google

At the privacy of our own keyboards people give up all sorts of interesting insights into what they want – and no  data source is better that search. So..

Google trends is always worth a look – as well as Think with Google for a barometer for changing consumer culture- and therefore what people now expect of organisations

A few of stats that struck me (below) : people want to find out stuff right here, right now and on their mobiles. Researchers often say this is because consumers are becoming more “demanding”- but I don’t think that is our self – perception. This is just the new normal. Basically what its says is that your company or organisation has to have got its act together on

a) Being easy to find on a smartphone

b) Offering up relevant and useful information (that is easy to find) on a smartphone

c) Being easy to buy from on a smartphone

mobile-site-abandonment-three-second-load.jpgproduct-reviews-mobile-searches.jpgmicro-moments-consumer-behavior.jpg

Book review just published in the latest issue of Market Leader – reproduced courtesy of WARC.com.

“Everybody Lies” really is a very entertaining and insightful book about what is revealed by Data – with a focus on Google. Weakness is that the examples are mainly from USA

Here is the longer review in The Guardian 

Scan 2

This film is worth a watch to show how WeChat-which started as a messaging app- is evolving into a one stop killer app for search,social and shopping. (And you thought Google and Facebook were too powerful.). It’s success is due not to Chinese govt support but innovation to make the user experience a) very easy b)integrated c) time saving.

You can be sure that Facebook and other are eyeing WeChat with envy and trying to emulate it

I expect the anti-trust authorities in Europe and USA to have a say on this trend

This is a (slightly extended version)of a book review I have just published in Market Leader (the Marketing Society’s quarterly journal :

It all started with such high ideals. The web was created as a kind of commons with the promise of a radical democratisation of power. As Rushkoff puts it – The distributed nature of the web, with its decentralised connectivity and ad hoc social activity seemed to augur an equally distributed marketplace. Markets were no longer going to be dominated by the best sellers and the big distributors. Instead an almost infinite market of makers would be able to find and sell to almost infinite market of buyers

This was the dream of “The Long Tail” set out by Chris Andersen in his book of the same name . The web would be essentially decentralising and empowering.

Rushkoff is vehemently against how it most of it turned out. Power Law dynamics took over. Tech start ups went public, went for growth to satisfy their shareholders, achieved positions of market power and decided to go into the advertising business big time. The Web turned out to be a winner takes all endgame fuelled by greed.  Californian Hippy idealism ran up against Madison Avenue and Wall Street.  As for the best sellers – well they remained the main sources of revenue on the likes of ITunes.

Rushkoff identifies are some honourable exceptions this trend – like eBay and  Etsy. These are examples of the many to many marketplace in action – what you might call genuine “digital bazaars”, which are essentially “anti-industrial”

Web idealism resurfaces in ideas like “the sharing economy” -but Rushkoff is dismissive: It’s not really sharing it’s selling…. encouraging people to engage in freelance versions of previously regulated industries. Technology is reducing the numbers of jobs and is now AI is hollowing out those of middle income folk. Left unchecked it will just make the rich few even richer. There will not be enough income around to buy the products of a consumer society. And that could lead to a big shock.

The solution? Rushkoff sees it as a kind of third way between unregulated markets and socialism. Called Digital Distributionism, it will have the following characteristics: Sustainable prosperity, platform cooperation, P2P and Bitcoin currency, crowdfunding, collaboration, communication via networks, land and resources held in common and value exchange. Government intervention will set wages and redistribute wealth to the underemployed.It sounds like Rushkoff has never really lost his idealism and is looking for get back to first principles and re-present them today.

Rushkoff addresses the increasingly apparent ills of our age-addiction to the mantra of growth, that depletes our resources, and the increasing evidence that Capital is doing much better than Labour. Is he hopeful? Not really. Digital Distributionism sounds at best difficult to implement and at worse very naïve. But, as the American elections show, disaffection produces surprises. When the middle classes are suffering there is trouble ahead and politicians will need to reach for new ideas. This book is packed full of them. Some of them might work.

 

 

Aurora magazine recently asked me where and how i look for insights online, so i thought i would share. Here are five I find really useful (heavily influenced i guess from working at Google )

ThinkwithGoogle (www.thinkwithgoogle.com) a treasure trove of think pieces and case histories about good digital marketing .

 Google trends www.google.com/trends: what is trending in search right now? What are people searching for in your market right now? What does that tell you about how culture is changing or how your market is changing? You should check it every day. It might change what you think is really relevant to your brands customers.

 Slideshare www.slideshare.net. Presentations shared on more topics than you can imagine. Want to know more about Behavioural Economics and its practical applications? You will fine several presentations about it here.

 Twitter www.twitter.com If you search Twitter you can find high quality articles. But you need to narrow down it down a bit to get the right stuff. “Milllenials” as a search might be too broad “Millenial employees” or Millennial insights “ or “Millennials brands” gets you a more relevant result (assuming that is what you are looking for)

 YouTube Re:View www.getsubsciptions.withgoogle.com A selection of the best of YouTube every week.. An insight what’s hot in American culture. Sit back and soak it up


Last year The Cannes Awards saw many examples of brands trying to “do good business by doing good”. I expect this year there will again be many awards entries that aim to engender brand loyalty by being good corporate citizens. Aurora commissioned me to write a piece about this undoubtedly  big trend.

I have taken an historical perspective to explain why brands adopted “higher purpose branding” covering- 19th century philanthropy, challenger brand thinking courtesy of Adam Morgan and finally looking at the influence of big tech and social media. Brands covered include – The Body Shop, Dove, Google, Microsoft and Uber

A word doc is here which may be easier to read  HPB final

 

 

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