May 28, 2015

A Potpourri of Information

Click on this article from mid-January ... a data-driven argument about why a 19-20 Cleveland basketball squad would not win an NBA title (they still may not) and why they may not make the playoffs (they did make the playoffs and won three series, easily). One of the shortcomings of the data-driven movement is the inability of so many (me included) to forecast properly. Just because somebody can (artfully) analyze the past does not mean they can tell you what will happen as a consequence.

I am not the only person who gets fed up with vendor nonsense (click here).

"Loss of the Middle" ... go read point number six. Point number is in the process of hurting catalogers. In the old days, there would be 50 great catalog twelve month, 500 middle catalog twelve-month, and 1,000 low-value catalog twelve-month buyers. Today, those numbers are more like 50 / 150 / 1,000. Not surprisingly, much of the profit goes out the window when that happens, requiring catalogers to discount more, sending even more profit out the window (because the discounting never recaptures the middle). Run the data on your twelve-month buyer file, comparing 2000 to 2015. You're not going to like what you see.

Vox Media acquires ReCode (click here) ... you're seeing this trend everywhere you look ... without the power of a large brand, it is very hard to make it on your own. Smaller businesses are being rolled-up by larger ones, as it has always been. In our own little catalog world, you've witnessed the rolling-up of the consultant industry over the past eighteen months. Either you have a brand-name and resources and cross-selling opportunity, or you do something so unusual, different, and interesting, that you attract a profitable niche.

A report from RJMetrics (you may recognize a contributor) suggests that it is very, very difficult in e-commerce to move a customer from a first to a second purchase. As new customer audiences begin to dry up in e-commerce, you're going to see more folks come to this realization ... and that's going to fundamentally transform e-commerce. Countless dollars will be wasted trying unsuccessfully to get e-commerce buyers to become "more loyal". You'll see digital brands embrace offline marketing (ask Airbnb, Google, Wayfair, countless others), out of necessity. Catalogers will mis-read this as a sign that catalogs are back (they will be used more often, they won't come back, though I always volunteer that I could be wrong).

Speaking of ecosystems ... we're going to see more and more people using more an more methods to explain how somebody/something fits into an ecosystem ... like in this case, Android (click here).

A 60% reduction in PPC expense (click here).

Chip Kelly - "that's not the way things are done here". Do not get discouraged when vendors or pundits or experts tell you that you are wrong. Chart your own path.