Author Archives: John Koetsier

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Google Inbox Is Dead. Spark Might Just Take Its Place As The Most Innovative Email Client

It’s done.

Google Inbox, a new way of looking at, answering, and organizing your email, has been shut down. Some of its innovations, such as smart automated replies and reminders, have moved to Gmail. Others, like grouping similar emails and snoozing messages, may follow.

But if you’re looking for an innovative new email client, Spark just launched today for Android.

Get the full story in my post at Forbes …


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‘AI Is Not A Light Switch:’ How Sprint Used AI To Personalize To Millions, Boost Clickthrough to 30%, And Improve Conversions 14%

Artificial intelligence is a wonderful thing. But perhaps contrary to popular opinion it’s not a miracle cure or instant fix.

The dirty little secret of AI?

It takes time — and sometimes a lot of time to get right. Perhaps even a year.

Rob Roy, the chief digital officer of Sprint, embarked on that journey over 12 months ago. Recently I interviewed him to learn how Sprint is using AI to personalize content and customer journeys for millions … and significantly boosting sales.

John Koetsier: What were your initial goals?

Get the full story in my post at Inc …


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The Past, Present, and Future of Mobile with John Koetsier

I was super-pumped to join Douglas Karr’s podcast, Martech Zone. He is amazing and does incredible work, so this was an incredible honor.

Check it out right here on the Martech Zone site …


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New Ad Fraud Scheme Could Be Scamming Brands Millions Monthly Via Fake Video Ad Views

Fraud detection company DoubleVerify says it’s found a new video fraudscheme in which scammers are reselling standard banner ad impressions as video plays.

The worst part?

They’re selling as many as 120 videos ads for every single banner ad.

First, the scammers buy a banner ad slot on an ad exchange. Then they turn around and rebroker that space. But instead of selling it once, they fill that one slot with as many as eight video players. And they then sell as many as fifteen different video ads for each of the eight players.

Get all the details in my post at Inc …


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AirPods 2.0 Are A Massive Disappointment: Apple Innovation Slows To A Crawl

What is going on with innovation at Apple?

The company just released “new” iMacs for the first time in two years with the same design and form factor since 2012. Don’t even mention the missing-in-action wireless charging mat AirPower, which was announced in 2017. And now the new AirPods are out, and there’s almost nothing new about them, despite the fact that the original AirPods were released in 2016.

Get the full story in my post at Forbes …


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Marketers are boosting 2019 ad spend on Amazon, Facebook, and Google (but especially Amazon)

Recently I surveyed 1,500 marketers who actively run ad campaigns. It’s no shock that marketers are looking more and more to Amazon as a media source for advertising — especially those in consumer goods and retail.

But Amazon’s not the only one growing.

Both Facebook and Google will be growing significantly as well. Amazon, however, as the newer competitor in the advertising world, will grow the most. In fact, 63% of marketers who run ad campaigns are planning to increase their spending on Amazon.

Get the full details in my post on Singular’s blog …


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Apple Heart Study: What Stanford Medicine Learned From 400,000 Apple Watch Owners

Apple and Stanford Medicine just completely the largest heart study of its kind ever: 400,000 Apple Watch-wearing participants. Preliminary results from the study are just now being released.

First, the obvious: wearable tech seems to make us safer.

“Wearable technology can safely identify heart rate irregularities that subsequent testing confirmed to be atrial fibrillation,” Stanford says.

Secondly, most of us don’t have to worry about atrial fibrillation.

Get the full story in my post at Forbes …


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What the Boeing 737 Max Can Teach Us About Self-Driving Cars (And The Dangers Of Machine Learning)

We don’t yet know exactly what happened with the Boeing 737 Max crashes. But it’s clear from other non-fatal 737 Max incidents that there are concerns about how its automated systems function.

And that’s something to keep in mind when we think about self-driving cars.

The problem lies in how AI-driven machines learn — and share.

Get the full story here in my post at Forbes …


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2000-Consumer Study: 68% Of Shoppers ‘Click And Collect,’ Or Buy Online And Pick Up In-Store

Most of us are buying online and picking up items in a retail store repeatedly, according to a new study of 2,000 American adults. And 50 percent of us decide where to buy online simply because of that possibility so we can avoid paying shipping.

Retail is changing, and BOPIS — buy online and pick up in-store — is growing.

Retail might be vastly overbuilt in the U.S. as both malls and big-box stores are challenged by the rise of e-commerce. But there’s clearly a place for local and physical in today’s retail landscape.

Get the full story in my post at Forbes …


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Why Apple Got Spared As Elizabeth Warren Targets Amazon, Facebook, Google For Breakup

Senator Elizabeth Warren wants to break up Amazon, Facebook, and Google, and promises to do so if she becomes president in the next U.S. election.

But why not Apple?

Apple is a massive part of “GAFA:” the biggest internet/technology giants of our time. But Warren isn’t targeting Apple for breakup, even though it was recently the largest company by market capitalization with a value of over $1 trillion.

Get the full story in my post at Forbes …


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Mark Zuckerberg’s 6 New Principles Of Privacy And Safety For Facebook and Messaging

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg unleashed a 3,000-word manifesto on privacy today via his personal Facebook account. In so doing he revealed the six key principles behind his new “privacy-focused vision for social networking.”

Get the full story in my post at Forbes …


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21st century marketing intelligence webinar: Data, science, and magic in a world of smart devices

Every marketer knows marketing is changing.

You don’t have to be a CMO to see that lack of data is no longer the reason why marketers can’t grow their brands. Marketers are deluged with data, overwhelmed with data, buried in data. The solution lies within … but finding the growth needle in the data haystack is getting more and more challenging.

That growth needle is 21st century marketing, or what we call marketing intelligence. And that’s exactly what we’re going to talk about in this webinar. (Sign up here.)

We’ve got the right people to share their insights.

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


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Mobile App Install Fraud To Hit $12.6 Billion: 26% Of All Mobile App Install Advertising

Mobile app install fraud will cost marketers almost $13 billion in 2019, according to a new report. That totals 26 percent of total global mobile app install ad spend, and it’s up from $7.3 billion in fraud loss in 2018.

In the U.S., however?

Fraud will “only” be 13 percent.

Fraud is cyclical, according Scalarr, the company behind the report. Fraudsters and mobile attribution companies are continually engaged in an arms race as the bad guys find new ways to cheat the system, and the good guys find new ways to stop them. Changing ad pricing models also impact fraud rates.

Get the full story in my post at Inc …


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Why Apple Watch 5’s Rumored Sleep Tracking Might Not Work Very Well

Apple’s rumored to be working on sleep tracking for the Apple Watch Series 5. It makes a lot of sense given the company’s intense focus on the medical and health market.

But tracking sleep from the hand isn’t easy.

I know a little bit about this: I’ve been tracking sleep via the Motiv smart ring for months now. But Mike Kisch, the CEO of FDA-registered sleep wearable Beddr, should know a lot more. And he says the wrist is not a great place to start.

Get the full story in my post at Forbes …


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39% Find Voice Ads On Smart Speakers ‘More Engaging’ Than TV, Online

Two in five consumers find voice ads to be more engaging that traditional banner ads or TV ad spots, according to an Adobe study of over 1,000 consumers. And a similar number finds them less intrusive, too.

That’s good news for Google and Amazon.

They lead the smart speaker market, making the vast majority of the almost 90 million smart speakers sold in 2018. Gaining consumer acceptance of voice ads on smart speakers would add new monetization options for both Google, a digital advertising giant, and Amazon, which doubled its ad business last quarter.

Get the full story in my post at Forbes …


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Russia’s First Autonomous Train: One More Step To Self-Driving Cars (Buses And Trolleys Are Next)

Russia’s capital city of Moscow will soon be home to an ambitious autonomous tram project, joining Germany and China as the leading testbeds for the technology.

Self-driving vehicles are not currently legal in Moscow or anywhere else. 

Autonomous trains and trams are stepping stones to full self-driving vehicles, thanks to their defined routes, but retain some of the hardest challenges cars face: knowing when obstacles, people, or vehicles are in their paths. That’s because they use public space, and even though there may be fencing or other barriers in some locations, people, vehicles, and other obstacles are still real concerns.

Get the full story in my post at Forbes …


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Singular ROI Index 2019: The unmissable advertising ROI webinar

Singular’s ROI Index is the largest study that ranks top ad networks globally based on their ability to deliver ROI for advertisers. We’ve already published the Index and made it available to the world, giving you the ability to find the best advertising ROI available.

But now it’s time to dig deeper.

Get the full story in my post on Singular’s blog, or just click the link above to sign up for the webinar.


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48% of Marketers Believe Amazon’s Alexa Is Better Than Google Assistant, Siri, or Cortana for Marketing

48 percent of marketers think Amazon’s Alexa has the greatest potential for voice-enabled marketing. Just under a third say Google’s Assistant is best, and only 17 percent feel the same way about Apple’s Siri.

And Microsoft’s Cortana?

Just three percent.

But almost 40 percent of marketers are doing no voice-first marketing today. That is despite the fact that 86.2 million Amazon Alexas, Google Homes, and Apple HomePods were sold in 2018, according to Strategy Analytics. More than 60 million homes now have smart speakers, and global sales almost doubled in the Christmas quarter.

Get the full story in my post at Inc …


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Augmented Reality Is The Operating System Of The Future. AR Cloud Is How We Get There.

In the future, every object will be smart.

Not necessarily because everything will be made of “smart matter,” with chips, motors, sensors, and radios (although this is happening). But increasingly because we are starting to digitally paint over default reality, layering on data, insights, and entertainment in virtual or augmented layers. When we shift from smartphones to smartglasses over the next decade, this will only accelerate.

From games to street directions to metadata, from industrial heads-up displays to virtual gamescapes to workspace information, these new augmented, virtual, and extended realities will be aware, data-rich, contextual, and interactive.

But there is a core enabling technology required.

Get the full story in my post at Forbes …


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What’s Exciting About The Varjo VR-1 Headset Isn’t the 6000 Pixels Per Inch Or The $6K Price Tag

Helsinki-based Varjo just released the Varjo VR-1, a revolutionary VR headset with a 4K-quality human-eye-resolution micro-LED display, plus a wider display around that high-quality one so you see a broad field of view.

It’s ground-breaking, and so is the price: $5995, plus yearly service fees of $995.

But those are not the most interesting details.

Get the full story in my post at Forbes …


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How New Cross-Device, Cross-Platform Attribution Helps Brands Like Lyft Grow Faster

Very few brands truly understand their complete marketing ROI. The reason is simple: they lack a true cross-platform and cross-device measurement capability.

And the result is that they can’t fully optimize their marketing to take advantage of what’s working, or stop what’s not.

But here’s the big secret about cross-device measurement.

It’s not just about measurement of the journey.

Instead, it’s about deeply understanding how each marketing and advertising input (dollar spent) results in a sales or conversion output (dollar received) … no matter where that happens, or how convoluted the customer journey gets.

Get the full story in my post at Inc …


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Most Brands Hear From Just 1% Of Their Customers (But This One Activity Can Get You a 91% Response Rate)

Most brands hear from just one percent of their customers, according to a recent study. But there’s a way they can hear from a staggering 91% of them.

The one caveat?

They have to be mobile-app-using customers.

Apptentive just released its 2019 mobile customer engagement report, based on data from 1,400 apps. Those 1400 apps have engaged in half a billion customer conversations for Fortune 500 brands across two billion devices worldwide, the company says.

Get the full story in my post at Inc …


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Peak Tinder? Dating App Registrations Drop 485%

Valentine’s Day 2019 might not have been quite as romantic as last year’s. Fewer people are signing up for apps like Tinder, Match, PlentyOfFish, and OkCupid.

At least in the U.S. and Canada.

According to a study of 15 million dating app installs over the last year, dating app registration rates have dropped 485%, while subscription or purchase rates dropped 40%. That means that while people are still installing at least some dating apps, they’re not consummating the full experience, if you catch my drift.

Get the full story in my post at Forbes …


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iPhone Sales Crater In India: Xiaomi, Samsung, Vivo, Oppo, and Transsion Outsell Apple

Apple iPhone sales cratered year-over-year in India, dropping 40% in 2018. That’s in spite massive growth in the India market. In fact, in the latest numbers from IDC, the Indian smartphone market grew 14.5% last year and market leader Xiaomi grew even faster: 58.6%.

And in the “super-premium” $700+ segment that Apple typically owns?

Samsung’s Galaxy S9 series out-sold iPhone.

Get the full story in my post at Forbes …


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The world’s best mobile ad networks: Announcing the 2019 Singular ROI Index

What makes the best mobile ad networks on the planet the best?

From a marketer’s perspective, the answer is pretty simple: the best mobile ad networks are those that provide the best return on investment. Ten dollars goes in, $15, $20 or more comes out.

Ad networks who qualify get this badge.

But of course there’s more to the story.

In order to provide exceptional ROI, an ad network needs to offer scale: the ability to reach a significant number of potential customers or users. A great mobile ad network also needs to control for fraud, minimizing if not absolutely eliminating the bad actors who steal advertising dollars. And ideally, an ad network needs to deliver new customers or users who engage and who stick around: high retention.

To see what media sources are driving the best ROI with the most scale and the lowest fraud, download the full 2019 Singular ROI Index now.

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


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iPhone Sales Crater In India: Xiaomi, Samsung, Vivo, Oppo, and Transsion Outsell Apple

Apple iPhone sales cratered year-over-year in India, dropping 40% in 2018. That’s in spite massive growth in the India market. In fact, in the latest numbers from IDC, the Indian smartphone market grew 14.5% last year and market leader Xiaomi grew even faster: 58.6%.

And in the “super-premium” $700+ segment that Apple typically owns?

Samsung’s Galaxy S9 series out-sold iPhone.

Get the full story in my post at Forbes …


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Only 17% Of Consumers Believe Personalized Ads Are Ethical, Survey Says

A massive majority of consumers believe that using their data to personalize ads is unethical. And a further 59% believe that personalization to create tailored newsfeeds — precisely what Facebook, Twitter, and other social applications do every day — is unethical.

At least, that’s what they say on surveys.

Get the full story in my post at Forbes …


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Fraudsters Are Manipulating Ads.txt To Scam Millions From Advertisers

Ads.txt is an Interactive Advertising Bureau protocol to top ad scams before they start. But enterprising scammers have found a way to use it as a key part of their fake advertisingmoney-making schemes, according to a new report from DoubleVerify.

Here’s how it works.

Ads.txt is a small file legitimate publishers place on their websites that indicates which ad networks are authorized to sell them inventory. Programmatic networks, which place ads instantly via automatic bidding processes, also use these files to determine the validity of the inventory they’re buying.

Cue the scammers.

Get the full story in my post at Inc …


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1 Of 3 Marketers Shifting Ad Spend From Facebook and Google to Amazon, Study Says

About a third of retail marketers are shifting ad spend from traditional digital media giants like Facebook and Google to Amazon, according to a new study of 100 retail companies that generate at least $50 million in annual digital sales.

Which makes sense.

Thanks to Amazon’s recent earnings report, we just learned that Amazon’s digital ad business doubled in size last quarter.

Get the full story in my post at Forbes …


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How to deal with pain (or, at least: how I deal with pain)

I have a had a lot of pain in my life.

Totaled up, I’ve had about 15 broken bones, well over a hundred stitches, 15-20 shoulder separations (both sides), and uncounted bruises, bumps, scrapes, and cuts from a lifetime playing ice hockey, soccer, volleyball, or pretty much any other sport, and lots of hiking, climbing, body-surfing, and general activity.

Two doctors have told me I have a high pain tolerance; I’ve had an ingrown toenail cut out of my big toe without anesthetic; I’ve refused morphine several times for medical procedures.

I’ve learned a little about pain.

Here’s how I’ve found to deal with it, and it’s the same way as I’ve found to deal with unpleasant temperatures, extreme physical discomfort when working out hard and lifting to exhaustion, and other challenges.

One word: dissociation.

I have no idea if this works for everyone, or even if it works for anyone else, but the strategy I use is to simply wall off the part of me that is experiencing the pain from another part of me that cares about it.

That might sound odd. Even weird. Maybe impossible.

But somehow — I can’t tell you how to do this, except to … just do it — I have been able to sever the link between the experience of a sensation and the component of my brain that decides whether or not it matters.

I still feel the pain. I still feel the discomfort. I just choose to stop caring about it. Not worry or fret about it, or get angry about it.

I really doubt this works for long-term or chronic pain. I don’t have a lot of that, although I’ve had very bad neck pain for months on end.

But it does work, for me, with short-term injury-caused pain.

I hope it helps for you!


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