My contemporaneous notes from a particular INFORMS Marketing Science Conference six years ago feature the letters W, T, and F scrawled in the margins a few times. I learned of a deeper problem lurking in the way we were using the crosstab to identify segmentation. In this post, I’ll unpack a heap of jargon and lay the concern bare. To the twenty or so marketing scientists in the room at the time, I read concern on the faces of about a dozen. It was a atypical because typically that community doesn’t get concerned about too much. One leader remarked that most in industry were not even executing basic segmentation on their users, so it wasn’t a huge industrial concern, but[…]

Let’s start with a story. Daan did a traditional fast follow. He calls it Netherflix. His story was: “It’s like Netflix…for The Netherlands!”. At first, he buys rights on the cheap, pays for digital subtitling, and has a successful kickoff. He gets through to 10% household penetration, or roughly 700,000 subscribers, with an annualized gross revenue of about 60 million Euros. The strength of the Euro lets him raid the Anglosphere and he can stock 10,000 hours of content reliably [1]. He gets through the struggle of getting his stack to deliver content and minimize churn. He’s able to host and deliver 10,000 hours reliably, in spite of supporting video players across 11 different front end platforms, and the costs associated with hosting,[…]

That title, ‘morphing the lean startup’, may be technical jargon. But it is literal. And brief. I have a few thoughts to share about them both. Morphing There’s a very small sliver of research in the Marketing Science on morphing. Two papers, ‘website morphing‘, and its adtech successor, ‘morphing banner advertising‘, stand out as giants. This technology makes snap changes to a digital user experience. The ultimate reason why you’re not hearing more about morphing in adtech is because paid agencies can’t figure out how to scale the creative necessary to drive it. I’m convinced that morphing is the ultimate promise I bought into back in the mid-nineties – the perfect intersection of recsys and experience.     It requires an extreme[…]