Digital Trends: 03.15.22

Amazon & Retail Innovation

Jeff Bezos famously called Amazon “the best place in the world to fail”, recognizing that “failure and invention are inseparable twins”. To that end, the company is closing all of its physical bookstores and other shops to focus on grocery. And the company is launching a new app to designed to help creators DJ their own live radio shows. I don’t see the fit – but I suppose that’s the point.

Amazon can continue to fund these experiments in large part due to its growing advertising business ($31 billion in 2021, and 34% growth). Here’s an excellent report on how brands are selling on Amazon. I haven’t seen a study like this before, as it breaks down average Amazon seller revenues and ad spend. It's worth a skim. SNL had a hilarious take on the Amazon Go concept, highlighting how the grab and go model might not sound appealing to everyone.

Wordle & The Nice Internet

Another day, another new Wordle-clone. This time it’s Heardle – a music trivia-based game that is actually pretty fun (sound on!) My personal favourite Wordle-clone is – Poeltl (pronounced ‘PER-tull), after former Raptor centre Jakob Peoltl that focuses on basketball players. Netflix is even getting in on the trivia action, with a new daily trivia series called Trivia Quest starting next month. What’s behind this craze? The New Yorker has a great feature on the founder of Worldle “Does Wordle Prove That We Can Have Nice Things On the Internet?” who shares his philosophy on designing online experiences that do not devolve into “spam and swastikas”. More please.

Smart Reads

  • Martech Use Cases: Scott Brinker reminds marketers that it’s not the size of your stack, it’s how you use it. And by use it, I of course mean the number of martech use cases that you have globally adopted.
  • Storytelling Canvas: Stronger Stories has blended Joseph Campbell’s Hero’s Journey with the Business Model Canvas and come up with a very cool Storytelling Canvas. Check out the canvas here, and a completed version based on Don’t Look Up here. Framework catnip for me.
  • Strategy Aggregation: Roger Martin explains (and visualizes) the relationship between corporate vs. business unit strategy. He uses the metaphor of ‘reinforcing rods’ to explain how mechanisms can be put in place to benefit both levels.

Good Threads

  • B2B Campaigns: If you’re in B2B and looking for some creative inspiration this thread has a bunch of fantastic examples including this classic – The Power of Wind.
  • Generation-Defining Stats: Jeff Bezos started Amazon because the Internet was growing 2300% per year. Steph Smith has a fascinating thread on the potential stats defining our generation.
  • Product vs. Marketing Analytics: A useful table (and smart replies) in this thread from John Cutler on how measuring marketing campaigns differ from measuring products like a new mobile app.

Finally, I can’t mention Twitter without mentioning my favourite new follow @jaythechou who photoshops Paddington the Bear into movies and TV shows - one image per day. We can have nice things on the Internet after all.

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