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May 30, 2014

Clothes with "Intel inside"?

We talk a lot about wearable technology, but the most natural "wearable" are clothes. Personally I am convinced that we will have chips in our clothes, be it only for having a digital wardrobe that will help us manage the clothes we have, what to buy, what to wear etc.
Interesting piece on RWW about "connected clothes".

In-venue augmented reality app by the Indiana Pacers

This is not more than an experiment, but since connectivity in sports venues will allow a big market in sponsoring and marketing to rise, experiments are important. The Pacers launched an augmented reality game where you can make their mascot, Boomer, dunk the ball. Stone age, but we have to start somewhere.

Most shared FIFA World Cup advertisements

It's two weeks to go until the FIFA WC starts, but here we see already a list of "most successful campaigns". I am sure there are many more to come. I hope this will be the world cup of marketing/sponsoring innovation (doesn't look like it so far).

[Infographic] YouTube around the world

Some statistics on YouTube usage in Germany, Australia, Saudi Arabia, UK and Japan, including channels with most subscribers and most popular videos.

May 29, 2014

Mary Meeker's State of the Internet presentation

I have expressed my admiration several times, so without any further comment - the next Mary Meeker update. Us consultants would flattr her rich for all the numbers, statistics, studies and researches (if she weren't already).

May 28, 2014

Ever heard of Corelogic, Rapleaf, Intelius or Datalogix? But they probably heard of you.

Interesting article about companies that collect data about people. It is based on a report of the Federal Trade Commission's (FTC) that shows how much, and more interestingly what kind of information so called data brokers collect and use to put together profiles that can be used for targeted advertising (at best). You don't even have to click on the link to the report. Just look at that list in the article.

Facebook advertising: Optimize towards reach or engagement?

While with running a fanpage reach and engagement basically are interdendent, a Facebook advertising campaign can be optimized to serve one of these metrics a lot more than the other. Interesting read on Allfacebook about what you should prefer.

Click bait "Journalism"

With the huge success of click-bait services (I am reluctant to call it journalism, somehow) - in Germany we have "" - a long overdue debate seems to start about basically who's fault it is that we are spammed with trash "news". Of course, the consumer/reader who doesn't stop to click. But other than that? Facebook? Interesting overviews with some links here:

Netflix Roulette shows that we're still in the stone age

Anyone who subscribed to Netflix or a similar subscription servive knows the feeling: You have a jillion movies and shows at hand and don't know what to watch. When even an industry leader like Netflix launches something like "Netflix Roulette", an outside "app" to suggest stuff you might want to watch, you know we are in the stone age of managing huge libraries.

John Batelle: how "Context" is misunderstood in advertising

John Batelle is a brilliant analyst of today's digital world, so I strongly recommend to read anything he writes. One of his core topics is how advertising works in digital, and this short but interesting article points out how we worked with "context" in the past years - and why it's not sufficient. Quote "The ecosystem optimized for clicks, and we lose the value of branding in the process". This might be an interesting thought for anyone who wants to target TV budgets once linear TV loses audiences (in the near future).

The Wormhole Actualization Machine

God save the nerds. Freak experiments has always been what many of them do, but with current availability of technologies and hardware pieces many more people can build crazy stuff compared to just one or two decades ago. And god save the internet for it allows them to share their stuff with us.

iBeacon's huge potential

Considering that iBeacon has been introduced nearly a year ago, the buzz is not nearly as big as its potential. Here is an interesting article about industries that will be disrupted by them (although I do agree that Sports (or any event venue for that matter) will use them, I do not agree with the perspective of people rather staying at home...).

Omnicom & Twitter partner for mobile ads

Maybe this will help mobile ads to take off: At least in Germany, mobile ads are still a desaster. While many publishers see 40%,50% or even more of their audience going to mobile apps or mobile websites, they achieve only a 10%-30% CPM (TKP in German) compared to desktop. Which means you have to manage the transition carefully. Yes, drawing people into your mobile offers before losing them is important, but on the other hand you have to keep earning. Deals like the one between Omnicom and Twitter, focused on mobile ads, may help to get mobile advertising where it belongs: leveled with desktop.

"Mobile is eating the world!

The title is strange in some way but this older presentation from November 2013 by Benedict Evans is a gem. It provides a lot of stats and figures about computing and where its headed. We know we are in the beginning of the post-PC era, but having some numbers, statistics, research findings really helps.

The connected button

When I post something here in this microblog, just like this link here, it will be published on my Twitter automatically via IFTTT. One of the greatest services of our time: You can connect any web service with another in simple "if then" relations. If weather under 5 degrees, send email - and stuff like that. In itself, the service empty, it is just a connector. The same goes for a lot of hardware. Your Jawbone up in itself is nothing, you need a connected device and a software to make it valuable. The hardcore version of this is... "the button". You can program it to "if pushed then" relations. I can put the button on my desk and when I push it, it sets my phone silent. Or for an elderly person: push it when you don't feel well, and it sends an email or SMS to someone who can take care of you. Love the concept:

May 23, 2014

The YouTube playbook

I should have known this, but today I was made aware that there is something available online called the YouTube playbook. Besides the normal 'produce original content that is engaging and build a community blabla" there are also some hands-on hints for optimization: the right thumbnail, title, video description, tagging etc.
Many companies that I know leave YT to either PR (upload whatever we have) or the social media guys who, with regards to measurable effects in terms of engagement or traffic referral, are busy enough with Facebook. A playbook helps to eliminate unnecessary mistakes.

Brands invade YouTube's most-watched video list

Unthinkable a few years ago that brands would be responsible for some the biggest hits on YouTube. Like in every YouTube case, for that one 100mn-views-in-a-few-weeks-case like Jean Claude vanDamme's epic Volvotruck split, there are a bazillion videos of lame attempts to start off something viral, but still: some companies have figured out how to produce content that is entertaining, likeable and has enough message or bragging value to be sent forward from user to user. Some of you might even recall the videos when you just read 'Evian babies' or 'Dove beauty sketches'.

May 22, 2014

Streaming music doesn't turn profits

Business Insider's Tech Chart of the Day, every once in a while, delivers some nice insights. Spotify reportedly reached 10mn paying subscribers in 2013, up from 6mn - but with more subscribers came more loss in the past years. And the same goes for Pandora. The more revenue they generate, the more losses they report. Would be interesting to see their cost structure besides royalties (at least Spotify claims to give 70% to artists).

Music innovation can be an instrument, too

It's awkward how little the digitization has impacted instruments and the very genuine process of making music, while the general music production and especially the distribution process has been turned upside down by the internet and digital technologies. Here comes a thing that received over 12mn USD in funding. Be sure to check the video, too.

Connected retail

Burberry - the black belt and 3rd dan in connecting digital and retail. This Guardian article also presents Topshop as a top example, and some more details on what other companies do. Nice overview about physical commerce and its digital enhancement.

Why Facebook listens in on your TV shows

Of course, they want TV advertising dollars. Even if this Wired-article notes that this does not have to be a zero-sum game, personally I cannot imagine that this will increase TV's revenue in the long run. Quote: "Facebook hasn't hidden the fact that it sees a huge business opportunity in dovetailing with what you're watching and listening to. Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg has told Wall Street she sees a "shift happening" between TV and digital [...] and that Facebook wants to better track the indirect and often fuzzy impact of Facebook advertising on real-world spending, a move that would help Facebook better compete for TV advertisers, who are already paying for indirect, hard-to-track, so-called "brand advertising" on TV."

Innovation and the Gartner hype cycle

Interesting read about innovation, focusing on the perspective on innovation: wether you see it as a strategy, an ability/capability or discipline or even a one-time-project.

36 mn Americans sent tweets about TV last year

Some numbers on TV and Twitter from Nielsen with regards to the US market. Close to 1 billion tweets were sent in 2013 that related directly to a TV show. And no surprise: the more 'event character' like in sports, the more people tweet about it.

May 16, 2014

Nike shoe limited edition available only for those who reach in-game achievements

There's a Nike limited edition (2014 units) 'LeBron James Basketball shoe' that you could only buy if you unlocked several achievements in the according EA Sports 2k14 console game. Gamification in a game ,-) Maybe a good idea to steal for those who look to increase engagement for example in their app. 

[German] Wolfgang Blau über die Digital-Strategie des Guardian

Der Titel sagt ja alles. Es handelt sich um Audio/Podcast. Und ist sehr interessant.

NYT Innovation Report

If you haven't read it yet - the Ney York Times Innovation Report is an interesting piece of free analysis for anyone interested in the future of news in the web.

[German] Beauty Blogs in Deutschland

Agentur Gerhard hat sich die Mühe gemacht und deutsche Beauty Blogger befragt. Heraus kommt eine schöne, Slideshare-embedette Präsentation mit spannenden Fakten aus dieser Umfrage. Sicher wird das bei Metal-Festival-Bloggern nicht 1:1 gleich umsetzbar sein, aber eine Geisteshaltung und Motivationen lassen sich herauslesen, die man zumindest tendenziell in Richtung der deutschen "Blogosphäre" übertragen kann.

Digital transformation

Report (free download) on digital transformation from Altimeter Group. The study aims to show why and how companies invest in new business models. It's not a traditional study with some key statistics but rather a long but good read about the major aspects of digital transformation.

Digital disruption to businesses

I don't buy the "wheel of disruption" in this Venture Beat guest post because it is purely descriptive, but the article is interesting: What are the factors that influence a traditional company when digital innovations enter their field, and what are the obstacles to adapt? Among others: the problem with humans and change.
Digital transformation is not only about technology.

Pinterest and TV

Twitter and Facebook are targeting TV advertisers. Currently, to accompany their TV ad invest with real time digital budgets to catch those who are engaged with the show they are watching. Tomorrow most probably to skip or cut the TV ads and put more/everything in the second screen. Why shouldn't Pinterest try the same? No reason, they are. 

Mobile Apps - Unbundling or fully featured?

Interesting piece - in the end it is about mobile app strategy. While Facebook and others move to "unbundling the big app" and creating multiple single-purpose-apps, Yahoo! moves in the direct opposite direction, buying companies and integrating their services in the big bad Yahoo! monster app. According to Wired, this is why Yahoo! kills everything they buy.

Facebook - Football's second screen

Facebook for Business is the page you want to read when you are trying to understand how powerful the social network's targeting abilities are. This time: FIFA World Cup. The headline is "the biggest stadium in the world", and they claim to have 49 million soccer fans in the US on Facebook, 62% of them using FB daily "during a recent week". They are more engaged (roughly 1.7 times more comments, updates, likes etc. than the average Facebook user) and here is what Facebook is aiming for: Live audiences. Interesting for TV, because live audiences are their core business. FB emphasizes that during a soccer match in March, these people made >16 million actions on Facebook, most after goals were scored, and 89% of those came from mobile phones.

May 13, 2014

Facebook Audience Insights

We all know "Facebook Page Insights" and to be honest, they have improved a lot over the years and are now a really great tool to help you manage your Facebook fan page. Which is one of the biggest drivers for companies to book advertising on Facebook. Now you can find even more good reasons to book Facebook instead of anything else. The "Audience Insights" give you a deep look into the ad planner's abilities and who you can target with Facebook advertising. 

Dropcam aims for "smart home"

Dropcam is, in my impression, one of the most underestimated US companies in Europe since the product/service is not available here. Their business model basically consists of selling you a camera (could be cheaper) but adding a subscription model to stream and/or store the cideo captured for home surveillance, for example. This is a great business in itself, but they are aiming for more - to become your "smart home hub" that can add apps and sensors of various kinds. I am waiting for a European launch or a European copycat. Where are the Rocket Internet guys when you really need them?

Instagram stats

They call it an infographic, but it is basically text in a jpg file. The stats are interesting though:
Instagram has 150mn monthly active users (MAU), but more than half of them use it daily. It stores 16 billion photos, about 55 mn added every day, but here comes: 1.2 billion (!) likes per day. Instagram shows a great engagement rate on a fan %-age basis, and here is statistic proof.
And one bizarre factoid: 24% increase in likes if the dominant colour is blue.

We lose against computers in chess, backgammon, scrabble... but not in "GO"

What I didn't know about "Go" is that we were not able to program a computer that would be able to beat the best human players. This does not only tell us something about the mystery of Go (that's how the article is called), but also about today's state of programming and computing. "Wired" really added some very interesting pieces in the past 10 days, this is one of them.

Internet of everything: cushions and lighters

When we speak about the internet of things, we quickly talk about the "internet of everything", imagining a world where every product is capable of a) collecting information digitally and b) delivering the data to some intelligence (that does not necessarily have to be in the product itself but can also lie in an app on your smartphone or on some server in the web). Health seems to be an area where people see the most sense in collecting data and analyzing it, so by looking at that market we get a good impression about what may come in other areas. By collecting, aggregating and displaying data, we can see the "true value" of a product (how often and how long we use it, for example) and analyze (and maybe change) our behaviour with regards to that product - or our health in general. Here are two examples from engadget:

A cushion that collects your vital signs.

And since sitting is the new smoking, here comes a lighter that keeps track of how much you smoke.

The future of TV - channels versus apps

Very interesting article on Readwrite about a small change in language and a huge change in business: Connected TV screens allow to play apps. Instead of channels. On Smart TV, there are mostly laggy, crappy ones, on connected devices we get a better glimpse of the future. The "last screen to be liberated" is on its way.

May 12, 2014

Kill any statistic based on correlations

Someone wants to sell you an idea using a study or a research that mainly refers to correlations between two or more things? Want to kill the idea for some reason? Send this link as your response. Don't mess with statistics.

Create, optimize, bid to replace paid, owned, earned?

Food for thought: For advanced brands living in the here and now, COB: create, optimize, bid might be a more suitable model than paid, owned, earned media when it comes to brand/communication strategy and setup. The article is not very specific, but the overall thought seems interesting.

LeBron James has his own app - only on Samsung

I always wondered why the mobile shift did not lead to player apps, or celebrity apps for that matter. After investigating this in the world of sports, the answer was simple: At least the top professional football players in Germany own so much money, you cannot motivate them with - what? 50-150k a year? - to keep an app updated and invest some of the social media "work" that they or their staff do in this. And with sponsoring, generating a lot more than the amount mentioned above would be pretty hard. Now here's a model that might be suitable for some players... thinking of Bayern Munich here: Samsung (sponsor of Bayern) released an app with LeBron James that is only available on Samsung Galaxy devices. This one app might not make a big difference, but if they manage to add a lot of other "exclusive" offers, for fans this might be the one additional reason to switch from another Android phone or even an iPhone - or simply a reason to not switch to other devices. The app sounds pretty cool, but as I am not a Galaxy Owner, I cannot say much more...

May 6, 2014

Recommended read: The universe is programmable

Some of the statements in this Wired-piece remind me of Vilem Flusser, one of my heroes. He would kill me if he were alive and could read this. Anyway: Read the first sentence, and then see if this article could be interesting for you:

"Think about it like this: In the book of Genisis, God is the ultimate programmer, creating all of existence in a monster six-day-hackathon"

[He/She planned 8 days, but then said "f* it, I'll fix the bugs later", and here we are now]

FIFA World Cup on ESPN

Soccer might not be that big in the US, but show me a European TV station that announces something like this:

"Every single match of the 2014 FIFA World Cup will be available live on ESPN [...], accessible online on, on smartphones and tablets via the Watch ESPN app, and streamed on televisions through ESPN on Xbox Live, Apple TV, Roku and Amazon Fire [...]."

They will have live and on demand streaming, and additionally so-called "tactical cams" that the user can choose to see a fan perspective in the stadium, plus realtime-highlight-reels. Goals and highlights will be marked on a timeline in an on-demand-replay.

There's nothing ultra-innovative here. It's just the possibility to watch the games anytime, anywhere, with a minimum of service that a digital platform should be able to offer. And still, for a football fan, it sounds groundbreaking.

"App Addiction" stats for Germany, Brazil, Australia, Canada and USA

Interesting comparison study about app usage. And ridiculous that we will get desperately needed info on Germany from a US company. However, they measured user engagement on a "hour per day basis". For example, in Germany, 42% of games users are playing games 2 hours a day, and 5% are playing 6 hours a day. To me all these stats look pretty consistent throughout the markets, although usage of social networks is not as intense in Germany as it is in the US for example (we have more 2-hour-users, less hardcore users). Still, this research is a clear indicator that the app vs. mobile web race is decided on an international scale.

The chart only:

Video Metrics are coming to Facebook

If someone missed it: Facebook is in "video attack mode". There's not only the autoplay feature for videos, there's also a rise in video views on Facebook, year over year, of - no typo - 785%. Facebook is also testing video ads - of course, why should they miss out on the biggest online advertising market?

It was clear that this will be accompanied by more motivation for page owners to post video. Facebook just announced video metrics. These will show you demographics of those who watched your video, the average length of video plays and also how many people watched 95% of the video. I know platforms that live off video and do not have these metrics easily at hand.

May 5, 2014

Shop at Amazon with just a tweet

Why click a link? Any tweet (from anyone) that contains a link to an Amazon product can now be replied with #amazoncart and Amazon will put it in your shopping cart (You should have your Amazon and Twitter accounts connectd, though). Whenever you revisit Amazon, you will find it in your cart. Very smart, nice experiment and I am keen to see ow many items they sell. Maybe, one day, they can add some incentive for the one who tweeted it, too.