Great few days meeting with VC in Silicon Valley.
Five years ago they wouldn’t have looked at a Kiwi or Aussie company that hadn’t started moving all its operations to the US, or, we already here.
Now, thanks to Xero, Atlassian and others they see this as an advantage – especially for teams like engineering and development.
That’s a huge shift.
I’m still astounded how weak most major retailers are at retailing online. Its as if though the Internet arrived last week, Amazon two days ago and they got going yesterday.
From search to the site, it remains a horrid experience. Take my search this afternoon for “Caifornia King Size Sheets”.
#1 Don’t Waste Time On Paid Search When You Don’t Have What the Customer Wants
First, a number of Australian retailers respond with paid search. Challenge is they are selling King Size sheets, not California King. A waste of money and time for me.
#2 A Specific Search Should Yeild a Specific Result
So, I turn to Macys who takes me to a generic bed linens page. When a consumer conducts a specific search, respond with a specific result. By not doing so I abandon the site completely as not relevant and go back to my original search.
#3 Don’t Present, in the eCommerce Funnel, Products You Don’t Sell Online
Then over to Bed Bath & Beyond, they have a good selection of product at first glance. But click one level deep and you discover the item is no longer available online. Catalogs masquerading as eCommerce sites frustrate consumers and drive them away. Moreover, there is no omnichannel experience indicating where you might get them in the real world. Save this for another part of the site or search experience.
Now, head over to Amazon and type the same search query in. There you have it, specifically the products you want instantly. No blind alleys, no unavailable product, no results not relating to your search.
Google as much as retailers need to wake up to this performance disparity. If they don’t, it is going to cost them revenue and share.
Enjoyed a hour or so at the IBM event at Vivid today. IBM is super smart at pulling off these events – interactive, iPads for content and Q&A, great speakers.
John Tolva, former CTO of Chicago City and leader of smart infrastructure start-up PositivEnergy, whose “open government” initiatives included ubiquitous high-speed broadband and data analytics for citizen services has some great observations on the requirements for big data to exist. Specifically all those cables running alongside sewer pipes. The cloud seems lots less like the cloud through that lens.
Chicago is working some interesting projects to expose citizens to the carbon footprint of the city.
Dr Robert Morris – and Aussie leading IBM labs had some great thoughts on data and specifically the need to think about data in new ways. The system of record is exploding all around us and is in contrast to the system of engagement. More than half the data being created is now from sensors. This is going to drive demand for cognitive computing – rather than rules or model driven, it is learning based. Through cognitive computing we get to solve big problems where the system of record meets the system of engagement.
Other soundbites worth noting:
- Analytics leads to an average of 8% increased efficiency and £3000 increased profit per employee” case study from UK.
- Don’t forget the unsexy parts of Big Data: Standardising & Normalising – JT
- Open Data = citizen empowerment
- 50% of the worlds data is coming from sensors .. Dr Robert Morris, VP Global Labs
- Challenge is to design a city thinking of its IA not just physical architecture
- Drive digital engagement with citizens – make every community a smart community
Great event – pithy, sharp presentations.
Finally a well written and observed riposte to the Atlantic’s story of the imminent end to Twitter. Its been bothering me since I read it – mainly for the small amount of selective evidence used to support such a broad thesis.
My take on what all of this means for marketers is:
- Seek to understand the difference between a social media network and a media platform. They are two very different things and afford you very different opportunities.
- While Twitter is absolutely a media platform, its also a ‘moments platform’ – think about how your moments intersect with those of customers.
- Most marketers are just getting going in the use of Twitter to amplify their activity. Think sponsorships and television. Its what we do when we are doing something else.
- Check-out how to use Twitter as an engine for service and support. Bad experiences are moments that we increasingly turn to share on Twitter.
Twitter is just getting going. Get going.