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5.13 Changes in delivery mediums

 

Intelligence Resource (IR)

Praktisk Intelligence (I)/Business Intelligence (BI)/

OmverdensOvervåking (OO)

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Kunnskapskilden

 

Intelligence/Business Intelligence/ OmverdensOvervåking 

E-Business 

Internet Marketing Intelligence

Internett Marketing  

Web utviklingsprossen 

CD/Video utviklingsprossen 

Tips& Triks 

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Kunnskapskilden –  Internet Marketing Intelligence

Bench on the pier

 

Internet Marketing Intelligence

 

 

 

Kunnskapskilden – Internet Marketing Intelligence
Internet Situational Analysis of 1to1 Marketing/CRM

 

Research Project: Internet Situational Analysis of 1to1 Marketing/CRM  from Jan Vig  at Griffith University , Australia  1999/2000

Content

 

Chapter 1 Introduction/overview

Chapter 2 Search Strategy

Chapter 3 One to One Marketing and its environment

Chapter 4 Environmental Scan

Chapter 5 Market analysis

Chapter 6 Competitors Analyses

Chapter 7 SWOT

Chapter 8 Critical Success factors

Chapter 9 Segmentation, Customer analysis and target markets

Chapter 10 Business Objectives and Strategies

Chapter 11 Marketing Mix tactics and Conclusions

 

 

Chapter 5

Market Analysis

 

 

Chapter 5 Market analysis

5.1 Trends

5.1.1 Mega trends

5.1.2 Emerging Web Trends

5.1.3 1999 Web Trends

5.1.4 Where in the world is the Net taking us?

5.1.5 Future.sri.com

5.1.6 Predictions for the Web in 1999

5.1.7 Other trend forecasts

5.1.8 E-Commerce

5.1.9 Trends Technology

5.1.10 Drivers for Change – Consumers

5.1.11 Demographics

5.2 Internet statistics

5.2.1 Internetstatistic.com

5.2.2 E-Marketer STATISTIKK

5.2.3 NUA

5.2.5 Activmedia

5.2.6 Dataquest

5.2.7 Surveyn.Net – Internet User Survey #2

5.2.8 Other Statistik

5.2.9 Web shopping Statistics

5.3 One to One marketing / Relationship marketing

5.3.1 Relationship Marketing

5.3.2 1:1 marketing

5.3.3 Permission marketing

5.3.4 Power tools for 1:1

5.3.6 Critical Questions

5.3.8 The state of one to one online, part II

5.4 Customer care/ customer service

5.4.1 Customer Care Pricewaterhous & Coopers

5.4.2 Customer Relationship Management CRM

5.4.3 Customer service

5.4.4 Collect customer information

5.4.5 Customer service

5.4.6 Internet Customer Service

5.5 Personalization

5.5.1 Personalization: Marketing to one:

5.5.2 There are 4 ways to ad personalization to the web site

5.5.3 Different articles about personalization

5.6 Privacy

5.6.1 Information sources on Internet concerning privacy

5.6.2 Articles about privacy

5.7 Security

5.7.1 Different articles concerning security

5.7.2 NUA Security Issues

5.8 The Market place 1to1 after Peppers & Rogers

5.8.1 Communications and Media

5.8.2 Customer Knowledgebase

5.8.3 Mass Customization

5.8.4 Distribution and Channel

5.8.5 Organizational Structure

5.9 The future of One to One Web Technology

5.9.1 The Future of One-to-One Web Interactivity

5.9.2 The Future of One-to-One E-Mail

5.9.3 The Future of One-to-One Web Site Personalization

5.9.4 The Future of One-to-One Push

5.2.5 The Future of One-to-One Community

5.9.6 The Future of One-to-One Web Presentation and Conferencing

5.9.7 The Future of One-to-One Advertising and Promotion

5.9.8 The Future of One-to-One Web Site Tracking and Analysis

5.9.9 The future of tracking in a word: databases.

5.10 Products and customers

5.10.1 Who is buying what over the Internet?

5.10.2 Customer-business interaction

5.10.3 Business relationships and communications

5.11 Changes in the market place

5.11.1 Drivers of Change

5.11.2 Consumer Behaviour

5.11.3 Industry Response

5.12 Changes in the market response

5.12.1 Product & Service Offering

5.12.2 Relationship Marketing

5.12.3 One to One Marketing

5.12.4 Mass Customisation

5.12.5 Future Delivery Mediums

5.13 Changes in delivery mediums

5.13.1 Post

5.13.2 Fax

5.13.3 CDs and Disks

5.13.4 Kiosks

5.13.5 Pagers and PDAs

5.13.6 Telephones and Smartphones

5.13.7 Interactive TV

5.13.8 Web TV

5.13.9 Internet E-mail

5.13.10 Internet World Wide Web

5.13.11 Proprietory ISPs

5.13.12 Summary

 

 

5.13

Changes in delivery mediums

 

Research Project: Internet Situational Analysis of 1to1 Marketing/CRM  from Jan Vig  at Griffith University , Australia  1999/2000

http://www.managingchange.com/simrep/content.htm

 

Postal MailUsing both hard and soft data, customer communication is becoming extremely targeted and the volume of printed matter sent to customers is increasing. In the future, knowledge based systems will record and co-ordinate all customer correspondence. FaxWithin some customer segments, the fax machine is as common as the answer machine and those customers feel happier using the fax to send their credit card information. Most PCs now come with fax software and new services are exploiting this situation. It is currently the best electronic method of sending brochures and other illustrated documents. 

CD-ROM

Most PCs now come with CD-ROM drives. They are ideal for delivering volume data, including video. Where necessary they can be supplemented by up-to-date information delivered via the Internet. They are best for use in volume markets due to the high cost of authorship.

 

Kiosks

 

Multimedia kiosks are being placed in many bank branches and in public places where they can reach new customers. They provide interactive services in a novel, easy to use way that has wide appeal. They look to be the next wave of consumer operated devices. The large financial service providers are the most committed to kiosks but some interviewees thought kiosks have limited applicability

 

Pagers and PDA 

These devices come in a wide variety of forms and prices from under £100 upwards with the newer PDAs running a mini form of Windows software. New services are using pagers and PDAs, especially for time critical applications. They will prove popular when the cashless society takes off. These devices will become ubiquitous.

 

Telephones and Smart phones

Telecommunications networks and services are growing at a tremendous rate and companies are exploiting telecommunications in order to operate new business models. Global operators are in an ideal position to handle demand peaks and troughs, 24 hours per day, 7 days a week.

 

Interviewees are very positive about telephone based selling and services as many consumers had enthusiastically embraced this medium. But a move to telephone based processes is making significant demands on internal capabilities.

 

In the future many personal and household appliances will be linked to the Internet. Consumers will use them to help manage their fragmented and complex lifestyles. Home PCs will manage all communications into a home with consumers erecting electronic barriers to block unwanted communications. To get through will require strong relationships.

 

Interactive-TV

Many interviewees are enthusiastic about Interactive-TV as cable and satellite expansion brings hundreds of new channels with 2-way interaction. Home shopping is likely to be a popular service. A number of these companies have, or are participating in, the various trials but some initial disappointment is expressed.

 

As television shifts from broadcasting to narrow casting there is a need to target adverts at specific individual households but some viewers will pay a fee to view without adverts. Adverts and in-programme promotions will allow consumers to request more information and speak to an agent.

 

Web-TV

Web-TV is a consumer device that receives TV programmes and provides access to the Internet.

There is no complicated set-up and browser technology makes for ease of use. Like I-TV, it will be possible for programme makers and advertisers to link their content with information on the Internet. There was an enthusiastic reception in the US following the recent launch of Web-TV.

 

Internet E-Mail

E-mail is a universal and ubiquitous facility in daily use by hundreds of millions of people. It is asimple, very low cost and fast service, although it does have its problems. Developments with e-mail software will allow users automatically to review, sort, re-route and even delete e-mail from unwanted sources. E-mail is likely to be widely available through public kiosks, Smartphones, PDAs, etc.. Telesales units will need increasingly to handle large numbers of e-mail requests but interviewees are already most concerned with the poor handling of customers’ e-mails.

 

Internet – World Wide Web (WWW)

The World Wide Web (WWW) has caught the imagination of many people. The current profile of a typical user is a well-educated professional with above average income. Booze Allen and Hamilton have shown the extremely low cost of Internet-based banking. The Internet does have some short term problems but all these will be overcome.

 

As the Internet is interactive, it is able to support many new and innovative value added services. It allows companies to reach new markets and to introduce new product and service paradigms. Interviewees thought home banking will be the lead financial application. Some thought that private closed user groups based on Internet technology could usefully serve affinity groups at their work place. Never-the-less, many were sceptical as to consumer take-up in the mass market.

 

Many found their companies’ offering disappointing. They were out-of-date, boring, untargeted, too technology driven, lacked marketing information, and were too stand-alone.

 

Proprietary Service Providers like AOL offer comprehensive services to both consumers and suppliers and are an alternative to an in-house provision. Some banks are using their own private networks because they feel they are more secure.

 

The consensus on the order of preference is:

  • Telephone based services as the growth area.
  • Kiosks as ideal for the mass market.
  • Interactive TV looks promising as many homes are expected to acquire it.
  • Web-TV may attract casual Internet users.
  • Postal mailings will be more integrated with the other delivery mediums.
  • Fax machines, pagers, PDAs etc. could be useful in niche markets.
  • E-mail may well become ubiquitous.

 

 

Most see the new mediums as complementary, not as a fundamental new way of doing business. Larger companies will offer customers a choice of mediums from which customers will choose according to their personal preferences, equipment and the stage in the buying cycle.

 

Major content providers may well dominate any of these mediums. It is this that will determine which medium to use.

 

5.13.1 Post

 

The prophecies of 10 years ago that paper communications are doomed has proved premature, if not ill-founded. Consumers are increasingly being deluged with direct response mail as database marketing provides the means to target smaller and smaller segments. Increasingly letters and inserts are customised by reference to personal profiles. A role of many in-bound telesales units is to distribute literature to potential customers who are responding to media advertising.

 

…. The UK direct marketing business was worth £6bn in 1996 …. £600m of this

is spent on compiling database information …

 

Electronic systems are being used to improve service delivery:

 

it is possible to transmit any letter electronically for printing near the recipient’s home. CompuServe offers this little- publicised service, along with a similar fax service, both being generated from an e-mail message.

 

The UK Post Office is now able to print letters on company note paper at sorting centres near to the recipient.

 

in response to e-mail requests, Internet Infobot systems automatically send information back by e-mail but there is no reason why companies couldn’t respond by post. For coloured brochures, post is currently the only suitable method of response.

 

In the future customer profiles will encompass:

 

both hard and soft data (e.g. products owned and personal likes and dislikes), and

current and historic data, even predictions about future actions.

 

Knowledge based systems

will then combine this customer data with rules in a marketing database inorder to drive all customer communications, including new business, servicing, and claims.

 

Knowledge systems will manage all communications including direct response

 

Personalised Direct Mail  at Britannia Building Society

 

When Britannia’s 1.9m customers registered for the loyalty bonus scheme they were asked to provide additional information, such as their tax band, occupation, financial relationships with other organisations, etc.. Six out of 10 did so.

 

Using this information Britannia has segmented its customers into 9 groups. It then sent letters to each customer suggesting they could switch to a Britannia mortgage and offering a cash sum. Each letter was personalised to make a different suggestion as to how the customer could spend the money, for example, a deposit on a new car, or a holiday abroad.

 

The response was so good that Britannia is to increase its direct marketing spend from £1.5m in 1996 to £5m this year.

 

The same technique will be used in the branches to handle customers in a more personalised way.

 

5.13.2 Fax

 

The fax machine has yet to become a consumer item, and may never do so, but it has increased in significant numbers in recent years. The self-employed and the more affluent are typical domestic owners. Those businesses whose market encompasses these people should consider the role of the fax machine.

 

Whilst many consider it impolite and possibly illegal to send unsolicited fax communications, it could support a range of agreed value-added services, especially where speed is of the essence:

  • communicating changes in the price of stock or the value of personal portfolios.
  • fax-back of account details, product information, etc.

 

In the reverse mode, many customers are wary of sending their credit card number over the Internet and prefer to send by fax. Using Java an Internet Web page could print an order form complete with bar codes for the credit card and order reference numbers. The customer then faxes this form and then software at the supplier’s end matches fax to order.

 

With so many faxes now being generated and received by PCs, some fax software is being enhanced to recognise when it is communicating with similar software. It then transmits the information not as a slow series of dots but as high speed text. If such software becomes a standard it will greatly increase the practicalities of sending complex documents such as brochures by fax..

 

 

Generally speaking, commentators see the fax as an interim technology, but its demise requires not only a greater use of networked PCs, but also common standards for sending documents containing diagrams and different styles of text. The HTML document standard used by the World Wide Web is now being incorporated into e-mail software and may well become the standard.

 

GEOFAX PICTURE

 

GeoFax allows users to access their voice-mail, faxes, pager and e-mail messages via their e-mail in-box or any touch-tone phone.

 

5.13.3 CDs and Disks

 

One of the current barriers to many of the new mediums is they require a telecommunications infrastructure that is still for the European mass audience underdeveloped and expensive. In time these limits will be overcome. Meanwhile CD-ROMs and floppy disks (CD-ROMs from here-on) provide a useful means of transmitting information in the interim period.

 

The advantages of CD-ROMs include:

  • hold large amounts of data. They are ideal for electronic glossy brochures that are full of colour pictures, video and sound. A new version, CD-I (interactive), holds 4 times the information. As it can hold full length feature films, it is likely to replace the video tape.
  • they are now cheap to produce (note their proliferation in magazines)
  • using telecommunications it is possible to supplement the static CD-ROM data with up-to-date information. Some of the new CD-ROM encyclopaedias use this technique without the user being aware of what is happening.
  • using software, it is possible to present extracts that meet the specific needs of individuals – needs such as personal situation, breadth of product or service offering, depth of detail, complexity of language used, style of presentation, lifestyle.

 

The main barrier
to the use of CR-ROMs is the high cost of authorship (i.e. the creation of the content). Content needs to be accurate, current, meet regulatory requirements, informative, be presented in an interesting way, easy to use and easy to navigate. It requires a multi-disciplinary team approach.

 

CD-ROMs were not the focus of the interviews but many possible applications come to mind:

 

  • distributing brochures (either direct to the customer or as an item on a magazine disk).
  • making interactive brochures with:
  • search facilities based on keywords (I need to insure my car).
  • describing complex subjects using interactive video, sound and diagrams). This is an opportunity for an insurer to provide a value added education service.
  • providing instant answers to customers’ questions in their own time (even over time) without the expense of being on-line. When they are ready, a quick telephone call receives the latest rates, etc..
  • distributing a newsletter.
  • by distributing 3D images of banks and their contents, virtual branches can be «built» to meet customer preferences (gothic stone, modern steel and glass; formal or casually dressed staff).
  • Security First Network Bank presents a familiar face to its Internet customers. It offers insurance quotes from over 1,500 insurance companies in term, home, auto and other insurance products.
  • distributing product information and compliance manuals to brokers, agents, financial advisors, and other staff.
  • sponsoring further education, for example, course notes and lectures for those undertaking NVQ’s and professional qualifications; or for teachers in schools.
  • disseminating advertising and information to branch offices and retail outlets – see Kiosks in the next section.

 

Some financial examples of distribution on CD-ROM or disk are:

  • Abbey Life and their Pension Planner.
  • Infotrade (owned by Mitsubishi Electric) provides on-line investment portfolio management and trading, insurance and mortgage quotes, financial news, prices and facts, e-mail, purchase of books, etc.. Besides holding the software, the CD-ROM also holds historic share prices, company data, and the user documentation.

 

Quicken home accounts software comes with extensive tutorials and manuals for teaching the basics

of accounting as well as information on how to use the product.

 

5.13.4 Kiosks

 

Kiosks are consumer operated machines providing a number of information and transaction services.

They are typically situated in public spaces or in open areas within retail outlets. As multi-functional devices, used by consumers without any prior training, the user-interface is critical. Kiosks usually therefore make use of both text and graphical menus, touch-screen selection, and perhaps audio prompting. To maintain user interest, in what is typically an impromptu and casual encounter, they often use all the various forms of multi-media.

 

Kiosks are today built around a high specification multi-media PC and may operate either off-line or on-line. Besides the PC components they may include a telephone or video camera to allow dialogue with an advisor; a printer to produce hard copy; and a card reader to restrict access to some or all functions. When situating kiosks in public places they need to be robust and able to raise an alarm if under attack.

 

In the near future it is likely that kiosks will use Internet web browser technology. The same application then runs both on the Internet and on the kiosk, but with the added advantage that the more static information is immediately available from the kiosk’s CD-ROM.

 

The business benefits of kiosks are:

  • they generate additional traffic and services by being placed in new locations.
  • they are an alternative where full retail outlets are not cost effective (wider distribution). In an alliance they can be used in the premises of the partner organisation.
  • dual use: when not being used by a consumer, they can automatically show adverts and other visual material to attract a user.
  • additional sales opportunities: they are attractive to a casual, uncommitted user who will not in the first instance approach a financial advisor.
  • ROI: within a branch they undertake transactions too advanced for an ATM but at less cost than a clerk. Expensive expertise at a central point can be disseminated.
  • customer accessibility: they can be available around the clock and in places where people tend to congregate.

 

Amongst the interviewees there was a strong difference of opinion about the usefulness and acceptability of kiosks. Those who advocate them state:

  • because they have evolved from ATMs, they are acceptable to a large proportion of the population.
  • without a keyboard and placed within a cabinet, they look like a television and therefore appear less intimidating.
  • they can present information in a clear, visually attractive way, and can even be fun to use.
  • because the user is usually in control of the dialogue, there is an element of self-commitment.
  • they can be situated in a wide variety of places such as bus and railway stations, shopping malls, factories and offices, libraries, etc..
  • they can reach a much wider population compared to those who have their own PC and Internet connection. Many people have negative feelings about PCs, concerns about the Internet, or just cannot afford them.

 

Advocates tended to come from the larger bancassurers who already have a substantial investment in retail outlets. In such an environment, security is less of an issue; staff can be on hand to help users; and FAs can use the kiosk as a sales aid (in this case the kiosk is probably a standard multi-media PC). Larger organisations gain economies of scale by spreading the high cost of authoring the presentations over many units.

 

Interviewees who are less than enthusiastic stated:

  • kiosks are too public which deters people from using them.
  • they are too complex for simple transactions and for those in a hurry.
  • they may help at the formative stages of the buying cycle but they will not create sales conversion -that is a considered decision and needs the right environment.
  • in reality they are under-utilised for the substantial investment required for a good system.
  • financial services are usually too complex.

The Nationwide Building Society (NWBS) probably has the most advanced and extensive kiosk system in the UK. Called Interact, and first installed in early 1995, it aims to forge new and possibly closer relationships with customers. Interact provides a learning opportunity about FS products and their associated processes (e.g. obtaining a mortgage). Using the kiosk, customers determine what products they need as well as how to obtain them. Personal information is not currently part of the scope.

  • Kiosk systems can display 3D views of familiar worlds. Customers just touch the screen on the item of interest. (picture of MultiView 2000 kiosk)
  • Usage is higher than expected and market research shows that customers enjoy using the kiosks.
  • NWBS advise prospective users of kiosks not to underestimate the resources required, to deliver applications that customers’ value and expect (and this will change), and to ensure integration with business processes.
  • For further information see the article in the Seeing is Believing report by M&G Reinsurance [now Swiss Reinsurance].

 

The BT-led TouchPoint pilot involves many of the interviewees. The participation fee is £20K but one interviewee said the overall project cost was about £100K.

  • TouchPoint consists of 24 London based kiosks providing product information and promotional offers. There are 20 participants and the aim is to learn about consumer’s attitude to electronic commerce. The project is running late and is only now going live.

 

Other kiosk systems include:

  • Co-operative Bank’s BankPoint.
  • Deutche Bank system that allows purchasing of investments
  • NatWest Bank & Thomas Cook jointly developed kiosks providing financial services and holidays.
  • San Paolo Bank Italy who allows its corporate customers to advertise on in-branch kiosks and to
  • print money-off vouchers for customers.
  • Lloyds Bank pilot system LloydsPoint at some universities.
  • Barclays Bank & Abbey National are also believed to have pilots.
  • Many governments see public access kiosks providing state services and information, They may well be developed with private sponsorship or partnership.

Regarding suppliers, Anderson Consulting is a lead player in the $10m DaVinci consortium that is developing kiosks and other technology for electronic commerce. NCR has also made substantial investments in kiosk technology.

 

 

 

5.13.5 Pagers and PDAs

 

Pagers range from simple bleepers to those with the short and long message. Personal DigitalAssistants (PDAs) range from electronic address books through to palm size portable computers able to run word processing and spreadsheet applications as well as send and receive faxes and access the Internet (via a telephone). New versions are able to run a mini version of the Windows software called Windows CE. PDAs cost from £100 to £800. Pagers and PDAs can interface with Smart-cards, which look like plastic credit and debit cards, but contain memory and processing power. By securely holding personal information and digital money Smart-cards provide:

  • persistency between transactions.
  • an audit trail that the user can view.
  • a personal profile that can be used to personalise services.
  • a cost effective means of making low value transactions.

 

Users will be able to use them in other devices such as ATMs, kiosks, home PCs, cash registers, telephones, and mobiles.

 

Powerful pagers and PDA devices enable companies to offer sophisticated value-added services to attract and retain customers, or as a means of generating additional revenue streams:

  • Virtual Financial Manager communicates changes in the price of stock or the value of a personal portfolio according to rules specified by the user. The user may also select to receive the information via e-mail, fax, or telephone.
  • electronic cheque books that keep accurate track of expenditure by linking to ATMs and retail cash registers.
  • up-to-date news on pre-defined topics (e.g. financial news) – a service company continuously scans the electronic media, such as Reuters, and then compiles a personalised report. (see Andersen Consulting’s / SkyTel’s CSTaR NewsFinder prototype).
  • investment portfolio valuations updated at pre-defined intervals combined with buying and selling facilities (an idea based on a similar Internet service offering).

 

Facts & Figures About Pagers

  • 6M in Europe
  • 120m pagers world-wide
  • 35% growth last year.
  • 200m forecast for year 2000
  • 2 x World Wide Standard Proposed Ermes

 

  • 9,000 characters – 2 x A4 pages of text
  • direct link to computers
  • European wide use via GSM system
  • month’s battery life (cf 2 months with today’s pagers)
  • 665,000 subscribers in France
  • only system with international ratification
  • FL*X
  • US Motorola developed
  • cheaper for service providers to set up
  • only short messages
  • in use in 120 countries

 

…… Modems have doubled in speed in the last year and rumour has it that BT is considering free local calls…..

 

 

 

5.13.6 Telephones and Smartphones

 

The recent fiasco with the telephone renumbering schemes has highlighted the explosive growth in both personal and business telecommunications. Telephones provide access to a wide range of services, many of which are available 24 hours per day, 7 days a week. Examples are:

  • literature requests in response to media advertising
  • quotations and sales order processing
  • home banking using either a tonephone or by speaking to a clerk.
  • information services, such as unit trust (mutual fund) prices.

Mobile communications will continue to grow until nearly every Western citizen has their own personal communications device. Additionally, cars and home equipment will also have communications capability, with many connected to the Internet.

 

Fragmented and complex lifestyles encourages consumers to acquire more devices to handle their communications

  • videophones will continue to improve and fall in cost.
  • home PCs are now able to handle telephone calls. This provides:
  • individual voice and fax mail-boxes for each family member with a visual log of all calls.
  • automatic voice/fax/data/e-mail/video recognition and routing to the appropriate application.
  • automated handling with options to take the call, route to a voice mail-box, forward, or ignore (telesales watch out!).
  • multi-media within the same call (e.g. speak to the customer, send a document and then discuss it – even annotate it to highlight specific areas).
  • Smartphones will provide some of the above functions. They will have touchscreens and menu systems like ATMs.

 

The liberalisation of telephone markets is fuelling an explosion in global operations, at least within the English speaking world:

  • global 0800 numbers smooth out capacity and bring economies of scale. They particularly suit
  • transnational media adverting on satellite TV.
  • Internet telephones bring international calls at local call prices.
  • personal telephones numbers which are available for life and allow contact anywhere in the world.

 

New telecoms operators are installing the latest digital systems based on high bandwidth cable and radio technology. When linked to computer systems it greatly enhances the simple telephone system. Many of the following services are already in existence:

  • voice recognition is currently used for home banking but using natural language processing will extend to switchboard operators («I have an enquiry concerning my PEP product» will route the caller to the appropriate clerk),
  • fax-back information requests
  • automated voice messages activated by some event (e.g. a stock market price change; a house break-in; an appliance failure).
  • the forwarding of voice messages by e-mail.
  • The business implications of these developments will be profound:
  • customers will have significant control over how and from whom they’ll accept external communications. True Relationship Marketing will be necessary to penetrate these electronic barriers.
  • customers will expect to conduct their communications on the telephone at any time of the day or week and from any place. Internal processes will need to handle a diversity of calls and information
  • systems will need to be continuously available to respond. Speed and transparency of internal organisational processes will be expected.
  • First Direct and Halifax Direct are two examples of 24 hour / 7 days a week telephone banking.
  • Safeway’s customers can order by ‘phone or fax using a personalised shopping list based on previous purchases.
  • it is already possible to distribute call handling and work processes to anywhere in the world where there is a suitable supply of skilled workers:
  • Ireland now handles help desks and admin. for many European and multi-national companies.
  • Matrixx uses a pan USA-UK network of 1,600 work stations able to respond to sudden surges of calls following a TV ad with an 0800 number response. They now also handle e-mail inquiries.
  • eFusion allows customers to speak via an Internet phone to its call centre staff at the same time as discussing a World Wide Web screen. Soon, they will route these calls from customers direct to their client’s offices.

 

Interviewees are very positive about consumers expanding their use of the telephone. Whilst many remarked that it was the de-facto communications method of the young and middle-classes and above, others also said that they felt its use was permeating all segments of society. No doubt the success of the friendly-looking red phone has influenced both consumers and providers.

 

One interviewee foresaw 50% of GI products being sold direct by the year 2000 but for the more complex products such as L&P, interviewees are more sceptical. Whilst initial enquiries could well come via the telephone they believed that conversion to a sale required the presence of a FA.

 

Many companies use the telephone for a post-sales customer feedback. One bancassurer said that they had zero complaints after recently making 2,000 follow-up calls. These calls often identified further unmet needs.

 

Interviewees recognise that there needs to be a balance between quality of service and throughput, and that this relies significantly on the quality and personality of the people handling the call. Compliance was important, with some interviewees expressing concern about the possibly unfair competition and potential for poor sales from the execution only services.

 

Long term, some felt that unsolicited out-bound telesales will become unproductive as consumers became increasingly annoyed with the volume and intrusive nature of such calls.

 

 

 

 

5.13.7 Interactive TV

Simbanet.com

http://www.simbanet.com/  http://www.simbanet.com/products/pr_net.html

 

Internet Television:
Opportunities & Strategies For Reaching The Mass MarketWhy did Microsoft invest $425 million in Web TV? Why did it invest another $1 billion in the owners of @Home? Because nearly 99% of American homes have televisions, compared to less than 40% that have PCs. Internet Television: Opportunities & Strategies for Reaching the Mass Market is the authoritative research study on this explosive new medium….. I-TVs are advanced televisions that incorporate two-way communications. They receive information by terrestrial broadcast links, satellite, cable and telephone. They respond with consumer requests and other information via cable and telephone (and eventually by satellite up-links). By adding an additional TV-top «black box» existing TVs become interactive. What is driving I-TV is the spread of cable and the imminent launch of digital terrestrial and satellite broadcasting that will provide hundreds of channels. I-TV offers:

  • choice within broadcast programmes (e.g. viewing positions in sport; additional facts; audience voting).
  • video on demand from a central library.
  • video on near demand (where for example a film begins broadcasting every 15 minutes).
  • home shopping including home banking, Within home shopping consumers are able to select and see promotional videos and text information about the products.
  • participation (e.g.. in game shows and discussion groups).
  • interactive adverts (individuals will be able to respond to a general broadcast advert and select to see more details and then order the goods or services or receive more information, by post say).
  • in another variation, companies will sponsor the use of their products within programmes. Consumers will highlight a product and then see an advert or receive more details by other means (post, Internet, fax, etc.).
  • advertisers will present viewer profiles to the channel providers who will then match these against a database of viewers to select who will see particular adverts. The more detailed the profiles the closer the match.
  • viewers will pay a premium to view a programme without adverts.
  • customers will telephone a company and then see the representative on the TV screen. They will be given additional information in a visual form and be able to discuss the finer detail.
  • Many of the above facilities will be accessible through a standard TV remote control. More information intensive services may require a keyboard and a cable up-link.

 

home shopping channel QVC is attracting 30,000 new customers every month …. Busy professionals are a prime target …

 

With these new technologies, television is making a significant shift from broadcasting to narrowcasting. This has serious implications for media advertising. With so much choice, viewers are likely to move from watching one or few channels, to selecting specific programmes. They find these by searching electronic program guides using keywords of topics. The question becomes: Which programmes to advertise in or sponsor? or even: Which individual profile to target this advert to? The latter question is especially valid if the expansion in programme quantity leads to a sharp deterioration in programme quality, and thus to viewer ad-hoc selection of programmes (is this microcasting?).

 

Why are companies enthusiastic about I-TV?

  • every home has a television and it’s a familiar non-threatening device. Many homes have 2 or more TVs and people spend many hours per week watching.
  • consumers will love the opportunity to easily undertake chores like food shopping. Once they have taken this on-board, then home banking and other financial services will quickly follow (some interviewees thought home banking will be the lead application).
  • TV attracts the same market segment that uses home catalogue shopping, so they will find I-TV very attractive.
  • at home people have more time and are relaxed and are more inclined to make decisions than in, say, public kiosks.

 

Some interviewees are naturally more cautious, even sceptical:

  • television is often a family activity whereas many buying transactions are not (family holidays may be an exception).
  • television is usually viewed at a distance whereas activities like home banking required someone to sit close to the screen in order to see the detail.
  • the low take-up of cable shows that there is consumer resistance to pay TV. Consumers buy programmes not the opportunity to shop. Therefore, home shopping, etc., needs to ride on the back of good programme content.
  • what is the killer application? Without the benefit of value-added services, consumers will buy standard digital TVs and then suppliers will not offer value-added services – a catch 22 situation.
  • not all cable systems are using high bandwidth optical cables.
  • the concerns over Internet security will equally apply to I-TV and this will inhibit financial services at a transaction level

 

Pilot systems in the UK include:

  • Cambridge Cable with 250 households via cable. Participants include NatWest, BBC, ITC, Tesco and NOP.
  • BT in Ipswich & Colchester with 2,500 households via telephone. Started mid-95 it ran for a year.
  • Services include movies on demand (see screen-shot below). NatWest is again involved along with over other 150 information providers.
  • BT: video-on-demand trials in Bishop’s Stortford
  • BSkyB using satellite and touch-tone telephone near video on demand using some 100 of its new digital channels.

 

The BT Interactive TV service provides movies, entertainment, information, education, games and adverts in Adland.

 

By participating in these trials the companies are learning about consumer attitudes as well as technology and the human-interface considerations.

 

Some of the interviewees are participants of the BT scheme, with one expressing disappointment at the low use of the financial services section. They felt the results of the trial were insufficient to draw any conclusions.

 

Cable companies are merging, no doubt in response to Murdoch. By linking their networks together, both physically and in marketing terms, they could prove a considerable commercial force.

 

Cable networks fight back the satellite operators …. 3 major UK cable

                       companies choose supplier for set-top boxes …. These to be rented by consumers

                       …. Home shopping and banking expected in 1998 ….

 

While there are some major players behind all these initiatives: Telewest Communications, News International, Microsoft, Oracle, BT, to name a few; the jury still seems to be out.

 

 

 

5.13.8 Web TV

 

Web-TV is a TV that is capable of browsing on the Internet. To achieve this, a TV also needs a processing unit, a modem and a telephone connection. Like Interactive-TV (I-TV), a keyboard is an optional attachment for more sophisticated uses – interaction is otherwise via the TV remote control. Web-TVs have recently been available in the USA. Philips and Sony manufacture a black-box add-on for standard TVs at $330. Whilst this specification may seem like a standard PC there are some key differences. First, by building  these additional components into the sets at the manufacturing stage, their existence is transparent to the consumer (other than plugging in the telephone cable). Second, users have no need to be aware of such things as operating systems and application software. Browser software is built in and other software is sent to the Web-TV as required, without the user’s intervention or awareness. A third difference is that the screen resolution is low. This means a screen shows less information than a PC and any text appears chunky. The additional benefits to consumers of Web-TV over I-TV are:

  • they promise a cheaper way to access the Internet than buying a full blown PC. Therefore they might appeal to the more casual Internet user or someone who wants to try the Internet in a risk free way.
  • they are much simpler to use and maintain than a PC (see box).
  • in response to TV adverts users will, at the push of a button, view the companies Internet web site for additional information and to make purchases.
  • consumers are able to obtain programmes from around the world.

 

… .Microsoft buys Web TV company for $425m ….. MS Explorer browser and

                       Windows CE to be built-in …. ms believes tv-top boxes can cost as little as $50

….

Like I-TV, Web-TV devices are likely to be offered by cable TV companies as well as being sold via high street retailers. Some Internet content providers may offer the sets that will then be restricted to their own information or to approved Internet web sites. This will reassure people who had concerns about accidentally being exposed to pornography or other dubious content.

 

For interviewee comments, refer to the earlier discussion on I-TV and the later discussion on Internet World Wide Web.

 

Network Computers

Oracle, Sun and IBM are promoting yet another device, the Network Computer (NC). NCs are similar to I-TV, in that they are using browser technology, but they also come with PC screens and keyboards. Within the browser technology users can run mini-applications, like a simple word processor. These applications are delivered over the network on an as required basis. NCs claim to have both lower acquisition costs ($750) and substantially lower running costs compared to a PC, which is why they are being targeted at corporations rather than consumers. Some see NCs as a step-down from PCs but more powerful and flexible than Web-TVs.

… Merrill Lynch expects in the next 4 years satellite communications to emerge as the main means of delivering digital telephony, high speed Internet access, and multi-channel TV ……

 

 

5.13.9 Internet E-mail

 

Electronic mail (E-mail) was the original Internet service and despite the hype over the World Wide Web (see later) probably to-day remains the Internet’s most used facility. E-mail is available not only from the millions of PCs but also the many more millions of simple terminals attached to mini and mainframe computers. In its basic text version, E-mail is universal and ubiquitous E-mail has many benefits:

  • low cost: a fraction of a penny to send an A4 text page anywhere in the world. (for larger companies the revenue cost is zero but for individual users there is a minimum charge by BT of 5p).
  • speed: e-mails are delivered world-wide in minutes.
  • conciseness: it is the norm that e-mails are brief and to the point.
  • friendliness: the use of an informal style is the norm for e-mails. E.g. using first names and opening with «Hi».
  • mass mailings: by setting up pre-defined lists, it is easy to circulate e-mails to many people. (e.g. to investors interested in investing in Japan).
  • less invasive: e-mails cause fewer disruptions than telephone calls.

 

Like all technologies there are downsides:

  • sometimes the layout of text is poor, with spurious control characters and broken lines. This is due to the Internet having a restricted character set based on the old telex system – e.g. £ signs cannot be received.
  • documents in rich text formats (RTF) are difficult to exchange with other users [RTF allow documents like this report to be sent as e-mail and immediately displayed exactly as created by the author].
  • International standards are defined but are not universally adopted.
  • with the near zero cost, some companies flood the system with many thousands of unsolicited advertising e-mails (spams).
  • some users receive 100’s of e-mails per day, so important messages may get overlooked.
  • other users only access their mail infrequently, say once a week.
  • many users expect a reply to an e-mail to be within hours.
  • the legal validity of e-mails is not established.
  • overt commercial use of the Internet is frowned on in many quarters. This can result in receiving millions of hate e-mails.
  • competition between the commercial networks like Microsoft & CompuServe has inhibited the adoption of common standards.
  • e-mail addresses vary in formats and as yet there is no universal directory enquiry facility.
  • there are currently no standards for error messages which are often very cryptic.
  • e-mail acknowledgement and priority requests are not always recognised or correctly invoked.
  • there is a risk that hackers will read e-mails. Encrypting and then decrypting e-mail messages is normally an extra task that some users find difficult.. It requires that both sender and recipient have the same encryption system and that they have previously exchanged passwords in a secure form. PGP is a common encryption standard but for higher levels of encryption the US government has imposed restrictions.
  • e-mails or their attachments may contain hidden viruses.

 

Despite these problems, the daily volume of e-mail runs into millions of messages and the mail invariably does get through.

 

To address these issues, e-mail software is becoming more sophisticated:

  • users may specify rules to sort, file and delete e-mail messages automatically according to sender’s name, subject and content.
  • message centre software handles all electronic communications: e-mail, fax, voice, video, discussion group messages, etc.. Within a family or department the sorting and handling of messages is performed according to individual criteria (e.g. if I’m in a meeting and it’s before 5 pm then send urgent messages from Tim to my mobile otherwise send them to my pager).
  • selected messages can automatically be forwarded to fax machines, PDAs, etc., or pagers bleeped.
  • By converting messages to speech they can even be forward to a voice mail-box or direct to a real person. Companies use these facilities to route messages to the appropriate department or advisor.
  • by analysing messages a response can be automatically formulated and sent. For example, a subject line of «Send PEP brochure» will immediately send the brochure to the user by e-mail. There is no reason why this will not evolve to «Send PEP brochure by post». These systems are known as infobots and are being increasingly used by companies.
  • by linking word processors to e-mail software, documents can easily be sent at the click of the mouse. automatically converting documents into a readable form.
  • the automatic checking of messages for viruses.

 

Other developments in e-mail are emerging:

  • e-mail is becoming available on the devices previously discussed: Pagers, PDAs, Kiosks,
  • Smartphones, I-TV and Web-TV. Already it is possible to deliver e-mail to Fax machines (sometimes
  • for free) as well as printed & posted near the destination.

 

…. Scottish Widows provides free e-mail facility to all UK PC owners ….

  • the availability of a universal RTF allows businesses to send brochures and other complex documents.
  • messages are beginning to incorporate direct cross-reference links to Web sites, video and voice annotations, mini-applications (like a mortgage payment calculator), and standard EDI formats (such as a Purchase Order).
  • voice mail may become the preferred way of composing and sending short messages (users will dictate into their PC and then e-mail the recording. Recipients will play back the message through speakers or headphones.)
  • as the prime use for many PC systems will be communications the message centre software will become the main user-interface.
  • software agents, which are pre-programmed with users preferences and commands, will filter all communications. They may also incorporate (or exhibit) a degree of artificial intelligence, undertaking the role of an electronic butler. User’s agents might be programmed to negotiate with company software agents, much as a consumer negotiates to win a discount).

 

Telesales units will increasingly handle e-mail enquires:

Matrixx’s CyberResponse telesales unit handles e-mail inquiries responding by e-mail or post. Later this could be extended to responding by telephone or fax. Calls will be routed either through the private and public switched network (PSTN) or via the Internet, using the new Internet telephones.

 

Interviewees’ concerns are with the adjustments to organisational process necessary to handle a small but increasing level of e-mails:

  • staff are motivated on what they are measured. In telesales this in on calls per hour, not e-mails per day. Telesales have built-in performance tracking systems but e-mail systems don’t.
  • company WWW pages and headed note-paper usually have only one e-mail address. Therefore each e-mail has to be read in order to ascertain who should handle it, but not all staff may have e-mail.
  • the ad-hoc and informal nature of e-mail may mean the compliance checks are not adhered to. E-mails can get lost, deleted or forgotten. Legally some insurance communications must be on paper.
  • e-mails may have to be printed so that they can be processed and then filed in the customer’s correspondence – and that may mean scanning them back into an image system!

 

E-mail from customers are a logistical nightmare for most companies. Note the informality.

 

Many interviewees remarked:

 

there is a need to handle and co-ordinate all communications from customers whether post, telephone, fax, e-mail, or WWW. As one interviewee stated Customers can be unreasonable; they expect a clerk to know all previous interactions [- as though they are the only customer].

 

Two other Internet communications are Forums and Chat. Forums are discussion groups that work off-line using e-mail or the similar UseNet software. Chat is also text based but works in real-time. Users usually congregate in electronic «rooms» devoted to a particular topic. CompuServe has a graphics version where cartoon like characters called avatars, inhabit a virtual world of streets, shops, etc.. Users sitting at a PC control their own personal avatars.

 

Internet communities exist in virtual worlds. Companies could provide such worlds for their customers.

 

Forums and Chat areas usually have rules banning any form of commercial activity. Nether-the-lessthey may have some commercial value 

  • companies could monitor those that provide general feedback about consumers’ attitudes. Where it is permitted, impartial and general advice is given to users or their views solicited.
  • companies could provide their own Forum or Chat facilities to run electronic focus groups or to encourage customer self-help.

 

 

 

5.13.10 Internet World Wide Web

 

Whilst e-mail and other Internet information tools have been around for many years, it is the World Wide Web (WWW) that is catching the attention and imagination of the population and the media. Companies have rushed to embrace the net. Reasons include its:

  • modern image: it gives a 21st century appearance. One interviewee said they had an [information] site because the board said the company should have one.
  • low entry cost: getting something up on the Internet may cost almost nothing. One interviewee had a student build their site for nothing, as a thank you for a work assignment.
  • good consumer profile: surveys indicate that many Internet users are well educated professionals with good incomes.

 

Benefits

  • low transaction costs: A recent Booz Allen and Hamilton report compared the cost of a bank
  • transaction via different medium, with the Internet the lowest (see box).

 

Transaction Costs Booz-Allen & Hamilton Study

  • Branch Banking 60p
  • Telephone Banking 35p
  • ATM Banking 17p
  • Internet Banking 8p

 

Cost / Income Ratio

  • High Street Banks 50%
  • Internet Banks 15%

 

The report estimates that, by the turn of the century, some 16% of households in the US will use Internet banking. Being mainly in the upper-income brackets, they account for some 30 per

cent of retail banking profitability.

  • improved service: it is possible to deliver immediately intangible products any time of the day or night. Even tangibles services, if linked to an efficient distribution system, can give an order of magnitude improvement in response times.
  • added value services: using the interactivity of the Internet, it is possible to personalise products and services to meet individual needs, and by involving the customer in this process it leads to a psychological buy-in. Adding supplementary information services (e.g. novel uses of the product; problem diagnosis) will enhance standard commodity type offerings.
  • new markets: without the traditional constraints of physical distribution, one can quickly increase the geographical scope of one’s markets.
  • new products and service paradigms: the Internet and other new distribution mediums provide an opportunity to re-engineer the value chains within established industries, and even create completely new ones. For example:
  • some airlines now electronically auction unused seats for flights due to depart within the next day or so in a processed call disintermediation, bucket shops may well disappear into oblivion. Many believe the whole travel agency business will disappear except for the business sector where agencies provide a full planning service in return for a retainer fee.

 

Check-in at the desk. If travel agents disappear then insurers will need to sell travel insurance via the Internet

                                                    (Home page for SouthWest Airlines).

 

  • Electronic newspapers and magazines, compiled to personal preferences are delivered to the breakfast table or the office desk.

 

1,000’s a week subscribe to electronic Wall Street Journal at $49 a month

                       …. 40% still buy Paper version ….

 

Customers can collaborate in the R&D process, dramatically reducing the time to market and ensuring the

service meets real needs in a practical way

 

  

Disadvantages and barriers to the development of the Internet:

  • poor response times: the number of users and their information demands are growing faster than the infrastructure is expanding.
  • variable user capabilities: user’s software and hardware varies in this fast changing environment. This impacts the delivery format and presentation of information.
  • user cost of participation: outside of the US, communication costs remain high, though with liberalisation of the telecommunications market, this is changing. Hardware costs are also high, both absolutely and relative to incomes, compared to the US.
  • no established modus-operandi: processes and methods of working have yet to be standardised for electronic commerce. Established legal frameworks are probably inadequate.
  • security: universal systems for the secure transmission of information or money do not exist, but this will change soon.
  • immature market: experienced skills are in short supply. There is a steep learning curve that is akin to walking up a down escalator.
  • supply instability: New suppliers are entering the market yet most Information Service Providers (ISPs) are running at a loss.
  • other delivery mediums: alternatives to the Internet might become the preferred route to the mass market.

 

None of the above (except the last item) are insurmountable and the industry is rapidly

developing solutions and capabilities. Even the last item will probably become less significant as

the various delivery technologies merge.

 

Interviewees general comments on the Internet include:

  • banking is most likely be the lead application with other financial services such as insurance following on (some questioned whether there is any money in banking and whether cross-selling does compensate as customers become smarter).
  • private Internet systems could be used for the servicing of affinity groups. For example, employees in a company health care insurance scheme would undertake inquiries and make policy changes and claims themselves, using their company’s PC during their lunch hour.

 

Many though were sceptical:

  • customers have different behaviour patterns. They should have choice throughout the purchasing and service cycle rather than be forced to use a single delivery method.
  • the Internet may / will only take off when there is fast cheap (even free) access. Even so, it’s a niche market – most people have better things to do than surf the net.
  • the Internet may attract individuals with high net worth, but is there enough of them? And with their high demands, are they profitable to service?
  • the Internet will generally only really attract explorers. There is still the problem of raising the conversion rate.
  • the Internet services industry (e.g. designers & developers) is fragmented with too many smaller players, and they are too technologically driven. Larger insurers expected to undertake Internet development themselves with limited external resources or use of outsourcing.

 

 

Despite these concerns, nearly all the companies interviewed had an Internet site, but many interviewees find their company’s offering disappointing. Some common problems are:

  • out of date: there are no processes to ensure the content remains current and fresh, or methods for communicating to customers as to why they should visit or re-visit the site. Sometimes the site was the initiative of the IT department using information gleaned from annual reports.
  • boring: some sites are just like annual reports, complete with financial information, pictures of the directors and lists of product names.
  • untargeted: sites contain everything from products and services aimed at customers, to information for shareholders, through to general PR aimed at the public, school children or staff.
  • technology driven: with some sites the form won over the content with the extensive use of pictures, sound, frames, and even video. As a consequence customers find accessing the information «like watching paint dry». Repeat visits are few.
  • lack marketing information: statistics, such as the number of people visiting, what they looked at, their profile, and how often they came back, are not available.
  • stand-alone: business reasons are vague and no consideration has been given to processes; there are no business objectives or success criteria.

 

MoonDream survey …. only 20% of UK financial service providers have web

                       sites that are useful, interesting and Quality ..

 

Those distributing via brokers are sensitive to how they use the Internet. They feel it is important to gain experience of dealing direct with customers but not to make their brokers feel insecure. Developing an integrated Internet site is the way forward, especially in partnership with the large brokers, as they have more resources and more experience with technology.

  • The insurers could electronically link potential customers to the brokers and brokers could link to the
  • insurers to provide in-depth product information.
  • The challenge for insurers is to stop the visitors who are re-directed to brokers, to be then offered a competitive product; and the challenge for brokers was to stop visitors who are re-directed to insurers to deal direct. The answer seems to be a commercial partnership agreement underpinned by a trusting relationship, plus the use of technology to seamlessly link brokers and insurers but to limit «break-out» opportunities.
  • Any links need to enter the other partner’s site at the appropriate point, rather than the common «home page». For example:
    – link from an insurer, with the customer having reviewed a motor policy, into a broker’s site at the motor application form. Some details (if already provided to the insurer) to be automatically entered into the electronic form.

 

Churchill is typical of the larger brokers on the Net. Opening times of their telesales unit are prominently displayed.

 

Of those interviewees who had made a strategic decision and are undertaking serious pilots, they mentioned costs in the range £0.25-£0.5m for the creation and first year’s running cost. This includes external spend on telecommunications, hardware, software, design and development. Any internal spend on user’s time was additional. Second year budgets varied from £150K to £1m reflecting a range of approaches from just ticking-over to the development of home banking and shopping malls. As a comparison, Capital Radio apparently have little change from the £1m costs of setting up their site.

 

These strategic developers all mentioned the learning benefits from their pilots. For most, this was the prime reason for their Internet site: It will be big one day, and then we will be ready is a typical comment.

 

A number said, that whilst internally classing their Internet projects are as pilots, their customers perceive them as full service offerings. Being a pilot, no amendments have been made to internal procedure with the result that customer service is often slow – a direct contradiction to the expectations of the customers. Interviewees recognised a need to handle and co-ordinate all communications from customers whether post, telephone, fax, e-mail, or WWW.

 

 

 

5.13.11 Proprietory ISPs

 

These have been in existence alongside the Internet for many years. They include such companies as CompuServe and American On-line (AOL). Initially aimed at the business community they are now expanding to serve individuals. Recent new entrants are Bill Gate’s Microsoft Network, Murdoch’s LineOne, and Branson’s Virgin Net. These systems aim to provide comprehensive information and entertainment services rather than just a simple Internet connection. Value added services offered include:

  • e-mail, e-mail to fax, and e-mail to post services.
  • forum discussion groups, often used by computer companies to support their customers.
  • Real-time chat areas allowing users to discuss a topic of mutual interest, or to «interview» a celebrity.
  • information databases. E.g. stock market prices, company reports, newspapers & journals, patents, weather and traffic reports, etc. Many of these have a premium rate charge. Some are restricted to closed user groups (e.g. doctors accessing medical information).
  • shopping malls including home banking.

 

The advantages of these proprietary systems are:

  • they provide a one-stop service for users. This is especially with software where they provide a single load-and-go software package plus user help for all the services above. On the Internet users must seek out and install different software that may not work together.

 

Proprietary systems like Compuserve provide a more cohesive, robust and easier to use environment.

  • in many cases, users can access their services world wide for the price of a local phone call.
  • they provide a consistent user interface that is often also used by the suppliers of the value added services.
  • they use private telecommunication networks that offer a higher degree of reliability, security and performance.
  • electronic commerce facilities are included. Users making purchases from the electronic shopping malls see the charge appear on their statement from the service provider.

 

The recent expansion to private individuals has been at great cost as these proprietary networks seek to gain market share through special offers and unlimited usage subscriptions. As a result, service is suffering and profits are disappearing.

 

Within UK financial services, TSB uses CompuServe for its home banking service. World-wide, Microsoft is teaming up with 57 banks to use its Money accounting system as the access method into home banking. Similarly Quicken has links with 37 banks in the US.

 

Other UK financial institutions have preferred to provide direct access into their own computer systems. NatWest, Nationwide and the Bank of Scotland with their home and business banking systems use this approach.

 

 

 

5.13.12 Summary

 

All interviewees saw a continued explosion in the use of the telephone, especially for the more commodity products like general insurance. Using the telephone for commerce was extending to all parts of society and was fuelling the move to global business round the clock. Consumers are gaining in confidence but equally businesses saw opportunities for forging relationships by using the telephone. Organisational, HR and technological implications are significant and need addressing in the short term.

 

Many financial service providers believe that kiosks provide an ideal means to reach the mass market, either within their own outlets or by placing kiosks in a wide variety of public or work places. Being a step-up from ATMs, they expect them to be widely accepted by consumers for information and transactional purposes. Kiosk can deliver services without dependence on other information providers.

 

Those insurers who are addressing the mass market see Interactive-TV (I-TV) as a promising delivery medium in the medium term. They see I-TV as being popular for delivering home entertainment to the masses, especially via cable. They think the same consumers will have a propensity for home shopping. From this base, interviewees saw home banking being the initial financial service.

 

Web-TV will be attractive to a significant body of people who do not want the cost or complexity ofInternet access from a PC but who want more information than provided by I-TV.

 

The postal system will continue to be an important marketing and administrative delivery mechanism, especially for outbound communications. Integration with other delivery mediums, such as the kiosks, I-TV, the Internet and e-mail will make for efficient and personalised communications.

 

Fax machines, pagers & Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs) have a role in disseminating information of a timely nature, such as changes in the value of an investment portfolio. Those with a more

professional client base may find these useful in delivering value added services. In time most people will have a mobile phone or pager.

 

Bill Gates to invest his own money in the $9bn Teledesic project to

                          circle the globe with 300 satellites launched by Russian missiles. networked

                          together they will form an alternative to the Internet. ….Astrolink and Iridium are two competitors ..

 

E-mail could well take-off if it was to become widely available from kiosks, I-TV, Web-TV, Smartphones and PDAs. Most organisations have concerns about the lack of business processes in-place

for handling e-mail. Telesales centres will almost certainly expand to handle e-mail and then later for Internet communications.

 

Most interviewees are cautious about the Internet, especially the World Wide Web (WWW). They see Internet users either as techno junkies («anoraks») or as hard-to-please professional explorers. In the long run, if the cost of purchase and ownership was significantly less than today, then they saw it being a main stream utility used by the majority of the population.

 

… Murdoch’s LineOne is rumoured to be buying Pointcast, the market leading push technology company ..

 

Major content providers such as Microsoft or International News may determine which of these mediums become significant. Within those mediums that survive or take-off, cultural and social issues along with the task people are trying to do, will be a greater determinant than the technology itself. Most interviewees broadly agreed with the behavioural model that was presented (see section 4), excepting perhaps the use of the telephone which they see being widely used by all market segments.

 

…. Microsoft launches msn news for UK audiences. it’s aimed at those who want a daily 20 minute digest …..

 

The various mediums will convergence and integrate. In many instances, companies will have to provide a choice of medium to their customers. Never-the-less, there is a tendency for some mediums to better suit the different stages within the buying and ownership cycles. This includes face-to-face. Whatever mediums a customer uses, there will be an expectation that the clerk will know about any earlier communications.

 

Whilst there are some concerns about the legal and security issues, these will be overcome.

 

On the whole, interviewees see these new delivery mediums as complementary to today’s way of doing business. They see the impact and constraints to be on the internal mechanisms (organisation, personnel and existing technology) and for some, it is also in the distribution chain, especially intermediaries. Telesales organisations could well establish a role in handling all the new media.

 

 

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