Alexa Flash Briefing

I recently was gifted an Amazon Echo Dot.

I noticed that flash briefings are useful and relevant and decided to create one for Auximiti. The Auximiti Flash Briefing is under review.

I’m excited to be able to bring content to you in this innovative way.

Auximiti – A Case Study & The Future

Return On Investment, along with Security and Technical Difficulty, is right up there in the top 3 reasons companies aren’t adopting and launching Internet of Things projects.

So what is a “good” ROI for an Internet of Things project? I haven’t done the homework, but here is how I would figure it out.

The Internet of Things is such a new space that you should ignore any one person claiming to be an expert. Instead, you need to take the top 100 estimates from people who know about distributed command & control structures and other initiative outcomes, and come up with their average for a “good” ROI on a project.  That average will probably be very very close.

A study was conducted for 100 people to guess how many peanuts were in a large container to be shipped.  The guesses were wildly varied.  From less than 100 to more than 4,000, and most people we’re quite a ways off.  The average of all of the guesses?  10 away from the actual number in the container.

The Statistical Law of Large Numbers always wins.

Whatever “good” ROI ends up being, I know we have been able to surpass it with Internet of Things projects and it comes down to the clients’ business model and per customer revenue/lifetime customer value. Does your client make $.20, $2.00, $20.00, or $200.00 in profit for each buying customer?

In some sectors we are able to provide a 5 to 1 return on the price of our services.  In other sectors, companies would lose money if they bought and implemented the technology Auximiti sells.  Nonetheless, our services do bring in new customers, create brand loyalty, and have other positive effects, like customer insights, that aren’t fully captured in a pure marketing ROI \ mindset. Without concrete valuation, these end up being “cherries on top”.

Here is a basic chart that showcases Beacon Marketing effectiveness:

You can download this Case Study Here.

I think the chart above and the situation it represents will be reproduced for a number of other industries as well.  Gym memberships come to mind as something many people pay for every month but are under utilized in their capacity. The problem is that it costs too much to cancel the membership.  “You might think, it costs too much what? Cancelling saves them money!”

The reality is that it costs too much time. There is a company out there waiting to be created that cancels gym memberships for people and charges one month membership to cancel. I’ll cancel your $20.00 a month gym membership if you pay me $20.00. Then expand it to other services.

Companies like Orange Theory Fitness and EOS may want to deliver more value to their members with reminders to train once a week or offer special deals for their personal training sessions.  Additionally, health sensors and the Internet of Things for Health, Wellness, and Healthcare is going to be big and gyms should start looking at how to integrate their marketing and customer engagement with the health stats they can track on their machines.

Another key retail sector ripe for disruption is cosmetics.  Women have changed their make-up and accessory habits to “online first”.  They are researching online, watching YouTube videos online, and even ordering and subscribing to makeup products online.  The only buying in retail happening for makeup is during a rare visit to a large retail sale. There is big potential to disrupt the industry with free make-up training sessions, tests of new brands or styles, influencer marketing visits and other beauty engagement experiences. Letting someone try before they buy sounds crazy in this industry, but it might be necessary and disruptive in the next couple of years.  Wouldn’t you go to stores for a free trial and large promotional discounts?

Even better, augmented reality experiences with celebrities could be introduced to brick & mortar locations as unique experiences. Get your makeup and hair done with Oprah sitting next to you in your selfie.  This works for men as well for men who are interested in snapping a selfie with Robert Downey Jr. (or Iron Man since we’re doing augmented reality, let’s go all the way.) The customer engagement here will be disruptive, just like video games in kids hair cut locations attract so many parents today when it comes to getting ready for the school pictures.

The bottom line is that we need to start looking at what can be tested instead of what is or isn’t working. What can you test in 30 days, 60 days, 90 days that will push the boundaries, attract and interest your customers, and get them talking about your brand to the point where they can’t stop?  Is it a chat bot?  Virtual Reality? Augmented Reality (AR) Competitions or AR Lotteries? New Products and Influencer Marketing? GaryVee signing your merchandise for all your customers?

There is no time to waste.

Get out there, test, find out what is going on, come up with a plan, and go execute it.

The alternative is to wait ten years while the golden age of marketing passes you by.

It’s your choice.

IFTTT and Twitter

This started out by creating a ‘retweet bot’ that would take the content from a specific user and (I thought) retweet it on my account.  I went through the extremely easy interface (kudos) and set up this retweet bot.  Then I went to Twitter to see the sparks fly…. and nothing was happening.  I missed the IFTTT disclaimer that these applets may take up to hour to get started so I jumped back over and clicked the “check now” button that gets everything moving immediately.  To my delight, it worked and my twitter account was firing off great information, infographics, and articles about all things techy (read all things I like).  And it was fast too!

( *Disclaimer: I’ve been aware of IFTTT for over a year now but I’ve never put it to any real use.  I’ve added a few applets that I can trigger from my phone or watch and I’ve run a few automated processes, but nothing enterprise level or for a business.  I was aware that it could be used for things like retweets and Facebook integrations but had not dived in until today.  I found, to my delight and horror, that this bot programming platform was extremely efficient.   I thought this would be simple.  I was wrong.  )

It was automating retweets within minutes of the tweet and everything was going up on my analytics card from all the increased activity.  Then I noticed a slight flaw.  IFTTT wasn’t retweeting like you would imagine on the Twitter platform.  It was copying all the text and posting it on it’s own, essentially plagiarizing the original author and making it look like original content coming from my account.  On top of that, some of the content wasn’t coming through correctly.  I decided to add the original username in front of the post to accommodate this flaw and something else weird started happening.  When all 140 characters were used in the original tweet, my tweet would truncate the end of the message.  I ended up with weird hashtags like #InternetOfThin #BigDat and #DataVisu which doesn’t work at all.  Time to switch gears because tweeting the text of my target account wasn’t getting me anywhere.

I changed up the tweet formula to post the username of my targets, a short static blurb, and a link to the original tweet.  This worked well and I was happy enough with the result that I wanted to replicate it on our Auximiti Twitter feed.  I had the Auximiti account sending out great information about all things tech.

Next, I started to connect the miniature twitter storm I was creating to my personal account, the exact same way I had just set everything up.  What this ended up doing is causing my personal account to send out tweet after tweet that simply referenced the Auximiti account putting out tweet after tweet about its target content producers for it’s audience.  The message was “Check Out This Tweet!” and it showed another tweet that said “Check Out This Tweet!”  It wasn’t going any further to show what the first retweet content was in the first place.  This wasn’t good so I fumbled through the rest of the retweet options available.  None of them worked.

Eventually I gave up and came here to sound a warning about multiple retweet bot chains using IFTTT.  It doesn’t work.  I still have high hopes for the IFTTT platform and its integration with the Internet of Things which is what many people and companies are using it for. As far as automating your social media presence, it’s just one small tool out of the many you will need to be successful on social media.  My end solution?  Manually use my personal account, as I always have, and let the company account run on its automated system from WordPress (which includes posting from here when new articles are written).

If you haven’t used IFTTT, I recommend giving it a spin.  It is fun and it can do some pretty helpful stuff too.