This is the second of a two-part post on Adrian Ott's insightful and very practical book "The 24-Hour Customer"
Innovation.net: What are some of the key insights you can share from the book?
Time-Value Innovation - Altering a category through Time-Value Innovation methods can change the game and open up new markets. Consider the following examples:
Time-slicing - Breaks a product or service into smaller time segments. Writing a blog entry took too much time, so Twitter enabled people to microblog with 140 characters. Or Sparked.org that created a technology platform that time-sliced volunteering by enabling busy people to provide expertise to a charitable cause in a few spare moments of time from their desktop.
Time shifting – Your favorite show is on at the wrong time, so Tivo, or Hulu lets you shift to a more convenient time. My research has found that placing customers in control of their time is profitable.
Time-Sharing – Zipcar allow you to share the use of a car without ownership so you only pay for wheels when you want them opening up new markets of urban dwellers. We’ve also seen the rise of designer apparel clubs that enable middle-class people access to time-share designer bags for an event that would not have been possible under traditional models of ownership.
Although these are simple examples and there are many other techniques in the book, they demonstrate how Time-Value Innovation can have profound effects by reaching new classes of consumers that may not have had the time or means to utilize the category in the past.
Companies are competing with time alternatives, not just product alternatives. Many companies are engaging in time wars that are competing for customer time. The old paradigms of industry analysis are less relevant to this new landscape. Google, Apple, Facebook are all competitors even though traditional business analysis would place them in different industry groups, namely search, computing and social media, respectively. Yet they are very much in competition because they are based on advertising revenue models; a minute spent on Facebook is not a minute spent on Google. This is why they are battling for gaming share to retain customers longer on their sites.
Habits and inertia create competitive advantage. Psychological studies have shown that about 45% of people’s days are routine and habitual. Stress compounds this effect. If customers are repeatedly using a product then they will tend to stick with it until something of disruptive value comes along, or a new offering is inserted into an existing routine. Innovators need to factor this into new product or service development.
Innovation.net: What is the Impact of these insights for mobile?
Adrian Ott: We are now in an age of instant engagement. For the first time in history, we can conform the offering to the way customers behave. Mobile enables instant engagement through information at our fingertips. We will see many offerings not just in marketing but in location based services and sensors. Mobile health will experience significant promise from simple text messaging that reminds seniors at exactly the right time to take their medications, to more elaborate diet and exercise apps that provide information when people need it. This will enable companies to interact in fresh ways with their customers.