'Opinions' Category

Why Staring at Your Phone May Be Good for Your Friendships

Posted by Vanessa Naylon on January 28th, 2015 at 6:12 am

As technology has become more deeply integrated into our daily lives, we’ve grown increasingly accustomed to the benefits. Our social lives now have a distinct virtual dimension, and data drives everything from the products we find on supermarket shelves to the health-monitoring of our four-legged friends. When online dating apps like OKCupid entered the scene, they revolutionized the way we form relationships. But only recently has personal data expanded beyond the realm of data scientists and into the next frontier, enabling the user to analyze technological habits in order to optimize engagements in the physical world.
We’re seeing more and more apps attempt to bridge the gap between the physical and virtual worlds we live in. Like dating app Happn, which uses location data to match users with people they’ve crossed paths with. Or PVLL, the new mobile messaging app that graphs conversation patterns, automates texting, and pulls users’ messaging data in order to ‘hack the online dating game’. And with customizable survey apps like Reporter and Expereal placing data in the hands of the consumer, nearly every aspect of life is now measurable and optimizable–from relationships to caffeine consumption to overall happiness.
Integrating mobile data into daily activities like relationship building... Read more

3 things every marketer needs to know about Apple Pay, PayPal, and other electronic payment platforms

Posted by Bethany Simpson on January 26th, 2015 at 2:21 pm

tl;dr - Today’s marketers (not just those in e-commerce) need to realize that ease of payment is going to play an increasingly important role in which products and platforms consumer choose, and they should work actively to make it as seamless a process as possible (borrowing ideas from companies like Uber).
Mobile and web payment is big news right now. SnapChat working with Square, PayPal with Pebble, Alibaba (reportedly) in talks with Apple Pay, etc. I spoke with YapStone VP of marketing Troy Scarlott about the implications and lessons for marketers.
Troy, thank you for speaking with me. YapStone is a major player in electronic payments. Your company processed over $8B in payments last year, was named to the San Francisco Business Times “Fast 100” and “Deloitte Technology Fast 500,” and was just named to the Forbes list "America's 100 Most Promising Companies." (See the end of the article for more information about YapStone.)
Q: Where does YapStone sit in the payments landscape?
A: YapStone was founded in 1999—almost 15 years ago and long before the world had heard of the electronic payment industry or companies such as Braintree, Stripe and Dwolla. Unlike our competitors (who focus mainly on e-commerce transactions), YapStone is focused on... Read more

"Dear Kitten, Regarding the Big Game"

Posted by Bethany Simpson on January 23rd, 2015 at 10:43 am

They're back! The wise, smooth-voiced cat with the young orange padawan. In the latest installment, cat tells kitten all about a day when a lot of humans come over, and things get weird.

BuzzFeed and Friskies launched the series "Dear Kitten" seven months ago, receiving almost 20 million views to the inaugural video. Subsequent videos, like "Dear Kitten: Regarding the Dog," have received upwards of 10 million views. To the delight of fans, the newest installment is here, and it's timely.
It's so much win, I hardly know where to start.
1. The easiest subject in the universe. Cats. Clever scripting. Great delivery and editing. And did I mention there's a kitten?
2. Timeliness. Yes, it's about the Super Bowl, and it's actually running during the Super Bowl. Though barely. It's running in three markets. But apparently that counts -- because it's getting headlines. (Not unlike The Verge who is getting press for running a Super Bowl commercial this year, even though it's in one market, in Montana, for $700.)
3. It's the details that count. The three markets the spot is running in? Kitty Hawk, NC, Los Gatos, CA, and Pawnee, NB. Whoever thought of that gets a thousand invisible cleverness points. I... Read more

Technology, Progression, and Adaptation: Is Your Business Poised for Success?

Posted by Anna Johansson on January 23rd, 2015 at 9:06 am

The past couple years have been tough for some of the nation’s leading retailers. From the Target and Home Depot breaches that collectively compromised nearly 100 million credit cards to Sears closing approximately 130 of its stores across the country, it has become clear that no one is immune to outside threats and changing markets. So, how do some organizations continually thrive, while others find themselves in compromising situations? Ask different people and you’ll get varying opinions, but in the end it comes down to technology and progression.
Ever Changing Technologies Force Businesses to Change
In a 2012 article written by John F. McMullen, an incredibly powerful and appropriate quote is cited. It’s by Alvin Toffler and reads, “The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn and relearn.” In other words, Toffler predicted that success would be found in an organization or individual’s ability to be flexible.
In this article, McMullen also states that students starting a four year post-graduate degree will find half of what they learned in their first year to be obsolete by their third year of study.
How can this be? It’s likely due to the incredibly... Read more

Five Tech Trends Disrupting Data-Driven Marketing in 2015

Posted by Vanessa Naylon on January 23rd, 2015 at 5:46 am

Every January at 140 Proof, we share the hottest tech trends for the year. What are the watchwords to look for in 2015? Here's the list you should be on the lookout for starting with 'little', 'mainstream', and 'programmatic'.
1. Less is More: Why We Need to Start Paying Attention to “Little Data”
Big data was the hot topic of 2014. But in 2015, marketers will realize that it’s the little things that count. It’s not enough to compile massive amounts of data; it’s also about looking into the connections between those points. Little data is necessary to find the most relevant, powerful indicators that can be applied across verticals, from health and consumer to dating and political leanings.
2. The Secret to Using Data? Great UX.
Many companies like Tinder, Tableaux, and ClickView are already using data in a consumer-facing way. 2015 will be the year data goes mainstream; the insightful power of data will be combined with well-designed, digestible UX, putting the power of data in the hands of the people.
3. Why the Home is the Next Frontier of Data
With the rise of connected technologies like Nest and Amazon Echo, marketers will be able to leverage data from people’s homes like never... Read more