Digital Finance Masterclass London, 2014

Earlier today I gave a short presentation to the Digital Finance Masterclass in London. I only had ten minutes, followed by 8 sessions of pretty intense ‘Digital Surgeries’ – a great format, but quite tiring.

Before the event, I had been told that the Digital Surgeries were like speed dating – thankfully I got married before speed dating, because I can’t imagine going through that process in a relaxed, sociable setting.

With only ten minutes for the first presentation, to a varied audience across Financial Services, I focussed on the following topics, shown in the attached Slideshare presentation:

  • Putting the User First
  • Development
  • Cloud
  • Mobile first?
  • The future

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Google Chromecast UK review

2014-03-31 23.39.16I’ve been looking forward to the UK release of Google’s Chromecast device for such a long time now that I’d considered buying a US version and shipping it over. However I was delighted to see them go on general sale in the UK late last week.

Chromecast is Google’s answer to Apple TV, providing a number of services (or apps in fashionable parlance) such as iPlayer, Netflix and YouTube to a standard television. There’s no remote control – you use your phone or tablet (either iOS or Android) to control the device.

And the device is tiny. It looks like a slightly larger USB stick, but with an HDMI plug at the end, to connect into the back of your TV.

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Is Airbnb’s $10bn valuation proof we’re in a second dotcom bubble?

Airbnb’s investors have reportedly pushed the company’s valuation to over $10bn, leading some industry commentators to claim that this type of valuation proves we are in a second dotcom bubble.

Airbnb stats March 2014Remember, the first dotcom bubble had many weak business models where pretty much any company that had a domain name was worth billions.

This time round, there are some sound business models, which are disrupting industries not rebadging it. Airbnb is a disruptor, and needs to be examined before we come back to the question whether we’re in another bubble.

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Monetising customer data

This is the last post in the monetisation series. We’ve explored ten ways to monetise large digital audiences, from simple advertising to selling products. This post discusses ways of making money from data.

Data monetisation is one of the newest of all the models we’ve discussed in the series. And it’s probably the most misunderstood. When Facebook bought WhatsApp for $19 billion, it proved how valuable user data has become.

But customer data isn’t that new. The market for sales-leads data has been around for ages. The difference now is how that data is collected and ‘mined’. Data used to be scraped from public sources such as Companies House and Yellow Pages. Now companies are setup with the sole purpose of collecting information from users.

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Using premium rate mobile services to monetise a site

This is the penultimate post in the monetisation series. We’ll be discussing how to use premium mobile services to monetise digital properties.

‘Traditional’ premium rate services

There has been some negative publicity about premium messaging in the UK, mainly surrounding television programmes. One key issue is the “bill-shock”, of when a customer’s mobile phone bill arrives a few weeks later, and the customer is surprised at the number of premium messages they’ve sent during the month. Mobile operators have walked a tightrope by offering some payment opportunities on their customers’ handsets, without turning phones into complete wallets (yet).

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The cross selling and upselling business model

This is the ninth part of the series on how companies can make money from high traffic websites. In this post we’ll discuss cross-selling and upselling. As we’ll demonstrate, cross selling doesn’t need high traffic to sell more products.

At Endava we work with companies who are capturing data about their visitors and attempting to personalise the experience, usually with a goal of providing superior service, or selling more goods.

It’s all about the customer (and CRM is key)

At the heart of this solution is a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system. CRM has become synonymous with large, expensive and difficult IT programmes.

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The licensing business model

This is the eighth part of the monetisation series. We started discussing advertising and marketing monetisation techniques, and now we’ve moved on to other areas. This post deals with licensing.

Licensing is a specialist area and requires a particularly strong brand. In the past I’ve used football teams as good case studies of licensing, but nowadays I use Angry Birds. Continue reading

The Affiliate Marketing business model

So far in this series on how to monetise a high traffic website, we’ve been dealing with subscription, advertising and marketing opportunities. These are fine, but as I’ve said many times (see: Real money), I don’t think these models will last the test of time. What the Internet (in the Western world) needs to learn to do, is earn some real money selling real stuff.

And affiliate marketing is one of the easiest types of ecommerce selling. Financial advisors and mortgage advisors have done it for decades – selling other people’s stuff.

The reason affiliate marketing is the easiest type of e-commerce is because websites with high traffic, or low traffic with well-targeted traffic, can refer their customers on to a transactional website and earn some revenue from the end sale, assuming there is an end sale.

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The Free trials business model

This is the sixth post of the monetisation series, and is about how Free trials can be used by large digital audiences.

Free trials should not be confused with a Freemium offering. The Freemium model is a long-term model which offers customers something for nothing, and an opportunity to buy something more for a price.

Free trials is usually a temporary offer (otherwise it wouldn’t be a trial!).

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The Sponsored/ Promoted placement business model

Who to follow on Twitter: spot the sponsored account

Who to follow on Twitter: spot the promoted account

Sponsored placements or sponsored posts or promoted content are one of the latest forms of monetisation I’ll be discussing in this series.

Imagine you were the CEO of Twitter before it made any money. You have several million users all posting content all day long, and several more million users consuming this content without posting.

You have a few options at this stage – you can make the website look the same as all other websites and sprinkle some ad placements over the page, but this won’t work on mobile and it may devalue your proposition of keeping a vertical conversational timeline simple.

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