YouTube’s new UI

YouTube has a new UI (material design) which, according to Google, simplifies coding and is pleasant. Glancing at it, you can see that “survivor bias” metrics like views and likes are given less emphasis, by using lighter shades of grey and dispersing both metrics to a left-right format rather than right-right format. This is done to give lower performing videos a chance, as viewers hunt for context and typically close out a video with less than 100K views or videos that have a large dislike-like ratio. When lower performing videos get more views, YouTube makes more revenue from increased watch time. They’ve tested it out in 3% of the population and are scaling it to make it standard. For many people, YouTube is a second home and a comfort zone. Changing things around without permission will disturb many’s experience but after a few months it will become the new standard. In the subscription feed, thumbnails are the only elements that stand out, while channel name and view count is dulled out, resembling a Netflix like experience – also testing out a similar colour palette

The comments section gives more emphasis to the name and user icon of the commentor by placing text towards the right and bottom aligned and hopefully bringing out a more meaningful dialogue in the section – structuring it better

The Subscribe box CTA is bright red – being the only element that stands out clearly indicating their need to bring viewers consistently to the website/app through the sub-box. The “bell” icon is unchanged leaving confirmation that the Sub-box and the Bell notifications option is the future of the website experience

Live everywhere, moving from social to perennial

Brand everywhere are going live every day, to showcase events, production, behind the scenes, and more on their favorite platforms of choice. With Instagram and Facebook taking a huge leap of innovation towards the 24/7 model, and Whatsapp following suite in the coming quarters, Social+Live is quickly becoming the next avenue of marketing commuincations. Mahesh Chauhan also famously pitching to Nearbuy using Facebook Live as a showcase of creativity and depth.

What is the potential of being online and social real time? – The upside is tremendous. It creates a fan-focused moment, when you’re excited to open Facebook while taking a break, or on the weekends. It makes the relationship between the brand and the consumer more transparent and synchronous. It reveals who the brand is every day, and people can re-imagine what it’s like to have a one-to-one sales conversation at scale.

Brands in the US have pioneered their way into the minds of the customers with live, chief among them are FMCG and Media brands. Brands in India can come a long way if they use the techniques that the West is using all these years and build upon them. Celebrities have been leveraging the Live platform for almost a year now, and they’re loving it – reaching a larger chunk of their followers per live story compared to a regular post, and are connecting directly with their fans to promote their movies or merchandise.

Businesses in India can take over Live using the following quick tactics –

  1. Create an online event – Brands in the consumer space have an immense opportunity in renting a space out, crafting an experience over there, and inviting their audiences to participate in a live event during the session. Fans can interact with the product, or ask the representatives to share their vision for the next few months, etc. E.g. a Puma Store that’s completely online, and sales heads can talk about the upcoming shoes for an extended period. The experience can also be gamified with a contest like activity, where participants can interact with the brand by answering basic questions or interacting with brand collaterals.
  2. Press Release, Media interactions – B2B brands can now open up any press conference, media interaction event, or other public meetings to Facebook live for their audiences to ask questions and drive insights from the media activity directly as well.
  3. SME Webinars – For startups, consultants, and small business, these come in very handy. When you can interact with your colleagues, fans, and prospective leads from the comfort of Facebook, you convert a passive entertainment tool to a powerful lead generation mechanism.

Intelligence for the TrAIling Marketing Industry

We’ve always been slow to adopt new things. Because we like them shiny and easy. AI has been the go-to new platform on which many marketers will develop innovative campaigns, but by 2020. Not anytime soon, will we see significant critical mass.

Extreme personalisation – Now with AI, customers engage with their connected devices, consume personalised content, search hyper-localized queries, and have data at their fingertips about everything. This helps marketers develop niche campaigns that appeal to smaller demographics at scale, thereby making spends more efficient. Imagine all of your customers’ needs were taken care of (with self driving cars, integrated devices, etc), what will customers do? Nothing. Enjoy good content and free time available. And where will marketers be? Right where that good content is.

This will occur in 2040, more so towards 2050 as futurologists predict. Now imagine that the pricing model shared with each customer is uniquely niche as well. Each participant in the transaction ecosystem will have AI empower her with data and the sales partner with insight, giving the perfect price every time, at scale. Now with these personalised economies of scale, marketing will shine through with innovation in processing.

Research & Data – Data improves everything, when used correctly and not only for PR spin. With AI rapidly processing mass chunks of data, marketers will finallyconnect with their customers through targeted acquisition channels and will allow for faster recurring experimentation through various embedded systems. In other words, imagine if Netflix allowed you to showcase a car ad right after the viewer had a high point in her emotion while watching her favourite tv show. Now, imagine bidding for that spot as a marketer

Customer Care – AI bots talking to customers to make them feel like they’re talking to real people. Upside? – No emotional ups and downs. When you talk to a real person, you have to handle their emotions to get your job done. Downside? – Loss of human communication devices. Sales and customer service people are the face of the brand and now the brand is completely dependent on how the customers engage with it. Think it’s sci-fi? There’s already companies in India working with banks to enable it on Twitter. How many years until it becomes a reality over the phone and in-person? Turing test #passed

Emerging segments – Third world countries will get empowered through cheaper chipsets. Now these new customers are huge markets for innovation and growth. This will challenge existing eco-systems and branding & marketing will become paramount for large organisations to increase loyalty in the customer base. This has happened right after the economic crisis of ’08 and will happen more so when a cell phone and data plan is cheaper than a Starbucks coffee.

Honesty in business

Quite often you find people being dishonest, delayed, and denoting that they are busy or are occupied with other things. Employees, people, engagement, and emperors. All diamonds to dust, and figuring out where they belong. Underlying it all is a brand marketing problem. Its a problem of a clear communications, and clear company policy. What does the people working for other people stand for? What does it belong for?

That is the essence of corporate culture. And selling it to the employees is a brand marketing problem.

That is all.

The Product Game

Heres the thing – Apples, Snaps, and Googles, all in it to win it. Facebook’s catching up playing around with tech and Ai with VR around the corner. So many words.

Snapchat changed its name to reflect its focus on hardware and everything around – Moments and Experiences. Which could mean hardware cameras or software memes XD

1M+ views and likes/dislikes disabled and comments turned off. Casey Neistat should have been roped in, but he’s busy competing in the social space with Beme – another player who thinks – Experience and Authenticity are the corner-stone of all media shared by humans. Yes

Snap’s PR outreach is also weak. Its boring, and lame. If there was any company that could have done this it was Snapchat, but its a hefty price to pay for these goggles. Whats the problem –

“THERE IS NO EPHEMERAL NATURE TO THESE GLASSES”

The whole premise of Snapchat is its chill. Now if people start buying these bulky goggles and paying a ridiculous sum for it – its a bummer and doesn’t match its ethos.

Now if the snapchat glasses (spectacles) were low-tech bluetooth, 5 MP camera attachments and battery outlets with a cheaper, thinner material that you could pick up for $50-60 and toss away when youre bored – That would have been a category killer. Fuck Google, Snap is here to stay. THEN, Snapchat could have upsold to a $130 model. But yeah these will be offered across all malls, concerts, and shopping areas across the world in no time, and sales might not pick up.

Its funny, because the video is weak and Snapchat has actually acquired a media buying and media production company. But the problem is that at the $130 price point, Evan calls it a “TOY”. Which is even more detrimental. There is no synchronicity in messaging across media, and the comms look fake as fuck. Thats not what Snapchats all about. *poop emoji*

Now why did they do it? Because Investors were told early on that that’s what they would be getting. Hence the crazy valuation. Same with Uber, whos investing in driverless trucks. Justify the valuation.

They’ll have to rope in a lot of influencers to push this out, and connect with trend masters to see who’s hot and who’s not. But this won’t i think have a detrminental nature on theapp

 

References –

https://www.thestar.com/business/2016/09/28/snapchat-set-to-roll-out-sunglasses-that-record-video.html

http://www.theverge.com/2016/9/23/13039184/snapchat-spectacles-price-release-date-snap-inc

https://www.cnet.com/products/snapchat-spectacles/preview/

https://www.spectacles.com/

http://www.cnbc.com/2016/09/26/why-snapchats-new-glasses-could-be-more-than-just-a-toy.html

Snapchat unveils $129 sunglasses that can record video in 10-second snippets

 

 

What’s more important – The Product or The Marketing

Thats a reduntant question and an absurd one – Product managers think that they know it all and Marketing Gurus want the next best thing in promotion. Its all a cycle, where there are some elements (either product or marketing or both) that drive it forward. Companies that drive both forward (Airbnb, Monster, and RedBull) perform far better in markets where the competition is stiffening up and product differentiation becomes a meagre difference of lemons.

Think about this scenario in auto industry –

A BMW V/S Mercedes Benz.

Mercedes beat BMW in the luxury car space this half year (H2016) by 7% points for the first time in 5 years!

Both car manufacturers have a great product, both grew from last year (BMW – 5%, Merc – 12%) and both have a great sales team at the end of the line to deliver the product.

Last year’s sales –

moss_012116053904

Now, barring illegal or unethical activities leading to chokeholding the competition (because its India), we can see that consistent growth in this sector has been great! Because our economy’s growing quick and we’re reaching higher levels of income brackets slowly and steadily.

While Auto industry spends 8% of all Indian media spends, its burning close to 5000 CRs in media spends.

What makes it better than any other industry to study? – One reason – Bad advertising.

The ads aren’t emotionally connecting with the upper echelon and yet because of the global brand value of Merc and BMW they sell to impress. (Esp in Ludhiana)

So what I’m saying is that even if the industry is doing well (aka the product) it can’t escape its brand perception (aka marketing). You buy because you perceive it to be worth your time. If not, you move on.

The Product. The Marketing. The Sale – are all connected.

Dr. Ettlie is to thank for this matrix – ORM – Operations, Research & Marketing are the only three legs on which a company is built for its life time. You can thank him here – He’s a nice guy

The Marketing Strategist Weekly (MSW #1)

1. Facebook’s testing out a new appearance format for a few pages 

2. Instagram copying Snapchat introducing Memories that disappear after 24 hours. Could be FB’s attempt at competing with Snapchat due to advertiser pressure and increasing retention time.

Facebook’s Timeline Facelift

Alright jumping into the first update with is hello! It looks different. Shared’s official page looks more like a content aggregator than a “community driven page” Looks good, although it drives the attention away from the timeline a little bit focusing on the other aspects of the page. What do you think?

Maybe this way people will visit the other tabs that the page has, and FB might receive the advantages of “Fitt’s Law”

This is the perfect way to drive leads, and sales from content, or at the very least, drive advertising from FB’s content.

Instagram imitating Snapchat

Its no secret that because of investor and advertiser pressure, FB’s being made to try different things to keep competing with “the others”, they who shall not be named. “Snape”chat

But check it out, it looks exactly the same! The CEO of Instagram said – Yeah were copying them all credits to them. I think its all about retention. Because ppl on insta might be getting bored of the same ol posts and “perfection” driven mentality of the filters,  that they forget to login and check it out often. Snapchat’s got that ephemeral drive to it that makes you want to check it 10-15 times a day or maybe more – the number’s arent all that reliable unless its real time.

So how does this affect your strategy? – It doesn’t. It makes it deeper thats all. It makes you want to post more often and pay more attention to user engagement metrics. Influencer posts will become more real-time and activity driven and if you’re in the B2B business then you can pretty much VLOG your whole day and share it for the world to see and recall your videos when they need a particular service offering.

What do you guys think about the new changes? Let me know in the comments, lets talk about it

Pokemon’s doing a movie

I just had to write about it. Its glaringly simple, a unique twist to the age old pokemons, and a new form of pokemon is in the scene. Mechanical pokemons – aka PokeGold for Niantic+Nintendo. The trailor (unlike other reboots) has stuck to its original graphic style, original pacing, and added new elements. No need to reinvent the wheel and disengage hardcore fans, just do what’s worked best. Now the movie franchise makes me think about “The Rock” who also has his own Pokemon and YT channel and is the highest earning actor in the world. Imagine that – a non-actor becoming an actor. A non-movie becoming a movie (Pokemon). A non-election becoming more hyped than the election – GOT elections.

Why? – Audience. Pokemon’s got millions of fans who play the game, meet at conventions and are mesmerised completely with the story. Young kids are still playing the game, unlike others that were popular in the 90s.

The Rock – 60+M fans on social media, and people love him because he gave them a story line when they were bullied, and a fantasy to escape from the boredom of school

Two lessons – AUDIENCE & STORY.

 

Start your journey now – gotta catch emaill!!

 

Pokemon Go – They had a solid outdoor base to launch

Hi there, here we are. Pokemon Go has been insane, longest time spent, quickest to jump to number 1, quickest to enhance market cap, and insanity craze on its competitor’s platforms – FB YT IN SP

So WTF is going on? You know. Why are people crazy about it?

What you don’t know is that there have been many apps that did exactly what Pokemon did. Same went for Angry Birds. And Candy Crush.

What’s different – Story. Story (derived, borrowed, lent, or created) has been inherent in its success. What we didn’t know is that Pokemon regularly held events, conferences, seminars, and get togethers across the US and Australia. It had a sense of awesomeness about it (much like a comic-con) and people loved it. Crowds gathered to watch it. Check out their FB page here.

So they already had a pretty solid base

The Promise – They promised fighting simulation in the game (which might come in 2017) so people are hyped for it. They did it via two videos hitting 30M each, as well as a Google Prank video. Similar to how Deadpool got funded. The Promise of epicness for bored consumers.

The hype – All of the media was (paid?) invited to talk about it. They were most likely handed press kits to talk about it in the news. Similar to how Snapchat got famous (controversy and cool-off model) Pokemon go had its share of robbings, accidents and eye witness accounts of disasters. A few stories amplified, made it look as though it was a national endemic.

Exclusivity – You cant have it if you arent in the US or Australia. Now you want it more because everyone’s talking about it. When it launches in Japan, thats when the shit will hit the ceiling.

Cosplay  – Cosplay made it cool to pretend to be someone and walk around. That’s what Pokemon Go is all about. Playing a story based game without the heavy expensive clothes, while still being Ash Ketchum

Hacks/Outages – Hackers noticed this. They shut down the servers. This increased the hype to now become a cultural phenomenon

Love – People love Pokemon. And now, with the world in turmoil, they want to connect with their inner child to once again become safe in their own world augmented over so much hatred

Influencers – Influencers will try anything. Brands will collab with them to promote anything. The collaboration helped a lot to get people excited about the one game that forces you to go outside and play socially instead of the lonely confines of call of duty. PewDiePie made 3 videos totalling 10M+ views, along with atleast 100 more influencers

FOMO – Nope cant miss out on it. Gotta catch em all

Charm – The UI of the app is pretty good looking along with its interaction mechanics when you play it. Its got an addictive indication to it (probably developed after solid testing) that makes the user want to play it again n again and gain seemingly free things that are virtual (characters, pokemons, etc)

Pokedex – Yes in the series, Ash carries a Pokedex which is a tablet. Now people carry large phones which psychically reinforce the message that they’re carrying a Pokedex cum PokeBall.

ashandpokedex

Community – See, Pokemon nerds didnt get a chance to meet each other traditionally. Now they did. The more they connected the more their stories spread. People would ask “what did you do today” and theyd say -” I met someone new playing Pokemon Go in the park” and the conversations flow onwards. WOM spiked with accomplishment, added to hierarchy of being the best Pokemon trainer.

Business – Retail outlets, restaurants, etc make special deals, and offers to Pokemon Go users, adding more incentive to play the game.

Now the question is – have there been games like PoGo before? Yes But they all lacked story and connection.

Branding, PR, Comms – Heavily controlled brand communications over decades. Nothing is out of place and everything is well strategized to the T. Whether its a new console launch or a new storyline for Pikachu, its always thought through and strategically placed in key outlets.

The Youth – Playing it all day as a distraction from the everyday, snapchatting, instagramming and making it a fun-social-casual experience for everyone to be a part of. Pokemon is truly raceless, colourless, agendaless, cool for both nerds and jocks, and fun for everyone secretly wanting to be a part of a latest trend, or even a meaningful story which touched them as a child

Its sparked a new industry – X for Pokemon.