Reality Is ...

Reality was mangled yesterday at the Harvard Innovation Lab.  See details on this Hubweek event about Augmented Reality here.

The best way to experience Augmented Reality is in reality... hands on! ... also eyes/ears/body on!






FYI, Virtual Reality is 100% immersive experience thru a headset or controlled space. For Augmented Reality you need to be able to see thru the screen or headset to the real world and overlay ultra-valuable data and content. You cannot see thru Facebook’s VR Oculus headset screen. Think about the building construction team that can be looking at a wall and “see” the blueprint drawings where the plumbing and electricity are … right in front of them!

Dozens of demos and presentations impressed. I will be adding to this below list of the most promising...

Meta - a thousand bucks lets your dreams come true... virtually

StriVR - Immersive performance training

TACTAI- enables users to touch and feel virtual objects with life-like realism.

More coming...

Here are some pit crew at the VR Motion Labs demo. This awesome Simulation Systems is tuned for a high performance racing experience.



Pilot Show - So You Want to Work in Tech


Ted Reed is at it again! My Emmy Award winning friend has a new broadcast TV and Internet program that will be both important and fun.

"So You Want to Work in Tech" will cover all the innovative tech activities in Boston and beyond... so you know where you can get involved ... and know where the future is already here disrupting your industry!


I am on his Digital Strategy team. And that's Erika Ebbel Angle from Scientists for Science and iRobot fame.


We will look behind the scenes of tech companies across the region and hear from people in specific job titles about how to get hired and succeed.

Our mission is to help build America (!) by supporting economic development in the Global Internet Economy. Plenty of tech jobs are available so let's get the right people in the right seats. And these are the best seats - growing fast, clean and sustainable, plus they can easily expand internationally.

The US, and especially Boston, needs trained employees in and around tech for ALL types of positions.... "So You Want To Work In Tech" will help everyone understand this ecosystem. 

Tech is in every company and position ... Keep up by staying ahead.

Check out the promo reel for the pilot ... 



 Ted Reed TV


See more video excerpts here
Soon at www.2workintech.com

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HR Tech... A Noble Mobile cause!


How can we (you included) help the most people efficiently? We have been focusing on the employee workforce... they are accessible and eager.  

We are having success with several HR Tech solution. The Cooleaf platform is one of our favorites for 2 reasons - they have the right tech (new nimble platform including Mobile) and the right attitude (great people that are wise enough to care and young enough to apply the best new media). 

Because "Employee engagement" is a real problem and is the solution to most of your company's goals.

The Cooleaf process is designed to let companies acknowledge that "people are more productive and committed to the activities they're engaged in when motivated by personal interest and satisfaction rather than external factors like compensation." ... In short. how to get your staff to give a damn!


Here is an overview:


The above slide deck nails what Fast Company proclaims, "OFTEN OVERLOOKED IN FAVOR OF MONEY OR EXTERNAL REWARDS, INTRINSIC MOTIVATION IS CRITICAL TO OUR CAREER SATISFACTION AND PRODUCTIVITY"


FYI, Altimeter has a must-read article on how to make HR a strategic asset in the Digital Era. They also introduce a really cool and relevant new concept for communication across the "Experience Cloud."

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Watch The Gap




When you are focusing on your Strategic Sweet Spot - that's the best stuff you provide your clients that competitors do not... think about the gaps in your resources to fulfill on your promises today AND as user experiences and expectations evolve. Because, as you know, "evolve" is an understatement!

Keeping up is impossible. The answer?... Get help from trusted specialists in the below priorities.

As you can see in this eMarketer/SODA survey, you are not alone needing User Experience guidance for your Digital, Mobile, Connected Devices, etc. So, consider filling the gap in your executive management (see McKinsey image and article below) with specialists that honor where your business is and needs to go

Mckinsey has excellent advice for how to keep your leadership in touch with the new Digital influences, opportunities, and obligations ...


Remember, be careful and "Watch The Gap"...

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End of the Mobile App Era



While Mobile apps have undoubtedly reinvented the tech sector, it’s time for app developers to apply their skills to robust, connected digital products instead. Our partner at VB has the right POV... 
http://venturebeat.com/2016/06/26/mobile-app-shops-diversify-or-die/

Want Real Relationships?

Here is an outtake from my recent presentation at the Mobile Marketing Association  … about brands being obsessed with advertising on Mobile and not actually building on it. 

It's really easy to buy ads on Google and Facebook. You can even do it automatically with Programmatic services.

Then... Advertising and media promotions let you reach as many people as your budgets allow... 

But ... you are just renting relationships thru publishers and Social Networks.

HERE IS THE QUESTION - Do you want to have ongoing relationships with your customers that includes frequent interactions while learning personal preferences that allow you to provide exponential value during AND in-between their purchases? 

So... Deep-tech development at the code level is the best way to build better customized customer service methods (not dependent on the Social Network platforms) ... for real relationships thru frequent exponentially valuable interactions... optimizing at every touchpoint.


This includes custom mobile apps and all the other “connected devices” accessed during the user's day across multiple mesh networks...  From the Alexa Echo in the kitchen during breakfast - with the car or throughout the commute - entering locations - logging in at work - team collaborations - customer presentations - restaurants - shopping - back home - "hello Alexa, read me my final list that I accumulated today... What do I have to do tomorrow? And who is on Colbert tonight?"


Remember, you cannot provide this (expected!) level of customer service through a Responsive Website limited to their smartphone's browser. 

The result is a solution for real 2-way one-to-one loyal relationships integrated with any current corporate systems - marcom, commerce, supply chain, employee engagement, innovation labs!  

Now you can fulfill on the marketer's promise to listen and learn personal preferences ... and deliver ONLY relevant value with the right content at the right time and the right place.

Point: Use a mobile device responsive web site to reach the masses. Build a custom app experience to service your customers.




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How Much of the Mobile "Brain" are you Using?




We DO use more than 10% of our brain... 

But you are probably only using about 10% of the capabilities of the smartphone with your mobile marketing.

Because... when a customer goes to your site thru a browser on their phone, they are NOT able to easily benefit from the amazing smartphone functions and sensors.



A "Responsive Site" is great for building a bigger audience because of easy access from any phone's browser. But the depth of interaction and range of value can only come thru a "Native App" custom designed for the smartphone...


Here is a real question: Do you want to have ongoing relationships with your customers that includes frequent interactions that learns personal preferences to provide exponential value during AND in-between their purchases? If yes, then . . .
. . . You need a Native Mobile App to get these: 
  1. Superior design experience to prompt more conversions
  2. Quick access with your own branded icons on their home screen
  3. Faster info display (even when there is bad wireless access)
  4. Push notification alerts that arrive exactly how they are wanted
  5. Instant one-click access to proximity-aware customer service 
  6. Secure Integration with mobile payments via Apple Pay and Google Wallet
  7. Elegant integration with photos and videos
  8. Proximity-awareness to control audio and speakers
  9. Accelerometer and motion for exact user position
  10. Gyroscope and movement awareness for games, etc.
  11. Ambient light reader as a photography tool or situational awareness
  12. Magnetometer for alternative positioning with the compass
  13. Barometer changes to update weather-related info
  14. Enhanced security tools only available thru an app
  15. Biometrics – Such as a fingerprint reader
  16. “Connected Device” integration with Bluetooth, NFC, etc.
  17. Active triggers like GPS Geo-Fencing and Beacon sensors that initiate the “choice to ignore or learn more” about what’s available right then and there!
Companies that take advantage of these with a native app (or integrated connected devices) can provide a better user experience than with a website.


Solve many of your business problems with that brain everyone carries around everywhere…


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Follow The Money

Redpoint has a helpful perspective on where VC dollars are going... so where we should consider paying attention to.

Also, check out these industry 
growth trends of the Inc. 500... 


(click to enlarge)


Opportunity In Varying Degrees of Digitization

As I am always looking for industries that have a need AND a want for Digital strategy and software solutions (such as mobile presence with apps and connected devices), the current opportunities are in Hospitality, Healthcare, Entertainment & Recreation, and Real Estate.

Click to enlarge this Mckinsey chart for an industry breakdown. Look for low Digital use and high productivity growth.


There is huge growth potential:

More...
This is from Mckinsey's "Haves and Have Mores"  Download Full report PDF
Last year Mckinsey has some advice
HBR has a POV ..

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Ripping thru Truths on AmazAppGooBook

Try to keep up with this data-filled tirade on what is working (and Not) around the Four Horseman

 "...Stores are the new black in the world of eCommerce..."
 

From mobile to mobility to connectivity

Excerpts from excellent CMO interview:

According to Julie Ask, ‎vice president at Forrester Research, mobility represents the third stage of mobile marketing. The first stage, she said, is when marketers realize they need a mobile presence. This often results in the launch of a mobile website. Stage two is the move to a “mobile-first” mindset, in which marketing initiatives are designed assuming consumers are viewing them primarily on a mobile device, as opposed to the desktop. Mobile apps are typically developed at this point, too.

The third, and most mature, stage is when marketers make the shift from mobile to “mobility.”
This move from mobile to mobility is really about thinking less about mobile as a standalone and more about how mobile fits into the overall customer journey.”


Brian Wong, founder of Kiip, said the concept of mobile moments is a long-term strategy, agnostic of device and platform, that lets marketers focus on the core moments their product services… Marketing, in general, is moving to service and addressing needs, he added. “Real estate and impressions are becoming inadequate,” Wong said. “It comes down to the moments of need that we can find and address.” 

Brands should strive for three types of mobile moments—owned, manufactured, and borrowed


“I see it going from mobile to mobility to connectivity, and connectivity happens when mobility starts occurring across multiple devices, multiple networks, and multiple sensors. You essentially start creating what many refer to as the mesh network,” Becker told CMO.com.
That will lead marketers to the “age of the connected individual.”
 ...it has become more and more targeted to getting that message out to specific audiences, down to specific segments, down to, now, specific individuals.

Becker said he expects marketers will start to close the gap between the upper funnel and lower-level paid and owned media advertising. In between, they will drop the idea of intelligent, individualized communication. And as they build up their own databases and capabilities to serve and engage individuals on their own terms, intelligent, individualized communication will come to fruition.  
By 2020, the average individual will have 10 connected devices and probably 140 different sensors, all of which will be collecting data about the individual.
“That data will either be under the control of the marketer, or the market, or the individual themselves… that’s the next battleground for the marketer…
…the next stage of evolution is from mobile, to mobility, to connectivity, and the emergence of the connected marketer.

Why Starbucks is spending even more to improve its mobile app



The opposite of this (kind of hilarious picture) is true...

Business Insider reports on Mobile and Mobile App marketing.

Starbucks has put significant effort into its mobile app, and that strategy has paid off in spades...

The company plans to increase spending on mobile in 2016 after great success with its app in 2015, according to Bloomberg. By the end of last year, 21% of all transactions at Starbucks in the U.S. occurred through the mobile app. This has positioned the app as one of Starbucks' core business strategy.




The coffee giant debuted its app in 2011 and at the time, the company used the QR-code based app mostly as a loyalty card that gave rewards (such as a free drink) to customers who used it. But in the last few years, the app has grown to become a full experience through which users can order and pay. Starbucks also sends messages that have promotional offers within the app.

The success of this app shows how effective in-app messaging can increase a company's overall revenue. Recent data from Salesforce indicates that in-app marketing is starting to become a core strategy for many businesses.

In 2016, 54% of marketers said they used mobile apps for marketing, up from approximately 27% in 2014 for a year-over-year growth of 98%. An additional 20% said they intend to use apps for marketing within the next 12 months. Finally, 77% said they noted tangible ROI from mobile marketing, up almost 150% since 2015.

Starbucks also plans to begin implementing new mobile strategies targeting more purchases within the app. These strategies include recommendations of more purchases to customers in a way similar to how Netflix recommends TV shows and movies to users based on their histories and tastes.

This approach could increase Starbucks customers' individual purchases by up to 50%, according to Crone data cited by Bloomberg.

Connecting Your Business to Connected Things


Here is the video summary of the MIT Enterprise Forum's 8th Annual Connected Things conference.

As part of the organizing team, I get to work with great people that are at the financially lucrative center AND the bleeding-edge innovations of the Internet of Things.



Produced by Ted Reed TV  .... Thanks Ted!

See more on the Loopd Bluetooth attendee communicator demo and my panel on Media and Mobile at 
http://bit.ly/Invite_ConnectedThings2016 

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An Integrated Employee Experience "Stack"

How are you measuring the value of your employee (and Customer) commitment?

The below slide deck is an introduction to how a few partners are integrating across "The Stack" to answer these 3 questions: 

1) What are you doing to satisfy your employee's (and Customers) need for engagement?

2) What data from your employees (and Customers) are you using to track productivity?

3) Have you considered how more committed employees can positively affect your sales and customer satisfaction?

Answer...

Contact David Cutler (617-331-7852) to discuss this slide deck. Discover how any single level of the employee management "Stack" can help you improve your company's culture and success... and how combining integrated communications across all levels will lower costs, increase productivity, and provide your own multimedia (and interactive) channels.

FYI, Altimeter has a must-read article on how to make HR a strategic asset in the Digital Era. They also introduce a the idea of communication across the "Experience Cloud." ... or, as we call it, "The Stack" ...



See elements of the stack in action at our demo site:
www.TheSuperiorExperience.net

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David Cutler Interviewed By Blue Vase Marketing

Real Business Real Money...

David Cutler, Publisher at www.EatMedia.com and Partner at Beacon Street Partners is interviewed by Michael Alden, CEO of Blue Vase, about marketing innovation and business development.

MarComTechLab - - Don't Act Your Age


This is a great time to think young and get control over BOTH your audience touchpoints and your content they expect to see on their smartphones.

Managed properly, smartphones are the ultimate "people finder."

One of our projects, MarComTechLab, helps companies get comfortable with the right new technologies ...and take action.

Yes, there has never been more distractions to reaching your customers, employees, and partners. But now, with smartphones, it has never been easier to provide value at exactly the right time and really engage.

The secret is software ... use a reliable PSP - Proximity Services Platform. These are new and earning their place as the next "WordPress for Mobile App content management." There are hundreds to choose from. We have assessed some of the best for:
  • Specific industry situations (hospitality, employee management, ERP, etc.)
  • Ability to learn and automate engagement
  • Flexibility for integration into your existing systems
  • Ease of use... including campaign templates for valuable and fun interactions Such as games, quizzes, augmented reality set-up, loyalty point manager, fast feedback surveys, etc.
Here is another secret to life:

Working with young-minded marketing communication technologists (and the platforms they develop) is the fountain of youth for company professionals. With the (right) new tech capabilities and attitude, you can act half your age and actually do what you can dream of.

Remember how great life was when you didn't worry so much ... fewer complications meant more optimism for possibilities... and your mantra was "yes!" 

The stars are aligning for this to happen again... with the rise of the "on-demand economy," the technology ecosystem is catching up to our dreams. Here is a top 10 list:
  1. Smartphones are at about 80% coverage
  2. High-speed Internet is everywhere and we are all "always on"
  3. Social sharing is easier as we realize where it is truly valuable
  4. Security and privacy are finally a priority
  5. The cloud is now the right place to manage your digital life
  6. The best services are easy to test ... then integrate with your own systems
  7. Big Data is getting cut down to size for relevant analytics
  8. Machine Learning, Sensors, and AI are decades old and working (now called IoT)
  9. Location sensors and triggers (that have been proven in supply chain and military) are ready for you. See our POV on Mobile Beacons HERE
  10. Whatever new tech is launching this week... we are evaluating it!

Next?

We invite you to your own set-up in your own Internet laboratory where we help you control your Mobile interactions at the right time and place with a PSP - Proximity Services Platform. Cheap, easy, scalable, accountable... Really.

Also, feel free to share this post at www.MarComTechLab.com

David Cutler
Publisher of www.EatMedia.com
dcutler@EatMedia.com
617-331-7852

Priorities for Digital Transformation


Altimeter never fails to provide the focus within the chaos of evolving our companies. Check out their State of Digital Transformation report. Our priority? We need better User Experience (UX) by understanding our buyers and delivering what they want in the format they deserve...  Since your competitors think they do.




Highlights:

  • Innovation tops digital transformation initiatives at companies today. 81% said it was at the top of their agenda, 46% stated their company has launched a formal “innovation center.” Right behind innovation was modernizing IT infrastructure (80%) and improving operational agility (79%).

  • 55% of those responsible for digital transformation cite “evolving customer behaviors and preferences” as the primary catalyst for change. Yet, the number one challenge facing executives (71%) is understanding behavior or impact of the new customer.

  • Only half (54%) of survey respondents have completely mapped out the customer journey. This means that many companies are changing without true customer-centricity.

CDO Attributes 

Here is an excerpt from HBR about industry disruption and what you must look for in your Chief Digital Officer (CDO).

... So what can business leaders be doing to meet the coming changes head-on? There are three levers organizations can pull to keep pace: catalytic roles; culture; and commitment.

Catalytic roles. New employees can act as catalysts, speeding up transformation. They are often brought in to disrupt traditional thinking and business models. Bringing in a Chief Digital Officer (CDO) is often the first step for many organizations. 

But there are two inherent challenges with bringing in a catalyst...First, the role must be positioned correctly, at the appropriate level in the organization, with sufficient scope, influence and sponsorship to make change happen. The second challenge is finding the right person. 

It was with this in mind that Russell Reynolds profiled executives tasked with digitally transforming long-established firms, who are often chosen to overcome organizational inertia and drive enterprise-wide digital transformation and innovation. 

The results are a unique combination of psychometric attributes that broadly fall into five categories. The first two are unsurprising: these leaders are significantly more innovative and disruptive, being 56% more inclined to cut through bureaucracy and 29% higher in their willingness to challenge traditional approaches. These attributes alone are not what make these leaders able to excel in their roles. These executives also score highly in their social adeptness, bold leadership, and determination. Stand-out attributes include being 29% more likely to take initiative and test limits, and 21% more able to adapt to different audiences. 

It is this combination that makes them able to drive transformation.

7  Tough  Questions

Finally, for now, here are the 7 questions to ask before your next attempt at digital transformation (thanks Barry):
  1. Is this a digital upgrade or a digital transformation?
  2. Are you really bought in, and is your team?
  3. Are you prepared to share value creation with your customers?
  4. Have you put walls around your digital team? 
  5. Do you know how to measure the value you intend to create?
  6. Are you ready to make the tough calls about your team? 
  7. Will you be ready to spin off your digital business?
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