Read about our views on marketplace changes as well as updates on our research and event programmes.

New decision-making service

Posted: 28th June, 2012 | 0 comments

Today billmonitor launches Bill Check-up an extension of their independent comparison service that enables mobile phone users to work out if they are on the best value phone contract. What's really interesting about it is the way this service turns decision-support around so that it's not just about switching but can be used as a loyalty builder as well.

In our recent work on decision-making services – services that empower consumers by helping them to make better decisions and change their own behaviours – we highlighted how such services are creating value through empowering people to make better and more informed…

Last week we published our report on the key market of identity assurance. We estimate that it is worth more than £280m in 2011 and will grow to £360m in 2014. One of the key drivers of this growth is the public sector. Driven by a desire that government should be 'digital by default', the government is now working on series of projects based on the premise that a citizen-centric identity assurance service could be a far more effective process.

The government aims to save money over the next three years, but instead of re-inventing the wheel, it is…

The pricing shift

Posted: 22nd June, 2012 | 0 comments

Interesting! According to an article in the latest edition of Harvard Business Review most companies' approach to pricing is 'antagonistic' to customers. Seeing pricing purely in terms of how to maximise revenues from each transaction, companies routinely put their customers' backs up, undermining relationships and, over time, their own businesses, warns pricing strategy expert Marco Bertini from London Business School.

Airlines offer a classic example of antagonistc pricing: a misleading headline price followed by extra, late-in-the-day charges for baggage, leg room, using a credit card, and so on. If you read economics textbooks this may be a perfect means…

In this newsletter we cover our new report on the identity assurance market, hot off the press this week. We also give you a preview of our forthcoming research on customer loyalty, an update on the recent World Economic Forum Re-thinking Personal Data meeting in London, and close with a smattering of market news.

Ctrl-shift research

Identity assurance. We’ve now published our report on the UK identity assurance market. We think that the path the Government is on, a truly citizen-centric one, could cause serious disruption in the long-term. Even in the short-term the money being put into the…

Imagine a world where a company can refuse you a loan because your friends on Facebook have bad credit rating. When you get worse deals than others when buying online because a company has tracked your search patterns and know that you’re not much of a bargain hunter. You leave negative comments for a company on a review site and someone starts posting malicious information about you online which spreads like wildfire, leading to you losing your job.

These are just some of the problems that an increasing number of people could be facing in the digital age. This is…

WEF 'Tiger Team' meeting

Posted: 13th June, 2012 | 0 comments

Tomorrow a group of specially invited experts and leaders from across the emerging personal data landscape meet in London to discuss and review the latest outputs from the World Economic Forum’s Re-thinking Personal Data project. There will be contributors, who we have helped to bring together, from the telecoms, retail, financial services, media, advertising, government and technology sectors, comprising a mix of commercial, legal/policy and technical functions.

This international ‘Tiger Team’, managed by STL Partners with the support of other members of the Re-thinking Personal Data project team, will tackle some of the priority issues raised in WEF’s recent…

The social media bubble

Posted: 13th June, 2012 | 0 comments

In a fascinating article on ‘The Facebook Fallacy’ Michael Wolff notes that:
“The daily and stubborn reality for everybody building businesses on the strength of Web advertising is that the value of digital ads decreases every quarter, a consequence of their simultaneous ineffectiveness and efficiency. The nature of people's behavior on the Web and of how they interact with advertising, as well as the character of those ads themselves and their inability to command real attention, has meant a marked decline in advertising's impact.”
“I don't know anyone in the ad-Web business,” he continues, “who isn't engaged…

Microsoft’s decision to set ‘do not track’ as the default option is another game changer in the fast moving world of the control shift.

It does two things.

First, it forces the other browser providers to respond. What will Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome and Apple Safari do now? Whatever their response, Microsoft is forcing them to grapple publicly with a central control shift theme: should information be a tool in the hands of the individual, or a tool in the hands of people who gather information about individuals?

More specifically, what are browsers for? Is it their job to help…

A game changing move

Posted: 4th June, 2012 | 0 comments

A few months back we produced a report saying that a consumer decision-making revolution is transforming the way markets work. Moneysupermarket.com’s £87m acquisition of Martin Lewis’ MoneySavingExpert website is confirmation of this trend – and a game changing move.

To rehearse the story so far.

One hundred years into the grand marketing project – to influence consumer decisions in favour of particular marketers’ brands and products – the net effect has been to create one, grand elephant-in-the-room unmet consumer need: the need to make better choices and decisions. This is the one need that marketers have consistently and…

The following is a guest post by Alan published yesterday by Wired.

I love TED but when it introduced its TEDGlobal 2012 theme of "radical openness" something it said gave me the jitters. Radical openness, it declared with apparently consummate confidence, "implies a loss privacy".

Ah! The great P word. Scott McNealy famously declared "you have zero privacy anyway -- get over it". Eric Schmidt told us that anyone concerned about online privacy "had something to hide". But privacy isn't dying. It's being reinvented. It was 120 years ago that Harvard Lawyers Samuel Warren and Louis Brandeisfirst suggested