Category Archives: News

I was checking into a new book on Champagne on Amazon this afternoon when I noticed a new button – “Add to Collection.”  Imagine my surprise when I realized that Amazon is launching their own version of Pinterest.

collections

This makes sense. After all, why have people posting Amazon things on Pinterest when they could be pinning to Amazon directly, sharing with others and shopping right at that moment. One of the annoying things for me about Pinterest is that I don’t always know where to get the things that are pinned. But if it’s pinned on Amazon, I can get it at Amazon. Brilliant.

Basically, the concept is the same as Pinterest. You can create collections, customizing each name and adding as many things as you want. You can browse other people’s collections as well, pinning their finds to your own collections.

Not all products have the “Add to Collection” button yet. But if you click that little “Learn More” link in the dialog, you’ll find you can add a “Collect” button to your browser, allowing you to pin anything on Amazon’s site. Right now, this feature seems to be limited both in scope (you’re confined to Amazon’s site and not the rest of the web) and in release (not all products have the magic button). We’ll see how well it takes off and what Amazon does with the data.

Why does a company that started by selling books continue to disrupt so many industries they’re not first considered to be experts in? Amazon has evolved from being an online bookseller to becoming not only “the world’s marketplace” but one of the world’s largest providers of cloud services — creating an entirely new service offering that just a few years ago didn’t even exist. And, in the meantime, becoming a high-tech company that rivals the ones expected to innovate in this area.

That may be the primary reason Amazon has been able to take-off in new markets. First, its CEO, Jeff Bezos is not concerned with short-term profits. His vision is what more CEOs need to reflect on: “We like to invent and do new things, and I know for sure that long term orientation is essential for invention because you’re going to have a lot of failures along the way.” Too many American companies seek just short-term profit, and don’t focus on more than 3 or 4 quarters. If Kindle, Amazon Web Services and Amazon Prime were required to show profits in their first 3 or 4 quarters, they would have never even gone to market.

True disruption comes from those that jump into a market not worried about cost. They usually go in with the lowest cost and quality offering and build from there. Ultimately, becoming a market Online Blackjack leader means that you have to continue to innovate and disrupt, or you become less a disruptor and just a profit-making machine. Consider the fate of Polaroid, Atari, RIM and Digital Equipment Corporation: all were once disruptors in their respective industries. Once they reached the top, they stumbled. They stumbled because they stopped innovating and disrupting. Amazon continues to discover new markets, innovate products and services, and is restless once they begin to make inroads into a new market. Apple and Google are the obvious candidates for finding it difficult to create market breakthroughs while servicing the markets they currently dominate.

Disruption is based on creating new and valuable products and services in an uncertain market. Once a company gets too comfortable in their market, they will eventually find it difficult to innovate and disrupt. The challenge is to foster a culture that values creativity and innovation and offers a process that encourages its people to ask questions, uncover new possibilities, and explore without being driven by profit only. Amazon has shown it’s willing and able to enter any market it thinks it can add value to. And then it works from within and continually innovates and disrupts. Companies like Apple, Google and even Microsoft should never forget what happened to the companies that lost their hunger for innovation. Maybe they should listen to Jeff a little more.

With smartphones and gadgets like Google Glass grabbing all the headlines, what some of us realize is the vast wasteland of bad reality shows, over-hyped sports events, and sensational specials we call TV is about to undergo a transformation that will forever end the viewing experience as you know it. And although tech companies like Google, Apple and Microsoft have been fiddling around with their idea of how to change TV for a few years now, it’s the big networks and pay television providers that are finally making some decisions to move TV land forward. What’s driving this change? Three biggies:

1. Viewers’ increasing multi-screen behavior — now their TV is just one screen in a world of many. People often watch TV while multi-tasking with their tablet or smartphone. More and more, people want to carry their TV shows with them, and continue watching from different locations.

2. TV execs have realized that you will actually pay for digital content. Paywalls on some online news sites such as the New York Times and revenue on iTunes and other digital marketplaces have shown the money guys that you will actually hand over your hard-earned dough for content. So, they will soon end free broadcast TV. You can start the death countdown now. Viewership on broadcast TV is at its lowest ever Pokies, down from 69% in 1993 to 42% this year, according to Nielsen.

3. Small startups like Aereo have begun to offer free access to broadcast TV over the Internet, and are winning court cases to stay alive.

After Aereo got a reprieve from a federal judge, News Corp is now considering going to cable only. And now, Intel is trying to design a new online TV service that will let you control more of your viewing experience.

The coming transformation of TV promises to offer you:

–De-bundling so you don’t have to pay huge monthly fees for just the few channels you actually watch.

–Easier discoverability through better interfaces

–Smarter content relevant to your viewing history

–Easier and more affordable subscription options

Of course, everyone is waiting for what Apple will do with its rumored TV. Will they just make hardware, or are they going full-on with hardware and content?

What all this says is there is no business model for TV right now. Programmers are unwilling to hand-over rights for online TV because they don’t know what to charge for it. But they know they don’t want to end up like the music industry when Napster came along, so they’re scrambling. Either way, you win. TV will transform based on the way you want to consume it. Stay tuned!

It’s been windy and rainy in the Texas capitol, but there’s still 24,000 people huddled together for SXSWi. Day One of Interactive (for me) was about mobile marketing. Tim Reis, the head of advertising for Google, kicked it off:

Mobile marketing/advertising is now about weaving into the consumer’s device. It’s about having a conversation with the consumer. The device is used for dialogue, and marketers now have to do more than just throw banner ads out there. The real opportunity is to learn how people use their devices and interact with them to build a relationship with them.

Mobile is the signature device of the 21st century. It will also interact with the device of the 20th century: the TV. The second screen experience is where your primary focus should be for mobile advertising.

What is mobility and context? New patterns are emerging as consumers integrate multiple screens into their day. Context used to mean placing an ad next to content. Now it means where the consumer is and what they’re doing, and what mood and mode they’re in. You need electronic cigarette usa to focus on how the consumer moves across multiple screens, and their ever-changing context is.

Consumers weave seamlessly through context, doing what they do at any given moment. Devices are blurry — phones are getting larger and acting like tablets, tablets are getting smaller. The device itself is no longer important. Context is what it’s all about. We used to think about intent. Intent is a powerful signal. Combine intent and context, and you see the direction we’re going in.

Five years ago marketers thought of social, local and mobile as buckets. As new tech emerges, we tend to box them into buckets we can understand. Consumers don’t see these buckets, however.

Contextual opportunities are the essence of mobile. Consumers take their digital life with them.

Friction is also key. Eliminating friction in the process empowers your connection to your consumer (stop asking someone for their city and state when you’re also asking them for their zip code). On a phone, that friction is big. Bigger than on a laptop. Think through the friction points. Erase friction.

The days of hanging up on those pesky debt collectors may be coming to an end. Some debt collection agencies are now harnessing the power of Big Data to take a scientific approach to profiling those who are more likely to pay up, and then working with them to get the debt paid. Using analytics and applying algorithms to filter through the “water hose” of deadbeats to get to the few that are willing to pay will bring a bigger return for companies trying to recover their cash. This will nipple pokies galleries allow collectors to focus on a more positive approach as well by enabling more “self-service debt repayment” through customized re-payment plans that are workable for those who really want to pay their debts. Big Data’s promise in this space requires a new set of skills though: it’s not about being a database administrator. It’s about being able to analyze data and hash algorithms. Expect debt collectors to start hiring scientists very soon. A scientific approach to getting you to pay your past-due Visa card is the wave of the near-future.

Pages 129