UnCovered

A Beautiful Night for an Uber Tech Talk

A Beautiful Night for an Uber Tech Talk

While it was cold and dreary outside it was warm, cozy and full of good food and good people in Uber’s Headquarters for a presentation by Josh Wills, Director of Data Science at Cloudera. Josh’s presentation focused on the problems facing data scientists in a rapidly changing environment and the steps to find the best algorithm to any unique data set and statistical problem.

Starting the talk with his definition of a “Data Scientist (n.): Person who is better at statistics than any software engineer and better at software engineering than any statistician,” Josh went into the basics of data science, machine learning and the differences between the academic and industrial pursuits of data scientists. He stated that the goal for most academic data scientists is having their paper accepted in the prestigious NIPS conference. While the goal of those working in the industry is to make money. He used his experience working with Google’s advertising division to show the balance between pleasing the client and making money while not upsetting the users; emphasizing the motto that done is better than perfect and the notion that the most data the fastest wins.

Josh later described 4 ways data scientists test data.

  • Collaborative Filtering:Find Hidden Treasure.
  • Random Forests:Using big data set, sample many times, makeup a bunch of prediction models and take the sum of all of them; ensemble models, works best.
  • K-means Clustering: Don’t use for the clustering, use it to find things that do not cluster well. May lead to fraud detection, among other things.
  • Non-random sampling: Often push aside, but if done correctly can work very well

Josh stressed that in the end each model has its strengths and weaknesses; to find the right solution to complex problems you must use many techniques. He concluded his presentation by talking about his most recent work.

March 26th, 2013
Discussion

Tags:

  • science
  • strategy
  • innovation
  • cloud
  • data
  • algorithm

Save your Brand from Having a Multiple Personality Disorder

Save your Brand from Having a Multiple Personality Disorder

Now more than ever brands have the ability to target their audiences through many different channels and it seems like creating a brand identity should have become easier. Digital convergence and electronic media, however, sometimes make it hard to keep a company’s voice consistent causing many brands to face the risk of suffering from a multiple personality disorder.

Inconsistent messaging is one of the worse things for a brand’s identity, because it can destroy credibility. Here are some tips to help unify the voice of staff members and benefit from the new reality of using multiple networks.

1. Educate your employees on brand’s vision and values. A multi-channel communication such as video and podcasts will help educate staff members about the company’s identity. These means of communication usually work better than just written words and will ensure that employees understand company’s values, vision and mission.

2. Build a team of brand advocates. Find some employees among your staff members who are interested in digital marketing so they can spread the word in social media. Most brands now understand the importance of strong social media presence and employees with such abilities are a strong asset. Just make sure that they keep the company’s voice and messaging consistent.

3. Sometimes a business has multiple brands and different target audiences. If your business is one of these, it is important to segment if you want to direct the right messages to the to the intended people. If your messaging is irrelevant, you lose the chance to engage the right audience.

4. Don’t be afraid to be imperfect and take risks because otherwise you might be perceived as boring. While you may strive for perfection, it is really hard to achieve so make sure that you do your best and preserve a fresh approach at the same time.

March 26th, 2013
Discussion

Tags:

  • strategy
  • brand
  • marketing
  • social+media

Marketing Trends for 2013

Marketing Trends for 2013

Marketing is a business that changes quickly. Thanks to the popularity of the social media, trends are evolving every day and now companies have acquired more conversational approach when it comes to catching the attention of the individual consumer. In the upcoming 2013 this rising trend will continue. In addition, some experts in the field are trying to predict some new trends that will be important for the new year.

When it comes to managing marketing budgets, a survey shows that email, social media and mobile will be top priorities. Most marketing executives report planning to increase their marketing budgets on email campaigns. An increased budget for search marketing is also in the plans for 2013.

Email campaigns will still focus on social media, but 50% of the marketers plan to focus on subscriber engagement and almost 65% report plans to integrate email and social media.

When it comes marketing in social media, Facebook remains the most popular and targeted tool with Twitter coming closely after. Awareness building, customer loyalty and reach to new audiences are some of the tactics that marketers will concentrate in the process of building a brand.

The increased ownership and usage of mobile devices hasn’t been unnoticed by marketing professionals. Mobile apps, mobile advertising, location-based marketing and SMS alerts are all expected to increase in 2013.

The study, however, did not take under consideration that there is a possibility of a sudden emergence of a complete new social media channel. Only time will show how exactly 2013 will be different of 2012.

December 18th, 2012
Discussion

Tags:

  • marketing
  • strategy
  • sicial+media
  • mobile

What Marketing Professionals Need to Know

What Marketing Professionals Need to Know

Marketing professionals now go above and beyond to ensure their clients’ visibility in social media like Facebook and Twitter. But with the ever changing sites and consumer tastes, marketers never before had to adjust so quickly. Because of the fast evolving world of social media, customers tend to have a short attention span and it’s becoming harder to keep their focus for a longer time.

To ensure their clients’ success, marketers have learned to quickly adjust to new trends. A research has shown that certain strategies work better and manage to engage customers and fans more than others. So what are some of the best attention catching practices? Although it might be slightly different for each company depending on its type of audience, there are some patterns like optimal posting times on Facebook, types of contents, calls-to-action practices, and certain words and phrases that marketers opt for.

It turns out that the best time to post on Facebook and Twitter to get some interaction is on the weekends, not on the weekdays as it was previously believed. To accommodate this need, however, will mean that the working hours of marketing professionals have to change. In addition, the best time of the day to post is actually at night - between 8pm and 7am, when people are not working. When it comes to content, shorter posts tend to do better than longer ones. For example, posts containing 80 characters or fewer receive 23% higher more interactions than wordy posts. Photos, however, remain most successful as people like to look at images.

Very effective is also the practice to ask fans to perform a desired action. For example, when people are asked to “like” or “share” a post, they usually comply. In addition, asking fans to comment, usually increases the comment rate 3.3 times. The reason of this obedience is unknown.

If marketers follow these guidelines, they can increase the visibility and interaction level between clients and fans. It will be interesting to see how these trends evolve over time as in today’s social media world, nothing stays the same for too long.

December 7th, 2012
Discussion

Tags:

  • marketing
  • social+media
  • trends
  • facebook+twitter
  • strategy
  • brand
  • content

Making Money With Your Mobile Apps

Making Money With Your Mobile Apps

Several mobile app developers gathered in San Francisco to discuss what it takes to succeed in the business. One of the main topics was how to choose what app to develop as there are plenty of them out there. In other words, how do we know what will be hot in the market? One of the developers explained that a good approach is to Google search popular terms and find out what people are looking for. It is not enough, however, to just deliver what people need. Because there are many apps and products out there, some developers pointed out that uniqueness is the most important for a new app to succeed. So the advice was to either come up with a complete new idea or to take a new, fresh angle on an old one.

New Marketing approaches were also discussed and the word-of-mouth was given as the most important tool. The developers argued that the most important approach to new, modern marketing was public engagement. They pointed out that it is crucial to keep users’ interest because, as it is in the world of video games, many stop using the app after a very short time. Therefore, developers and marketers have to come up with new ways to engage the consumer.
 
The cost of apps was also brought up. It was discussed that although many apps are free, the ones that cost $0.99 and $1.99 are very popular. Because of the huge demand of apps, there are many possibilities in the market.
 
Some of the best ideas for apps that participated in the discussion were a Healthy Food app, where consumers will order organic food from local stores and Hide My Pictures, an app that allow users to keep personal photos in their phones without anyone else seeing them. The enthusiastic audience gave some constructive feedback and was eager to know more about knew, blossoming ideas.
December 6th, 2012
Discussion

Tags:

  • apps
  • mobile
  • technology