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Economics

Programmatic Helps Brands Make the Most of Micro-Moments – Think with Google

It’s hard to plan for nonlinear purchase paths, but programmatic advertising can help, enabling brands to reach the right person with the right message in the moment of opportunity. Brands can use programmatic to assemble a consumer’s micro-moments in just the right way—like joining puzzle pieces together—to see a detailed blueprint of consumer intent

Source: Programmatic Helps Brands Make the Most of Micro-Moments – Think with Google

83% of all display buys will be programmatic by 2017. That’s what Google has to say about programmatic on their google+ page. What that tells me is that if you’re not able to harness the power of the tools to deliver relevancy then you might as well not even bother.

The proliferation of devices means that people are connecting their experience across tabs, workstations and devices while on the way to the store to buy the product in person. This makes the marketers job so much more difficult when trying to understand the patterns of their buyers. Fortunately Google has mostly solved the problem for you.

Some say programmatic is the death of creative. I liken it to the death of folk music. The music never died, just it’s audience. It just means creatives have to be.. well …more creative. For those who are inclined to set and forget their campaigns, they will find that Google does a very decent job of managing the interactions for them. However those that are accustomed to squeaking into the first page with lower scores will always be obliterated by those who can generate killer ad copy.

Good luck on your programmatic journey. Please let me know what tips and tricks you’ve discovered that make or break your campaigns.

Categories: Business, Computers, Economics, Google, Technology, Web

Blow my mind

Google AdWords Essential Training | Lynda.com

Download the Lynda.com app to enjoy on-the-go learning.

Source: Google AdWords Essential Training | Lynda.com

This is a quick follow-up to the article I posted recently about the Top 100 Most Expensive Search keywords of 2015. In this article I commented on the total lack of willingness most Adwords marketers have for optimization which can result in a lot of waste and very poor ROI. Yes we want the clicks, but we want the right clicks.

I was really impressed by the candor Brad Basteole used in discussing how to do the job well. I think it’s very important to note that although all the topics of the Adwords certification were covered, it’s incredibly valuable to learn this from an outside perspective other than Google.

So if you’re trying to pass an exam, or just want to be better at your Adwords marketing job, I highly recommend you check these videos out.

Categories: Business, Computers, Economics, Google, Marketing, Personal Development, Technology

Blow my mind

Google’s Top 100 Most Expensive Keywords in 2015 [Infographic]

Google’s PPC system incorporates a countless number of keywords. We found out which ones cost the most.

Source: Google’s Top 100 Most Expensive Keywords in 2015 [Infographic]

 

Out of necessity I’ve recently had to learn more about how the google search ranking and pay per click auction works. What I’ve learned, and it’s fairly alarming, that due to knowledge gaps and in some cases greed, most search marketers waste a lot of money. Being clever about keyword refinement and targeting, as well as optimizing for quality score can drastically drop cost per click by 200-300% on average. The savings reinvested into more clicks has an incredible compounding effect. When I learned that most marketers are happy to just generate traffic, aka spend click budgets, I really couldn’t believe it. So I looked a little deeper into it and what I found is that there is absolutely no incentive for marketing agencies to put any effort into optimizing. The industry benchmarks for click through and quality score is so abysmal that any minimal effort returns fairly decent results so everything is perceived as successful. PPC generates leads so marketing budgets are happily renewed. Everyone spends so much time patting themselves on the back that no one ever bothers to take a closer look. $2 clicks could easily be $.50 with just a few tiny tweaks. Theoretically that’s 400% improvement in revenue generating leads completely wasted. In truth the whole industry is set to be turned on it’s head. Now that google has dropped the right margin ads, the top 4 spot will become incredibly in-demand. If you aren’t taking great care to refine campaigns with extreme target prejudice then you better be prepared to drop a bank on buying pointless clicks.

Categories: Business, Computers, Economics, Technology

List of Google Now voice commands

Google Now can do tons of great stuff using nothing but voice commands. The list is more longer than you might think!

Source: List of Google Now voice commands

 

Google Now isn’t new but the feature is getting more rich all the time. That’s because it’s learning.

The learning computer has been the dream and destination since Charles Babbage and Ada Lovelace worked together on their invention the Analytical Engine computational device which is the first ancestor to the modern computer. Even in the early infancy the two debated voraciously if the device they invented which only performed the computations they programmed, could one day learn on it’s own and be interacted as though it were not a machine.

Alan Turing knew of this philosophical debate and created a test known as the Turing test which consisted of three questions for being able to tell the difference between a response of a human being from that of a computer. Turing is an incredible man worth study and recently the topic of the movie “The Imitation Game” which chronicled his work on the Enigma machine which he designed to crack the cipher being used by the German’s in World War II. He was able to foresee the power of computers and knew how easily they could be programmed to deceive as much as find truths.

This fantasy which seems like it’s part of a science-fiction novel is incredibly real. Jarvis from Iron Man is here and it’s call Google Now. Apple came out with Siri a few years back and people had a lot of fun at parties showing off the tricks they’d learned to make Siri perform.

Google Now is backed by the Google search algorithms which makes it a little different. Unlike Apple who’s core business is hardware, Google’s core business is about knowing you. They are inventing artificial intelligence that does a better job of demonstrating empathy than an actual human being is capable of doing. Coupled with Moore’s law, the Google AI is expected to be smarter than the smartest man in just a few years. Meaning we indeed will no longer be able to tell the difference between a computer that needed us to program them, and one that does not.

So Google Now may seem like a novelty, and for now it’s function is limited to that which the programmers allow. Rest assured, while we’re “playing” and “trying” Google is learning and their destination is clear. They are making the technology we really need; the technology that doesn’t need us.

Can a computer really think on it’s own? Or are some problems only built for the human brain, no matter how much computational brute force you can throw at it?

Categories: Business, Computers, Crowdsource, Economics, Linguistics, Math, Privacy, Technology

Blow my mind

Manifesto for Agile Software Development

We are uncovering better ways of developing software by doing it and helping others do it. These are our values and principles.

Source: Manifesto for Agile Software Development

As a 15 year IT professional I’ve had the great pleasure of encountering many technologies and aspects of the industry. My work is a great joy to me.

It wasn’t always that way and I think many people feel the same way. When we first entered the working world we were just relieved to have employment. We never dreamed a whole entire organization of mature employees could ever grow to depend on someone so inconsequential as ourselves. In other words, we had no idea how to make an impact.

Fast forward a few years and some trends in the IT industry have really shifted the paradigms. IT is a core competency of the business. Even if you think your business has nothing to do with technology, chances are computers still run everything behind the scenes. Use a mobile smart phone? thoughts so 🙂

This means that we technical people go to work everyday knowing we’re absolutely relied upon to help make the business operation run smoothly.
Does that mean we’re actually achieving anything to help move the business forward?

The answer is, all the firefighting and back slapping we do most often does nothing to advance the strategic mission.

What’s the mission?

If the mission is to make money and turn a profit, then I’m sorry to say but most of my peers have failed in in this test. They’ve come to equate being busy with being important. Their bosses however, continue to recognize and reward them for the late nights and quip “Couldn’t have done it without ya!”

Well chances are the late nights are caused by the IT pros to begin with because they work in silos and concoct monstrous apps and environments that don’t play nicely and outsiders don’t stand a chance of understanding to troubleshoot. Is this what success looks like?

More recently the concept of DevOps which links the notion of throughput (think automotive manufacturing) has made IT professionals reconsider their importance and value to the firm.

We hear it all the time now. Unplanned is the enemy of planned. IT pros shouldn’t be going to work to fix what’s broken. They should have built in security, self-healing and fault tolerance so their time is spent advancing the business mandates instead of attending to unplanned emergencies.

Technologies and frameworks like Cloud and Agile are paving the way for a true DevOps revolution and it may leave many the legacy IT pros wondering where their industry has gone. Chances are all their friends went into other strategic and operations roles that didn’t have the word Microsoft, Cisco, admin or engineer in the title. The people who know how to truly use tech do so as a tool to help them run their companies, not just run the rest of the tech.

The Agile manifesto is one the biggest pieces of this puzzle. It addresses a fundamental psychology flaw in IT pros, the problem always resides with the user. “So and so broke such and such”. Agile shifts the focus directly on the needs of the user (user story) to create the perfect products for them. It relies on self-organizing cross functional teams to be creative and provide the next solutions with greatest business value.

If you have the discipline to apply the principal (ie: don’t fill idle time with clandestine project) then you can’t help but put down your tools and get connected with the business before you pick the tools up again.

The main take away is I see IT pros doing as much harm as they do good. If they would apply the Agile Manifesto to their career they would never had the problem of feeling disconnected from the business ever again.

As my dad ALWAYS says, “If you’ve dug yourself into a hole, put down the shovel.”

Categories: Business, Computers, Economics, Management, Philosophy, Technology

Blow my mind

Here’s a Tesla in Autopilot mode zipping in and out of NYC traffic – KnowTechie

Remember as kids when we used to dream of cars that drove themselves? Well, we all know it’s already happening with Google’s self driving car. But Tesla is going to blow your mind because they recently

Source: Here’s a Tesla in Autopilot mode zipping in and out of NYC traffic – KnowTechie

This is very exciting to me. I’ve been paying attention to Elon Musk for many years as someone who personifies the exponential thinking manifesto. The Tesla is a beautifully designed piece of engineering and I want, I want.

After seeing this video I now want a Tesla even more.

The most recent over-the-air update has added driver-less capabilities to the already extremely cutting edge vehicle. This puts the Tesla years ahead of any of the other makers in terms of innovation.

I think I may be waiting a while for the over-the-air driver-less update for my truck.

Solving the world’s transportation and supply chain challenges with alternative energy solutions may sound like geek talk. The sheer delight in this driver’s expression demonstrates you don’t have to be a scientist or engineer to understand the future is going to be a fun place.

The future is happening right… …now!

Categories: Automotive, Business, Computers, Crowdsource, Economics, Philosophy, Technology

Blow my mind

Harvard Business Review – Ideas and Advice for Leaders

Find new ideas and classic advice on strategy, innovation and leadership, for global leaders from the world’s best business and management experts.

Source: Harvard Business Review – Ideas and Advice for Leaders

One of the most valuable references for anyone trying to be more effective in business or any career.

These are publications by thought leaders so you are getting it straight from the horses mouth.

This is the stuff that all the other personal development and self help authors have read and regurgitated for a buck.

I say get it here unfiltered and direct.

The trough never empties they are updating and adding constantly. Enjoy!

 

Categories: Business, Economics, Management, Personal Development

Blow my mind

Tim Berners-Lee: The next web | TED Talk | TED.com

This guy is WAY more important that Steve Jobs but most people have no idea about the incredibly important contributions this guy has made.

What you need to know: It has always been the dream of the world’s smartest people to be able to collaborate with their contemporaries and peers. This is the first time in history that technology has enabled the sharing of concepts to this level.

The importance of the web is that we will one day solve all the worlds problems by working together. In some cases this may be in spite of despotic regimes who do not want to yield power to democratic process and try to quash any ability to improve.

Fortunately their day is done and there’s no putting the horse back in the barn.

Knowledge is power!

Categories: Business, Computers, Economics, Linguistics, Philosophy, Privacy

Blow my mind

The World Is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-first Century: Thomas L. Friedman


Source: The World Is Flat 3.0: A Brief History of the Twenty-first Century

This is an important book for understanding what the future holds for the global economy. Spoiler alert: you might not be part of it unless you can invent yourself as a valuable part of the big picture.

The most important take away is the concept of glocalization. There’s many professions that won’t exist in the coming automated and outsourced future. However, in place of the opportunities that once existed will blossom new and exciting industries like Internet of Things ($30 Trillion) that will require new skills and creativity.

There will be winners and losers and I personally don’t see a lot of people making the trip.

I am thinking the coffee shop or pub owner may have the best gig. (#worldsnumberonedrug)

 

Categories: Business, Computers, Economics, Linguistics, Management, Personal Development, Philosophy

Blow my mind