Roughly one out of every five status updates on Twitter mentions a brand or product, which makes it a great platform for gauging consumer sentiment about existing products, and potential launches. Often, that sentiment is favorable - but even when it's not, companies don't have to be afraid. As AT&T shows, brands can mine Twitter for negative sentiment, and use those insights to help solve customer service problems in "real-time."
Google generates billions of dollars in revenue every quarter, and big
brands are known to be some of the most prolific spenders.
But just how much are specific brands spending? That's not information
that Google has publicly disclosed before, but AdAge claims to have
obtained a document detailing just how much major brands spent in June.
If there's one thing major mobile carriers don't like to do, it's work together. But that appears to be what they're doing in the mobile payment space. Considering how tight the market is, that's a move credit card companies might not be too happy about. Because while credit card companies may need carriers to get into mobile payments, they may also soon learn those same carriers don't need them.
The iPhone, despite the recent unwanted attention, is still arguably the most desirable smartphone in the world. But in the United States, the mobile carrier the iPhone is exclusive to, AT&T, is far from the most popular carrier.
It has been hampered by complaints about network quality, and while many argue that AT&T simply needs to invest more in its network, others argue that AT&T is the victim of the iPhone.
AT&T has a lucrative exclusive for the iPhone in the United States.
But that has proven to be a double-edged sword. While the iPhone has
helped AT&T acquire lots and lots of customers, it has also
strained the company's network. Regardless of whether or not that's
entirely AT&T's fault, network issues have led to a significant
number of unhappy customers.
Improving its image is a top priority for the company. But how should it go about that?
iPhone users in the United States have an interesting relationship with
their phones: by in large, most of them love their iPhones (and apps) but they don't particularly care for their carrier - AT&T.
AT&T didn't gain any love recently when it announced that it was
revamping its iPhone pricing scheme and adding data caps, while 02 has announced the end of unlimited data in the UK. The new deal: lower costs for most users, but no more all-you-can-eat buffet. The goal: attract a new legion of mainstream iPhone customers but limit the profligate, network-harming usage seen with a very small number of customers.
Apple's Steve Jobs gets a lot of kudos for publishing his email address publicly (and occassionally responding to strangers). It's excusable if most corporate CEOs aren't ready for that, but today AT&T has demonstrated the flaws of the opposite approach.
A customer emailed AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson twice to ask for a phone eligibility upgrade. In response, he was threatened with a court order. Needless to say, AT&T no longer has that customer. But Stephenson is getting a lot more emails. And surprisingly, AT&T has yet to respond in a constructive way.
It seems all anyone's talking about in terms of online policy these days is Facebook's privacy kerfluffle. Which is kind of a big deal, but small potatoes, really, when compared to the really big, burning, important issue of the day: net neutrality.
This critical issue may not be at the forefront of news, opinion columns and debate in the media, but the fact that digital marketers and e-commerce providers are ignoring it is as baffling as it is inexcusable. The major broadband providers: Comcast, Verizon, AT&T and Time Warner want to tax content providers. They want to determine what sites their subscribers can access, and how quickly - giving priority, of course, to their own products and services.
This year, everyone's talking about who will be the new Foursquare
or Twitter at SxSW 2010. But it will also be interesting to see who will be
this year's big screw up. AT&T is working hard to make sure it won't
be them again.
A strong showing at the annual tech festival in Austin Texas can do great things for business. But for those that make a bad impression at SxSW, it can take a long time to recover. And last year at the festival, AT&T let down a lot of people. The telecom giant is determined not to let the same thing happen this year, but it's going to take a lot to win back stubborn techies.
Verizon hit upon an ingenious marketing tactic when it started publicizing the new Droid handset. The company had been sitting idly by while AT&T made headlines — and millions — selling iPhones the past two years. But after doing a bit of research, they noticed that AT&T's 3G coverage wasn't as thorough as the company claimed.
Now that they have a Google smartphone in their catalog of phones, Verizon decided to go after AT&T's network quality, with comparative maps of their coverage. AT&T took none too kindly to the effort, and quickly responded with a lawsuit.
This week, AT&T dropped its case against Verizon. It appears that Verizon has won this round of the cellphone wars. But when it does get its hand on the iPhone, there's no guarantee that Verizon will have any more success delivering coverage than AT&T.
AT&T's exclusive contract with the iPhone should be up in the next few months. And when Verizon starts selling the iPhone, the data demands of the product could easily sink their network performance to below AT&T levels.
But Verizon is betting that its network can take the street. The company thinks that network quality is going to be the most important — if not the only thing — that matters for cellphone providers pretty soon. If phone manufacturers keep producing products and marketing them directly to the public, that future could get here pretty soon. If Verizon can deliver on its promise, the company may have hit upon a winning strategy for the long haul.