Each week we feature our “Friday Top Five” stories, which highlight five things we thought were interesting, notable, or culturally significant. This week we are showcasing stories from Twilio and how a void in the market place caused them to develop their own digital conference solution, Zapier names the top 25 integrations and why you should start to integrate your core apps. Athletes are taking more control of their revenue streams and how this could have implications on corporate culture. Global Online Content Consumption Doubled In 2020 and while that isn’t a surprise, why this mater. With Amazon launching a competitor to Stitch Fix with their new ‘personal shopper’ service for men’s fashion.
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Story-1:: Twilio built its own conference platform & Why that is a big DEAL!
Overview: In search of a conference platform, the Twilio Team just built their own. The team from Twilio has mentioned that during their RFP process, they were meeting with vendors who didn’t know how to go fully virtual. Their tools were only to act as a brand extension in a hybrid model. Based on their API and in-house tech team they knew they could solve this issue at a base-level and while not perfect they could make their own vision come true.
“Once the decision was made to go virtual, the biggest issue for them (and for anyone putting on a virtual conference) was how to recreate that human connection that is a natural part of the in-person conference experience.”– In-Young Chang, director of experience at Twilio
Why It Matters: I have been writing and talking a lot lately about the effects of distributed work on organization. But as fall comes around and people would typically go to conference or do some sort of internal/external collaboration they need the tools to meet and connect. Based on what I am seeing from Twilio they have leverage their existing tech and pulled together a handful of solutions to provide a digital conference experience. My guess is the press release was meant to both wave the flag that they are constantly innovating and also gauge the market to see if this product should move from MVP to fully available. I expect Google and Microsoft will likely come out with some sort of online conference platforms in the future based on their TEAMS / Google Meet platform. The one area I have not seen much mention on or fact and figures is what is going to happen to the conference industry and the ancillary business such as hotels, restaurants, bars, transportation that relied on conferences. If anyone has some strong indicator data on market forecasts, please send that to me via Twitter @ReedDailey.
Link: Article Linked Here
Story-2:: Zapier’s Apps at Work Report: The Fastest Growing Apps of 2020
Overview: Zapier customers are overwhelmingly small businesses who use our automation platform to connect all the apps they use. This gives us unique insights into what tools small businesses are relying on, and the data is clear: businesses are adjusting to an unprecedented situation by finding new apps and automating them. Here are the 25+ apps with the fastest growth on Zapier over the past year, followed by some analysis.
Why It Matters: Zapier is one of my favorite web based tools. Its ability to integrate systems together is a few clicks is down right incredible considering less than ten years ago these sort of integrations would cost thousands/millions and weeks/months. So if you are new to integrations, have a look at Zapier as a strong solution for both consumer and lite business class. From my stand-point, I use it to connect my CRM to my Mail Client. What is interesting to see from the Zapier team is what are the applictions that individuals are most oftern connecting. If you use those applications, you might want to try out connectors and see how the magic works and how it could accelerate your workflow.
Link: Article Linked Here
Story-3:: Athletes Take Control Of Their Memorabilia Game
Overview: The article talks about how Athletes should take control of their brand and everything that happens to them and understand all the different revenue generators of being a pro athlete.”
Why It Matters: Long have we talk joked about how the world of Athletics could have spill over effects to the corporate world. While I am not expecting a start agent to negotiate my contract. I do think that in the corporate world we are very much like athletes and we need to represent for the logo on the front of our Jersey, but we also have to represent for the logo on the back of our jersey. By this I mean, as individuals we need to take control of our own brands and ensure that the message and image being distributed to the market place is the message we want out at market. Now if anyone wants my signature on a three piece suit, just let me know, I am giving those away for $5 or a Starbucks gift card.
Link: Article Linked Here
Story-4:: Global Online Content Consumption Doubled In 2020
Overview: Global online content consumption is soaring in 2020, a new study of over 10,000 people in five countries says. The previous normal was just over three hours, but now my wife is — at least in this respect — completely and totally average. Average daily time spent consuming content is now six hours and 59 minutes, which includes phone, TV, and other forms of digital media. Key take-aways from the trend report are as follows:
- Content consumption is soaring, with an accelerated appetite for social media and CTV
- People are more open to relevant ads, but brand suitability is essential
- Navigating evolving news cycles requires increasing nuance
- Looking toward a future built on privacy-friendly, contextual targeting powered by AI
Why It Matters: I started to write up my POV on this article and it was going to be much more about how I like others are having way too much screen time. But the real focus of this article is around how platforms and brands can capitalize on the elongated screen times by leveraging better tech/data to drive more effective and efficient ads to their target audience at the right times of the day. For me, I am most interested in #4 and how brands are going to use AI to serve up contextual ads. For me I love being advertised to from brands I love or brands I should get to know that are in “my lane.” If AI can do this more effectively, then I am all in!
Link: Article Linked Here
Story-5:: Amazon launches a $4.99-per-month ‘personal shopper’ service for men’s fashion
Overview: Amazon is expanding its personal shopping service to cover men’s fashion. For $4.99 a month, Amazon Prime members can be sent monthly packs of personalized clothes that match their style and budget based on an introductory survey. They can choose eight items to be shipped to their home for free, with a seven-day try-on period and free returns
Why It Matters: I have long be interested in how services similar to what Amazon is launching. When I moved to Chicago ~4 years ago, I worked with the team at Trunk Club and could not have been more pleased with the class of service, the clothes, and the experience. The only down side was I was always pay FULL RACK RATE. Trunk Club then Trunk Club by Nordstroms never took advantage of their clout in the market place and leverage that to get discounted products and or exclusives for customers at a lower rate. I sort of always thought they would figure it out to say, we have these new pieces before the season starts, if you buy now we will give 20% off the top, if you by this dollar threshold we will give you 30% of the top. Then at the end of the season, use the data to see what I liked but didn’t buy and say you can have that item at the end of season discount if you want it. Point being, they didn’t use data to help customers save money resulting in buying more. Nor did they offer less than sticker price in most occasions. Now, let’s talk about Amazon. This services is $5 (a cup of expensive coffee). To get the same services with Amazon shipping to your house. It will be interesting to see how successful this service is during COVID Times, but one would bet that post COVID, this will become all the rage and brands will be flocking to Amazon. One might eve wonder, would Amazon start to have “ShowRooms” in major cities to see or try on items and use their camera system to see what you like vs. loved??? Only time will tell.
Link: Article Linked Here | Amazon Program Linked Here
Story-5+:: Make business personal.
Overview: Handwrytten builds deep and lasting bonds with your customers through the power of handwritten notes.
Why It Matters: We are in the first week of October and if you are me, this means a few things, Halloween, my wife’s birthday, and well it is time to start thinking about the end of the year and getting ready for that thing we all call the holiday season. I have long screwed this up professionally and not taken advantage of technology to connect with friends and customers alike. This year, I am not going to screw this up, I am going to get ahead of the game and use the Handywrytten service to send letters to family, friends, and customers a like. If you haven’t tried their services, I would hit the link on our site and check it out, I promise you will be blow away by how high quality the letters come out of their printing press. The added bonus, you can use spell check (Grammarly.com) in combination with their service to make sure everything read silky smooth.
Link: Service Linked Here
Story-5++:: LinkedIn – Later Blog
Overview: Thanks to Jill Warren we have great guides on how to maximize the use of social tools.
Why It Matters: It is hard to keep up with all the new features each platform rolls out. At the same time, many of these platforms just “leverage” (Copy) each other, so in that regard maybe less complex. But still, individuals like Jill and the Later.com platform have highlighted new features across all the platforms and if you are looking to step up your social game. Then look no further than this article.
Story-5+++:: Things to consider when hiring your first work-from-anywhere employee
Overview: The team from CohnReznick has just released an article about things to consider when hiring your first work from anywhere employee. Have a read on the article and list it to the webinar to learn from the team.
Why It Matters: As the tag line to this show state, I feature stories that are interesting and culturally significant. So I thought it only fitting that I share an article from the team I work with on our thoughts on the distributed working environment. I hope you enjoy the article and check out the Webinar.