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  • Great piece of writing ... The Forgotten Legend of Silicon Valley’s Flying Saucer Man ,
  • Cardinal Pell, top advisor to Pope Francis, found guilty of ‘historical sexual offenses’ | America Magazine ,
  • Never buy a Miele appliance. Service levels are appalling. @MieleAustralia,
  • A Primer on Digital Humans by @soulmachines,
  • OK ... that's a quote to ponder: "In today's economy, innovation means elegant theft: robbery of your data, privacy… ,
  • Great read for all of you suffering from . ,
  • The wall of advertising on Facebook is getting ridiculous. On mobile every third thumb stroke yields another nearl… ,
  • If never ceases to amaze me the inane crap people will suggest marketing is about. What BS. Seth is better than th… ,
  • That could be it. Yikes. ,
  • Sad to see Rapha close in Sydney. They’ll loose the community and fans. And all that ransom shopping. That’s the i… ,
  • For all those upset that RL positions itself as a US company with NZ roots, this is why. Access to massive amounts… ,
  • Getting served ads -like that promoting the Apple App Store - and reconciling that with digital marketing’s claims… ,
  • When Mark says this I don’t think he is blaming anyone, just speaking the truth. “The biggest lesson from this year… ,
  • Another year. Another brilliant Ad. They've got some magic going here... ,
  • Spot on commentary about how marketers are missing a trick in owning and defining customer experience. Also like hi… ,

Archive for the ‘Required Reading’ Category

  • Connect

Quote to Ponder

“In today’s economy, innovation means elegant theft: robbery of your data, privacy, health insurance, or minimum-wage protection”

– Prof Scott Galloway

A point well made in his most current email. Not absolutely true but, say, >80% for some Unicorns… 

 

  • Connect

Own Customer Experience or Else

Paul has a great interview with Carl Rose. Highlights well the need for marketing to own customer experience, not be purely a communications function, and to drive pricing to reflect the market dynamic – and that doesn’t mean discounting. Carl is spot on:

“It’s in business performance and the current corporate mantra for revolutionising customer experience that Rose says is where the marketing profession has missed a trick. Much of the conversation around the marketing discipline in public debate links marketing primarily to communications – media, advertising and digital marketing techniques. But Rose says it’s a “hard row to hoe” because it creates a disconnect with business units and their financial performance, particularly when new customer experience programs can be hardwired to metrics senior management can quantify beyond other softer marketing and brand measures.

The logical place for the ownership of customer experience is undoubtedly marketing,” he says. “I would venture to say in many consumer electronics companies, the customer service component is still stuck with engineering, spare parts and repairs. If marketing had perhaps done a better job commercially in the past, it could be more trusted with the customer experience job.

“A lot of companies don’t know where to put customer experience. They know it’s not a good fit with customer service in its traditional form because it’s very transactional. The key is the chief marketing officer needs to be joined at the hip to the commercial objectives and results of the organisation.”

It’s time for CEOs to trust marketers with customer experience – then they’ll get to see the commercial nouse that most marketers have. And for all to adopt a more strategic view of the brand – invest in the brand, drive openness/memory, and look to activate demand through means other than price.

“I found myself in the middle of lots of conversations with the fluffy CMO on one side and the very basic sales discount trading executive on the other. I would say ‘please don’t talk about fluffy stuff and please don’t talk about 10 per cent off anymore, or just tactical promotions. What can we do with strategic partnerships, for instance?’ We might need a promotional element but let’s move our brand forward in a way that isn’t just 15 per cent off.

So right. Wonder how many will have the patience to pursue this when faced with the pressure of near-term sales targets?

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Back to Bloggin

Well, finally have the time to get back to writing and posting. Have missed it. Have a whole range of thoughts, observations and more to load over the next week.

First thing I’m pondering – somewhat ironically – is whether newsletters are the new blogs. Am amazed at the quality of the newsletters hitting my inbox – some standouts include the weekly missives from Mumbrella, Dense Discovery, The Daily Skimm, Monocle Minute, Fortune and Sentiers. All well optimised for Mobile. Nearly all the content – or at least enough – in the newsletter so no link back-alleys to get lost in.

Time to reignite the CMO Agenda as well. 

  • Loved

Post Truth

Can’t wait to read Yuval’s latest.

Such good writing. Does beg the question as to why Fake News isn’t our friend.

In fact, humans have always lived in the age of post-truth. Homo sapiens is a post-truth species, whose power depends on creating and believing fictions. Ever since the stone age, self-reinforcing myths have served to unite human collectives. Indeed, Homo sapiens conquered this planet thanks above all to the unique human ability to create and spread fictions. We are the only mammals that can cooperate with numerous strangers because only we can invent fictional stories, spread them around, and convince millions of others to believe in them. As long as everybody believes in the same fictions, we all obey the same laws, and can thereby cooperate effectively.

  • Inspired

CES & The CMO Agenda

 

The annual gadget-fest that is CES copped a fair degree of flack before it even begun. Not the normal “it’s a waste of time, old world show” – the justified criticism was for the lack female keynote speakers. That didn’t seem to deter anyone – the floors were packed and the usual anarchy prevailed for taxis, dining and hotel rooms.

 

So, was it worth it? Yes. And learnings for CMOs? Plenty.

 

CES is always a mixed bag in terms of showcasing breakthroughs. There were washing machines that could fold clothes, cheaper and smaller drones, foldable 4k displays and autonomous vehicles zipping about – most of it is stuff we were expecting. Robots didn’t appear to get more beneficial beyond vacuuming and though Aibo — a robot dog — was fun, it wouldn’t be enough to get me to replace our Husky.

 

Steve’s post is packed full of juicy insights. I’d suggest a few actions CMOs should be taking in the context of what we saw wandering 70 km over the week. Some might make your list of priorities – others won’t but are worth keeping an eye on.

  1. Big beautiful screens demand big beautiful content and advertisers that get the format. TV, PCs, mobile and more will demand amazing live, linear, and on-demand content. The focus on mobile is spot-on but consumers want extraordinary “lean-back” experiences as well – and those experiences are going to get even more incredible. Is your video strategy expansive enough to attract eyeballs at 4k and beyond? Does your media strategy comprehend the depth of experiences consumers are looking for?

  2. Everybody’s talking, is your brand listening? Voice AI — with Assistant and Alexa dominating — appeared in nearly every device at the show. It was hard to spot a surface that didn’t have an ad for Google Assistant on it – from booths to Monorails and more. Steve said it well, voice has shifted from a feature to a strategy. Navigating to your favourite show, discovering what’s on now, and so much more will start with voice and be complemented by other interactions. And as the Internet of Things deploys, voice becomes the tool to ask your TV to dim the lights, check if the washing is done, order an Uber and more. Are you working voice into customer interactions, eCommerce and product functionality?

  3. Mobile is awesome, but don’t forget sit-back experiences are compelling. The new generation of TVs were amazing and underscore the power of ‘sit back’ viewing experiences. While last year 4k was all the rage, this year was all about 8k+ and the evolution of HDR (support for 120-frames per second video). LG’s 85 inch OLED TVs were amazing to see, as were Samsung’s 8k versions. Obviously not too much content to take advantage of that so lots of talk about magically scaling-up current content. Nvidia dominated the talk at the show with a new generation of chips powering gaming monitors the side of TVs – with massive refresh cycles. Samsung’s Wall TV was impressive. Was weird to first look at a monster TV with seams but from the couch it was amazing and far more elegant than current solutions for watching multiple content streams at once. Are you thinking about “big content”? Do you have a content and media strategy for supporting and wrapping “big content”?

  4. If your product sits in the home, it needs to connect to the home. That whole view of the digital home – from entertainment, operations, and security — is getting very real thanks to advances making it simple, easy, durable and desirable. Gone are all the wires. Perhaps the last will be to the router or set-top box and an HDMI connection – but the trend on the rest was clear – total wireless transmission in a few years time. Every brand gets impacted by the tech innovations percolating away – the change this year is they are converging and accelerating. The simple example was the next generation of washing machines that store big volumes of detergent – they automagically reorder refills when they need to – they notify you on your phone and TV when the wash is done – they tell you when the rain is about to hit drying clothes – and, they tell you the time of day it’s cheapest to consume electricity and magically schedule washes to lower your bills. How connected is your brand and how will it create value for customers through that connection?

  5. Brands need to be resilient – basic infrastructure mostly is until it isn’t. It rained in Las Vegas. It flooded. Then the power went out. Accelerating automation and convergence will require affordable and reliable basic infrastructure from broadband to power. With every device talking to every device and always connected, inadequate broadband and power is going to be a killer. And with every device being a video display, offering unthrottled, predictably pacey broadband really matters!

  6. AI Everywhere. As a whole, the noise on AI was much lower than anticipated and largely assumed to be part of everything. There wasn’t a TV not claiming to have intelligence – but that largely meant better pictures, sound and control over the TV. The gap between controlling basic on/off functionality and real smarts is huge. We are some ways off devices being able to interpret nuances – “footie” here, isn’t what “footie” is up there which means surfacing content isn’t as easy as claimed.

  7. Geeky stuff galore. Synaptics clear ID fingerprint sensor was impressive. Razr followed Samsung’s noise last year with a cool concept of a mobile phone – Project Linda – a smartphone drops into the trackpad space  and then connects to the monitor, keyboard, and hard drive via USB-C. Loads of geeky stuff like this. The space dedicated to devices that might make us better was impressive. Increasingly the devices that track from our wrists will find more logical places that give more accurate data – insoles for instance that track steps, strike pressure and more. Wearable headbands to enhance sleep. Mouthguards that detect concussion.

CES was an amazing experience with invaluable learnings. Well worth the trip for any marketer.

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