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Tim Peter

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February 25, 2020

Is a Recession More Likely This Year? Here’s What You Don’t Want to Do (Thinks Out Loud Episode 276)

February 25, 2020 | By | No Comments

Is a recession more likely this year? Marketers worried about losing money -- and talent.Looking to drive results for your business? Click here to learn more.


Lots of news this week that affects lots of businesses, including the coronavirus news and Expedia announcing a pretty significant set of layoffs. All of this suggests a recession is more likely this year. But, assuming a recession hits, there's a good way to handle it… and a not good way to handle it. What is the good way? What's the bad way? And what do you want to make sure you don't do? The latest episode of Thinks Out Loud takes a look at whether a recession is more likely this year and tells you what you don't want to do.

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

Is a Recession More Likely This Year? Here's What You Don't Want to Do (Thinks Out Loud Episode 276) — 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: 18m 16s

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

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February 20, 2020

The Single Biggest Myth in Digital: Content is Expensive (Thinks Out Loud Episode 275)

February 20, 2020 | By | No Comments

The Single Biggest Myth in Digital: Content is Expensive (Thinks Out Loud Episode 275): Woman reading content on her phoneLooking to drive results for your business? Click here to learn more.


The Single Biggest Myth in Digital: Content is Expensive (Thinks Out Loud Episode 275) – Headlines and Show Notes

Every day, folks from our team hear marketers at companies large and small talk about how much their content marketing efforts cost. And, they’re not wrong. They often are spending too much money on content. But they’re also buying into the single biggest myth in digital. It’s not that content is expensive. It’s that — for any number of reasons — their content doesn’t do what it’s supposed to. Maybe they don’t measure it effectively. Maybe it doesn’t drive clicks or links or shares. Maybe it doesn’t convert. But content is not expensive. Content that no one sees is expensive. Content that doesn't convert is expensive. But content that does its job is the best investment you can make in your business.

In this episode of Thinks Out Loud, we blow up the single biggest myth in digital marketing: content is expensive. Company founder andThinks Out Loud host Tim Peter looks at why content is expensive for some companies — and how you can make it be not only a solid investment, but the best investment around.

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

Relevant Links – The Single Biggest Myth in Digital: Content is Expensive (Thinks Out Loud Episode 275)

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 45s

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.

Transcript — The Single Biggest Myth in Digital: Content is Expensive (Thinks Out Loud Episode 275)

Opening — The Single Biggest Myth in Digital: Content is Expensive (Thinks Out Loud Episode 275)

Well, hello again everyone, and welcome back to Thinks Out Loud, your source for all the digital marketing expertise your business needs. This is episode 275 of the big show. Thank you so much for tuning in once again, I very much appreciate it. I think we have a really cool show for you. And I want to start by blowing up the single biggest myth in digital marketing, and that is that content is expensive.

Why Content Is Not Expensive — The Single Biggest Myth in Digital: Content is Expensive (Thinks Out Loud Episode 275)

You know, when I talk to people all the time, I talk about how critical content is. I've said many times content is king. And when you talk to people about why they don't do more with content, one of the things I hear again and again and again is that it's really expensive to create content, and I just think that's nonsense.

Content is cheap. Content is incredibly cheap. Imagine if you spent $3,000 a month producing content. Now it doesn't matter if you consider that number a big number or a little number given your current budget. But it stands to reason that you could produce a lot of text content, a fair bit of audio or even a couple of high quality videos for three grand a month. Like that's not an outrageous sum of money to produce a reasonable volume, reasonable volumes of content.

The reason that people think that content is expensive though is because what they're talking about is content that no one sees. They're talking about content that doesn't convert. Because content that no one sees is expensive and content that doesn't convert is expensive.

Comparing Your Content to a Sales Person — The Single Biggest Myth in Digital: Content is Expensive (Thinks Out Loud Episode 275)

Now imagine you paid a salesperson $3,000 per month, that's $36,000 a year. We can all agree that's not a lot of money for a salesperson certainly not a lot of money for a good one. And we can also agree that if that person did not close any sales, we'd ask them to find somewhere else to spend their days. Right. I mean, sure, we might give them an opportunity to get better, but we wouldn't give them a lot of opportunities to get better, even at $36,000 a year, which is cheap for a salesperson, you know? It's the fact that we expect more from them. So the question I would have is, why don't we expect more from our content?

And no disrespect to any sales person you're going to hire, they don't work 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. But your content can. And if you could produce content that people see, and if you can produce content that converts, suddenly $3,000 a month is going to seem pretty inexpensive for lots of reasons.

Why Content Matters for Your Business — The Single Biggest Myth in Digital: Content is Expensive (Thinks Out Loud Episode 275)

You know, first, as I've talked about before, if you don't have content, you don't have search. And if you don't have content, you don't have social. Fundamentally, the point of your content is to get in front of customers at a time of need, whether they're on search or whether they're on social, and answer their questions that they have. Maybe encourage them to share that content with other people online, their friends and families and fans and followers and folks like that on social. And in a perfect world, move them down the purchase funnel. Move them down their customer journey towards making a decision to buy from you, to buy what you offer. And if your content consistently did that, you probably wouldn't see it as expensive.

So let's talk about how you can do this a bit. You know, the average person online has roughly 200 friends on social media, whether we're talking about Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, WhatsApp, WeChat, Snapchat, Tik Tok, Pinterest, LinkedIn, whatever else comes down the line. Any single piece of content that is seen by a visitor to your website, theoretically, could be shared with up to 200 additional people. Now, let's be fair. Most people aren't going to share, but that should be one of the goals you're tracking on your website, on your content. Is it being shared, and if so, how many additional views are you getting from those shares?

And if so, how many clicks are you getting from your shares? How is it improving your traffic? You know, maybe it's only being shared by one person out of, you know, 50, maybe it's only being shared by one person out of a hundred. So if you're getting a thousand people coming to your website, you know, every day, every week, every month, doesn't matter what the period is, but you're getting a thousand people coming to your website. You should be getting 10 to 20 shares and those 10 to 20 shares, in theory should be anywhere between 2,000 and 4,000 additional people seeing your content.

Now again, we know the algorithms on social don't really show everything to everybody, so maybe it's only being seen by 10% of their friends and family and fans and followers. So instead of being seen by two thousand to four thousand, you're seeing you're being seen by 200 to 400 additional people. But remember, this is a piece of content that in theory is only being seen by a thousand or anyway. So you're increasing its exposure by 20 to 40% and of course you want to get that extra 20 to 40% of people to click through and to convert to make the content worthwhile.

But the question you have to be looking at, the thing you have to be thinking about is, if your content isn't being shared, why not? Do you know that it's being shared? Do you know that it's being seen? Do you know that people are clicking and do you know that people are converting? The challenge we have with content very often is not that it doesn't work. It's that we don't know whether or not it works.

And again, this is something that you could be producing lots of content. If you're putting out, you know, five or 10 pieces of content per month, let's say, right? And they're being shared with an additional 20 to 40% of the visitors who are actually being seen or who are actually seeing the content on your site, that's a remarkable bit of upside for you to leverage. And that's before we get into improved search ranking and all the other things that you would expect to come from really high quality content. That's before we get into can you promote it with any paid media? That's before we get into can you engage your employees in sharing that content with their friends and family and fans and followers?

But the simple fact of the matter is that piece of content has enormous potential for you to take advantage of. That probably is a place that you have some work to do. And this has not changed for years. It's a reason why I keep saying content is King because it is the core of everything you do. It's the thing around which everything you do evolves.

If you don't have great content, you have nothing to promote regardless of the channel you're going to promote it in. If you don't have great content, you're not going to have anything your customers are going to want to share with their friends and their family and their fans and their followers. If you don't have great content, you're not going to be picked up in search engines as being a good answer to a customer's question. And if you don't have great content, you're not going to be able to engage your employees and sharing with their friends and family and fans and followers, because they're not going to want to look like an idiot. They're not going to want to say, "yeah, this is something I worked on, and I think it's really great" if it isn't, right? But it's something that can be done very economically and really isn't that expensive if it works for you.

Again, think of each piece of content like a salesperson. Think of it the way you would anybody who sells for your business, they're not expensive. They're not cheap. They are a function of whether or not they do a good job, and when they do a great job, you never find yourself saying, "Man, I'm really paying my most successful sales person too much money." It's just not a conversation you have. You really want to think about the fact that content is King and the King is actually pretty cheap as long as you make sure the King works for you.

The Single Biggest Myth in Digital: Content is Expensive (Thinks Out Loud Episode 275): Conclusion

So my big advice is focus on making sure you have the right measures to ensure your content is working for you. Put an emphasis on measuring the effectiveness of its shareability, of its viewability, on its clickability and on its conversion, because those will help you make sure your content really does work for your business. And if you do all that well, you're going to find out that content isn't expensive at all, but that not having great content is going to cost you an awful lot of money.

Show Closing — The Single Biggest Myth in Digital: Content is Expensive (Thinks Out Loud Episode 275)

Now looking at the clock on the wall, we are out of time for this week, but I want to remind you that you can find the show notes for today's episode as well as an archive of all past episodes by going to TimPeter.com/podcast. Again, that's TimPeter.com/podcast. Just look for episode 275. 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 every single week. You can also subscribe to Thinks Out Loud on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Stitcher Radio, Overcast, or whatever your favorite podcatcher happens to be. Just do a 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 really appreciate it if you could provide us a positive rating or review. It helps new listeners find us and it helps them understand what the show is all about. It makes an enormous difference for the podcast. You can also find Thinks Out Loud on Facebook by going to facebook.com/TimPeterAssociates and you can find me on Twitter using the Twitter handle @tcpeter. And 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 as 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. Again, that's SoloSegment.com.

With that, I want to say thanks so much for tuning in. I really appreciate you listening. I know I say it every week, but I would not do the show without you. It means so very much to me to have you tune in. With all that said, I hope you have a great rest of the week one where ever you happen to be. I hope you have a wonderful weekend and I'm looking forward to speaking with you him again here on thinks out loud next time.

Until then, please be well, be safe, and as ever, take care of everybody.

Tim Peter

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February 11, 2020

We Live in the Future (Thinks Out Loud Episode 274)

February 11, 2020 | By | No Comments

We live in the future: Team collaborating over augmented reality screensLooking to drive results for your business? Click here to learn more.


We Live in the Future (Thinks Out Loud Episode 274) – Headlines and Show Notes

When you look around, do you feel like you’re living in a futuristic utopia? Or does it feel more like a dystopian future to you? In either case, it’s clear that we already live in the future. Whether you see a world filled with global access to instantaneous information, improved medical treatments, and declining poverty, or one filled with information overload, disparate access to healthcare, and growing income/wealth inequality, the fact remains that the future is here, now.

This week's Thinks Out Loud looks at the “state of the future” that we’re living in, positive and negative, and offers some thoughts on how you can make it more positive for you — and for the world around you.

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

Relevant Links – We Live in the Future (Thinks Out Loud Episode 274)

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: 20m 20s (I didn’t plan this one. But, c’mon. The episode “We Live in the Future,” released in 2020, is 20:20. That’s awesome!)

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.

Transcript – We Live in the Future (Thinks Out Loud Episode 274)

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, this is episode 274 of the big show, and thank you so much for tuning in. I really think we've got a cool show for you today. This is something that I'm passionate about, just unbelievably passionate about, and that is this idea, you know, anyone who follows me on Twitter has probably seen me say recently that we live in the future. We are in a remarkable time.

The Good News: We Live in the Future (Thinks Out Loud Episode 274)

You know, obviously I talk a lot about mobile and how it shapes the future. Believe me, I'm going to go way wider than mobile here. But just to point out a couple of recent statistics, you know, there's new data from Pew Research that shows that mobile phone ownership has reached 94% in advanced economies and 83% in emerging economies. Smartphone ownership is 76% and 45% among advanced and emerging economies respectively. So almost half the world has a smartphone. And internet use among people in advanced and emerging economies has reached 90% and 60% respectively.

Now, as you might imagine, those numbers are even more dramatic among millennials, or as I like to call them, adults under 40. So that's amazing, right?

Well, there's even more amazing stuff, none of which has anything to do with business in the just spot-on view. But if you broaden your lens a little bit, you're going to say, Oh, that's got some amazing implications.

You know, for one thing, we have a longer life expectancy according to the World Health Organization. This is a quote, "global average life expectancy increased five and a half years between 2000 and 2016, the fastest increased since the 1960s. Those gains reverse declines during the 1990s when life expectancy fell in Africa because of the AIDS epidemic and in Eastern Europe following the collapse of the Soviet Union."

Think about it. It's not that people don't die of AIDS any longer. It's not that people don't die because of economically depressed conditions, and I'll speak a little bit more on that in a moment. But overall, people are living longer. They're healthier. Cancer rates are down. The American Cancer Society said "the death rate from cancer in the U S has declined steadily over the past 25 years. As of 2016 with a cancer death rate for men and women combined had fallen 27% from its peak in 1991. This decline translates to about one and a half percent per year, and more than 2.6 million deaths avoided between 1991 and 2016." Again, that's amazing. So people are, you know, living longer. People are healthier, they're more connected.

And that all leads to the fact that we have a growing middle class according to the Brookings Institution. "As of [September, 2018] just over 50% of the world's population or some 3.8 billion people live in households with enough discretionary expenditure to be considered middle-class or rich." That's amazing. And it's a reality that would have been tough to predict not that long ago. But that's the world we live in.

You know, it's, think about Star Trek and the fact that they talk about, you know, "Star Trek: The Next Generation." Yes, I'm a nerd. I've been watching "Star Trek: Picard." I love it. It's amazing. You should check it out.

But this idea that, you know, in the future we will have fewer concerns because some of our more basic needs — you know, if we think Maslow's hierarchy — are being taken care of. We no longer worry as much about lodging and food and shelter and basic health. And I want to be really clear, obviously, there's a lot more than can be done.

I promise you I'm going to come to that, but we live in amazing times. You know, just as a, for instance, think about the things that exist now that would have sounded like science fiction even 10 to 15 years ago, but no longer do. We have space tourism launching this year. Virgin Galactic and Jeff Bezos's Blue Origin will begin flights this year. According to the BBC, "Swiss bank UBS released a report," this was in 2019, "that estimated space tourism could become a $3 billion industry in the next 10 years." There was an interesting article in late December on Politico that published an article about concerns about the lack of regulation in space tourism. And this isn't a science fiction piece. This is like a legitimate serious conversation they're having. You know?

Also not science fiction, quantum computing made huge breakthroughs in 2019, with Google claiming they had achieved quantum superiority. Now, there's probably a little bit of PR in that. But that's extraordinary. We have things like quantum teleportation. We have things like gene editing with CRISPR. We have telepresence and augmented reality, and oh, I don't know, podcasts and all kinds of crazy stuff that people take for granted day in and day out.

If we don't live in the future — I don't know when we will — right now. To be fair, I want to point out two things here. One, I'm sure if you're an adult under 40 right now, and especially if you're an adult under 30 right now, you're probably saying, well, c'mon, this is just normal, and that's kind of the point. If you're older than 40, if you're older than 35 a lot of this stuff was the future, not that long ago. And today it's normal. It's reality. And that's something we need to just, accept, we just need to take in and, you know, own, right? We need to embrace it.

The Bad News: We Live in the Future (Thinks Out Loud Episode 274)

Now the other side of this is, of course, the future isn't all good news. We've seen a rise of hate groups and criminal activity on the internet. That's terrible, right? I'm, I'm paraphrasing Benedict Evans, who's a partner in the venture capital firm a16z, who recently gave a talk and said, you know, when everyone is connected to the internet, everyone includes the bad people.

So you absolutely get bad actors and you know, whether they're doing it for fun, whether they're doing it for profit, or whether they're doing it for fun, like trolls and things like that. In his fantastic book "LikeWar," which is stylized as #likewar, the writer Peter W. Singer quoted Robert Bateman who said, "Once every village had an idiot. It took the internet to bring them all together." Which is not, I mean, it's a funny line, but it's also tragic.

I have mentioned many times before that "digital is like gravity" and quoting Paul DeLillo, the a French philosopher, you know, "when you build the ship, you also build the shipwreck. When you invent the ship, you also invent the shipwreck." And digital is like gravity. It's got these problems.

I had a podcast episode not too long ago where I asked did we break the internet or did the internet break us? And I think those are questions we have to pay a lot of attention to. You know, I'm going to give you my point of view on this in just a moment.

But I want to take a step back to this great book from, Oh gosh, 10 years ago or more, a guy by the name of Joel Garreau, who wrote a book called "Radical Evolution." And he talked about the fact that there are multiple scenarios for the future. He called them the Heaven scenario, the Hell scenario, and the Prevail scenario. Right? I've also heard them referred to as "the Pollyanna scenario," right, where everything's going to be amazing. The "Gray Goo scenario" where everything's going to go to crap, and "the Muddle Through scenario," you know, where we just kind of take one step forward and 1.99 steps back.

And I'm going to be honest, I think that's the scenario that's most likely, the muddle through. You know, the future is not utopia, though there are elements of utopia in it. You know, when we talk about things like cancer rates going down and longer life expectancy and more people being middle class and having access to a modern economy, that's phenomenal, right? And that's before you get to the science fiction stuff, like space tourism and access to information and all that kind of stuff, right? That's utopian. That's heaven. That's Pollyanna, right? It's also not all dystopia.

You know that we don't live in a utopia. We don't live in a dystopia. We just kind of live in a "Topia" where things kind of muddle through and we have muddled the through for millennia, and I expect we're likely to continue to do so.

There's going to be amazing breakthroughs that make the world a better place. And we're going to have bad actors and criminals and all those other kinds of things of people who want to exploit the system to their own advantage. You know, when we look at people, when we look at some of the divisive rhetoric on the internet, some of the people who are, you know, saying terrible things or doing terrible things, you know, ask yourself who benefits from this. Are they are these legitimately good actors? Are these people who are trying to thrive on the chaos? So I think we have to recognize that, you know, it's not utopia. It's not dystopia, it's just a "Topia." And we will muddle through.

What You Can Do About It: We Live in the Future (Thinks Out Loud Episode 274)

Now, if you think about it, I think there's a few things you can do to, to, you know, do well at because we live in the future.

And the first is kind of embrace the chaos. And I don't mean, you know, I don't mean necessarily create more chaos or add to the chaos. I mean, it's likely we're gonna muddle through. It's not all going to be wonderful, but it's probably not all going to be crap. You know, take it for granted that this is the world in which we live and try to make changes for the better in the areas that you can for the people around you.

Another thing you can do is learn to live in the future. Keep learning, keep reading. I'm going to paraphrase yet another quote, and I would attribute this if I could find the source, but there was a politician who said, once upon a time, you may as well embrace the future. You're going to live in it anyway.

That's the reality. That's the world in which we live, and so you're better off saying, okay, if that's true, if we live in the future, how do I live in it successfully?

Another thing you can do is plan. You know, I realized that dropping quotes all over the place here, but one of my favorite comes from a Yiddish expression that says, "Man plans, God laughs," by which it means that the circumstances that happen every day will likely force you to change whatever plans you make, sometimes dramatically. You know, Mike Tyson probably had the best version of this when he said, "everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth." But that doesn't mean you shouldn't plan. It means that you should have a plan that's adaptable as circumstances change.

If you know change is going to occur, why not plan for that change and say, okay, what do I do if this occurs? What will I do if this occurs, what will I do if that occurs? What do I do? You know, what do I do to achieve the outcomes that I'm looking for? How do I make sure I put myself in a position to be successful as circumstances change and for lots of different definitions of success, not just in business, but in your personal life, in your interpersonal relationships, in your you know, health and wellness.

And that leads to my last point that I want to talk about, which is, let's be fair, the future hasn't always been bright for everybody. So look for opportunities to bring along those who are currently left behind. You know, I think it's really clear that the technologists and tech evangelists often only look at the bright side. They don't always look at the impacts — whether they're environmental or financial or cultural or just basic human — of those who don't get to participate as early adopters. And the reasons that they don't pay attention to this aren't evil. They're just blinded by the bright side. And let's be fair, they have some reason to be.

Think about all the news about longer life expectancies, more people in the middle class, greater access to information, et cetera. Full disclosure, this may be my blind spot. But just because it will probably get better for everyone eventually doesn't mean it's all good for everyone now. In fact, quite the opposite. And you don't have to look to the far side of the world to find examples of that.

Think about people in your local communities who struggle with access to education or information or you know, things like water that isn't mostly made of lead, right? I mean, you don't have to go that far to find places where people are being left behind. And the thing you can do is ask, okay, what can I do about that? How can I help?

I once met a hotel operator in Mexico who had built a series of schools for local kids to improve their access to education, to improve their education and their economic prospects. And yes, one of the reasons he did it was because he wanted to improve the quality of the workforce in his area. And yes, one of the reasons he wanted to do it was to give himself access to a local market. But he was educating far more kids than he could ever hope to employ and far more kids than he could ever hope would stay in his hotel. And he knew that, and in his view, that was a good thing.

I think it's amazing that you have the ability to use these tools to do well for people. And even if you don't believe that helping others matters altruistically — and I do by the way — but just like this hotel operator, think about how you can benefit if you have richer customers, more educated employees, and all the other benefits that come with that.

We Live in the Future (Thinks Out Loud Episode 274) Conclusion

So we live in amazing times. We live in an era of unbridled opportunity. We have people who are living longer. They're making more money. They have access to more information that should bring the world closer together, that should bring you closer to your customers, but also just closer to people generally. And if that isn't a bright vision of the future, I don't know what is.

So don't just wait for the future to happen to you. Embrace it. Recognize that you live in the future and that because of that, you can do some truly extraordinary things. Personally, I can't wait to see what you do with it.

Show Closing — We Live in the Future (Thinks Out Loud Episode 274)

Now, looking at the clock on the wall, we are at a time for this week, but 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 274.

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 you every single week. You can subscribe to Thinks Out Loud on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Stitcher Radio, Overcast, 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 appreciate it if you could provide us a positive rating or review. It helps listeners find us and it helps them understand what the show is all about. It makes a big difference for the podcast overall.

You can also find Thinks Out Loud on Facebook by going to facebook.com/TimPeterAssociates. And you can find me on Twitter using the Twitter handle @tcpeter. And 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 to you for tuning in. I really appreciate you listening. I know I say this week after week after week, but I really would not do the show without you. It means so much to me to have you listen every single week. I hope you have a great rest of your week, wherever you may be. I hope you have a fantastic weekend ahead and I look forward to speaking with you again on Thinks Out Loud next time. Until then, please be safe, be well, and as ever take care everybody.

Tim Peter

By

January 29, 2020

What Great Marketers Know: The 5 Tech Trends that Will Shape the 2020’s (Thinks Out Loud Episode 272)

January 29, 2020 | By | No Comments

What Great Marketers Know: The 5 Tech Trends that Will Shape the 2020's: People using mobile in a cafeLooking to drive results for your business? Click here to learn more.


The 5 Tech Trends that Will Shape the 2020's (Thinks Out Loud Episode 272) – Headlines and Show Notes

This week's Thinks Out Loud continues our look at the top trends you need to know to improve your marketing this year. And this one's super-fun, examining the 5 tech trends that will shape not only this year, but the 2020's as a whole.

What are these trends? I'm glad you asked. Drawn from key insights by folks like Steven Sinofsky, Kara Swisher, The Verge, and others, we're learning from some of the best. Not only that, but Thinks Out Loud has some recommendations on how to make these trends work for your business.

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

Relevant Links – The 5 Tech Trends that Will Shape the 2020's (Thinks Out Loud Episode 272)

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: 19m 35s

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.

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November 20, 2019

Amazon Go, Instant Gratification, and the Boring Future of Business (Thinks Out Loud Episode 265)

November 20, 2019 | By | No Comments

Amazon Go, Instant Gratification, and the Boring Future of Business: Picture of Amazon Go storeLooking to drive results for your business? Click here to learn more.


Amazon Go, Instant Gratification, and the Boring Future of Business (Thinks Out Loud Episode 265) — Headlines and Show Notes

Amazon uses its Amazon Go stores to provide the shopping experience of the future. Swipe your phone when you enter, pick up your things, and simply walk out. No lines. No scanning products. Nothing. It's cool. It's also surprisingly… boring. Yes, it provides instant gratification. But it's an experience that's so invisible as to be, ultimately, uninteresting.

What is interesting though is how Amazon Go — and competing options as they come down the pike — will shape expectations for customer experience for every business. Your customers will expect instant gratification. They'll expect seamless experiences. They'll demand that their interactions with you become invisible. Or, the reverse:, much more interesting.

How can your company cope? How do you create these kinds of experiences? The latest episode of Thinks Out Loud takes a look at Amazon Go, instant gratification, and the boring future of business for you. And even better, offers answers for these questions for you.

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

Amazon Go, Instant Gratification, and the Boring Future of Business (Thinks Out Loud Episode 265) — 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: 16m 11s

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.

Amazon Go, Instant Gratification, and the Boring Future of Business (Thinks Out Loud Episode 265) — 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 265 of the big show. Thank you so much for tuning in. I know I say this every time but I really appreciate it. I wouldn't do the show if you didn't listen, so thanks so much for doing so.

I have a really cool, I think we've got a really cool show today. I think it's a neat topic. I finally got an opportunity to visit an Amazon Go store. They're popping up in a couple of places around the country and around the world. There's a few on the west coast, there are now a couple in New York City. And what's interesting, I talked about this a long time ago, and how this is the future of commerce and the future of e-commerce. And I have to say that I was right, and also, I was wrong.

Now, I want to start with, as you might imagine, I want to start with the fact where I was right. 🙂

What I'd said in a podcast episode, gosh, almost three years ago now, I said this shows how e-commerce will work in the future. And I think that's right. Now that I finally got the opportunity to actually visit one of these stores, it absolutely shows how things will work in the future. The thing about it, though, is what it shows is that it's going to be incredibly boring. And hear me out, hear me out on this because this is really important. There's a really critical point here that I want to make but hang with me for a minute till I get there.

Let's start with all the things that Amazon Go does wrong. So first, you have to download the app, which isn't a big deal, but you can't actually get in the store unless you have the app. Then I ran into a very particular problem that is probably distinct to me, in that they couldn't tie my Amazon account to the correct credit card. And that meant I couldn't get into the store. So the first time I went to the store, I was not able to get in. Nothing that I did, or the very courteous clerk who worked there tried, convinced Amazon that I was able to pay. And that meant that I couldn't come into the shop. The net result was that it was not in Amazon Go, it was Amazon Go away. I wouldn't call it a poor experience. There was no experience at all. But it certainly had a negative brand experience for me. It didn't make me real happy with Amazon. And their website did a terrible job of helping me understand the problem.

So, once I got to my hotel and I was able to pull out my laptop and figure out what was going on on the website, I was able to fix the issue. But it absolutely contributes to criticisms that people have had about how Amazon Go might limit access to low-income consumers or those without credit cards or those without smartphones.

So as bullish as I may be on mobile payments, which anybody who's listened to the show for a long time knows, and a more cashless society generally, certainly, some sort of recourse has to exist for people without those options. At which point, you're shutting out an entire segment of the population. That's bad for business, obviously. And also, it's just plain wrong. People should be able to transact with you if they have the ability to, regardless of whether or not they have a smartphone or a credit card. There should be some recourse. I don't know what the right answer is there, but there should be some solution.

Anyway, I want to get to the broader point at the same time. And for those of you who are listening who are like, "Well, I'm in B2B and none of this is going to apply," hang with me because this is really going to apply to you too. So, once I figured out the problem with my card and I configured the app to use it, I went back to the store. I pulled up the 3D barcode on the app, scanned the check-in and walked in. And as advertised, it's a really simple process. It's so simple, in fact, that it's scarcely registered for me what I had just done because it was kind of invisible. The store, meh, it was fine. It contains the same mix of shelf-stable and short-term refrigerated goods, like pre-wrapped sandwiches or microwave meals or sushi that you'd find in any small-footprint city center bodega. It's got razor blades, it's got deodorant, it's got pantyhose. If I didn't know I was in an Amazon Go, I could easily have mistaken it for a particularly classy gas station convenience store.

And let's be fair, that's probably more a compliment to gas station convenience stores than a criticism of Amazon. At the same time, it's not an unfair criticism. The store was just like any other store you ever used. So anyway, I grabbed a sandwich, I grabbed a diet Coke, I grabbed a Snickers bar, we all have our vices, and then I simply walked out of the store. It worked exactly as advertised. There was no muss, there was no fuss.

But this is the point. The point is, we live in a society where people expect instant gratification, and I got it. And what happens when you get instant gratification is, it becomes invisible.

This wasn't so much a great experience as it didn't even register what I'd just done. It was like getting out of an Uber. When you get out of an Uber, you don't notice anything because nothing happens. The receipt shows up in your app right after you leave and is accurate, right? Which is what happens with Uber, what happens with Amazon Go. It was completely fine, completely invisible, and completely boring. It worked but in the least visible way possible. And this is what I want to make as the broader point. Instant gratification is what your customers are going to expect, they're starting to expect. They see it today with Uber. Now we're starting to see it with Amazon Go. We will see it with other services, other products.

Think about what it used to be like to check out of a hotel versus what it's like today. It just ceases to exist. And that's actually cool on one level, but it means that you're going to have to work harder to differentiate yourself on customer experience. Because the experience of payment, the experience of shopping, the experience of interacting with you, customers will expect to be invisible. I kind of equated this to automatic sliding doors, right? If you remember the original Star Trek or The Jetsons, right? Sliding doors were this big deal, oh my gosh, you just walk and the doors open. When's the last time you thought about a sliding door anywhere? They just exist everywhere, they're invisible. And that's a thing that technology does generally, is it becomes invisible over time, and that's what we're going to see here.

Now, let's talk about the broader implications of this. It means that you have to provide those invisible experiences because visible gets in the way of instant gratification. Visible gets in the way of customer expectation. So it's not that you have to be invisible to give people a good experience. It's not that you have to do these things to give people a good experience. It's that if you are visible, by definition, it's going to be a bad experience unless you specifically do something to make it a good experience. And that's going to be true regardless of whether people are doing B2C or B2B or anything along the way. Because that's the world in which your customers live in. Jean-Yves Gonin on Twitter was talking about how B2B buyers are B2C consumers. And as e-commerce experiences explode… Due to e-commerce experiences' explosive growth, their expectations change, right? This was something that PwC and Salesforce and Mike Quindazzi said at Dreamforce, and it's exactly right.

We know that 65% of B2B buyers prefer to conduct their research online. We know that 37% of small businesses B2B respondents and 31% of enterprise businesses say that they conduct their business online completely. Lori Wizdo at Forrester has been saying something similar for years, noting that on average, 74% of business buyers told Forrester they conduct more than half of their research online before making an offline purchase. Clearly, in B2C, the numbers are equally large, if not much, much larger. And so, you have to create great experiences. When I say "customer experience is queen, what does that mean?" this is what I'm talking about.

And if I can bring in one last point about this, this is where artificial intelligence is going to play a big role because it's going to help you understand, how do we make our experiences invisible? You have to be creative to say, "And if it is visible, how do we make it not painful?" But the AI should be able to help you understand, here's our pain points. Here are places where we can streamline the experience more effectively, and do so in a cost-effective manner, do so in a way that we can scale easily.

There's a really great article on QSR magazine, quick-service restaurants, where Starbucks talks about why AI is a differentiator for the future. And it has to do with predictive analytics, and it has to do with better understanding the customer, and it has to do with making those experiences invisible, improving instant gratification for their customers.

So the big idea behind all of this is that Amazon Go is the future of e-commerce, the future of commerce generally. And the future is boring because it's not going to be visible. It's going to be the things that are visible create problems unless you explicitly take action to make them not problems for your customers. So you need to think about, how do we take the visible and either make it better or make it invisible for our customers at every step along their journey? Do we have the right data and do we have the right analytics that help us understand where those pain points exist? And do we have a creative team who can help us figure out what to do when we encounter those places where we are more visible than we should be and not in a good way?

Because this is the world your customers live in. This is the reality that they're going to expect. Instant gratification builds on itself, that your customers are going to expect to get things easily, painlessly, seamlessly. And if they don't, they're going to go find somebody else who does help them. Because you can't have instant gratification if it isn't instant and if you're not gratified. You can help your customers solve for that or they'll find somebody who will.

Now, looking at the clock on the wall, we are out of time for this week. But 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 265. While you're there, you can click on the subscribe link in any of the episodes you find to have Thinks Out Loud delivered to your favorite podcatcher every single week. You can subscribe on Apple Podcasts or Google Podcast or Stitcher Radio or whatever your favorite podcatcher happens to be. You can find us on all the finest podcast services anywhere in the world. Just do a 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 could provide us a positive rating and review. That gives other listeners a window into the show and helps them understand that's something they'd like to listen to too. It makes it easier for people to find us 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. And of course, you can email me by sending an email to podcast@timpeter.com. Again, that's podcast@timpeter.com.

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 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.