Today, April 4, marks the 40th anniversary of the very first cell phone call ever made. Motorola’s program manager called his rival at Bell labs to tell him Motorola had won the race to perfect cell phone technology.
Today, cell phones and smart phones are almost ubiquitous – we see people hunched over their devices everywhere: behind the wheels of cars, in restaurants, in airport lounges, walking down the street, etc. Few of us remember life before the “…please silence your cell phones….” admonitions we receive before public events.
These devices have clearly changed everything; they now represent the single largest and fastest growing means for us to access information from both public and private sources.
And while Motorola may have won the race to be first, the tides of dominance continue to shift. We’ve seen Motorola and Palm disappear; we’ve witnessed RIM’s stellar decline; and now, we are witnessing an epic battle between Apple and Samsung (Android) for market and intellectual property dominance.
The winner in all of this: the consumer. We now pack more computing power in a $99 smart phone than the entire Apollo moon mission. The phone calls which used to cost $.35/minute are now so cheap it is not worth measuring them. And, universal data plans mean we can access real-time information ALL THE TIME.
And the innovation keeps on coming in devices, applications and connectivity technologies. With all of this progress, it is hard to believe the basic technology is 40 years young.
Hundreds of thousands of apps are available for tablets and smart phones today. When conceived, virtually every app is believed to be the next “killer app”. However, they aren’t. There is still only ONE killer app – email.
The standards for email were first conceived in 1973 and pre-date the conception of the commercial internet. In fact, the use of email helped spawn the need for the Internet.
The true interoperability and universality of email ensure its “killer” status will remain for quite some time. The best evidence of this is that virtually all “killer apps” use email as a means of notification – think: Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc., they all provide status updates, alerts and updates via email.
What we find intriguing are new ways to use, manage and measure email and to make it more effective.
Today’s question is: “What are you doing to be more effective with email?”
I write this having spent four days pulling booth duty, attending sessions and making new acquaintances at eyeforpharma Barcelona 2013. This was our first eyeforpharma European event, our second European conference and exhibition.
This was a wonderful experience on all fronts – see familiar faces from our other conferences in Europe and North America, make new friends and better understand the European landscape from the customers’ perspective.
Two conference sessions stand out: 1) McLaren Automotive and 2) Astra Zeneca.
Yes, you read that correctly – we heard James Keady, McLaren Automotive give an excellent presentation comparing the challenges of introducing a very expensive supercar to the pharma industry (Keady is an ex-GSK marketer). He concludes the similarities in digital marketing between the industries are:
1) Key opinion leaders are critical to consumer awareness
2) Success requires a rapid innovation pipeline – from start to finish during a Formula 1 racing season (20 races), a McLaren car will undergo 22,000 innovations
3) Science + engineering = commercial opportunities
4) Industries are undergoing very rapid transformation
5) One-way broadcasting messaging days are OVER – requires compelling, personalized storytelling.
We believe the McLaren presentation was excellent – not only because of the content and the “sexiness” of the visuals – but because Pharma needs to break out of its “navel-gazing” and benchmark and learn from other industries to innovate in its commercialization activities. We need to see MORE OF THIS!
Florent Edouard, Global Head of CRM for Astra Zeneca, gave an excellent – and very entertaining – presentation about what works and what doesn’t work in global CRM strategies. I expected PowerPoint-hell of IT acronyms – what I saw was a 5-bullet point, very easy to understand, lessons learned on how to make CRM work (and he was not talking about a “CRM application”; he was talking about CRM as a corporate discipline).
He did not have a slide that had the CRM application database at the center, surrounded by circles of transactional activity. He did not have a slide that had the customer at the center surrounded by multiple channels of marketing messaging. What he did have at the center of a CRM strategy was an API data bus. Say what?
Edouard made a very interesting point: the pharma business model exists based on highly empirical scientific data to support the science; the business decisions are often made on “gut feelings” or intuition. He believes commercialization decisions must be made on data, and to have the right data you must be able to move the data between the various systems. Edouard states: “If you cannot move the data between systems, you cannot draw conclusions. If you cannot draw empirically valid conclusions, you cannot affect results.”
When I asked Edouard how the “entrenched incumbent” vendors handled this architecture requirement he stated: “The big players are not so easy to deal with – especially in the USA; they have enormous market leverage. The smaller firms are much more agile and easier to deal with because they are flexible. You don’t see multi-million Euro price tags to change minor elements.” Something to ponder when designing architectural strategy and selecting vendors.
To all of the presenters in Barcelona: thank you for welcoming us as sponsors and for sharing your knowledge. And until next time: Adios, Amigos.
The long-term, deleterious effects of iPhoria are dissipating. Last year, I wrote about the counsel I have provided (What Gives Guy?) regarding mobility strategy and heterogeneous operating systems during my speaking engagements.
Today, an IDC report predicts this is the year Android tablet market share will surpass iPads. This follows the Android OS taking a commanding lead in the smart phone space.
If one believes that Apple provides a clearly more elegant product, what’s driving this change in market share leadership? Real simply: economics.
When the smartphone and tablet race was just a developed world phenomenon (targeting ~1.7 billion people), Apple’s premium price points were sustainable. Reason being, $400 smart phones or $800 tablets — as measured as a percentage of per capita GDP – are affordable luxuries/necessities. The sheer math of the developing world (~4.5 billion people)—as measured by per capita GDP – makes Apple’s price points unaffordable luxuries for the masses. The Android devices do not include an OS license fee to Google, plus there are a plethora of manufacturers. This competition causes downward price pressure; hence, making the Android devices affordable necessities.
This is very, very significant. As global companies attempt to “globalize” their brand and execution, mobile strategy becomes critical (more people access the internet from mobile devices than from desktops). Mobile strategy is no longer about Apple; we clearly live in a heterogeneous operating system world. We need to embrace this FACT in the same way we’ve embraced the heterogeneity of languages and cultures.
Companies who ignore this fact do so at their peril.
Google is infamous (notorious) for the elegance of its algorithms, not necessarily its products. However, that may be changing.
The recent release – to the development community – and the public visibility of Google Glass will likely give rise to “glasshole” sightings (said tongue-in-cheek); more importantly, this will change human behavior in ways we haven’t imagined yet.
When the Sony Walkman was first introduced we saw the first commuters and walkers cocooning themselves in sound and disengaging from fellow man. An upshot was we were spared the “boom boxes” often seen (and heard) perched on the shoulders of subway riders in major urban centers. Today, white ear buds are almost ubiquitous and are accepted fare everywhere.
Then came Bluetooth. With the introduction of Jawbone headsets, many people began wearing these constantly as an accessory. Upon first encountering them, many thought there was a new wave of people who were talking with themselves. Again, they are common fare and the plethora of states’ “hands-free laws” has propelled the acceptance of the accessory and individuals’ behavior.
Glass devices will change how we interact with computers and will integrate computer augmentation into our daily existence. First movers will likely be “geeks” (glassholes); however, application development will propel their use into specific occupations. Computer augmented reality is already common on the battlefield and this will likely move to: first-responders, operating room personnel, and occupations where constant, real-time data enhances decision making.
As we integrate this latest technology into our lives, we will need to address myriad issues, including: aesthetics, behavior protocols, privacy, copyrights, and user interface protocols. But, when one thinks back to how the first cell phones impacted us (and all of the behavior changes they brought) one can easily see how this march is inevitable, and that we may find glassholes, in fact, quite beautiful.
But that was just the start. Maquet talks about the benefits of switching from print to digital.
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