Thursday, February 10, 2011

Junk The PC!


I promise that I will not go off on yet another critique of the Super Bowl ads.

Say with me in unison… “Enough is enough.”

But I have to post that the Motorola Xoom Tablet ad was the worst ad that aired. It certainly showcased Motorola as a true Apple wannabe.

It gets worse, If you go the Motorolla website the home page is nothing but that wannabe ad.

Motorola… go back to the Android phones…trying to be MAC is like that girl who played the trombone in my high school marching band thinking she could be the homecoming queen.

Okay. Promise, no more commentary.

Yesterday an announcement hit the newspapers with the headline: “Smart Phones Outsell PCs For The First Time.”

The article states… “Worldwide, consumer electronics makers shipped 100.9 million smart phones in the last three months of 2010…an 87% jump from a year earler”

During the same time, 92.1 million PCs were shipped out.

At the tail end of 2010, I posted the following in the 2011 TRENDCAST…

2011 Trend #7 -- Recast Entertainment
The article in this morning’s edition of the Wall Street Journal talked about the new growing decline of cable subscribers as well as folks ”dishing the dish.” Last year’s TRENDCAST Trans Tech was right on target with what is now being labeled as the High Tech “Cloud.” In 2011, the impact of the Internet and the “at our finger tips” smart phones will recast everything from the channels of access to the entertainment format of what we previously called “broadcast” programming.

Not only is entertainment being recast, but so is the “cloud” at large…how we use technology to process work to how we communicate with one another to how we surf the web.

But the change is not just limited to how we as individuals interact with the mechanical point of access.

Earlier this week, I was out on the road with a 20-something Millennial. We were speaking to one of our client’s customer audience group out in the field.

When we broke for lunch and I asked where that 20-something Millennial wanted to go, she replied, ”pull up Scoutmob and see where the deals are.”

I know this dates me, because I then asked what was Scoutmob.

Turns out that Scoutmob is an app for the iPhone where you can pull up 50% off discount deals of the day. When you get to the location of the deal, you show the staff the discount on the iPhone and the iPhone the geo-confirms your location and processes the deal.

Later than night, I told friends that instead of meeting up where we had initially planned to have dinner, to instead, meet up at another place posting a 50% off deal on Scoutmob.

I know this dates me.

When you Google mobile app deals, everything from TownHog to DailyDeals to BargainJack come up.

The insight in all of this is how many of these sites existed before the birth of the Smart Phones?

My guess is not many.

The AP article goes on to compare how often consumers will be replacing their Smart Phones versus replacing their PCs.

My bet is that when the PCs crash next…they simply will not be replaced.

The CHANGE WAVE Conitnues!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

The Positive Breeze Of Change!

I am sitting here early on a Monday morning in the lobby of a convention hotel in Orlando, Florida. I am down here at a convention of flooring retailers.

Got down here on Friday. Since then, I have sat having drinks with retailers from other national 2011 sales conventions.

Here at the hotel where I have been staying there was an onslaught of PGA and LPGA retailers. Their group had more than 4,000 retailers, resorts, clubs and golf course owners from across the US.

The golfers are now out and replaced with True Value North American sales team and retail franchise owners. There are more than 15,000 folks walking around with their True Value name-tags, shirts and hats.

Yesterday there were doll collectors and retailers. Thank the dear Lord, they are now gone.

It was odd watching women walking around with dolls wrapped in blankets and referring to them as relatives and putting them to sleep.

I heard next week that Kraft will be coming in to meet with independent grocery and c-store managers and after that group; the florist groups will be arriving.

The folks attending these conventions represent the backbone of American small business. These are the folks that work the weekends greeting customers and selling products. They are the ones stocking the shelves and balancing the asset and debit columns.

I have taken time to speak with these small business owners and ask them about how they perceive business moving forward.

Two things are running consistent.

First, there are more smiles this year than last year… in fact, more than many have expressed over the last several years.

There are more smiles because many do indeed see the economy picking back up again. The conventions held in Orlando are posting records attendance.

It even makes me smile when I hear about a growing degree of enthusiasm.

Will 2011 be a record sales year? No. But will the numbers starting moving positive again. Yes.

Second, and much more interesting… the talk at the conventions is focused a lot on how to reach out to the new, emerging consumer and doing business in a totally different, high-touch, interactive marketplace.

Refocusing and re-adjusting on consumers age 18-40 that today, represent more than 50% of shoppers.

They label them the GenXers, the GenYers, the Millennials. But whatever, the label, they know that they shop differently, access information differently and interact with what they buy and where they shop differently.

At the convention with the floor retailers, the CEO, President and CMO of the host company kicked-off the convention with Millennial pictures, numbers and interview snapshots.

Past conventions that I have attended, the CEOs and Presidents often talk about their Corporate Visions and numerical sales goals.

And just think, this is just Orlando. There are probably many more retailers, distributors, agencies and sales team coming together in Vegas, LA, Chicago, and NYC hopefully expressing the same positive thinking and challenge.

Changes are taking place and good ones at that!