will stop here now and continue on this topic over the next few days. In the mean time, I look forward to your thoughts, comments and opinions in the coming days.....

Abhijeet Rane (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)

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The Long Tail of iPhone Apps

The folks over at gigaom have written a nice analysis of the iPhone market. you can read that here. It would appear that the success metric for any platform these days is the length of the "app tail" and Apple is growing its tale much like the mythical Hindu monkey god Hanuman. Legend has it that the evil king Ravana set his tail on fire. He exacted his revenge by growing his tail winding it through the city of Lanka and burning it to the ground. In a sense, that is exactly what Apple is doing (minus the revenge bit). Apple took an approach that worked for it in the music buisiness and replicated it for the iPone. Why have they succeeded when others have (in relative terms) failed?

Think Different!

That tag line from the late 80s early 90s is very much alive in Cupertino. That drove their willingness to break the stranglehold of phone companies who for years took the walled garden approach to mobile applications. That undeniably marxist approach ultimately limited the market. The rationale was - everyone's doing it. Thats the point. That strategy ignored what consumers wanted. No different from the music business

Wow Everybody!

The use of technologies such as multi-touch and accelerometers made it compelling enough for at least one phone company to take notice. To their credit, AT&T smartly tore down their own walled garden (in a sense) and made the deal with Apple, gaining exclusivity in return. They got a device no one had seen before. Consumers got excited by the new capabilities, developers found a new creative outlet. An eco-system was born.

Stabilize the Universe

The creation of the iPhone was akin to the big bang. From it spun out a billion planets (apps) but the real work begins now. For life to be sustained, the universe needs to be stabilized. Microsoft knows a lot about this incidentally having very ably stabilized the desktop and server app universe over the past 3 decades. The mobile world is not forgiving enough to give Apple that kind of time, but stabilize it they must for this is the most profitable period of market exapnsion for them. As long as they keep coming out with good devices they will remain the center of the mobile app world.

Repeat until failure

At some point Apple will falter on one of its strategies. Its going to happen. Until then they will keep repeating this formula making just enough changes to fit the opportunity at hand.
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