Why IT and Marketing are Diametrically Opposed [commentary]

[LinkedIn Post]

When Business and IT clash, it’s the customer who loses. Everyday you stagnate, you put your customers at risk. When you keep your data siloed, it’s your customer’s experience that suffers.

Amazon has over 500K employees and they are foster a culture with  “Day 1” mentality; a mantra meant to convey that the company will never stop being a start-up.

Has any company in history disrupted as many individual companies and distinct industries as Amazon?

I’ve been on the vendor side for over 12 years now, selling technology into various businesses. Business wants to be nimble and move fast. IT is often opposed and it’s not their fault, necessarily.

It’s a classic scenario.

This old article by Scott Brinker absolutely nails it on the head.

I believe these opposing goals has helped fuel the rise of SaaS, as businesses could by-pass IT. But with Data being such a huge asset (and security risk), the pendulum is swinging back a bit. Business must work with IT.

“We’re a big company, we move slowly”

Okay, but who suffers? YOUR CUSTOMER.

 

Last I checked Amazon is a big company too.

They put their customer first.

It’s always Day 1 at Amazon.

News is not News anymore; News is Business

“Mexico’s Next President Calls for An Invasion Of The US”

MEXICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE WORLD’S ASYLUM SEEKERS HAVE A ‘HUMAN RIGHT’ TO MIGRATE TO US

Mexico’s Next President Boldly Declares That Immigration To The United States Is A “Human Right”

News is business and the headline is the clickbait. In today’s polarized political environment, you cannot simply read the headlines.

I remember reading these headlines a few weeks back, before the Mexican election and thinking, “Wow, that is bold and crazy to say”.

Then I recently read a headline about how the new Mexican president-elect wanted to build his own “Southern wall” by establishing a distinct border-police force to combat illegal immigration from Central America. I thought: “How ironic”

This led me to find this seemingly more credible-neutral article on the headlines above. AMLO wasn’t telling people flood the border. He was simply saying that he will defend those who find themselves with no other option but to relocate to the United States, in wake of all the hoopla about ICE and family separation.

You have to read the full story…TWICE! Once from the a left-wing biased publication and then a second time from the right-wing bias. And maybe a third time from a neutral party, if you’re lucky enough to find one these days. :/

Then form your own opinion.

Brand Affinity is Created by Great Customer Experiences

[LinkedIn Post]

Apple’s greatest asset is one that you cannot see, feel, or touch. That is, its Brand Affinity. Buffet is not a technology investor, but he bought APPL because he saw “an extraordinary consumer franchise”. Apple customers are “very, very, very locked in, at least psychologically and mentally, to the product you are using. [The iPhone] is a very sticky”.

I noticed one of my connections wrote a lot about Toyota. I asked him: “What’s your affinity with Toyota”. He told me about a story when he was younger, how he was in a pretty bad car accident with his family, but luckily nobody got hurt and he attributed that to the safety of the Toyota vehicle. He is a Toyota customer for life.

My kids play a lot of Fortnite. It’s a free game, but players buy V-Bucks for new skins, etc. [Aside: As a parent, Fortnite is the most expensive free game there is!]. I bet if Redbull or Monster or equiv, purchased the ability to brand the Chug Jug or Shield Potion, they would create a positive brand affinity to millions of youth, for life.

Brand affinity is created by great customer experiences. I believe that the more bland or generic the product is, the greater effort you need to put on your customer service/marketing/engagement experiences.

[More to come at a later date]

WSJ: In this Economy, Quitters are Winning

[LinkedIn Post]

Commentary on this article: https://www.wsj.com/articles/in-this-economy-quitters-are-winning-1530702001

Don’t read this if you’re happy in you’re current role! The grass isn’t always greener on the other side. Be thankful you’re happy. BUT…

If you aren’t happy, do something about it! Life is short; don’t waste time that you can’t get back. This is as good an economy as it gets. I love working, but I know I’m not normal.

If working is miserable to you, in general, at least be miserable with 30% more dollars in your pocket! 🙂

I know loads of folks hiring in digital analytics and data science. Demand is larger than Supply.

I also know individuals that are looking (secretly) and I’m happy to match where I can. I’m here to help. Society is better when ppl are happy.

 

[Article Thoughts] Want to Really Understand Your Customer Data? Try Hiring a Scientist

[Posted on LinkedIn]

Here is the article: http://www.adweek.com/digital/blinded-by-data-science/

I bet Nike accelerated ROI from their customer data by years by buying Zodiac.

Here’s the typical path…

Execs read that Data Science is hot, so they start to build out a small team. Some value is seen, but putting models into production, specifically ones with high data volume, velocity, and variety (e.g., Customer-related data) poses a significant engineering challenge. It’s hard.

It’s why Uber built Michelangelo, their ML platform. Putting this apps into production is hard. It seems to have taken Uber ~1.5 yrs to build Michaelangelo and I’m sure it’s constantly evolving, as it has a dedicated product team assigned to it.

By acquiring Zodiac, Nike inherits a Data Science platform or toolset centered around Customer data. Plus they get some (presumably good) data science talent, which is seemingly scarce. They’ve accelerated initiatives by a year+.

“Before analysts can crunch the data, apply machine learning and deliver new insights, brands need engineers who know how to store, manage and clean the data. And they need tech-savvy communicators who can take that analysis and translate it into business reality, Purcell says.”

SYNTASA can help you with this in less than one month!

#WorkSmarter #Clickstream

Does This End Mark Zuckerberg Chances to be President?

Facebook

This Bloomberg article summarizes the scandal succinctly:

Here, in a nutshell, is the CA scandal. In 2014, Aleksandr Kogan, an academic of Russian origin at Cambridge University in the U.K., built a Facebook app that paid hundreds of thousands of users to take a psychological test. Apart from their test results, the users also shared the data of their Facebook friends with the app. Kogan sold the resulting database to CA, which Facebook considers a violation of its policies: The app was not allowed to use the data for commercial purposes. Carol Cadwalladr and Emma Graham-Harrison, writing for the U.K. publication Observer, quoted former CA employee Christopher Wylie as saying the firm “broke Facebook” on behalf of Stephen Bannon, the ideologue and manager behind the Trump campaign.

I have several internally conflicting thoughts on this. The one that bothers me the most is the political bias of Facebook executives towards Democrats. I’m NOT a Republican. I’m an Independent. I want to see fairness. But when you read things like: https://bigleaguepolitics.com/facebook-executive-sheryl-sandberg-podesta-want-hillary-win-badly/ …it’s really disturbing.

I am a privacy advocate and I’m not. I mean, I’m sure this kind of profiling is being done anyway. Facebook just has a plethora of data on so many people that it just makes it easier. And these campaigns are using it to create targeted messages. It’s the same thing that marketers do. It’s still my vote to cast.

I suppose the big deal is that I give permission to FB by giving my info. And I give permissions to any app I install from FB. But I don’t give permission to apps that my friends install. And I know there are “friends” that install some garbage apps. But again, it’s my wallet and my vote and my decisions.

In light of all this, though, it was known that Mark Zuckerberg has been taking steps to explore a Presidential run in the future. Does this stop that in its tracks? Or does this all blow-over by the time that happens?

Is Radio Dead?

Cord-cutting and the imminent death of cable TV grabs all the headlines, but what about Radio? I honestly cannot remember the last time I tuned into a radio station in my car.

I currently subscribe to 31 different podcasts. I can’t keep up. There is so much great, on-demand content on subjects that interest me or with people that interest me. I’m learning all the time.

In fact, when I think about it, I spend more time listening to podcasts than I do watching video (including YouTube, Netflix, HBO, etc.). To be fair, Game of Thrones has my HIGHEST priority when it’s going.

I used to dread LA rush hour traffic. Now, I could argue that I look forward to it sometimes. “I get to catch up on my podcasts!”

Also think about when we’re all in self-driving cars. Will you prefer listening to radio or watching a movie?

Me? I’ll still be listening to my podcasts. Advertisers, you have a super-engaged audience and I don’t hear big brands sponsoring on podcasts (yet).

Why not dabble here while we’re in the early innings of the game and rates are relatively cheap. Good content persists and that sponsorship spot could provide great lifetime value (like content marketing).

Am I an outlier here or am I mainstream?

More Big Retails Closing Stores

https://www.foxbusiness.com/features/retail-apocalypse-23-big-retailers-closing-stores

Amazon is buying physical (Whole Foods Market), partnering with physical (Kohl’s), and building physical (AmazonGo) while traditional retailers shrink.

Right-sizing for the changing consumer behavior and adjusting the business to market conditions are part of business. 

There are some great brands on this list. Are they shrinking physical and ramping digital to fight back? Are they thinking about total Customer Experience?

I love American Apparel clothes and used to buy a lot from them. But I haven’t bought anything from them in many years. They’ve done a poor job of nurturing our relationship and I’ve moved on.

Maybe Toys ‘R’ Us should go all digital, create a toys-only marketplace online, and adopt “seasonal store” model, like Spirit Halloween.

Amazon is fantastic and has certainly changed my consumer behaviors. But they are not the end-all-be-all of retail. Companies that invest in the right areas and leverage their existing assets well, still have a great opportunity to thrive.

Starting to Re-Think About Climate Change

Make no mistake, I believe that air quality can have a significant impact on health and quality of life. The smog that hovers over major cities is disgusting. I hate that I cannot see the hills around me when I know they’re there. Seeing glimpses of the smog in Beijing during the olympics was terrible.

Population health. Should that be the primary driver to force environmental change?

Cars drive on an eight lane expressway in Beijing on January 29,2013. Residents across northern China battled through choking pollution on January 29, as air quality levels rose above index limits in Beijing amid warnings that the smog may not clear until January 31. AFP PHOTO / WANG ZHAO

The reason climate change, and mainly, the effects that humans have on climate change has come to mind is because of this recent Bloomberg article: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-02-09/climate-change-just-got-a-little-less-terrible

In a nutshell, when 97% of scientists agree that global warming is bad and needs to be avoided at all costs, the models they are (often) agreeing to are the worst-case scenarios. And what this article exposes is that the media touts the worst-case scenarios of these scientific papers to hype an alarming message, but the models used to forecast the worst-case scenarios are very, very, very unlikely! (Dare I say, impossible)

For example, in the worst-case scenario of the paper highlighted in the article, the amount of coal burning assumed is that there’s probably not enough extractable coal to make the scenario possible.

Again, let me state for the record: I want clean air!

Other factors that give me pause in the whole global warming debate is that there are a few folks that I follow whose opinions do weigh heavily with me. Most notably, these are Martin Armstrong and Scott Adams.

I encourage you to peruse through these links:

  • https://www.armstrongeconomics.com/tag/climate-change/
  • https://www.armstrongeconomics.com/tag/global-warming/
  • https://www.armstrongeconomics.com/?s=nasa
  • http://blog.dilbert.com/tag/climate-change/

Martin Armstrong actually points to evidence (research by NASA) that suggests we’re actually entering into a Global COOLING cycle.

Scott Adams provides an interesting perspective on when to trust “the experts”.

Last, but not least, there are multiple points in my life where I’ve met university professors and they were adamant about global warming being a hoax.

Everyone has an agenda. I just want clean air.