Author Archives: John Koetsier

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30% Of Marketing Budgets Wasted? Time To Panic … Or Just Get Smart

Good news gets trumpeted from the rooftops. Bad news gets buried in the back yard.

Welcome to the back yard.

Six years ago when Scott Brinker’s martech landscape was considerably less insane — 350 marketing technology vendors rather than today’s 5,000 — and marketers were considerably less stressed out, Gartner made a prediction.

By 2017, Gartner said, the CMO will spend more on IT than the CIO.

That might actually have come true.

But it may not stay true, if marketers continue to waste 30% of their budgets.

Get the full story in my post on TUNE’s blog …

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Amazon’s Jeff Bezos Just Proved That All Those Rich And Famous Do-What-I-Do Stories Are Nonsense

Sometimes, luck wins.

“How to be successful” returns 843 million results on Google. “I will teach you to be rich” is an actual website. And we can’t go a day without seeing how four habits will make us successful, or seven things the most successful people are always doing, or, from the astonishingly loquacious and for the above-average attention span, 37 secrets only successful people know.

All of it is nonsense.

Don’t get me wrong: there’s a lot of good advice, and there’s a lot that can help people. Go ahead: read one of these every day. Just don’t believe that they will make the entire difference between you living on $45,000/year and building the next Facebook.

Because … luck.

Get the full story in my post at Inc …

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When your latest story becomes a LinkedIn trending topic …

It’s always gratifying when a story resonates. But this is the first time I think one of my posts at Forbes or Inc has hit LinkedIn’s trending topics … “what people are talking about now.”

Cool 🙂

Here’s the post, btw …

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Amazon Is Hiring More Developers For Alexa Than Google Is Hiring For Everything

Amazon is hiring 1,147 people for its Alexa business unit alone, says Citi Research in a new report. That’s more than Google is hiring for product and technical roles across the entire Alphabet conglomerate, including YouTube, Waymo, Google Fiber, and — of course — the main money maker in the Alphabet empire: the original Google.

“Key takeaways from the job openings at Alphabet include that the company’s pace of hiring relative to its current headcount (3%) is among the lowest in our coverage,” say Citi analysts Mark May and Caleb Siegel.”

That could bode well for Google’s margins, Citi says.

It also could mean that innovation is slowing.

Get the full story in my post at Forbes …

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Report: Google Captures Nearly 80% Of All Retail Search Ad Spend

American retailers now spend 76.4% of their search ad budgets on Google Shopping ads. They also generate 85.3% of their clicks there, according to a new report from Adthena that analyzed 40 million ads from 240,000 advertisers in the U.S. and UK.

Essentially, Google is the new storefront.

No wonder Amazon is doubling down on its advertising platform.

“The dominance Google Shopping ads have in search is incredible,” Adthena’s VP of marketing Ashley Fletcher said in a statement. “From desktop to mobile, our data reveals that Google Shopping ads have become the most attractive units for retailer advertisers and are truly setting the stage in terms of search.”

Google’s shopping ads are not the blue underlined links of the past.

Get the full story in my story on Forbes …

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Sex Is Now On the Blockchain. Cue End of Western Civilization

Dating, apparently, is changing. And while blockchain might be great for cryptocurrencies, manufacturing, energy companies, and smart contracts … it might also be great for dating and consent.

Especially in the #metoo era, says Loly founder Adryenn Ashley — for both men and women.

“A recent poll showed that men’s #1 fear of going on a blind/online date: that the women would be chubbier than their photos,” Ashley told me. “Women’s #1 fear was being murdered.”

That’s not a small difference of impact.

Get the full story in my post at Inc …

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This $999 Bathroom Mirror Is Alexa-Powered So You Can Shop While You …

If you ever had the urge to talk to Amazon’s digital genie Alexa while doing your business in the restroom, relax. Voice-powered mirrors are now a reality.

And yes, it’s a bold look, Kohler.

The mirror, which Kohler teased at January’s Consumer Electronics Show in January, is now released and available for order. It starts at $999 for a 24″ model, and runs up to a 40″ version. All models will talk back to you, although it’s not clear if they’ll say who is the fairest of them all.

Get the full story in my post on Forbes …

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Apple Takes 59% Of Global Wearable Tech Revenue On 21% Of Device Sales

Apple is doing Apple, all over again. Just days after one research firm announced that the Cupertino company captures 51% of global smartphone revenue, another announced that Apple was the Q4 2017 volume shipment king in smart watches with 57.5% growth year over year.

Sure, that’s just 21% market share.

But it’s also a 59% revenue share, which you can determine with a few quick calculations.

Get the full story in my post for Forbes …

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Speaking in Ukraine at Elevate Conference

I had a blast recently at Elevate Conference in Ukraine, where the local PR community asked me to speak on how to pitch to journalists.

Check out MMR for a recap on what I talked about.

If you can’t read Ukrainian (like me) here’s the Google Translate version in English.

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Snapchat Ads: 397 Brands Bought Video Ads In Last 3 Months, 73% from Entertainment, Tech, Retail

397 brands such as Lyft, Pepsi, Exxon, and Olay bought video ads on Snapchat’s 52 Discover channels between November of 2017 and January 2018, according to a new study by MediaRadar, an ad intelligence company.

All told, Snap, the company that publishes the Snapchat app, is forecast to take in about $1.7 billion in advertising this year.

The small number of advertisers highlights Snapchat’s key differences from Facebook or other social apps when it comes to monetization.

Get the full story in my post on Forbes …


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Mobile Advertising Will Drive 75% Of All Digital Ad Spend In 2018: Here’s What’s Changing

You could fairly convincingly argue that mobile ad spending is the one absolutely key driver of consumer technology innovation and creation today.

This year, mobile ad spending in the U.S. will grow 20% to over $70 billion and will be an astounding 75% of all digital ad spend, according to eMarketer. That is an incredible 21,775% growth from a short decade ago, when U.S. mobile ad spending totaled just $320 million dollars.

This massive and historically rapid transfer of funding is the essential money tree that has enabled almost all the innovations that Google, Facebook, most of the massive app ecosystem on Android and iOS, and many other tech giants have brought to the market.

And it’s taken over in-app purchases as the primary source of mobile monetization for app publishers.

Get the full story in my post at Forbes …

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Talking about Smart Matter with ZDNet’s Tonya Hall

I was super-pumped to spend 10 minutes with the amazing Tonya Hall at ZDNet and talk about smart speakers, voice-based user interfaces, augmented reality, virtual reality, what mobile technology is becoming, and how smart products are fundamentally changing what a product is, what we expect from it, and what kind of relationship we have with the brands and companies that make them.

Check it out:

I love the title Tonya gave our session: Humanizing the Internet of Things.

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Elevate Conference: How journalists choose stories

I’m chatting with 1,000 technologists today in Kiev, Ukraine at Elevate Conference. There’s a thriving technology industry here, but as conference organizers have mentioned, companies are having a tough time reaching outside media, especially in the western world.

My topic: how journalists choose stories.

Here’s the deck:

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Snap Downgraded To ‘Sell’ Following 1.2M-Strong Petition To Kill Snapchat App Update

Citi Research downgraded Snap to “sell” today and offered a target price of $14 for the stock, which is currently near $20.

One of the key reasons? A massively popular user uprising against its latest app update.

An online petition against the most recent Snapchat app update has collected over 1.2 million signatures so far. It’s the first time I’ve seen an app update almost instantly get so many negative reviews that it has materially affected the financial future of its parent company.

Get the full story in my post at Forbes … 

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Apple Captures 51% of Global Smartphone Revenues: 3X Samsung, And 7X Huawei

Apple captured 51% of global smartphone revenues in the last quarter of 2017, according to a new Strategy Analytics report. That’s $61 billion in revenue in just one quarter — up 2.5% — and compares favorably to $19 billion for Samsung, and $8 billion for Huawei.

Apple can thank the spendy iPhone X for the uptick.

Get the full story in my post at Forbes …

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The 1 Question Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey Asks Every Single Job Candidate

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey is a deeply thoughtful man. He loves cities, is passionate about transport, and doesn’t want to disrupt existing business models as much as drive revolutions through purpose, values, and leadership.

He’s also a man who has started two billion-dollar startups.

Those startups — Twitter, of course, and Square, the payments company — have taught him a thing or two about what to look for in employees.

Get the full story in my post at Inc. Magazine …

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Livestream: better together (the elements of paid & organic marketing)

Treating paid, earned, and owned marketing separately costs marketers conversions, ranking, and revenue. Ultimately, it ends up leaving 50-100% of your potential results on the table.

Check out this livecast I did with TUNE …

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5 Things Genius Brands Do That ‘Feeble’ Brands Fail At

What do Nike, Gucci, Pizza Hut, and Geico have in common? They are all genius brands, according to L2, the research firm founded by the iconoclastic “clinical professor” Scott Galloway, of New York University’s Stern School of Business.

L2 ranked 2,302 brands.

But only 4% of them rank as genius brands.

Just over 600 were “gifted,” and 666 were average, but 543 were “challenged,” and 399 were “feeble,” L2 says, making it difficult or impossible for those brands effectively reach consumers. Only 94 made the cut.

What makes genius brands geniuses? Five factors, according to L2.

Get the full story in my post at Inc. Magazine …

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Particle Launches ‘Lego Bricks’ For IoT Mesh Networks, Sells 5K In Five Hours

IoT is amazing and world-changing. It’s also hard to implement.

That conundrum is exactly what Particle, which raised $20 million last year to simplify the emerging internet of things, is trying to fix with Particle Mesh. Mesh offers two chipsets for enabling gateway nodes for IoT mesh networks — one for WiFi, the other for cellular networks — and a $9 version for connecting smart devices to the gateway nodes.

Simply put, Mesh is lego bricks for IoT development.

Get the full story in my post on Forbes …

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RIP pop

I’ve been pretty quiet this week. My father passed away on Monday morning, and his funeral was on Thursday.

I posted this on my Facebook feed on Wednesday:

“Till Death Do Us Part,” by Gabrielle. 1958 to 2018, Plonia and Hendrik Koetsier. (See the full photo at the bottom of this post.)

Thursday, 10AM, Valley View Cemetery, Surrey

Funeral service:
Thursday, noon, Emmanuel Free Reformed Church, Abbotsford, with reception to follow

I don’t share this photo lightly. There’s a vulnerability to one’s last days of a tough illness like cancer … one that has eaten you down to fragments of yourself. Physically, my dad was down to maybe 120 pounds. Mentally, strokes, leukemia, diabetes, and other compounding illnesses had stolen pieces of his mind.

But our last days and weeks were amazing.

He still had his sense of humor. He still was unfailingly polite and thankful for all assistance. He bore the ugliest aspects of a disease which robbed him of almost all bodily control with a grace that I can’t quite fathom. He never once complained about his fate or his fortune. And he fought with a strength that we almost couldn’t believe.

We talked, we laughed, we remembered old trips. We sang together, we prayed together, we cried together. We stayed overnight in his hospital room so he would not be alone, would not die alone.

This photo is of one of the happiest days of his life, when he married my mom, Plon. And it’s of the last day of his life.

It’s real life. It’s good life. It’s hard life. And it’s beautiful. At the end, we can take nothing with us. Everything is stripped away.

Somehow, sometimes, that’s when we can be most human. Most real. Most authentic. Most who we are.

See you soon, Pop.

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App Publishers Lost $17.5B To Piracy In The Last 5 Years, Says Tapcore

Not all pirates say “arrghh” and wear eye patches. Some are smart, sophisticated, and technologically advanced. So smart, in fact, that they’ve siphoned off almost $18 billion in revenue from legitimate mobile publishers, says Tapcore.

Some apps have lost as much as $76 million to pirates, apparently.

“Piracy refers to the illegal modification and/or distribution of an app by someone other than its official owner,” says Remco Smit, SVP of business development for Tapcore, which re-monetizes pirated apps for their original owners. “Pirates [remove] attribution, advertising, and tracking functionalities … then republish the apps on one of the many alternative app stores around the world with their own monetization solutions included.”

Get the full story in my post at Forbes …

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Email outreach tip, by yours truly

Glad to be included in Ian Cleary’s list of “25 Insanely Useful Email Outreach Tips from Marketing Influencers.”

Here’s what I suggested:

Number one most important tactic: very, very, very short emails with a very, very, very specific (and easy to do) ask.

I’m talking one sentence, maybe two max (and they have to be short ones), and a quick ask like this:  Interested? Want to hear more?

For the full list, go here …

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Buy or DIY: What 66 Performance Marketers With 1.3B Annual Clicks Told Us

Super-pumped to do a Facebook Live today on one of my first deep dives into the supply side of the adtech space: recent research on the HasOffers ad-network-in-a-box platform.


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Facebook’s WhatsApp Was Downloaded 924M Times In 2017, Says Apptopia

Everyone knows Facebook Messenger is huge. But Facebook’s other messaging app, acquired in 2014 for $19 billion, might be growing even faster.

As in almost a billion new users in 2017.

According to app store intelligence company Apptopia, WhatsApp led the list of the top eight category-leading apps that had the most installs in 2017, and not by a small number. Think more than 600 million more installs than the nearest category leader competitor.

“WhatsApp was the number one app for downloads in 2017, with right around one billion, or a little less than a seventh of the world’s population,” Apptopia communications head Adam Blacker told me via email. “Keep in mind people likely download the apps on multiple devices they own.”

For the full story, see my post at Forbes …

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Apparently I had a top-3 post on Forbes Japan a week ago …

I had no idea that I was even being published in Japanese.

But thanks to Sandy Pell, a friend who told me how her older iPhone got instantly faster with a new battery, apparently I had the third-most-viewed post on Forbes Japan.

Okay 🙂

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Enterprises will spend $7 trillion on digital transformation by 2021

Global enterprises will spend more than $7 trillion dollars in the next four years as they struggle to modernize, build a global technology foundation for growth, and support simple, secure, and reliable access to data and services, says the IDC.

The big drivers?

The usual suspects like cloud initiatives, big data analytics, and mobility. But, IoT is becoming a major investment focus, and so are automation or AI initiatives. Connectivity is always a part of the conversation here, as well as IT services and enterprise applications.

But there’s a lot more to it.

Join me for a digital transformation dinner in Silicon Valley where we’ll do a deep collaborative dive into digital transformation together.

Get all the details here in my post at ReadWrite …

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Smart Everything Is The Future Of Mobile

The one thing I know from going to the Consumer Electronics Show over the past few years is that every time you go, you will find at least one Chinese company that you’ve never heard of … and that makes just about every kind of electronics gadget you can imagine.

(Oh and CES will drain every last drop of blood out of your body … but you’ll be happy that it did.)

This year that one Chinese company was Haier.

If the name sounds vaguely familiar, that’s because Haier bought General Electric’s appliance business in 2016. And if it doesn’t, that’s because the company hasn’t really announced itself under its own brand widely.

I did a walk-through of the company’s booth, and it’s worth skimming through despite the extremely authentic CES chaos, bustle, and noise.

For the full story, check out my post at TUNE …

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Comcast’s New Xfinity Platform Blurs Streaming Media, Live TV, Internet, Apps…And Smart Home Hub

Comcast unveiled a new Olympics viewing experience today that blurs the lines between web, live TV, mobile apps, and streaming media. Plus, it intrudes into the smart voice-activated home hub space that Amazon Alexa and Google Home thought they owned.

“This will be the most mobile, most personalized, most customizable Olympics ever,” Comcast chief product officer Chris Satchell told me last week at CES in Las Vegas. “We’ve focused on how we tailor the Olympics watching experience to you … it’s a lean-back experience, but also a lean forward experience.”

The key: massive customization.

Think YouTube meets Netflix meets good-old-fashioned live TV.

Get the full story in my post at Forbes …

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And now JOHNKOETSIER with more security …

For the princely sum of $75/year, I have now installed an SSL certificate from MediaTemple to this domain:

That should enable safe and secure access to this domain. And, it should kill the security warnings that Google Chrome was throwing when people were visiting here.

Uncool: this is a safe space on the web 🙂

If you see any issues, please ping me on Twitter or Facebook. Or comment on this post.


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Incompatible Gesture Language Disaster: Guest Accidentally Buys $25M In Bitcoin, Bankrupting Host

This is the second chapter of Insights from the Future, a book I’m writing about technology, innovation, and people from the perspective of the future. This chapter is set 14 years from now, and is based on technology I tested at CES 2018 just last week. The book is a collaborative exercise, and you are invited to participate (see below).

For details on the impact this will have on business and success today — and what you might do to prepare — scroll to the bottom of the article.

Incompatible Gesture Languages Disaster: Guest Accidentally Buys $25M In Bitcoin, Bankrupting Host​

January 12, 2032
Rochester, NY resident Joseph Black is liquidating his mansion and collection of antique 2000s-era internal combustion cars after a houseguest accidentally purchased no fewer than 160 Bitcoin, worth over $25 million at time of purchase.

His guest blames incompatible gesture languages for the massive miscue.

“I was just trying to switch the walls from ‘White Andes’ which is awesome and all, but a little boring when you want to party, to Hawaiian Sands,” explains Becky Franklin, 18 years of age. “But Joey is on New Millennium, and I’m on Android Ambient.”

Get the full post in my story at Inc. Magazine …