Friday, December 9, 2016

Look out Snapchat!!

- Lookout SnapChat
- Peripheral Vision
- Attention grabbing
- Amazon grocer
- AI and Machine Learning
- Trend spotting

One liners
- Where to buy
- Another Black Friday another record
- Top toy!

Special Bonus: Dan Ariely: Marrying Disruptive Technologies and Behavioral Insights

Lookout Snapchat

Facebook is testing a camera-first interface design in Ireland. Sound familiar? On his last quarterly earnings call, Zuck said Facebook now sees the camera as the future of how people share and communicate. Snapchat CEO Iram Kahn recently told investors that they're not a Social company, they're a camera company. Not much suspense about who's gonna win this battle. Facebook is the most agile company in the world. They've already adopted a number of The Snap's good ideas in the form of Slingshot, Bolt, One-hour messages and Stories and soon they'll have it all without ever needing to buy it. Nonetheless, my son says he won't use facebook even if it does all the same stuff. He'd rather use Snapchat.

Peripheral Vision

L2 held their consumer behavior clinic 3 Fridays ago and there were some really fascinating speakers as always. I didn't get to attend because I had to be in Andover for a meeting, but videos of all the talks are available and I partook of two of them.

The first, really fascinating was from Behavioral Psychologist, Susan Weinschenk who talked about how your brain does most of your seeing for you and the interesting ramifications of this. For instance, peripheral vision is more blurry because it isn't meant to capture detail. It's meant to capture context and motion. So, in Web design, for instance, putting good content at the periphery, will get it noticed.
Brain keys in on things in a different color, with a different shape or orientation. This is how to capture attention.
  • Visions happens in the brain
  • You see what you pay attention to
  • Peripheral vision calls the shots
  • We orient to faces

How to get attention

In the second speaker video I watched, Adam Alter, a professor at NYU Stern, talked about how to capture people's attention.
  • Give people ways to interact with your content. Can a picture move when they mouse over it? If you find ways to provide feedback when people interact with it, they will do it more.
  • Set subtle goals. Suggest something for visitors to strive for. A call to action is a good example. The professor actually used Sonicare for kids as an example of this. The little character on the connected device used to dance as long as kids brushed, so they would brush indefinitely. But now the app has been changed so that after the kid has brushed for the correct amount of time, the little creatures gets tired and falls asleep.
  • Get social. The social version of any product is more successful. Hipstamatic and Retrocam were precursors to instagram. Let you take pictures with different filters and effects. But Instagram did that PLUS made it a social network. Instantly capturing the market.
  • Add cliffhangers. We've all heard how marketing should be based on stories. That's certainly true. but the ending doesn't have to be apparent. Save a little something to make them come back for more.
  • And finally, Turn everything into a game. activate people's competitive nature

Amazon Grocery

We've discussed the difficulty of pure play retail many times on this call. These are retailers who are ONLY Brick and Mortar of -- which there are almost none anymore. Virtually every traditional brick and mortar retailer now has an online presence with varying degrees of success -- or ONLY Online. LIke Amazon. Well we've seen the online giant begin some tentitive forays into building stores and this week, The Financial Times reports that Amazon is soon to open two grocery stores in Seattle.

Both stores will be similar to drive-throughs, with customers able to collect groceries they have ordered online.

The move is Amazon's latest push into groceries, a market where the logistics specialist sees room for considerable growth. And growth is in the plan. Amazon is looking at opening 2000 Grocery stores across the US. Starting with 20 in the next couple of years, where they'll experiment with a click and collect model as well as more traditional grocery stores, perhaps only open to Prime Fresh subscribers.

Amazon AI

Continuing with the Amazon stream of conciousness, at the company's Re:Invent conference last week in Las Vegas, the retail and Web services giant announced the launch of its Amazon AI platform. This new service leverages the machine learning capability that they've developed and used in-house for a number of years now. According to Web Sercices CEO Andy Jassy, they have thousands of people dedicated to AI in their business.

They made a big deal of announcing an advanced image recognition service called Rekognition (with a K), along with Amazon Polly, a text to speech service that produces life-like speech in 47 mail and femaile voices and 24 languages, and LEX, which is the tech behind Amazon's new Alexa service. It allows developers to build conversations applications that can feature multi-step conversations. This will be useful for Chatbots and other types of Web and mobile applications taht supposrt engaging, Lifelike interactions.

But though it wasn't the center of attention at the developer conference, Amazon's own new Machine learning site describes something I think is even more exciting. Machine learning, a technique first developed by IBM to train it's Watson AI, is a way of feeding a machine massive amounts of unstructured data and letting it create it's own understanding of the patterns and meaning within it. Then the machine can use these modles to analyse new data and generate predictions for an application. Usually, Machine learning requires data scientists to create powerful algorithms. But Amazon's offering provides visualization tools and wizards that guide you through the process of creating machine learning models without having to learn complex technology. Then you can generate predictions about your business.

And the tremendous amount of data that Amazon processes about virtually everything every day can provide insight into almost everything. For instance, the information was just released that 3 of the top 10 top-selling items for the month before the election were Trump hats and T-Shirts. Which I'm

Trend spotting

I was surprised that no one took me up on my offer on our last call to get a Free early copy of Rohit Bhargava's latest book Non-Obvious 2017, How Think Different, Curate Ideas and Predict the Future. Well I had the chance to read my preview copy and I can highly recommend it. It just launched THIS WEEK on @Amazon for just $0.99. That's the next best thing to free. So go get your copy. It'll be well worth it.

Wouldn't it be great for our company if we could get better at predicting and capitalizing on trends? Let's all work on it.

A couple One Liners...

A survey from PPRO found that, this Christmas, 61% of consumers will be buying gifts online at home while watching TV, while 13% will shop from their smartphones while lying in bed. 17% also admit they will be buying their Christmas gifts online while at work.

Adobe figures shows that online sales records in the US hit $3.34bn on Black Friday, a 17.7% increase on sales last year.

Lego Creator Sets were the top toy, and iPads the top electronics sold.