53 Marketing Trends found for Innovation / Other

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PayPal Plans New Currency for Space Tourism

Bottom Line: PayPal is reportedty mulling an intergalactic payments system for future space tourists.

Ebay product vice president Hill Ferguson last week told the AFP news agency that its PayPal payments business is seriously considering the creation of an intergalactic currency. Acknowledging that the idea might seem premature to many, Mr Ferguson insists that there's no time to waste. “At first you laugh it off and think it's crazy,” Ferguson commented, “but space exploration and the thought of commercialising space are ...

[Estimated timeframe: Q3 2013 onward]

... much closer than a lot of people would think.” 

Last week the company elaborated on its PayPal Galactic Initiative, citing the assistance of the US Space Tourism Society and the SETI [Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence] Institute.

Meantime, PayPal is seriously mulling what future space travelers will use as cash.

The concept of space tourism is far from fanciful. Companies such as Virgin Galactic and Space X have already put the prospect of space tourism on the near horizon.

A space hotel that orbits Planet Earth is a possibility within the next three years, conjuring-up the prospect of porters to tip and room service to pay for with an extraterrestrial currency.

Says PayPal president David Marcus: “As we start planning to inhabit other planets, the practical realities of life still need to be addressed.”

"People there would probably still need to pay bills and tourists leaving Earth would need traveling money."

Read the original unabridged DW.de article.

All data sources are attributed with links to the original insight. The insight is then summarised and, where appropriate, enhanced with additional information.

Source: DW.de
MTT insight URL: http://marketingtrendtracker.com/article.aspx?id=6129

Will 'Big Data' Drive Future Investment Deals?

Bottom Line:  Google, acme of the data-driven economy, is to adopt a new approach to the high-stakes business of investing in the next 'Big Thing'.

So-called 'Big Data', currently adland's flavour of the month, has yet to transform the digital industry that helped create it. However, although few would deny that crunching data has become increasingly important, there are others who passionately believe that those old intangibles, like instinct and luck ...  

[Estimated timeframe: Q2 2013 onward]

... are still paramount.

That's the view of Matt McIlwain, managing director of US-based Madrona Venture Group, which has invested in many tech companies including Amazon.com.

Says McIlwain: “The intuition part is ultimately the biggest factor. And even with all that, a little good luck goes a long way.”

According to New York Times writer Clare Cain Miller, the traditional, tried and tested investment approach goes something like this: "A friend calls a friend who knows a guy. A meeting is taken. Wine is drunk (at, say, Madera lounge in Menlo Park). A business plan? Sure, whatever. But how does it feel?"

Continues Ms Miller: "This is decidedly not how Google, that apotheosis of our data-driven economy, wants to approach the high-stakes business of investing in the next, well, Google."

"Unlike venture capitalists of old, the company’s rising VC arm focuses not on the art of the deal, but on the science of the deal. First, data is collected, collated, analyzed. Only then does the money start to flow."

"Google Ventures [GV], like all venture funds, does not publicly reveal returns. But its partners can count on one hand the number of its 170 investments that have failed, though it is too early to know how many will succeed, and it has missed investing in some superstar companies.

GV's successes include companies that have gone public, like HomeAway for vacation rentals and Silver Spring Networks for smart grid software, and start-ups sold to parent company Google, Yahoo, Facebook and Twitter."

Read the original unabridged NYTimes.com article.

All data sources are attributed with links to the original insight. The insight is then summarised and, where appropriate, enhanced with additional information.

Source: NYTimes.com
MTT insight URL: http://marketingtrendtracker.com/article.aspx?id=6122

Google Plans Global 'Network in Sky'

Bottom Line: Google has announced plans to bring affordable internet access to even the world's most remote regions.

Last July, the United Nations' Human Rights Council declared internet access to be a basic human right. But only 41% of the world's population currently enjoy an internet connection, according to the International Telecommunication Union. Project Loon, a bold initiative by Google, intends to close the gap between the world's internet minority and the disenfranchised majority via a bold plan to ... 

[Estimated timeframe: Q2 2013 onward]

... bring high-speed internet access to sub-Saharan Africa and parts of southeast Asia where connectivity is sparse.

According to Sir Tim Berners-Lee, creator of the World Wide Web, everyone in the world deserves at least a low-bandwidth connection by default - a dream Google hopes to translate into reality via Project Loon, a balloon-powered system conceived by the Google[x] lab.

The plan aims to extend affordable internet connectivity to everyone in the world, even those living in the most rural and remote corners of Earth.

The balloons will carry "a network in the sky" over mountains, dense jungles and archipelagos, beaming connectivity to antennae on the ground.

A pilot test launched in New Zealand this week, deployed thirty balloons and fifty commissioned testers in a defined area.

Sometime in the future, Google plans to extend similar pilot schemes to other countries sharing the same latitude as New Zealand. 

The solar-powered balloons are carried by steady atmospheric winds 20 kilometres above ground into the stratosphere, above weather and airplane traffic.

According to  Google's project leader Mike Cassidy, a single balloon can provide connectivity at around the same speeds as 3G speed to a 40-metre wide area on the ground.

Says Mr Cassidy: "We imagine someday you'll be able to use your cellphone with your existing service provider to connect to the balloons and get connectivity where there is none today."

Read the original unabridged PopSci.com article.

All data sources are attributed with links to the original insight. The insight is then summarised and, where appropriate, enhanced with additional information.

Source: PopSci.com
MTT insight URL: http://marketingtrendtracker.com/article.aspx?id=6118

CMOs to Share Opinions on Ad Agency Performance

Bottom Line: A 'club' of Chief Marketing Officers in major US companies has launched a "vendor rating program" enabling members to share 'likes' (or 'dislikes') of agencies and other marketing services suppliers.

Membership of The CMO Club - currently around seven hundred strong - is limited to US and overseas executives holding a current Chief and/or Head of Marketing position. This week the Club launched a private Vendor Rating Program that enables its membership to exchange frank opinions about the merits or otherwise of suppliers across eighteen product and service categories, ranging from ...

[Estimated timeframe: Q1 2013 onward ]

... creative and media agencies to mobile and analytics firms.

It's a move that could empty the wallets of agency evaluation consultancies. 

In some respects the new service is analagous with consumer-oriented Yelp Inc, a local directory service with social networking and user reviews. 

According to CMO Club founder and president Peter Krainik, he often witnessed chief marketers swapping recommendations informally at the club's dinners and events. "This is us helping people behind closed doors," said Krainik of the new program.

"We're connecting people, that's what the club is all about."

Since the inception of the program at the start of 2013, between five and ten CMOs per month have added recommendations. Mr. Krainik says the listings are growing, with multiple reviews for some vendors, as well as reviews for some bigger agencies.

The group last week began the program promoting the scheme with a PR push.

Evan Greene, CMO for the Grammys, says he's a "big fan" of the vendor-rating program and has both submitted reviews and used the service for recommendations.

"It's really helpful to see what people in a similar role are doing. It's an open exchange of ideas and recommendations".

But the project begs a thorny question.

Will busy marketers - who are concerned with everything from product development to distribution channels to consumer awareness, and not just their agency relationships - have time to regularly log on to submit their recommendations?

Moreover, will they actually be willing to spill the beans? Especially as most marketers view the work done by their agencies as a competitive advantage.

Reassures Krainik: "The review process is not laborious" although it certainly is thorough.

Each entry has fifteen questions, with a mix of drop-down menus and open-ended questions, in addition to basic information like reviewer name and vendor name.

CMOs can rank vendors on quality of service, on-time delivery, price and customer service. Mr. Krainik says that reviews can't be anonymous, and notes that he has personally approved each member of the club.

Read the original unabridged AdAge article.

All data sources are attributed with links to the original insight. The insight is then summarised and, where appropriate, enhanced with additional information.

Source: AdAgecom
MTT insight URL: http://marketingtrendtracker.com/article.aspx?id=6053

US Marketers Home-In on Senior Citizens, Next Stop Europe?

Bottom Line: Indicative of the growing worldwide importance to marketers of 'senior citizens', a so-called 'Experience Center' will open in 2013 catering exclusively for the 65+ demographic.

The venture, sited in Louisville, Kentucky, is backed by The International Center for Long Term Care Innovation [InnovateLTC], a self-styled "business accelerator aimed at helping to deliver innovative products and services for the globe's aging population. Backed by the city's efforts to exploit this growing and lucrative market, InnovateLTC plans  ... 

[Estimated timeframe: Q4 2012 onward]

... 18,000 square-foot facility, claimed to  be "an Epcot Center for aging" that would draw consumers and industry leaders from across the country. The goal is to create what essentially would be a mall for fashionable and functional senior products, from furniture to cosmetics.

The project will aso serve as a 'living laboratory' in whch startups and other companies can demonstrate and test new products with a specific set of consumers.

One section will include a model home, called an 'idea house,' that will enable entrepreneurs to test and collect data on products designed to allow seniors to stay in their homes longer.

For instance, the bathroom might include new robotic-tub technology that helps lift seniors out of the bath. Another section will be filled with "eldertainment," such as virtual-reality games that promote fitness, mobility or rehabilitation.

One of InnovateLTC's clients is a Dutch company called Vita Care, which is developing "therapeutic motion simulation" systems that use video and vibrating chairs to simulate activities such as motorcycle riding or jet skiing. 

Assuming success stateside, it's seems invitable that the InnovateLTC concept will extend to Western Europe and beyond.

According to the company's website, InnovateLTC claims to be "deeply entrenched in academic research and has connections to several of the nation’s top universities".

Read the original unabridged AdAge article.

All data sources are attributed with links to the original insight. The insight is then summarised and, where appropriate, enhanced with additional information.

Source: AdAge.com
MTT insight URL: http://marketingtrendtracker.com/article.aspx?id=5993

Networks and Wireless Tech to Drive UK Economy Thru' 2020

Bottom Line: A UK government report identifies the technologies most likely to drive the nation's economic growth through to the 2020s.

The review -Technology and Innovation Futures: UK Growth Opportunities for the 2020s – updates an earlier report commissioned in 2010 that examined over fifty technologies ranging from from genetech and other bio-related fields, to advanced agriculture, nanotech, advanced materials and similar sciences. Last week's update underscores the fact that ... 

[Estimated timeframe:Q4 2012 - 2020]

... technology has changed at an exponential pace over a mere two-year timescale.

In particular, the UK government notes the pace of changes in such areas as 3-D printing, robotics and energy production and management via technologies like smart grids.

According to Wall Street Journal blogger Ben Rooney: "One of the more interesting suggestions is the importance of smart fabrics such as technology woven into fabric which could be used to make clothes to monitor potential falls of an elderly wearer or the heart-rate of a patient.

Rooney also notes that: "What links many of the technologies that the UK government believes will be defining for the next decade is connectivity, they will rely on being able to talk to each other, to servers, or with sensors.

“There is also a stronger trend in the way that sensors, miniaturized communications and processing provide constant feedback and permanent connections to networks."

Read the original unabridged WSJ article.

All data sources are attributed with links to the original insight. The insight is then summarised and, where appropriate, enhanced with additional information.

Source: WSJ.com
MTT insight URL: http://marketingtrendtracker.com/article.aspx?id=5978

Is This the Future of eCommerce Come 2020?

Bottom Line: Five of America's most notable über geeks have delivered their respective forecasts for the future of global e-commerce.

Meeting in the appropriately futuristic environs of Washington State's BelleVue City Hall, five prominent and successful techno entrepreneurs delivered their respective prognoses at an event sponsored by local non-profit network TIE [Talent, Ideas and Enterprise] on current and future trends in e-commerce. The event centred on single significant question ...

[Estimated timeframe: Q4 2012 - 2020]

... how will new technology play a role in our lives eight years from now in 2020? 

Reports GeekWire journalist Taylor Soper: "The speakers had tons of insight, the discussion moved along well and there was plenty of time for audience questions".

The discussion was moderated by Scott Jacobson, a partner at Madrona Venture Group which funds innovative technology companies. The panel discussed everything from shopping with a mobile device to the pros and cons of physical and digital storefronts to analyzing how men shop differently than women.

They also talked about the planet's biggest and most famous e-commerce business, debating the impact of Amazon’s Kindle Fire and the potential of physical Amazon stores.

Here’s what each of the panelists had to say about the future of e-commerce:

  • Scott Jacobson, Partner, Madrona
    “Companies need to create a durable and competitive advantage. If they are selling the same products I can get on Amazon or Ebay, that is a very challenging place to start. But sometimes durable, competitive advantages come from a unique product where you’re the only one who can make it or sell it. Sometimes it comes from a differentiated business model. There are plenty of opportunities, but it’s got to be something that is both differentiated and durable. By default, if it’s not differentiated or not durable, then somebody else is going to do the same thing. Look at Zulily. They took a differentiated approach to curating product and featuring that product and took the line of, ‘We’re going to feature local brands nobody has ever heard of,’ as a marketing kind of thing. They are extremely good at both curating all that selection and then very cost-effectively acquiring email addresses that turn into people visiting the website that turns into customers. That’s differentiated — curating and scouring this stuff — and they’ve been able to demonstrate the durability.”
  • Amal Jain, Distinguished Scientist, eBay
    “I would pay attention to the service part. Here’s an example: You empty a cereal box and throw it away in the trash. People who hate shopping want the new cereal box to show up in your kitchen or at the door at the very least. This is the kind of service to pay attention to. A few weeks ago, I was thinking of buying something and I thought I’d just buy it later. Then I forgot. It bugged me. So people, they want to buy those things right away.
    Another thing I would pay attention to is price discrimination/differentiation, especially with coupons.”
  • Nadia Shouraboura, founder/ceo, Hointer
    “What you will see is the vast majority of products going online. The other products need innovation. If traditional brick-and-mortar stores innovate fast, they’ll hold on to the customer. It’s about innovation and change. We need change in traditional brick-and-mortar.”
  • Gautam Gupta, co-founder/ceo, NatureBOX
    “There are two things to think about. One is to really invest and think about your product, the quality of your product and how to differentiate the product or experience that you bring to the market. The second thing to think about is customer acquisition. How do you get traffic in the door of your site and convert those visitors to customers? I think a lot of people start e-commerce websites betting on organic traffic and P.R. and things like that. My advice to an entrepreneur would be to take a step back and really think about how they’re going to do that. These businesses are centered around transactions, so either the math works or it doesn’t.”
  • Alex Tibbetts. General Manager, Nordstrom
    “It’s something about building a business around the customer, not around the product. The possibility of doing so is different and better than it ever was before, and the benefit of doing so is potentially greater.”
  • Shirish Nadkarni, Co-founder, Zoomingo
    “I think there’s going to be an interesting battle between the traditional retailers and the pure play etailers. The etailers will try to mitigate their disadvantage versus physical retail by doing a better job of curation, discovery and personalization. Right now it is very much a search-driven behavior. They will also try to do a better job of allowing the customer get a better sense of fit and finish. Physical retail will try to leverage digital — especially mobile — technologies to improve the customer experience so they continue to prefer going to physical stores over buying online. This means equipping both customers and sales associates with the right information to making the purchase decision, as well as improving the checkout process. They will also leverage their physical store assets to allow customers to either pick up items from local stores or even the reverse where they can order something from the store and have it delivered to their home.”

Commenting after the event, Bellevue Mayor Conrad Lee said: “When these smart people learn and share opportunities and ideas from other people, they do great things, we benefit from them creating new businesses and that’s what we depend on for our economy."

All data sources are attributed with links to the original insight. The insight is then summarised and, where appropriate, enhanced with additional information.

Source: GeekWire.com
MTT insight URL: http://marketingtrendtracker.com/article.aspx?id=5977

Oops Ma'am, Your Biometrics Are Showing!

Bottom Line: Biometric-aware advertising, set to soar as sensor-based devices like Microsoft's Kinect become mainstream, now has the ability to recognize and associate users of these devices with their personal data.

A woman walks into a store, and a computer recognizes her, welcomes her by name, compliments her on the weight she’s lost, and points out that the store has lots of good deals in her new size — which happens to be two sizes larger than she had been telling her friends, who are accompanying her on this particular shopping trip! It's a cautionary tale ... 

[Estimated timeframe: Q2 2012 onward]

... told by Microsoft's marketing and data policy privacy manager Lyn Watts in his address to this week's PII 2012 [Privacy Identity Innovation Conference] in Seattle.

Warned Watts: "While the innovation on Kinect apps is incredible, when it comes to privacy there are things that you can do that aren't necessarily the right thing to do."

His topic was biometric-aware advertising, which will become more common as sensor-based devices gain the ability to recognize the people using them.

He not only talked about the promise of the technology, but also its potential privacy pitfalls.

Watts examples centered around Microsoft’s Kinect sensor, which is expanding its potential applications into more commercial settings as it moves beyond the Xbox 360 game console to Windows PCs.

So how should companies making biometric-enabled Kinect apps approach the issue? Advises Watts:

"From a privacy professional’s point of view, there’s a big mountain to climb here. Biometric data, as we know from our customers, is something that is seen as really exciting. And also there’s a little bit of trepidation.

"I think Xbox did a really good job of rolling out Kinect and being very up front about the privacy implications and giving customers control over those implications.

"Those are the sorts of things that the privacy managers for these companies are going to have to think about, too. Boy, be up front about disclosure, about exactly what the data is going to be used for.

"Get clear, clear consent. In a lot of cases, I think it’s going to be opt-in, check-the-checkbox type of consent. There’s things that you can do that aren’t necessarily the right things, and I think that’s going to be foremost on the minds of a lot of the privacy managers that are going to work in this space."

The 3rd annual Privacy Identity Innovation conference at Seattle's Bell Harbor International Conference Center [May 14-16] explored how to protect sensitive information while enabling new technologies and business models.

Read the original unabridged article here.

All data sources are attributed with links to the original insight. The insight is then summarised and, where appropriate, enhanced with additional information.

Source: GeekWire.com
MTT insight URL: http://marketingtrendtracker.com/article.aspx?id=5838

Global Businesses Foresee Tech Upheaval, Decentralisation Thru' 2020

Bottom Line: A study of 567 business executives across twenty sectors globally, reveals majority expectations that enterprise applications and wireless communications will proliferate through to 2020.

The study, Frontiers of Disruption: The Next Decade of Technology in Business, sponsored by Ricoh Europe and conducted by the Economist Intelligence Unit, reveals that a majority (70%) of respondents disagree that improvements in operating efficiency and business technology have already reached a plateau. Moreover, nearly six in ten think advances in enterprise applications, information and communications technologies will be so profound that ...

[Estimated timeframe: Q2 2012 - 2020]

... the vertical market in which their organization operates will bear little resemblance in 2020 to how it looks today. So just how will technology impact everyday operations?

  • The data revolution, where technology has enabled employees to access increasing amounts of data and information more easily than ever before, is leading to a significant shift. Because of this, 63% of survey respondents predict a shift to decentralization in 2020, with flatter organizational structures and a spread of decision-making authority to the periphery of the organization and individual employees.
  • With technologies that help more effectively to manage information, decentralized employees are empowered to make decisions. But for this new, decentralized workforce to succeed it is imperative that businesses adapt their processes to the digital world. With the rise in mobile working, it will be commonplace for employees to access critical information and collaborate whilst working from wherever they please – inside or outside of the office. As such, businesses will need to be more process orientated, ensuring critical information is centralized and data can be received, stored and retrieved by employees from any location – all the while remaining secure.
  • Adopting business processes of this kind will mean decision making can be less hierarchical and employees, who are collaborating directly with customers, can make important business decisions, without delay. This ability to respond quickly will become even more essential, with business leaders saying they think customers will be the main source of new product and service ideas in 2020, with 86% agreeing that customers will become an integral part of the decision-making process [MT's italics].
  • As well as customers, there will be an increased demand for experts from outside the organization to easily be able to input and retrieve information, with project teams of the future more likely to typically include members from outside an organization (such as partners and suppliers).
  • By choosing the right partner to help them optimize business critical processes, organizations can ensure that information is controlled, secure and easily used by everyone who needs access. A managed approach will mean less duplication, greater consistency, and will importantly provide an accurate insight into access of information and the related costs that are incurred across the business.

According to David Mills, evp Operations, Ricoh Europe: "There’s no doubt that at the heart of a successful decentralization strategy will lie a network of integrated document processes to support the business decisions that will enable companies to grow in the future."

All data sources are attributed with links to the original insight. The insight is then summarised and, where appropriate, enhanced with additional information.

Source: RicohEurope.com
MTT insight URL: http://marketingtrendtracker.com/article.aspx?id=5784

Could New Self-Cleaning Cotton Fabric Topple P&G, Unilever Laundry Duopoly?

Bottom Line: Chinese scientists have created a chemical coating that causes cotton materials to self-cleanse stains and remove odours when exposed to sunlight, potentially posing a major threat to the global laundry products duopoly.

According to Isabelle Cavill, a clothing analyst at global retail intelligence provider Planet Retail: "The main retailers to pick up on this latest innovation are likely to be those selling basicware. In the West that could mean WalMart or Marks and Spencer will want to invest in the Chinese technology to take advantage of ...

[Estimated timeframe: Q4 2011 onward]

... functional clothing becoming more popular with shoppers."

The research was carried out by engineers at Shanghai Jiao Tong University and Hubei University for Nationalities, and is published in the latest issue of the Applied Materials and Interfaces journal.

The study focuses on titanium dioxide - a chemical known, say the scientists, to be an "excellent catalyst in the degradation of organic pollutants".

The substance is already used in self-cleaning windows, odour-free socks and stay-clean kitchen and bathroom tiles. Initial efforts to extend its use to cotton fabrics proved limiting because the substance's self-cleaning properties could only be "excited" under ultraviolet lights, making it impractical for everyday use.

The team's breakthrough was to create a nanoparticle alcohol-based compound made up of titanium dioxide and nitrogen.

The mixture was added to triethylamine, an acid neutraliser commonly used in dyes. After being stirred for a 12 hours at room temperature, the liquid was heated at 100C (212F) for a further six hours.

The cotton fabrics were then immersed in the mixture before being squeezed dry, heated and immersed in hot clean water. Finally the coated materials were treated with silver iodide particles, which aid light-based reactions.

To test the effectiveness of their invention, the engineers marked the fabrics with an orange dye stain and exposed them to the sun. After two hours in the light, the team said 71% of the stain had been removed - a "dramatic" improvement over previously trialled techniques.

The process is also long-lasting. The experiment was repeated on the same cloth five times with no loss of activity - suggesting that the enhancement was stable. Washing and drying the material did not reduce its effectiveness.

Clothes industry experts say there should be huge interest in the process if it could be rolled-out on an industrial scale.

[Meantime, there's no truth in the rumour that Unilever chairman Michael Treschow and his opposite number at P&G, Bob McDonald, are jointly seeking to acquire a certain patent. Is there?]

All data sources are attributed with links to the original insight. The insight is then summarised and, where appropriate, enhanced with additional information.

Source: BBC.co.uk
MTT insight URL: http://marketingtrendtracker.com/article.aspx?id=5737

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