October 26th, 2017 by Sam Del Rowe

Although 86 percent of marketers believe that artificial intelligence can provide value to their business, 78 percent believe that human involvement is necessary to oversee the machine and maximize its impact on strategic initiatives, according to a study conducted by Forrester on behalf of artificial intelligence marketing technology provider Amplero.

The report asserts that marketers are burdened with an excess of data. Simultaneously, they are relied upon by their organizations more than ever to deliver on various strategic initiatives. For these reasons, marketers are embracing artificial intelligence as a solution.

“In terms of this Forrester study, we believe that marketing has reached an inflection point where companies are increasingly looking to artificial intelligence marketing technology to orchestrate omnichannel customer experiences based on their entire customer data ecosystem,” Olly Downs, CEO at Amplero, said in a statement. “With the implementation of AI at the core of the marketing technology stack, enterprise marketers are finally able to move beyond rules-based systems and manual segmentation processes to deliver highly contextual, one-to-one customer experiences at scale that impact crucial business KPIs.”

October 19th, 2017 by Sam Del Rowe

Marketers’ age-related stereotypes are generating an overestimation of millennial value and an underestimation of the value of consumers age 55 and older, according to a study from recently launched brand consultancy Age of Majority.

Undervaluing the 55-plus market could cause marketers to lose combined trillions of dollars in revenue, the study asserts. More specifically, it found that 86 percent of marketers overestimate how much consumers under the age of 35 spend while 72 percent underestimate how much consumers age 55 and older spend.

“We launched Age of Majority with a mission to help brands evaluate what they are doing for mature consumers against the misperceptions and stereotypes that are holding them back from reaching this fast-growing segment,” Jeff Weiss, president and CEO at Age of Majority, said in a statement. “Given the potential size of the prize for brands that better understand and serve the mature consumer, it is an investment with a huge upside.”

October 16th, 2017 by Oren Smilansky

CARTO, a provider of location intelligence software, and Hanover Research, recently found that while companies are investing in customer location data, they are struggling to apply it for the benefit of their businesses.

According to the survey, titled “State of Location Intelligence,” 94 percent of the 200 respondents–executives from medium to large enterprises–plan to invest in location intelligence in the next three years. However, while these leaders realize that location data will only become more important with time, less than a fifth (17 percent) of them are performing adequate analysis on it. In fact, many businesses report that they are being held back from gaining a deeper understanding of their data. And more than half of those companies surveyed (54 percent) are relying on Microsoft Excel to extract insights.

CARTO holds that companies ought to focus on implementing location intelligence best practices, and start analyzing their geographic data on a granular level.

“We’re encouraged by the work we do every day with forward-looking organizations using location intelligence to truly make a change, not only in their business, but in society,” Javier de la Torre, CEO and co-founder of CARTO, said in a statement. “It’s evident that more organizations are seeing the value of location data and the benefits possible from incorporating location intelligence insights into business decisions. With the right resources and mindset, we see the potential for smarter business models, more personal experiences, better access to resources and general improvements to our work and personal lives.”

October 12th, 2017 by Sam Del Rowe

Support for a politician, party, or movement that they do not is the top reason why consumers boycott a brand, with 51 percent of Americans saying that it has driven them to do so. Additionally, a product or products having a negative impact on consumer health, as well as racism in a company’s culture or practices, are tied for the second most cited reasons at 44 percent each.

These results come out of an analysis conducted by OnBuy.com on findings from YouGov, which interviewed more than 2,000 U.S. adults with the goal of developing a better understanding of the reasons for brand boycotting.

“The findings from this research are certainly interesting. Whilst trust takes time to nurture and establish, companies must have a clear vision of how they want to portray their brand. To achieve this, transparency should be at the heart of all their operations. When companies fail to do this, and engage in activities that do not align with their core consumers’ beliefs and ethics, they endanger their reputation and face the real risk of consumer boycotts,” Cas Paton, managing director at OnBuy.com, said in a statement.

October 9th, 2017 by Oren Smilansky

I was hanging out at a neighborhood coffee shop this weekend, lazily reading an article on my phone, when the calm in my general vicinity was interrupted by a voice. I looked up to see what was going on, and saw that the owner of the store was quietly berating a man seated at one of the tables near me. His tone was stern, and I couldn’t resist the urge to eavesdrop. I didn’t catch every word, but heard enough to tell that he was lecturing this customer about the proper etiquette in coffee shops. “Sir,” the owner said, in as low a voice he could manage, “you cannot just sit here all day without buying anything. This is a business–my business. I pay the rent, the electricity, the internet. All of it comes from out of my pocket. This is not a library or an office. You must buy something or leave. Do you understand?”

It’s unclear why the owner had singled out this particular customer (or, rather, non-customer), but judging by the look on the guy’s face–and everyone seated near him–he seemed as surprised as I was. Not to mention embarrassed. His delivery seemed if not rehearsed, then at least practiced.

Though located just a few minutes away from my apartment, it isn’t a coffee shop that I go to often, but I vaguely remember witnessing a similar episode about a two years earlier (probably the last time I’d been there). Then, as now, the owner had confronted a customer about what was and wasn’t acceptable within the bounds of his store. He had pointed to a printout sign he had tacked to one of the walls, which outlined in hostile, bold, red and black fonts, that, among other things, it was against the rules to hold meetings, or use computers. “If you own a business or startup, rent an office!” the sign said.

The guy who’d been picked on this time defended himself, claiming he intended to buy something but hadn’t gotten to it yet. He was with a friend, and they both had thick textbooks open on the table in front of them. They seemed young, probably in college, and likely on a budget. The friend he was sitting with had a mug, indicating she had already made her requisite purchase, though who knows how long ago that might have been. “It’s just that I’ve never heard of a coffee shop that doesn’t allow people to come in and work,” the guy said, remaining calm.

And neither had I, when I thought about it. Most people I know go to coffee shops when they want to be productive. That is their primary appeal. Judging by the design of this place, it didn’t seem to be the exception. As is, the place, which bills itself as an “espresso bar” feels inviting. There’s a great ambiance and a laid back feel when you walk through the doors that seems to send the unconscious message that guests–whether paying or not–are always welcome. In my experience, restaurants that don’t want people to just sit and hang out typically have hosts who will show someone to their table, or waiters that will come by every so often and make a gesture suggest that it’s time they get moving.

I felt somewhat tempted to ask the owner if he understood the business he had gone into. Did he realize that the main attraction of a coffee shop is that they are relaxing places where people go with the simple goal of studying or getting work done?

I wondered if the strategy he currently had in place been effective. The shop seems to be highly successful, even though the owner’s conduct runs contrary to common sense. He was still in business, and his Yelp! page had earned an average of 4.5 stars out of 160 reviews. I was reminded of Seinfeld’s famous “Soup Nazi” episode. If I had to name nickname him, I’d call him the coffee shop cop.

To a certain extent, I can sympathize with the coffee shop cop, though I don’t approve of the way he treats his customers. I’ve always thought it was an odd phenomenon, the fact that people hang out in coffee shops for hours on end, when they wouldn’t dare to do it in establishments. And, after all, this is in upper Manhattan, where everyone and everything seems just a bit rougher around the edges. I could only imagine having to run a place that is obligated to welcome in every stranger from the street.

I left the shop shortly after that incident, and likely won’t be returning any time soon, even though they have the best coffee in my neighborhood. There is another coffee shop right next door, not quite as fancy, that I consistently choose over it. And now I remember why that is.


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