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Download Now or Never: How Companies Must Change to Win the Battle for Internet Consumers epub

by Mary Modahl

The battle for the 21st century is now clear: inside, traditional brick and mortar companies are digging in for the fight of their lives; outside, a tightening circle of upstarts threaten to transform every feature of the economy. Is the war over already?

Mary Modahl thinks not; instead, she anticipates that the coming five years will be decisive--which is why companies that want to stay alive and thrive must act Now or Never.

The key to success in the brave new world of e-commerce is a deep and nuanced understanding of how consumers think about and use the Internet. Forrester Research--the world's most respected technology research firm--has developed that understanding in a groundbreaking model of consumer behavior called Technographics. For the firsttime ever, Now or Never shares the Technographics model with business people outside Forrester's exclusive client list.

Built on interviews with more than 250,000 Americans, Technographics divides consumers into ten sharply identified segments based on differing attitudes toward the Internet. That means each segment will use e-commerce in a different way and dive into buying on-line at a different pace.

Using Technographics, businesspeople--from companies that are small or large, established or brand new, traditional or be able to plot a well-reasoned, robust Internet strategy.

Beyond Technographics, the book also identifies and explains the startling, counterintuitive new business models that drive competition on the web. Now or Never introduces the concept of Dynamic Trade, a term that Forrester coined to describe the disruptive new way business gets done on the web.

With engaging prose that is chock-full of real stories, Modahl describes how Dynamic Trade changes the balance of supply and demand, requires companies to ramp up to scale faster ever, and zeroes out marginal cost.

As the battle for Internet dominance reaches a crisis, Now or Never stands apart. Written by a straight-talking business practitioner who knows and understands the Internet as well as anyone working today, this groundbreaking book confronts the most pressing business issue of our time with reasoned answers to the questions on the mind of every informed executive:

When will the Internet change the way I do business?

Why is the Internet transforming everything about the economy and competition?

How exactly will my industry and company change, in terms of customers, competitors, cash flow, and the bottom line?


What should I do about it right now?

Download Now or Never: How Companies Must Change to Win the Battle for Internet Consumers epub
ISBN: 0066620120
ISBN13: 978-0066620121
Category: Business
Subcategory: Industries
Author: Mary Modahl
Language: English
Publisher: HarperBusiness; 1st edition (December 8, 1999)
Pages: 272 pages
ePUB size: 1446 kb
FB2 size: 1724 kb
Rating: 4.6
Votes: 646
Other Formats: txt lit lrf lrf

Ms. Modahl has written a clear, concise, and (mostly) jargon-free primer that instructs business managers, strategists, and consultants in the basics of Internet consumer behavior. She bases her analysis on research done by Forrester Research, where she is VP of Research. The benefit she brings to the interpretation of Forrester's research is her clarity of presentation, and her ability to move from general statisitics to recommendations for the creation of competitive Internet business models. She also does a good job in expounding the factors that inhibit successful "brick & mortar" enterprises from migrating to the net.
I gove it 4 stars rather than five because it is very high-level, without a lot of real implementation advice or underlying analysis. She presents a set of 3-5 'rules' in each section, but they are a bit glib and make it seem that implementation of her conclusions should be straightforward, but anyone who's tried to build an Internet enterprise knows it's not quite that simple.
Not withstanding these minor criticisms, this book belongs in the library of every entrepreneur, manager, or consultant that must understand Internet consumer behavior and apply that to the creation of competitive advantage.
The next few years, will be extremely important for deciding the loyalties of Internet consumers. Companies that don't transition to the Internet when their customers do, will be left behind. The first step is to when your customers will transition to the Internet. To this end, the author outlines a method called Technographics, developed by Forrester Research, that categorizes customers based on their attitudes towards technology. This method allows you to know how many of your customers are online, how many will be online soon, and how many may never be online. Technographics classifies consumers based on three factors that influence buying behavior:

1. Attitude towards technology: is the consumer optimistic or pessimistic about using technology?

2. Income: The amount of money consumers have to spend strongly influences online behavior.

3. Motivation to use technology: Beyond comfort with technology, how motivated is the consumer to use it?

After you have determined when and how your customers will get online, you must develop a strategy for reaching them. Whether your customers are early adopters of the Internet, reluctant users in the mainstream or low-income consumers who will probably not be able to become frequent online purchasers, you must detail your marketing strategies in order to reach them. In Internet terms, this means that you must go where they go online, and advertise to them there.

It is also necessary to understand the ways in which the Internet is actually transforming the markets. The author calls this new environment Dynamic Trade. Dynamic Trade occurs as markets become more fluid and responsive to changes in supply and demand. Prices are able to fall to their competitive point faster in response to demand. Companies must be able to keep up with the markets in order to survive.
In my opinion, the title does a disservice to the extraordinarily valuable content of the book that bears that name. Those with extensive experience in the so-called E-conomy have learned (with the scar tissue to prove it) that words like "always" and "never" are irresponsible. So much for the title. Modahl writes with great skill. She has assembled a wealth of material which is Consumers (everything starts there...without such understanding, it probably ends there), Exploiting Internet Business Models (as Derek Bok once observed, "If you think education is expensive, try ignorance"), and then Defying the Gravity of the Old Ways of Doing Business (much easier said than done but imperative nonetheless). Modahl then provides an Appendix in which she examines "Technographics Methodology." I strongly recommend that, periodically, this Appendix be re-read in light of the certain and sometimes major changes which will occur in the E-conomy.
Informed by what seems to be an avalanche of real-world evidence, Modahl identifies five "alarming" trends:
-New pricing models that undermine existing revenues.
-Higher customer-service expectations.
-New ways to distribute products.
-Unexpected market opportunities.
-High rates of entry--even in very staid markets.
Given these trends, what to do? Modahl offers all manner of options, in combination with specific suggestions as to how "the battle for Internet consumers" can be won while retaining long-term value in an Internet business. Some of the winners will be traditional companies; others will be dotcoms. Modahl asserts that "The past is not what will drive the future." Some may agree with William Faulkner who observed, " The past isn't even the past yet."
In the final chapter, Modahl summarizes brilliantly the key points she has so carefully developed earlier. She then concludes, "In the end, the companies that win the battle for the Internet consumers will be the ones that really want to." At least in this context, for many of those unwilling and/or unable to engage in that "battle" now, tomorrow may indeed be too late.