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November 6, 2006

The Anywhere Consumer

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Monday night’s keynote was delivered by the Yankee Group’s Emily Green and focused on the emergence of the Anywhere Consumer. It seems that according to Emily, a battle is upon us.

What’s creating the Anywhere Consumer

The Anywhere Consumer refers to today’s customer who is available anywhere, at anytime, as a result of the emerging technology. This new type of consumer was ultimately formed through the rise of broadband, the constant connectivity of today’s Anywhere Network, and what Emily called “the Trinity”, which includes:

  • Mobility – Extends the value of all consumer services, like voice, messaging, imaging, audio, video, socializing, etc.
  • Network Applications – The computer has developed into our network, while the Web has been demoted into the content platform.
  • Entertainment: The motive force behind the next generation of home devices, mobile devices and consumer electronics, services and apps.

The battle of the anywhere experience

According to Emily, the stage is set for battle between The Imperialists and The Guerilla’s, but who are they?

The Imperialists are the Telcos, the wireless operators, cable companies and retailers who work off a subscription business model. They are the old dogs in the fight still holding onto their old networks and infrastructure. They want to guide consumers into the future with a gentle embrace of connected, managed devices in the home and on the go. They fear the loss of control that comes with users venturing off their networks.

The Guerillas are the Web 1.0 survivors, PC vendors, bloggers and podcasters. They believe that consumers will reject the old Imperialist services and will instead opt for network platforms that allow them to be connected without relying on the Telcos infrastructure. This group works off an advertising subscription or transaction business model — or maybe even none at all.

Emily harks that unless Imperialists see the light and upgrade ad networks, appease Wall Street, and protect their bandwidth, while still moving at the speed of the consumer marketplace, The Guerillas will be victorious in battle with few of the network providers surviving.
Marketing to the anywhere consumer

There are three ways to reach today’s Anywhere Consumer:

  • Broadband TV (watching cable channels via your PC) – When polled by Yankee Group, 55 percent of users who bought subscription video said they were also interested in having TV channels delivered to their PC. It’s become more apparent that users want to take their television shows out of the TV set and enjoy them on their own time.
  • Mobile Information Services – Studies have shown users are very interested in using mobile information services, especially if they get it for free in exchange for watching advertising.
  • Mobile TV – An interesting study of Korean mobile TV users found that drama and music videos far surpassed news and sports for preferred genres. Most surprisingly, the average viewing time was 20-30 minutes – that’s a full episode of television!

The biggest challenge right now for mobile is that many users find it too expensive. People fear how much it will cost, and fear that browsing once will sign them up for a monthly service. Marketers are working to combat this.

The impact of ‘anywhereness’

What will happen as the idea of ‘anywhereness’ begins to grow in the industry?

  • Users are showing a need for media to be fluid. They want to be able to download music and video and be able to listen to it on a variety of platforms. Media can no longer be anchored.
  • Network providers will realize that the information they have about their audience is the most valuable asset they have, not the actual network.
  • There will be ‘mobility premium’. Mobile media providers will have to establish what the mobile premium will be. How much money, time, commitment can we expect users to make?
  • Platforms will continue to diversify and consumers will continue to lean towards the ad-supported models that cost them less.
  • Users have to work at not being reachable, instead of the other way around.




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