Klout Perk Review: Keurig 2.0

I recently received the new Keurig 2.0 brewing system via Klout as part of a Klout perk. While the instructions from Klout say that I’m under no obligation to review it, I will anyway. So, here goes.

The system itself has a larger footprint than equivalent current models.

IMG_9919

The simple buttons have been replaced by a somewhat intuitive touchscreen, though the navigation gets confusing when you try to brew a carafe rather than a cup. I intentionally did not read the manual, because not reading the manual best simulates my state of wakefulness prior to coffee.

The newest feature is the ability to brew a carafe with a significantly larger K-Cup than the single service K-Cup.

So, is the system any good? For the positives, it’s much quieter than the older table-top models. Instead of the loud buzzing sound it makes when drawing water from the reservoir, it now makes a quieter pulsing sound. If you’ve ever tried to brew a K-Cup early in the morning while not waking anyone up, the new machine is definitely quieter.

For the negatives, a couple of big sticking points. First, the new system incorporates what is effectively DRM. The system scans the top of K-Cups for the Keurig logo and if it doesn’t see it, it won’t work. I predict a cottage industry in taking used K-Cup foil seals and cutting out the logos to stick onto third-party cups to keep them working.

IMG_9920

Second, the new carafe feature is nice in concept but the results are poor. K-Cups already tend to be a little on the weak side – in order for me to get a cup of coffee that matches my tastes, I typically have to brew two 6-ounce cups of one of their bold roasts. The carafe setting has no ability to control how much water goes into the carafe vs. coffee, so you get a weak, watery pot of coffee. If you like weaker, watery coffee, then the carafe is going to make you deliriously happy. I, however, am unimpressed, which is a doubly bad state for me prior to coffee:

IMG_9921

The verdict? If you own a Keurig system already and it’s not broken, there’s no compelling reason to upgrade. Don’t spend the money for DRM that doesn’t benefit you, and a carafe of weak, watery coffee. Stick with the Keurig you already own. If you don’t own a Keurig, the Keurig 2.0 is a capable machine with tradeoffs. If you want to use your own coffee with a reusable filter, you’re out of luck unless you glue a used Keurig label on your K-Cup holder (and I’d recommend an Aeropress for that anyway).

As always, thanks to Klout for the Perk and to Keurig for the machine. It will be available for purchase in September. I don’t know how much use I’ll get out of it, but at least it’s pleasant looking.

Disclosure: I received this Klout Perk for free. No other compensation was given.


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Review of #MarTech, the Inaugural Marketing Technology Conference

There is something about inaugural conferences that is especially wonderful. Back in 2006, when Chris Brogan and I started PodCamp, the first event brought people from all over the world to learn more about the nascent field of podcasting. The best and the brightest showed up for that first PodCamp, from Steve Garfield to CC Chapman to Jeff Pulver… the list was endless, and many of the people at that first event have gone on to great things. Subsequent PodCamps had plenty of special memories and great friendships, but there was something extra in that first event.

Such was the feeling at the first MarTech conference in Boston. MarTech attracted people from all over the world who had an interest in marketing technology, faced marketing technology challenges, or as was the case for me, were marketing technologists looking for their tribe.

The sign of an amazing conference, especially for a speaker, is one in which you get much more than you give. Lots of people will say that they picked up “a nugget or two”, but that rarely justifies the time, expense, and opportunity cost of going to an event. The best conferences are ones where you walk out with armfuls of new stuff to investigate, new things to study, new ideas to try out – and that was what MarTech was this week. To get just a hint of what was shared at the conference, take a read through my tweets from it. Oh, apologies if you got flooded by me this week – Twitter was my notepad for taking notes from the event.

  • Food for thought: innovation is inversely proportional to your company’s appetite for risk. #martech
  • “The only true omni-channel in marketing is the consumer. Marketing has to catch up.” @inspiremartech #MarTech
  • Brand managers and leaders need to be technologists as well. Data is a core skill. – @inspiremartech #MarTech
  • Marketing: right brain. Technology: left brain. #MarTech needs people strong in BOTH brains. Our greatest challenge is very rare talent.
  • #MarTech @lauramclellan: What will happen to marketing when we have to deal with business, people, and things (Internet of Things)?
  • 91% of sales revenue is coming through marketing channels. 46% of marketers have their own P&L. @lauramclellan #MarTech
  • Most progressive companies sell marketing data to best customers, to big data companies. 87% sell/share. @lauramclellan #MarTech
  • CMO spends more on IT than CIO. Predicted 2017, we have reached that in 2014, 3 years early. @lauramclellan #MarTech
  • Marketing CMOs now own the whole customer experience in the most progressive companies, from product to retention. @lauramclellan #MarTech
  • 38% of CEOs @Gartner interviewed have shifted investment priorities to digital marketing. @lauramclellan #MarTech http://t.co/LjNg6pm0Jh
  • Hottest hybrid role in 3-4 years: strategic alliances manager. Technologist, strategist, marketer. @lauramclellan #marTech
  • 80% of large companies now have marketing technologists (or equivalent). @gartner @lauramclellan #MarTech
  • CMTs will own/lead 6 innovation roles: responder, counselor, navigator, scholar, conductor, pollinator. #MarTech @lauramclellan
  • Marketing flashpoints: holistic customer experience, customer-centric digital commerce, Internet of Things. #MarTech @lauramclellan
  • You will have to scrap your eCommerce platform – was written by operations and IT, not customer-focused. #MarTech @lauramclellan
  • What makes a marketing technologist? Curiosity. Leadership. Creativity. Risk-taker. Can start as tech or marketer. @lauramclellan #MarTech
  • Strategy is not a goal. Strategy is a method to achieve a goal. @draab #MarTech
  • Challenge people using the word strategy to match the equation: method + goal = strategy. @draab #MarTech
  • Food for thought: Strategy is about what you say no to. Leadership is about who you say no to. #MarTech
  • Brands are in the customers’ minds. Strategies are in the company’s mind. @draab #MarTech
  • 2 obstacles to marketing change in organizations: accountability and complacency. @paulroetzer #MarTech
  • On average, marketers depend on data for only 11% of customer-focused decisions. @ceb_news #MarTech
  • Success is the greatest impediment to marketing progress and innovation. @paulroetzer Risk aversion rampant. #MarTech
  • The best marketers can think on a strategic level, then execute on a tactical level & get hands dirty. @paulroetzer #MarTech
  • Only 1 in top 10 marketing programs REQUIRE a digital marketing course. Universities aren’t making marketing technologists. #MarTech
  • Universities reward stability, not change or innovation. @markwschaefer via @paulroetzer #MarTech http://t.co/Ixw3XJ7fYR
  • PR20/20 screens candidates w/marketing automation. If you don’t check out all of their site, no interview. @paulroetzer #MarTech
  • #MarTech @paulroetzer demoing impressive custom marketing operations management system built in @Podio.
  • #MarTech @kaykas says the vast majority of CEOs have come from the sales organization, for good or ill.
  • The biggest farce in marketing and software is believing we know what customers want before we build it. @kaykas #MarTech
  • The best storytellers may have high math aptitudes because you have to be great to craft stories from data. #martech @kaykas
  • Great feedback: Describe. Analyze. Evaluate. Foundation of agile marketing processes. @kaykas #MarTech
  • 3A’s for finding marketing technologists: aptitude, altitude, attitude. Smart. Strategic. Motivatved. @erica_seidel #MarTech
  • Scout/Evaluate/Sell are HR equivalents to Lead Gen, Lead Qual, and Closing. @erica_seidel #MarTech
  • 3% of hires came from postings on LinkedIn. Direct outreach works much better than advertising. Scout your talent. @erica_seidel #MarTech
  • Marketing technologists have to be scouted and identified by skills, proactively. They won’t find you. #MarTech @erica_seidel
  • Hiring is selling, especially when talent is scarce. Craft your selling message w/as much effort as product sales. #MarTech @erica_seidel
  • Marketing is leading the Big Data charge @scotiabank in financial services, pushing organizations. #MarTech http://t.co/yNBJRApPxW
  • #MarTech plays the middleware, connecting IT and marketing to generate real results. @janehiscock
  • RT @teenord: Everyone has an opinion and they’re all backed by data. #bigdatarisk #martech
  • If gov’t outlaws third party cookies, a lot of marketers will suddenly be without data. #MarTech @teedubya
  • Build your own cloud rooted in effective tag management. @teedubya #MarTech
  • #MarTech: Amara’s law, we overestimate short-term impacts of tech & underestimate long-term impact. @chiefmartec
  • #MarTech What’s needed to change the world: a power system and a control system. Power + structure. @erikbryn http://t.co/Jv0SeF5UC0
  • Industrial Revolution complemented humans w/physical power. Machine Revolution substitutes humans w/mental power. #MarTech @erikbryn
  • Industrial machines need people to scale. Information age machines need fewer people. @ErikBryn #MarTech Structural unemployment long-term.
  • #MarTech Driverless trucks for long-haul trucking is where the $$$ is, @erikbryn: http://t.co/fueVrFuXKI
  • In 10 years, talking to our machines will be the default mode of interaction. @erikbryn #MarTech
  • How valuable is a press release? Machines can write them flawlessly now, without human editing. @erikbryn #MarTech #PR
  • IBM Watson got temporarily fouled up in natural language processing when it read Urban Dictionary. @erikbryn #MarTech
  • #IBM Watson evolved much faster than humans to win Jeopardy. Total unstructured data. @erikbryn #MarTech http://t.co/7m3WMe5VsZ
  • #MarTech machine learning now being used in HR to automate hiring, more accurate than humans for good fits. @erikbryn
  • RT @ValaAfshar: Everything in this 1991 Radio Shack flyer is now in your smartphone! http://t.co/f3H60FXvYq #MarTech
  • #MarTech more and more humans will be left behind as machines advance. #TheGreatDecoupling @erikbryn
  • Food for thought: the only way humans will keep up with machines is to augment ourselves with machines. #MarTech
  • #MarTech winners and losers: high skilled workers win. mid and low skill workers lose and are left behind. @erikbryn
  • #MarTech most hurt in wages and employment are middle-skill workers. Service jobs OK so far at low income end. @erikbryn
  • #MarTech Winners and losers: owners of capital win far more than laborers, driven by technology & robots. @erikbryn http://t.co/23RUu38fp5
  • #MarTech winners and losers: Superstars vs. everyone else. Mega-influencers will win more and more in the machine age. @erikbryn
  • #MarTech Free, perfect, and instant makes incredibly high barriers to entry. Early winners tend to remain winners in digital age. @erikbryn
  • #MarTech Thomas Piketty’s excellent book Capital in the 21st Century is free on Amazon Prime Unlimited: http://t.co/p8Ol6Hgnxz
  • #MarTech Computing power evolution: Today, smartphone chess programs can beat human grandmasters. @erikbryn
  • #MarTech The grand challenge is to race with machines, not against them, playing to human & machine strengths. @erikbryn
  • #MarTech Humans still good at creativity, interpersonal skills w/other humans, fine motor control. Remaining jobs will be there. @erikbryn
  • #MarTech 4Es of Marketing: Experience, Everywhere, Evangelism, Exchange, to replace 4Ps. @sheldon_tm
  • #MarTech Where do software & marketing ideas come from? Theft, Method, Intuition. Reusing ideas, frameworks, guessing. @sheldon_tm
  • #MarTech: CFO: What happens if people leave us after investing in their training? CEO: What happens if we don’t and they stay? @sheldon_tm
  • #MarTech What Sapient Nitro teaches at its Marketing Technologist University. @sheldon_tm http://t.co/QS1FEQGyed
  • #MarTech Create comb-shaped teams of T-Shaped people and you have a marketing A-Team. @sheldon_tm http://t.co/12A9LZ9KRh
  • Top performers not used to struggling in new territory, #MarTech university was an emotional shock to them. @sheldon_tm
  • The #MarTech CMTO lives at the intersection of storytelling and technology. @sheldon_tm
  • “Learn is NEVER in the past tense” – love that tagline from @sheldon_tm #MarTech
  • #MarTech Core message to marketing technology leaders (and would-be): BUILD something with your own hands/mind.
  • #MarTech We must retrain marketers for a post-broadcast world. Marketing technology is that bridge. @sheldon_tm
  • #MarTech fastest pace of technology change has been last 2-3 years. Customers more powerful than ever. @sherylpattek http://t.co/pFkKEz7kZD
  • #MarTech Attention is now THE scarce resource. 20% Y-o-Y decreases in adult attention span. Currently 8 sec. @sherylpattek
  • #MarTech “Brand is the emotional aftertaste of a series of experiences.” @zefrank Customers define brand by memory & experience.
  • #MarTech: Fast + Easy + Relevant = Convenience. Helps to define disruption. @sherylpattek
  • RT @dharmesh: When it comes to the customer journey, companies should be the friendly tour guide, not the cranky bus driver. #martech
  • #MarTech CMOs are largely not technological and need help understanding & improving technology impact on P&L.
  • #MarTech @McKinsey says companies that use analytics extensively see 23x boosts in customer acquisition. @jasonheller http://t.co/Qen5DEf74t
  • “Culture eats strategy for breakfast.” – Peter Drucker @jasonheller #MarTech
  • #MarTech Core principles of growth hacking: user-get-users. Fast onboarding. Big platforms. Product hooks. @SeanEllis http://t.co/amDrXi4cHv
  • #MarTech Going on stage in 5 minutes. Get the entire eBook for my talk here: http://t.co/sIHmnKA0I1
  • #MarTech Want to share algorithmic thinking tweets? I wrote some starter ones for you, just tap/click to share: http://t.co/79p18bedE3
  • #MarTech People + Process + Data + Technology = Marketing Capability @shawngoodin
  • Thanks @chiefmartec and @MarTechConf for having me at #MarTech! eBook & slides for my talk are here: http://t.co/v84FqjEMSs
  • #MarTech Capability scorecards/metrics let you understand what’s most broken in your marketing stack. @shawngoodin http://t.co/cyKIn3ASAp
  • #MarTech “Marchitecture” – fun neologism for marketing technology stack. @shawngoodin http://t.co/IAZpqQm4hm

If you’d like to get my slides and talk from the conference, it’s available here:

Marketing_Machine_Cover

I look forward to hopefully being at the next MarTech conference, and I would encourage you to register and sign up for it as well, if you have any interest in marketing technology, if you want to know more about it or improve your own skills.

I would like to thank Scott Brinker and the team at Third Door Media for putting together such an incredible event and having me speak at it.


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Emerging Trends in Marketing: Chasing Yield

This is the third in a series of posts on long-term things that will impact your marketing environment, from automation to macroeconomic trends. Keep these trends in mind as you craft your marketing strategy!

You’ve likely noticed that an awful lot of things are getting funded these days, from potato salad to apps that say Yo! Billions of dollars in investment are floating around. Why?

Treasury_Yield_30_Years_Index_Chart_-_Yahoo__Finance

You don’t need to be an economist or a statistician to understand what direction this chart is headed. This is the 30 year Treasury bond rate, considered one of the safest investments you can make. Buying a 30 year bond today isn’t even going to beat top-line inflation. Here’s the Federal Funds rate, the rate at which banks borrow money from the US government:

Banners_and_Alerts_and_Effective_Federal_Funds_Rate_-_FRED_-_St__Louis_Fed

If this were a medical patient, they’d be on their deathbed. Banks are effectively borrowing money nearly for free. That means a lot of surplus cash in the financial system, cash that needs a place to go.

If you’re a fund manager who has a portfolio with a nearly-guaranteed rate of return (such as someone who manages pension funds), you’re feeling a lot of pain. People will be withdrawing from the fund at a faster rate than you can replenish it via earnings from investments and interest. Thus, you go out and chase yield, or make speculative gambles all over the place in order to meet your obligations. If your pension fund promises X% annual return, then you need to take bigger risks than Treasuries or banks to make that return.

What does that mean for you as a marketer? It means there’s a lot of cash in the system at the moment, and thus a lot of highly speculative investments in anything that might even remotely look like a good return on investment. Lots of new marketing tools, social media tools, and advertising tools will receive millions of dollars in funding, even if they don’t necessarily have sound business practices. You’ll often see marketing companies touting recent investments made in them as a sign of confidence from the market. Because of the loose dollars floating around, that’s not necessarily a strong sign of confidence.

If you’re betting your company on one of these tools, make financial inquiries as part of your due diligence. Ask for the equivalent of a prospectus before you hand over all your analytics or social media to a company whose burn rate (the rate at which cash is expended) could put them out of business in a year or less.

On the other hand, if you’re a marketer with a great product idea, now is probably about as good as it’s going to get to start a company, build your product rapidly, and get funding. The well of cash will eventually dry up, so get funding while the funding is there.


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