March 12, 2014
Building Brands Online – The Future of eCommerce
Panel by the founders of Club W, The Black Tux and StyleSaint
The success of Amazon, Zappos & large ecommerce outlets isn’t what companies should be chasing. It’s the service & care of a local shop. Technology gives us a chance to know each customer really well. Even when there are hundreds or thousands of them.
This small store approach, focusing on doing one thing well & each customer’s experience has lead to many small, very successful ecommerce companies. (Warby Parker, Timbuk2, Club W, StyleSaint, Rent the Runway, etc..) Building the brand is a key component of this approach. Continue Reading →
March 11, 2014
Make or Buy? Is In-House Video Right for You?
Note: This session was to billed as being about in-house vs outsourced video production. However the team from @SolarWinds, while very knowledgeable and successful in creating their own in-house production capability, had very little to say about outsourcing video production. Their own outsourced experience was all negative and all their comparisons and anecdotes skewed very strongly towards the benefits of using in-house production.
That being said; they did end up sharing a lot of great video content best practices and definitely had good advice for those attempting to start their in-house production. Continue Reading →
March 10, 2014
NHL Revealed: A Season Like No Other
Hashtags: #nhlsxsw, #SXsports
The NHL’s 2013-2014 season is definitely unique. After a lockout shortened 48 game season in 2012-2013 the NHL came into their first full season in 2 years with a quite a busy schedule. 82 Games per team, 6 outdoor games, 1 month break for the Winter Olympics and then the crown jewel of hockey – The Stanley Cup playoffs.
That’s a quite a comeback they’re staging. It’s no surprise that the NHL choose to talk about this comeback as part of the inaugural SXSports programming at this year’s SXSW. Here are some notes and quotes from the session:
Continue Reading →
March 9, 2014
Location Based Marketing: Beyond Advertising
Definition of mobile marketing: The intersection of people, places and media.
48% of people say that mobile information effects their purchase decision.
19% of people make impulse purchase after seeing a mobile digital ad.
Mobile usage is not a fringe case – it is overwhelmingly one of the key access points to the web.
46% of people use it during social events
57% while commuting
81% while laying in bed
83% while waiting for something
61% while watching TV
43% while shopping
With this level of usage in this variety of places there is a huge opportunity to give people highly relevant mobile experiences. Relevant experiences hinge on having great meaningful content and the keys to that are knowing the user and their location. Privacy is always a concern when it comes to knowing personal information and location; but those concerns are just an exchange against value. If the value proposition is well understood then people will share. Today’s users are realizing that their personal data is worth something. And are smarter about what they will share with brands.
So while privacy holds us back in some situations; timeliness, relevance and frequency matter just as much. We can’t bombard users. Provide meaningful, contextually relevant experiences - not spam and gimmicks. Users opting out of sharing the information we need to create relevance can be a concern but the desire for opt-out goes away once the value proposition is understood.
Great mobile marketing creates situations where your location, data and personal information can work together to create experiences that are contextually delightful. Experiences that feel organic to the individual and provide real value to them by understanding the contexts of who you are, where you are and what you care about. When locations know your device & your device knows you; they create contextually delightful moments. (I.E. You get a reminder to set a doctor’s appointment because your device knows the last time you went to the doctor, how old you are and what medications you take.)
In order to make this happen we must stop thinking of mobile marketing as “ad units”. We must be thinking about them as experiences that leverage device capabilities. Go beyond the simple push of a message. Think about how location, time and action connect when marketing mobile.
The biggest barriers that exist today are investment for systems and solid strategy. Not technology or audience. Of course years of failed or less than stellar industry buzzwords that have led to little trust in new marketing technologies. Because of this location marketing is finding it hard to get traction. However, that also it is fertile ground to create stellar use cases. Anything great in this space has a chance to become the marquee example of how awesome it can be when People, Places and Media intersect.
March 9, 2014
Here’s my notes from Day One at SXSW 2014. Covering Brands, Wearable Tech, Realtime Marketing and Big Data. Enjoy!
Should brands be part of the Realtime conversation?
Yes! They should. But you must have the right conversation that matches your brand. Don’t try to talk to everyone, talk to your audience about what they care about.
It’s not always about selling. It’s about connecting with the audience. Brands can do this everyday but they have to be paying attention. (Monitor and react)
You find those opportunists at the crossroad of existing customer conversation and business stories.
There is no sure-fire way to run a real time marketing practice. Companies have to develop a system that works for them. But a common thread: get legal involved and don’t shy away from the barriers.
Plan for spontaneity. Identify the barriers that exist and address them head on. (I.E. Corporate guidelines and legal team involvement. Staff training. Make a rule book.)
There is no solid definition of Big data. It really just means: we’ve got a lot of information and we can analyze it. The goal is to use that data to find opportunities to unlock things that didn’t exist before.The phrase Big Data is sexy. But in order to be relevant big data has to get small. Such as you personal information, behavior and preferences. Think: fitbit/nike+ tracking, music preferences and habits, personal behaviors and connections.
The anonymized sharing of large customer data sets is a huge business opportunity for many companies. For example: Nike knows when people workout and Spotify knows what they are listening to. Correlations between those two data sets and consumer behavior opens up new pathways to engaging someone at exactly the right moment with the right offer.
A privacy balance is needed but clear communication of why and how that data will be used has shown to alleviate those concerns.
Brands and Wearable Tech
Brands like PGA are using wearable a to unlock a new layer of experience for their players and their audience. Wearables give people a chance to step into the shoes of another person. (Example: A live Google Glass steam of a PGA player’s back nine) Brands based on experience are fertile ground for wearable tech.Wearables, like Google Glass, Nike Fuelband, Fitbit or Galaxy Gear, won’t replace our other devices. They will augment them. This augmentation may seem odd now. But will likely be ubiquitous in the next few years. We should start thinking about how people can use them now so we don’t repeat the mistakes of the mobile revolution.