Thursday, February 19, 2009

My Top 6 Emerging Trends Predictions

After reading the latest predictions from the latest Trendsspotting predictions, I decided to contribute and share my personal predictions on the Top 6 emerging technology trends that are impacting consumer behavior.

As you read these trends and think about opportunities for new product development and/or opportunities to create a new marketing position for your product, keep in my mind that the greatest innovation as well as the major threats comes from the convergence of multiple technologies coming together to address the main human needs from the 2X2 matrix.

Convergence of technologies and interoperability across different services and platforms become key drivers for mass adoption and consumerization of emerging technologies across all consumer demographic segments.

1) Community Advice and Growing importance of Peer Review: consumer review sites like Consumerist combined with built-in peer review features on online retail giants like Amazon and have emphasized the peer review functionality to the point where it is becoming integral part of the purchasing process. The same trend applies to financial services as investment sites like Cakefinancial and Tradeking allow for community discussion, advice, and even monitoring the investment behavior of top-performing peers.

2) Increasingly opportunistic purchasing: emphasis on peer networks for retail purchases has created a sub-market of deal sites like and where consumers aggregate coupon and discount offers. This interest could become a key driver for the acceptance of mobile alerts with discount offers based on GPS/geolocation.

3) Experiential marketing and new realms of Customization: technological improvements are offering solutions for online clothing retailers’ greatest challenge: the inability for potential buyers to try things on. Sites like Victoria's Secret offer the ability to change the colors and styles of featured swimsuits on demand, and places like take it one step further and allow users to input measurements to customize clothing to body shape and size. Technological improvements at physical locations, for example with RFID technology being able to detect the clothing being worn in a dressing room, allow for customized suggestions for alternative colors/styles, as well as potentially complementary items and accessories.

4) Retail giants becoming more "mobile friendly": more emphasis on mobile experience as mobile technology improves and as consumers become more comfortable using mobile devices for reviews, store locators, price comparisons, and even purchases. Target and Wal-Mart have both made customized mobile sites over the last 6 months ( and respectively). Next on the horizon are mobile payments.

5) Proliferation of video advertising: companies have been exploring the use of embedded video into their websites and now they are adding YouTube to their multichannel marketing strategy. An interesting question to ask is how the proliferation of user-generated video will impact advertising agencies? People find user-generated videos more engaging that traditional ads.

6) Adoption of Web TV: with broadband and 3D capabilities TV is coming back and growing in importance. Web TV will impact media ad consumption. Giants like Google, Apple and AT&T are investing in new TV technology. Adoption of 3D could bring a new impulse to the advertising.

Also let’s keep an eye on video gaming, the gaming industry is experiencing an explosive growth and during these times of economic crisis, gaming and virtual reality offer to consumers a way to escape from their “real life” problems.

Are You Connecting these Dots?

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Five Leadership Lessons

We use leadership skills every day at work. Why not apply these same skills to our personal lives?”

How can we draw the correlation between leadership skills and personal effectiveness in balancing career, family and relationships?

In the book “Connecting My Dots”, I am sharing lessons that will empower you to apply your leadership skills that make you successful at work to your personal live. I will also tell you that there is not a formula you can flawlessly replicate to achieve success, because life is complex, relationships are unique, and each situation is different. Sometimes we need to make mistakes in order to learn how to assess a situation the next time it comes around.

I once thought that career success would be the main challenge I would have to face in my life. With that said, I was ready to focus my energy and strengths into achieving professional excellence. However, life showed me that raising two kids and preserving a cross-cultural marriage for twenty-five years, which entailed two immigrations and the numerous hardships caused by distinct personalities and backgrounds, could be at least as challenging as achieving career success.

Here are two of the Five Leadership Lessons for Multidimensional Success:

Lesson 1- Define Success on Your Own Terms: Achieving your dreams begins with a definition of what success and happiness mean for you.

Lesson 2- Don't Wait Too Long for What You Want

Lesson 3- Find the Right Partner

Lesson 4- Play Multiple Roles

Lesson 5- Don’t Give Up during Bad Times: How you handle difficult situations is what defines who you are. During bad times, couples have the opportunity to really show commitment to each other, to their relationship and their children. While marriage life is not a “perfect picture”, marriage is full of memorable and unforgettable moments. However, those priceless moments will come with a daily price tag.

Read this book at learn how to increase your personal effectiveness and use simple tools to balance career, family and relationships.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

What is the Color of Your iPhone?

Every morning when I put the watch on my left arm, I ask myself the same question: Do I need to continue wearing a watch when I always look at my blackberry to check the time?

I have tried not to wear a watch to go to work but the next day before I leave my bedroom I put it back. Why? One answer is because of a habit of wearing a watch which of course is true, but the other answer is because I like my watch. My watch has a personal meaning.

The same is happening with mobile phones. For many of people the mobile device is a symbol of personal freedom and accessibility to value-added services. And, when I think about the time my daughter and I spent selecting the color and the style of our blackberries I go as far as saying that the mobile device has become a Personal Statement.

Technical innovations are transforming consumer behaviors, with the mobile phone being by far the most ubiquitous personal technology. The mass adoption of a mobile phone has far outpaced the adoption of the PCs. And, while there are parallels between adapting to the rise of the mobile channel and the advent of the Internet channel, this time the changes in consumer use and adoption are happening faster pushing innovation forward.

Coincidentally, the other technology that I can think about it that has achieved this astronomical level of consumer adoption is the watch. A watch is very easy to use, serves an important purpose, and it is a personal statement. A good watch is also a “statement of luxury”, just ask this question to people who pay substantial amount of money for a Rolex or Patek Philippe.

The mass adoption of mobile devices is connected the 2X2 matrix of four human-need drivers of Consumerization of Emerging Technologies: Social, Personal, Mobility & Convenience, and Security.

For example, let’s talk about Security and the mobile phone. First, many of the security protection solutions for strong authentication use out band authentication. In other words, the mobile phone is used as an alternative channel for consumers to get a secret PIN. But also think about how do you feel when your children are away from home or driving a car if they just got their driver license and you know they carry a phone? What a sense of security!

In the world of personal mobile devices, carrying an iPhone is personal statement about style and usability. Personally, I like the look of the iPhone and the same day when the iPhone first became available one of our developers had my approval to get one so we could play with it. Or in other words, so we could “test the functionality of the new device.” And how many different apps you can add now to your iPhone - it 's amazing!

The usability and integration with the native applications represent the future of convergence between PC and mobile browsers and the practicality of the touch screen. But regardless of how much I like the iPhone, I continue to use a blackberry for three main reasons:

1) I can’t access my corporate email through the iPhone
2) I have problems using the touchtone screen, maybe my fingers are too wide
3) I can’t choose a color that goes with my personality

Black or Silver? Both are very elegant colors but think about it, if the mobile device is a Personal Statement people want to be able to choose a color for their iPhone according to their personality.

Wait until Steve Jobs realizes that iPhone sales could increase even more if the devices come in different colors. Hope someone from Apple is reading my blog…

So what is next? How about being able to buy a watch with your phone--and no, I’m not talking about trading your phone for a watch; I’m talking about mobile payments like you can do in Japan!