Great products today are defined by great design, especially in the age of social media, where what consumers say about you matters as much as your direct marketing plan.
Having led multiple product teams, advised numerous startups and most recently served as the CTO of an online marketing solution for small- and medium-sized businesses, I’ve seen firsthand how design has evolved. In the age of mobile, social and data, here are four key principles to keep in mind as you approach the design process.
As the CTO of a marketing technology company, my main challenge is to keep up with rapid changes in technology and consumer behavior in order to create differentiated growth.
In the last 10 years, mobile and social media have disrupted advertising, software and consumer electronics. Just like the rise of the PC and internet a decade before, these are foundational disruptions.
Multiple groundbreaking technologies are looking to change how we interact with products, companies and each other, and they are being driven by a perfect storm of dependent innovation.
It's an exciting time, particularly in five key areas.
As president and co-founder of an online marketing platform, I’ve seen tremendous shifts around local commerce the past few years. Local news and print marketing have been upended by online equivalents that offer more personalized discovery, powered by social feedback. Local businesses already know that the lion’s share of their marketing should be online, and that’s how they’re earning customers’ loyalty today.
We’re increasingly seeing winner-take-all economics, and it’s no surprise to see industry leaders investing to capture their market. One company that is uniquely positioned to run the gauntlet is FacebookFB -2.94%, which has been less publicly putting together assets that could disrupt local search, local news and loyalty marketing — and, in the process, solidify its local advertising proposition. But for Facebook to establish itself in the local space, it will require bolder steps and an integrated vision. Here’s what that might look like.
As the publisher of the largest local business newswire, I know there is a great and growing demand from organizations, businesses and community leaders seeking to push their messages out to a largest possible audience. Why not? 78% of CMOs think that custom content is the future of marketing.
t’s always with great anticipation that I open up Mary Meeker’s annual Internet Trends Report. The report always includes some really interesting data that helps me understand how the Internet and technologies associated with it are changing and there are always several big themes that create new foci for the year ahead. This year is no different and I thought I would share some of those takeaways in the context of the local marketing industry. Arguably how the Internet affects local commerce was one of the biggest themes this year and that starts with mobile…
Ahhh ... yes. I love it when someone I know comments on my blog and points me to some cool things based on my post. Big shout out to Brian Delassandro for following up on my post on networking the human mind to solve really hard problems, That's Using Your Noggin.
Brian points us to Amazon's Mechanical Turk, a way to request the services of a network of knowledge workers. What could you use it for?
Remember that SETI screensaver from the early days of the Internet? Brilliant, right? Harness unused CPU cycles from desktops around the world to solve a hard problem broken into bits. But we didn't find aliens. Or if we did, no one told us. And we probably sucked more electricity out of the wall causing global warming which may have increased our need for an alien lifeline. But that's not the point.
There's another company who's business is founded on applying the exact same principle. Google. They have hundreds of thousands if not millions of cheap servers breaking down search and other computational heavy problems into tiny bits and then reassembling them to get the answer. They call the algorithm MapReduce and have given a watered down version to the world in the open-source Hadoop. And when you get hired by Google they ask you, "What problem would you solve if you had limitless computational power?" Now that's employee onboarding!
But there are lots of problems computers are terrible at solving. Image recognition. Language recognition. Complex pattern matching. But the human brain is pretty good at these tasks. (Great book on this is On Intelligence, by Jeff Hawkins). What if you could coordinate a massive human effort to solve these problems? What if you could get everyone in line more than the North Koreans? What problem would you solve?
Well, like many great technological movements, the pornography industry has figured it out. You can now get free, quality porn on the Internet if you just solve some "Captchas" for them. Captchas are those letter scrambles that make sure you are human when you go to Ticketmaster or register for a new service. Here is an example:
Well, if you can get someone to crack these, you can start doing nefarious things like infiltrate and spam people on other services or reserve those tickets I want. Since that makes money, it's a different revenue stream for the porn industry. Not quite legal though. And certainly not admirable.
But look to our scientists. They have taken a similar principle and applied to protein analysis. And it's an app called FoldIt. How cool is that? By getting users to solve 3D problems folding proteins you are actually contributing to a medical database about how to target proteins with drugs.
Imagine if every turn of your Rubik's cube contributed towards a cure for AIDS? Now that's pretty cool. It would be even better if you abstracted the problem so you didn't know that it was a protein problem.
What would you do if you had unlimited human analysis and a way to incentivize them to apply it?
Find anomolies in the US budget? The new accounting test and game brought to you by Obamatronics
Choose the hottest person in America. Facebook profile challenge creates a trillion page views and makes the company profitable through contextual ads for beauty enhancement products. Ok. Less cool. More fun.
Transcribe all the video in the world? Language learning game brought to you by the Google Library project.
There are some cool problems we could solve and we have barely touched the surface.