BRAND: For brands that already have social customer service teams in place, these newly added features might allow that support to be more effective on Snapchat if fans are able to have a live video or audio conversation when troubleshooting, added Stephen Boidock, director of social media for agency Drumroll. “It could also pave the way for more Periscope- and Facebook Live-type of brand experiences, where fans can tune in at a given time to see or hear live broadcasts,” he said.
ECOMMERCE: When it comes to figuring out what services and technology to invest in, the amount of options can be paralyzing. While a lot of it comes down to personal preference and your specific business needs, I wanted to walk you through all of the tools that I use on a daily basis. This list will change and evolve over time as new tools and technology become available and our needs change, but I’ll be periodically updating our Resources page to keep things current.
ECOMMERCE: From my perspective, the biggest challenge in ecommerce today is being able to launch and develop an online-first product and then build a really strong brand around it. This combination is particularly valuable, because brand implies aspiration, and aspiration implies a significant margin. It’s a difficult task I don’t think anyone has truly cracked yet.
BRAND: Nike has lost basketball sales to Under Armour since the latter poached Golden State Warriors player Stephen Curry in 2013. It is also suffering from a revival at Adidas, which has scored mostly with fashion shoes promoted by celebrities such as Kanye West, who moved from Nike to Adidas the same year. Edwards defended Nike’s sponsorship deals with over 8,000 athletes worldwide.
ECOMMERCE: While I agree that Nike's maturing business may have also resulted in the decelerated growth, it is evident that major sports events are unlikely to be a catalyst for the stock this year. On the other hand, I think that e-commerce could continue to be the game changer and believe that Nike's investment in online services has differentiated it from the other footwear providers in terms of order management, inventory processing, shipping and delivery.
INNOVATION: Nonetheless, amid the secrecy there have been multiple leaks about what's said to be a roughly 600-strong team within Apple on the project. Back in May, in fact, rumors circulated that Apple had approached a number of electric car charging companies in what was believed to be preparation for a network of automotive recharge points, similar perhaps to Tesla's Supercharger system.
ECOMMERCE: Whether building an ecommerce store from scratch or just freshening its look, merchants can find plenty of help with free online design tools. Here is a list of free online design tools for merchants. There are tools for fonts, patterns, logos, images, website design, team collaboration, and design inspiration. All of these tools are free, though some offer additional premium plans.
DATA: Foursquare, the discovery and check-in mobile app, was the talk of the town in tech circles half a dozen years ago when it led the way in the use of location-based services and the GPS technology that was built into the iPhone. But over the years, Foursquare’s marquee feature — the check-in — was adopted by apps like Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.
FINTECH: The partnership announced on Thursday is intended to make it easier for customers to use Visa credit and debit cards in PayPal transactions and allow shoppers to use PayPal in brick-and-mortar retail locations. It is PayPal's latest effort to bring its internet payments service to the physical checkout line. In the year since its spinoff from e-commerce company eBay Inc, becoming an independently traded company on Wall Street for the second time, PayPal has grown aggressively.
DATA: The three strongest factors that Google uses to determine which pages will be ranked on page one are content, links, and Google’s proprietary machine-learning artificial intelligence system called RankBrain, part of its Hummingbird search algorithm. Content for search engine optimization boils down to words that send signals of relevance to search engines. When combined with the signals of authority that internal and external links send to search engines.
ECOMMERCE: So what can e-commerce marketers do to stand out and build loyalty? The only way to differentiate in a digital-first economy is to understand your customers’ intents, preferences and desires as well as possible – and then do something about it! This starts by fully understanding your customers and anticipating their needs. You can use deep behavioral data to create rich unique profiles for each of your shoppers to determine what each is looking for in the moment.
MEDIA: Verizon’s purchase of Yahoo was driven by Tim Armstrong’s belief that there was a big opportunity in building an ad network to rival Google’s DoubleClick. How the deal turns out could affect succession planning at Verizon. After he jumped to AOL from Google in 2009, Mr. Armstrong dreamed of building an ad network to rival the juggernaut Google became. For years, publishers have whined about wanting such an alternative.
Last Word: Why 2PML?
polymath /ˈpɒlɪˌmæθ/ noun 1.a person of great and varied learning who uses the totality of their learning to solve specific problems.
As information and unique insights become more available, most of us who deal in the realm of creativity, data, media, branding, commerce, and development are realizing that each day brings more to learn. And each field impresses upon the other. The pace of innovation accelerates so quickly that failing to learn - for just one fiscal quarter - can leave us behind our peers.
Additionally, there is quite a bit of distraction out there. Most media sites want clicks so they discuss the cream of the moment, whether or political or otherwise. Who has time for that? I set out to curate and author 180 issues of this daily letter to filter a lot of the noise. No agenda, only the goal of bubbling up the important stories of each day. Often, context can be found in each week's collection.
In addition to publicly available information, I also include text and links from costly, specialty publications like: CB Insights, The Information, Stratechery, Pando, WWD, and NPD Group. These are data-driven publications or high quality editorial platforms that cut through much of the noise. In the 2PML letters, these links will be unlocked for you.
If you receive this letter, each day, you are in quite the group of people. Thank you for reading and please feel free to respond to the letters with your feedback. It is humanly curated and consistent. The next 90 will be better than the first.