Marketing To Millennials With Media

A journalist enquired about millennials & email; the research turned up a few surprises!

Do millennials use email? 

Adobe's recent consumer-email survey - surprisingly - noted that millennials are obsessed with email. Nearly half of them check their email while still in bed in the morning; more than half check email at least every few hours. (http://bit.ly/AdobeEmail2017)

Why is it important to market to them with email? 

Millennials are multi-channel, but email is a frequent and long-term choice.  Forbes says "If brands want to use email effectively, they must make sure the content is both helpful and relevant."

What advice do you have for email marketing to them? 

Use visuals, like video & GIFs!  A recent Harris poll showed millennials have a 2-to-1 preference for visual communications, compared to Boomers. 70% of poll respondents said they use visuals in their own communication. 

Will it work? 

Done personally and well, yes; done frequently and poorly, worse than no.  While millennials are more excited to check their email (Adobe Slide 19), one-third say they are most annoyed by irrelevant email. 

As a parent of 2 millennials, I consciously choose channels & media based on purpose when communicating with them.  Email is NOT the act-fast channel; that's text.  But rich content - like videos or visuals - is more navigable in email, even on a smartphone.  (While mine use their smartphones for many things, they haven't abandoned their notebook computers by any stretch.)

--md

 

AI & Marketing

My response to a recent request for thoughts about AI & Marketing...

What impact do you think AI will have on marketing strategy in
2018?

2018 kayak & lifejacket sales will skyrocket as marketing departments paddle through  floods of hype about AI in marketing.

A few large companies with coherent data strategies will have a few ah-hah moments of AI-guided success; the smart ones won't say a word about it.

The real AI-in-marketing action in 2018 will be lab work; wise CMOs will watch, listen, research and learn, but hold off on large investments.

What impact do you think AI will have on marketing in the longer term (5-10 years)?

Dominant players will become still more dominant; absent civil or legislative backlash,  data-begets-data and AI cost/scale advantages will transform marketing (back) into a service companies buy, rather than a function they perform - from Mad Max back to Mad Men.

OC (Outside China) Facebook, Google and Amazon will split most consumers;  Microsoft will mount a serious challenge to Amazon in B2B marketing as LinkedIn blue fades into Azure.  

If adolescence doesn't blossom Siri to She, Apple will niche out; persona will become the new design. Attention and permission will become dual-mediated; my (personal AI) assistant will talk with your (marketing AI) assistant. 


What kinds of skills and insight/intelligence will marketing professionals need in the future to work with AI?

Marketing pros and orgs will require a dual-minded balance of IQ and EQ.  AI will ratchet up the pace of the pace of change again; it will feel like the singularity.  But people - not algorithms - will still be the key decision point, and "feel" will still drive their decision; design, media and messaging out of sync with the consumer's point of view will fail.

Effective marketing organizations will figure out the balance of process and culture to pair soft and hard skills. Above all, the ability to learn, and to integrate new knowledge and existing skills, will be vital both personally and professionally.

--md
 

The Most Common Lie: US Map Visuals In Election Years

Some years ago I spent a bunch of cycles tinkering with US map visuals, trying different methods to represent population more accurately. It irked me - and still irks me - to see important measures like votes distorted and mis-represented by organizations whose job it is to convey accurate representation.  Even FiveThirtyEight.com - by far the most accurate-numbers news source I know - still has a damn red-state-blue-state GEOGRAPHY map on their home page.

Painting the Montana and Wyoming land mass red, or those of Oregon and Washington blue, is a visual distortion equivalent to giving them 2x-8x their actual number of people (or electoral votes).  Likewise, coloring in Massachusetts whatever you shade you like understates their numbers at least 2x.

I've had smart people say "Oh, but I know that Wyoming doesn't have that many people."  Bah. Baloney. One, nobody does that math in their head except Josh on the West Wing (and he's a fictional character like Wyoming's extra electors.) Two, that's a rational response - your limbic system already went into a panic over all the red (or all the blue) that's on the screen lying to you about the race.

This is just one solution - not nearly as elegant as the NY Times rectangle map described in this video, but this one is free. (Here's the Illustrator file - someone send it to CNN please.)

Thanks to Vox for a great video on the issue.  

These issues are too important for such poor communication; a journalist making the same distortions with numbers would be called on the carpet. Visuals are processed 60,000 times faster than words - people get them first & faster, and if they read at all, will likely be interpreting what they read based on what they've already concluded from the visuals.

See earlier blog post.  Pity nothing's changed.

Adobe Creative Cloud - Good, But... (UPDATE: Wow)

UPDATE

A customer wrote me late last night to say "hey, I cancelled and you're still charging me."  I looked up the records...nope...sent him the screen shot and asked him to send transaction details so I could investigate. He wrote back to say "Ooops, no, it wasn't you."  We both agreed that keeping track of these seemingly miniscule subscriptions is a real challenge for small-to-medium businesses. 

OK - fast forward about 12 hours. I got a call out of the blue from Adobe.

"We understand you're not happy with your Team subscription."

I explained the situation; they resolved it.  (Team subscription cancelled, replaced with the 1 individual seat we need.)

Was that driven by the support interaction? The original blog post below?  "Reputation management" monitoring?  All of the above?  Doesn't matter, really.  My hat's off to Adobe for acting, regardless of what triggered the action. They could have taken the neener-neener contract defense, and as I said...my fault for not monitoring dates/terms.

Adobe did the right thing for us. I also think they did the right thing for Adobe.  Elephants have long memories; I still avoid one of the major US air carriers because of a cranky flight attendant @25 years ago.  But I'll happily trumpet my pleasure at Adobe's approach (elephant joke there...) and continue doing business with them.  I like the products, yeah, but liking the company is much better karma all around.

Adobe gets that "...as a service" ends with "service."  Kudos.


ORIGINAL POST

I saw a headline recently that basically said Adobe revenue has gone up with their shift to a subscription model.  I think Creative Cloud is fantastic - as a friend of mine said, $10K in software for $50/month.  No objection to the software.

Yeah...but...

Just keep an eye on that renewal date, kids, because the renewal and rollover doesn't just apply to the month. If you're planning to keep using Creative Cloud, and you renew in Month 13, you've just signed up for another year.  Want to drop a seat?  You'll pay a 50%-of-time-left penalty to do that.

I have no objection to subscription businesses - we run one. 

I have no objection to annual contracts either.

But I think companies should state renewal terms explicitly, not with sneaky "it's in the terms" implicit references. The monthly price was in the email - the actual commitment for the year wasn't. 

My fault, my bad, fine, we'll pay the seats.  We'll cancel when it makes mathematical sense.

Really, this is an email and attention problem.  Did I read the renewal email, follow the links and review the contract?  No. Should I have? Yes.  Will I watch the renewal dates in the future?  Yes.  Will I automatically re-subscribe with the same email address?  Hmm.  Well, that's an email and attention problem.  Maybe I should create an email alias called "Adobe2015Subscription" and sign that guy up for the year.  Just to help me remember about those renewal terms, of course.

Support transcript - start time 10:15 end time 11:45!

info: You are now chatting with 'Anonymous One'
Anonymous One: Hello! Welcome to Adobe support.
Anonymous One: Please allow me 1-2 minute(s) to review your account details.
Anonymous One: Thanks for waiting
Me: yup. Actually, I looked as well while you were looking :-)
Anonymous One: great
Me: We don't use the extras in the Team subscription, and until I hire a replacement...we're down to just one license.
Anonymous One: So I assume that you want to remove the one unassigned seat/license from the Creative Cloud team subscription
Me: So it would make more sense to cancel & just set up an Individual subscription for my continued use for now. 
Me: How does the timing of that work - should I wait until this month is elapsed, then cancel / re-enroll ?
Anonymous One: So it's your choice if you want to cancel one seat it can be cancelled and if you want to wait for the renewal date you can
Me: does cancelled = refunded ?
Anonymous One: no cancel = removing the one unassigned license from the subscription
Anonymous One: and in future if you keep the team subscription you can add one more seat when you hire one more employee
Me: What's the renewal date on that team subscription - might as well let her use the license until then...
Anonymous One: 7/15/2016 is the renewal date of subscription
Anonymous One: So do you want to cancel the one unassigned license ?
Me: I don't understand - we're not committed to 2 seats until July...?
Anonymous One: yes you are , as you have two seats in the current subscription and one seat/license is assigned to a user and one seat is not
Me: OK - let's restate that in English. How do I cancel this team subscription entirely?
Anonymous One: So I will connect the chat to the cancellation team , they will help you in the cancellation, If you want to cancel whole subscription or only one license/seat
Anonymous One: Please stay connected while I transfer the chat to the concern team, Thanks for choosing Adobe.
info: Please wait while I transfer the chat to the appropriate group.

NOTE: 10:34
info: Your chat transcript will be sent to matthew@sayitvisually.com at the end of your chat.
info: We are still assisting other customers, thank you for your patience. You can also try our community forums, available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

info: We are still assisting other customers, thank you for your patience. You can also try our community forums, available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

info: We are still assisting other customers, thank you for your patience. You can also try our community forums, available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

info: We are still assisting other customers, thank you for your patience. You can also try our community forums, available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

info: We are still assisting other customers, thank you for your patience. You can also try our community forums, available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

info: We are still assisting other customers, thank you for your patience. You can also try our community forums, available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

info: We are still assisting other customers, thank you for your patience. You can also try our community forums, available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

info: We are still assisting other customers, thank you for your patience. You can also try our community forums, available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

info: We are still assisting other customers, thank you for your patience. You can also try our community forums, available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

info: We are still assisting other customers, thank you for your patience. You can also try our community forums, available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

info: We are still assisting other customers, thank you for your patience. You can also try our community forums, available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

info: We are still assisting other customers, thank you for your patience. You can also try our community forums, available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

NOTE: 11:02

info: You are now chatting with Anonymous Two. 
Anonymous Two: “Hello! Thank you for contacting Adobe Membership Services, my name is Anonymous Two. How can I help you today?”
Me: Hi Anonymous Two
Me: Did you read the transcript or are we starting over ?
Anonymous Two: I have received your query. Please allow me a moment to verify your account and to review the details of your request.
Anonymous Two: I can see you are looking to cancel the team membership.
Me: Yes. We're down to 1 seat for at least 90 days, and don't use the extra team functions.
Anonymous Two: Are you looking to remove one license from the account or the complete team membership
Me: complete team membership
Anonymous Two: I can see that the license on the account are under an annual plan and to cancel there is fee to terminate it
Me: We've had this team plan for well over a year. When did we agree to an annual renew with a cancellation fee?
Anonymous Two: You can refer to the commitment term http://www.adobe.com/misc/subscription_terms.html for the membership that you have
Me: That's a really offensive and stupid lock-in policy. Good way to lose customers.
Anonymous Two: This is very clear when you place the order
Me: I don't agree, but that will make an interesting anti-Adobe blog post.
Me: So state the price for cancellation for the record, please.
Anonymous Two: All the details of the membership is very clear, I have shared the commitment terms as well for the membership.
Me: waiting...
Anonymous Two: I am waiting for your response ,
Anonymous Two: If you wish to cancel it or not
Me: I'd asked for the cancellation fee (price) - DO NOT cancel at this time.
Anonymous Two: In order to remove both the license the fee is $629.91+tax.
Me: And to remove one, half of that?
Anonymous Two: calculated as 50% of the remaining commitment oblidation
Anonymous Two: Yes
Anonymous Two: It will be $315+tax
Anonymous Two: for one license
Anonymous Two: Are we connected?
Me: OK. Your renewal mail mentions the monthly rate but doesn't state that the 1-year lock-in and cancellation fees renew/apply. DO NOT cancel this subscription. 

Telling A Story Visually: Tsunami of 1896

I'm staggered on a near-daily basis at the intellectual resources the net puts at our fingertips.  Flickr has a collection called The Commons - "help us catalog the world's public photo archives." Museums, NASA, libraries, government entities - don't click that link if you want to get much work done.

Since we're not far from Vancouver B.C., I was curious to see what the University of British Columbia had put into the mix. 

Wow.

Maps from 17th century.

Prints from the 18th century.

Photos from the 19th century.

And everything in between.  

Here's the link:  UBC Library Digitization Centre.

The historical materials from Japan, in particular, are phenomenal.  Letters, maps, prints, battle maps - artifact after artifact. I'll limit myself to one example, because it's so beautifully done. The tsunami in Japan four years ago was horrifying, of course.  It's happened before.  This  visual story about the Tsunami of 1896 packs so much drama in one visual. (Click for large image).

Source here:  https://www.flickr.com/photos/ubclibrary_digicentre/13720269294/

Isn't that just terrific?

I don't read Japanese; drop me a line if you care to translate any of the language.  I'll add the translations here.

Cyber Risk Summit - Oct 30, 2014

HEAR FROM NATIONAL CYBER SECURITY EXPERTS

"The Cyber Risk Summit brings together cyber security specialists, technologists, entrepreneurs, industry experts and business leaders to tackle the challenges and opportunities that come with cyber security strategies. Featuring break out sessions keyed in for your needs connecting with peers and strategic insights, this is a day you can't afford to miss.

Attendees from Human Resources, Accounting, and Legal departments can receive continuing education credit for attending and following a discipline specific curriculum."

If you're in Washington State or B.C., you'll want to be here.  This is cutting-edge stuff, and the indefatigable TAG org has pulled in a who's-who of speakers.  Mark R. Anderson (SNS), in person - I'd drive across the state to hear him talk, any day.  Mark Wallach of the FBI, Michael Cockrill of Office of the CIO for Washington State - zowie!

We explained some really arcane cybersecurity stuff a few years ago - bringing topics that abstract to life is very challenging. I'm the caboose for the day, trying to summarize on the fly. 

It's going to be intense and interesting - and probably a bit unnerving.  See ya there.

--Matthew