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Vertical media mergers are just so 19th century | Financial Times
June 21, 2018 | Financial Times | Anne-Marie Slaughter.

Media companies are falling over themselves to merge with one another right now. AT&T took the US to court over the right to buy TimeWarner, and Comcast and Disney are engaged in a bidding war for some of 21st Century Fox. Big looks set to get bigger. Yet according to our best thinkers on the future of capitalism, the corporate titans driving these decisions are heading firmly backward.

AT&T and Comcast are communications companies that are attempting to go vertical and control every layer of a media empire from underground cables to the creation of content....Andrew Carnegie was determined to own coal mines and railroads as well as steel mills. The goal was control from top to bottom, closed access and economies of scale.

But that is old-fashioned thinking, according to the current crop of books on the dramatic economic changes being wreaked in the next phase of the information age. They argue that vertical integration amounts to building silos in an era that will be dominated by platforms — owning in an era of renting — and looking for mass markets when customers want individualized products.

Hemant Taneja makes a strong case for “customised microproduction and finely targeted marketing” in his book Unscaled. An investor for the Boston-based firm General Catalyst, he does not question the value of having many customers rather than few. But he argues that fast-growing companies in sectors ranging from energy to healthcare and education are succeeding because they customise their goods and services to a “market of one”.

The rise of artificial intelligence and cloud computing allows these companies to “rent scale”, he writes. Small, nimble companies can now out-compete big ones in specific markets, adding scale as they need to.....Netflix’s market value exceeded that of Comcast back in May and it is now bigger than Disney. Its global headcount is 5,500, nearly one-fifth of Time Warner’s and one-50th of AT&T’s. Netflix does not have the size to build as large in-house AI capabilities. But a quick search for “media data analytics” reveals a score of companies. Why pay for that capability when you can rent it
Andrew_Carnegie  Anne-Marie_Slaughter  artificial_intelligence  books  cloud_computing  end_of_ownership  entertainment_industry  Netflix  platforms  scaling  size  vertical_integration  AT&T  Comcast  customization  Disney  gazelles  nimbleness  mass_media  personalization  mergers_&_acquisitions  21st_Century_Fox  Time_Warner  19th_century  microproducers  target_marketing  unscalability  silo_mentality 
june 2018 by jerryking
Philips leaves personalization out of latest indoor positioning job (UPDATED)
April 24, 2017 | - LEDs Magazine | By Mark Halper, Contributing Editor, LEDs Magazine, and Business/Energy/Technology Journalist
Philips  personalization  indoors  location_based_services  lighting 
october 2017 by jerryking
Disney’s Big Bet on Streaming Relies on Little-Known Tech Company
OCT. 8, 2017 | The New York Times | By BROOKS BARNES and JOHN KOBLIN.

For two days in June 2017, Disney’s board of directors wrestled with one topic: how technology was disrupting the company’s traditional movie, television and theme park businesses, and what to do about it?.....Cord cutting was accelerating much faster than expected. Live viewing for some children’s programming was in free fall......Robert A. Iger, Disney’s chief executive and chairman, proposed a legacy-defining move. It was time for Disney to double down on streaming..... bet the entertainment giant’s future on a wonky, little-known technology company housed in a former cookie factory: BamTech.....Based in Manhattan’s Chelsea Market, the 850-employee company has a strong track record — no serious glitches, even when delivering tens of millions of live streams at a time. BamTech also has impressive advertising technology (inserting ads in video based on viewer location) and a strong reputation for attracting and keeping viewers, not to mention billing them.....BamTech grew out of Major League Baseball Advanced Media, or Bam for short, which was founded in 2000 as a way to help teams create websites. By 2002, Bam was experimenting with streaming video as a way for out-of-town fans to watch games.

Soon, Bam developed technology that attracted outside clients, including the WWE, Fox Sports, PlayStation Vue and Hulu. HBO went to Bam in 2014 after failing to create a reliable stand-alone streaming service on its own. Could Bam get HBO up and running — in just a few months? Bam built HBO Now for roughly $50 million, delivering it just in time for the Season 5 premiere of “Game of Thrones,” which went off flawlessly. “They were nothing short of herculean for us,” said Richard Plepler, HBO’s chief executive.

In 2015, Bam decided to spin off its streaming division, calling it BamTech. With an eye toward its own direct-to-consumer future, particularly with ESPN, Disney paid $1 billion in 2016 for a 33 percent stake and an option to buy a controlling interest in 2020. To run the stand-alone company, M.L.B. and Disney recruited Michael Paull, 46, from Amazon, where he oversaw Prime Video and the introduction of Amazon Channels.....Disney contends that a big part of BamTech’s value has been overlooked. Down the road, as other media companies move toward streaming, BamTech intends to sign them up as clients.....Though BamTech has proved its streaming bona fides, it still lacks the algorithms and the personalization skills that have helped propel Netflix to success. To fill that gap, Mr. Paull recently hired the former chief technology officer of the F.B.I. to be the head of analytics.....The level of engineering required for that enormous volume of content is no small matter. Each bit of streamable content has to be made to fit a dizzying number of requirements. Start with web browsers, ranging from Safari to Chrome or Explorer, all of which have slightly different demands. It also has to fit every iPhone and Android phone. And then there are connected living room devices like Apple TV.
algorithms  BamTech  big_bets  boards_&_directors_&_governance  CEOs  cord-cutting  digital_savvy  digital_strategies  Disney  disruption  entertainment  game_changers  personalization  Quickplay  sports  sportscasting  streaming  theme_parks  direct-to-consumer 
october 2017 by jerryking
How Data Is Revolutionizing The Sports Business
March 10, 2017 | Forbes | By Robert Tuchman , CONTRIBUTOR who writes about live events, deals, and brand marketing.

A top-notch record might be chalked-up to the right players and exceptional coaching, but a team’s increased brand awareness can be credited to its effective use of newly sourced data. The Panthers have been able to grow its business in a multitude of ways since it started acquiring and using key fan data....[there is] an array of data companies who are looking to assist organizations in this area.

Many of these emerging companies access information through individual data systems, third-party vendors, and social media sites. Beyond educating teams about the buyer of their tickets, these companies are helping teams better understand the individuals entering their building. This insight is a game-changer for teams as it can help to better service existing fans and develop new ones. To better service its fans, the Panthers created unique events that catered to their interests, which they learned from their data. For example, in a game against the Colorado Avalanche, Florida hosted an evening honoring the Grateful Dead. The Panthers organization secured a well-known and beloved Florida cover band, Unlimited Devotion, to play the hits of the legendary musical icons. Incentivizing “Dead Heads” to purchase tickets via the Internet, limited edition memorabilia was made available only for online ticket purchasers, with a portion of the profits going to the Grateful Dead's non-profit organization. These types of cross promotions work best when you understand the specific interests of your fans.

And the results are in. The Miami Herald reported that during the 2015-2016 season, attendance went up 33.5 % from the previous season. In addition, season ticket renewals are reportedly increasing at four or five times last year’s rate......In today’s fragmented world, it is more important than ever for teams to generate loyalty and create a personalized customer experience. As in the case of the Florida Panthers, the greater involvement a fan may have in a team’s activities, the greater the possibility they migrate from their living rooms to the venue. More fans equal more sponsors, which leads to greater revenue for teams.

Data companies can help teams better understand its fans. Innovative sports franchises are figuring out how to use this data to create stronger engagements with their actual fans.
sports  data  data_driven  Moneyball  event-driven  events  event_marketing  fans  fan_engagement  musical_performances  cross-promotion  customer_loyalty  personalization  customer_experience 
august 2017 by jerryking
Three Hard Lessons the Internet Is Teaching Traditional Stores
April 23, 2017 | WSJ | By Christopher Mims.
Legacy retailers have to put their mountains of purchasing data to work to create the kind of personalization and automation shoppers are getting online
(1) Data Is King
When I asked Target, Walgreens and grocery chain Giant Food about loyalty programs and the fate of customers’ purchasing data—which is the in-store equivalent of your web browsing history—they all declined to comment. ...Data has been a vital part of Amazon’s retail revolution, just as it was with Netflix ’s media revolution and Google and Facebook ’s advertising revolution. For brick-and-mortar retailers, purchasing data doesn’t just help them compete with online adversaries; it has also become an alternate revenue source when profit margins are razor-thin. ....Physical retailers must catch up to online retailers in collecting rich data without making it feel so intrusive. Why, exactly, does my grocery store need my phone number?

(2) Personalization + Automation = Profits
Personalization and Automation = Profits
There’s a debate in the auto industry: Can Tesla get good at making cars faster than Ford, General Motors and Toyota can get good at making self-driving electric vehicles? The same applies to retail: Can physical retailers build intimate digital relationships with their customers—and use that data to update their stores—faster than online-first retailers can learn how to lease property, handle inventory and manage retail workers? [the great game ]

Online retailers know what’s popular, and how customers who like one item tend to like certain others. So Amazon’s physical bookstores can put out fewer books with more prominently displayed covers. Bonobos doesn’t even sell clothes in its stores, which it calls “guideshops.” Instead, customers go there to try clothes on, and their selections are delivered through the company’s existing e-commerce system.

Amazon’s upcoming Go convenience stores, selling groceries and meal kits, don’t require cashiers. That’s the sort of automation that could position Amazon to reap margins—or slash prices—to a degree unprecedented for retailers in traditionally low-margin categories like food and packaged goods.

While online retailers are accustomed to updating inventory and prices by the hour, physical retailers simply don’t have the data or the systems to keep up, and tend to buy and stock on cycles as long as a year, says George Faigen, a retail consultant at Oliver Wyman. Some legacy retailers are getting around this by teaming up with online players.

Target stocks men’s shaving supplies from not one but two online upstarts, Harry’s and Bevel. Target has said that, as a result, more customers are coming in to buy razors, increasing the sales of every brand on that aisle—even good old Gillette. Retailers have long relied on manufacturers to drive customers to stores by marketing their goods and even managing in-store displays. The difference is this: In the past, new brands had to persuade store buyers to dole out precious shelf space; now the brands can prove themselves online first.

(3) Legacy Tech Won’t Cut It

Perhaps the biggest challenge for existing retailers, says Euromonitor’s Ms. Grant, is finding the money to transition to this hybrid online-offline model. While Target has announced it will spend $7 billion over the next three years to revamp its stores, investors fled the stock in February after Target reported 2017 profits might be 25% less than expected.

When Warby Parker, the online eyeglasses retailer, set out to launch stores across the U.S., the company looked for in-store sales software that could integrate with its existing e-commerce systems. It couldn’t find a system up to the task, so it built one from scratch.

These kinds of systems allow salespeople to know what customers have bought both online and off, and what they might be nudged toward on that day. “We call it the ‘point of everything’ system,” says David Gilboa, co-founder and co-chief executive.

Having this much customer knowledge available instantly is critical, but it’s precisely what existing retailers struggle with, Mr. Faigen says.

Even Amazon is experiencing brick-and-mortar difficulties. In March, The Wall Street Journal reported that the Go stores would be delayed because of kinks in the point-of-sale software system.

Andy Katz-Mayfield, co-founder and co-chief executive of Harry’s, is skeptical that traditional retailers like Wal-Mart can make the leap, even if they invest heavily in technology.

The problem, he says, is that selling online isn’t just about taking orders through a website. Companies that succeed are good at selling direct to consumers—building technology from the ground up, integrating teams skilled at navigating online marketing’s ever-shifting terrain and managing the experience through fulfillment and delivery, Mr. Katz-Mayfield says.

That e-commerce startups are so confident about their own future doesn’t mean they are right about the fate of traditional retailers, however.

A report from Merrill Lynch argues Wal-Mart is embarking on a period of 20% to 30% growth for its e-commerce business. A spokesman for the company said that in addition to acquisitions, the company is focused on growing its e-commerce business organically.

It isn’t hard to picture today’s e-commerce companies becoming brick-and-mortar retailers. It’s harder to bet on traditional retailers becoming as tech savvy as their e-competition.[the great game]
lessons_learned  bricks-and-mortar  retailers  curation  personalization  e-commerce  shopping_malls  automation  privacy  Warby_Parker  Amazon_Go  data  data_driven  think_threes  Bonobos  Amazon  legacy_tech  omnichannel  Harry’s  Bevel  loyalty_management  low-margin  legacy_players  digital_first  Tesla  Ford  GM  Toyota  automobile  electric_cars  point-of-sale  physical_world  contra-Amazon  brands  shelf_space  the_great_game  cyberphysical  cashierless  Christopher_Mims  in-store  digital_savvy 
april 2017 by jerryking
McDonald’s is going to play SXSW this year — Quartz
Svati Kirsten Narula
March 03, 2015

McDonald’s will host three “pitch sessions” at SXSW on March 13, offering an audience for tech startups with ideas for innovation in three categories:
Reinventing the Restaurant Experience: “This is not about tweeting, ordering online or Wi-Fi connectivity…. We are talking about multiple screens, proximity technology, personalization and even smart packaging.”
Content Creation: “Brands have to co-create content with communities, curate daily content to stay relevant, and create content with social in mind. How can brands tap into new content partners and models that can tackle these objectives?”
Transportation and Delivery: “Our existing idea of door-to-door delivery and drive-thru will soon be obsolete. Imagine a world where drones could deliver you food while you’re driving down the highway.”
The best pitch will earn the presenter a trip to McDonald’s corporate headquarters, where he or she will be invited to pitch directly to the company’s C-suite. McDonald’s says pitches will be evaluated based on “current traction and milestones,” “market potential,” “customer value proposition and service offering,” and “overall brand fit.”
brands  CAMEX  co-creation  McDonald's  SXSW  digital_strategies  sponsorships  millennials  Fortune_500  creating_valuable_content  content_creators  metrics  proximity  personalization  home-delivery  drones  Michael_McDerment  pitches  C-suite 
march 2017 by jerryking
The world wild web; The future
These days advertisers are feeling less certain of themselves. They are still trying to come to grips with the radical changes technology has brought to the way advertising is consumed, sold and perso...
future  advertising  privacy  personalization  David_Ogilvy  tradeoffs 
february 2017 by jerryking
Little Brother
Sep 11th 2014 | The Economist | Alexandra Suich.

In 1963 David Ogilvy, the father of Madison Avenue and author of a classic business book, “Confessions of an Advertising Man”, wrote: “An advertisement is like a radar sweep, constantly hunting new prospects as they come into the market. Get a good radar, and keep it sweeping.”.....Behavioural profiling has gone viral across the internet, enabling firms to reach users with specific messages based on their location, interests, browsing history and demographic group......Extreme personalisation in advertising has been slow to come... online advertising space is unlimited and prices are low, so making money is not as easy as it was in the offline world,.....Digital advertising is being buoyed by three important trends. The first is the rise of mobile devices, such as smartphones....The second, related trend is the rise of social networks such as Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest, which have become an important navigation system for people looking for content across the web. ......The third big development has been the rise of real-time bidding, or “programmatic buying”, a new system for targeting consumers precisely and swiftly with online adverts. Publishers, advertisers and intermediaries can now bid for digital ads electronically and direct them to specific consumers at lightning speed.....The lines between established media businesses are becoming blurred. Richard Edelman, the boss of Edelman, a public-relations firm, describes the media and advertising business as a “mosh pit”. .... clients’ biggest question is whether people will even notice their ads. ...This special report will show that technology is profoundly changing the dynamics of advertising. Building on the vast amount of data produced by consumers’ digital lives, it is giving more power to media companies that have a direct relationship with their customers and can track them across different devices. ....Consumers may gain from advertising tailored to their particular needs, and so far most of them seem content to accept the ensuing loss of privacy. But companies are sensitive to the potential costs of overstepping the mark. As the head of one British advertising firm puts it: “Once people realise what’s happening, I can’t imagine there won’t be pushback.”
Facebook  Twitter  Pinterest  Ogilvy_&_Mather  David_Ogilvy  behavioural_targeting  pushback  books  effectiveness  haystacks  privacy  native_advertising  ad-tech  Conversant  Kraft  personalization  trends  mobile_phones  smartphones  social_media  real-time  auctions  programmatic  advertising  online_advertising  Omnicom 
february 2017 by jerryking
Retailers Turn to Silicon Valley to Lure Customers - WSJ
By LAURA STEVENS
Jan. 20, 2017

With online pricing and inventory easily accessible, consumers are increasingly becoming brand and retailer agnostic. So retailers are turning to Silicon Valley for everything from artificial intelligence to data to draw consumers in......Still, it is unclear how willing some retailers are to embrace something that goes beyond algorithmic search recommendations and into true customization, in part because it requires merchants letting go of control over some aspects of the shopping experience,
Amazon  personalization  retailers  deep_learning  e-commerce  Silicon_Valley  Nordstrom  artificial_intelligence  bricks-and-mortar 
january 2017 by jerryking
Looking Beyond the Internet of Things
JAN. 1, 2016 | NYT | By QUENTIN HARDY.

Adam Bosworth is building what some call a “data singularity.” In the Internet of Things, billions of devices and sensors would wirelessly connect to far-off data centers, where millions of computer servers manage and learn from all that information.

Those servers would then send back commands to help whatever the sensors are connected to operate more effectively: A home automatically turns up the heat ahead of cold weather moving in, or streetlights behave differently when traffic gets bad. Or imagine an insurance company instantly resolving who has to pay for what an instant after a fender-bender because it has been automatically fed information about the accident.

Think of it as one, enormous process in which machines gather information, learn and change based on what they learn. All in seconds.... building an automated system that can react to all that data like a thoughtful person is fiendishly hard — and that may be Mr. Bosworth’s last great challenge to solve....this new era in computing will have effects far beyond a little more efficiency. Consumers could see a vast increase in the number of services, ads and product upgrades that are sold alongside most goods. And products that respond to their owner’s tastes — something already seen in smartphone upgrades, connected cars from BMW or Tesla, or entertainment devices like the Amazon Echo — could change product design.
Quentin_Hardy  Industrial_Internet  data  data_centers  data_driven  machine_learning  Google  Amazon  cloud_computing  connected_devices  BMW  Tesla  Amazon_Echo  product_design  Michael_McDerment  personalization  connected_cars 
january 2016 by jerryking
SXSW exclusive: First-timer reflections
MARCH 12, 2014 | RetailingToday.com| BY ANNE MARIE STEPHEN AND DEBORAH WEINSWIG

The keynote speaker at this event was legendary retailer, Richard Marcus. Marcus says tech should have a purpose in impacting the retail customer experience. He says two things matter in retailing, “take care of customers and they come back, take care of merchandise and they don’t.”

The CIO of TGIF Friday’s, Trip Sessions, shared his goal to create a more sticky experience using technology with the aim of creating a 1-1 personalized experience. They use foursquare as a tool allowing waitstaff the ability to connect directly with guests in-store.

We keep hearing that the pace of change is accelerating from retailers and industry experts alike. This conference really epitomized that theme. From CES to NRF to SXSW, the themes have been fairly consistent. Retailers need to increasingly focus on tech and the time is now. There are many tools and resources available, but they can’t afford to wait.
SXSW  LBMA  location_based_services  one-on-one  personalization  retailers  conferences  Austin  restaurants  customer_experience  stickiness  in-store 
november 2015 by jerryking
New software allows insurers to track driving habits and personalize premiums - The Globe and Mail
OMAR EL AKKAD

The Globe and Mail

Published Monday, Aug. 19 2013,

The ability to monitor and adapt to the behaviour of individual customers, for example, was part of the rationale for last month’s announcement by Loblaw Cos. Ltd. that it will acquire Shoppers Drug Mart Corp. for $12.4-billion. Shoppers’ Optimum loyalty program will give Loblaw purchasing information on some 10 million customers.
Omar_el_Akkad  telematics  insurance  personalization  massive_data_sets  pattern_recognition  data_mining  sensors  meat_space  SAP  Shoppers  loyalty_management  Loblaws 
january 2014 by jerryking
You don’t want your privacy: Disney and the meat space data race — Tech News and Analysis
By John Foreman, MailChimp
Jan. 18, 2014

meat space is an internet-first way of viewing the world.

The research questions that might be answered with this type of tracking data are endless:

What menu items served at breakfast at the resort hotel restaurants will result in the longest stay at the park?
Do we detect an influx of park-goers into the bathrooms for long stays on the toilet? Perhaps they all ate at the same place, and we can cut off a foodborne illness problem before it gets worse.
Is there a roller coaster that’s correlated with early park departure or a high incidence of bathroom visits? That means less money in the park’s pockets. How might that coaster be altered?
Is there a particular ride and food fingerprint for the type of park visitor that’s likely to buy in-park high-dollar merchandise? If so, can we actively get vendors in front of this attendee’s eye by moving hawkers to them at just the right time?
data  privacy  Disney  RFID  sensors  massive_data_sets  data_driven  data_scientists  theme_parks  personalization  tracking  scheduling  queuing  meat_space  digital_first  questions 
january 2014 by jerryking
Education: Minding the gap
Nov 16th 2013 | | The Economist |

The University of Arizona has a system called eAdvisor. This keeps track of each student’s progress towards his degree, and can make sure that courses which are critical but difficult—such as maths or statistics—are taken early on. Thanks to this system, which came online in 2007, the proportion of students (of all races) who move up to the next year each year has risen from 77% to 84%.

New findings from four Tennessee colleges support the idea that eAdvisors work. Software called the Degree Compass (developed by Tristan Denley, a mathematician) makes course suggestions for students in much the same way that Netflix recommends films to watch and Amazon offers goods to buy. The program ranks courses by their usefulness to a student for the degree he is taking, and also predicts those in which he is likely to get the best grade.
Colleges_&_Universities  African-Americans  achievement_gaps  students  personalization  algorithms  recommendations 
november 2013 by jerryking
At Your Service
Autumn 2013 | University of Toronto Magazine| By Janet Rowe.

Personal librarians help first-year students understand U of T’s libraries....For students who haven’t been assigned a personal librarian, Vine offers an insider secret. “One of my favourite ‘hidden’ resources is a set of bibliographies on many subjects,” she says. “Prepared by experts, each item has an abstract that can help you figure out if the article is suitable for your assignment – a big time-saver for busy students. The trick is to look under ‘Oxford Bibliographies Online’ in the library catalogue.” Bonus: many paywall-protected articles are free when accessed through the library website.
personal_libraries  libraries  uToronto  curation  Colleges_&_Universities  research  paywalls  hidden  personalization  outreach  expertise 
november 2013 by jerryking
Tech Wealth and Ideas Are Heading Into News
October 20, 2013 |- NYTimes.com | By DAVID CARR

Silicon Valley and its various power brokers — some who had roles in putting the news business in harm’s way to begin with — are suddenly investing significant sums of money in preserving news capacity and quality. ... Next-generation news companies including Vice, Vox Media, BuzzFeed and Business Insider have all recently received significant investment. (In addition, Jeff Skoll, another eBay alum, backed Participant Media and now the TV channel Pivot, to make “socially relevant” films and television.)

The list goes on, but the trend is clear: quality news has become, if not sexy, suddenly attractive to smart digital money.....It does not take an M.B.A. to understand that the ability to capture consumers’ attention and move them around a platform, all the while extracting value, might come in handy in the media business. ITunes used cheap, uniformly priced content to animate the sales of devices like the iPod; Amazon used cheap devices like the Kindle to push lucrative content sales. EBay reduced the friction and suspicion between buyers and sellers of all kinds of goods. ...The willingness to answer bedeviling old questions in new ways does not ensure success, but it creates remarkable possibilities. “Both Jeff Bezos and Pierre Omidyar have a hacker’s ethos, a willingness to engage in lateral thinking to solve problems in a nonconventional way, to reject what has been taken for granted and MacGyver their way to solutions (aka mental_dexterity),” suggested Shane Snow, a founder of Contently, a marketplace for content creators.

Consider Amazon’s ability to lead consumers through a highly personalized array of choices.

“If you have a story that is read by a million people, that’s great, but how do you get those million people to read another story?” said Henry Blodget of Business Insider. “Amazon is extraordinary at customizing its site for every visitor. They do endless testing and understand stickiness and relevance in a way few media companies do.”

One of the secrets of Amazon (and Netflix) is that it never offered one site, but millions of customized sites. It is not hard to envision a carefully measured invitation at the bottom of a highly trafficked news article: “People who read this story are also reading ...” .
news  Silicon_Valley  moguls  entrepreneur  David_Carr  digital_media  Amazon  Second_Acts  disruption  Pierre_Omidyar  Jeff_Bezos  websites  personalization  Netflix  customization  testing  experimentation  growth_hacking  stickiness  relevance  newspapers  content  problem_solving  unconventional_thinking  smart_people  attention  Henry_Blodget  Contently  content_creators  power_brokers 
october 2013 by jerryking
Advertisers zeroing in on where, as well as who, you are
Apr. 04 2013 | The Globe and Mail | Susan Krashinsky.

The typical response rate for one of these campaigns is about 1 per cent. The location-specific campaign increased that by 400 per cent on average.

“There’s been a wholesale change in the amount …of data available and the tools available to actually understand it. It’s turning that data into knowledge that is the biggest task,” Mr. Okrucky said.

In an age where we transmit data from devices in our pockets many times a day, using information such as postal code profiles, housing statistics, and demographics by district may seem like an old-fashioned marketing tactic. And it is. But the processing of that information is changing rapidly: the ability to sort through massive data sets, to cross-reference them, and create detailed targets, has accelerated.

“It really gets to the cloud computing capability. We do programs with all these data sets very quickly. And some of the data sets can be absolutely massive,” said Phil Kaszuba, vice-president and general manager at DMTI.
Susan_Krashinsky  location  location_based_services  personalization  target_marketing  CDC  flu_outbreaks  massive_data_sets  advertising  data  databases  online_behaviour  behavioural_targeting  Aimia  LBMA  DMTI  specificity  response_rates  cloud_computing 
april 2013 by jerryking
In search of genomic incentives - The Globe and Mail
JONATHAN KIMMELMAN

The Globe and Mail

Last updated Wednesday, Dec. 19 2012

how drug development is failing science. Medical innovation involves a peculiar mix of seemingly contradictory motivations. Scientists and sponsors are driven by the pursuit of knowledge and a desire to relieve human suffering. But they also seek fame and fortune. Medical journals want to foster progress as well, but they sell more subscriptions when they report breakthroughs.

With the right balance of incentives, these often parochial motivations can work together and propel the best science toward the clinic. But countless failures in drug development – and their burdens for patients and health-care systems – should prompt a hard look at whether we’re striking that balance properly.

Consider the tensions between: (a) truth and compassion; (b) Truth and fortune...Physicians, patients, payers and public health programs depend on the research enterprise to supply a steady stream of medical evidence. The process of creating this social good, however, is driven by a mix of parochial interests. Personalized medicine – and other ways policy-makers are trying to prime medical innovation – will only deliver on its full potential if policies bring these motives into alignment with the goal of generating reliable and relevant medical evidence.
drug_development  genomics  innovation  medical  personalization  personalized_medicine  aligned_interests 
december 2012 by jerryking
Industry: Nimble, niche and networked - FT.com
June 12, 2012 | FT |By Peter Marsh

Nimble companies, operating on a global basis in niche areas of technology, that seem likely to prosper in the new industrial revolution now beginning. The fact that the UK is replete with such businesses suggests the country could emerge once again as a leading contender in manufacturing– a sector it pioneered in the 18th and 19th centuries but more recently has allowed to slip back in favour of services.......Although Britain may have the knowhow and cultural characteristics required to stage an industrial comeback, it still lags behind far behind the likes of Japan and Germany, where boutique companies making uniquely specialised products form the economic backbone of the nation. If Britain is to resurrect manufacturing as a high-value growth engine, it will almost certainly require some action by government to make the most of the country’s potential....hundreds of connections with companies around the world, which is one fundamental characteristic of the new industrial revolution. Three others involve the application of new technologies, a focus on “niche” areas of industry and an increasing focus on “personalised” products........Today the archetypal UK manufacturer is a small business with perhaps 50 employees that is based in an unremarkable edge-of-town business park and boasts global links as opposed to a highly visible smokestack in a large city. Such companies account for a greater share of industrial activity since the larger enterprises have fallen away.....The UK’s prevailing approach to manufacturing – emphasising small, agile businesses with an eye for the unusual that formulate their own rules – could fit in with the requirements for success......An individualist in the same mould is Sir James Dyson, a high-octane innovator who has made his eponymous vacuum cleaner business into a global leader. His dividing of the company’s Asia-based production from its UK-centred product development is in line with the blueprint of the new industrial revolution stressing the separation of elements in the manufacturing “value chain”......There are further reasons to think the natural leanings of UK manufacturing fit into the framework of the new industrial revolution. One is a tendency to focus on selling into areas with narrow parameters that can to a large degree be invented by the participating companies themselves, and to rely on selling services as well as products......The best example is the Formula 1 car racing business. This involves intensive use of engineering resources to design and make high-grade machines that do little apart from playing the lead role in a global spectator sport built on advertising. There is no reason why Britain should have become the leading country for Formula 1 car production – apart from the fact that it fits with the UK leaning towards production based around esoteric technologies and markets......The best example is the Formula 1 car racing business. This involves intensive use of engineering resources to design and make high-grade machines that do little apart from playing the lead role in a global spectator sport built on advertising. There is no reason why Britain should have become the leading country for Formula 1 car production – apart from the fact that it fits with the UK leaning towards production based around esoteric technologies and markets......British industry also features a facility for working with a range of technical disciplines and finding the common ground between them. ......A third important strength of the UK is the ability to devise solutions to customers’ problems. These are often based on an approach geared to making products as highly customised “one-offs”, and to the needs of one business as opposed to many....The characteristics of the new industrial revolution, however, make the task of assisting UK manufacturing a lot simpler as the country already has many of the attributes required. In this new environment it would seem sensible for policy to plug the gaps in the manufacturing framework that already exists. Such initiatives could focus on helping companies to improve their technologies, develop more global strategies and organise more joint development projects with larger businesses in order to learn more about such groups’ technical capabilities.
3-D  boutiques  Dyson  Formula_One  industrial_policies  Industrial_Revolution  manufacturers  niches  nimbleness  one-of-a-kind  personalization  specialists  United_Kingdom 
june 2012 by jerryking
The Vanishing Mass Market
July 12, 2004 | BW Online | Anthony Bianco.

P&G now is standing mass marketing on its head by shifting emphasis from selling to the vast, anonymous crowd to selling to millions of particular consumers. "You find the people. You are very focused on them," Stengel says. "You become relevant to them."..."We are a big marketer," says M. Lawrence Light, McDonald's chief marketing officer, echoing Stengel's disavowals. "We are not a mass marketer."

For marketers, the evolution from mass to micromarketing is a fundamental change driven as much by necessity as opportunity...Figuring out the right way to send the right message to the right person at the right time is difficult work. It is also risky, not unlike hunting game birds with a high-powered rifle instead of a shotgun. If you miss, you miss entirely.
marketing  P&G  micro-markets  permission_marketing  target_marketing  advertising  niches  McDonald's  personalization  Jim_Stengel  the_right_people 
april 2012 by jerryking
Big Data is watching you
Jan. 06, 2012 | The Globe and Mail | Simon Houpt.

Companies have amassed trillions of digital bread crumbs: from credit card transactions, from people’s online wanderings on social media and search sites, from GPS devices embedded within smart phones...

Live Nation acquired Big Champagne, a consumer data analytics firm that had gained notice for developing the Ultimate Chart, a ranking of the most popular songs and artists according to chatter on social networks and other online sites.

Big Champagne will help Live Nation crunch the information it has on the 200 million ticket buyers in its database, and also help design the company’s dynamic pricing model...An ever more connected world offers richer opportunities for marketers to collect specific consumer data.

The Christmas season may still be a recent memory, but many marketers are already casting a hopeful eye upon 2012 as the year they finally turn into mercantile versions of Santa Claus: omniscient beings who know everything about their customers, and not just whether they’ve been bad or good. (And yes, the marketers believe they’re doing it for goodness’ sake.)

In the past few years, companies have amassed trillions of digital bread crumbs: from credit card transactions, from people’s online wanderings on social media and search sites, from GPS devices embedded within smart phones. Last June, the market intelligence firm IDC said the amount of data produced by our ever-digitizing mass of humanity is more than doubling every two years. Companies are drowning in data. But they’re also recognizing an extraordinary opportunity, and after a series of studies of so-called big data published by research firms over the past year, many are predicting it will become a major focus of marketing executives in 2012.

Already this year, Big Data has received a big endorsement. On Wednesday, after being appointed president of Yahoo, the ex-PayPal executive Scott Thompson was pledging that data would be the key to his new company’s future just as it powered his last company.

“I am certain that the battle of the next generation of Internet businesses will be made up of who has more data and who knows how to use it better than anyone else,” he told a reporter for the trade publication AdAge.com. “I’m not talking about your classic segmentation stuff,” he said, referring to the demographic categorization that companies use to group individuals into broad target markets. Companies such as Yahoo will increasingly focus on individuals. “It’s the segmentation of one and what the data of one tells you,” he said.

In the middle of December, the live entertainment colossus Live Nation acquired Big Champagne, a consumer data analytics firm that had gained notice for developing the Ultimate Chart, a ranking of the most popular songs and artists according to chatter on social networks and other online sites.

Big Champagne will help Live Nation crunch the information it has on the 200 million ticket buyers in its database, and also help design the company’s dynamic pricing model: the practice of altering ticket prices depending on real-time supply and demand. Old industries are also getting into that act. Over the past year, Broadway producers have capitalized on dynamic pricing to charge much higher ticket prices for especially hot shows, and nimbly offer discounts when demand fell away.

Even very young industries are being remodelled by the use of more specific data. Last year, after trying to slug it out with Groupon and Living Social, the two-year-old San Francisco-based local offers provider Bloomspot took a different tack. The company realized it could confront the main reason for merchants’ disenchantment with the sites – a belief that too many people merely take advantage of discounts and never patronize the merchants again – by sifting data in order to find the most valuable customers.

With the permission of both the participating merchants and the customers, “we are able to effectively get access to the stream of consumer credit card purchases belonging to a particular merchant by going through the credit card processors,” said Jasper Malcolmson, the Canadian-born president of Bloomspot, which received $40-million (U.S.) in funding last summer.

Mr. Malcolmson said that analysis of that data enables Bloomspot, which operates in 10 U.S. cities, to determine which customers who have bought, say, a 60-minute massage at New York’s Broadway Chiropractic for $39 (a “$270 value”) end up “acting like penny-pinchers and don’t spend well and don’t return,” and which ones instead treat the discount as an incentive and end up spending more money at the merchant: the goal of making the discount offer in the first place.

“The customers who are good receive follow-up offers, effectively in recognition of their spending behaviours,” he explained.

But Big Data isn’t just being used for newfangled loyalty marketing; many companies are using it to provide better service to customers in new ways. Kenna, a data analytics firm based in Mississauga, designed a mobile app to be used by customers of its client BASF Canada, the farming chemical company. BASF cross-references its customer purchase data with information on weather patterns to generate real-time information for farmers on when to apply the chemicals for greatest crop yield.
Simon_Houpt  massive_data_sets  data_mining  real-time  data  data_driven  personalization  agriculture  Kenna  Live_Nation  loyalty_management  dynamic_pricing  Broadway  Bloomspot  purchase_data 
january 2012 by jerryking
BETTER THAN FREE
[2.5.08] | EDGE | By Kevin Kelly.

This super-distribution system has become the foundation of our economy and wealth. The instant reduplication of data, ideas, and media underpins all the major economic sectors in our economy, particularly those involved with exports — that is, those industries where the US has a competitive advantage. Our wealth sits upon a very large device that copies promiscuously and constantly....how does one make money selling free copies?

I have an answer. The simplest way I can put it is thus:

When copies are super abundant, they become worthless.
When copies are super abundant, stuff which can't be copied becomes scarce and valuable. When copies are free, you need to sell things which can not be copied. What can't be copied?
(1) "Trust." Trust cannot be copied. You can't purchase it. Trust must be earned, over time. It cannot be downloaded. Or faked. Or counterfeited (at least for long).
(2) Immediacy
(3) Personalization
(4) Interpretation — As the old joke goes: software, free. The manual, $10,000.
(5) Authenticity — You might be able to grab a key software application for free, but even if you don't need a manual, you might like to be sure it is bug free, reliable, and warranted. You'll pay for authenticity.
(6) Accessibility — Ownership often sucks. You have to keep your things tidy, up-to-date, and in the case of digital material, backed up. And in this mobile world, you have to carry it along with you. Many people, me included, will be happy to have others tend our "possessions" by subscribing to them. We'll pay Acme Digital Warehouse to serve us any musical tune in the world, when and where we want it, as well as any movie, photo (ours or other photographers).
(7) Embodiment — At its core the digital copy is without a body. You can take a free copy of a work and throw it on a screen. But perhaps you'd like to see it in hi-res on a huge screen? Maybe in 3D? PDFs are fine, but sometimes it is delicious to have the same words printed on bright white cottony paper, bound in leather.
(8) Patronage — It is my belief that audiences WANT to pay creators. Fans like to reward artists, musicians, authors and the like with the tokens of their appreciation, because it allows them to connect. But they will only pay if it is very easy to do, a reasonable amount, and they feel certain the money will directly benefit the creators.
(9)Findability — findability is an asset that occurs at a higher level in the aggregate of many works. A zero price does not help direct attention to a work, and in fact may sometimes hinder it. But no matter what its price, a work has no value unless it is seen; unfound masterpieces are worthless. — being found is valuable.
network_effects  free  Kevin_Kelly  value_creation  digital_economy  immediacy  scarcity  personalization  abundance  findability  patronage  embodiment  accessibility  authenticity  interpretation  replication  Information_Rules  value_added  superfans  SaaS  ownership 
november 2011 by jerryking
How a Las Vegas Megahotel Tries to Seem Smaller - WSJ.com
Sept. 22, 2011 | WSJ | By ANDREA PETERSEN. One key to
megahotels' survival: Increasingly, they are working to counter the
perception that they're crowded, filled with long lines and just too big
to give good service....In the vast parking lot of the nearly year-old
2,995-room Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, for example, electronic signs show
drivers how many spots are available within each level and row. Lights
above each space glow red if occupied, green if free. One Honolulu
giant, the 3,500-room Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Resort, recently
tackled front-desk lines by adding "roaming lobby concierges" to answer
questions and direct some guests to alternative reception desks.

MGM Grand employs strategies at every point, from the parking lot to
check-ins to housekeeping, to make its operations feel small.
Las_Vegas  hotels  customer_experience  digital_signage  personalization  parking  queuing  customer_intimacy  concierge  concierge_services 
september 2011 by jerryking
Cut from a different cloth
Cut from a different cloth

By Mansel Fletcher, editor at Mr Porter at FT.com
mens'_clothing  e-commerce  bespoke  personalization 
september 2011 by jerryking
WSJ: Galleon and the Trouble With Insider Trading
Jan/Feb 2010 | The Corporate Board | Andy Kessler.

Information now travels at the speed of light. The edge to human traders
is mostly gone, arbitraged out by fast computers.
Near-term blips in stocks will always be driven by those with industry
contacts, legal or illegal. The only way to truly beat the market long
term is to use your head, think out long-term trends, figure out where
productivity and therefore wealth is being created in the economy,
and invest alongside it. This might include investing in wireless commerce, gigabit broadband, personalized prescription drugs, oil shale extraction, or electric smart grids that can better allocate power to where it is needed.
— Andy Kessler,
author.
Andy_Kessler  wealth_creation  productivity  productivity_payoffs  trends  JCK  long-term  strategic_thinking  ideas  arbitrage  traders  beat_the_market  insider_trading  Raj_Rajaratnam  power_grid  alpha  commoditization_of_information  broadband  hydraulic_fracturing  personalization  shale_oil  smart_grid 
june 2011 by jerryking
Prototype - At Start-Ups, Media Exposure Can Be, Well, Overwhelming - NYTimes.com
October 2, 2010 | New York Times | By AMY WALLACE. Chocomize, a
Web-based company that lets its customers create their own chocolate
bars from more than 100 ingredients. Its Web site opened for business
late last year; then, in June, the company was briefly noted in O, the
Oprah Magazine. The mention was tiny — just 36 words in a wee stripe on
the bottom of a page. Nevertheless, things went haywire.
start_ups  chocolate  personalization  customization  bespoke  publicity  Oprah_Winfrey 
october 2010 by jerryking
University Assigns Freshmen "Personal Librarians"
Sept. 15, 2010 | Fast Company | BY David Zax. What are we to
make of a recent prgrm at Drexel U., which is assigning to each of its
2,750 freshman a “personal librarian”? Is it a scrambling quest for
relevance, in an age where the Assoc. of College & Research
Libraries is issuing reports with names like “The Value of Academic
Libraries”?..Though students are expert at GOOG, sometimes they just
don’t know what they’re searching for, Drexel’s Dean of Libraries Danuta
Nitecki told the Chrn. of Hgher Educ.: “The pt. is not just about
interacting with info. out in the Internet—it’s about trying to identify
what questions you’re trying to answer.”..If GOOG is causing librarians
to hustle & innovate, what we’re seeing is not the last desperate
flounderings of an obsolete profession. Rather, GOOG is simply exerting a
healthy pressure ensuring that librarians do the sort of reaching out
they should've been doing all along--true & thorough outreach--which
makes prgrms like Drexel’s commendable.
libraries  personalization  Colleges_&_Universities  innovation  Drexel  outreach  personal_libraries 
september 2010 by jerryking
The Littlest Schoolhouse
July/August 2010 | The Atlantic Magazine | By Ta-Nehisi Coates
personalization  education  schools  Ta-Nehisi_Coates 
july 2010 by jerryking
Seeking to Build a Better Consumer Profile - WSJ.com
MARCH 15, 2010 | Wall Street Journal | by EMILY STEEL.
Exploring Ways to Build a Better Consumer Profile
Nielsen, Digital-Marketing Firm eXelate Form Alliance to Merge Online
and Offline Data in Bid to Improve Ad Targeting. Digital-marketing
companies are rapidly moving to blend information about consumers'
Web-surfing behavior with reams of other personal data available
offline, seeking to make it easier for online advertisers to reach their
target audiences.
Advertisers say the push could enhance their ability to target ads at
specific types of consumers, but it is drawing scrutiny from Congress,
federal regulators and privacy watchdogs, who are already concerned
about the use of Web-surfing data.
Nielsen  consumer_research  privacy  data_driven  personalization  person  EXelate  Acxiom  advertising  marketing  customer_profiling 
march 2010 by jerryking
Weather Gets Personal:
July 24, 2006 | Scientific American | By Mark Alpert
weather  personalization  hyperlocal  microtargeting 
january 2010 by jerryking
Personalized Weather Forecasts
December 12, 2006 | Technology Review | By Duncan Graham-Rowe.
An IBM supercomputer forecasts weather down to a one-kilometer
resolution.
weather  massive_data_sets  IBM  bespoke  personalization  hyperlocal  microtargeting 
january 2010 by jerryking
Pinpoint Weather
June 2003 | Technology Review | by David H. Freedman. Cheap
computer power and high-tech observation systems mean precise forecasts,
offering consumers personalized reports and saving weather-sensitive
businesses millions.
weather  bespoke  personalization  David_Freedman  hyperlocal  microtargeting 
january 2010 by jerryking
Introduction: Customer Focus - HBR.org
May 2007 | HBR | Customers are the real employer—the people
who fund our paychecks, the only guarantors of our jobs. Because the
customer’s power is very real, the dynamics of business drive everything
toward commoditization. As surely as springtime melts snowbanks,
markets erode profits. A company can respond to melting margins in one
of four ways. It can surrender, giving up differentiation and competing
on efficiency and cost. It can consolidate power by buying its rivals,
figuring that the biggest snowbanks survive longest. It can innovate,
leaving behind the commoditized old and making money from that which is
still fresh and profitable. Or it can differentiate not just its
offerings but its approach to customers as well: It can cleverly define
segments of customers and sell only to those for whom it can create
especially valuable offerings or work with individual customers to
combine its products and services into unique packages, often described
as “solutions.”
HBR  customer_focus  commoditization  customer_centricity  consolidation  innovation  differentiation  bespoke  personalization  customer_segmentation  value_propositions  solutions  solution-finders  packagers 
october 2009 by jerryking
The Future of Shopping: Custom Everything - Dual Perspectives -
March 16, 2009| Portfolio.com | by Sara Clemence |

Portfolio.com reports: What happens when you can design your physical world as easily as you can reformat your blog?
customization  innovation  shoes  retailers  personalization  cyberphysical  shopping  design  bespoke  meat_space  analog  sneakers  physical_world 
march 2009 by jerryking
Technology Gets Personal - WSJ.com
JULY 18, 2008 WSJ article by Steven Zeitchik on the limits of personalization algorithms.
personalization  algorithms  recommendations  limitations 
january 2009 by jerryking

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