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October 13, 2017

5 Fast and Fantastic Content, AI, and Digital Strategy Insights: E-commerce Link Digest

October 13, 2017 | By | No Comments

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5 Fast and Fantastic Content, AI, and Digital Strategy Insights: E-commerce Link Digest

Howdy, Big Thinkers! Hope you’ve had an amazing week. Our team has been all over the place this past week, with visits ranging from Oslo, Norway to Kansas City, Kansas. And this week’s edition of the E-commerce Link Digest Series travels far and wide, too, while condensing it all into an amazing list of 5 fast and fantastic content, AI, and digital strategy insights for you. Enjoy:

  1. CMO.com collected a fantastic set of “15 Mind-Blowing Stats About Artificial Intelligence” that you won’t want to miss.
  2. While we’re on the topic of AI, InformationWeek talked about “Artificial Intelligence Today: Time to Act.”
  3. And continuing with that theme, a recent episode of Thinks Out Loud — our ongoing e-commerce and digital strategy podcast — asked, “Will AI Kill Your Brand?” Be sure to give a listen to see how it will affect your business.
  4. We also asked “How You Succeed at Digital Marketing Next Year? 17 Great Posts Offer Answers.” Don’t miss ’em.
  5. And let’s finish off this list of 5 fast and fantastic content, AI, and digital strategy insights with another recent Thinks Out Loud episode that provided “6 Proven Digital Marketing Trends (The Best of Thinks Out Loud).”

Have a fantastic weekend, Big Thinkers. Catch you back here next week!

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

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September 28, 2017

Will AI Kill Your Brand? (Thinks Out Loud Episode 204)

September 28, 2017 | By | No Comments

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Will AI Kill Your Brand? Graphic representing AI

Will AI Kill Your Brand? (Thinks Out Loud Episode 204) – 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 23s

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

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September 26, 2017

Why Airbnb Keeps Winning at Hospitality

September 26, 2017 | By | No Comments

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Why Airbnb Keeps Winning at Hospitality

Where does Airbnb get off? Seriously. Late last year, Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky used Twitter to engage in a lengthy dialogue with customers about where Airbnb might be heading as a company. Why should you care? Well, because that conversation started with a simple question from Chesky: "If @Airbnb could launch anything in 2017, what would it be?"

Wait a minute… Airbnb asks for feedback, listens to guests, and shapes its service around what its guests actually want? How dare they. After all, as hospitality operators and marketers, didn't that used to be our job?

This all came back to light recently when Hilton Hotels’ CMO Geraldine Caplin called Airbnb a “lodging company,” as compared with Hilton’s larger focus on hospitality. I’ve already made clear my position that Airbnb definitely meets the definition of a hospitality company, but I don’t want to dismiss Caplin’s statement out of hand. Hilton ought to be able to beat Airbnb in terms of delivering great hospitality. Any hotel company should. In fact, I’ve argued repeatedly that it’s critical for hotels to succeed in that effort.

I’m about to do it again.

Now, given this blog’s focus, it's fair to ask what any of this has to do with digital. Sure, it's Airbnb and yes, Chesky used Twitter to enable the conversation, but that's not why the exchange should be important to you. After all, it's no secret that digital has permanently changed the way your guests interact with brands and businesses.

What is important are the results of that change — and how you must respond.

What Chesky and his team recognize is that customer experience is the new marketing. Everything depends on the quality of the interactions your guests experience at every step of their journey. Why? Simple. Your guests carry a printing press in their pocket. Oh, and a full-HD video camera and a production studio and a broadcast network too. And they use these tools to share every element of their experience with their friends and family and fans and followers across social networks.

A 100-room hotel running at 60% occupancy with 1.4 guests per room hosts roughly 31,000 guests per year. And with an average of 200 connections on Facebook alone, those guests have the potential to reach an audience of over 6.1 million people. Even if these numbers wildly overstate your guests' social media activity and only 10% of those guests actually bother to say something about their stay — never mind what it says about their experience at your hotel if only 10% of your customers feel it's worth talking about — that's still over half a million opportunities for potential guests to hear about you each year. Imagine the stories they might hear.

This is equally true for "traditional" ratings and reviews seen on TripAdvisor and OTA's. I won't spend much time on this topic; you live with this reality every day. But it's worth noting that a recent TrustYou study found, "…guests are 3.9 times more likely to book the hotel with the highest average review score when price is equal" and, even better, that "76% of travelers said they were willing to pay more for a hotel with higher review scores." My real-world experience with properties all around the globe suggests this is true in practice as well as in theory.

Increasingly, marketing is less about telling your brand's story and is instead about ensuring your guests have a great story to tell on your behalf. A study from Flip.to and Fuel Travel found word of mouth was the 2nd most influential factor in your guest's decision-making process. What do you suppose your guests say about you?

None of this happens without digital. Before the internet, your guests maybe could tell a few friends about their travels — or bore them to tears with slides from their trip. But now they're constantly connected with an engaged audience who want to listen. Facebook and Instagram and Snapchat and Twitter work hard to ensure only the folks who want to see the messages your guests share actually do. And, yes, you have to make certain the rest of your digital platform reinforces those messages once your guests' friends and family are ready to hear more. That's crucial. But it all starts with how they're finding out about you in the first place.

Customer experience is the new marketing. Airbnb gets it, which is why their CEO spent his Christmas holiday talking — and, more importantly, listening — to customers. The question now is: How do you plan to spend your next holiday? Or, for that matter, every other day this year?

If you’re looking for even more hospitality marketing goodness, you might also want to take a moment to review the slides from Tim’s recent seminar, “Digital Marketing Directions: 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:

Note: A version of this post originally appeared on Hotel News Now, where Tim Peter writes a quarterly column for the magazine’s Digital Tech Impact Report.
Tim Peter

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September 8, 2017

8 Amazing E-commerce Insights You Simply Can’t Miss: E-commerce Link Digest

September 8, 2017 | By | No Comments

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8 amazing e-commerce insights you simply can't missHey, Big Thinkers! Hope you’ve had an amazing week. I also hope you’re looking forward to an even better week ahead. To get you ready to crush it as you move forward, here’s a set of 8 amazing e-commerce insights you simply can’t miss. Enjoy:

  1. Following up on all the Amazon news in last week's list of "5 Fast, Fascinating E-commerce insights to Help You Succeed," Kohl's has announced it will open in-store Amazon shopsselling Amazon's Kindle and Echo devices. That's a huge move. And while most people I've seen suggest it's a win-win, I'm not convinced it's a good move for Kohl's. It's one thing when your competitor creates a Trojan Horse. It's another entirely when you start selling that Trojan Horse to all your customers.
  2. In highly-related news, Retail Dive asks, "Is Nordstrom the Next Acquisition Target for Walmart or Amazon?" and offers insights into why the answer might be yes. Excellent point of view on the strategies Walmart and Amazon seem to be following.
  3. One of the biggest shifts still to come with regard to e-commerce comes from customers using digital to buy their groceries. With that in mind, Marketing Charts provides, well, a chart that uncovers "Here's Who's Shopping Online for Groceries." Good stuff.
  4. My friend Rob Petersen at BarnRaisers offers a list of "15 eCommerce Case Studies Show Big Results From Small Changes." Apart from the fact that I think it's spelled "e-commerce," it's well worth your time.
  5. To close out the e-commerce focused section of the update, take a few minutes to review this post that asks,"Will E-commerce Kill Retail?" The answer, essentially, is no, but it's complicated so you'll want to check this one out.
  6. I may have mentioned this in another Link Digest, but you owe to yourself to review Ross Quintana's post "Your Customer Is Your Business."
  7. I'm also a big fan of this piece from MarketingWeek that explains “Why the Future of Customer Experience Depends on Online Data.”
  8. Finally, to help you plan for the future and wrap up this week's list of 8 amazing e-commerce insights you simply can’t miss, be sure to spend some time with these "6 Proven Digital Marketing Trends (The Best of Thinks Out Loud)" and "How Can You Succeed at Digital Marketing in 2017? 17 Great Posts Offer Answers."

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

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August 30, 2017

The Truth About Voice as a Powerful Trend (Thinks Out Loud Episode 201)

August 30, 2017 | By | No Comments

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The Truth About Voice as a Powerful Trend (Thinks Out Loud Episode 201)

The Truth About Voice as a Powerful Trend (Thinks Out Loud Episode 201) – 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: 14m 55s

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.

The Truth about Voice as a Powerful Trend – Thinks Out Loud Episode 201 (August 30, 2017) Transcript

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, August 30, and this is episode 201 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. A couple weeks ago, in our 200th episode, I talked about some key trends. I talked about mobile, and content being king, and customer experience being queen, and data being the crown jewels and how those all tied together to create the kind of experience and the kind of business performance that you are looking for. And I got a number of emails and some messages on Twitter and places like that asking about voice, why wasn't it in there.

Now I have talked about voice before; I brought it up in episode 199 talking about how millennials, mobile payments, and voice will serve as key drivers of mobile commerce as we go forward. But it is fair to ask why isn't it a bigger deal, why as I talked about some of these key trends you should be paying attention to, why isn't voice there?

Well, there's a few things we need to cover.

First, let's make a distinction between voice search like you would find with Google, voice search when you're just on your mobile phone and asking Google to find you something; and the kinds of voice applications or chatbots like you'd find with Apple Siri or Amazon's Alexa or Microsoft’s Cortana, or Google's Assistant. They're really two different things for now; whether or not they will be two different things in time is another matter. But right now we need to treat them a little differently.

And when we talk about voice search it is big and getting bigger: about a fifth of all mobile searches are conducted using voice and that number continues to grow so we'll come back to that at the end of the episode and put that aside for the moment.

When we talk about voice-activated tools like Siri or Alexa or Cortana or Assistant, it gets a bit complicated. There was some huge news on this front today when it was announced that Amazon and Microsoft have agreed to connect their Alexa and Cortana voice-based assistants. Now if that seems like a big deal to you it should because it will certainly emerge as a really big deal and you really owe it to yourself to read Brian Roemmele's take on it, which I will of course link to in the show notes. But as big as this will be there's a few reasons you shouldn't be putting too much focus on this type of voice application for your business… at least not yet.

Low Market Penetration for Voice-Driven Personal Assistants

The first reason is that the penetration of these kinds of devices and these kinds of utilities is still relatively low. They’re growing like a weed, the growth is huge, but the actual penetration is still relatively low. Only about 7% of people have one of these devices according to data from Edison Research and that I first heard about my friend Mark Schaefer’s “The Marketing Companion” podcast. Now 7% up from zero in just a couple of years is amazing. It's also really just a fraction of your potential customers. Now these folks are interesting people in that 42% of them say that their device is essential to their everyday lives, while 65% either agree or strongly agree that they wouldn't go back want to go back to life without one. 42% of them owned more than one device and 45% plan to purchase another one.

So these are people really love these things. By the way, I fall into that category; I love it, wouldn't go back, and I own three of them. But we're still only talking about 7% of the population. And more importantly over 70% of those in the study either strongly agree or agree that they don't know enough about their device to use all of its features. And that really leads to the next issue…

No Standard Exists for Developing Chatbots

The next reason why I wouldn't put all my eggs in this basket right now is that chatbots are not standard; they differ by platform. Now the Amazon/Microsoft announcement might change that some, but you know…

If you want to think about it easily, chatbots are essentially just apps for voice; that’s the easiest way to think about it. And right now it's a fairly fragmented marketplace between Alexa, Cortana, Siri and Assistant — which itself can be used on Google Home or on Google Assistant on Android and the like.

Unlike mobile where you have pretty straightforward path to say “okay if I'm going after money I want iOS; if I’m going after scale I want Android,” but there's just not a really clear path forward on chatbots for the moment and building them is not the simplest thing in the world right now now. Those two facts will change but it's not true yet. So if you're thinking about moving forward with these, you have to think about where your customers are, which percentage of that 7% are on which of these things and do you have to create a chatbot for every single one of them. That's a big deal and I don't know that most brands and businesses are ready for that yet.

Content Matters More than Voice… At Least for Now

The third one, and this is where this gets really interesting: Voice depends on content. So this is something you can do today to be ready for chatbots and be ready for voice and it helps you with voice search, which as I said at the beginning is really, really important. So this is kind of key. When you're thinking about what you should do for voice, you really should be thinking about, “What should I be doing about my content? How can I get my content house in order?”

AI is going to do increasingly positive job of determining which content you, um, see, right? So if I ask a question of, “find me a great restaurant near here,: or if I say, “What book I should read?” or “What's the weather going to be?” or “Where should I go for my next trip?” or things along those lines, the AI’s in these devices will do a better job over time answering those questions.

They will also depend on content. There's a terrific article in The Verge today about how YouTube improved its content feed that shares content to keep you on the site. Which is a classic example of a case of AI making big data little, something I talked about in episode 196. But if you don't have good content and if that content isn't well structured for the needs of the chatbot, you never get the game.

Importance of Long-Tail Keywords to Chat and Voice

So if you want to do something for voice, you want to start thinking about content. And I mentioned customer experience being such a key trend, well, obviously context is a key component of that customer experience. Content depends upon that context. So if you're thinking about voice, first you need to think more about what's your searchers’ intent, what’s your customers’ intent when they're asking questions, what's the actual problem there trying to solve, and what are the conversational phrases that they’ll use to get the answer to the question? You want to ask yourself does your content answer your customer’s question, not In the figurative sense, but literally.

Think, “Hey Siri, what's a great Thai restaurant around here?” or “OK, Google, where should I buy a pair of pants?” Right? You’ve got to think about these longer-tail keywords and these sort of conversational elements that your customers are to use when they're looking for the products or services you offer. The search queries tend to be longer so what a focus on that and think longer tail. You also want to think about making sure that you've got sufficient content that answers any number of the questions that they will have. Where they will be in their journey will determine a big piece of that. Delivering a great chatbot experience, by the way, depends on the same reality, so you’ve really got to cover both bases. Or to put it another way around, if you don't cover these bases your chatbot and your voice search will both be terrible. So you’re going to have to think through that whole process:

  • What is the customer's journey?
  • What is their intent?
  • What are the conversational phrases that they’re going to care about and going to use?
  • How well does your content answer those questions?
  • And have you thought through the longer tail keywords that you will need to be able to address to do just that?

Now from a purely voice search perspective and as we get deeper into voice as a platform, you also should start really looking into using schema for your SEO. Now that's a bit technical for the podcast but look at the references that I’ve linked to in the show notes and talk about them with your developers. That’s something you should be doing today anyway and can really help you to go forward.

The Truth About Voice as a Powerful Trends

So, when we talk about the truth about voice, voice is not hype. Earlier this year I talked about whether voice, VR, AR, and AI represent hype or hope for marketers, and voice is definitely not hype. It will be huge. And there are activities you can start today. But voice in the sense of Echoes and Siri and Google Assistant and the like aren't critical to your growth right now.

Building the right kind of content that answers your customers questions whether they type it or whether they talk it is. Winning, when we talk about marketing, often depends not on chasing the latest and greatest, but on prioritization and execution. If you can do a good job of creating great content, if you can think through the customer's journey and answer their questions with intent at each stage, if you actually have the right keywords that match up — the longer tail keywords that match up with the problems they're trying to solve — you’re going to be in a much better position both for voice search now… and for voice as we get into more sophisticated chatbots later.

And I can tell you in all sincerity that's the truth about voice as a powerful trend.

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 201. 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

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August 11, 2017

7 Great Digital Transformation, AI, and Strategy Posts You Won’t Want to Miss: E-commerce Link Digest

August 11, 2017 | By | No Comments

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7 Great Digital Transformation, AI, and Strategy Posts You Won't Want to Miss: E-commerce Link Digest

Hiya, Big Thinkers! Hope you’ve had another brilliant week, filled to the brim with success and fun. This week’s edition of the E-commerce Link Digest Series rounds-up 7 great digital transformation, AI, and strategy posts you won’t want to miss. Enjoy:

  1. My friend Mark Schaefer outlines a series of “Strategies To Deal With Losing Readers Through The Newsfeed Evolution” that you won’t want to miss.
  2. Vala Afshar has a fantastic piece in The Huffington Post all about how “AI-Powered Companies Combine Machine Intelligence And Human Ingenuity” that I know you’ll just love.
  3. While we’re on that topic, you’ll also want to check out this look at “Voice, VR, AR, and AI: Hype or Hope for Marketers?” from our e-commerce and digital strategy podcast, Thinks Out Loud.
  4. eMarketer has new data that takes a look at why “Digital Transformation Projects Rank High in Importance to Marketing Leaders” that’s well worth your time.
  5. And our past post collecting “9 Great Posts Focused on Digital Transformation, Strategy, and AI” makes a worthwhile companion piece.
  6. If you’re interested in “How Can You Succeed at Digital Marketing Next Year? These 17 Great Posts Offer Answers.”
  7. And finally, you won’t want to miss these “6 Proven Digital Marketing Trends” highlighted in the landmark 200th episode of Thinks Out Loud earlier this week.

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

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

July 28, 2017

7 Quick E-commerce and Digital Strategy Insights You Won’t Want to Miss: E-commerce Link Digest

July 28, 2017 | By | No Comments

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7 quick e-commerce and digital strategy insights you won't want to miss: Customers using digitalHey, Big Thinkers! We’ve got another killer edition of the E-commerce Link Digest Series for you featuring this amazing list of 7 quick e-commerce and digital strategy insights you won’t want to miss. Enjoy:

  1. As one quick follow-up to last week’s list of “8 Exceptional E-commerce and AI Posts,” eConsultancy listed “The Mind-Blowing Stats and Facts about Amazon Prime Day 2017”—and they were in fact mind-blowing: A 60% increase in sales year-on-year, a 50% year-on-year increase in purchases by Prime members, a massive increase in Echo device sales with “thousands of Echo devices per minute at one point during Prime Day… [the company] doubled and tripled the total number of Echo devices it sold in the U.S. and globally, respectively, compared to Prime Day last year.” Geez. I’ll have more on this on the podcast later this week, but, again, geez. (By the way, Brian Roemmele on Twitter is someone you really need to follow on this topic; top-notch).
  2. Also worth pointing out that you might want to review “Voice, VR, AR, and AI: Hype or Hope for Marketers?” and “AI For Marketers: AI Makes Big Data Little” again when you get a moment.
  3. The Wall Street Journal noted that “P&G Cuts More Than $100 Million in ‘Largely Ineffective’ Digital Ads” and folks on Twitter are losing their damn minds about it. My thought? People are putting too much emphasis on the ‘digital’ of the quote and not enough on the ‘ineffective’ part. Why should P&G keep throwing money into any ineffective marketing tactic, digital or otherwise? Here’s the key quote, from my perspective, in the article:

    “The company about a year ago said that it would move away from ads on Facebook that target specific consumers, after finding that ultra-niche targeting compromises reach and has limited effectiveness. P&G indicated it wouldn’t pull back on overall Facebook spending.”

    Again, for emphasis: “P&G indicated it wouldn’t pull back on overall Facebook spending.” Today’s news doesn’t say what they’re doing with the $100 million. It could be repurposed towards digital that is effective, towards another form or media, or towards their bottom line. Any of those makes sense. Some time back, I’d written a piece called “What Can Proctor & Gamble Teach You About the State of Digital Marketing?” in which I argued that the shift to digital was a bellwether for marketers. Their shifting money away from any ineffective media—digital, print, broadcast, what-have-you—is the true bellwether. And that’s what you should learn from today’s news.

  4. On a somewhat related note, “The 21st Century Brand Meter” looks at possible ways to review the effectiveness of your marketing efforts, in digital and otherwise.
  5. I’d be remiss if I didn’t point you to my friend Dr. Augustine Fou’s look at the P&G situation where he states “The Promise of Digital Has Not Yet Been Fulfilled.” Augustine is a brilliant guy and well-worth your time on this topic.
  6. Content marketing plays a powerful role in connecting with customers in this new environment, of course, but as argued in “Content Marketing is a Powerful Hammer But Not Everything’s a Nail” that doesn’t mean it’s the right solution to every problem. And given the theme of today’s link digest, it seemed apropos.
  7. Finally, regardless of tactic, let’s round-out our list of 7 quick e-commerce and digital strategy insights you won’t want to miss with this post that asks—and answers—“How Can You Succeed at Digital Marketing This Year? 17 Great Posts Offer Answers.”

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

July 21, 2017

8 Exceptional E-commerce and AI Posts: E-commerce Link Digest

July 21, 2017 | By | No Comments

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8 exceptional e-commerce and AI posts: Woman checking out using mobile paymentsHowdy, Big Thinkers! Welcome to another Friday evening edition of the E-commerce Link Digest Series. Hope you had a killer week. I’m heading out on vacation for the next week, but wanted to leave you with this amazing set of 8 exceptional e-commerce and AI posts to keep you occupied in my absence. Enjoy:

  1. According to Business Insider, “Amazon Got a Huge Spike in Echo Sales on Prime Day.” And the rich keep getting richer. As I said in our Thinks Out Loud podcast episode, “Amazon Goes Grocery Shopping,” Amazon is really knitting together an entire voice-activated, always-on shopping ecosystem that’s going to be hard for their competitors (hello, Google, Facebook, others) to overcome.
  2. While we’re on the topic of Amazon, The Drum reports that “Amazon Appears to Be Readying the Launch of Its Own Messaging App.” The Drum has some solid thoughts on what this might all be about, but personally I suspect it will also enable peer-to-peer payments through Amazon’s ecosystem and provide one more reason “Why I’m Bullish on Mobile Payments and Messaging.”
  3. Given all these changes in Amazon’s world, it seems like a good time to revisit this post that asks, “Will E-commerce Kill Retail?” The short answer? No. The longer answer? Well, that’s what the post is for. Check it out when you have a moment.
  4. Shifting gears ever so slightly, Brand Quarterly examines “Getting Full Value From Your Data: Why Marketers Need To Think Big And Act Now.” Why is this only a slight shift? Well, because data leads directly to AI. Or as we pointed out recently, “AI For Marketers: AI Makes Big Data Little.”
  5. And, since we’re on the topic, don’t miss Brand Quarterly’s look at how “Artificial Intelligence Ushers In A New Age Of Cognitive Content Marketing.” Good stuff.
  6. Tying all these themes up into a nice shiny package, you’ll definitely want to check out “Voice, VR, AR, and AI: Hype or Hope for Marketers?” from Thinks Out Loud and “9 Great Posts Focused on Digital Transformation, Strategy, and AI: E-commerce Link Digest” from the E-commerce Link Digest series. Both are well worth your time.
  7. Switching to the social side of the shop, We Are Social over in the UK uncovers “How Brands Can Make Social Commerce Work,” which is a really worthwhile read.
  8. And, finally, let’s wrap up this week’s outstanding list of 8 exceptional e-commerce and AI posts with these “8 Killer Posts Connecting Content, E-commerce, and Customer Experience.”

See you all soon.

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

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July 14, 2017

8 Killer Posts Connecting Content, E-commerce, and Customer Experience: E-commerce Link Digest

July 14, 2017 | By | No Comments

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Customers checking out 8 killer posts connecting content, e-commerce, and customer experienceHey, Big Thinkers! Hope you’ve had an amazing week and are ready for a great weekend ahead. We’ve rounded-up an amazing set of 8 killer posts connecting content, e-commerce, and customer experience. And I hope you do too. Enjoy:

  1. Leading off, we’ve got “A Dozen Don’t-Miss Digital Strategy Posts” from the E-commerce Link Digest series for you to explore.
  2. A key part of that digital strategy? Connecting content and customer experience. That’s why we say, “Content is King, Customer Experience is Queen.”
  3. We also asked the key question, “Customer Experience is Queen? What Does That Mean?” so you don’t have to. Check it out to see what it’s all about.
  4. Of course, it’s not just us. Brand Quarterly reports on “Generation UX,” and explains why customers now expect great experience everywhere they go.
  5. McKinsey & Company also offers a near-perfect primer on how to connect customer experience and digital with “The CEO Guide to Customer Experience.” Great stuff. I highlighted this link once before in our round-up of “10 Posts Showing How the C-Suite Views Customer Experience,” but it’s well-worth another look.
  6. Building on that theme, We Are Social looks at “How Brands Can Make Social Commerce Work.” The key quote highlights how “Photo-centric platforms like Instagram and Pinterest offer attractive options here, allowing brands to showcase a lifestyle and build up their brand story.” In other words, selling the entire customer experience in a manner consistent with your customer’s expectations on his or her favorite platform.
  7. Given this shift, it’s fair to ask, “Is There a Future for Marketing?” as the fine folks over at Marketing Tech News. They also claim, “The change will come quicker than we think.” I agree, but would argue it’s already here, further emphasizing why we’ve got to create great experiences everywhere our customer connect with our brands.
  8. Finally, a past post asked, “Will E-commerce Kill Retail?” In a word: No. At least not if you do it right. So be sure to check out the whole post to see how to do just that.

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:

  • 7 Must-See Posts Highlighting How to Market Your Hotel in the Future: Hospitality Marketing Link Digest
  • 6 Stellar Insights into Personalization for Hotel Marketing: Hospitality Marketing Link Digest
  • In a mobile-only world will airlines charge for web bookings?
  • Hospitality Digital Marketing and Distribution: Is it Time to Give Up?