I guess this why companies like Oracle and IBM keep buying advertising SaaSes and such:
The report estimates that in 2012, the data-driven marketing economy added $156 billion in revenue to the U.S. economy and fueled more than 675,000 jobs. To put that statistic in perspective, that’s nearly half of total U.S. expenditures on marketing and advertising services (estimated at $292 billion annually), more than half the size of the entire Internet ecosystem (estimated by the IAB at $300 billion) and more than two-thirds the size of the entire e-commerce market.
The $158B data-driven advertising market
I like how Alex sums up the current, overriding approach to development in passing:
Speed is the differentiator in almost any market that is getting disrupted by online services. In turn, online providers need faster ways to serve their customers. For example, a physical retailer will have to increasingly find new ways to minimize the costs that come with having a brick and mortar business. That means changing to a data-driven business that uses code as the base for its innovation.
Developers gorging on speed and data
Gmail’s designers also saw that most people never use text-formatting options, such as bold and italic, when writing email, so they hid all those buttons under a single icon in the new window. In both cases, they used data to hone their designs to mesh with how people engage with the product.
That’s a new version of the “no one ever uses ‘advanced search’” line.
Using user activity tracking data in application design
Cyrus Farivar has a long piece on the rise and fall(?) of Zynga in Ars. Lots of delightful little bits on maxing the viruses and Zombies:
“ I got a turbo education on how to do the viral marketing,” he said. “It’s where you design features to be more social: go accomplish this with your friends. How can I make this fun, especially asynchronously, and how can I get people to invite more people? What was good and transformative about FarmVille [was that] it brought in tens of millions of adults who had never played [games] ever. It opened up casual light entertainment, and not time sensitive gaming, to 100 million people.”
As the title here suggests, it reminded me of “gamification”: how can you make boring things in your software fun so that users (read: people) use it more effectively. I’m never sure if it panned out for white-collar work. I’m note sure filling out quarterly performance reviews or weekly sales data could ever be “fun.” It’s kind of fun in Foursquare and other places that outsource (mostly meatspace) data collection.
Also, awesome quote on being too data driven:
I had a PM tell me—many times—that they “couldn’t get data on fun.”
Remember when “gamification” was going to solve world (valuation) hunger?