2015 was a red-hot year for mobile technology.
The number of mobile devices has now surpassed the global human population. More than ever, consumers are interacting with businesses using their mobile devices before going through any other channel As “mobile-first” becomes the norm for every age group, consumers from all demographics are able to quickly understand each other when referencing products and services that have captured their interest. Whether it’s via face-to-face interaction, email, a text message, a Dropbox shared folder or an Instagram direct message, the language is clear and the smartphone is the sharing tool of choice. This trend of convergence and mobile is accelerating quickly, and the question becomes: which businesses will be able to successfully market & monetize their mobile arm?
Google rolled out its “MobileGeddon” ranking algorithm that penalized non-mobile optimized Web sites, making mobile-first design a must have for all.
2016 is expected to be equally epic for mobile.
So here are top trends:
1. Internet of Things
Even as smartphones have come to dominate the desktop, the concept of mobile itself is fast moving beyond just phones. Mobile no longer means just your phone or tablet, but increasingly your watch, your car, even your fashion accessories and the clothes you wear. Wearables, by their very nature, are more intimate and provide deeper data about consumers.
2. Mobile video usage is exploding
According to Cisco, mobile data traffic grew nearly 70 percent in 2014, with 55 percent of mobile data traffic spent on videos.
As of November, Facebook claims 8 million video views every day – a figure which doubled in six months – with more than 75 percent of these happening on mobile devices.
3. Planet of the apps
Flurry Analytics has released its 2015 Year in Review, analyzing the growth of app usage last year. The company found overall app usage increased by 58 percent in 2015, with ‘app usage’ being defined as a user opening an app and having a ‘session’ within it.
In October, Google had indexed more than 100 billion deep links within apps. Adding app search results will have a profound effect on usage and discovery for apps.
4. The Internet of me
As marketers collect more data about individuals from connected devices and across their purchase habits, one-size-fits-all marketing is fast going out and has several implications for brands:
Beyond mobile first: Moving to context-first design
Most marketers have now caught on to the mantra of mobile-first design.
Location is the new cookie
According to Google, 85 percent of the top 100 retailers are expected to adopt some kind of beacon technology by the end of 2016.
Beacons, accompanied by corresponding consumer acceptance of location-based marketing, will have significant effect on shopper marketing and will enable brands to deliver hyper-relevant, micro-targeted offers.
5. Chat is the new social
For those who do not know how chat is going to evolve, one only has to look at WeChat in China.
What was once a simple messaging app has now become a full-fledged marketing, commerce and payment platform. Users are able to connect with brands, request and reserve services, and buy and pay for goods, all through the same app.
Both Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp are expected to cross more than 1 billion users in 2016. Although Facebook has been coy about opening up those services to brands for marketing opportunities, expect that to change in 2016.
6. Mobile commerce moves beyond window shopping
Not so long ago, mobile’s role in commerce was largely to influence shopping: read product reviews, check pricing and receive coupons and offers. That is clearly not true any longer.
Mobile currently accounts for 35 percent of all e-commerce, according to Forrester, and less than 2 percent of all retail sales. This will increase rapidly.
7. Mobile will continue to revolutionize shopper marketing promotions
Mobile continues to play an under-appreciated role as a bridge between offline and online, particularly when it comes to retail.
Brands are increasingly leveraging mobile in promotions, both in validating purchase through bridging solutions such as receipt processing and in providing incentives via digital content, electronic gift cards and prepaid credit cards.
8. Mobile wallets will NOT be mainstream in 2016
This is a classic “when, not if” problem. There will come a time when credit cards will be rendered obsolete by mobile wallets. It just will not happen in 2016.
Apple Pay continues to slowly win over advocates, helped by the possibility that it may well be the killer app for the Apple Watch. Apple claims 80 percent of Apple Watch users are using Apple Pay to make payments.
Interestingly, Samsung’s brilliantly named Samsung Pay may well be the killer mobile wallet solution as it can work with all payment terminals that accept credit cards, and not just NFC-enabled ones that are estimated at 10 percent of the market.
Despite clear progress, mobile wallets will remain niche for at least another year, as retailers slowly upgrade terminals, market players continue to compete on standards and features, security and usage issues get ironed out and the public at large remains comfortable charging stuff to their credit card.
SO WILL 2016 be just more of the same, or will there be surprises that we never saw coming? Looking forward to find out.
(Excerpted from e-marketer, Mashable, Luxury Daily, Flurry)
January 7th, 2016
Social Collaboration Platforms
Organizations increasingly want their workers to perform faster, smarter and be more productive. In order to achieve this goal, collaborative technologies are picking up across the world in large organisations and slowly in smaller companies too. This helps in transforming the way organizations turn knowledge into actions. Social collaboration platforms are vital as they create new ways for employees to work faster and smarter while increasing productivity.
Collaborative technologies aren’t new and have been around for some time, running since a long time and there is a competition like Olympic but there is no gold, only silvers. In order to transform truly and increase productivity, the organizations first need to combine collaborative technologies with business processes. There are proven results when the work is done in this manner. Secondly, organizations need to design the collaborative behaviors that foster quick results. We should encourage the utilization of collaborative tools. But, simply having the collaborative tools for the organization is not enough. Last but not the least; we need to unleash full power of the talent available in any organization.
A type of business software that joins broad social networking aptness to work processes is called a social collaboration platform. The paramount objective of collaboration software is to enable the employees to share information and resolve business complications more efficaciously. The purveyors take a different approach in order to build social collaborative platforms. It can be built either by joining a social layer to bequest business application or by embedding collaboration tools into fresh artifacts.
There are some attributes that all successful social collaboration platforms share. These attributes are accessibility, integration, a common set of functions, issue tracking and messaging. A number of social collaboration platforms just look like Facebook and employees are accustomed to using in their private life. However, we should know that Facebook and Twitter are not the only social platforms available; there are other social tools also that are available for enterprise users.
It is to be noted here that as the companies are headed towards broad deployment from small pilots, critical success factors like a social collaboration policy needs to be defined besides selecting a long-term vendor.
Let’s discuss some of the features from some popular social collaboration platforms:
A Window into Your Enterprise
From tactical teamwork to enterprise collaboration – It gives access to real-time information from across teams and locations, all in one place.
Transforms Intranet into an Intelligent Workspace
It engages people across teams and geographies. It enables employees to work, share, find, discuss, manage, connect, create, collaborate and have fun. It helps companies move beyond the traditional intranet to an ecosystem that delivers results.
Collaborative voting has been added to the existing Idea and Page Tracker widgets, facilitating collaboration between colleagues and resulting in better business ideas.
Enables users to view and contribute content in multiple languages
New Mentoring functionality assigns experts or ‘Mentors’ and pairs them with employees or ‘Mentees’ to collaborate and complete a certain project, task, idea definition, leadership development goal, etc., empowering employees with greater skills and talent growth.
Capture, Retain & Access Knowledge
It enables storing of files centrally, working on documents, tracking comments and inviting feedback. You can browse the member directory to find co-workers. Meet the right experts and minimize the effort in searching for information that matters.
Web-based content creation tools enable teams to work together, creating pages that are available to everyone to contribute to and benefit from. With wiki pages, online spreadsheets and blogs, your valuable information is always updated and no longer locked away inside individual inboxes.
Accessible any time from multiple platforms such as the web, mobile devices or your desktop client. No matter where you are, you’ll always be able to access your critical business content, and connect and share with your peers. Enable your employees to access information, contacts, stay in the loop on project status changes, and make necessary updates from anywhere, anytime.
What kind of platforms are you using for knowledge capture and sharing inside your company? Your inputs would be appreciated…
January 3rd, 2016
Shradha Sharma of Yourstory.com asks the Startup community to maintain that Spark, regardless of where one is in the journey of life. That Spark may be humility or grace, appreciation for others, lending a helping hand etc. Essentially the point she made, and very well so, that in our “Rat Race” for success in life, perhaps we might have forgotten the more human elements, things which bind us together and a feeling of elevation. Shradha was speaking at the recent YourStory event Mobile Sparks in Bangalore.
I couldn’t agree more. In our quest for success, perhaps we might have forgotten to remember some old friends, or forgot the fact that a good night sleep is more worthwile than achieving a Unicorn status. Big statement, but I insist.
I think the subject is about balance. Nobody is saying that one must give up on one’s dreams. But it must not drive consternation to a level that one forgets the basics of humanity – a desire to do good, be kind, have a positive impact and effect larger good. As many have said, a Startup needs to have an objective larger than valuation, or a profit or loss statement. It is about “value creation” at the end of the day, to quote my friend Manish.
Ok, with that, I come back to the startup notes. The recently concluded event MobileSparks by Yourstory had some great speakers from most of the leading firms – Flipkart, Snapdeal, Grofers, Practo, OYO Rooms, Peppertap, SAIF partners, Inventus, Matrix Partners etc.
Here are some sundry highlights from this event :
Freecharge – Initial adoption strategy – Make first transaction brag-worthy. Eg give away a burger for first recharge.
App installs is not a good metric. Transactions is good metric.
OYO is envisioning a future of amazing hotel experience. Some potential ideas :
- Manages entire hotel experience.
- App – does booking. Shows nearby restaurants, gets you cab with Ola cab widget,
- Ops team does background audit regularly of hotels
- Alerts – eg room 345 not audited since last three weeks or 5 acs in a hotel broke down
- Correlation between auditor reports and customer feedback audits auditors themselves
- If AC is broken open ticket to get electrician automatically
- Pre-check in from airport. Submit ID card picture before even you reach.
- Could alert property manager that customer is about to reach.
- Mobile key to door
- Reminder to turn on AC or heater from before. Mobile can store customer temperature preference.
- Connect to WiFi automatically.
- Mobile motion sensors based DND (do not disturb). Check if person is sleeping and motionless.
- Checkout from app. Pay from mobile wallet. Feedback on the go on app.
Matrix partners (VC) :-
App distribution -
- Inmobi ads, AdMob, Adwords
- OEMS like micromax lava etc
- App stores.
- Facebook ads
- Google ads
- App Store optimisation or ASO
Online consultation app for patients and doctors
- Very less doctors in India compared to patients.
- X axis :- Online, offline
Y axis :-
Discovery – find practitioners
Transaction – create transaction
Delivery – participate in delivery or actual doctor patient communication / consultation
Lybrate is in online healthcare delivery space.
- Got doctors first ie supply first. Then demand ie consumers etc.
- Need hooks on supply side to hold doctors while demand builds up.
- Lot has happened in discovery already.
- Transaction and delivery side is left. Healthcare devices can be used. Consumer hardware is big area.
- 70 million diabetes patients in India. Devices for them.
- Revenue model – online consultation commission from user – 5% to 15% of doctor fee.
Piyush Ranjan. SVP. Flipkart.
Key idea :- Build a Cathedral. Not walls or bricks.
Build for phones with no data. SMS or USSD as underlying protocols. Also phone to phone connection.
Reliability is in short supply. Eg IRCTC is not reliable.
Build for the low end.
Building speed as a feature. Eg google suggest and google instant.
A broad base need like education.
So far mostly online classrooms. But how about continuous learning which mimics human whole life ?
healthcare app for doctors and patients.
Started web-only in 2008. Mobile first now.
Mobile search -
2 lakh doctors
2x non metros
UGC declined in mobile though compared to web. Consumers write smaller reviews on mobile compared to web. Struggling with this now.
Helps in locking in supply
20% richer data
10 million searches
Anand Chandrasekaran, Chief Product Officer
- 19 m registered users
- 1.5 L sellers (I am told less than 10000 are active, more on this in a later post)
- wants to achieve 10L sellers in few years (how many will be active ?)
- 5m daily active users
- Freecharge – 2 out of 3 visitors end up transacting
Other ideas that were discussed :
125 million English speaking Indians. Leaves a billion non-English users. Need to tackle them.
300 million internet users in India currently. To grow to half billion internet users in 2-3 years. Mostly via Mobile Web.
August 10th, 2015
Today India witnesses a unique revolution. It is like another freedom movement, a moment par excellence. A new Silicon Valley is created among the potholed roads, roaming cows, un-interested traffic cops and massive traffic jams. What a combination ?
Who would have thought that amid the chaos of this ancient country and the cacophony of auto noise and massive no of folks everywhere, slowly and surely, a new breed of entrepreneurs emerges – providing hope to a beleaguered nation that our time has come, perhaps !
I picture the Founders of Snapdeal, in their early days, waiting outside that restaurant in Delhi, in Delhi’s terrible heat, for the restaurant owner to come out and so that they can clinch a deal, a coupon which they can send by email (or was it paper coupons) to their growing email audience. Even they did not imagine that their amazing commitment to their mission would create a $5 billion behemoth that Snapdeal is today with 5000 jobs, several paying crore (or nearly there) packages.
The folks at InMobi, now giving Google and Facebook a run for their money with the new Miip tech platform, or the Bansals at Flipkart – packing books in their Koramangala apartment and now disrupting the retail in India, as we know it.
How about the dozens (hundreds ?) of captive units in BLR and Gurgaon by every foreign (mostly American ?) MNC worth it’s salt.
Not to say, this is Round 1. The latter happened in 80s and 90s, with Murthy of Infosys and Premji of Wipro, not to discount the TCS, the largest of them all.
Certainly this is Round 2. and what a Round ? Billion dollar valuation becoming an operating unit – a dream which is now seen by thousands of new wannabe entrepreneurs. Driven by almost 900 mobile subscriptions – a fifth of world total almost. Certainly mobile is driving this growth.
Mobile web penetration went from 2 million to 200 million from 2009 to 2015. PC Web penetration increased 20 million to 40 million in same period. 100 times growth in mobile web, 2 time growth in PC Web.
Certainly mobile is to blame, or praise, for this upheaval. That and Whatsapp – the app which brought mobile web to the lowest rung of the society, and as far as everybody’s grandma, who can barely handle a smarphone, but is adept at Whatsapp.
Well, this is the beginning. The revolution just begins. Hordes of rich foreign investors, PE funds, hedge funds, are still not here with their billions, or trillions. They will be, soon perhaps. We will be waiting, for our piece of the dream !
August 6th, 2015
Facebook is supposed to be building a professional network, but for now, I believe LinkedIn is still the default professional social network for many people. But maybe the two aren’t so different after all. I found this info-graphic by Brighton School of Business & Management and feel that everybody here should have a look at it to understand the differences between the two networks in somewhat holistic manner:
December 29th, 2014
Healthcare as a sector in India has always been hot. The need for innovation is huge and it presents a big business opportunity. There are multiple factors behind the growth of the sector like rising incomes, easier access to high-quality healthcare facilities and greater awareness of personal health and hygiene.There have been efforts from the government and the private sector to create an impact in the area but the space remains open for innovation and start-ups can create a dent.
What ever problem, the start-up may try to solve, it will have to deal with the patient records. Technology these days have sorted this problem of digitisation of records. But digitising patient records have always involved multiple issues — especially legal, communication, accreditation, research, regulatory, decision making and education. The primary change during recent years has revolved around the evolution from paper-based personal health records to electronic health records. Here we will compare how the two differ and what benefits one provides over the other.
Accessibility of Patient Records
The accessibility questions surrounding paper versus electronic records boil down to “who?” and “when?” — electronic health records (EHR) are accessible by all authorized professionals simultaneously and immediately as long as they have access to the main storage system. On the other hand, paper-based patient records (PPR) are available on only a one-at-a-time basis — sharing requires mailing or conversion into an electronic format by scanning or emailing. With the physical mail option for PPR, accessibility can be a matter of days instead of seconds with EHR.
Paper medical records discourage interactivity among stakeholders while electronic health records create an opportunity for immediate feedback. With PPR, many patients never see their own health files. One of the most striking changes with EHR procedures is the active inclusion of patients in keeping and reviewing personal health records on web and on all other devices including wearables. With the rapidly advancing state of technology, both health care professionals and patients want “real-time information” that is standard with EHR — this is one of the primary benefits of electronic health records.
Reliability of Patient Records
When health care organizations transition from paper to electronic records, improved reliability is a major goal of the entire process. For example, poor penmanship by doctors and other health care professionals has always been a serious potential flaw when dealing with paper medical records. EHR computers and word-processing applications eliminate this major PPR source of unreliability.
Electronic health records are organized in ways that are literally impossible with a paper filing arrangement. Errors and improper documentation in EHRs produce alerts that highlight improper entries.
Prudent health care organizations cannot afford to overlook any opportunity to save both time and money — an EHR process does both.
A reduction in storage costs means much more than eliminating warehouses filled with paper records. Electronic records are also eco-friendly and can be stored indefinitely without deterioration in quality. For example, this feature of EHR can result in important medical data being available long after physical files have already faded — or destroyed entirely by a natural disaster.
Quality of Care Considerations
Delivering better care to patients serves a primary mission for any health care professional. One way that EHR can actively contribute to a higher quality of care is by improving public health monitoring — speedier reporting of infectious diseases can be facilitated by more detail and quicker feedback made possible by electronic records processes. Automatic EHR reminders typically reduce mistakes, errors and omissions.
Security and Compliance Considerations
Security vulnerabilities can be present in both PPRs and EHRs. Both formats can result in theft and be exposed to the risk of loss from other events such as floods and fire. With paper records that are limited to one copy, EHR provides a security edge with backup copies. Health care professionals should devote plenty of attention to this area — don’t cut corners when deciding how to handle compliance and security concerns for your records transition process.
What is it worth to save the time required to pull a chart? — or to eliminate lost charts? According to one study, overall efficiency will improve by 6 percent annually with EHRs.
Productivity will improve in ways that you might not expect with electronic health records. For example:
- Fewer pharmacy callbacks
- Ease of communicating with the entire care team
- Less overall time filling out forms
- More clarity when reading prescriptions and medical terminology
December 29th, 2014
Social media sprouted at the latter part of 20th century; and had a vibrant impact on every business, bringing distinctive solutions for all the business requirements. Perhaps every other day, a new technology is coming up to manage the rising demand of social media in the marketing platform to bring up sales. Both small and large businesses have started utilizing social media as an important tool on every aspect that gives a better revenue for their brand, therefore it is no wonder that social media gives a wide opportunity for the people who are venturing to have a business of their own.
Many newly raised organizations and entrepreneurs use social media channels like Facebook, twitter, myspace, pinteresst, instagram, google+ any many others for their marketing and promotion strategy. Effective online presence of a start-up through social media gives a wider reach at a lesser cost and time. Below info-graphic shows 15 top uses of the social media :
(Image Credit: Saleoid.com)
December 28th, 2014
Passion is one of those intangibles that drives an entrepreneur, gets them through the good times and the bad times, and ultimately dictates the success of any startup. If you are not passionate about what you are building, you might as well pack up your bags right now, as your startup will never work.
Webster’s Dictionary defines passion as “an intense, driving or overmastering feeling of conviction” or “a strong desire for or devotion to some activity or concept”. I couldn’t have said it any better. Passion needs to ooze from every pore of a startup entrepreneur. This passion is usually instilled by some core knowledge of the product or service that is being built, which translates into clear domain expertise and first-hand knowledge and confidence that you are heading in the right direction. This passion also translates into infectious enthusiasm, that ultimately feeds the energy and drive of every employee in your office. And, most importantly, this passion is the glue that holds the company together and gets it through its most difficult times.
December 14th, 2014
All companies should have a blog, to demonstrate their expertise in a particular subject matter and provide a vehicle for two-way communications and engagement with their customers.
This blog that you are reading now is an example of that. I, as the Founding Partner of CellStrat, a consulting and start-up mentoring firm, am trying to come across as an expert in startups who has lived through the same battles you now find yourself fighting through. Not to mention, for many of you, this is your first time ever hearing about CellStrat. You may be asking, “why should I trust this firm to help me solve my startup-related problems?”. Well, hopefully the quality of the content on this blog not only educates the readers on various topics, but it also instills trust to get prospective clients to actually pick up the phone and engage with me on their various needs.
Also, this blog gives my readers the chance to voice their agreement or disagreement with various points that I am making. For example, when I wrote a guest post on Apple Pay on a famous social media site, two readers gave their contradictory and supporting views respectively. Hence, further enhancing reader education on the topic, and creating a two-way dialog with my readers, so they too feel like they are participating in the discussion.
There are two other clear marketing advantages of writing a blog. Firstly, search engines love rich content pages, and the more content you write, the more free search traffic you will drive into your website. For example, this blog is about 7 years old, and is getting 10000+ visitors per month, largely coming from people searching for information related to the posted topics via Google and some through our regular followers. That is a lot a traffic for a small consulting firm, which I didn’t have to spend one penny on, other than the 30 minutes or so that it takes me to write one post.
The second key marketing advantage is the virility of the content on social media sites like LinkedIn, face book and twitter. And, since our connections and followers are largely business people related to startups/ technology or the digital media industry in which we have worked for the last 35 years combined, there are very high odds that: (i) the articles are not only interesting reading for them; but (ii) they will most likely forward or re-tweet the articles to their thousands of collective connections and followers of their own, all ripe new prospects for my own business.
So, for the reasons above, consider a blog a vital component of your website, search marketing and social marketing strategies. And, don’t forget to ask for new followers, as I do in my last sentence below in all posts.
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December 11th, 2014
Primafacie, yes. But, with a thought to this question, my reaction is no, working with family members is not a good idea. But, if structured correctly, a family-related team can work.
The biggest and most important reason I think, the answer is no, is the normal work-life balance can get completely thrown out of alignment. Normally, you have your work life and relationships, you go home after work, and enter your personal life and relationships. A nice balance of ying and yang. When you work with the same people in your family, there is a risk that balance is not achieved.
Other reasons but not as big as the first one are succession planning, ego issues that arise when family members work on same levels and designations in the company etc. But these are comparatively easier to handle than the first one…
December 10th, 2014