The future of search is discovery
The way we find products and services has fundamentally changed, thanks to Google and search. When we have an immediate need or question we offer it to the Google gods and reliably receive the information we want in return.
But what if we don't know what we want?
Personalised product and service discovery is a largely untapped opportunity and we may be on the brink of a new way to connect products and services to customers. There is an increasing trend towards no UI applications - where the interface is a messaging app and the functionality is handled by a machine learning backend.
These services move us to an interface where we can ask a chat app to, "find flowers for mum for under $80 and send them to her on her birthday." Within less than a minute we'd have several options from various nearby flower stores, a simple selection and we're off to the races. No need to enter mum's address or birthday, they're already in my contacts. No need to add my payment details, I've already authenticated the app to use them on our behalf.
With WeChat (900m users) and Messenger (700m users), Facebook is a leader in the messenger app space. And with the launch of it's artificial intelligence helper "M" it's looking like Facebook will once again drive the next round of innovation in digital marketing all the while continuing to grow their $290 billion marcap.
Behavioral economics postulates the concept that people make “irrational” decisions because they are influenced by social factors. Identifying the resulting emotions helps to understand why people take the actions they do.
With 20 million people paying $10 a month Spotify still isn't profitable. And that's a good thing. In order to make it in the extremely tough business of music streaming you have to make up margins in volume. And volume requires mass distribution. Rdio, arguably a better product, realised this a little to late.
Very relevant to the Rdio article above, 500 Startups found Dave McClure on one of his both monumental and insightful rants. My favorite quote, "startups focus too much on building product with limited attention to customer interaction, usability, and marketing."
Android: 'Friends Furever' - 6.5m shares
Disney: 'Characters surprise shoppers' - 3.9m shares
Purina/Buzzfeed: ‘This man found his soulmate in a puppy and it’s adorable’ – 3.02m shares
My top takeaway: the internet never gets sick of cute animals.
In the pre-internet era, distribution, getting your product in front of people, used to be the biggest barrier to building a business. Given the hyper-connectivity of today's customer, the most important factor is how an interaction with a business / product makes someone feel. Also read retail enters third phase of digital evolution.
Two weeks ago, we looked at the prospects for YouTube’s new subscription service, YouTube Red. In order to adjust to consumers’ frustration with ads — YouTube wants to add subscription revenue to their current model of ad revenue.
We know that personalization can deliver five to eight times the ROI on marketing spend, and can lift sales by 10% or more. Although the marketing industry has been promising personalization at scale for the past 20 years, expecting a machine to generate the perfect personalized experience is a fool’s errand. Rather, we’ve found the best way to achieve meaningful personalization is by systematically testing ideas with real customers, then rapidly iterating.
The TV isn't the end point for consumer technology anymore, in either sense of the term. The consumer computing revolution went and happened anyway, without ever touching the TV.
Google has been releasing a host of updates and features for marketers and consumers leading up to the holiday season. Its latest offering will give advertisers a better idea of what's driving people into their stores.
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