digital

Why Data can Often be Answering the Wrong Questions

 

Data is always historical.  However our goals are always future focused.

There is a science and art to data and strategy.   One part is very rational, and another is emotional.  Knowing how to merge the two, and depart from the obvious is where true innovation starts to occur.  

People turn to analytics to measure performance, determine data driven insights, and establish strategy based off the summation of all of this.  This type of thinking is great for identifying outliers, becoming aware of existing behavior, and a several other types of insights.  For the most part I personally think this can be incremental.  This has a place. I am not saying its good or bad. It just shows you exactly what you went looking for. 

Now lets consider another part of this equation.  Where do you want to be in x months? Could it be that we need to incorporate an entirely new way of thinking that is not currently being measured. Something that no one is looking for.  If we need to make leaps, instead of incremental milestones in progress, sometimes we need to step aside from the data and set our own goals using new tools and create new data sets.

The issue with ONLY relying on historical data is that innovation does not always show up in a data set.  Even if you crowdsource popular opinions of what people want, they can only think so far ahead.  And sometimes the true disruptions and innovative outliers are overlooked to make a prettier graph.  This is an common issue in social media.

These outliers could be the next ipad, tesla, or facebook.  Reference here to the famous Henry Ford quote ” If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.”  Sometimes the data was right, but to grow and move ahead, one needs to assume the data could be wrong if you could see what the future data would look like.  Things change.

There is a science and art to data and strategy.   One part is very rational, and another is emotional. Knowing how to merge the two, and depart from the obvious is where true innovation starts to occur.  

Data can always show you where you have been. But it cannot always show you the best path forward.

pd –   18 minutes.

Analog Digital – Social wants to be Physical

Image

 

This new Facebook Like counter from http://www.smiirl.com  , has long been in the making. Several DIY versions of this have surfaced, and we even proposed a version of this while I was working at R/GA.

As technology moves things into the digital realm, there is a natural counter culture that wants to express these digital forces as physical analog experiences.  What other instances can you think of where experiences born in digital become novel by moving to analog?

-pd 

 

August Smartlock: What else should marketers be thinking about unlocking

yves august donnelly smartlock phone mobile door

 

Nest was cool, but August is awesome.  As we talk about the internet of things, I think about how this is a perfect execution of having something be “smart” but actually be useful as well – not just appealing to the geeks.

The beauty of August is that is plays on constructs that we already use in the digital realm ( permissions ) but makes them analog. In a way that has never been done before.  And really, the key itself is an outdated concept. We have replaced it everywhere possible. This makes me think about homes and spaces in terms of those same digital terms – people crave contextual access. 

Although the launch focused on homes, I think where this could really shine is with brands, guerilla marketing, and nightclubs.  Pepsi came out with the like machine yesterday, which was impressive, but August is that on another scale. Imagine a brand telling you that you have an exclusive pass to the movies, or a VIP party, or a car.  And these may not be the best examples, but what we really again are talking about here is access. What could you unlock that could provide a meaningful experience.  And if we expand this handshake protocol to other types of mechanical actions, perhaps a lightswitch, or a valve, or a secret elevator floor, imagine what could be unlocked. What experiences we could create.  In a world where digital and IRL are blurring, access to a new place could change your whole perspective.

In a world that craves exclusivity and scarcity – what power does a lock and key hold ? I think their are opportunities to move past surprise and delight here.  I hope that other people are thinking this way as well.  Past the physical to think symbolically about how this marries experiences, mobile, digital, and access.