Smart Speakers and Thermostats Will Monetize Life at Home – The Atlantic

As internet-connected devices and appliances accumulate, one academic foresees “the monetization of every move you make.”
— Read on

In other words: how Alexa will eventually use my Nest data to sell me a cashmere sweater – and not just any cashmere sweater but one that I really really like.

Marketing Analysis: There are over 15,000 jobs available and nobody to fill them. But I’m so happy we will once again have plenty of coal.

Yep. 15,000.  That is the approximate total number of jobs that come up when you type in the terms google analytics, marketing data analyst, and advertising data analyst.  Go broad and just type in Data Analyst? 50k. FIFTY THOUSAND JOBS OPEN.

imagesI don’t write often and when I do it’s very obvious I’ve had a bad week. Or maybe month. That something has really “gotten my goat”. Today it is this. Data and the lack of people available to analyze it.

Oh I know – everyone is talking about big data. It will save us, it will kill us, who needs it eventually Watson will be inside every home and he will kick Alexa’s butt to the curb — blah blah blah. But I’m just talking about small data.  The kind of data that organizations who have just really started to pay attention and focus on their digital activities past the number of Facebook followers are now looking at.

Simple data. What is making people sign up at my website? Where is my website traffic coming from?  And it’s smart smart SMART people who can’t figure this out. PHD’s. People who own franchises. People who are qualified to invest your retirement money. People who work with OTHER kinds of data — but not marketing data. Not digital marketing data. I’m talking about people who can’t afford a 15,000 per month attribution system. I’m talking about medium to small sized businesses who are now feel like they have to have Stanford level Master’s degrees to implement a Google Goal Funnel.

Can someone explain to me why Google can’t just open up training centers around the country – physical ones. Not online. Not self motivated. But guided, hand holding training centers to help people get trained on these types of entry level support gigs. For free.  I’m mean it ultimately helps them — the more the world installs GA the more advertising they can sell against it.

But no. We are as a nation focused on reopening coal mines. Nobody talks about the fact that there are in fact jobs and we don’t make an effort to train people to fill them — corporate america doesn’t even make an effort to train people in service of their own needs.

What if corporate America worked like the Army sometimes? Hey – we will send you to college or to a technical training program for two years – but then you sign on and you work for us for 5 years.  How many people would sign on for that? I would have to imagine a lot. Look at the success of Teach For America. Everyone wants to privatize government programs. Private Corporate Data Analyst Scholarship Programs. There’s a program.

Sure we have STEM programs. You can’t go anywhere without hearing how important STEM is….but its not enough. We can’t wait for a 12 year old to make it out of the STEM system and when they do — they will most likely think “I’m going to invent an app and be the next Mark Zuckerberg”. Well…someone has to work for the next Mark Zuckerberg and they are not being trained.  This is a thought that is very related to a great article I read this weekend about how “leadership” is overused and the college admissions community needs to find value in followers too. It’s by Susan Cain, who is my hero as a champion for introverts.

Rant over.

I’m off to see if I can add more solar panels to my roof in defiance of today’s announcement.


Intrapreneurs …. the bravest of them all.

I have been an intrapreneur for practically my whole career. Even before it was called Intrapreneur. It’s really hard sometimes. You find yourself being that innovative and fearless voice in the corner of a large organization (whether you work for the co, or for the consulting co or agency they’ve brought in to play the role). And when you are that person – alot of people just plain out hate you. Your mere existence gives threat to an established world order.

Most people don’t like change. They fight it tooth and nail. I never understand it. Discovering new things, trying new ways – it’s so exciting! It’s like the world is a giant puzzle but so many people just can’t do it.

I absolutely loved this article. Especially the part about integrity. So much of corporate life can be filled with a lot of smokescreens. Watching that succeed has always been so frustrating for me…because I do really believe that authentic integrity is hard to come by these days. And I’m proud I have it. Thanks David K Williams for highlighting the importance.

The 4 Essential Traits Of ‘Intrapreneurs’
David K. Williams

Intrapreneurs are the heroes of a business environment

There’s been much discussion of late about the entrepreneurs within an organization—those highly valuable executives and team members who will perhaps never become a company founder, but who have learned to apply the essential principles of entrepreneurship to the roles they fill within a company.

We refer to these employees as “intrapreneurs” because they’re not entering into their own, work venture, but they are working within your company, thus the “intra” part.

Our company, Fishbowl is filled with intrapreneurs. They think and behave like owners. Most of them actually are as our organization is employee owned. They are invaluable to the company’s health. But how do organizations recognize and develop intrapreneurs, and, even more importantly, how can you be sure they won’t leave?

As authors Vijay Govindarajan and Jatin Desai have noted in a Harvard Business Review blog post, there are certain characteristics that successful intrapreneurs share. I would like to focus on four of them:

1. Money is not their measurement. Intrapreneurs certainly respect the value and importance of money. They understand the economic drivers that allow the organization to succeed and are able to support this fundamental truth and not fight it. A non-intrapreneur is perpetually looking for non-economic ways to justify their own advancement and payment. An intrapreneur “gets it” and does their work in a way that shows the organization they are someone it can’t afford to lose. The money and advancement finds them.

2. They are “greenhousers.” When you speak about an intriguing idea to an intrapreneur, the idea never leaves them. It germinates within their mind, and they carry with them the desire to figure out how to make it work. When you see them next, they are likely to have grown the seed of an idea into a full-blown plan or they will have created an even better set of alternative plans in its stead.

3. They know how to pivot. Intrapreneurs aren’t afraid to change course, nor do they fear failure. It isn’t outward bravado that drives them but an inner confidence and courage that every step takes them closer to their ultimate goal. In my own training and vernacular I call this phenomenon “failing up.” I celebrate opportunities for growth, even painful ones.

4. They behave authentically and with integrity. Most importantly, intrapreneurs exhibit the traits of confidence and humility—not the maverick behavior of corporate hotshots, Govendarajan and Desai say. I agree fully with this conclusion. Integrity (along with Respect, Belief, and Courage) are key among the traits I call the 7 Non-Negotiables, which have driven my own company to miraculous accomplishments and are at the core of the methodology I describe in my book. A budding businessperson could carry every other characteristic in spades, but without a foundation of integrity, they will fail (and the work landscape is littered with many examples of such failures).

So if these are the traits that describe what an intrapreneur looks like, where will you find these individuals and how can you ensure they will stay?

For starters, a company founded with an entrepreneurial/intrapreneurial emphasis becomes a magnet for more of the same. Employees recommend the company to others who share their values. Like breeds like, which is also to say that a company can’t conduct itself without integrity and still expect to find those traits upheld in its ranks. With time and experience, you will learn to ask the searching questions that will help you determine the true traits of the individuals you consider.

The search will be worth the effort, as tomorrow’s world of work ecosystems will be driven by the increasing ranks of intrapreneurs.

Intellectual Curiosity

“What you need more than expertise is curiosity, someone who’s interested in what’s happening, loves change, and wants to develop ideas and drive change. If you’re not one of those people, you’re going to hate what’s going on in marketing and you won’t be effective.”

great article from author and FORBES writer Dorie Clark.


The End of the Expert: Why No One in Marketing Knows What They’re Doing

English: Sir Richard Branson at the eTalk Fest...

Richard Branson’s Virgin is one company that’s succeeding in the new era of marketing.  (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It’s a stark verdict from a prominent source. “There are hundreds of thousands of people who were trained and mentored, and studied classical marketing, and they got good at it,” says Clark Kokich, chairman of digital agency Razorfish. Unfortunately, the world has changed – and that education is no longer relevant. “If your self-worth and your confidence is based on you being an expert, you’re in deep trouble, because there aren’t any experts,” says Kokich, author of Do or Die: Surviving and Thriving in a World Where the Old Ways of Marketing Aren’t Getting It Done. “Sure, there are experts in some fields. Someone may be really good in SEO or in mobile. But there aren’t any experts in making this transition.”

In the late 1990s, digital marketing debuted to great fanfare, but it was still fundamentally about advertising to customers. But in the past several years, new social and mobile tools have upended that paradigm. “The focus has really changed,” Kokich told me in a recent interview at the Inbound Marketing Summit, where we were both keynote speakers. “It’s less about advertising and more about creating an experience that transforms what it means to be a customer of a brand. And that change has really caused a lot of consternation in marketing because none of us were trained to do that.”

As a model for the future, he cites the iconoclastic examples of Richard Branson’s Virgin; Nike’s “Write the Future” campaign, in which youth competed to be identified as a rising soccer star; and the “Epic Mix” campaign by the Vail ski resort, which leveraged digital technology to help friends connect, track each other, and compete on the slopes. To succeed in marketing moving forward, he says, “What you need more than expertise is curiosity, someone who’s interested in what’s happening, loves change, and wants to develop ideas and drive change. If you’re not one of those people, you’re going to hate what’s going on in marketing and you won’t be effective. I have friends who have told me they’re just trying to hang on before people realize they don’t know what they’re doing. But I don’t think you can fake it another five years. You’re just not relevant if you’re fighting the reality of what’s happening.”

So how do you begin to “create brand experiences” instead of relying on past methods of advertising? The first step, says Kokich, is to “ask a different question.” He advises companies to pull together a cross-section of company and agency staff – “everybody that’s responsible for building anything that touches the customer” – put them in a room and ask: “What do people hate about doing business with us, and can we use digital to fix it?”

The wrong frame, which too many companies use, is “This is what we are, and how do we shine it up?” Kokich believes more fundamental change is necessary. “We talk a lot in marketing about the importance of being good storytellers. Well, we need to be good story changers, because telling a story isn’t enough. Customers can see right through a great story about a lousy product.”

If you succeed in the new marketing, Kokich says, the benefits can be profound: “Companies like Virgin or Vail fundamentally altered their market position, because they fundamentally altered the way they did marketing.”

3D printing – this is what’s next.

3d printing

3D printing – it’s here. It’s amazing.  And what will it mean for many aspects of society? Not sure. But there have been some really amazing things lately that have made me sit up and take notice of this new advance in technology. I want to present a few of them here.

First, it was my trip to the dentist. With a tooth almost completely gone, after an old Amalgam filling from the 70s was removed, I needed a crown. A very large crown. In comes my dentist with his computer screen perched on a cart. He starts pointing a laser and outlining my teeth and explains to me that he is going to “print” my tooth out of a ceramic material in the back room (a temp while the porcelain one is made).  PRINT? A TOOTH? Cannot be….

“Do you want to watch?” he says.  “Hell yes!” I replied (thankfully my dentist is entertained by my curiosity). I sat and watched as a 3D printer in the back room of the office “made” my tooth. Every groove and bump perfectly fabricated.  It was incredible.  Here is how it works in the video below (and that is not my dentist btw).

After becoming aware of this whole 3D thing at the dentist’s office, I really started to notice small news items here and there about 3D printing. Some of my favorite ones are below. They are all ONLY related by the fact that they involve 3D printing, but as you can imagine in each instance the possibilities are astoundingly endless!

Escher in 3D

The folks at Technion University in Isreal have brought to life the artist MC Escher’s fantasmical structures using 3D printing technology. His talents were always thought to be architecturally incorrect…but with the 3D printing we can see these fictional buildings and spaces come to life. A video showing how it happened is below.

83 year old Woman gets New Jaw

A company called Layerwise recreated a new jaw for a woman out of titanium. The BBC reported on this earlier this year. I was actually suprised there wasn’t more coverage. Think of the advances this could mean in prosthetic limbs, arms – for veterans. More in the video below

Copying the Masters

Cosmo Wenman shows us in this video how he was able to use 3D scanning and printing and a MakerBot to recreate some fine art sculptures from the Getty.

Finally – let your imagination run wild with USC Professor Khoshnevis‘ TedX talk on large scale 3D printing. You want a 3D house you say?  Well just you wait…..

Boundaries and Busyness


There is a great article in the NY Times this week about “Busyness”. The Busy Trap examines the idea that we have forgotten how to relax here in America.  That being busy gives you bragging rights. I experience this often. As a busy person I actually MAKE time to “do nothing”. Sometimes it is “structured nothing” – like meditation. Other times it is laying on the patio with a pile of catalogs that seem to never stop coming no matter what I do.

I think it’s really very important to set boundaries for yourself in our connected world. A couple of times a year I take a Social Media Vacation. When I’m working on projects that cover multiple time zones I really try and figure out when I have to be “live” to folks in the UK or folks in Asia….without this boundary I would be working 24 hours and not sleeping.  At times I would actually realize that my “evening” was really from 2 – 6 when I was working with Germany AND Hong Kong.

I recently had a conversation with a man I know about his new role as President of a division.  He was commenting on how a few of the team members he inherited had asked him what his philosophy was on “live work balance”. He found this entertaining and telling. His answer was – “you’re all grown ups. if you think you need to be at your kid’s baseball game at 3pm then you go. how could i possibly deny you that when you were out to dinner with clients 3 nights this week or working on the presentation for Monday morning on your Sunday afternoon.” He said they looked at him in shock. I have to admit this is someone close to 60 and I was super impressed with his modern approach. It is that kind of approach that the workplace needs these days…at least the kind of workplaces my peers and I are a part of…

It’s a bit archaic to have the boundaries set by an HR person or even by the time zones that were set long long ago. It is up to you to make your own time valuable and meaningful. And that includes sleeping.

Thank You Ray Bradbury

ray bradbury the illustrated man

As a GIRL who ened up working in DIGITAL communications. I have to tell you – Ray Bradbury (along with Star Trek and Phillip K Dick) is a very large influence on who I have become as an adult.

How is this possible? Well – it all started with the Illustrated Man. In my school district in Hamden, Connecticut you progressed in your “reading” through a very set group of tests that were “levels” to show you had advanced. Level 40 was supposed to take you to the end of 6th grade. I passed level 40 in the middle of 5th grade. (I never brag so cut me some slack here….)

I then was tested for the “talented and gifted program”….TAG. As a member of the special elite forces group I got to hang with 10 kids from 3 other nearby schools 2x a week and develop my critical thinking skills. The first book we used as I recall? Yep – “The Illustrated Man”.  I had nightmares. For sure. He was standing at the end of my bed on a few occassions at 3am, much to the chagrin of my mother. But since every book on her nightstand had a foil cover and involved alien abduction, murder or international intrigue – the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.

Ray Bradbury followed me into Junior High – Farenheit 451 – what many think of as not his BEST work – but it certainly opened my eyes up to censorship and freedome of speech and mind control. It was certainly the primer for films that all fall into my favorite dystopian category – THX 1138, Brazil, BladeRunner…

Every single day I think Ray Bradbury crosses my mind. He crosses it while I’m watching CNN on my 55″ flatscreen on the living room wall. He crosses it when I see a digital billboard with video at the busstop while I’m sitting at a stoplight. He crosses it when I drive downtown by the Bradbury Building made so famous by Blade Runner and sort of a “mecca” for those of us who like to see that sort of static influence in person.

I just downloaded Farenheit 451 (and the Martian Chronicles) to my kindle app on my i-pad. I haven’t reread either in a while. They will get read again before my Monday meeting with a new client.

I know that I will surely be inspired by something in there…and yes – there is something in a book from 1953 that I will subconciously (or purposefully!) introduce into a strategy session on communicating an idea, a product or a new technology to our uber connected world.

And dear Los Angeles Metro team – can we please christen that subway to the sea as the “Bradbury Express” when it launches? That would be such a wonderful tribute to this most futuristic and influential thinker of our era.  “LA’S Future is Up In The Air” by Ray Bradbury

Merci Beaucoup Msr. Bradbury…vos idees vivra a jamais.

Pinterest + Video = Higher Search Engine Rankings

pinterest for search ranking
So often SEO seems like this big “secret sauce”. The guy that knows SEO is the like Daniel Bouloud of online marketing. He has the time and temperament to lock himself in the room and play with tiny bits of information – like a gamer really. Which is why it always shocks me that so many folks think that its all SEO. There needs to be content to search – to click through to…to track. SEO is the last piece of the puzzle not the first.

Here is some great info and a few of the early puzzle pieces to think about!

Pinterest + Video = Higher SEO Rankings

Is your marketing department ignoring Pinterest in hopes that it will be just another fad? Did you know that Pinterest is retaining and engaging users as much as two to three times more efficiently than Twitter was at a similar time in its history? Not only is it the fastest growing social media site today, but it is a great value for online video marketing because of its video SEO value.

Pinterest’s traffic is growing exponentially.
ComScore’s statistics for February 2012 revealed that Pinterest may not be just one of those “other social media sites.” Unique visitors increased over 50% from the previous month to 17.8 million. Relevant, keyword-rich URLs are important to increasing your SEO rankings, and as of this writing, is reporting that Pinterest URLs show up in over 46 million Google search results, including over 1,170 indexed online video URLs.

The way Pinterest works is that each ‘pin,’ ‘board,’ and user profile receives a unique URL.  So each ‘board’ — or category of videos — you create can be titled and tagged with targeted keywords, which Pinterest uses to create a keyword-rich URL. This means that each and every ‘board’ will include your targeted keywords and be indexed by Google so searchers can easily find your video content. The technical explanation is that Pinterest’s file structure is created specifically for managing and categorizing video content so that Google will index the titles and descriptions for your individual boards as key metadata for its own search results.

Pinterest increases Video SEO rankings.
Pinterest knows that online video content is important to consumers because it helps them make informed decisions and is a the most valued type of online content.  And because consumers love online video content, brands are responding. Major national retailers and e-commerce sites such as the The Home Depot, Whole Foods, The Gap, The Vitamin Shoppe, and Target are just a few of the 200,000+ brands that currently use Pinterest to publish online content that includes video, images, and descriptions.

Getting started with Pinterest.
Pinterest is pretty easy to get started with. First, create separate boards for product and/or service categories you want to target consumers with. Even if you only have a small grouping, try to be as granular as possible and use long-tail keywords to help your SEO strategy. Next, use as much of the allowed 500 character-length description area as you can. Include your company’s brand name, the name of the product or services, and as many keywords and as much descriptive information as possible.

Include more than your online video marketing content.
Even if you are new to Pinterest, you will quickly see that the site is very visual. So think about other visuals your company may already have, such as graphs, charts, website images, front pages of brochures, eBooks, and pictures from your facility or company events. Tagged with appropriate keywords, all of this content could then be found on search engines and drive traffic to your website. If you really want to get detailed, you can create dedicated landing pages for each of your Pinterest boards. This way you can track and analyze the traffic you get to each category and be able to better plan your marketing resources.