Sonntag, 28. Oktober 2018

Learning from the Professionals

Digital Communication Study Trip to London 2018

by Raynier Picard & Kim Annabell Knaack
M.Sc. Global Management and Governance

In the first week of October, we did our long-awaited study trip to the heart of Great Britain. With nine students and our supervisor Prof. Dr. Gregor Hopf we visited interesting companies and got great insights into their daily life. As our overall topic was (Corporate) Communication in a Digital World, we were happy that one member of our group had recently worked with different agencies and arranged many of our meetings where we could discuss real life projects.

We kicked off the week with some sightseeing and explored London in individual groups, before the work began on Tuesday. Well, work meant in our case meeting with major players in the media and marketing business (and a young tech company).

Class of 2017 at Carat (photos courtesy of the authors)
First, we met with Carat. We got a quick overview of the structure of the media agency and how it collaborates with the other companies that are part of the Dentsu group. Good collaboration between one another within the group is crucial for being successful.

Freitag, 1. Juni 2018

Internet Trends 2018 according to Kleiner Perkins

As every year, Kleiner Perkins has published their Internet Trends presentation, which is always a great source for further information and stats about the digital transformation. This year, the strong and recurrent focus on developments in China is particularly noticable. I also find the slides with historic comparisons on past innovations and their disruptive powers over the last century very pointedly put together. The small part on the fast development of on-demand jobs should also be noticed because it can be a potentially tremendous force of change for our economy and society. Click through the slides below or see Mary Meeker's presentation at recode this year for a half-hour summary.

Keep reading below for the 2017 presentation:

Dienstag, 22. Mai 2018

Uber comes to the same strategy conclusions as our students

Uber logo.svg
Source of logo photo: Public Domain
It could not have been better orchestrated: two weeks ago we finished this semester's course on Strategy Development for Digital Markets using Uber as a case study. Last Friday Uber announced its strategy for Germany. And not surprisingly, they came up with pretty much the same strategy as our students: build the Uber platform into a general mobility platform and offering its functionality to European cities in order to help them with their traffic issues. Some of Uber's ideas, e.g. offering e-bikes, feels like they have actually been listening in on the students' discussions. The students, however, also know what the success of this strategy will most likely depend on - since they played it through using Strategic War Games. As a hint: it will depend on how farsighted the cities' representatives are and that in turn will depend on.... Well, you have to have been in the seminar to know.

Update (May 24th)
Oh and it even gets better, the students have also predicted that there will be increasing competition for the drivers. Uber and its competitors like Lyft will most likely try to lure them with special loyalty programs. And look and behold, that is exactly what Lyft and Uber have just announced. In their Strategic War Games the students, however, also came to a rather clear result about who will win this competitive tug of war. But again, you have to have been there to know.

Update (June 1st)
Lyft just announced they will acquire the US bike rental company Motivate. This move is exactly as predicted in the Strategic War Game as a response to Uber's earlier, opening move to build its platform into a general mobility platform. Now it starts to get interessting, but predictably it will take more time for the next updates - particularly with Waymo announcing rather susbtantial steps with regard to the roll out of autonomous taxi services.

Dienstag, 1. Mai 2018

Game Monetization: Cosmetic items

As last part of the game monetization and criticism series we look at the influence of "cosmetic items"

Cosmetic items are digital items that have no influence on game play - just in a usually very limited way on the optics of the character / the player's representation within a game: From costumes to animations to decoration, lodgings, pets, furniture, colors, accessories and so on. Since these items do not enhance a player's performance within a game, they're often marketed as "benign" ways to get more funding for a game. Activision Blizzard's Overwatch is a prime example of the success of these cosmetic items.

Freitag, 20. April 2018

Game Monetization: Loot Box controversies

In 2016 Blizzard's game Overwatch was very successful with their loot box monetization strategy. Player could earn loot boxes in game (or more quickly purchase them with money) that contained cosmetic items to enhance the visuals of their in-game avatar.
Loot boxes can contain anything digital - from powerful boosters to extra in game currency or fun items. While a randomized looting system is nothing new to games, paying extra to get more loot boxes became increasingly popular over the last years and changed game mechanics to accommodate the use of loot boxes.

Embed from Getty Images

 Loot boxes have been around since about 2007, they swamped the blockbuster/mainstream game market in 2017, leading to criticism and scrutiny. There are two main reasons for this criticism:

Donnerstag, 12. April 2018

Game Monetization: Overview

To name the price of a game nowadays can be downright confusing: Big publishers offer their games in a big variety of packages - from only a key to special editions that involve digital and real items. This is not different from special editions of movies. But games have gone far beyond that.

For a big part this is because the industry itself has changed. Some games just aren't finished after their release. They might promise long term engagement with new content continuously delivered. They might need to adapt to new technology or need a support team / servers running. Those games depend on continued purchases.

From ridiculous ways to deter people from buying used games (including a code in the physical game that can be used only once to unlock the whole game) to smart ways to keep a game running, here is an overview of how people pay for games nowadays:

Montag, 2. April 2018

Course Material Social Media Communication March 2018

For the upcoming course about social media we will need some case studies to apply our learnings to real-world examples. On the left, you will find a list of the top performing global brands on Instagram in the first three quarters of 2017. Below is a list of recently successful social media campaigns:

Have a look at TrueFruits: What are they doing right? Why is it working?

Here is a list of successful German corporate blogs. How are they able to engage their users? How do they translate their brand into social media content? How do they integrate other social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram?

If you are particularly interessted in Instagram, look up Westwing to see how Instagram can be interegrated into an eCommerce strategy which must lead all users to its website and how its content clearly zooms in to its female client-base. Have a look at Founders Brewing, Chameleon Cold Brew or Eating Evolved to learn about how Instagram Stories, user-generated-content and hashtags are being used. If you prefer the look from the influencer's point-of-view, highlights successful influencers every month (here is the current list from February 2018) and the most successful Influencer marketing posts (here the list from February 2018)

Naturally, YouTube is a central social media channel with its own "rules of success." What do you think, why were these YouTube spots so successful early this year? And why do you think so many people enjoyed watching or rather hearing Alexa losing her voice (Hint: what is the essence of storytelling and what is comedy)?

We will also look into social media guidelines. Here is the link to an earlier blog-article with many examples to delve into and analyse.