What Happens In An Internet Minute, The Internet Of Things, And What Marketers Must Do

I’ve highlighted this before, but today, I saw this featured again on my LinkedIn timeline in the format of a new infographic by Intel.


My favorite bit of Intel’s observation:

Today, the number of networked devices equals the world’s population. By 2015, the number of networked devices is expected to be double the world’s population. And by the time we reach 2015, it would take five years to view all the video content crossing IP networks each second.

Thinking about this and having grown up during the ascendancy of the internet, I continue to be marveled by how fundamentally the web and technology have revolutionized the way we live. Even as I follow the stories coming out of CES2014, one of the themes that have really called out to me has been “The Internet of Things” (IoT).

How then can marketers and communicators make the most of this? Well, I can think of a few:

  1. Data-driven insights – Today, there is so much data available to marketers along with the tools to access, understand and leverage this data into insights. Some of the conversation here lends itself to a larger discussion on Big Data, but the core assertion I’m making here is that marketing must be fueled by better insights – and sometimes, that comes more from slogging through data rather than pretty pictures.
  2. Dramatic disruption – With everything that happens in an internet minute, attention today is at a premium. We have more data and information – but we also have a lot more noise. To break through the clutter, one must truly be dramatic enough to warrant attention – in fact, I hearken back to my old hero, Seth Godin’s definition of “Remarkable” = Worth making a remark about. Is your brand, marketing proposition, story worth people making a remark about and be willing enough to share it with others? However, there is a flip side to this, which is my next point…
  3. Creative contextualization – Being dramatic is often misunderstood and has led to many a faux pas (which, today, one’s mistake is amplified many times over via social media). On the contrary, I do not subscribe to the maxim “any publicity is good publicity” (a lesson learned from having managed a few crises and issues in the past). What’s important thus is to ensure that your “dramatic disruption” is creatively contextualized to your audience – what they want, the way they’re thinking, what they may not know they need just yet… I’m a firm believe in audience-led marketing and believe that, given the data we have access to today, it would be extremely lazy not to figure out how to reach out to your audiences in a creatively contextual manner.
  4. Cultivated community – Finally, one of the best ways to consider how all this comes together is to consider how we might cultivate and embrace our community. The marketplace has and always will be about people – and people do gather into groups/tribes/communities. It’s our natural tendency. An astute marketer would be able to combine the data-driven insights to create and/or embrace an already established community and engage them with your brand, marketing proposition or story. It’s in this context that you can be dramatically disruptive in a way that is appreciated as creative and contextual. This has been made a lot easier on the internet, given the myriad social networks that we have and are a part of (*Cough* I’m on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook*Cough*).


Here’s to the internet. 😉

Lego Calendar by Vitamins

DNP Lego calendar syncs with Google Calendar, makes barefoot runs to the office kitchen treacherous

This was a rather awesome and cute way of rethinking the calendar and collaboration.

Using my favourite things: Lego (I really *love* that you can have your own Lego avatar on the team calendar) and web-based technology, the team at Vitamin Studios brought together a wonderful organizational calendar that marries together many seemingly contrasting things:

  • Online and offline
  • Digital and physical
  • Fun and serious
  • Tactile and visual
  • Captures relatively complex timelines and still simple to understand

This might make a great family calendar for me, now! 🙂

A Helpful 3-step Web Asset Strategy

Got this from that free e-book on what should the hub of your social media marketing be, which I recently read. Although the person quoted, Mike Sweeney (managing partner, Right Source Marketing) didn’t exactly phrase it as a “web asset strategy”, it’s still a great way to view how best to use your web assets.

Our website tells people what we do.

Our blog tells people how we think.

Our presence n social media properties – Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc. – serves as a distribution engine for the content produced on both the site and blog.


Did Google Just Kill Search Engine Optimisation With Google Instant?

I just read Steve Rubel’s commentary on Google’s recently launched “Google Instant” which basically allows you to see search results as you type. According to Google:

Google Instant is a new search enhancement that shows results as you type. We are pushing the limits of our technology and infrastructure to help you get better search results, faster. Our key technical insight was that people type slowly, but read quickly, typically taking 300 milliseconds between keystrokes, but only 30 milliseconds (a tenth of the time!) to glance at another part of the page. This means that you can scan a results page while you type.

Steve zeroes in on the “Smart Predictions” feature as a matter of concern for marketers and SEO practitioners:

Smarter Predictions: Even when you don’t know exactly what you’re looking for, predictions help guide your search. The top prediction is shown in grey text directly in the search box, so you can stop typing as soon as you see what you need.

Steve also goes on to highlight that Google is saying to expect traffic fluctuations around organic keywords.

While I’m still not sure I agree wholeheartedly with Steve that this might end up “making SEO virtually impossible” – I can certainly rally around the fact that this changes the game quite significantly. If anything, I can see this changing the emphasis from mere search-ranking obsession to more quality content marketing efforts – i.e. creating great content that people will want to search out. If it’s awesome, the word-of-mouth buzz generated will happen both online and offline (because human beings still meet up face-to-face!).

Some of the comments to his post are also quite enlightening. These are the ones that caught my attention:

  • Gabe Taviano: I’d have to disagree with the “no one will see the same web” thought. Like books, good content will always be needed, and searched for. When people find good content, they share it. Just because the search is faster doesn’t mean that good content won’t be indexed.
  • Kate Reuvers: People haven’t been seeing the same results for years – personalized search ring a bell? This in no way equals the death of SEO, it just has the potential to add another level. If you’re an SEO that purely focuses on rankings then you’re not doing your job properly.
  • Brett Tabke: It makes SEO INFINITELY more possible. SEO’s are licking their chops over this. We can now rank for ‘letters’ instead of just words. It opens the door to a whole new type of optimization.
  • graubart: I agree in part as users will see results to partial searches. BUT the auto-complete aspect of Google Instant means that there will likely be fewer distinct searches, so more users will cluster around certain searches.

    For example, suppose I was going to search for mergers & acquisitions. In the past, I might have typed “merger and acquisitions”, “mergers”, “mergers and acquisitions”, etc. Now, as I type merger, I’ll see “mergers and acquisitions” pop up and I select it. So, there will be fewer variations in similar searches

  • Cory Huff: uh…Steve, you’re a smart guy, but I think you’re off base here. Google has previously said that about 25% of their search queries are unique, but that means more than 70% are repetitive. People search for the same stuff. Not only that, but Google has to index content and suggest it to people, and there are factors that Google will use to determine those suggestions.

What do you think? Is this the end of SEO? Or is Steve missing something?

5 Steps To Manage Your Brand Online

I think it should go without saying that you need to manage your brand online these days, whether you’re doing it for yourself or your brand. You should realize that, these days, customers, professors, potential employers – all of them turn to Google, Facebook and other online avenues to find out more about you before they even encounter you.

So what can you do to manage your brand online? Here are 5 steps, which I’ve reworded and summarized for my own application from this great article:

Continue reading “5 Steps To Manage Your Brand Online”