Foot Locker investing $100 million in secondary sneaker marketplace

In a recent article on Digiday, Foot Locker plans to invest $100 million in sneaker marketplace GOAT. What’s interesting is that several industry experts break down the news. For instance, I believe the retailer will benefit from this decision. On the other hand, $100 million represents a lot of opportunity cost. They will certainly benefit from the positive brand association with GOAT. Plus, they will capture value along the way as the footwear industry continues to innovate and face disruption.

Sears lives to fight another day

Announced today in the news, Sears will live to fight another day as the bankruptcy judge approved the only bid that would save 50,000 jobs. Eddie Lampert, the Sears chairman and prior CEO, will be buying all remaining assets of the business for $5.2 billion. I honestly think he’s gotten a great deal. The question is whether he can hire qualified retail operators to restructure the business in the necessary ways to ensure future success. Operating the same way as before almost guarantees failure over the next 24-36 months. Can Sears be saved? Unlikely.

Facebook will protect you from terrorism and child abuse if you give them all your data… realy!?!

In a recent article, Facebook lost a EU lawsuit surrounding their desire to combine data across all their owned platforms. Privacy experts seem to be drawing a line in the sand with how much data is too much data. While I believe that effort is futile at this juncture, lawyers and courts can make it difficult for Facebook to achieve their version of world domination. However, the best part about the appeal Facebook is making is their headline appeal to judges and to consumers. I’ll paraphrase, but it goes something like this: “We can protect you from terrorism and child abuse if only you give us all your data.” Nobody ever said Facebook wasn’t a savvy marketer. Who doesn’t want to be protected from terrorism and child abuse?!? Question is whether the court of public opinion will be able to influence the judicial proceedings.

AdTech doesn’t suck

I know people love to hate on AdTech. Other people don’t know the difference between MarTech and AdTech as there are lots of blurry lines. I believe the key difference is the business model and the fact that AdTech companies typically have less sticky revenue. However, MarTech industry is over crowded and many predict lots of consolidation going forward. Differentiation and scale are key in any market, but hasn’t that always been true? Check out the opinion piece that provides a good comparison snapshot of both sectors and how capital markets factors in. #marketing#adtech

What do the Apple and Google changes mean for 3rd party attribution providers?

Within a span of 2 weeks, both Apple and Google have made announcements related to changes associated with the data they will cease revealing to 3rd parties, including measurement and attribution companies. These companies rely on Apple and Google passing various unique identifiers (not personally identifiable info) that these companies use to measure ad effectiveness across multiple media platforms. I agree with most that these changes further the walled garden initiatives by the big three (facebook, google and apple), all while capitalizing on the privacy debate that has engulfed Facebook. It’s a very convenient excuse for these big companies to their agenda.

 

Many analysts believe that there will be a backlash against google and apple for making it a harder for attribution providers from doing their job. In Apple’s case, they’re not necessarily making it harder for attribution companies, but rather easier for all sorts of companies to get the information they need directly from apple in a much easier way, which many fear could render 3rd party attribution providers useless. Many analysts argue that marketers will fight for more neutrality and need/want 3rd party attribution providers even more.

 

While potentially true, one can try to fight the tidal wave that is now upon us. But smaller companies will continue to fight for scraps given the strategic advantages the bigger companies have. Some marketers will go with the “easy button” and consolidate media and measurement with the big guys. Others might be big enough to push back and advocate for 3rd party attribution tools.

 

I’m just not sure that fight can be won. It’s a game of surviving right now and figuring out how to out flank companies with market caps over $100 billion dollars. No small feat.

Webinar: Using Behavioral Economics to Identify What Motivates Shopper Behavior

Check out the latest thought leadership piece on behavioral economics from RevTrax with Cornell University PhDs. Check out the webinar here.

The crazy things artificial intelligence can do

In a recent article on HRB, I read some interesting things about “Deep Learning” for artificial intelligence. I got a view into how it is opening up almost endless possibilities. The applications in the real-world are amazing. As a tech and data nerd, I’m so excited about these possibilities but a little scared too.

Companies are spending years and millions of dollars (or multiple of that) to build core capabilities. They are either opening up to others for commercial applications or to build out themselves.

Like any breakthrough innovation like artificial intelligence, time is always a factor. Hardware, software, processing power, and availability of big data are all referenced as gating factors. This has historically made this breakthrough impossible. Not anymore…

What if marketing cloud providers could have a personality?

In a recent Chief Marketer article, found here, the author highlighted a funny exercise performed by the IBM Watson evangelist at the London MarTech event. He profiled all major marketing cloud providers and gave the outputs of each, which detail their distinct personalities. Fun exercise for a big data analytics provider in a room full of tech and marketing geeks…

Challenge for CEOs and cost of moving too slow

In a recent article by HRB, I loved the juxtaposition between the older ways of making decisions, deliberating, taking time and the necessity for leaders to make the best decisions they can with best information as fast as they can. Focus is key, but balancing risk-taking (faster decisions with partial information) and innovation with core business strengths will be a challenge for CEOs going forward.

Mobile coupon usage on the rise

With almost 100 million people using mobile coupons, it’s clear the trend has continued for mobile adoption and overall adoption of coupons in general. The story and study by media post and Koupon Media shares some interesting insights. It’s not as simple as people using paper less and mobile more. People are using coupons more in every vehicle. Mobile is growing for coupons albeit at a rate less than mobile advertising or commerce ironically. One needs to ask why…