Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Citibike: A Marketing Opportunity Revisited

Now that we New Yorkers have lived with Citibike for nearly a year, it seems like the time to revisit two posts I wrote nearly two and a half years ago about how brands could use the service as a marketing channel.  One post was serious, the other...not so much.

To recap the Citibike saga, the service launched in May of 2013 after some delays stemming from teething problems and Superstorm Sandy.  New Yorkers and visitors quickly embraced the service, which allows members to borrow bikes for up to 45 minutes at a time from over 300 stations in Manhattan and downtown Brooklyn.  However, Citibike has faced adversity as well, including losing money at an alarming rate.  Some called it winter.  Disclosure: I am one of those nuts who rode on chilly days.

The Wall Street Journal said "Finding additional sponsors has proved challenging because the program has become so closely associated with its eponymous supporter."  So, what could Citibike do to engage marketers?  Or, put another way, what opportunities could marketers exploit with Citibike?

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Dicing with Danger: Using Data Insights in Your Marketing

If you've suffered through my last two blog posts (#1 here, #2 here), you've read my reasoning that while marketing data potentially can lead your business into danger, they can also provide meaningful insight.

Now what?

With insight, you can start placing bets with data.

Hit it, Frankie:

While you will never out-cool Albert Francis Sinatra, you can probably make smarter bets.  Here's how.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Playing with Danger: How to Ask Questions of your Data

In my last post, I discussed marketing data as the most dangerous thing in your office and outlined how to tame it.  Now, let's talk about how to draw insights from your data.

First, ask yourself a question: are you Nate Silver?  If you, hi, Nate.  Thanks for reading.  But more importantly, if you're Nate Silver or an honest-to-God data wizard, then you already know what you can and can't do with data.  You can run all kinds of exotic analyses and make wild predictions that come to fruition.  In short, you have nothing to learn from me.  Godspeed.

If you're still reading, then you need to understand one thing: data don't tell you anything other than how to guess well.  However, good guesses can help you more than you might think.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

The Most Dangerous Thing in Your Office

Take a look around your office and pick out the most dangerous thing you see.

Is it cleaning fluid?

Is it your espresso maker?

Maybe your paper cutter?

No, no and no.  Well, unless you have a REALLY big paper cutter.

No, friend, the most dangerous thing in your office doesn't have sharp edges, heating elements or questionable chemicals.  The most dangerous thing in your office has something far more treacherous: your marketing data.