Rufus Cuff Launch! My Initial Thoughts.

rufuscuffA couple of friends of mine have been working on a top secret project for the past year or so under the company name of “Rufus Labs,” which is named for their adorable dog who makes frequent appearances on Facebook. Well, this morning I got the email announcing the launch of the Indiegogo campaign for the Rufus Cuff!

No doubt wearables are all the rage these days, so the Rufus cuff will find itself among some pretty stiff competition. Samsung is launching a Galaxy Fit Band that goes with their cookie-sheet size phones. Even Apple is rumored to be working on some sort of iWatch.  A while back, I looked at lots of fitness trackers and ended up buying the FitBit Flex, but I can’t say I’m a superfan because that’s all it is, a fitness tracker. So, I’ve kind of been looking around for something that does more.

Could the Rufus Cuff be what I’m looking for? Here are my thoughts based on what I’ve learned from the Indiegogo site.

I’ll start with the cons.

First, the size. This thing looks HUGE.  That’s no surprise given everything it does. But I have rather slim wrists and I am not used to wearing a watch or anything. (The Fitbit Flex took a bit of getting used to.) Even though it’s just over 3 inches long, it seems like it could be a little clunky and awkward, particularly if you have to type into it with one hand as shown in the video. (Maybe that’s just me because I have fat fingers.)

The price. I’m REALLY conflicted over the price.  On one hand, the least expensive option on Indiegogo is $230, which seems like a lot for something I’m not sure I will 100% love and use every day.  But on the other hand, it does absolutely EVERYTHING. And from what I can tell, it’s actually not that much more expensive than far more limited competing products.

Here are the things I like about it.

It does SO MUCH! I don’t even know where to begin listing features, but it pairs with your iOS or Android smartphone, so a lot of what it does it accomplishes by running through those devices.  Can you make calls? Yes. Can you control your playlist? Yes. Does it tell you when you’re about to leave your phone at home and have the worst day of your life? Yes. Does it have a camera? Yes. Is it water resistant? Yes. Does it do exercise tracking? Yes.

It does SO SO MUCH! And the bands come in lots of colors.

I put in a couple of questions: how long does the battery last? And how do you charge it? I’m also curious about how well it tracks different activities like climbing stairs vs. running vs. riding a bike.  Does it have a sleep monitor?

I’m going to keep looking at this and studying the specs a bit more. I’ll probably put in several more questions before making a decision.  One thing is clear to me: this is a cool idea! And I hope my friends are wildly successful with their new product!

ShopItToMe: Doing Unsub Right

Some email marketers look at unsubscribe pages as a necessary evil and invest only in the bare minimum to satisfy CAN-SPAM requirements.  But unsub pages are full of opportunities.

Sure, everyone has heard of the opportunity to get insights into customers by surveying  unsubs for insights that you MIGHT use to improve your list, but that requires work. I mean, you have to collect the data, analyze the data, turn the results into an action plan, change your marketing plan. Oh, and that costs money. My email clients used to all but roll their eyes at me sometimes when I talked about tweaking their unsub pages.

Well, I want to call your attention to an unsub page that I think gives end users a really cool alternative to unsubscribing and it probably does not require a lot of extra work.

Shop It To Me LogoThe company in question is Shop It To Me. They allow users to go in and make some selections on the types of clothes and the brands they like and then they compile offers/sales matching those descriptions into a newsletter. It’s a little down market from the Gilt Groupes of the world, but it’s a solid service.  My biggest complaint is really just that their emails get so blasted long that I never actually looked at the offers.

So, lately, I’ve been unsubscribing from a lot of emails just in an effort to clean up my inbox and slow the daily onslaught of emails.  Shop It To Me came in and I thought, “Ehn. I like this, but I never really look at it. I should just go ahead and unsub.”  But when I clicked on the unsub link I was presented with a very nice page with a typical unsub option, but I was also shown this:

Screen Shot 2014-02-14 at 1.44.24 PMSo, instead of unsubbing they gave me the option to stay on the list, but to just take a little break from getting their emails.  The drop down allowed me to select from a number of time increments as well: 1, 2, or 3 weeks, or 1, 3, 6, or 9 months. Once I made my selection for a six month delay, they showed me this screen and prominently displayed the date at which I would start receiving messages again.

Screen Shot 2014-02-14 at 1.44.44 PM

I imagine in their email database there is a simple field with that date which they use as an exclusion rule from their targeting with each launch.  Easy-peasy!

And it’s perfect for retaining users like me who like the email but are just a little tired right now. If I had unsubscribed, then chances are I would never be back. Now they have a chance to retain me as a customer.

Well done, Shop It To Me! Well done!


My First AdAge Article!

I totally forgot to post about this last week.  But on Friday, I was published for the first time in AdAge.  WOOHOO!

The Key to Making Big Data Work for Advertisers

Although my name is on it, it’s actually the result of a lot of collaboration with some of my fellow professionals at Acxiom, so much thanks to them for helping me rocket to international marketing professional fame and glory.

Approaching the Long Tail of the Publisher Ecosystem

In the space between top publishers like Google, Facebook, and and the long tail of blogs and personal website, there is actually a scrappy segment of the publisher ecosystem that commands quite a bit of ad revenue.


I’m talking about pictures of cats.

Actually, I’m talking about networks of websites that generate all those pictures of cats and the funny captions.

Anyway, this article exposes some of the interactions between those players and how those interactions drive traffic and that ad revenue.

Daily Dot: The Reddit sleuths who brought down a meme empire

Ogilvy Imagines the Future of Customer Experience

OgilvyOne UK released this cool video showing how they think a customer might enjoy a world connected by data and technology.

Some points of it are a little preposterous (Oh, there’s only one sale and two concerts in London that she might want to know about? Right. They obviously haven’t seen my Facebook newsfeed.) but it’s overall a very nice presentation designed not to be completely accurate but to show us the potential that exists.

Download My Interview!

If you missed my interview with Dr. Diana Hsieh this evening, you can now listen to the recording.

It was a great talk and I could have gone on and on about all the various nuances of display advertising and online data collection and use.  SO much fun!

HUGE thanks to Dr. Hsieh for inviting me on!

My Slides from ATLOSCon

My talk at ATLOSCon over Memorial Day weekend went very well!  The group participated a lot, asked a lot of great questions, and seemed very interested in the topic of online advertising and privacy.

Well! I have just posted my slides to Slideshare, if you are interested.  Sorry it took so long, I only just finished adding my speaker notes to the slides. (Yeah, I know. Obviously, I did the presentation without notes. I’m amazing like that.)


I’m Being Interviewed!

I’ll be talking to Dr. Diana Hsieh from Philosophy in Action tomorrow night talking about online marketing and privacy!

Join me, philosopher Dr. Diana Hsieh, as I interview online marketing professional Trey Peden on “Privacy and Online Marketing” on the next episode of Philosophy in Action Radio. The live broadcast starts promptly at 6 pm PT / 7 MT / 8 CT / 9 ET on Wednesday, 12 June 2013. If you can’t attend live, be sure to listen to the podcast later.

 Here’s the more detailed announcement! WOOHOO!

Interesting News from the World of Cloud-Based Marketing Tech… and Email Makes Its Biggest Acquisition Yet, Buys ExactTarget for $2.5 Billion

The deal is another example of the boom in marketing software that runs in the cloud. Salesforce has made a series of acquisitions in this space in recent years, the most recent and now largest of which was Buddy Media, for which it paid $745 million last year.

I’ve used (SFDC) at work as a sort of CRM system.  And I’m most familiar with Exact Target via their email solution, but know they offer a lot more than that.

As the article notes, SFDC has been very active in acquisitions of late.  It will be interesting to see what they do with all of these things. It will also be interesting to see if they develop the same issues Adobe has had with getting all their new toys to play together.  SFDC is definitely a company to watch!


Bits & Pieces