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Tim Peter Thinks

Tim Peter

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January 27, 2014

Should You Still Listen to Marissa Mayer?

January 27, 2014 | By | No Comments

FocusA few years back, I said Marissa Mayer (now the CEO of Yahoo, then VP of products for Google), was the most powerful woman on the Internet. Given her role, I’d say she still is.

And at the time I made that proclamation, Mayer was touting three ingenious enhancements for Google:

  1. 1800Goog411, the search giant’s voice-activated search
  2. iGoogle, the company’s personalized home page for users, incorporating RSS feeds and widgets; and,
  3. Universal Search, which eliminated many of the silos separating image search from news from web and so on

Today, most of those services no longer exist.

Or do they?

1800Googl411 is clearly the progenitor to Google’s Conversational Search (which I covered here). Only, instead of calling a number, you simply ask your phone.

The spirit of iGoogle clearly lives on in Google+ (displaying content you find important) and Google Now (which displays content Google thinks you’ll find important).

And, of course, universal search continues growing, now including items like metasearch results and pricing in Maps.

So, with all this growth and positive change, I was struck when Mayer referred to 2014 as the ‘tipping point’ for the Internet. Strikingly, despite its rampant growth, Mayer thinks the Internet hasn’t tipped yet. Key quote:

“When you look at mobile, when you look at the bandwidth, when you look at the Internet of things, it’s going to change everyone’s daily routines really fundamentally.”

So, Mayer thinks the Internet, everywhere is going to be a big deal. Same with mobile. I quite agree.

And, so far, Mayer’s put her money (well, Yahoo’s money…) where her mouth is, with acquisitions such as Tumblr, Rondee, and Qwiki.

For the record, that’s content, voice, and images. Seems history’s repeating itself.

I don’t know if Yahoo will win or not. It’s got a lot of work to do to reclaim its former glory. But I do think Mayer’s instincts are spot-on. In fact, I recently presented information called “The Truth: How the Social, Local, Mobile Web Affects Sales Online and Offline,” exploring the changes still coming to the web:

Yes, the web has grown significantly in the last dozen years or so. But it’s amazing to think how much further it has to go… and where we’ll end up along the way.

If you’re interested in learning more about the future of e-commerce and marketing via the social, local, mobile web, register to receive a special report I’ve produced in conjunction with hotel marketing firm Vizergy, “Digital Hotel Marketing in a Multiscreen World.” While it’s targeted specifically at hotel and resort marketers, the lessons apply to just about any business. You can get your free copy of the report here.

You might also enjoy some of our past coverage of the social, local, mobile web and what it means for your business, including:

Tim Peter

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December 18, 2013

3 Steps to Digital Marketing Success in 2014 – Thinks Out Loud Episode 55

December 18, 2013 | By | No Comments

What can you accomplish if only

3 Steps to Digital Marketing Success in 2014 Headlines and Show Notes

Focus

Diversify

Joy

Final Thoughts

There’s still time to get something from our 2013 Thinks Holiday Gift Guide for that someone special. It doesn’t even have to be me. ;)

And, as mentioned here are my slides for “The Truth: How the Social, Local, Mobile Web Affects Sales Online and Offline”:

And also for “Today and Tomorrow: The Changing Customer Journey”:

You can also register to receive a free copy of my special report, “Digital Hotel Marketing in a Multiscreen World,” produced in conjunction with Vizergy, here. While it’s targeted to the hospitality industry specifically, most of the lessons apply across verticals.

Contact information for the podcast: podcast@timpeter.com

Technical details: Recorded using a Shure SM57 microphone
through a Mackie Onyx Blackjack USB recording interface into Logic Express 9 for the Mac.

Running time: 17m 30s

You can subscribe to Thinks Out Loud in iTunes [iTunes link], subscribe via our dedicated podcast RSS feed (or better yet, given that Google has now killed Reader, sign up for our free newsletter). You can also download/listen to the podcast here on Thinks using the player below:

Tim Peter

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December 12, 2013

Happy…

December 12, 2013 | By | No Comments

Closing out the yearI’m a little contemplative today. I tend to get this way roughly this time each year.

  1. Because of the holidays and the end of the year, and
  2. Because it’s my birthday.

Yes, I’m one of those. Don’t worry. It’s not a mid-life crisis, just a little year-end contemplation. I think it’s valuable to look back every now and again. And this year, I find myself thinking a lot about my Birthday Reflections post from two years ago:

“…through everything, I’ve had more happy days than sad the last year. Which I hope is true for most people.

I suspect it’s not.

I look around and see people challenged in many different aspects of their lives. Some are unhappy in work. Others are unhappy in love. And still others are unhappy in life, generally.

Now, to be fair, many people face challenges that I can scarcely imagine. We’re sitting in the middle of the worst economy any of us will ever see (we hope). Lots of people are struggling to pay their bill or are worrying about what happens if they get sick. Some aren’t sure how they’re going to pay for their kids’ college or their retirement. Others face very real medical situations for themselves or their family. These are huge problems and ones that I don’t see any easy answers to.

At the same time, I’m excited whenever I talk with a business owner or an entrepreneur or a kid fresh out of school who looks at the world and sees opportunity. Many speak of their plans with such enthusiasm and passion and drive, that they breathe life into everyone who hears what they’ve got to say. You can’t help but get caught up in their excitement for what they’re going to do.

Sure, some won’t succeed, at least not at first. More than a few will likely adjust their plans or their goals along the way once they learn a bit more about their customers, their market, or their assumptions that weren’t quite right. But many will succeed in the long run. And not because they had a better idea or a better business plan or a better operating environment.

No.

What will help them reach their dreams is that enthusiasm, that passion, that drive. We all get knocked down from time to time. The most successful people I know often have suffered serious setbacks or losses somewhere along the way. That’s not cliché. That’s reality. It’s the enthusiasm, the passion and the drive that helps them deal with those setbacks, that helps them overcome the challenges, that helps them get back on the horse when they fall off.”

I’ve long believed it’s important to do what you love. In fact, I’m increasingly convinced that’s true. That doesn’t mean you’ll love it every second. Nor does it mean it’s a guarantee of immediate success.

What it is, though, is the thing that will get you up off the ground when you’re knocked down — and if you’re like most of us, that will happen somewhere along the way. Bill Gates’ first company was called Traf-O-Data. While it wasn’t an outright failure, it didn’t exactly net him his billions. Warren Buffett couldn’t get a job with his hero, Ben Graham, when he first graduated college. Again, that seems to have worked out OK.

There’s nothing wrong with taking a look backwards every now and again — whether on your birthday, the day after a major project tanks, or whatever one appeals to you. But the folks who do what they love quickly absorb whatever lessons they can from the process, then “get back on the horse,” and start moving forward again. Gates’ love of computers and software led him to Microsoft; Buffett’s love of business and finance kept him in the game.

So, as the year starts to close, take a moment to reflect. Ask yourself, “Do I love what I’m doing? Will it sustain me through the tough times?” And if you find the answer is “No,” think about what it would take to get you there.

And, for those of you who answered “Yes,” you’ve got the best present you can have. For you, I’ll close with my thoughts from a couple years ago,

“…my birthday wish is that you find whatever it is that engages your energy and prods your passion (even though that [phrase] sounds a little dirty when I say it out loud). Each year goes a little faster than the one before it, so don’t waste your time worrying too much about what could go wrong. Some bad stuff will happen no matter what you do. That’s life. Just make the most of your time and do what it takes to make yourself—and the people you love—happy.”

If you’re interested in learning more about the future of e-commerce and marketing via the social, local, mobile web, register to receive a special report I’ve produced in conjunction with hotel marketing firm Vizergy, “Digital Hotel Marketing in a Multiscreen World.” While it’s targeted specifically at hotel and resort marketers, the lessons apply to just about any business. You can get your free copy of the report here.

You might also enjoy some of my past coverage of the social, local, mobile web and what it means for your business, including:

Tim Peter

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December 11, 2013

2014 Internet Marketing Trends Worth Watching – Thinks Out Loud Episode 54

December 11, 2013 | By | No Comments

Road to improvement

2014 Internet Marketing Trends Worth Watching Headlines and Show Notes

It’s All E-commerce, Revisited

Cognitive Computing, Deep Learning, Machine Learning

Putting it All Together

And, as promised, here are the slides I presented yesterday:


(And, yes… you can hire me to keynote your next event, too).

You can also register to receive a free copy of my special report, “Digital Hotel Marketing in a Multiscreen World,” produced in conjunction with Vizergy, here. While it’s targeted to the hospitality industry specifically, most of the lessons apply across verticals.

Contact information for the podcast: podcast@timpeter.com

Technical details: Recorded using a Shure SM57 microphone
through a Mackie Onyx Blackjack USB recording interface into Logic Express 9 for the Mac.

Running time: 17m 18s

You can subscribe to Thinks Out Loud in iTunes [iTunes link], subscribe via our dedicated podcast RSS feed (or better yet, given that Google has now killed Reader, sign up for our free newsletter). You can also download/listen to the podcast here on Thinks using the player below:

Tim Peter

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October 2, 2013

Google's SEO Shutdown?

October 2, 2013 | By | No Comments

Google's SEO Shutdown

Google’s SEO Shutdown Headlines

You can also register to receive a free copy of my special report, “Digital Hotel Marketing in a Multiscreen World,” produced in conjunction with Vizergy, here. While it’s targeted to the hospitality industry specifically, most of the lessons apply across verticals.

Contact information for the podcast: podcast@timpeter.com

Technical details: Recorded using a Shure SM57 microphone
through a Mackie Onyx Blackjack USB recording interface into Logic Express 9 for the Mac.

Running time: 19m 59s

You can subscribe to Thinks Out Loud in iTunes [iTunes link], subscribe via our dedicated podcast RSS feed (or better yet, given that Google has now killed Reader, sign up for our free newsletter). You can also download/listen to the podcast here on Thinks using the player below:

Tim Peter

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September 26, 2013

The Age of Context by Robert Scoble and Shel Israel (Book Review of the Week-ish)

September 26, 2013 | By | No Comments


“The future is already here; it’s just not evenly distributed.” William Gibson

So, I’m back with another (long overdue) installment of the Tim Peter Thinks “Book Review of the Week-ish.” But I couldn’t have picked a better book to bring back the feature with than Robert Scoble and Shel Israel’s “Age of Context: Mobile, Sensors, Data and the Future of Privacy,” a fantastic book that highlights what the future will look like and, in many ways, what today already does.

Because, as the William Gibson quote I highlight above so rightly points out, the future already exists. So much of what we’ll take for granted then, someday, exists now, today. Maybe the future exists in only a nascent form. But Scoble and Israel point clearly at what we should expect it to look like.

In case you doubt their ability to do this, remember that Scoble and Israel showed what the future of marketing would look like in their seminal work “Naked Conversations: How Blogs are Changing the Way Businesses Talk with Customers,” a book written in 2004 that got many things right about our current, content marketing-focused present.

If the book has any flaw, it’s that it’s unapologetically optimistic.

Me? I don’t mind.

But the authors’ enthusiasm for living a public life (in particular Scoble), opens the pair up to attacks of lacking seriousness or critical thinking. In fact, the authors avoid in-depth discussion of recent privacy issues highlighted during the recent NSA/Edward Snowden/Bradley Manning-type scandals until Chapter 12 of the book and even then, gloss over the topic a little more lightly that expected. It’s an unfortunate choice given how passionately many people feel about the issue.

Still, their reticence to tackle so weighty a topic in what is, ostensibly, a business-focused book is understandable (Full disclosure: I have avoided discussing the same topics at any length in my blog posts and podcasts, too).

However, for business leaders and (business book readers), “Age of Context: Mobile, Sensors, Data and the Future of Privacy” is required reading. By basing their observations on what exists today, profiling those pushing to make a given future happen—in effect, predicting the present more than the future—Scoble and Israel paint a compelling view of the what your future will look like. I highly recommend giving it a look. You just might like where we’re heading. And, if you don’t, you’ll at least know what to expect.

If you’re interested in learning more about the future of e-commerce and marketing via the social, local, mobile web, register to receive a special report I’ve produced in conjunction with hotel marketing firm Vizergy, “Digital Hotel Marketing in a Multiscreen World.” While it’s targeted specifically at hotel and resort marketers, the lessons apply to just about any business. You can get your free copy of the report here.

You might also enjoy some of our past book reviews, including:

Tim Peter

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September 3, 2013

Is Google Destined to Win?

September 3, 2013 | By | No Comments

Who is destined to win?

“…Destiny is just another word for inevitable, and nothing’s inevitable as long as you stand up, look it in the eye, and say, ‘You’re evitable!’” Winifred ‘Fred’ Burkle, Angel episode #3.7, “Offspring”

When it comes to the future of online travel—and, yes, that very much includes mobile—no one is “destined” to win. Not Google. Not Expedia. Not Booking.com. Nor Priceline, TripAdvisor, Hipmunk. No one.

For reals.

Take a look at a couple of companies who once were “destined” to win and where they are right now:

  • Travelocity all but created the online travel space. Now they’ve all but been purchased by Expedia.
  • Speaking of Expedia, everybody knew Expedia would dominate online travel. Yet, Priceline, TripAdvisor, and Booking.com have got the online travel giant looking over their shoulder with worry. Or, rather, wondering how they got passed so fast.

Despite compelling arguments to the contrary, Google is no more immune to market risks and competition than anyone else.

Now, don’t get me wrong. Google has a number of assets in its favor. They’ve built a remarkable machine for gathering and understanding customer data. They spend tremendous resources listening and responding to customer needs. And they’ve got a healthy head start.

Those undoubtably represent significant advantages relative to any resurgent heavyweight or upstart competitor.

But, plenty of upstarts have excelled throughout the years by exploiting larger rivals’ weaknesses and blind spots. It happens all the time, even when the bigger company ought to know better. For example, the market-leading Internet portal/search engine Excite—which had achieved its success by outmaneuvering Microsoft, Apple, Yahoo, and Netscape—once had the opportunity to buy a tiny startup offering a compelling new feature for the bargain basement price of $750,000 (Excite was then valued at $35 billion). Excite passed, feeling that a.) the price was too high for such a simple tool and, b.) their technology and strategic advantages would enable continued market dominance.

Um… yeah. That worked out well for Excite.

The startup’s name? C’mon, say it with me now: Google.

Google’s advantages today are much more significant than Excite’s were, of course. Just like Microsoft’s were in PC’s not too long ago. And Expedia’s in travel. And Blackberry’s in smartphones. And Nokia’s in feature phones.

Funny how that worked out for all those players, eh?

Unsurprisingly, Google isn’t exactly resting on its laurels. Plenty of start-ups and incumbent players recognize the opportunity and are pursuing it aggressively. As Glenn Gruber writes for Tnooz, “there is a major job still to be done in mobile travel.” Google’s making great moves in that area. But that doesn’t mean they’re destined to win.

The bad news, of course, is the same is true for you. The future belongs to those who show up, who plan, and who execute. Every. Single. Day. Destiny belongs to those who take it.

Vacation’s over. Let’s get to work.

If you’re interested in learning more about travel marketing and where it’s going—as well as lessons that apply to a host of other industries—register to receive a special report I’ve produced in conjunction with hotel marketing firm Vizergy, “Digital Hotel Marketing in a Multiscreen World.” You can get your free copy of the report here.

Finally, you might also enjoy some of our past coverage of these changes in the marketplace, including:

Tim Peter

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June 27, 2013

Tim Peter

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May 29, 2013

4 Amazing Global Internet Trends

May 29, 2013 | By | 3 Comments

Mary Meeker’s semi-annual report on the state of the Internet is out. And, wow, are there some serious takeaways worth reviewing. Here are the highlights:

Mobile’s on fire

Mobile now represents 15% of all Internet traffic — and its market penetration at only 21% globally. It’s at 31% annual growth and its trend line continues to accelerate. I’ve been bullish on mobile for a while. This is why:

15% mobile traffic growth and accelerating

And “wearables,” “drivables,” “flyables,” and “scannables” may change the game further — each generation of technology, historically, increases the number of users by a factor of 10:

Technology shifts drive 10x increase in use

Tablet growth is sick

I don’t know any other word for it. Check out the orange trend line:

Tablet growth is ridiculous

Obviously, not all tablet usage is mobile. I’ve said many times that mobile is a situation, not a device. But your customers’ experience will continue to rely on “touch” and voice experiences at the expense of the keyboard-and-mouse world we’ve taken for granted over the years.

Sharing is big and getting bigger

There’s big growth in consumer sharing, both in terms of percentages and in terms of the channels your customers use. As I noted yesterday, this trend will likely increase the number of places your customers shop and push conversion rates lower. The positive, though, is that it increases opportunities to reach customers and gets your existing audience to tell your story. So, there is that:

Sharing is big, getting bigger

The visual web

I’ve talked about how the web is increasingly visual before. But the numbers boggle my mind, with more than 500 million photos uploaded daily and more than 100 hours of video uploaded to YouTube every minute:

Daily photo uploads

100 hours of YouTube video uploaded each minute

There’s tons of good stuff I’m leaving out here, of course, including the importance of global growth (especially China), the changing market for entrepreneurs, and lots more. You can (and should) review the whole presentation here:

Interested in learning more? Register to receive a free copy of my new special report, “Digital Hotel Marketing in a Multiscreen World,” produced in conjunction with Vizergy, here. While it’s targeted to the hospitality industry specifically, most of the lessons apply across verticals. And, if that’s not enough, you might also enjoy some of our past coverage of the social, local, mobile web, including:

Tim Peter

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May 24, 2013

Nothing Bigger Than Mobile Internet

May 24, 2013 | By | No Comments

Mobile enoughThe Washington Post has a look at new data from the McKinsey Global Institute. The big takeaway?

“McKinsey folks believe that the most economically significant technologies over the next decade-plus will be those already well underway in their development — the mobile Internet, largely in place in the advanced world and rapidly growing in emerging markets; the automation of knowledge work, things such as computerized voices that can handle many customer service calls; the “Internet of things,” such as embedding sensors in physical objects to monitor the flow of products through a factory; and cloud computing. Each of these areas of innovation, in the McKinsey telling, will be worth north of $1 trillion to the world economy by 2025, even on the low side of their range.”

Not a shocker, really. You can read the whole write-up here.

Now, I’ve been talking a lot about the automation of knowledge work this week and have been relatively bullish on mobile for some time. But, it’s increasingly obvious that we’re really just at the beginning of the Internet revolution. Ought to be fun.

If you’re interested in learning more about this, register to receive a free copy of my new special report, “Digital Hotel Marketing in a Multiscreen World,” produced in conjunction with Vizergy, here. While it’s targeted to the hospitality industry specifically, most of the lessons apply across verticals. And, if that’s not enough, you might also enjoy some of our past coverage of the social, local, mobile web, including: