Category Archives: User Experience

UX articles

Metaball: Can Baseball Data Help Market Baseball?

Michael Lewis’s 2004 book Moneyball documented a revolution in how baseball teams evaluate players.  More than a decade after the book, all Major League teams use statistics like WAR, Fielding Independent Pitching and Range Factor per Game.  Now, Major League Baseball wants fans to get in on the act with Statcast,  Using both radar and special cameras, Statcast gives incredibly detailed information on nearly every movement on the field.

 

Not pictured: Explanation of how a Major League infielder flubs a cutoff throw

I’ve written extensively on how sports and data combine to make sports themselves more marketable.  So I thought I’d discuss what impact Statcast might have on baseball’s challenged popularity in the US.

In, short, I think that the data won’t hurt, but they might not help.

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Behind the Numbers: Google “near me” up 34x

Here’s an eye-popping stat: since 2011, Google searches including the phrase “near me” have increased 34 times.  Not 34 percent, but 34 times.   I read this figure as a nail in the coffin of distinct and discrete mobile and local strategies.  Put another way, your brand has a mobile and a local strategy whether you’ve planned it or not.  Brands need to prepare for the inevitable “gotta have it now” factor across channels.

Some other tasty stats from the article:

  • 50% of people who conduct a local search on their phone visit a store that day
  • Roughly a third of those searchers buy that day as well
  • About half of people searching for a restaurant do so within 30 minutes of going out

Searches differ by day and time of day as well:

searches-near-me-on-the-weekend

I wonder, do people search for liquor stores before or after hotels on a Saturday night?

 

 

 

What does this mean for marketers?

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Marketing Winners and Losers at the NY International Auto Show (Part 2)

The marketing spectacle known as the New York International Auto Show had more to chew on than one man’s rant about station wagons.

For this installment, I’d like to focus on one exhibit with its hits and misses.  Ladies and gentlemen, I present Camp Jeep.

IMG_4130

For the past 11 years (give or take), Jeep has given consumers the opportunity to experience their vehicles’ capabilities in a first-hand manner.  They chauffeur participants over an obstacle course that shows how well the Jeeps can attack slopes, uneven ground and other things that 95% of drivers will never encounter.  All cynicism aside, the exhibit really impresses upon participants the astounding performance of the fabled brand.

Even within this impressive showcase, some aspects stand out: 2 good and one not-so-good

The upshot

  • Good: data collection from participants before and after
  • Good: keeping the troops happy
  • Not-so-good: the world’s most pointless cell phone charging station

Collecting data for fun and profit

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Marketing Winners and Losers at the NY International Auto Show (Part 1)

The lights!  The cars! The pumping music!  The attractive people on spinning turntables!  My aching back!

Yes, I attended the New York International Auto Show and lived to tell the (precautionary) tale of experiential marketing done well…and not so well.  Over the new few posts, I’ll point out how some marketers really made the most out of their residency at the Jacob Javits Convention Center and those who didn’t.

I’d like to start out with a winner, at least in my book: Subaru.  Subaru understands its audience, also known as nerds.

subaru-256561_1280

 

Here’s what I learned:

  • Experiential marketing is a great opportunity to capture email from an interested party
  • There is no substitute for understanding your customer

Revenge of the (Station Wagon) Nerds

Oh, Subaru, you get me.  Your exhibit shot a marketing arrow right through my heart.

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Retro Rant: Same as it Ever Was

File this one under la plus la change

Over two years ago, I wrote what became the most-viewed post on my old blog, Translinear: Silicon Valley Hates Children.  I wrote the post in about five minutes after the umpteenth time we got our ears blasted by a video on CNN.com because one of the kids had turned up the volume the last time he or she used it.  I took out my frustration on the tech industry:

These never-stop-working companies favor two types of people, the young or otherwise unencumbered who have no commitments as important as work or those who have commitments such as family but choose to push them aside in pursuit of a career.  In either case, you have a bunch of people designing products for a broad market with little to no understanding of the market’s needs.

Well, it happened again.  Recently, the missus and I decided to limit our kids’ screen time.  It took a few minutes on my son’s iMac, which has parental controls.  It acted a little wonky right after, but it was simple enough.

Then came my daughter’s Chromebook, a device designed as a secondary PC and a popular choice for kids.  You’d think their supervised user feature would have a time limit function.  Nope.

You can block sites.  Since my daughter lives on the Nickelodeon and Disney sites, however, I find that feature relatively useless.

In short, Google markets a device to families with kids without really meeting their needs.

So, my advice to Google’s product teams: go have some kids already.  Sheesh.

Apple Watch: The Marketer’s Opportunity

In a recent post, I talked about the consumer use case for the Apple Watch.  In short, my experience with an Android Zenwatch taught me that smartwatches work really well for people who find themselves on their feet a lot and/or like to keep an eye on a few pieces of information such as weather.

So what does this use case mean for marketers who want to keep on emerging consumer technology?

Right now, I can’t see any marketers benefitting more than Apple and Google.  In addition to watch sales, these companies will gain at least some access to usage data.  If I were Google (who, let’s face it, will almost certainly use the data better) I’d be curious to know what functions watch owners use the most and which data points they keep on their wrists.  These data add another dimension to their understanding of the consumer and how he or she uses technology.

As for every other marketer, I make a humble suggestion: build an app for the watch. Continue reading

A telemarketer called. You won’t believe what happened next.

Clickbait headline.  So sue me.

As a career marketer, I tend to have more patience than most for all forms of marketing, even the dreaded telemarketer.  Consider it a form of professional courtesy.  However, I have my limits.

After receiving the umpteenth robo-call from “cardholder services,” I finally waited through the recording and pressed 1 to talk to a live human.

“Thanks for your interest.  This is Mark.”

“Hi, if you call this number again, I will report this number to the New York State Attorney General.”

“Mark” paused, perhaps because he had called from beyond Mr. Schneiderman’s reach in Florida, as the number on caller ID suggested.  So I added “Do you understand?”

“No,” said Mark.

Well, “Mark,” I salute you.  YOU’RE ALL RIGHT.

What my Local 7-11 taught me about Holiday Marketing

Last night–Halloween–was a big night on my block.  The local block association closes of West 90th Street from Central Park West (the nice end) to Columbus Avenue (where we live).  The kids have a ball collecting bite-sized Milky Ways from one end to the other.  And the 7-11 on the corner of 89th & Columbus taught me a lesson just in time for the crazy holiday marketing period that has already begun.

Here’s what they did:

7-11_coupin

What does a free coffee in October have to do with mistletoe, menorahs and suchlike? Continue reading