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September 24, 2019

Mobile Is Not a Device; Mobile is a Situation (Thinks Out Loud Episode 259)

September 24, 2019 | By | No Comments

Mobile is a situation: Woman interacting with smart headphonesLooking to drive results for your business? Click here to learn more.


Mobile Is Not a Device; Mobile is a Situation (Thinks Out Loud Episode 259) — Headlines and Show Notes

This shouldn't be news, but mobile is way bigger than you think. No, really. Much, much bigger. And the reason is because mobile is not a device; mobile is a situation. And it's a situation that major players like Apple, Google, and now Amazon are positioning themselves to take advantage of. The question is whether you're doing the same for you business.

The latest episode of Thinks Out Loud takes a look at the fact that mobile is a situation and asks how you get ready for your business to handle that situation in the coming year.

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: 12m 49s

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.

Mobile Is Not a Device; Mobile is a Situation (Thinks Out Loud Episode 259) — 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, September 24th, 2019 and this is Episode 259 of the big show. Thank you so much for tuning in again. I really do appreciate it. I think we've got a really cool show for you today. There's some really interesting stuff going on. I'm kind of in this neat place today because I saw this story that blew my mind.

There's a story in CNBC that says Amazon is, and I'm reading from the story, Amazon is developing a new pair of Alexa powered wireless earbuds that double as a fitness tracking device. Their codenamed, "Puget", and they're expected to come with a built in accelerometer and be able to monitor things like the distance you run, how many calories you've burned, the pace of running and things along those lines. This is on top of Amazon recently introducing its Echo Auto device, which is a little tiny Echo you stick in your car so that you can use Alexa wherever you go while you're driving. I actually have one, I've been using it for the last couple of weeks and it's fascinating. It's got some problems, but it's really cool when it works correctly.

I think all of these are really sign posts. They really point to a trend that I think we overlook a bit. This is a trend that's been coming for about three years and we're probably not all the way there yet, but that trend is that mobile isn't what you think it is. When you think about mobile, when I think about mobile, when most people think about mobile, we tend to be talking about a piece of glass and aluminum that we're holding in our hands. The reality is that's not what mobile is. That's a device that allows you to be effective, to do computing, to connect with the information and the people that matter to you while your engaging in mobile activity.

As I've said before, mobile is a situation. It's not a device. The device that we're using to interact with mobile, the device we're using in mobile situations is starting to change. I put out a podcast, oh gosh, about three years ago actually when Apple introduced the AirPods called, "The Future of Digital Arrived Last Week". It was Episode 177, so this is a while ago. I want to be fair, we're not quite there yet, but I want you to think about the fact that in the time since Apple introduced the AirPods, they've sold 25 million of them. By one standard, it is the second best selling product Apple has ever introduced. It's sold more units over the first two years of its life than any other product they've ever sold, with the exception of the iPad, which by the way again, mobile device, right?

During the first two years that it was introduced, they also sold six million watches and now Amazon is about to introduce it's smart headphones. The reason is because this is the computer, this is the device we're all going to use in the future. By the future, I'm going to talk about in the moment, but this is the mobile revolution. The mistake is thinking that mobile is always or only going to look like a piece of glass and aluminum that you hold in your hand, but what we're seeing is to truly be mobile, people want to use things hands free. Maybe not always. Maybe not for every interaction, but your customers are becoming increasingly comfortable with the idea of using any device that allows them to access music, and news, and weather, and information, and the people they want to interact with wherever they are.

That's what the real mobile revolution is. I've said this many times before and I will link to the many, many examples in the show notes, but Millennials and especially Gen Z, are going to take these devices for granted. This isn't some cool new tech. This isn't some cool new thing. This is simply a tool that allows your customers to do what they want to do. Now, I'm not going to make any bold predictions about how long it will take before everybody has these, whether Apple makes them or whether Google makes them or whether Microsoft makes them or whether Amazon makes them, it doesn't matter. I want to talk about the fact that there's a famous Bill Gates quote that I'm sure I've used here on the show before that says, "We always estimate the change that will occur in the next three years and underestimate that the change in the next 10." I do want to point out the AirPods have been out for just about three years, going on three years, but if you look back 10 years ago, it's been roughly 10 years since Apple introduced the iPhone. Okay. 11, but I mean, about 10 years. A couple of weeks ago they introduced the brand new one. Have you heard anybody going, "Oh my gosh, the brand new phone is the greatest thing ever. Oh, it's the best one"?

Of course you haven't because the new one is, to be honest, boring. It's great from everything I've heard about it. I actually ordered one. It should be showing up in the next couple of days, but it's boring. Nobody gets excited about a phone any longer. The category has matured to the point where it's no longer interesting. Yes, your customers are still adapting their behaviors, but the phone isn't what's next. It's what is. What's next is coming pretty quickly because it's been coming for the last three years. When things come along that change people's behaviors and change the norms, I usually say it takes five years. I want to be fair because I'm splitting the difference a little on Bill Gates' quote about overestimating three and underestimating 10.

If you figure it's somewhere between those, you're talking five to seven. The fact that you're seeing Amazon start to get into this space and the fact that you're seeing more movement in terms of how companies are thinking about how customers will interact with voice and the places they will interact with voice, we're probably starting to get into a place where that's going to become more normal. It might still take another couple of years, but it's also something that is very much coming and it's very much real. Apple didn't sell 25 million AirPods because nobody wants these. They haven't sold six million watches because nobody wants them. Amazon's probably going to sell some of these smart headphones. I'm not going to make predictions about how many because I don't really know. I do know that anybody who uses Alexa really likes it, so they're probably going to sell a bunch of them.

In a couple of years it's likely we're going to be looking around and say, "Oh my gosh, when did everybody start using these things?" The answer is, about three years ago. The fact of the matter is mobile is a situation, not a device. Your customers expect to use mobile when and where they are using whatever device helps them accomplish the objectives that they have. It's probably going to be some kind of headphones or some kind of watch as the technology gets good enough that you can make them really powerful in a really small package. You look at the new Apple Watch they've introduced, you look at the new AirPods they've introduced. We're getting closer to where you can actually make these things all day, computers that allow you to interact with what you want, where you want.

That's a really powerful difference. When you think about mobile for your business, when you think about how your customers will interact with your products and services using mobile, don't think in terms of a screen, don't think in terms of a device. Think in terms of an experience. Think in terms of how your customers will choose to interact with the information that they need and how you can help them do that. Then regardless of whether it takes three years or 10 years or somewhere in between, you will be ready for that situation that is mobile without having to worry too much about the device.

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 do 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 our past episodes by going to timpeter.com/podcast. Again, that's timpeter.com/podcast. Just look for Episode 259. 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.

While you're there, I'd also very much appreciate it if you can provide us a positive rating or review. It's so helpful to other listeners and it makes it easier for people to find us, so that would mean a lot 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.

I'd also 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 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 very much appreciate it. I hope you have a great rest of the week, a wonderful weekend, 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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September 4, 2019

Stop Outsourcing Your Sales & Marketing to Gatekeepers Like Google (Thinks Out Loud Episode 257)

September 4, 2019 | By | No Comments

Stop Outsourcing Your Sales & Marketing to Google: Image of Google logoLooking to drive results for your business? Click here to learn more.


Stop Outsourcing Your Sales & Marketing to Gatekeepers Like Google (Thinks Out Loud Episode 257) – Headlines and Show Notes

Google, Facebook, Amazon, and others are starting to face a fair bit of scrutiny over whether they have too much power in the lives of consumers and companies. That's probably for the best. But, regardless of how the various investigations unfold, it's worth asking whether you could do more to ensure Google is good for your business too. And the single biggest way to do that is to stop outsourcing your sales & marketing to Google – and to every other gatekeeper too.

How can you do that? Well, the latest episode of Thinks Out Loud takes a look at the actions taken by gatekeepers over the last couple of years and how you can use these technology giants to help, not harm, your company's sales and marketing.

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: 17m 15s

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.

Stop Outsourcing Your Sales & Marketing to Gatekeepers Like Google — Notes

Lots of backlash against Google, Facebook, and other large tech companies. Possible suits brought by the attorneys general of roughly half the states. GDPR, etc. I've talked about this a lot lately, talking about gatekeepers and the death of organic traffic, mentioning that Google is the beast that scares your industry's 800-lb. gorilla and asking whether Google is your enemy.

But this backlash exists for a reason. And the reason is we've ceded too much control, too much power, to too few players. Too many companies have outsourced their sales and marketing to Google via SEO and/or paid search and now are surprised that Google are increasing the costs. Or they've relied on Amazon for the bulk of their sales and are shocked that Amazon now expects a bigger cut. Or put all their hotel inventory on Expedia, then are hurt when Expedia's changes to payments and placement hurt their business.

Notice, the same pattern exists in every case. Why are we surprised by things that always happen?

Yes, gatekeepers gonna gate. That's a fact. But the problem isn't that Google exists. Or Facebook. Or Amazon. Or Expedia. Or Ebay. The problem is that companies have looked to these giants as their primary source of business.

Approach them the way a male black widow spider approaches a female black widow spider. Yes, you're looking for some benefits. But you need to think closely about the potential downsides.

Don't outsource your sales and marketing to any one company who also sells directly to customers.

And in digital, remember that the distinction between advertising and sales is literally just one more click. If I put a paid search ad on Google and the customer clicks to my business, we call that advertising. If I place an add-to-cart button on my site, that's e-commerce (or sales). If Google swaps the ad for the button and charges on the sale, is that advertising or sales? The point is, it doesn't matter. Because of digital, the worlds of media and commerce have merged. That's part of what I mean when I say "It's all e-commerce." Digital breaks down the barriers between products and services and advertising and sales.

But we can take lessons from each and apply them across the board.

In advertising, we've long made a distinction between paid, earned and owned media

  • Which one is Google? Paid and earned, right?
  • Which one is Amazon? Paid. Period.
  • Which one is Expedia? Paid. Period.
  • Which one is Facebook? Paid and earned.
  • Which one is YouTube? Earned and paid.
  • Which one is your website? Owned.

I like to refer to "leased" media. Yes, you can create a page on Facebook or Instagram or YouTube for your business. But think of it like an apartment you rent, not a home you own. Yes, you control the content you get to post, just like you can choose the art you can hang on the walls in your apartment. But remember who owns the walls. And the door. And the keys to that door.

Why is Automattic buying Tumblr a good thing? Because Google didn't buy them. Because Amazon didn't buy them. Because Facebook didn't buy them. FB would have been truly terrible, btw.

  • Use them to reach people you can't reach on your own in a cost-effective manner.
  • Understand they can raise their prices at any time
  • Use a variety of sources to drive traffic and business to channels you own (i.e., your website).
  • Continue to look for other sources that can drive traffic and business to channels you own.
    • Some may be paid
    • Some may be earned
  • But continually think "Hub and spoke"
    • The alternative is "they might choke (you)"
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

August 13, 2019

Why Verizon Selling Tumblr Should Make Marketers Very, Very Happy (Thinks Out Loud Episode 254)

August 13, 2019 | By | No Comments

Verizon Purchase of Tumblr: Tumblr login screenLooking to drive results for your business? Click here to learn more.


Why Verizon Selling Tumblr Should Make Marketers Very, Very Happy (Thinks Out Loud Episode 254) – Headlines and Show Notes

So Verizon dumped Tumblr earlier this week for a measly $3 million, this less than a decade after Yahoo — which sold itself to Verizon in the invervening years — purchased the social blogging site for $1.1 billion. That’s remarkable. It’s also really great news for marketers, though probably not for the reasons you think.

So what is the reason? Why should Verizon selling Tumblr make marketers very, very happy?

The latest episode of Thinks Out Loud takes a look — and helps you understand why this has nothing to do with Tumblr — and everything to do with your business.

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

Relevant Links

Notes

Automattic bought Tumblr for maybe $3 million dollars

  • Remarkable story given that Yahoo paid $1.1 billion for it just six years ago
    • Yahoo in turn sold itself to Verizon just about 3 years ago for a bit less than $5 billion
    • Which means that, in theory, Tumblr represented somewhere between 20% and 25% of the value of Yahoo at the time
    • Clearly, that wasn’t the case
      • Of course there’s a joke going around that since it sold for so little after Verizon banned pornography on Tumblr, the porn was what was worth the billion dollars
  • Automattic is the company that helps build WordPress
  • WordPress is open-source software — meaning it’s free for anyone to use and develop — but Automattic was built by the original developers who built their business around providing managed versions of WordPress
  • Acquia does a similar thing with Drupal
  • I always liked Tumblr because of the sense of community there
    • It was about like-minded people publishing and sharing content that brought them together.
  • Nonetheless its value is more important than its price
    • Here’s why.

We still have the power

  • Yes, Google and Facebook control lots of traffic
  • “Hub and spoke” strategy
    • Hub is your website
    • Spokes are the various distribution and promotion channels you use
      • Facebook
      • Instagram
      • YouTube
      • Twitter
      • LinkedIn
      • Whatever’s next
  • But everything should always lead back to your website
    • You own the platform
    • You’re not dependent on any one source for your traffic — or for your voice
    • You can be found
    • You can be heard
    • When people complain about evil folks who are still published on the internet — and please don’t misunderstand, those people are awful — that’s actually a sign of how resilient the internet is; how powerful it enables individual voices to be
    • Yes, that’s a “When you build the ship, you build the shipwreck” moment
    • But that’s great for you as a company, as an individual, as a movement, as an idea
      • I’m not a Pollyanna about this
      • some of the worst people in the world manage to find one another — and be found by others with similar points of view — because of this
        • To be fair, some of the communities on Tumblr were remarkably toxic
        • My use declined some even before Yahoo bought it because of that
      • So can some of the best people.
    • It simply means you can always be found

Google won’t always be in charge

  • Google’s power is brittle
  • They’re very strong
  • Switching costs are zero
  • Explain switching costs
    • Car
      • New car
      • New insurance
      • If it’s electric, new ways to “fuel” or power the vehicle
    • Business switching from PC to Mac
      • New computers
      • New software
      • Training for your employees on the new computers and software
      • Training for your IT staff on how to support
      • Lots of new cables 🙂
  • Anyone can switch to Bing or DuckDuckGo or Ask or whatever comes next in an instant
    • Google has tried to build more lock-in with Gmail and Docs and Android, but the basic point of switching search engines — which is where Google makes all its money — is essentially free
    • Don’t believe me: Google pays Apple to be the default
    • Depending on whose data you believe, they’re paying between $9 and $12 billion dollars for the privilege.
    • Is that the behavior of the most powerful company in the world?
  • Facebook is far less brittle
    • But, strange as this sounds, they’re also far less influential
    • Do you get 50%/60%/70% of your traffic from Facebook or Instagram?
      • I bet not
    • And a fair bit of what gets shared there originates someplace else.

Anyone can still get on the Internet

  • Tumblr
  • WordPress
  • Drupal
  • Instagram and Facebook and YouTube and Twitter and LinkedIn and Reddit and TikTok and apps on App stores other new players that come down the pike
    • I know a guy who’s a marketing thought-leader around using LinkedIn to grow your business
    • Yes, you’re relying on a gatekeeper — a less powerful one, but still a gatekeeper. But you’re also able to get online and get seen and get heard
    • That’s why you’ve got to go “hub and spoke”
  • That’s great for your business.
    • Lots of impressive brands have been built this way
      • Airbnb
      • Uber
      • Etsy
      • Reverb
  • And it’s great for people more generally.

Other big story: The protests in Hong Kong

  • How do we know what’s going on?
  • Because people are able to be heard

It’s not Utopia; it’s not Dystopia

  • Utopia literally means “no-place”
  • Dystopia literally means “not-good place”
  • The Internet is just a “topia.” It’s a place.
  • The good and the bad is how we use it.
  • The good and the bad is in the stories we tell
  • The good and the bad is in the communities we build
  • And the good and the bad is in the people we attract
  • Tumblr got bought for $3 million after originally selling for $1.1 billion
  • If its new owners allow it to foster the right kinds of communities, it will be the best money they’ve ever spent

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 Focusrite Scarlett 4i4 (3rd Gen) USB audio interface into Logic Pro X for the Mac.

Running time: 17m 44s

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

August 7, 2019

Why Mobile and Data Go Hand-in-Hand for Marketers (Thinks Out Loud Episode 253)

August 7, 2019 | By | No Comments

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


Why Mobile and Data Go Hand-in-Hand for Marketers: Business person using mobile to research product

Why Mobile and Data Go Hand-in-Hand for Marketers (Thinks Out Loud Episode 253) – Headlines and Show Notes

Mobile is a big deal. So is AI. So is personalization. When you address those in isolation, each is useful for your business. But when you put them together, that’s where the true power lies. And that’s why mobile and data go hand-in-hand for marketers.

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

Relevant Links:

Introduction

Why Mobile and Data Go Hand-in-Hand for Marketers: Incredible Insights

Why Mobile and Data Go Hand-in-Hand for Marketers: Leads to AI

Why Mobile and Data Go Hand-in-Hand for Marketers: All the cool kids are doing it

Bar chart showing smartphone data flows to the world's biggest tech companies. Data from more than 88 per cent of apps in the study could end up with Alphabet

Facebook, by comparison, gets data from roughly 43% of the apps researchers reviewed (Financial Times tracking study, October 2018)

Why Mobile and Data Go Hand-in-Hand for Marketers: Yes, you've got to be careful

Why Mobile and Data Go Hand-in-Hand for Marketers: But that doesn't mean "Don't do it"

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 53s

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.