'Emerging Platforms' Category

The Crowded Commerce Landscape

Posted by Catherine Tabor on April 18th, 2014 at 7:09 am

Commerce is the name of the game in business, and whether a company needs help driving foot traffic, tracking attribution or finding new ways to reach customers online, it should be no surprise that there is a market for third party vendors that can help companies be more efficient and drive revenue in new ways.
Whether this vendor is a daily deal site like Groupon, an online marketplace like Amazon or eBay, a coupon aggregator that helps brands distribute offers, or a CRM platform that helps companies maintain relationships and drive future sales; if there is a need that a third party can solve, chances are that company exists today.
The problem is that each of these vendors probably exists tenfold.
LUMA Partners has become known for their product of LUMAscapes, industry mapping charts that have become synonymous with overabundance in the ad tech industry, and I personally have become very familiar with their Commerce LUMAscape, which contains all of the categories I mentioned above, along with buckets for Exchanges, Storefront/Cart, Social Commerce, Flash Sale Sites and many more.
My company, Sparkfly, currently competes in the Analytics bucket, and as I look out at the wider landscape, what I see is a need for... Read more

Why The Coolest Things Often Aren't What Many Marketers Think

Posted by Jeff Hasen on April 6th, 2014 at 8:38 am

The effects of the South By Southwest flu have surely passed for those who spent early March sleep-deprived in Austin. But what about the malady that manifests itself in a marketer chasing shiny objects?
It happens every year. Pragmatism gets left at home, replaced by the expectation that the “cooler than cool” folks at SXSW will see “cooler than cool” technology and services. Then, they will bring those “solutions” to their marketing programs and all will be cool.
Except consumers are anything but cool early adopters.
So just what are our target audiences responding to in the real world?
Yard signs.
And messages on printed receipts.
Before you say that those are uncool, let me explain.
Jack Dorsey, founder and CEO of Square and co-founder of Twitter, is one of those cool dudes who you see in Austin. Of all things, he sees the printed receipt as underused and a next-generation point of engagement with consumers.
“What if we see the receipt more as a publishing medium — a product unto itself that people actually want to take home, that they want to engage with, be fully interactive with?” Dorsey said earlier this year at the National Retail Federation’s annual expo. ”What can we do with this everyday... Read more

GDC 2014: Reflections and Ruminations

Posted by Neal Leavitt on March 25th, 2014 at 8:26 pm

So another Game Developers Conference (GDC) has come and gone – 400 panels, roundtable discussions, lectures, tutorials, 350 exhibitors, 20,000+ attendees. Seems like every gaming publication and industry analyst swooned and fawned over Project Morpheus, Oculus Rift, Valve’s Steam Controller and how virtual reality in general is poised to take over the gaming universe.
What was also interesting, however, were the findings of a survey conducted before GDC opened its doors for the 28th time last week, a few emerging gaming industry trends, and one rather dopey game that even its developer said “is a small, broken and stupid game” – yet has now garnered literally millions of views.
The second State of the Industry GDC survey polled more than 2,600 North American game developers who attended last year’s conference. According to GDC, notable trends “include a preference for the PlayStation 4 platform for console developers, the prevalence of self-funded projects and the changing reliance and relationship with publishers.”
The survey indicated that 20 percent of developers intend to release their next game on Sony’s PlayStation 4, slightly edging out Xbox One’s 17 percent. Developers also want to do their own thing – 64 percent want to self-publish. And... Read more

How Vice is Gaining Ground on Major Media Outlets

Posted by Morgan Sims on March 21st, 2014 at 9:09 am

The Internet and social media have changed how we digest news. If a particular outlet isn’t covering a story, or covering it as fully as it could, people will get the information from other sources. The rejection of traditional media has left space for rising stars to keep Americans and global citizens alike informed. One of these rising stars is Vice. Let’s dig deeper into how this indie magazine turned global news source is conquering the media.
Mainstream News Sites are Underperforming
Turn on any morning news show and you’ll think you’re watching Good Morning America. Hard-hitting news like the ill-fated Malaysia Airlines flight are condensed into digestible sound bites and sandwiched next to stories about otters juggling stones and other viral videos. The goal is to entertain just as much as it is to deliver news.
This isn't what business professionals want, and this isn't what millennials want either. Vice has noticed this and recently launched an online news channel that has received strong praise for its Ukraine coverage. The difference between this channel and your average news network is that the stories next to it aren’t about who hosted SNL this week; they’re about South Sudan, life in Egypt, and other... Read more

The most powerful driver of innovation

Posted by Marti Funk on March 14th, 2014 at 2:38 pm

I'm still reeling from a great few days at SXSW, where I experienced some compelling brand activations from Oreo's Trending Vending Lounge, MasterCard and Mashable (#PricelessSurprises), and more private networking parties and inspirational pop-up discussions than hours in the day would allow.
I had the privilege of joining one such intimate discussion hosted by Expion, which turned into a passionate, all-out, no-BS discussion on the future of all things connected, including a featured panel on the future of packaging. The lively panel included Bonin Bough of Mondelez (@boughb), Gary Vaynerchuk (@garyvee), David Shing of AOL (@shingy), and Katharine Bell of HBR (@katharineabell).

As a business leader and curator of community and content in the marketing industry, I was most inspired not so much by the "what" or the "who" of the conversation, but more the "how." Specifically, I was inspired by Vaynerchuk's recognition of the "sheer will" behind the recent innovative successes behind legacy brands, with a nod to CPG marketers such as Mondelez and PepsiCo. Indeed, sheer will is the most powerful driver of innovation.
To give context, Bough shared his sentiment that all CPGs in the grocery store will be connected to the internet by 2020. There was no refuting that... Read more