Friday, May 31, 2013

Your Personal Brand

I stumbled across this post, “How to Hide Facebook Posts From Your Boss”, which provided valuable information, should you need that kind of privacy feature in your life.  Disturbingly, this is the case more often than not as we, aware of it or not, build our personal brands through digital marketing.  Unfortunately, we are either unaware of the reach of the digital paintbrush or just plain careless in our online actions.

Like it or not, we are always advertising ourselves via our online activity.  From emails we send, to blogs we write, to facebook posts we vomit, to online groups in which we belong, we are creating a personal brand.  Perhaps I was born just early enough to be skeptical of the internet (I’m 34), but it seems that the Millenial generation (which I may be part of by some measures) are the largest offenders of poor personal digital marketing.
It can be tough to balance a digital presence where you want to be expressive, but still maintain a positive personal brand as measured by common norms.  Carelessness will always exist, but as our digital world expands, we need to be more thoughtful in teaching future generations about the information that is being collected with and without their consent.  And that this information will live on in perpetuity and be accessible by virtually anyone.  If we can instill a mindset from the beginning of a youngster’s online life that they will be digitally marketing themselves from that day forward, we can give them the best opportunity to establish a positive brand that is invaluable in so many aspects of life.


Savvy Consumer and the Smart Marketer

Today's consumer is socially more connected than any other time in the history of mankind and has greater access to information on everything ranging from news about a remote place in South America to the latest fashion trends from Paris.  The consumer is no longer a lame sitting duck that can be subjected to ad after ad in newspapers and TV.  She now has the advantage of technology improvements like TiVo to be selective in watching ads on TV and has been forced, by being bombarded by flashy ads on webpages, to learn to tune out the ads that pop-up everywhere.

If we categorize the web viewers from to novice to savvy, based solely on the number of hours spent on the net and the comfort level using it, would the demographics show people are less likely to click on ads displayed if they are veteran web users?  As a user of the internet from its birth in 1993/1994 I can state that most ads on webpages are invisible to me and I hardly ever click on them.  Though I would like to think otherwise, I doubt that I am unique in this aspect and for sure there must be millions in my camp.

The younger user who has been exposed to this form of advertising from an earlier age will learn even faster than the generation before to become immune to advertising and be skeptical of the information presented.  With the increasing number of companies that are now targeting mobile devices for marketing, this trend to be inoculated against advertising and informational blogging from brands and companies is only going to grow...I hope that through a series of posts and contributions we can delve deeper into how to deliver valuable content and a meaningful message to capture an audience and most importantly retain the audience so that we may be successful digital marketers.



BIG data in big companies

Isn't BIG data making headlines in major blogs and heads turn in C-suite from retail to financial services industry? So, what is BIG data and how it all started?

Big data is a collection of data sets so large and complex that it becomes difficult to process using on-hand database management tools or traditional data processing applications. The challenges include capture, curation, storage, search, sharing, transfer, analysis, and visualization. The trend to larger data sets is due to the additional information derivable from analysis of a single large set of related data, as compared to separate smaller sets with the same total amount of data, allowing correlations to be found to "spot business trends, determine quality of research, prevent diseases, link legal citations, combat crime, and determine real-time roadway traffic conditions".

Source: Wikipedia

As businesses and marketers try to sell more, it's all about customers: their actions, intentions and behavior. Companies grew and offered more products and services to the customers. At the same time, customers started to engage with brands in multiple ways ( web, mobile and traditional media outlets), increasing complexity for marketers to understand and follow "true" customer behavior and potential as a prospect. Technology enabled gathering data from web, mobile, social media ( Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest etc) and other mediums, leading to a state where it first becomes extremely costly to capture and later to massage the data for any meaningful results.

Though BIG data presents new difficulties from IT to legal department, it certainly presents unique opportunities to explore - a new way to truly understand customers. Leveraging new customers insights from the analyses gives competitive edge and ultimately drives new age marketing decisions. It all looks logical; however, BIG data creates huge problem for large enterprises to move fast enough to capture the value. 

According to one of the blogs in Harvard Business Review, most business executives and their IT counterparts agree to implement state of the art system to capture value from BIG data. However, it requires large enterprises to break silo'd approach and bring different line of businesses together to create new data driven culture that can help company achieve higher profitability. This implementation essentially requires executives to change the strategy for the company, hire skilled resources and create culture to cultivate data backed decision.

Once implemented, the returns are limitless and the most important from marketing perspective is to understand customers. Digital Marketing relies on customers' intentions and BIG data provides exactly the same. So, customers can expect to see more relevant content ( including textual, audio or video) and offers on the company's eCommerce portal.

On my way back from the International Seminar in China I happened to sit on a plane next to a director of Digital Marketing for Estee Lauder. This was a great coincidence as I was about to start this class on Digital Marketing next day! Based on that I was extremely happy to continue the discussion and asked her to explain to me what really her job is and what exactly she was doing in China.

She quickly explained that her job was mainly about creating strategies to drive online traffic to Estee's webiste by designing and developing digital marketing campaigns, social media strategy, increasing brand's awareness through online ads, etc. She then explained that with China's 500+ million online users, digital marketing in this country is of humongous importance and that's why she's forced to fly to China few times per year.

Chinese digital marketing strategy is significantly different from the rest of the world as companies not only have to create brand awareness and attract traffic through appropriate online marketing tools but they also have to heavily focus on educating users as many of the products being introduced are completely new to the Chinese consumers.

Check out the link below to find out more on what exactly Estee Lauder's strategy is and how they became the best digital brand in China.


The Dominance of Search in Our Daily Lives

I really enjoyed reading "The Search." What struck me most about Google in particular and search engines in general is the dominance of search in our daily lives. Most people use Google multiple times a day to make decisions on what they will do and how they will live. Going through a mental checklist of today, I used Google to check on a statement of a US Congressman, find a quote from "Fight Club" that I used to tease a friend on Facebook about his Ikea addiction("Save me from Swedish Furniture."), find a local Fed Ex, and try to find a better scale. Google has become the lens through which many of us view the world. That coupled with the increasing searchability of not only websites, but people, places, and things is at once alarming and exciting. Most people are excited to think that their luggage could have a tiny RF transmitter in it to ensure that it never gets lost. However, we cringe at the same technology being put to pernicious uses. US law is clear that people have no expectation of privacy in a public space. This means that video surveillance and facial recognition technology make your patterns and habits almost a matter of public record. Furthermore, although the Government's primary use of this information is for our security, corporations or other entities could use this information for unethical or illegal practices. Juvenal once asked, "Who will guard the guards"? In short, who watches what is being watched? I trust our government to a point, I trust corporations far less.
In the aftermath of the "Little Albert" experiments, psychologist John Watson went to Madison Avenue, and never looked back. Although shunned as immoral, at best amoral, by the scientific community; Watson and his deep knowledge of classical conditioning was welcomed by advertisers with open arms. Watson was a master at refining stimulus and response to get the desired result. He once taught pigeons to play ping pong. He later helped ad men sell to highly-trained consumers. What does classical conditioning and marketing have to do with Google? Everything. The effectiveness of advertisements can now be more closely tracked, stimulus and response. Marketers can more efficiently spend their money to get the right customers. This is all seemingly harmless. However, the implications of advertising becoming too good are evident in our consumer culture. The average German saves roughly 15-20% of her pay. The average American has more than $2,000 in credit card debt. Furthermore, the sweeping epidemic of dia-besity, type-II diabetes coupled with obesity, in America is an alarming and self-inflicted wound. We suffer from hyper-consumerism. I wonder if that has anything to do with Watson? I wonder if things will intensify as companies learn to harness the clickstream of intensions? Beyond this, as the expectation of privacy is stripped bare and people and corporations can come to learn where we go, what we do, and what motivates us to buy; I wonder how this will impact the human experience?
The internet is a two edged sword: with greater transparency comes greater accountability. Juvenal asked who will watch the watchmen, in America we do. We can all Google any of our Congressman or other leaders and find a litany of information on them. We can all Google "Santorum" if we want to learn about the unspeakable. In a sense, search engines have made information accessible and democratized information where the internet is free. This is good. "The Search" was a good read and predicted much of what has happened since it's publishing. I just hope that people are thoughful, if not wary, of the power of the clickstream of intentions. The net result of search engines could be overwhelmingly positive, but we must be thoughtful about how much power gets consolidated in how few hands. We must guard the guards.


The Death of Nielsen's

25,000 homes. 

The entire platform of network television advertising is based on 25,000 homes! Really Nielsen? Really. Really! (I'm channeling my best Seth Meyers impression). You put a box in the house to measure this? Really? Isn’t there a better way? Your lack of technological innovation astounds me. And yep, I’m still pissed about Firefly being cancelled. I hold you personally responsible, and I’m about to go all Hatfield’s and McCoy’s on you.

I recently read a book called The Search by John Battelle that described the incredible amounts of data that Google has at its fingertips. It can track everything you click on and how long you view the page. So why is it that TV ratings are soooooooo (I feel like I should use a soogol here: a ‘so’ followed by a hundred o’s) antiquated. 

I was just browsing through an issue of Wired magazine and I read an article called The New rules of the Hyper-Social, Data-Driven, Actor-Friendly, Super-Seductive Platinum Age of Television by Tom Vanderbilt. I compared his very low opinion of Nielsen to the high opinion I have of Google from reading The Search, and I once again wondered why in the hell companies spend millions of dollars to place television advertising based on something so archaic. There are 313.9 million people in the U.S.! Measuring 25,000 homes is only .0002% of the population (assuming 3 people per household). Sure, 25,000 seems like it meets the statistical requirements (what was that law in stats called?), but seriously???? Not to mention it only counts shows that are watched within 3 days of the original air time. Please. I just finished watching the last episode of Fringe last night and that was off the air five months ago. And to top it all off, these people know they are being tracked. Ever heard of testing bias??? I would like to see how many of those people are watching Cinemax late at night. Compared to Google, Nielsen's statistical tracking capabilities are the equivalent of a revolutionary war soldier compared to the Master Chief. Incredibly outdated and hopelessly outmatched.

Isn’t every cable box in America connected to the internet? When you push the button on the remote, doesn’t it send a signal somewhere to change the channel? So all some enterprising Columbia grad has to do is write a program that will connect to every cable box and track what shows you watch, how long you look at the guide, how many pages you scroll through, and if you push the 'More Info' button for a better description of the show. Then they can just sit back and collect the data. Sure, the cable companies and viewers may throw a fit, invasion of privacy, blah, blah, bladitty, blah. In time, this too will be accepted as part of the new data-driven society and television companies will follow the money. Once someone creates the cable television version of the crawler ‘BackRub’ (and yes, I expect royalties when you do) everyone will pour over the statistics and wonder why our caveman mentality prevented us from seeing the big picture for so long. Sure, some of you are saying “That’s not possible”, different boxes, different satellites, etc., etc. Yeah, I imagine that’s what they said when two people tried to map the entire internet and read every link on every page. This may seem complicated to us now, but in six years, it won’t. Time to leave the Stone Age behind Nielsen, and at the very least enter the Bronze age.


Facebook Video Advertising

If you are like me, you have noticed a significant increase in the number of ads in your Facebook Newsfeed over the last six months.  For most people, myself included, these ads aren't too obtrusive. You simply scroll down past it to get to the next piece of "news" in your newsfeed.  But as post-IPO Facebook continues to find ways to appease investors and monetize it's ad campaign I find myself wondering when they will cross the line.  

Perhaps that time has come.

Last month reported that Facebook would begin selling 15 second video ad spots for $1 million dollars each.  At first glance this may sound relatively innocuous but it appears as if these advertisements will be "auto-play." This means that you'll be forced to watch the 15 second video clip, whether you like it or not.  

We've all encountered auto play video ads many times before but in my experience these ads are usually on what I'll call "secondary" websites that may never have been clicked on if they weren't displayed as a google search result.  The websites that I typically visit every day do not have auto play video ads. They are able to draw me in each day (and therefore monetize their businesses) based on the quality of their content.

This type of advertising will drive me away as a daily Facebook user.  

Is this the tipping point for you too?


Thursday, May 30, 2013

Thank You for Sharing...Your Data

I found this article on LinkedIn and thought it posed an interesting question.  Although the author's tone seemed a little bit "doom and gloom" as it relates to the information that we will share virtually vs what we share 'in the real world', I liked the analogies he made of the various virtual communities as well as the concept of win/win data sharing.

Here is the link if you're interested!


Runpee! A simple but useful app!

Every creation starts with a simple need. is one of the simple and useful solution for those who want to use the restroom during the movie. Most of us might have the experience that afraid to miss the best part of the movie if we went to the restroom. Also, it's quite bothersome to ask your friend what you have missed during your leave.

Thus, here comes the solution. is a very simple website that listed every new released movie. Click into the movie, and you will see when is the best time to go to the restroom (Mostly they provide more than one perfect timing). Also, they provide storyline during the "peetime".

It started with a simple webpage and run by the founder Dan Florio (who named himself as CPO- chief pee officer). With the help from his family member, they can watch and provide the "peetime" for every (at least most) of the new release movie. He first sell ads on the website which is the main income source and then launched a paid app ($0.99) in 2011.

For those who do not have smartphone, still provides free service on their website.  ( Nowaday, the website only provides movie release in 90 days. Movies older than 90 days can only been checked on app.

A great idea doesn't need to be really fancy. Many marketers are stuck in somewhere trying to create a "Big Idea"but forget those ideas which can solve our daily problem/ feed the needs are named good ideas!

* went viral without any advertisement.


Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Display Marketing - Videos

I’ve been a movie buff since I can remember.  Not that I really had a choice since movies are a bit of a family tradition started by my grandmother “Granny Dura Anne”.  Granny would literally go to blockbuster (when they were relevant) and buy an arm full of movies.  Over the years she amassed literally thousands of films on VHS, the transition to DVD was a hard one for her to accept.  But needless to say when companies take the time to present their “experience” or products through a creative video I’m instantly and emotionally engaged.

When I came across TechCrunches “Google Admits It Spams TheHell Out Of You In New Gmail Commerical” it made me think of a few companies/startups that hooked me while selling me. Gmail addresses their Google+ spamming by easily allowing users to filter mail in a new way, here is the Google video.  Although, you could always filter specific emails to folders; to the unsophisticated emailer it looks like a solution to a problem you may or may not have even noticed.  Google’s catchy tunes and sharp product demo make the user want to open Gmail and get to work.  Could be why I have four Gmail accounts… damn you Google and your beautiful videos! But Google hits that mark and their videos inspire action.

Other companies like NYC based start-up Kohort used video marketing in a different way, beta launch build up.  If you’re unfamiliar, Kohort is a firm founded by entrepreneur turned venture capitalist turned entrepreneur Mark Davis, also a Columbia MBA.  Prior to Kohort's launch they were in stealth mode meaning they strategically let the press know they raised a large sum of money and encourage users to reserve their usernames before they were all gone BUT did not actually tell you what they did.  They had a mysterious buzz so when they finally launched in May of 2011 they already had thousands of users eager to use their product (me included) but no clue what it was.  They produced this AMAZING video to explain their offering. Unfortunately, for Kohort their commercial is the best part of their company.  The user interface and overall site design misses the mark, but that’s a topic for another day.  Although their product execution is horrible, Kohort's video does execute and again encourages the user to at the very least test the product.

When done properly video can inspire consumers to act by either signing up or buying a particular product or service.  Videos are an easy way, again if done correctly, to emotionally connect a brand with an individual.  Just don’t over sell your capabilities and fall into the Kohort trap.  

What videos hit the mark for you?


Smart TVs and the future of the Set Top Box

According to Decipher, an influential emerging media consultancy for the TV industry, there are “two parallel and competitive strands to ‘connectivity’ innovation in TV: the emerging ‘smart’ environments on connected TV screens and the ecosystems being built around the connected set top box.” However, as it currently stands, connected set top boxes are successfully fighting off the Smart TV threat.  According to Decipher’s FutureMedia 2013 analysis, when looking at comparative rates of usage where consumers had both a connected set top box and a smart TV in the same installation, 73% favored the set top box

In the long-term, however, we do not expect this trend to continue. As cloud computing and Over-The-Top content (OTT) applications continue to flourish, we can expect smart TV technology to become more dominant, eventually eliminating the need for an additional device. Currently, set top boxes only exist to serve three purposes.  First, they encrypt cable content, since televisions are not equipped to view this content in its raw form.  Second, they serve as computing hubs, enabling a host of interactive features.  Third, they support Video on Demand by means of two-way communication.  Initially, given the competitive nature of the consumer electronics industry, manufacturers were opposed to building this expensive functionality directly into television sets. However, as DVR technology continues to become more commonplace, streamlined and established, we can expect smart TVs of the future with native DVR functionality, especially given the inevitability of technological convergence.  In summary, it is reasonable to expect the set top box to become an increasingly archaic and redundant piece of equipment. 

Furthermore, in accordance with this school of thought, several major cable companies are not bullish on the future of the set top box either.  As revealed by Glenn Britt, CEO of Time Warner Cable, in a personal and exclusive interview with me, “We want to get rid of our set top boxes altogether.  They are expensive, clunky and mandate a high level of customer service.  Consumers don’t need to be locked in to using our device or program guide.” 

Indeed, we are already seeing a sharp increase in Smart TV sales.  According to a report by market research firm IHS iSuppli, smart TV sales rose 27% in the year 2012.  By 2015, the report anticipates that smart TVs will comprise 55% of all global shipments with 141 million units sold.

We are already seeing the early signs of this nascent industry start to congeal in the far reaches of Silicon Valley. Microsoft is starting to tie its Kinect architecture into televisions using technology that is not too far removed from the Xbox One.  We anticipate an entry from Apple as well, beautifully integrated with their devices and the iTunes store. 

The concept of smart TVs is still evolving, and currently both proprietary and open-source software frameworks are being developed for commercial purposes.  Also, there are varying digital distribution platforms, with some smart TVs equipped with the ability to run applications. Depending on the trajectory this technological revolution takes, we might well see a whole new plethora of apps directly integrated into app-enabled smart TVs. 


Are all Advertising Dollars Equal?

This professor I follow on twitter retweeted an article (subscription required) on Ben Smith (aka BuzzFeed Ben), which called him a “shill for the right wing”.  Now I don’t know the professor’s motivation for retweeting, so I won’t hold the contents of the article against him. It was an interesting read.

The article's author views himself as an investigative journalist but is actually what I would call a “hater,” to the point that he wrote a book called “The Corruption of Malcolm Gladwell.”  In my eyes, it speaks poorly of your character when you write a book for the purpose of taking down another author.

The article makes a few points to back up the “RightWingBen” assertion, the first being that BuzzFeed hosted an immigration panel funded by the Koch Institute.  While true, the fact that everyone on the immigration panel ended up supporting a path to immigration is somehow lost on the author.  Actual conservatives were pretty unhappy about the panel.

Of course, none of the above has much to do with this class or blog.  Thus, more importantly, the article mentions that BuzzFeed had a webpage/advertisement sponsored by the Koch Institute.  I believe this is the article/webpage to which the author is referring. 

Clearly, this is quasi sponsored content by the Koch Institute.  Now comes ethical question… or the question that sprung up in my mind:

Should a content website, which is a business model that relies solely on advertising dollars, reject advertising due to its political nature? 

I’d argue that as long as the material isn’t offensive to your readers, you should be accepting money/advertising from all sources.  TV stations do it, newspapers do it, and now even online news portals have said they will do it.  The Washington Post and Politico both recently announced they were doing something similar, with the advertorial, allowing sponsors to post content.

In other words, I have no problem with BuzzFeed posting an “advertorial” written by the Koch Institute.  I’m sure BuzzFeed understands the economics of its choice and is willing to take the risk that its growing readership won’t go somewhere else for their adorable duck pictures.


The Search and Today

Having the opportunity to read The Search was really interesting for me. I first started interning in the Web Department of our company in 2004, around the time the book was written. I still remember checking our organic rankings in the major search engines (Google, Yahoo, MSN, and AOL) and participating in our first pilots in Overture, Google, and smaller search engines not even mentioned in the book like Dogpile and MetaCrawler. The team was very uncertain on how to approach the campaigns and what would work on our very limited budget. As you may have guessed from reading the book, it worked, and it worked well.

As much as I enjoyed the book's historical rundown, what I found most interesting and to an extent, fascinating, is how much of the book's speculation has become or is on a clear road map to become a reality. Most notably, vertical search and the use of click streams to determine relevant search results.

Battelle initially characterized vertical search as up and coming but felt the market(s) for vertical search were somewhat limited. In his (final) update chapter, he notes that there had been significant growth in this area and perhaps the growth was not so limited. In the work I do, vertical networks (driven by vertical search) are nearly as important, if not just as important, as Google and Bing. I cannot speak for other industries in terms of importance, but I do know vertical networks have grown quite a bit and are critical to us.

Battelle also speculated that search technologies would begin using click streams as data inputs to serve relevant results to users. I am not sure how this has progressed in terms organic search, but one of the items Google most recently pitched to us was retargeting (or remarketing as Google calls it) via AdWords (sponsored) search. Retargeting is essentially serving advertisements to Web users that have already come to your site (information collected in user click streams). Usually companies do this to capture visitors that left their sites without converting, but there could be other reasons depending on company objectives. This platform has become very popular within Display Ad Networks.

While I'm not completely sold on the merits of retargeting on these platforms, particularly in the way many companies that specialize in it have tried to sell us on it (I'll save that rant for another post), I see a lot of promise for retargeting/remarketing in AdWords. The primary difference in my mind is that retargeted users in display networks are specifically sought out because they had come to some site at some point in the past. In AdWords, however, users have to essentially call themselves out by taking an action (showing an intent) relevant to the advertiser before they are served a retargeted ad (much to the point of the book of course).

I have not had the opportunity to try this new retargeting feature in Adwords. I believe it's still in Beta although I had heard it would be released to the public by now. I do look forward to trying it when it does become available to us though and find it very interesting how closely it connects with Battelle's prediction.

Pasted below are some articles/blog posts I think describe this (soon to be) new Adwords feature.

Also interestingly, at least one engine, (which Professor Kagan made mention of in class as a possible up and comer), is taking the opposite stand on personalization, using it to market its "superiority". Basically, DuckDuckGo is saying that their engine is better because they don't personalize, they are an advocate of their users' privacy and that good search results should be good for everyone (unfiltered/unpersonalized results mean that you won't miss any results that someone else is served).

The links below provide DuckDuckGo's Privacy Policy and an article on DuckDuckGo's platform. The article also has a short video advertisement from DuckDuckGo that compare Google's personalization procedures with its own procedures. Definitely worth a watch.


Kool-Aid & the Google IPO

John Battelle has written an engaging book about Google's origins and the implications that search will have on the future of media and technology.The early chapters of the book, in which Battelle focuses on recounting narrative, are meticulously researched and wonderfully presented. It was a breeze to read these sections of the book.

As we move towards debating issues like privacy concerns and the future of Google, Battelle's love of Google begins to overwhelm his skilled storytelling, and I found this distracting. I was struck, in particular, by his interpretation of the IPO. Battelle sets the reader up by recounting the various ways in which Google flaunted Wall Street norms in the lead up to its IPO. The most visible example is Google's choice to use a Dutch Auction instead of a more traditional roadshow underwriting process.He rightfully points out that these decisions were consistent with a general culture of non-conformity, and a little arrogance, at Google.

In the end, Battelle observes the following, after Google went public at a price of $85 a share.
What happened next put to rest nearly every doubt about Google's offering. By the end of the day, the stock had rocketed to nearly $100. By the next day, GOOG was at $108.31- breaking into its original predicted range.
Bizarrely, and illogically, Battelle seems to have convinced himself that this massive move in the first two days (a 27% increase) is evidence that Google had prevailed with its quirky and unconventional ways. On the contrary, while the larger issues of corporate governance seem to have played out positively since (although its worth noting that no couterfactual is available for testing), the initial move in the stock price seems to be a strong indication that the Dutch auction was suboptimal. Indeed, Google left a tremendous amount of money on the table. Presumably, Google avoided a traditional underwriting process to avoid exactly this kind of 'pop', and they ended up with a pop that was significantly higher than is typical for IPOs. Battelle fails to make this fairly straightforward observation, and in doing so, erodes his credibility when we think about his writing on Google in China and Google and privacy.


Tuesday, May 28, 2013

TV Streaming fight heats up with new lawsuit

I just saw this article about a new lawsuit against Aerokiller, which is a subscription service for live-on air TV streaming to your computer/mobile device. Apparently, in April the courts ruled that Aerokiller could continue to operate in NY, CT and Vermont. However, a more recent ruling in California is closing down this service on the entire West Coast. This case reminds me of Apple and Itunes and the fight that record labels made at having their songs available for only $1 or less. TV networks should be up in arms given that this new service could make all networks obsolete. All the technology we have unvieled can both help and harm at the same time. It can harm big companies that are slow moving and can't react to smaller more nimble companies. Making TV networks obsolete will inevitable mean less jobs and higher unemployment. At the same token the new technology could create new opportunties. The key lies in having a company that can monitize on the new technology - much in the same way Google founders did during the Internet boom. It will be interesting to see how this plays out... (full article link below).


Xbox One's potential to change advertising

I recently came across this article about how the new Xbox One could change TV advertising and the way consumers shop at home. I've posted the paragraphs I found most interesting below, but the thing that really jumped out to me was how much this reminded me of parts of The Search, and how this could have the potential to make TV advertising both more effective, and easier to measure the impact it is having on a company's bottom line.

One of the biggest issues with TV advertising I see is that unless you're selling directly to consumers via the ad (as seen on tv products for example), you'll run into attribution challenges more often than not. If the Xbox was able to more accurately serve up relevant TV advertising, it could switch from a CPM model to a pay per impression (which would be targeted to specific audiences) or pay per click model (when a person wants more info or navigates to a pop-up product page). In my opinion this would have marketers lining up to bid on those potential impressions for specific products, in addition to the brand advertising they could keep running during TV episodes.

The advertising revolution the contributor mentions may never actually happen, but it's interesting to think how some of the marketing tactics that are currently available online could be moved into a new channel, TV.

All TV Will Be Direct-response TV.
Okay, let’s push this platform a little, and let’s say an ad for a new John Grisham novel comes on the TV. No reason why Microsoft MSFT +1.75% couldn’t allow you to shout, “More info,” at any point during the ad which would automatically drop the ad into a smaller screen on the left while a custom-made fulfillment web site pops up next to it. The ad pauses when it ends (also pausing the show you’re watching) and allows you to navigate the pop-up site for more information on the new Grisham novel. With your profile pre-loaded with your credit card information, you can shout, “Purchase,” and the book is automatically downloaded to your Kindle. And on with the show.
Know Your Audience ADNC -0.64%.
Now let’s go a step further, beyond what the Xbox One can do today. We know the Kinect technology is so sensitive it can detect a person’s heart beat. That means facial recognition can’t be far behind. That being the case, the Xbox One will one day know the genders and rough ages of those watching and then be able to serve up appropriate advertising for that mix of people. Even if it’s just one person.
I’m only scratching the surface here, but you get the idea.
Microsoft did not mention any of this during their Xbox One debut, but it doesn’t take a futurist to see where it’s going. Assuming we can get past the privacy issues that some of these ideas will raise, this is going to be big. The time is now for all of us in marketing and advertising to start planning for this exciting interactive sell. I’ll wager that the ideas marketers come up with to take advantage will be as exciting as the technology itself.


Monday, May 27, 2013

Millennial's competitive advantage on the workplace

The Millennial generation (born 2000 and beyond) brings new dynamics and disruptions to the workforce. Millennial's impact to the workplace can be categorized into three broad categories, self branding, entitlement, and right fit. First, with the advent of mobile and digital technology,  Millennials are differentiating themselves from the mass is evident and ubiquitous. For example, they use blogs to get as many hits as possible to raise their visibility. Also, through introspection and leverage natural strength, Millennials are  effective at differentiating in a genuine manner than earlier generations. Second, Millennials have no fear to ask for jobs, promotions and dreams. With this entitlement behavior, Millennials tend to achieve more wants than the earlier generations.  At the same time, they have not much to lose to ask for entitlement because worse case is a "NO" response. Third, Millennials are focused to find perfect fitted career. Armed with unprecedented amount of knowledge in the information age, they have a plethora of choices. Consequently many are taking the time to reach a decision realizing that work is the most time spent in a lifetime. Considering these Millenials' dynamics and complexities, in the years ahead, older generations must learn and  adapt to Millennial culture to remain competitive and to succeed in business.

To read more Millenials’ impact at work, visit