IoT devices could be next customer data frontier

At the Adobe Summit this week in Las Vegas, the company introduced what could be the ultimate customer experience construct, a customer experience system of record that pulls in information, not just from Adobe tools, but wherever it lives. In many ways it marked a new period in the notion of customer experience management, putting it front and center of the marketing strategy. Adobe was not alone, of course. Salesforce, with its three-headed monster, the sales, marketing and service clouds, was also thinking of a similar idea. In fact, they spent $6.5 billion dollars last week to buy MuleSoft to act as a data integration layer to access  customer information from across the enterprise software stack, whether on prem, in the cloud, or inside or outside of Salesforce. And they announced the Salesforce Integration Cloud this week to make use of their newest company. As data collection takes center
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The case for boosting enterprise software startups with services

   One of the truisms of software business strategy is that services is bad business; heck, we’ve also said it. The reason, put bluntly, is that it’s a business with low margins and is not as scalable. So in the early days of bringing to market a complex enterprise software product, the repeated feedback I got from nearly all my advisors was to make sure customers were… Read More

Bose is carving out $50 million for startups using its new audio-focused AR tech

 The high-end audio technology company Bose is getting into the augmented reality game with a new product and a $50 million fund devoted to startups that will develop services for its new platform. While most of the industry is focused on a visually augmented experience, Bose is most concerned with the intersection of sound and vision. The Bose AR prototype, which was unveiled at South by… Read More

As ad dollars erode, tech investments point the way forward for networks

Dollars on a green background There’s no doubt that linear advertising revenues are going to decline in the coming years for big networks. Squeezed by Facebook and Google on one side, and impossible consumer expectations created by Netflix, Amazon and other streaming services on the other, the idea of an ad-supported entertainment business is under siege. This chart from the analyst firm Moffet Nathanson shows just… Read More

Real Valley Stories: Search Marketing With the Open Directory Project

Editor’s Note: Part 12 in an irregular series of stories from my many years in Silicon Valley. Part 11 talked about the time I got called into HR's office to meet with lawyers over industrial espionage. This time, a story involving gray hat search engine marketing in the early days of the Web.

DMOZ is now closed. 

Believe it or not, before the world of automated spiders that crawled the entire Web and ranked the results for your searches, much of the way we found content on the Internet was thanks to manual updates from an invisible army of directory editors. Yahoo! defined the initial dot-com era, with its hierarchical oracle making or breaking traffic downstream, as sites were organized and shuffled into categories by unseen text tweakers, much like the editors of Wikipedia try and keep its tens of millions of article pages up to date, with a
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Apple’s augmented reality tool kit can now detect walls and 2D images in beta

 Apple is rolling out an upgrade to its augmented reality toolbox, ARKit, to developers in a beta version today. ARKit 1.5 adds a few marquee features including one big one: wall detection. Up until this point, ARKit has been focused on offering horizontal plane detection, allowing developers to know where the ‘floor’ is that it can then use to orient or place objects in 3D space.… Read More

LiveMap shows off latest prototype of augmented reality motorcycle helmet

 LiveMap launched in TechCrunch’s Hardware Battlefield CES 2014 and is getting closer to producing its augmented reality helmet. Since launching, the product has evolved to a working prototype. I tried it on at CES and it seemed to work fine. The current version of helmet features a small transparent screen mounted on the visor. A small projector is mounted in the chin of the helmet.… Read More

FabFitFun expands its empire with a new app for Apple TV and Amazon Fire

 FabFitFun, the women’s lifestyle subscription service and media company that’s become a household name among influencers of a certain generation, is expanding its empire with the launch of a new video app for Apple TV and Amazon Fire. The Los Angeles company founded by Daniel and Michael Broukhim has become one of the darlings of the tech scene in Southern California. Read More

Giving online retailers a physical returns location nets HappyReturns $8 million

 As online retailers continue to seek out ways to bridge the digital divide between themselves and their customers, Happy Returns, which provides physical locations for online shoppers to return and refund unwanted purchases, has raised $8 million to help. The Santa Monica, Calif.-based company, raised its new money from U.S. Venture Partners along with previous investors Upfront Ventures… Read More

Google will turn on native ad-blocking in Chrome on February 15

Chrome lapel pin Google is going to start blocking certain ads in Chrome, the company announced earlier this year. But now we know exactly when: February 15, 2018 (via VentureBeat) is the go-live date provided by the company for introduction of its built-in enforcement of the standards established by the Coalition for Better Ads, of which it is a member. This won’t block all ads on all websites &#8211… Read More

Augmented reality treasure hunting app Seek pivots to become a hub for AR projects

 One year after launching at South by Southwest with an augmented reality treasure hunting app, the Utah-based startup Seek has returned with an update transforming its service into a “YouTube for AR”. Rather than being focused on disappearing, site-specific augmented reality experiences, the company now wants to be a hub where developers can post their augmented reality projects… Read More

Find your red-eyed fans

 I’ve been thinking about token sale marketing lately mostly because it’s been so bad. I’ve gotten hundreds of emails asking me to be an ICO advisor or evangelist or influencer primarily because the ICO marketing techniques come to us straight out of the spammiest corners of affiliate marketing. I’ve gotten emails from founders who have been promised “posts on… Read More

Macy’s credit card processors stop working on Black Friday

 It’s one of the biggest shopping days of the year, but retail giant Macy’s can’t get its credit card processors to work. Customers have been waiting in lines across the United States to buy discounted items, only to find out that the machines won’t take credit cards or gift cards. Some Bloomingdale’s stores, which are owned by Macy’s, may have also been… Read More

Alibaba invests $2.9B in hypermarket operator Sun Art to continue its offline retail push

 Alibaba is continuing its expansion into offline retail after the Chinese e-commerce giant bought up more than one-third of one of Chinese most prolific operators of hypermarket stores. The firm announced today it has spent HK$22.4 billion (around US$2.88 billion) to acquire of 36.16 percent in Sun Art Retail Group, a Hong Kong-listed business that operates 446 hypermarkets across 224… Read More

The Influence of Instagram

The digital advertising landscape has changed dramatically over the past decade. Social media platforms are now some of the most heavily trafficked places on the internet, and sharing hubs such as Instagram are increasingly becoming a cultural touchpoint for millions of people around the world.

Tapping into Instagram Influence

Instagram is closing in on a billion monthly active users, and with such a massive audience, social influencers (i.e. people with large, engaged audiences) are raking in the dough from paid brand endorsements. Today’s infographic, from XCart, walks us through the multi-billion dollar phenomenon known as influencer marketing.

The Influence of Instagram

Chasing Attention Spans

It’s estimated that 65% of adults in the U.S. use social networks – a figure that spikes to an astonishing 90% for young adults. Social media has become a fixture in our everyday lives and where attention spans wander, advertising is sure to follow. And follow it
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The World’s Fastest Growing Brands in 2017, by Value

The Chart of the Week is a weekly Visual Capitalist feature on Fridays. In a modern business era of near-constant disruption, which brands are winning the hearts of consumers the fastest? Today’s charts look at the brands that are trending upwards. See below for the brands that have gained the most in brand value since last year, as assessed by BrandZ in their report on the world’s 100 most valuable brands.

Onwards and Upwards for Tech

As many big name brands try to find their footing in today’s fast-paced consumer environment, it’s not surprising to see up-and-coming tech brands skyrocketing in value. Biggest Movers in Tech In line with growing revenues, tech brands like Amazon, Facebook, and Netflix are also flying high with their brands. Amazon, for example, had its brand value soar 41% since last year to make it the fourth most valuable brand in the world at $139 billion. Chinese tech companies
Biggest Movers in Tech
Biggest Movers in Tech
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