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Copernici Bets on 3 Growth Areas for US Technology Companies in 2012

January 15, 2012 

Kirkland, WA

  • Consumer markets – mobile device

  • Business markets – SaaS

  • Business markets – integrated analytics

According to GfK global news, the Nation Branding Index reveals USA is still #1 globally. The Index, which measures the global image 50 countries, has the US holding the top spot for the third year in a row. Its score lead over second place Germany has widened compared to last year. Other developments among top ten countries include the United Kingdom overtaking France for third place and Australia passing Switzerland to place eighth. Though the upper echelons of the Nation Brands Index are still populated by Western market economies, this year’s study has seen significant developments from many parts of the world.

Global consumer tech device spending to surpass $1 trillion in 2012. The latest forecast figures from GfK Digital World, produced in partnership with Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), reveal global spending on consumer technology devices will surpass $1 trillion in 2012 for the first time, increasing by 5% over 2011’s figure of $993 billion.

Latest AP-GfK Poll reveals: Americans look forward to a better 2012 for the country and themselves. Though in many ways, Americans remain unhappy about the condition of the country. Most think the economy is in poor shape (80%), most think the economy has not improved over the past month (64%), and few (24%) think unemployment will decrease over the next year.

Consumers are feeling noticeably less confident about the economy than they were six months ago. The most recent survey of American consumers by McKinsey, an AMA partner, reports that optimism has slumped to 23%, down from 35% in March 2011 and 41% in September 2009.

Despite continuing high unemployment and a persistently challenging economy, a majority of Americans say they are optimistic about 2012 both in terms of the country as a whole (62%) as well as for themselves and their families (78%), the latest AP-GfK Poll reveals, a national survey conducted December 8-12.

This controversy in consumer opinions means that they are still likely to be cautious with buying both goods and services, and will prefer cheaper options.

Consumer markets – growth in mobile device spending

On January 8th at the 2012 International CES, GfK Boutique Research and the Consumer Electronics Association discussed market trends within the Consumer Electronics (CE) industry. Using the latest global market data and forecasts from GfK Digital World, the presentation analyzed key product trends within a global market context; highlighting the importance of mobile connected devices as a key driver of spending growth, and the Smartphone sector to remain the key growth driver.

“You get up and know where your phone is before you know where your children are”, said Jeffrey Hayzlett, the former CMO of Kodak in his presentation on American Marketing Association TV channel. GfK Digital World estimates and forecasts show that booming global demand for smartphones made these devices the key spending growth driver in 2011 and that this is set to continue in 2012. Additionally, sales of tablet PCs, which are estimated to have reached $39 billion this year, are predicted to show a strong double digit increase in 2012.

Business markets – SaaS

Small Business normally does not achieve competitive advantage with systems, but propensity to use SaaS in 2012 is very high. Small Business routinely uses outsourcing for HR, payroll and administrative functions. This group is willing to outsource ERP information systems management to competent resources with greater skills. Small Business looks for ease of use, acquisition cost (subscription cost) and cost avoidance. It is more willing to accept a generic or less customized enterprise software system, although this community views user-configured customization as a big plus. This market segment greatly values the pay as you go software subscription model.

The SaaS concept is nothing new or novel for Mid-Market, so propensity to buy it in 2012 is still high. SaaS is viewed as an extension of traditional outsourcing services. SaaS generally doesn't replace an internal IT department, but is used for specific applications, niche tasks or competencies. Mid-market values software depth, capabilities, functionality, reporting, SLA (Service Level Agreement), guaranteed uptime and TCO (Total Cost of Ownership). This market expects a high degree of integration and customization for their business requirements.The majority expect the SaaS software company to customize their hosted application.

While Enterprise customer market doesn't use outsourcing with the same frequency of SMB or middle market companies, by 2011 it has shown a surprisingly high propensity to use SaaS business applications. For Enterprise the propensity to buy in 2012 is often evaluated as medium to high. Enterprises value software breadth (increased number of modules or software scope), software depth, SLA, guaranteed uptime, information security and TCO. This market also expects a high degree of integration and customization for their requirements and normally has technology preferences - such as SOA (service oriented architecture), XML web services, etc. Enterprise wants to offload systems maintenance and management to specialists in order to achieve better SLAs (service level agreements), superior uptime and an improved user experience; Relieve internal IT staff to focus on core competencies and strategic tasks.

Business markets – integrated analytics

Integrated Analytics for Market-Driven Insights – 2012 will see marketing empowered by sophisticated analytics – with companies, their marketing analytics teams and their social technology vendors coming together to turn the deluge of social data into actionable, measurable insights. This trend might be shaping how businesses will communicate and engage with their constituents - with market-driven and not-marketing driven insights. These insights will be augmented by new technologies that will more accurately measure influence and engagement, because until brands have the tools to measure the right things at the right time an integrated way, we won’t know what the impact is.

2012 is also touted as the year where we will see further integration of the social technology tool set. Jason Falls of Social Media Explorer and No Bullshit Social Media predicts monitoring platforms will be adding publishing and management solutions, while social platforms will evolve to include e-mail, mobile and website management. The social technology toolset will also see a tighter integration between social data and CRM and web analytics solutions. This tighter social CRM (sCRM) integration will allow brands to address the ROI question and measure the impact on bottom-line results. Marc Meyerof the Digital Response Marketing Group votes for the integrated dashboard - bundling marketing, monitoring and management “to address multiple accounts and reduce multiple logins and processes.”