Author Archives: John Koetsier

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Advertising Has To Solve Its Lying Problem (Or Die Trying)

Social media has had its “fake news” come-to-Jesus moment. Now it’s time for advertising.

Tony Robbins is dead, don’t you know? And he was murdered by one of his own followers, no less.

At least, if you believe ads.

Estimates for how many ads we see each day range from 4,000 to 10,000. More credible sources we’re exposed to 1.59 hours of advertising on traditional and modern media, each and ever day.

The question is, how many of them are out-and-out blatant lies?

Get the full story in my post at Inc …

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Google Home, Chromecast Are Glitching Worldwide (Goodbye Virtual Assistants … And Entertainment)

Updated 4:04PM PST: Google Home is back up (for me). All devices will be back up in the next few hours, but you can accelerate the process by unplugging it and then plugging it back in.

Google Home is down globally for many users. The problem might be a glitched Google update for its assistant that was intended to increase privacy, but the update has bricked many devices (including mine). Music, timers, smart home controls, and more Google Home functionalities are down for many users.

Right now, all they hear is this:

“Sorry, something went wrong. Try again in a few seconds.” Alternatively, Google says: “There was a glitch. Try again in a few seconds.”

Get the full story in my post at Forbes …

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This European City Just Digitized Itself For AR, VR, Games (Think Fortnite In A Real City)

Second Life was a fantasy world, a frontrunner in creating virtual worlds for human creativity to thrive. Modern technologies like augmented reality and mixed reality, however, are combining real and virtual elements to create exciting new possibilities for fun, work, and media.

A particularly impressive example was just announced today: virtual Helsinki.

50 square kilometers of Helsinki is now digitized into a 700-gigabyte texture-mapped 3D mesh that graphics optimization and AR cloud vendor Umbra can stream to AR and VR headsets … or even your web browser.

Get the full story in my post at Forbes … 

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Salesforce Chief Product Officer: Only 15% Of Companies Prepared For Fourth Industrial Revolution

In the beginning was steam. Then electricity, and most recently computing. But the fourth industrial revolution, Salesforce chief product officer Bret Taylor says, is characterized by the rise of  intelligence.

And only 15% of companies are ready for the shift.

“We’re currently in the fourth industrial revolution,” Taylor said this week at Salesforce Connections, a company conference in Chicago. “But it’s not about bits and bytes … behind every one of our connected devices is a customer.”

Get the full story here in my post on Forbes …

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Amazon Prime Day Is Coming. Here’s How Brands And Retailers Can Win On (And Off)

Amazon Prime Day is about a month away. It’s Black Friday in July, Christmas in the summer, and a massive orgasm of consumers consuming consumables.

But there’s one big question for retailers.

How do you get your share of the business … whether you’re on Amazon or not?

Get the full story in my story on Forbes …

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Marketing Analytics Is Broken. Salesforce Is Fixing It With AI (And IoT)

Marketers use only 1-3% of the data they collect, a research scientist for a major marketing cloud recently told me. And yet data is critical to personalizing experiences, targeting offers, and boosting relevancy of communications.

Salesforce thinks it has the solution.

It’s called Einstein, the AI that Salesforce is layering throughout all its tools. Today, the company is unveiling new segmentation and multivariate testing tools driven by machine learned which, it says, dramatically increases marketing effectiveness.

Get the full story in my latest post at Forbes …

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Facebook After PrivacyGate: What’s Changed?

eMarketer just released a major report highlighting some of the key changes following social media giant Facebook’s recent privacy scandals. 

One thing that’s changed?

Consumer trust is down — significantly. But social media usage, not so much.

Only 24% of U.S. internet users think Facebook will do enough to protect privacy in the future, according to a YouGov and The Economist study that eMarketer cites. Trust is lowest where Facebook has the most trouble attracting users: the young. In a similar study, the number of those who agreed that Facebook was protecting their privacy dropped from 79% in 2017 to just 27% after the Cambridge Analytica news broke.

Get the full story in my post at Forbes … 

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The New CMO Challenge: How to Respond to Consumer Expectations to Take a Stand

I’ll be moderating this session next week at Salesforce Connections in Chicago:

From the Salesforce blog:

At the core of any successful marketing strategy lies the consumer. And this modern consumer is a digitally savvy researcher, an empowered buyer, and a connected device user. They pay attention to how brands act, especially when it comes to social and political issues. More than that, they often buy from or abandon a brand based on its social stances and actions.

In our upcoming Connections session, “The New CMO Challenge: How to Respond to Consumer Expectations to Take a Stand,” we’ll talk to Carla Dunham, VP of Marketing at Equinox, and Harris Beber, CMO at Vimeo, about their insights on how to stand behind brand values and respond to rising consumer expectations.

Here’s a sneak peek of what you’ll learn in this can’t-miss session facilitated by Forbes columnist, John Koetsier …

Join me!

(And, if you’re going to be there, ping me so we can meet up.)

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Study: Buying An Echo Increases Amazon Purchases 29%, Especially CPG

A new 40,000-person study of smart speakers and their connection to retail purchases shows that Amazon Echo buyers increase their spending at Amazon significantly after purchasing a smart speaker.

“We surveyed over 40,000 Amazon customers,” says Adam Marchick, CEO of Alpine.AI, which help companies build integrations with Amazon Echo and Google Home. “For people who have Echos, in the past 12 months they’ve significantly increased spending on pet food and treats, baking and cooking, grooming, and health and beauty products.”

Not only have people increased spending at Amazon, Marchick says, they’ve actually decreased spending elsewhere.

Get the full story in my post at Forbes …

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Install or Reinstall? 42% of Mobile App Installs Are Actually Reinstalls (And In Some Categories, It’s 75%)

Today TUNE is launching new technology to help mobile marketers understand one of the hidden secrets in the mobile app install ecosystem: a massive fraction of app installs are actually reinstalls. Those new downloads in your marketing dashboard? Many of them are actually re-downloads.

We’ve been testing and studying this phenomenon for six months while in development.

Here’s what we’re seeing:

  • in some app categories, reinstall percentages are as high as 75%
  • 98% of smartphone owners have reinstalled an app
  • search drives 65% of all app reinstall behavior
  • games are reinstalled 55% more frequently than non-game apps
  • large brands own 70% of the most-reinstalled apps on the iOS App Store

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

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Smart Speaker Users Growing 48% Annually, Will Outnumber Wearable Tech Users This Year

The number of smart speaker users is growing at a compound annual growth rate of 47.9%, according to a new report by eMarketer. That’s faster than any tech product since the smartphone, and will result in more smart speaker users than wearable tech users this year.

In the U.S. alone, that number will be over 90 million.

Get the full story in my post at Forbes …

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5 Things Google Duplex Means For The Future Of Chatbots

The unveiling of Google’s Duplex a few weeks ago was a game-changer: that almost everyone can agree. But what game did it change?

For one: chatbots.

For me, I’m hopeful I’ll never have to waste time on simple transactional phone calls with companies ever again. Of course, that’s some time off. But eventually, each of us will have the capability of telling Google, Siri, Alexa, Cortana, Bixby, or whatever AI assistant we use to get things done.

And they will, even if it means interacting with an API-less “real” world.

For now, Duplex means five things will change about bots and chatbots.

Get the full story in my post at Inc …

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Taps, Clicks, Bricks: Part 5 – Five Critical Components for Retail Success

When Walmart offers home delivery, when Amazon buys a grocery store, and when trendy mobile commerce startups open chic bodegas in NYC and San Francisco, you know something is changing about retail, commerce, and customer behavior.

And we’ve been unpacking those changes for about a month now.

Finally, here’s the payoff: five critical components for retail and brand success.

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

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Massive Reversal: Google Home Sales Explode 483% To Beat Amazon Echo For Smart Speaker Crown

In the first quarter of 2017, Amazon owned almost 80% of the smart speaker market, while Google sipped up just 19.3%. But in the same quarter this year, Google sold more than a third of all smart speakers, while Amazon’s share plummeted to 27.7%.

That’s a massive reversal.

And it’s in the fastest-growing consumer technology market: nine million devices sold in Q1 2018 versus 2.9 million last year.

Get the full story in my post in Forbes …

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May 2018 Is The Great Newsletter Die-Off (And The Executioner Is GDPR)

Over the past few weeks, maybe 15 to 20 companies that I barely remember have reached out via email with one of the cheery versions of the same message:

“Don’t let it end like this!”

“We still love you; do you love us?”

“Click here to stay in touch!”

What’s happening is GDPR: the European Union’s new General Data Protection Regulation. And what it’s causing is a flood of emails from companies that currently have your contact information and may have been sending you newsletters in the past. GDPR requires active, clear consent for the use and even the storage of personal information such as email addresses.

Get the rest of the story here in my post at Forbes …

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Programming As Art: How Blockchain Can Help Artists (And Save Art)

Can blockchain save art?

Last month I spent a week in Moscow where I spoke at the Skolkova Robotics Forum on Smart Matter: 4 Things That Are Making Every “Thing” Smart. While there, I happened to visit a very unique gallery in the heart of Russia’s top cybernetics institute, the National University of Science and Technology, or MISiS.

There, I met Anna Karganova, the director of the Russian Abstract Art Foundation, and Olga Uskova, its president. (Olga is also a scientist, CEO, and self driving car technologist.)

After viewing some of the art, our conversation surprisingly turned to blockchain.

Get the full story in my post on Inc., right here …

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SF, NY, and DC Are The Top 3 American Cities For $100K Jobs (Here Are The Rest)

Where are the most $100Kjobs in America?

Well, if you guess San Francisco, thanks to techies and startups, you’d be right. But New York with its finance jobs — and a growing tech sector — is just behind the west coast city.

And a number of them might surprise you.

Here are the top 15 cities in America for $100K jobs, according to high-end employment site Ladders:

Get the full story in my post at Inc. …

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Blockchain Is Over-Hyped … And A $4 Quadrillion Opportunity: Vonage Founder Jeff Pulver

Blockchain technology is over-hyped. And, it’s a $4 quadrillion opportunity.

Vonage founder Jeff Pulver said both those things today on-stage at Destination Experience Visionaries Summit in Kingston, Jamaica. One of the creators of our voice-over-IP protocols, Pulver is not insane, and not unaware of the tension between those statements.

So how does he reconcile them?

Get the full story in my latest post on Forbes …

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Report: Amazon India Worth $16B With 30% Market Share, Will Hit $70B GMV In 2027

Amazon India is currently worth $16 billion and has the same 30% marketshare as local competitor Flipkart, according to a new report from Citi Research. That’s in a country which has a $2.6 trillion GDP growing at 6-7% annually.

Flipkart, of course, just accepted a $16 billion investment from Walmart for a 77% share of the company.

“After disappointing results in China, Amazon – led by its founder/CEO Jeff Bezos – has been determined to win in India,” say report authors Mark May and Hao Yan. “India is poised to be one of the largest and fastest e-commerce growth markets for the next decade.”

Get the full story in my post at Forbes …

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Hustling And Grinding The Startup Life? The ‘Fun Formula’ Might Just Restore Some Sanity To Your World

To be successful in startup, tech, and modern business life, the prevailing wisdom is that you have to hustle, grind, and burn the candle at both ends in order to succeed. It’s what I did building a venture-backed startup in San Francisco for three years, only to almost burn out completely.

For Joel Comm, the hustle-and-grind philosophy is just not true:

“There’s one thing I’ve found throughout my business life that has always held true,” Comm says in his upcoming new book, The Fun Formula. “When I’ve had the most fun, I’ve had the most success.”

Get the full story in my post at Inc. …

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The age of the smart machine

We live in the age of the smart machine.
Not the 18th century machine that clanks and roars, but the intelligent one that lives in the cloud and extends out to our fingers, our eyes, our homes, our cities, and our places of work.
This is indeed the century of AI, Shel and Irena, and there’s three interesting ramifications for me.
  1. The extension of intelligence to every thing: toilets, walls, windows, lights, speakers, clothes, chairs, tools, vehicles, infrastructure, and our very bodies (with implants) … to sum up: what I call “smart matter.”
  2. The interplay of this smart machine in all its configurations and avatars with culture and news and jobs and politics and society at large … whether via fake news or targeted political messaging or personalized advertising or robot bricklayers and lawyers and doctors.
  3. The impact on what it means to be human, to be social, and to become who you are in an age of ambient, dispersed intelligence and omni-connectedness.
These are areas that I’m interested in exploring deeper.

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Google Duplex Uses AI And Natural Language To Make Phone Calls For You, Saving You Hours

Booking a restaurant is a pain in the you-know-what. Almost as much as calling the phone company or a utility.

But today Google unveiled startling new technology that will phone a restaurant for you, book a reservation using real human-sounding language and speech patterns, and report back its success. Soon, the same technology could accomplish a wide range of boring and time-consuming tasks for us.

Get the full story in my post at Forbes …

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Taps, Clicks, Bricks: Part 3 – The New Retail: Silicon Valley and Main Street Are Converging

Mobile traffic is up. M-commerce is growing fast. Desktop conversions to sales are still strong. And yet, the lion’s share of all commerce happens on the street.

That means change is happening, sure.

But more critically, convergence is happening. And that’s a much bigger story about retail than any individual data point on mobile, desktop, or store.

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

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Taps, Clicks, Bricks: Part 2 – Shopping Is Changing: The New Customer Journey

Twenty years into the desktop explosion and a decade after the mobile revolution, bricks and mortar is still 88% of all retail commerce in the United States. But that doesn’t mean that shopping is the same.

In fact, it’s never been more different.

As we saw last week, the best brands are walking alongside their customers at home, in the workplace, online, and in-store. With permission and while respecting privacy, they’re engaging with customers deeply on-demand — when their customers want it.

That’s happening via signed-in experiences across three major clusters of channels:

  1. Mobile (Taps)
  2. Desktop (Clicks)
  3. Physical Location (Bricks)

Mobile is the key and primary mode of connection, and it’s still growing fast in terms of economic activity. But the physical store location is still critical.

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

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Alexa’s Huge Advantage: Amazon Is Much Better At Marketing Than Google

Alexa, what is marketing?

“Marketing is the study and management of exchange relationships,” Alexa says. It’s something that Amazon knows very, very well, and is using to its advantage to continue leading in the smart speaker wars, which are of course just a prelude to our future of ambient, invisible computing.

Every week I get a new email from Amazon Echo.

The title: “What’s new with Alexa?”

Get the full story in my latest post at Forbes …

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Taps, Clicks, Bricks: How Retail Giants Are Reinventing Commerce Via Mobile, Desktop, Stores

Global mobile commerce will hit $1.8 trillion in 2018 after 40% growthlast year, and almost 60% of traffic to retailer’s sites is mobile. Does that mean actual physical stores are toast, and desktop is dead?

Absolutely not.

In fact, brands like Citi, Home Depot, Walmart, Unilever, and eBay are finding new and powerful ways of melding mobile commerce, ecommerce, and innovative in-store experiences to create retail experiences that surpass both digital-only stores and bricks-and-mortar only retailers.

Get the full story in my post at Forbes …

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Facebook Adds Mobile Commerce As Fandango Starts Selling Tickets On Instagram

Facebook just unveiled a big piece of its future earnings potential. Instagram is bringing on new ecommerce and mobile commerce capabilities, and the movie tickets leader Fandango just announced that movie fans can now buy tickets via Instagram.

That’s a big step away from ad revenue — which has been controversial — for the social giant.

It’s also a big step towards being a digital retailer.

Get the full story in my post at Forbes …

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Top Russian Cybernetics Experts On AI, Robot Morals, Human Extinction … And Self-Driving Cars

Elon Musk has stated his opinion that AI could lead to the extinction of humanity, and it’s one of the reasons he’s working hard to make us a multi-planetary species. Stephen Hawking was incredibly clear as well: true AI could be the “worst thing” for humanity.

And yet, every country and major company is racing to build AI systems.

Small wonder: Russian president Vladimir Putin has said that the nation that leads in AI will be the ruler of the world. And China is investing heavily in winning the race.

I was in Moscow recently to speak at Skolkovo Robotics Forum. One of the highlights: a visit to Russia’s top cybernetics institute, the National University of Science and Technology, or MISiS.

I asked two of its leaders about AI, its dangers, and — of course — one of the tasks we might use AI for: self-driving cars.

Get the full story in my post on Forbes …

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Adobe Combines AI and VR To Make Marketing Data Accessible, Visible, And Social

Marketers spend almost 10% of their budgets on analytics, more than any other single area. But they only use 1-3% of the data they collect.

That’s a massive problem, and it’s precisely why Adobe created “Project New View,” an innovative social VR data experience. Still an experimental project, Adobe unveiled the software today in London to showcase how brands could access and action their massive global data streams in the near-term future.

“This is going to have a profound impact on every industry,” Adobe senior computer scientist Dylan DePass told me yesterday. “It will change the way we act and interact with the digital world.”

Project New View is essentially a fusion of the massive amounts of data that Adobe Experience Cloud customers collect from their websites, apps, campaigns, and stores with Adobe’s marketing artificial intelligence Sensei, wrapped up in a virtual reality interface.

Get the full story in my post at Forbes …