Not all customers are equal. Who’s right for you now?

 
Not all customers are equal
 
 

The last few days has seen a flurry of new subscribers. Welcome!

The secret behind the boost? I’d like to think it’s useful content spreading and finding its audience but I also have Sumo to thank. It’s really opened my eyes as to what my website should be doing. For example, its List Builder pop-up is currently converting 10% of visitors into subscribers.

Starting up a newsletter from scratch is a big leap of faith. It takes a lot of discipline to do weekly and you’re constantly trialing new ideas. It has its rewards; It’s keeping me on my toes and I'm enjoying being hyper-curious. I hope it does the same for you.

 
 

Coming up.

  • Not all customers are equal. Who’s right for you now?
  • Calling out ‘Ghost’ brands. A backdoor for big names.
  • Proposing a robot tax. For the jobs they can’t do.
  • Processor Wars. Why the laptop might be a thing of the past.
  • The quiet protest. Using absence not presence to make your point.
  • Want to make your invention mainstream? Make it from cardboard.
  • Let's talk. How voice search will shake up marketing.
  • Theatre for one. A VR prelude comes to HOME.
  • Trend hunting. Jumping ahead can be easy.
  • Recommended to me: a coding school that doesn’t suck
 
 

 
 

1. The right customer at the right time.

 
 

When your start any business the temptation is to chase every customer going. Scott Belsky brilliantly argues why it’s about finding the right customer at the right point in your product’s lifecycle. It has a direct link with the time spent using, offered or found for your product and the value of that commitment.
 

2. Calling out ‘Ghost’ brands. A backdoor for big names.

Fellow Deliveroo users will know it’s a fantastic platform for discovering independent eateries. But appearances can be deceiving. A little research into the ‘Brew House’ option that popped up in my app soon revealed it’s actually what I call a ‘Ghost brand', created by Heineken to tap into the home delivery market and to directly reach consumers for the first time. These secret standalone brands hidden in digital platforms are a clever move so expect them to catch on, but it could backfire when they’re called out. Just ask Tesco (not once but twice).
 

3. Robot tax. For the jobs they can't do.

With robots are our likely colleagues or replacements in the workplace of the future, what happens to those left behind? Bill Gates would like to see a robot tax to cover lost income taxes and to pay for all the things that keep society functioning. It could also pay to retrain those individuals that lose out to automation.

 
4. Processor Wars. Why the laptop might soon be a thing of the past.

The future of computing is apps. And powering the future of apps is ARM – the British company that designs iPhone microchips. It’s a battle Google is getting ready to fight. They’ve even trademarked where this is going: recently registering “APPTOP” and “BYE BYE LAPTOP, HELLO APPTOP.”

 
5. The quiet protest. Using absence not presence to make your point.

 
 

We can all visualise what we think a successful protest looks like. A large public gathering. Beautifully-worded placards. An interview on camera. A trending hashtag. Normally that’s a recipe for attention. But when there’s a lot to protest, how do you cut through? When it comes to contemplating life without immigrants, the opposite approach has hit me harder.

 
6. Want to make your invention mainstream? Make it from cardboard.

Investment in real-time maps for drones has gotten all the headlines this week, however it’s another invention that deserves attention. Otherlabs (no relation) has created the world’s first single-use drone made out of biodegradable cardboard. Not only is it better for the environment but it’ll reduce the cost dramatically. And that’s the key to the mainstream – just ask the VR industry.

 
7. Let's talk. How voice search will shake up marketing.

Two incredible stats: 1) a remarkable 33% of all searches are now made by voice, and 2) Alexa has quickly amassed 10,000 skills in less than a year. This boom in voice search is already creating a new puzzle for engines and marketers to solve. For starters, it’s leading to longer queries (10 words on average versus 3 submitted in text) and a greater dependence on emotional context as inferred by the pitch of the enquirer. SEO company Moz explains what it all means for digital marketing.


8. Theatre for one. A VR prelude comes to HOME.

 
 

I was stopped in my tracks by this pop-up VR booth in the lobby of HOME in Manchester. The walk-up VR experience is an immersive prelude to the upcoming theatre show City of Glass, allowing people to “start their theatrical journey even before they take their seats for the live performance.” Beats an old fashioned trailer any day.


9. Trend hunting. Jumping ahead can be easy.

Leading into the future isn’t rocket science. There’s a number of tools to give you a head start on your agency with bubbling up consumer and cultural trends. One example is Product Hunter; the case for it rightly made in this blog post.
 

10. Recommended to me: A coding school that doesn’t suck.

After mentioning I was looking to code more in the last newsletter, @rickary kindly pointed me in the direction of Treehouse. It’s just what I was looking for! Check it out and start making awesome stuff.

 
 

 
Instead of putting theories into practice, create theories from practice
— Nassim Nicholas Taleb, Essayist/Scholar
 

 
 
Stuart Goulden