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September 20, 2017

Maybe Facebook’s Data Problem Is Your Data Problem (Thinks Out Loud Episode 203)

September 20, 2017 | By | No Comments

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Maybe Facebook's Data Problem Is Your Data Problem (Thinks Out Loud Episode 203)

Maybe Facebook’s Data Problem Is Your Data Problem (Thinks Out Loud Episode 203) – Headlines and Show Notes

Subscribe to Thinks Out Loud

Contact information for the podcast: podcast@timpeter.com

Past Insights from Tim Peter Thinks

You might also want to check out these slides I had the pleasure of presenting recently about the key trends shaping marketing in the next year. Here are the slides for your reference:

Technical Details for Thinks Out Loud

Recorded using a Heil Sound PR 30 Large Diaphragm Multipurpose Dynamic Microphone through a Cloud Microphones CL-1 Cloudlifter Mic Activator and a Mackie Onyx Blackjack USB recording interface into Logic Express 9 for the Mac.

Running time: 12m 11s

You can subscribe to Thinks Out Loud in iTunes [iTunes link], the Google Play Store, via our dedicated podcast RSS feed )(or sign up for our free newsletter). You can also download/listen to the podcast here on Thinks using the player at the top of this page.

Maybe Facebook's Data Problem Is Your Data Problem

Maybe Facebook's Data Problem Is Your Data Problem: Introduction

Well hello again everyone and welcome back to Thinks Out Loud, your source for all the digital marketing expertise your business needs. My name is Tim Peter, today is Wednesday, September 20, 2017 and this is episode 203 of the big show. Thank you again for tuning in, I really do appreciate it and I think we’ve got a terrific show for you this week.

Maybe Facebook's Data Problem Is Your Data Problem: Situation Analysis

So, a couple week’s ago, I made a reasoned, rational argument for why Facebook’s data problem is their problem, not yours. I set up my thesis, I built some supporting arguments, and I think, I nailed it. Brilliantly. Well done me, right?

Well, wait for it.

Because later that same day, the day I posted that episode, news broke that alleges Facebook sold ads to Russians looking to influence the US presidential election.

Um… whoops.

That same day, ProPublica proved that you could target Facebook ads specifically to anti-Semites using some horrific language on the site.

Um… Bigger whoops.

And, then, to add insult to injury, two days later, the Equifax news hit.

Which is just like “whoops” times infinity.

Now, I’ve mentioned a few times that data represents the crown jewels for your business. Right? Content is king, customer experience is queen, and data is the crown jewels. And if you’re somebody like Facebook or Equifax (or for that matter, Google, Amazon, Microsoft, and Apple), that’s putting it mildly. These folks live for data. These are massive companies, with massive influence in our lives, who choose the news we read, the ads we see, our ability to get credit and buy things and a whole host of other behaviors we engage in and rely upon every single day. That’s not just the crown jewels. That’s the whole bloody treasury, palace, and kingdom.

And while I’m leery of excessive regulation, a number of influential thinkers all across the political spectrum have begun to ask, rightly, whether these folks have too much power in our lives — and more importantly, whether they’ve demonstrated the ability to wield that power wisely.

The biggest threat facing Facebook and Google and Equifax and all the rest right now isn’t from their traditional competitors. And it’s not from a stereotypical couple of brilliant kids in a garage. Their problem, their biggest threat, is much bigger than that.

Because the real threat that Facebook and Google face is from consumers turning on them, losing faith in their ability to keep our data safe, and driving regulators to, well, regulate. Equifax underscores these dangers. Big. Time. And if customers begin to see the tech giants in a similar light, watch out.

According to TechCrunch, Facebook had to give testimony to special investigator Robert Mueller. The Atlantic Magazine published a series of articles detailing how and why Facebook should be regulated. Pierre Omidyar, who founded eBay and is nobody’s idea of a luddite, has been ranting on Twitter for the last several weeks about why Facebook should be regulated.

And it’s not just Facebook. Google faces increasing scrutiny in Europe for alleged anticompetitive practices. The New York Times in an article this past April asked, “Is It Time to Break Up Google?” Fortune Magazine suggested in July that Google and Facebook may need antitrust regulation.

And don’t get me started on Equifax. In this specific case, I agree they deserve almost anything that’s coming to them. But I don’t take pleasure in any of this. Nor should you.

Yes, there are editorials online, in newspapers, and in magazines. Yes, there will be hearings in Congress. And, yes, there will be consequences, at least in terms of additional regulation. The industry has done a terrible job taking care of the crown jewels. Others are getting set to step in to say how it should be done.

But that’s why you can’t take pleasure in this. Because at that point Facebook’s data problem might be your problem. Because those regulations might fall squarely on your shoulders too. Talk to anyone who’s beginning to deal with regulations such as the General Data Protection Regulation in Europe (better known as GDPR) and they’ll tell you what I’m talking about. It’s an onerous, complex process. And that’s before any of this happened.

This is a big, honkin’ deal, one you’ll likely have to deal with too.

Now, let’s be fair, this is larger than a marketing problem. But that doesn’t mean marketing shouldn’t care about it. We collect an extraordinary amount of data about our customers. And I have and will argue in the future that we should. But only if we’re:

  1. Clear in our intentions for data use and retention.
  2. Upfront with our customers about how we’re going to use that data.
  3. Prepared to let them opt-out if they don’t want us to use that data that way, and
  4. Ready to protect that data from the thieves and hackers, amateur and professional, who are looking to get their hands on that same data, whether for profit or for the lulz.

If you can’t say, “Yes, I’m ready” to each of those four items, it’s probably worth asking yourself whether you ought to be collecting that data in the first place. In the immortal words of Ian Malcolm in the movie Jurassic Park, “Your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could that they didn't stop to think if they should.” Don’t be that guy.

Maybe Facebook's Data Problem Is Your Data Problem: Antitrust

Now, before you say, “This couldn’t really happen, though,” remember that it already has. There was no antitrust regulation in the US until the late 19th century. But once Senator Sherman declared "If we will not endure a king as a political power we should not endure a king over the production, transportation, and sale of any of the necessaries of life,” we ended up with the Sherman Act of 1890.

And just as Sherman thought it was a bad ides to have a king over “the production, transportation, and sale of any of the necessaries of life,” some other enterprising politician could easily declare, “If our personal and private data about our lives and intentions truly represents the crown jewels, how can we entrust those jewels to any party unwilling to defend those jewels as if the very kingdom depends upon them?”

OK, so I’m not the orator John Sherman was. But you get the point.

Maybe Facebook's Data Problem Is Your Data Problem Summary

Equifax has shown just how dangerous it is to leave the crown jewels in the wrong hands. Facebook and Google have shown exactly how much the data they possess affects our day-to-day lives. And regulators have shown their willingness to act, at least when the public demands it.

You need to get ahead of the situation. You need to work with your IT team and your vendors to ensure that, just like I said before, you’re:

  1. Clear in your intentions for data use and retention. Why are you gathering that data? For what purpose?
  2. You need to be upfront with your customers about how we’re going to use that data. How’s it going to be stored? What’s it going to be used for? And ensure that they’re safe and secure
  3. Prepared to let your customers opt-out if they choose, and
  4. That you’re ready to protect that data from the folks who want to get their hands on those crown jewels for their own purposes.

Because, it’s a pretty safe bet that before too long, Facebook’s data problem — and Google’s data problem and Equifax’s data problem — are gonna turn out to be your data problem too.

Conclusion

Now looking at the clock on the wall we are out of time for this week. I do want to remind you that you can find the show notes for today's episode as well as an archive of all episodes by going to Tim Peter.com/podcast. Again that's Tim Peter.com/podcast. Just look for episode 203. And while you're there you can click on the subscribe link in any of the episodes you find so you get us delivered to your favorite podcatcher every single week. You can also subscribe in iTunes or the Google Play Music store or Stitcher Radio or whatever your favorite podcatcher happens to be. Just do a search for Tim Peter Thinks, Tim Peter Thinks Out Loud, or plain old Thinks Out Loud, we should show up for any of those. And if you'd be willing to provide a rating on iTunes, the Google Play Store, or Stitcher Radio while you're there, I would really appreciate it. You can also contact me by going to Facebook.com/TimPeterAssociates, on Twitter using the Twitter handle @tcpeter, or via email by emailing podcast@TimPeter.com again that's podcast@TimPeter.com. With that I want to say thanks again for tuning in, I really do appreciate it. I hope you have a fantastic weekend, a great week ahead, and I will look forward to talking with you back here on Thinks Out Loud again next week. Until then take care everybody.

Tim Peter

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September 6, 2017

Facebook’s Data Problem (Thinks Out Loud Episode 202)

September 6, 2017 | By | No Comments

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Facebook's Data Problem: Screenshot of Facebook.com

Facebook’s Data Problem (Thinks Out Loud Episode 202) – Headlines and Show Notes

Subscribe to Thinks Out Loud

Contact information for the podcast: podcast@timpeter.com

Past Insights from Tim Peter Thinks

You might also want to check out these slides I had the pleasure of presenting recently about the key trends shaping marketing in the next year. Here are the slides for your reference:

Technical Details for Thinks Out Loud

Recorded using a Heil Sound PR 30 Large Diaphragm Multipurpose Dynamic Microphone through a Cloud Microphones CL-1 Cloudlifter Mic Activator and a Mackie Onyx Blackjack USB recording interface into Logic Express 9 for the Mac.

Running time: 15m 32s

You can subscribe to Thinks Out Loud in iTunes [iTunes link], the Google Play Store, via our dedicated podcast RSS feed )(or sign up for our free newsletter). You can also download/listen to the podcast here on Thinks using the player at the top of this page.

Facebook’s Data Problem – Thinks Out Loud Episode 202 (September 6, 2017) Transcript

Introduction

Well hello again everyone and welcome back to Thinks Out Loud, your source for all the digital marketing expertise your business needs. My name is Tim Peter, today is Wednesday, September 6, 2017 and this is episode 202 of the big show. Thank you once again for tuning in, I really do appreciate it. I’ve got a terrific show for you this week.

Now I have to do something a little unusual today and that is provide a disclosure: I’m going to be talking a lot about Facebook and I think it’s important to note that I own a small number of shares of Facebook, that represent about 0.7 percent of my portfolio. I don’t think that introduces any bias into the conversation, but, obviously, you should know that and judge accordingly. Also, of course, I think it’s really important to note that I’m about to look at the company from the point of view of marketing professionals, so please don’t take any of this as investment advice. This is all about what you do as a marketer, not as an investor.

Now with all that out of the way, it's really interesting what's happening with Facebook these days. They really represent a study in contrasts for marketers and customers alike and a lot of that contrast really has to do with their data problems. And they have a number of them.

Facebook’s Data Problem: Miscounting Subscribers

According to Fortune and Pivotal Research Group:

…Pivotal Research Group senior analyst Brian Wieser pointed out a large discrepancy between U.S. census data and the potential reach that the social network promises advertisers.

I’m still quoting the Fortune article here:

On Tuesday, Wieser issued a note pointing out that Facebook's Adverts Manager tool promises a potential reach of 41 million 18-24 year-olds in the U.S., while recent census data said there only 31 million people living in the U.S. within that age range.

For 25-34 year-olds, Facebook claims a potential reach of 60 million, versus the 45 million people counted in the census last year.

So to recap that, Facebook claims it’s reaching somewhere between 25 and 35% more 18 to 34-year-olds then the U.S. Census shows exist. That’s not great.

Now, there could be multiple causes for this:

  1. Some people have more than one account. Whether for legitimate reasons or less legitimate reasons (more on that in a moment), it’s entirely possible people have more than one account on Facebook and so the social network is double counting those people
  2. Older people (and, who are we kidding, it’s probably creepy old guys mostly) with only one account might be lying about their age for any number of reasons that I'm not getting into, right, or, most likely…
  3. Some combination of the first two

Still, that is an issue.

Additionally, a year ago, Facebook had to apologize for “artificially inflating” the number of video views on the site. Those are big deals, right? Those are really big deals. But they’re tough to reconcile with the fact that we also think that Facebook knows everything.

Facebook’s Data Problem: They Know Everything

At the same time, Facebook — with the possible exception of Google — has data about that’s second to none. Kashmir Hill wrote a piece on Gizmodo called “Facebook Figured Out My Family Secrets, And It Won’t Tell Me How.” It’s a crazy story, and I have to quote it at some length for you to get a sense of exactly how crazy. So, here’s the quote:

“And then there was Rebecca Porter. She showed up on the list after about a month: an older woman, living in Ohio, with whom I had no Facebook friends in common. I did not recognize her, but her last name was familiar. My biological grandfather is a man I’ve never met, with the last name Porter, who abandoned my father when he was a baby. My father was adopted by a man whose last name was Hill, and he didn’t find out about his biological father until adulthood.

The Porter family lived in Ohio. Growing up half a country away, in Florida, I’d known these blood relatives were out there, but there was no reason to think I would ever meet them.

I’m going to fast-forward through this…

I sent the woman a Facebook message explaining the situation and asking if she was related to my biological grandfather.

“Yes,” she wrote back.

Rebecca Porter, we discovered, is my great aunt, by marriage. She is married to my biological grandfather’s brother; she met him 35 years ago, the year after I was born.

Facebook knew my family tree better than I did.

Now that’s crazy. It's connecting people who, apart from this biological relationship several generations back, have nothing in common in the real world, and knew that these two people should know one another. I had a similar thing happen when Facebook recommended I add as a friend a contractor who’s done some regular work on my house, who I found online about 10 years ago, and have no connection to in any other way. Again, crazy how much they know about us.

Facebook’s Data Problem: Analysis

So, which is it? Is Facebook the panopticon, all-seeing, all-knowing, trapping us in its omniscient vision? Or is it a flawed system that defrauds advertisers and fleeces us using fake data?

The easy answer, of course, is “why not both?” But that’s not really fair to Facebook. And it’s not accurate.

I don’t think Facebook willfully lies to people. I strongly suspect, like many companies, they may view data through whatever prism is most aligned with their incentives. They clearly need to attract advertising dollars to drive their continued growth and where they have the greatest opportunities and incentives, they’re re going to position those numbers in whatever way makes those numbers most attractive to advertisers. Which might sound like they're lying, but I think it's more looking at the world through rose-colored glasses. They may not be saying things that are hundred percent accurate but I do think it is something that they’re incented to see most positively.

I also strongly suspect that they’re going to struggle to find those ad dollars in the future without seriously changing their product. Now they're doing some of this will already, which talk about in a moment, but I mentioned a few weeks ago that P&G cut $140 million from its digital advertising spend due to “brand safety concerns and ineffective ads.” P&G is the biggest advertiser in the world, spending $2.4 billion last year according to Advertising Week. Now, when Facebook cut its spend, the Wall Street Journal reported that “P&G indicated it wouldn’t pull back on overall Facebook spending.”

But, let’s be fair, they haven’t indicated whether they’re increasing that spend either. And this is where we get to the crux of the issue and how I would look at it if I were you.

Facebook’s Data Problem – Reach vs. Targeting

P&G has a very specific need: They want reach. That’s why TV advertising still works brilliantly for the company; they can put their message in front of more people on TV than just about anywhere else. And that’s why Facebook is itself getting heavily into the video space to compete not only with YouTube, but with traditional television as well. Its Facebook Watch offering is only the latest step in that direction.

But Facebook’s greatest strength right now — despite its 2 billion monthly active users — is not reach. It’s the ability to target those users individually. Even the “bogus” numbers of “how many 18-34 year olds are there on the site” aren’t terribly important in that context. Now don’t get me wrong; I’m not saying it’s great that Facebook’s numbers are off. It’s just not as big a deal as the Fortune article would have you believe… unless you’re trying for the broadest possible reach.

If you’re looking to connect with a tightly-targeted audience, especially at the top of the funnel, nothing compares with Facebook. Facebook knows more about your customers than just about anyone, including, possibly, Google. And marketing on Facebook works brilliantly. According to recent research from CPC Strategy and available on eMarketer,

…over one-quarter of US internet users had made a purchase after clicking on an ad they came across on Facebook. Meanwhile, just 7% of those who didn’t click on an ad completed a purchase as well. The survey also found that those who did click on a Facebook ad were roughly 3.5 more times likely to buy a product than those who didn’t.

Those numbers were dramatically higher for Facebook than other social networks. The same eMarketer article shows that “…just 1% of respondents ages 13 and older said they made a purchase based on a Snapchat ad they saw, and only 4% said they bought anything based on an Instagram ad.” By contrast, 16% of Facebook users bought something based on an ad. Now that's different research in the same article but given that those numbers:

  1. Are self-reported, as opposed to behavioral, and,
  2. Include internet users who are not active social media users

It’s pretty safe to assume Facebook’s influence is much higher. My own research and research from friends of mine like Rob Petersen certainly suggest so.

Facebook’s Data Problem: Summary

So, yes, Facebook has a data problem. It’s likely miscounting people for any number of reasons, most of them likely innocent at least as far as Facebook’s behavior is concerned.

If you’re looking for reach, Facebook’s data problem is your problem too. They need to understand exactly how many unique individuals your advertising will reach. That’s going to be a problem for the company as they look to expand their video offering to compete with YouTube via Facebook Watch.

If on the other hand, you’re looking to connect with a richly targeted audience, don’t worry too much about the numbers Facebook reports. Instead, look at your own numbers. See whether Facebook is driving profitable traffic and conversions through your own channels. If they are, does it really matter whether how many people they’re reaching? In fact, their miscounting might actually make Facebook’s performance look worse than it is by artificially increasing your impressions, and undercounting clickthrough rates.

The point is, don’t believe the hype. I’ve mentioned many times content is King, customer experience is Queen, and data is the crown jewels. This is a perfect example of why you want to use your data to see if Facebook is producing the results you want. It’s not great that Facebook has a data problem. But that doesn’t mean you have to make it be your problem too.

Conclusion

Now looking at the clock on the wall we are out of time for this week. I do want to remind you that you can find the show notes for today's episode as well as an archive of all episodes by going to Tim Peter.com/podcast. Again that's Tim Peter.com/podcast. Just look for episode 202. And while you're there you can click on the subscribe link in any of the episodes you find there so you get us delivered to your favorite podcatcher every single week. You can also subscribe in iTunes or the Google Play Music store or Stitcher Radio or whatever your favorite podcatcher happens to be. Just do a search for Tim Peter Thinks, Tim Peter Thinks Out Loud, or plain old Thinks Out Loud, we should show up for any of those. And if you'd be willing to provide a rating on iTunes, the Google Play Store, or Stitcher Radio while you're there, I would really appreciate it. You can also contact me by going to Facebook.com/TimPeterAssociates, on Twitter using the Twitter handle @tcpeter, or via email by emailing podcast@TimPeter.com again that's podcast@TimPeter.com. With that I want to say thanks again for tuning in, I really do appreciate it. I hope you have a fantastic weekend and I will look forward to talking with you back here on Thinks Out Loud again next week. Until then take care everybody.

Tim Peter

By

August 4, 2017

5 High-Impact E-commerce, Digital and Social Strategy Posts You Won’t Want to Miss: E-commerce Link Digest

August 4, 2017 | By | No Comments

5 High-Impact E-commerce, Digital and Social Strategy Posts You Won't Want to Miss: E-commerce Link DigestLooking to drive results for your business? Click here to learn more.


Howdy, Big Thinkers, and welcome to this week’s edition of the E-commerce Link Digest Series. Hope this week was amazing for you. I thought you might want to round out a really successful week with these 5 high-impact e-commerce, digital and social strategy posts you won’t want to miss. Enjoy:

  1. Kicking things off, Ross Quintana at CMO.com wrote this amazing post promoting this mantra, “Say It With Me: Your Customer Is Your Business.” All I can say is, “Hell, yeah!”
  2. I know I shared this with you a couple of weeks ago, but it’s worth taking another look at We Are Social’s explanation of “How Brands Can Make Social Commerce Work.” Truly terrific insights there.
  3. While we’re talking about digital and commerce, why not take another look at this popular post that asks, “Will E-commerce Kill Retail?”
  4. And, continuing that theme, don’t miss these “9 Great Posts Focused on Digital Transformation, Strategy, and AI” from E-commerce Link Digest Series. Good stuff, not to be missed.
  5. Finally, let’s finish out this list of 5 high-impact e-commerce, digital and social strategy posts you won’t want to miss by taking another look at “How Can You Succeed at Digital Marketing Next Year? 17 Great Posts Offer Answers.” Bet you’ll be glad you did.

You might also want to check out these slides I had the pleasure of presenting recently about the key trends shaping marketing in the next year. Here are the slides for your reference:

Finally, you might enjoy some of these past posts from Thinks to help you build your e-commerce strategy and your digital success:

Tim Peter

By

May 11, 2017

When Marketing Fails: Getting Dumped (Thinks Out Loud Episode 193)

May 11, 2017 | By | No Comments

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When marketing fails: Frustrated marketers getting dumped by customers

When Marketing Fails: Getting Dumped (Thinks Out Loud Episode 193) – Headlines and Show Notes

Subscribe to Thinks Out Loud

Contact information for the podcast: podcast@timpeter.com

Past Insights from Tim Peter Thinks

You might also want to check out these slides I had the pleasure of presenting recently about the key trends shaping marketing in the next year. Here are the slides for your reference:

Technical Details for Thinks Out Loud

Recorded using a Heil Sound PR 30 Large Diaphragm Multipurpose Dynamic Microphone through a Cloud Microphones CL-1 Cloudlifter Mic Activator and a Mackie Onyx Blackjack USB recording interface into Logic Express 9 for the Mac.

Running time: 13m 11s

You can subscribe to Thinks Out Loud in iTunes [iTunes link], the Google Play Store, via our dedicated podcast RSS feed )(or sign up for our free newsletter). You can also download/listen to the podcast here on Thinks using the player at the top of this page.

Tim Peter

By

May 15, 2016

7 Sensational Social Hospitality Marketing Insights: Hospitality Marketing Link Digest

May 15, 2016 | By | No Comments

Sensational social hospitality marketing insightsHey, Big Thinkers! Hope you’re having a great weekend. No big setup this week, just 7 sensational social hospitality marketing insights from the past week for today’s Hospitality Marketing Link Digest entry. Enjoy:

  1. Revinate explains what Facebook’s algorithm change means for hotels on social media. Tnooz also offers 10 reasons why Dynamic Ads for Travel from Facebook heralds a new era of travel marketing. A really worthwhile read, especially when you remember that it’s Facebook’s world and we’re all living in it.
  2. Ryan Solutions looks at the incredibly short shelf life of hotel and resort social media posts. Doesn’t that make you wonder is social a waste of time for hotel marketers? Spoiler: It’s not. But the key is focusing on measurement and doubling down on those areas where social works effectively for your property.
  3. Speaking of using social effectively for your property, Debbie Miller over on Maximize Social Business uncovers 4 ways hotels can use social media to grow their email list, which is a great step towards engaging your hotel’s secret sales force.
  4. Research from Adobe Digital Index’s “2016 Travel Report” suggests that July Fourth online travel spend will top Cyber Monday, which begs the question: where are all the mobile bookings?
  5. Christopher Regalado writes on Leonardo’s blog that you can drive more hotel bookings with intelligent, personal content. Damn straight. We recently outlined why hotel marketing depends on personalization and offered this presentation about maximizing data to put personalization to work for your property:

    Of course, you’ve got to remember that personalization starts with a person.

  6. Personalization represents just one of the four key elements of modern hospitality marketing, while mobile and social play important complementary roles. Make sure you’re putting these to work for your property.
  7. Finally, don’t miss these 8 Excellent Hotel E-Commerce Insights from our ongoing Hospitality Marketing Link Digest series. They add even more insights and context to the items above and will help you improve your property marketing efforts, whether on mobile, social, or the plain ol’ web.

If you’re looking to learn even more about how changing guest behavior shapes hospitality marketing, e-commerce, and distribution, be sure an 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 want to take a moment to review the slides from my recent seminar, “Digital Marketing Directions 2016: The Key Trends Driving Your Hotel Marketing Next Year” here:

Finally, you will definitely want to check out some of our past coverage of the mobile, local, social web and how to make it work for your hotel, including:

Tim Peter

By

October 24, 2015

6 Spectacular Social, Mobile and E-commerce Insights: E-commerce Link Digest

October 24, 2015 | By | No Comments

6 spectacular social, mobile and e-commerce insights for youAnother week, another great Link Digest for you, Big Thinkers, this one rounding-up 6 spectacular social, mobile and e-commerce insights for you. So, while you’re settling in on this fine fall weekend, take a few minutes to read through the whole set. Enjoy:

  1. TechCrunch reports on Amazon filing suit against individuals offering fake product reviews on Fiverr.com, which is kind of a big deal. Managing your ratings and reviews remains the single most effective way to improve your brand’s digital marketing and it helps no one — not consumers, not brands, not anyone — to undermine the trust that rating and review sites engender among consumers. While gaming these sites may also be illegal in some jurisdictions, violating false advertising laws, we should all be glad Amazon has gone after the bad guys here. I’ll have a bunch more to say about this topic in the next few days, but for now, let’s give credit where due.
  2. On a highly related note, Convince and Conversion explains why customer experience is the ultimate marketing tool, a point I wholeheartedly agree with. With that in mind, you’ll want to read this eMarketer explanation, “How to Win at Customer Service: Keep It Simple.” Really good stuff.
  3. Meanwhile, in the world of mobile payments, a topic we’ve covered around here a time or two (or three. Or four), Quartz reports that Sweden is on its way to becoming the first cashless society on Earth, while TechCrunch asks, “Where Does Apple Pay Stand On Its First Birthday?” Mobile Commerce Daily thinks it knows the answer and explains why Apple Pay’s second year will be harder than its first, takes a look at finding the best payment solution for the retailer and also offers great coverage of digitizing stored value: apps and wallets, wallets and apps, and PSFK shows how wearable technology is powering seamless payments. Really, really good stuff all around.
  4. Speaking of Mobile Commerce Daily, you’ll really want to check out their tips to increase conversion by removing friction in mobile user experience design. See what I did there? I tied the user experience topic addressed in our second item with the mobile stuff we were just talking about. Which is kind of the point. All of this stuff really fits together seamlessly. Or, it does when you make it fit together seamlessly for your customers.
  5. On the social front, Mark Schaefer outlines five unbelievable social media mistakes you may be making right now, Marketing Charts gives a social media update: adoption trends, by demographic, Business Insider reveals Facebook’s e-commerce updates, and Thinks (that’s us), asks two important questions: “Should Facebook Take the Place of Your Brand’s Website?” and “Google, Apple or Facebook: Who’ll Win the Mobile Web?”
  6. And I can think of no better way to round out this week’s round-up than with this quote from Chris Dixon on Twitter:

    Damn straight.

Hope you have a big weekend, Big Thinkers and a great week ahead!

If you’re interested in learning more about making the social, mobile web work for your customers, be sure to check out these “6 Must-See Mobile Commerce Messages for You,” these “8 Excellent Autumn E-commerce and Digital Marketing Posts,” this set of “9 Digital Marketing Must-Reads for You This Weekend” and other entries from our E-commerce Link Digest series, plus these “7 Special E-Commerce and Digital Marketing Trending Topics: The Top Posts of September, 2015.”

And if you want learn even more about how your customers’ changing behavior shapes e-commerce and marketing, be sure and 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 can also check out these slides and video from my recent webinar, “Digital Marketing Directions: Three Key Trends Driving Your Marketing Next Year”:

And, finally, you might want to take a look at some of our past coverage of the e-commerce, mobile commerce, and digital marketing overall, including:

Tim Peter

By

October 3, 2015

9 Digital Marketing Must-Reads for You This Weekend: E-commerce Link Digest

October 3, 2015 | By | No Comments

9 digital marketing must-reads for you this weekendI don’t know about you, but we’ve been battening down the hatches here in the Northeast. Hope you’re safe, warm, and dry wherever you may be. If you’re stuck inside, here’s a look at 9 digital marketing must-reads for you this weekend. Enjoy:

  1. Leading off, our friends at The Future of Commerce suggest it’s time to get digitally native. Absolutely.
  2. Mobile Marketer says the heyday for hashtags has passed for marketers. I’m inclined to agree, with a couple caveats. Hashtags have their place in certain cases, but, more often than not, they’re increasingly difficult to make work. Better to focus on content that your customers care to share organically — and on your brand itself — than a forced “social” discussion.
  3. Continuing with social news, Amazon dominates social, but Nordstrom and Costco excel at it, according to the fine folks at Mobile Marketer.
  4. Mobile Commerce Daily reports how Starbucks steams up sales with its national Mobile Order and Pay expansion. Just one more example that illustrates why mobile payments will rule.
  5. Quartz highlights how Facebook is bringing immersive, 360-degree VR videos to your newsfeed. I’m not sure where this is headed for marketers yet, but definitely think it’s worth watching (no pun intended). And while we’re talking about wearables, PSFK says these smart clothes will track your every move. The real key for businesses here is the data these new technologies will make available about customers. And that’s worth watching too.
  6. A recent episode of Thinks Out Loud, our weekly e-commerce and digital marketing podcast asks, “Is This The Death of Google?” Be sure to listen to the whole thing to see what “this” is.
  7. Another key question, this one from Mobile Commerce Daily, asks “Do ride-sharing app partnerships drive revenue, awareness for brands?” Good stuff.
  8. The Nieman Journalism Lab says that Google’s grab of Oyster suggests ebooks, like news, are becoming “content” read on big platforms, which signals a significant shift in customer behavior. Keep that in mind as you develop your content initiatives, too.
  9. And, in closing, don’t miss this Thinks Out Loud episode that considers “Mobile Websites: Responsive, Adaptive, and RESS, Oh My!” Good stuff.

If you’re interested in learning more, make sure to check out these “9 Digital Trends You’ll Want to See,” these “7 Spectacular Digital Marketing Trends,” this set “10 E-Commerce Trends Worth Watching” and other entries from our E-commerce Link Digest series, plus these 8 Awesome August E-commerce Insights: The Top Posts of August, 2015

And if you want learn even more about how your customers’ changing behavior shapes e-commerce and marketing, be sure and 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 can also check out these slides and video from my recent webinar, “Digital Marketing Directions: Three Key Trends Driving Your Marketing Next Year”:

And, finally, you might want to take a look at some of our past coverage of the e-commerce, mobile commerce, and digital marketing overall, including:

Tim Peter

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August 26, 2015

Is Social Media Marketing Dead? Thinks Out Loud Episode 135

August 26, 2015 | By | No Comments

Is social media marketing dead? Probably not.

Is Social Media Marketing Dead? – Headlines and Show Notes

You might also want to check out these slides I had the pleasure of presenting recently about how to lead mobile-focused digital transformation within large organizations (a topic we’ve been talking about a fair bit lately). Here are the slides for your reference:

Contact information for the podcast: podcast@timpeter.com

Technical details: Recorded using an Audio-Technica AT2035 studio condenser microphone through a Mackie Onyx Blackjack USB recording interface into Logic Express 9 for the Mac.

Running time: 16m 54s

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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March 27, 2015

8 Amazing Social, Mobile, Millennial Marketing and E-Commerce Posts

March 27, 2015 | By | No Comments

Social, mobile, Millennial marketing and e-commerceAnother busy week, Big Thinkers, so we’re going to get right to the list with this round-up of 8 amazing social, mobile, Millennial marketing and e-commerce posts. Enjoy:

  1. Leading off, eMarketer tells us that mobile will account for 72% of US digital ad spend by 2019. Um… that’s a lot. Of course, when you consider that, no, Millennials never put down their phones and that the path to purchase starts and ends on smartphones for UK Millennials (and probably most others, too), it’s not terribly surprising.
  2. All of the above highlights why I believe mobile will disrupt your industry and offer 3 ways to protect your business. With the number of mobile and Millennial milestones we keep reaching, it’s happening incredibly fast, too.
  3. One of the biggest disruptions ahead is coming in the form of Google’s new “mobile-friendly” algorithm. As Search Engine Land notes, Google’s mobile-friendly algorithm is bigger than Panda or Penguin and the company has also clarified that the mobile-friendly algorithm will roll out over a week, be a yes/no response & more.
  4. GetElastic also helps you get ready for your mobile-heavy customers, with a look at mobile content in context: rules of responsive experience and these 7 tips for targeting the mobile-only shopper. Outstanding stuff there.
  5. Further underscoring the importance of mobile, TechCrunch notes that Yelp hooks up with startups to offer a larger selection of e-commerce bookings. That also underscores my “predication” about why Apple might choose Yelp as its go-to search engine.
  6. And this boom in mobile e-commerce is the reason eMarketer advises you to make way for the digital, deal-seeking Millennial mother. Good read.
  7. Shifting to social, Marketing Charts asks, “Why Do Millennials Use Facebook and Twitter?” and BuzzFeed News says that Facebook is eating the Internet. What you really want to do, of course, it tie Millennials, mobile, marketing, social and e-commerce together, which is the point of my recent presentation, “Social Media Integration: All Marketing is Social.”
  8. And while we’re on the topic of “putting it all together,” take a few minutes to review another recent presentation, “Putting Digital to Work: 4 Key Actions to Drive Digital Transformation,”, read the 4 keys to executing on digital or listen to a recent podcast that explains why, in in digital marketing, the money is in the list.

Hope you enjoyed this look at 8 amazing social, mobile, Millennial marketing and e-commerce posts. If you’re looking for even more good stuff, don’t miss this “Baker’s Dozen of the Best Mobile, E-Commerce, and Digital Marketing Writings This Week,” these “10 Hugely Important Digital, Mobile, and E-Commerce Observations from the Past Week”, the “8 Must-Read Posts Connecting Content, Search and Mobile Commerce”, our monthly best of round-up “10 Can’t Miss Mobile Commerce and Marketing Columns: The Top Posts from February 2015” or the rest of our E-commerce Link Digest series.

And if you want to learn even more about how customers changing behavior shapes e-commerce and marketing, be sure an 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 can also check out these slides and video from my recent webinar, “Digital Marketing Directions: Three Key Trends Driving Your Marketing Next Year”:

And, finally, you might want to take a look at some of our past coverage of the e-commerce, mobile commerce, and digital marketing overall, including:

Travel

  1. Why Apple Might Choose Yelp as Its Go-To Search Engine (Travel Tuesday)
  2. Among America’s millennials who travel, half have spouses and children – Tnooz
  3. Huge List of Lessons Learned at HSMAI’s Digital Marketing Strategy Conference – Travel Tuesday
  4. Expedia extends mobile dominance
  5. 7 Hot Hotel Marketing Insights: Hospitality Marketing Link Digest
  6. 5 Top Mobile Marketing Tips from Travel and Hospitality Industry Leaders | Adobe
  7. Huge List of Lessons Learned at HSMAI’s Digital Marketing Strategy Conference – Travel Tuesday
Tim Peter

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March 26, 2015

Social Media Integration: All Marketing is Social [Presentation]

March 26, 2015 | By | No Comments

Social media integration: All marketing is social

Developing an effective digital marketing strategy is critically important for businesses today. But, equally important, you’ve got to be able to execute that strategy, put it in practice, make it work. Lately, I’ve been doing more and more speaking engagements where the topic has focused not just on strategy but also on real-world examples and case studies that demonstrate how leading companies have put digital to work in their organizations (including many of my own clients’ stories).

I shared the slides from my “Putting Digital to Work” talk the other day to provide insights into how many companies have succeeded in making digital work for their organizations. Today, I thought you might enjoy these slides from a talk I’ve just given called “Social Media Integration: All Marketing is Social,” which looks at how you can build social into your overall customer experience. This isn’t just about gaining friends and fans and followers; it’s about listening to and learning from your customers, and making your marketing work most effectively by getting your customers to tell your brand story for you. In short, it’s about results.

Here are the slides for your reference:

If you want to learn even more about how customers changing behavior shapes e-commerce and marketing, be sure an 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.

And, finally, you might want to take a look at some of our past coverage of the e-commerce, mobile commerce, and digital marketing overall, including: