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"The Emperor [not wanting to be overdressed]: I don't want to blind them, I just want them to blink a little." — The Emperor's New Clothes (Read Part 1 , Part 2 and Part 3 of this Death of Advertising series.) Fashion brands continue to expend exorbitant amounts of money for new digital and online channels to make their brands the 'new hotness'. Usually these digital campaigns go unseen . So how to get hipsters, Gen Z and Millennials to buy into a fashion or a brand? Is it a cool Snapchat campaign? Or Instagram stories media blitz? Or banner ads on Facebook? The answer is no. Or sure, you can throw your money away. These are akin to a person handing flyers out in front of Target, Wal-Mart or the subway station. Are you marketing to them? Yes. Are you creating interest? Maybe. Do they remember your pitch? Undetermined. Do people buy what you are selling on the flyer? Probably not. Usually the flyers are left for the parking lot sweepers to push into a ball and throw into the rubbish. Back in 2013, I wrote an article in Enterprise Innovation about affinity ratios stating that if you want a nearly-automatic guarantee someone is going to purchase, create an affinity. An affinity is an automatic trust. How to create an affinity? I wrote, "Affinity initiates with the same beginnings: same hometown, same university, same degree, same professor. The more places the two of you share – someone from your hometown, someone who has also traveled to multiple places – the stronger the bond that’s created. It’s as if you found someone who knows where you came from and also knows how hard it was to get out of your hometown and make it this far. As Singapore Fashion Week begins this October 26-28 with the inaugural fashion tech summit, Zipcode , making its debut to discuss the tapestry of technology and chic, a focal point should be made about the story of fashion. People buy top dollar for a convincing story. Story creates affinity. Not the history of all fashion and why skinny pants are the new 'it'. I also do not mean the story behind the brand ambassadors. Although from an estimated ad recall lift perspective we do see superstars as persons of influence. But they do not create an affinity. Am I truly interested in Alfred Dunhill because of Jude Law ? Or does my girlfriend go on a buying binge at Topshop because of Natalie Portman at the Oscars? Does the brother feud between Adidas and Puma entice me to choose one shoe over the other? Normally not. People seek affinity. Something that is in common with their goals, their wants or their past. Affinity can also be empathy. You feel the goals, the wants or the past of the person that created the thing you wanted to purchase. How to do this? #thenakedemperors What is the story of your clothes? What you are wearing 'right now'? Who was the designer who came up with the idea? What was their inspiration? Who was the model who wore it on the runway during the fashion show? How did they feel about wearing it? What was the struggle in them getting it mass produced? Who was the seamstress on the assembly line who stitched your particular clothes together? Who was the driver who drove the truck to your store where you tried it on? Or brought it to the online warehouse where it was deposited? Who was the person who shipped your clothes to you? Or if in a store, who were the people that tried on your outfit in the dressing room before you bought it? This is what I call the concept of #the naked emperors. Naked being the keyword. A transparent marketing campaign that shows the world everything. From the vision, the conception and the creation to the reveal and how it got to be on your body. And going even further, the life of your clothes with you wearing them. Maybe even further, to the point of when you donate the clothes to charity or hand them down to family and friends. Sound impossible? Actually it is very simple. Start with the reinvention of the barcode As Wikipedia explains:  a barcode is an optical, machine-readable, representation of data; the data usually describes something about the object that carries the barcode. Originally barcode systematically represented data by varying the widths and spacings of parallel lines, and may be referred to as linear or one-dimensional. Barcodes have not really changed or evolved since their birth in 1974. And if not the barcode, hashing the brand label. What if we replaced labels or barcodes with hashtags? Especially now as Twitter is doubling the number of characters that a person can tweet to 280. With a hashtag representing an individual piece of clothing – listing its designer, the factory it was created, the transportation company that brought it, to the store number it arrived at – hashtag tracking can allow consumers to follow the story of their clothes. #thenakedemperors a 16-character representation of what's needed to reinvent the barcode. The first three characters representing the designer or the brand, the second three characters representing the type of clothing – pants, skirt, blouse – the third place being two characters representing the factory or assembly line, fourth is two characters representing the transportation or driver, sixth three double characters representing the warehouse or the store sent to and last but not least the final three numbers being the item number. Along every point of distribution from idea to manufacturing using social media to create videos, blogs, short video form to create the story of the clothing glued together via the hashtag. Examples of what you can do In the dressing rooms putting up signs for people who try on clothes to take selfies using the hashtag so you can see the others who tried on the clothes before them. Able to tweet the hashtag to complain about quality of a piece of clothing in order to investigate supply chains. If a person loses a piece of clothing tweeting the hashtag to see if someone finds it. If you want to see other people wearing your type of blouse or pants – simply use the first six characters of the hashtag to see the see different styles of the same type of clothing including those who have already purchased or those in real time who are purchasing. In order to do the trace, create hash tracking app functionality that goes across Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat or any future social media tools such as how Keyhole functions . In order to disrupt the fashion and designer brand-making business is a simple 16-character hashtag. A pennies-on-the-dollar expenditure to create affinity between consumers and product. Note that it will transparently show you what your advertising agency does not – the real living and breathing brand ambassadors – your actual customers. You can even trace marketing campaigns in real time back to actual product purchases on a daily expenditure summary. Future social media banner ads and YouTube pre-roll ads using expensive Hollywood brand ambassadors can be replaced in real time with Instagram stories or Snapchats of people the viewer knows – family and friends – right now who are trying on or who have just purchased the brand because they tagged #thenakedemperors publicly. Affinity opens the eyes of your potential customers. Not blind them with science. Article written by Gary Jackson Image credit by Pexels  Want more? For Job Seekers | For Employers | For Influencers
(Read Part 1 , Part 2 and Part 3 of this Death of Advertising series.) Facebook's mid-roll ads haven't brought the publisher revenue as promised. Recently quoted, "They are only paying if a view gets to the 20-second mark and the user consumes the ad ." The question is not about the views or the ads that pre-roll, but how many people are actually paying attention? And if they are, maybe it's for the wrong reasons. If you have children, and they are watching a toy unpacking or a cartoon – how many times do they erupt into a crying fit when an advertisement splices their content in two? Then suddenly they are flicking their finger across their tablet or phone trying to get the ad to go away. But aren't we as adults doing the same? How many of the ads on YouTube or Facebook have you clicked on, say, this week or just yesterday? I will guess that it was exactly zero. How many times do you twiddle your thumbs until the “Skip Ad” button appears? The only exception to this rule is for movie trailers. Movie trailers keep one's attention unless it's been repeated too many times. Even as Alphabet, owner of Google and YouTube, and Facebook have created a duopoly where competition from the likes of Twitter and Snap have no room to break through – the digital advertising market is due for a disruption. Why? Because how can both companies still be making record profits when no one is clicking on the ads? Or maybe advertisers do not care that there is no connection to the product purchases and the advertisers who are pumping millions of dollars to get you to buy something? Or is it simply for the ad recall lift – the concept that a consumer will remember your ad in two days? But is total recall worth the money? Russia might say  it was money well spent in order to disrupt the United States elections. Closer to home, some art foundations also agree it's totally worth it. As recall brings about the increase of attendance to ballet and other art-focused programs and concerts. Some would argue that the interruption disruption is destroying everything. Even Forrester published a report that stated "Consumers' hatred of interruption is killing online advertising and brands," and recommended "moving towards AI instead." But how will artificial intelligence (AI) help when all it can do to predict if you will buy or purchase by looking at your past? It's only a faster version to get you in a hamster wheel to do the same thing you did yesterday. An alternative is for advertisers to move to a branding of conversational UI using AI . For example, having a conversation with Luke Skywalker (in character) on the Star Wars: The Last Jedi Facebook page and offering a link to pre-purchase tickets during the conversation. Encapsulating human experience plus branding, much like the infamous Old Spice Twitter ad response campaign , and automating it with AI is the next evolutionary step. So now the question isn't about how much money you are spending to force people's attention, but how much are you willing to pay to create it? How much is creating attention worth to you? We will answer that right after this commercial break. Article written by Gary Jackson Image credit by Getty Images, E+, Peopleimages Want more? For Job Seekers | For Employers | For Influencers
You'll notice the term "Data Scientist" isn't gender specific. To encourage more women to enter the analytics profession, Capella University, in collaboration with SAS, awarded four full-tuition scholarships to female students who start either the Bachelor's in Information Technology with a minor in Data Analytics or Master's in Analytics degree program this October. In addition to the full-tuition scholarships, the recipients were able to attend the 2017 Analytics Experience in Washington, D.C. last month. The recipients will also visit the SAS corporate headquarters in Cary, N.C. where they will network with other analytics professionals, including SAS Women's Initiatives Network, a group of 600+ female SAS employees that fosters female leadership and professional excellence at SAS and reaches into communities to empower and inspire women to pursue STEM-related careers. icrunchdata speaks with noteworthy professionals about their data analytics experience. Today, the four scholarship winners share thoughts on career goals, helpful advice and takeaways from the recent conference. Let's begin... 2017 Winners Bachelor of Science in Information Technology – Data Analytics Scholarship Winners LaWanda Edwards  started her career as a school counselor and later became a counselor educator in higher education. She always loved math and using technology to be an effective educator and administrator, but her interest in data analytics began about a year ago. She discovered how data can be used to identify positive and negative factors that impact student learning. She also discovered the Women in Analytics scholarship and knew this was the opportunity to start a career in data analytics. Your Goals: "To continue working in higher education and help students in the P-12 and higher education settings. This scholarship will not only help me to gain the knowledge and skills needed to help students, it will also help me to receive the mentorship from SAS needed to successfully implement what I learn at Capella University." Biggest Takeaway from Analytics Experience 2017: "I really enjoyed the conference. I saw how data analytics can be used in educational and business settings. My biggest takeaway was the wide use of data analytics and how it can positively impact the world. I am looking forward to working with my data colleagues to make a difference in the world." Advice for Women Pursuing a STEM-related Career: " Become unstoppable, and do not allow anyone to tell you what you cannot do. 'Be that girl who wakes up with purpose and intent. Be that girl who believes anything is possible and is willing to work for it.' (Author Unknown)" Topics that Interest You Most: " I am interested in using analytics to help schools identify effective teaching and counseling techniques, especially when working with minority students in the P-12 settings. I am also interested in working with professionals in higher education to identify at-risk students and proactively work to retain students in colleges and universities." Natalie McCants has been an active member of the tech community for more than 25 years focused on the sales of various technology platforms across multiple industries, including business development, account management, outsourcing and consulting. Currently, she is focused on building business solutions for clients in the areas of business transformation – digital as well as increased awareness of the customer experience using data analytics to form better insights for improved business outcomes.  Your Goals: "To build additional credibility in a field of extreme importance to the future of how we interact with technology, business and our customers (external and internal). This scholarship will assist me in advancement within a still nascent area with skillset shortage and opportunity abundance within the tech industry." Biggest Takeaway from Analytics Experience 2017: "I have attended many conferences over the years, and this one ranks at the very top of the list. The content was relevant as well as current. The content allowed for real-time interaction with leaders in the field of analytics. Most importantly, the atmosphere was friendly and engaging while at all times allowing for intellectual growth without being stuffy." Advice for Women Pursuing a STEM-related Career: "Stick with it despite the obstacles and treat every challenge as an opportunity. This is a great field for economic and personal fulfillment." Topics that Interest You Most: " As a result of attending the SAS Analytics Experience, I have become very interested in the emerging technologies of artificial intelligence. Particularly, the subcategories of deep and transfer learning as well as IoT and security." Master of Science in Analytics Scholarship Winners Jahna Lindquist  has a passion for making connections and doing good. After graduating with a double major in mathematics and German, she held positions as an environmental scientist, research analyst and middle school math teacher/interventionist. Now, she consults as an evaluator of school/student performance for a charter school authorizer. The connection between all her roles is data analytics: monitoring conditions and using data to inform a course of action. She applied for this scholarship after finding herself in career transition for the third straight year due to budget cuts and contract nonrenewal as an interventionist. Winning means that she will be able to complete the program on time and with the support of the many people who made the partnership between Capella and SAS possible. Your Goals: "To be part of something that is for the good of my community and provides opportunities to others, and to accomplish this goal using data. This scholarship makes my career transition from classroom educator to data analyst entirely possible. Without it, my plans would just be on paper and not my current reality." Biggest Takeaway from Analytics Experience 2017: "I was impressed by the caliber of the presenters and representation of so many industries. Frankly, data analytics types are just good people. I have several takeaways: 1) You can’t be what you can’t see. (Reshma Saujani) 2) Have a strategy and a plan and bring others along with you. (Magic Johnson) and 3) All data have a story to tell – you are its voice. Don’t stop with the numbers. (Megan Poole, “Tools of the Trade”)" Advice for Women Pursuing a STEM-related Career: " Be curious and experience new things: try coding, build something or take something apart, figure out how things go together. The more experiences you have, the more opportunities will become available to you. Persevere and know that each skill is something to develop with practice over time." Topics that Interest You Most: " I was really fascinated by the IoT applications [during the conference], and it’s exciting to see the possibilities that others are already implementing. I will also be following the developments of the GatherIQ application. I think that taking advantage of the crowdsourcing availability and interaction is a great opportunity to connect people." Danna Keller is a US Navy Veteran with a background in Computer Information Systems and Health Information Management. She works for the VA in Las Vegas as a Program Analyst, analyzing data for clinical programs to ensure facility workload is captured accurately to maximize funding and reimbursement. She's always been interested in process improvement. However, it’s her current position that peaked her interest in analytics. Through data analysis, she is able to improve processes and visually present information, which allows leadership to make business-intelligent decisions.  Your Goals: "To improve healthcare for my fellow veterans; to improve clinical outcomes and increase access to care. I believe learning about data mining big data and visualizing the information will help drive change." Biggest Takeaway from Analytics Experience 2017: "The conference was an enlightening experience. It opened my eyes to the possibilities for changing and improving our world using analytics. My biggest takeaway is that I can influence change by helping leadership make data-driven decisions through analytics." Advice for Women Pursuing a STEM-related Career: "I have my faith in God, so I live my life for an audience of one. That helps me not to worry, to trust and let go of fear. My encouragement for young ladies is to have a purpose. Make sure that their goals line up to meet that purpose. Be strategic about the activities you participate in. Because distractions happen and can take you off your path. Seek out mentors to learn from, and be a mentor, to encourage others. Pay it forward! Tune out all the negative voices that take away from your goals. When self-doubts creep in, learn to encourage yourself." Topics that Interest You Most: "1) Data mining because this will be the tool I use the most to gather the data I need to help make improvements. 2) Visual analytics because it’s necessary to present the data into useful information. 3) IoT as edge devices are the technology that will be used the most for capturing and processing data. I need to get a better understanding of how to capture that information through data mining." Congratulations to the four scholarship winners. We appreciate you speaking with us and wish you much success. Visit to learn more > Article published by Anna Hill Image credit by Capella University Want more? For Job Seekers | For Employers | For Influencers
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