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October 8, 2019

Should You Quit Marketing and Become a Data Scientist Instead? (Thinks Out Loud Episode 261)

October 8, 2019 | By | No Comments

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Data scientist in marketing: Team of marketers analyzing data

Should You Quit Marketing and Become a Data Scientist Instead? (Thinks Out Loud Episode 261) — Headlines and Show Notes

Given the rise of data science in marketing, whether for personalization, AI, predictive analytics, or whatever comes down the pike next, you wouldn't be criticized for asking whether you should quit marketing and become a data scientist. But is that really a good idea? Is the future of marketing nothing more than writing algorithms? Or is there a future for creative people who focus on the customer in total.

The latest episode of Thinks Out Loud looks at whether you should quit marketing and instead focus on becoming a data scientist – and how you can best succeed no matter what the future of marketing, or data, holds.

Want to learn more? Here are the show notes for you:

Relevant Links:

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 PR-40 Dynamic Studio Recording Mic and a Focusrite Scarlett 4i4 (3rd Gen) USB Audio Interface into Logic Pro X for the Mac.

Running time: 13m 33s

You can subscribe to Thinks Out Loud in iTunes, 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.

Should You Quit Marketing and Become a Data Scientist? (Thinks Out Loud Episode 261) – 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 and this is episode 261 of the big show. I think we've got a really cool show for you today, a lot of interesting stuff to talk about.

I want to start with a conversation I've been having with a number of marketing professionals lately around data, and what you as a marketer really need to know about data and how much you need to care about data, and I want to be really clear about this. Data is incredibly important when we talk about marketing today, you know, personalization and artificial intelligence and all of the many things that are going to make marketing more effective in 2020 depend on data.

But I think when we have that dialogue, a lot of marketers think they need to be data scientists, and I don't want to suggest that data isn't important. But what I do want to suggest is that it's not your job to be the data scientist. Instead, it's your job to ask the right questions of the data scientists.

I mean, if you want to be a data scientist, by all means you should. It's a great field. It's really interesting. You will be endlessly employable for the next, oh I don't know, decade or so. But your job as a marketer is to think about the business implications, to think about the implications for customers, to think about the customer experience.

I think of data, I think of the way companies should look at data almost like a two-by-two matrix, kind of like a BCG group matrix where the axes are on the, on the X-axis, do we have the data and on the Y-axis, do we know what questions to ask, right? And I sort of presuppose these are yes-no questions, but it clearly, it's going to be more of a spectrum.

You could do a two-by-two, you could do a three-by-three, but fundamentally it comes down to one of four positions, which are:

  1. Yes we have the data and yes, we know what questions to ask;
  2. Yes we have the data and no, we don't know what questions to ask;
  3. No, we don't have the data and yes, we know what questions to ask; and of course
  4. No, we don't have the data and no, we don't know what questions to ask.

Now I think too many companies spend their time worried about "no we don't have the data, but we know what questions to ask" and "no, we don't have the data and we don't know what questions to ask." And I think that's kind of a mistake. Now obviously if you don't have data and you know what questions to ask, so number three on my list, right? No, we don't have the data, and yes, we know what questions to ask then you need to go get the data.

But if you think about Douglas Hubbard's essential book, "How to Measure Anything: Finding the Value of Intangibles in Business," which I've talked about before, Hubbard points out a series of rules for data that include 1) you have more data than you think, 2) you need less data than you think, and 3) new data is more readily available than you think.

So if you know the questions to ask and you don't have the data, getting the data itself is not the hard part. You know, it's become very popular to say data is the new oil and I don't think that's true. Data is not oil because oil is hard to come by. Insights are the new oil. Insights require the mining and the digging and the prospecting that you would expect to do if you were actually in the business of, I don't know, going out and exploring an oil field. But you have a ton of data and typically getting meaningful answers is easier than you think it is from the data that you have, excuse me, getting new data is easier than you think it is.

I saw a really interesting thing the other day that Google will let you automatically purge data. You can go into your settings in gmail or YouTube or Google Search, and it will automatically purge data after three months or after 18 months. And what's interesting about that to me is how specific those periods are. You know, why doesn't Google let you purge data after one month? Why doesn't it let you purge it after six months? Why doesn't it let your purge it after 12 months? It's either three or it's 18. Maybe that's just easier to program, but I would bet that the recency of the data that they want suggests that the data Google collects, they've probably found gets less useful as it gets old. It loses its predictive power. So they want to keep it for at least three months so they can learn something from it, and ideally 18 months or longer, but I bet after 18 months they don't really care because it probably doesn't tell them much.

So what's more interesting is yes, we have the data, but no, we don't know what questions to ask. And for you as a marketer, that's not a data science problem. That's an insight problem. That's being able to think about how you want to help your customer, and the kinds of products and services you want to offer, and the way you want to promote that, and the channels in which you want to sell it and the way you want to price it. That's where the really fascinating parts come in. Not that data science is not fascinating, but it's the kind of thing that you as a marketer can do with a better understanding of your customers.

Look at examples of companies where success seemed obvious in hindsight. We all know tons of these questions of these examples, but why were they successful and why did it seem obvious in hindsight? Because they knew how to ask the right questions and how to formulate the right thesis about what it was they were trying to do.

If you think about Uber, they had a fundamental insight about the quality of taxi services and the utilization of black car service. You know, there were lots of cars sitting idle. Why don't we connect the driver and the rider? Yes, it took data, but the fundamental insight was, man, there's a lot of cars sitting around and man, a lot of passengers who were unhappy with the quality of the service they're getting. Obviously they followed that up with peer-to-peer. What we think of as Uber today, UberX, actually didn't come around until two years after the company started and Sidecar and Lyft really started the peer-to-peer concept, but again it came down to asking can we make the drivers more useful and can we make the passengers more happy, right? I mean that's, that's fundamentally the really cool thing.

And I want to be fair, I'm definitely for purposes of this discussion, ignoring Uber's less than savory behaviors, but the point isn't to lob at the company for its ethics or behaviors, only to note their early insight and those of other folks in understanding, hey, we've got the opportunity for a two-sided market here. How do we put those together?

If you think of Airbnb, very similar concept, this time just for hospitality. If you think of a Stitch Fix, great company understood changes in shopping behavior. People have less time, people need a little bit more support, and so just went to a very simple model that has made them profitable since 2014.

And if you go much further back, you know, look at Amazon. My favorite story about Amazon is Amazon didn't set out to be a bookstore because Jeff Bezos had some abiding love of books. But instead, according to an article on entrepreneur.com, he drew up a list. Jeff Bezos drew up a list of 20 potential products he thought might sell well via the internet, including software, CDs, and books. Now I'm reading directly from this writeup. "After reviewing the list, books were the obvious choice, primarily because of the sheer number of titles in existence. Bezos realized that while even the largest superstores could stock only a few hundred thousand books, a mere fraction of what is available, a virtual bookstore could offer millions of titles."

Notice what they said. Books were the obvious choice. Were they? I mean clearly selection played a role and clearly so did the ease of shipping books. But if it was so obvious, why didn't Barnes & Noble or B. Dalton or Borders get there first? And the answer is not because they didn't have data that would tell them this would work, but because they didn't have the insight. They didn't ask the key question that might have made, I don't know, Borders be the Amazon of today. They missed the mark and it wasn't because they didn't have the data. It's because they didn't ask the right question.

So when you're thinking about how can I as a marketer use data to personalize, or use data to empower artificial intelligence and the like, think in terms of do we have the data, and more importantly, do we know what questions to ask? Because if you can do that well, you're going to do great regardless of what happens five years down the road, 10 years down the road, and that's a much better place to be.

Now looking at the clock on the wall, we are out of time for this week, but I want to thank you again so much for tuning in. I genuinely appreciate it and I want to remind you that you can find the show notes for today's episode as well as an archive of our past episodes by going to timpeter.com/podcast. Again, that's timpeter.com/podcast. Just look for episode 261.

While you're there, you can click on the subscribe link in any of the episodes you find there to have things sent out, delivered to your favorite podcatcher every single episode. You can also subscribe on Apple podcasts, Google Play music store, or Stitcher radio, or wherever your favorite podcatcher happens to be. Just do a search for Tim Peter, Tim Peter Thinks Out Loud, or Thinks Out Loud. We should show up for any of those.

While you're, there, I would very much appreciate it if you would provide us a positive rating or review. It makes it so much easier for new listeners to find us and would mean so much to me. You can find Thinks Out Loud on Facebook by going to facebook.com/timpeter associates. You can find me on Twitter using the Twitter handle @tcpeter, or of course, you can email me by sending an email to podcast@timpeter.com. Again, that's podcast@timpeter.com.

As ever, I'd like to thank our sponsor. Thinks Out Loud is brought to you by SoloSegment. SoloSegment focuses on AI-driven content discovery and site search analytics to unlock revenue for your business. You can learn more about how to improve your content, increase your customer satisfaction, and make your search smarter by going to solosegment.com.

With that, I want to say thanks so much for tuning in. I appreciate it as always. I hope you have a great rest of the week, a wonderful weekend ahead, and I'll look forward to speaking with you here on Thinks Out Loud next time. Until then, please be well, be safe, and as ever, take care everybody.

Tim Peter

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October 1, 2019

State of the Podcast: Do Podcasts Work for B2B Marketing? (Thinks Out Loud Episode 260)

October 1, 2019 | By | No Comments

State of the Podcast: Do Podcasts Work for B2B Marketing? (Thinks Out Loud Episode 260): International Podcast Day Logo 2019Looking to drive results for your business? Click here to learn more.


State of the Podcast: Does Podcasting Still Make Sense in 2020 (Thinks Out Loud Episode 260) — Headlines and Show Notes

With the growth of mobile, podcasting provides a huge content marketing opportunity for many businesses. In fact, we've found it very positive for our business here at Tim Peter & Associates. So, what lessons have we learned about using podcasts for B2B marketing? How can you build a successful podcast that meets the needs of your customers? And do podcasts work for B2B marketing?

The latest episode of Thinks Out Loud provides a "state of the podcast" update for you, along with tips, tricks and lessons learned from over 260 episodes of podcasting for B2B marketing.

Want to learn more? Here are the show notes for you:

State of the Podcast: Do Podcasts Work for B2B Marketing? (Thinks Out Loud Episode 260) -Relevant Links:

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 PR-40 Dynamic Studio Recording Mic and a Focusrite Scarlett 4i4 (3rd Gen) USB Audio Interface into Logic Pro X for the Mac.

Running time: 15m 06s

You can subscribe to Thinks Out Loud in iTunes, 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.

State of the Podcast: Do Podcasts Work for B2B Marketing? (Thinks Out Loud Episode 260) — 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 Tuesday, October 1st, 2019 and this is episode 260 of the big show. Thank you so much for tuning in. I genuinely appreciate it, and I think we have a cool show for you today.

I'm going to do a follow up to a follow up to one of our very first episodes. It was international podcasting day the other day and I want to be fair, our episode schedule and actual international podcast day on September 30th don't really line up, so I'm posting this today on October 1st, but because I support international podcast day and especially because I'd want to support you, because I think podcasting does make a lot of sense for businesses, for many businesses, and that's really what I want to talk about today.

I have said since the day I started this podcast that I would always share information about how we're doing and whether or not podcasting makes sense for my business and whether or not it might make sense for your business. So think of this as sort of the state of the podcast episode, and an assessment of how is podcasting working in 2019 and how do I think it's going to work in 2020. So with that in mind, I want to get into a handful of reasons that I think podcasting makes sense, and the first goes back to an episode I just did last week, episode 259, where I talked about how mobile is a situation, not a device. One of the reasons podcasting makes sense for many businesses is because podcasts are a very mobile friendly type of content. They make sense because people use them wherever they are.

Again, it's a situation, not a device. They can listen to them in the car or they can listen to them on their commute. There's just a tremendous amount of growth there. And I'll share my own numbers. At least 58% of all of the downloads of this podcast happen on mobile. I would expect the odds are pretty good if you are listening to this podcast right now, you are listening on a mobile device, and you are likely listening in a mobile context, in a mobile situation. I'm going to be very candid. When I started this, it was a response to mobile initially. When you're a B2B services provider, when you work with businesses, mobile is not always the easiest thing to do. My firm is not going to create an app. That's not the the likely way most people are going to interact with my business, but what they will do is engage with content, and they will certainly engage with content that they can listen to, that you can listen to, wherever you happen to be.

That was a core consideration, the minute that I decided, or the minute that I considered doing podcasting as a way to grow my business. Now speaking of the growth side, so I talked about mobile a little bit, but speaking of the growth side, we're seeing tremendous growth, both from a consumption perspective and actually from a conversion perspective. So first on the consumption side, year to date listeners of this podcast are up about 43%. We should pass last year's total listenership probably by the middle of next month, possibly by the end of this month, based on some changes I'm making to the show, based on some changes we're making to the show, but we should actually cross last year's numbers by no later than mid November. Now I'll talk about this more in a minute.

December does tend to be a slow month, so we may fall off that 43% number a little bit, but we're moving in a very positive direction. December, because of the holidays and things like that, tends to be a shorter month from a listenership perspective. People don't tend to listen when they are hanging out with their family, and I know my content posting slows down a little bit, and those probably go hand in hand a bit, but I do expect we should finish up the year probably 35-40% up over last year.

July actually was the third biggest month ever for Thinks Out Loud, so thank you for that, and then from a conversion perspective, the podcast has directly led to several leads, several leads that have turned into sales for the company, for the business. So that's been really positive, and we can directly attribute that based on conversations we've had with those clients. The other thing that candidly I hadn't anticipated when I started the podcast was the retention aspect. Several clients, more than a couple of clients, have cited the podcast as one of the top sources of information that they enjoy, and validating what I was saying before about mobile, I've been told explicitly that they love the fact that they can engage with it in their car on their commute to work every day.

So again, that's a huge benefit of podcasting, that I don't know that I would have thought about when I started the show, but certainly has proved true going forward. It also has global reach, so we've talked about mobile, we've talked about growth, let's talk about global for a second. I get about 40%, just a little bit less than 40%, of traffic for the podcast from the U.S., and the rest is spread all around the world. We've got Western Europe, we've got Asia, we've got the middle East, we've got North America, countries like the UK, Singapore, Japan, Sweden, Germany, Canada, Israel, all big users of the podcast, big listeners to the podcast. There are no particular cities that dominate, though as you might imagine, they mostly come from high population centers, so cities in California, in New York, in Virginia, the city of London, Singapore itself. I suspect a lot of that has to do with we get lots of listenership from where there are lots of people.

That's pretty typical for most businesses. You tend to get lots of your business from people who are nearby, and then quickly you start to get feeder markets. You start to get lots of business from people where there are lots of people. Some of that's just a law of large numbers situation. In terms of distribution, a number of things. So iTunes and Apple podcasts are huge. Android less so, which that's surprising to me given how many mobile users there are listening to the podcast, though I want to be fair, I'm not an Android user and I don't know that I've done a good enough job, I don't know that we've done a good enough job optimizing for Android, so there's probably work there that we as the team, that I as a podcaster, need to learn how to do better. So I wouldn't say necessarily my experience on this one is a representative.

It's something that I need to look into and see if we need to do a better job to work on Android better. Obviously the timpeter.com website that we have for the business is a huge source of traffic and vice versa. The podcast actually generates a lot of traffic for the website. As you may know, I typically transcribe the podcast episodes using a service called rev.com, not a sponsor, but just something very handy to use, and that creates lots of rich content that then brings in a lot of traffic. The one real disappointment that I've seen is we started putting the podcast up on Spotify about six months ago, and so far the results have been underwhelming entirely. Again, that may be a learning opportunity. Maybe there's opportunities to improve there. To date, it hasn't proved to be that effective, but I suspect there's a learning opportunity there, how to do it better.

Now, since we're speaking about learning opportunities, some of the things I've learned: consistency matters. As you might imagine, the biggest months, the biggest shows for this podcast tend to be built around when we post episodes regularly. I went to a biweekly publishing schedule a year ago. The numbers fell off a pretty solid amount from 2017, so being consistent matters. At least for the type of content I do, posting earlier in the week also seems to work better, which if you think about it, makes a lot of sense. I talk to businesses, most of them are on a Monday to Friday schedule, so it does seem likely that that's going to have a real impact, being earlier in the week. Keyword research for the podcast seems to matter a ton. Again, that shouldn't surprise anybody, but it does matter, and if you think about the topics that have been really popular on the podcast.

We have episodes like Content is King, Customer Experience is Queen, episode 188 from over two years ago now, podcast episode 244, Hey Marketers, is 2019 Everything You've Hoped For, from April of this year, and Three Trends Driving Your Digital Strategy, Thinks Out Loud episode 185 from January of last year. All really big episodes where we'd done a lot of work around the keywords and around thinking about what mattered to the audience. So that shouldn't come as a big shock. Another lesson … and again, there's a timing thing here. I've found that summer works very well for podcasts. June, July, August, tend to do very well for this show. Now I'm digging into that a bit more. I don't know if it's because that's when more people listen or were we more consistent in publishing new materials during those dates, or were the topics just better? So as I learn more I will share that with you, but those are definitely all things that I would keep in mind as you think about whether or not you want to use podcasting for your business.

So what have we learned? Well, we've learned podcasting is about mobile. It's a great source of mobile traffic. It's a great way to connect with your customers on mobile. It drives lots of growth, both in terms of of interest and actual conversion. It's global. You have to think about your distribution strategy and then pay attention to what you've learned so you can continue to grow over time. Is podcasting right for your business? It's impossible to say to everyone I'm talking to, but it is certainly something you want to take a look at and see whether it works for your customers in those situations.

Now, looking at the clock on the wall, we are out of time for this week, but I want to thank you again so much for tuning in. I very much appreciate it. I want to remind you that you can find the show notes for today's episode, as well as an archive of all 260 of our past episodes, by going to timpeter.com/podcast. Again, that's timpeter.com/podcast. Just look for episode 260. While you're there, you can click on the subscribe link in any of the episodes you find there to have Thinks Out Loud delivered to your favorite podcatcher every single episode.

You can also subscribe on iTunes or Stitcher Radio or Google Podcasts or Apple Podcasts, or whatever your favorite podcatcher happens to be. Just search for Tim Peter Thinks, Tim Peter Thinks Out Loud, or Thinks Out Loud. We should show up for any of those, and while you're there, I'd very much appreciate it if you can provide us a positive rating or review. It's incredibly helpful to help others find Thinks Out Loud, and it would mean a ton to me. You can also find Thinks Out Loud on Facebook by going to facebook.com/timpeterassociates. You can find me on Twitter using the Twitter handle @tcpeter, or of course you can email me by sending an email to podcast@timpeter.com. Again, that's podcast@timpeter.com. As ever, I'd like to thank our sponsor.

Thinks out Loud is brought to you by SoloSegment. SoloSegment focuses on AI-driven content discovery and site search analytics to unlock revenue for your business. You can learn more about how to improve your content, increase your customer satisfaction, and make your search smarter by going to solosegment.com.

With that, I want to say thanks so much for tuning in for the past 260 episodes. I look forward to talking with you again for the next 260 episodes, but in the meantime, I hope you have a great week, a wonderful weekend ahead, and I will look forward to speaking with you here on Thinks Out Loud next time. Until then, please be well, be safe, and as ever, take care everybody.

Tim Peter

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August 28, 2019

Mobile, Millennials, and…Moms? (Thinks Out Loud Episode 256)

August 28, 2019 | By | No Comments

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Millennial mom holding infant and mobile phone

Mobile, Millennials, and…Moms? (Thinks Out Loud Episode 256) – Headlines and Show Notes

I've talked before about the "end of Millennials" and how we need to think about the world's largest demographic cohort not as "Millennials," but as "adults under 40." Well, research from Pew highlights exactly how why that's even more important than you may have realized…and got me thinking about what mobile, millennial moms mean for marketers today.

The latest episode of Thinks Out Loud takes a look at mobile, millennials and moms to uncover how those will shape your marketing over the next year or two — and why you want to be thinking about your business for years to come.

Want to learn more? Here are the show notes for you:

Relevant Links:

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 Neumann TLM 102 Cardoid Condenser microphone and a Mackie Onyx Blackjack USB recording interface into Logic Pro X for the Mac.

Running time: 16m 05s

You can subscribe to Thinks Out Loud in iTunes, 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

June 25, 2019

What the 2019 Mary Meeker Internet Trends Report Means for Digital Marketers (Thinks Out Loud Episode 248)

June 25, 2019 | By | No Comments

Looking to drive results for your business? Click here to learn more.


Mary Meeker Internet Trends Report for Digital Marketers: Executive exploring data and trends

What the 2019 Mary Meeker Internet Trends Report Means for Digital Marketers (Thinks Out Loud Episode 248) – Headlines and Show Notes

So the 2019 edition of the Mary Meeker Internet Trends report is out. And, as ever, it’s filled with a number of fascinating insights for investors interested in the internet economy. But what about marketers and business leaders? How can you use this data to improve your performance in the year ahead?

Fortunately, the latest episode of Thinks Out Loud offers our take on how you can put these trends to work for your brand and business too.

Want to learn more? Here are the show notes for you:

Relevant Links:

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 PR40 Dynamic Microphone through a Cloud Microphones CL-1 Cloudlifter Mic Activator and a Mackie Onyx Blackjack USB recording interface into Logic Pro X for the Mac.

Running time: 21m 00s

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.

What the 2019 Mary Meeker Internet Trends Report Means for Digital Marketers

Key Takeaways and Overall Internet Growth

Internet user growth slowing; more need to monetize traffic that folks are getting. Additionally, more consumers are concerned about overuse. Those are a couple of the reasons gatekeepers, who’ve been top of mind for me lately, have been tightening the screws.

  • Internet user growth – that’s number of users, not total usage – grew last year, but at a 6% rate, compared with 7% last year.
    • Actual digital media use per US adult grew by 7% last year
      • Those numbers are purely coincidental; don’t let the two instances of 7% confuse you
    • And time spent on mobile will beat time watching TV this year for the first time ever
      • Though overall TV viewing still greater since mobile = second screen when folks are watching TV
    • Top platforms for use:
      • Facebook
      • YouTube (owned by Google)
      • WhatsApp (owned by FB)
      • WeChat
      • Instagram (owned by FB)
      • FB Messenger (owned by FB)
    • 26% of adults in US online “almost constantly”
      • More importantly, those numbers have both grown over time and are larger among younger adults
        • In other words, adults under 40
        • And the burgeoning Gen Z category
        • With 36% to 39% online “almost constantly” (broken down 18-29 and 30-49)
  • Smartphone unit shipments actually fell last year, by about 4%
  • And internet penetration reached >50% of total world population
  • One of the reasons China’s so important in this report is that China now represents 21% of all internet users
    • India at #2 w/ 12%
    • US at #3 w/ 8%
  • Internet companies’ revenue growth has slowed
    • 11% YOY growth vs. 13% YOY last year
    • Again, they need to keep growing to impress investors. This leads them to seek new forms of monetization

Interestingly, e-commerce growth, which continues at a healthy pace (12.4% YOY) is also slowing. But again, some of that may just be the long slog towards everyone using e-commerce.

  • Contrast with physical retail growth +2.0%
  • At some point, e-commerce will reach those (low) numbers; that’s probably some time off though.
  • E-commerce now around 15% of total retail sales in the US.
    • That’s not what’s influenced by digital; it’s simply a statement of raw numbers.

Advertising

Advertising has finally rationalized, with online spending roughly equivalent to time spent.

  • Interestingly, it looks like the amount of spend on radio is well below use. That might represent an opportunity for smart advertisers to find some bargains.
  • Internet ad revenue growth however, say it with me now, has also slowed.
    • While growth is a healthy 20%, that’s down from 29% a year ago.
    • Google’s ad revenue has grown ~150% in the last two years, Facebook’s has almost doubled
      • But Amazon, Twitter, Snap, and Pinterest have seen their ad platforms grow almost 250% during the same period
      • Sure, that’s off a much smaller base; still it’s not nothing.
    • And increased use of programmatic platforms continues to drive down cost of advertising
      • That’s good for advertisers as it holds down costs, but…
      • That’s less revenue for platforms.
      • And it requires them to monetize those platforms even more heavily to drive continued growth
  • Meeker points out an interesting reality: “Customer acquisition cost can’t exceed long-term value for very long.”
    • “Effective + efficient marketing = One’s own product + happy customers + recommendations.”
    • Why does that sound familiar to me? Oh, right, because that’s what I’ve been saying for the last, I dunno, ten years or so.
    • Meeker gives a few examples like Spotify, Zoom, Stitch Fix, Dropbox, Slack, SurveyMonkey, Amazon Prime, Twitch, etc. who use either “freemium” models or low-cost entry points to acquire customers, then use those customers as what I like to call, their “secret sales force”
      • Note this is both B2C ​and​ B2B.
      • The model holds in all cases

Data Growth and Privacy

  • Social media use decelerating
    • Only up 1% YOY vs. 6% a year ago
      • That’s significant
  • Also, fewer people say that the internet has been mostly good for them personally or for society than four years ago (down 2 and 6 points respectively )
    • That’s not a huge amount
    • But it’s also not nothing
  • Regulation coming
  • Consumer reviews play a role
    • Of course, they need to be valid reviews
  • Crowdsourced algorithmic bill of rights
    • Very interesting step
    • Curious to see which countries – if any – adopt it
  • Facebook’s many tentacles reared its head in an interesting way late in the report
    • When asked which tech company people would be willing to share health data with:
      • 60% said Google
      • 53% said Amazon
      • 51% said Microsoft
      • 49% said Apple
      • and only 40% said Facebook

Big Picture

  • Social + Mobile + Visual + Data
    • Storytelling
    • Get customers to tell that story
    • Give them a great experience
    • Great storytellers know that you’re supposed to “Show, don’t tell”
      • When you create a campaign, you’re telling
      • When your customers echo their experiences, you’re showing
Tim Peter

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April 2, 2019

Is AI in Sales and Marketing Real? (Thinks Out Loud Episode 243)

April 2, 2019 | By | No Comments

Is artificial intelligence (AI) in sales and marketing real: AI sales and marketing conceptLooking to drive results for your business? Click here to learn more.


AI in sales and marketing may have been somewhat oversold. While there's no doubt that artificial intelligence has had a positive impact, we're also starting to move into the "trough of disillusionment" among sales and marketing leaders. But is that reality? Is artificial intelligence overblown? Or is AI in sales and marketing real? Forget about the future; will AI make a positive difference for your brand and business today?

The latest episode of Thinks Out Loud explores the question of whether AI in sales and marketing is for real. And we also look at how you can use AI in sales and marketing to make a difference for your business. For real.

Here are the show notes:

Is AI in Sales and Marketing Real? (Thinks Out Loud Episode 243) – 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 48s

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.