He's young, lean, handsome, well over six feet tall, has dark, curly hair, a smile that makes women go weak at the knees, wants to build a better world and is the son of a famous Liberal Party leader. No, he's not the one you're thinking of. Instead of trying to become the next prime minister of Canada, this one's trying something even tougher.
I was fortunate enough to work for Hunter Madsen, the Yahoo! guru who led the team that developed Behavioural Targeting for the company back in early-to-mid 2005. We were in awe as Hunter explained the mechanics of targeting users within the network, based on where they'd been, what content they consumed, what they searched for.
With complex statistical techniques, and a quickly expanding universe of data drawn from an increasing number of our behaviours online and offline, a multitude of organizations and institutions are using predictive analytics to do that which has always fascinated and eluded the human race -- predict the future.
It's been planes, trains, hotels and automobiles for me this week and here's what caught my attention along the way. How many times a day do you Google something? It's such a part of our everyday life that it's as important as oxygen at SavvyMom HQ. But have you ever wondered what the "Google machine" actually looks like?
Print journalism is changing fundamentally. Three dramatic events last week make the point: On October 18, Newsweek magazine announced it will become a digital only publication in 2013, ending 80 years in print. Newspapers have failed, so far, to acquire the skill sets required for print journalism in the 21st century.
The Liberals are trying to argue that they are the party which is really consulting people and casting both the Conservatives and the NDP as unreasonable ideologues. If the Liberals want to really distinguish themselves from the other parties one really good way could be by making the party very open. We're talking more than a couple polls by email but a collaborative, ongoing discussion with party supporters. A discussion which explicitly guides party policy in a very detailed way, day to day.
Marketers often believe that social outlets themselves create change, however most of us know that is not the case. A Twitter feed of "gobligook" is still just a bunch of "gobligook" that no one wants to read about. Using social media to empower and create voice in the virtual world is only as powerful as the reaction people have or can be inspired to have in physical world.
With the hiring of Marissa Mayer, Yahoo Inc. indicated conspicuously, and intentionally, that it was back in the business of meaning business. But don't call it a comeback -- Yahoo's been here for years. If it really wants to tower over the competition once again, it'll have to come up with something unique to set itself apart. And in this day and age, that something is purpose.
In short, everything that you thought the Internet wasn't about in a world of 140 character tweets, Facebook status updates and YouTube viral video sensations. These deep and rich treasure troves of content are also gaining mainstream attention, and it all seems to be drawing more and more energy towards podcasting: a medium that many have already written off.
Are you looking to re-position your brand and products/services to a distinct audience? Brands that are looking to aggressively grow their business don't want to isolate their current customers because that's their "sweet spot," but they want to grow and need to look to new customer segments to make that happen. Here are some great examples of partnerships that I have seen in recent times.
Yes, Facebook stock is struggling and it may struggle lots more as the shackles are taken off company insiders, which will allow them to sell more into the market in the coming months. But Facebook is real. It is not a vendor of vaporware like so many of those dot.com companies that never earned a penny but burned through cash faster than Mark Zuckerberg could burn through old friends.
Yahoo is under new management, and according to the business media this week it's up to talented Marissa Mayer to "pull a Steve Jobs" to turn around the company. But today Google still dominates the search engine category, the Huffington Post corners content, and Yahoo dominates, well, nothing. So, sorry, Yahoo. I just don't get why we'd need you any more.