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This week, Travis and Stewart interview Damien Mahoney, who tells us everything we need to know about user-generated content, machine learning, AI, and what the future holds for consumer engagement.

In the news, we discuss the marketing implications of Amazon’s intention to buy Whole Foods, a new study that offers hope for competing ecommerce vendors, and blockchain for advertising.


By listening to this episode of the VB Engage podcast, you will hear:


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  • Welcome to VB Engage episode 57! [00:10]
  • This week, Stewart was in Barcelona at the I Am Tomorrow conference, a conference focusing on women in tech. [01:15]
  • The conference included 95 percent female speakers and panelists. [02:05]
  • Congrats to Jenny Ham of Topeka, Kansas, who is the winner of our Huawei MediaPad M3 tablet! [02:45]
  • That’s right: We finally got an email response to the competition from a real life person! [03:15]
  • There were over 1,400 entrants in our contest! Thanks to everyone. [04:05]
  • Amazon moved to acquire Whole Foods this week. Big news. [04:30]
  • Amazon’s stock rose $15B in market share, essentially getting Whole Foods for free! [04:55]
  • Amazon has purchased over 400 hubs around the U.S. [05:10]
  • One AI-powered solution uses CCTV cameras to identify which items you’ve taken off the store shelves, and it will bill you as you walk out the door. [05:35]
  • Machine learning + artificial intelligence + Whole Foods [06:30]
  • Now that Amazon owns Whole Foods, chances are all Amazon purchases will be taxed locally. [07:10]
  • Don’t discount click and collect, which is very convenient in the UK, with packages delivered at the local corner shop. [08:10]
  • Amazon’s conversational UI, Alexa, and the new Wand. [09:25]
  • Interesting report out this week on the emotional triggers, based on research by Qubit. [10:30]
  • Scarcity, social proof, and urgency are the three triggers that most impact conversion optimization. [11:00]
  • Red buttons don’t work. [11:25]
  • This product is about to run out of stock. Order now. [11:40]
  • Travis and Stewart are heading to Vancouver for UnBounce‘s CTAConf to discuss conversion rate optimization. [13:25]
  • Also recently, the adChain Blockchain is being released to help verify ad spend and adtech. [13:55]
  • 24 billion clicks show that mobile ad fraud is rampant. Eight networks of 700 had 100 percent fraud. Only 23 had no fraud at all. [15:30]
  • Blockchain could completely disrupt the entire financial industry. [16:20]
  • Other advancements are developing including Ethereum. [17:45]
  • Recently the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance was formed. [18:00]
  • It’s been interesting watching multiple cryptocurrencies that are trading over $1B a day in volume. [18:35]
  • This week, we have the CEO and cofounder of Stackla, Damien Mahoney. [19:00]
  • Damien, in a former life before entrepreneurship, was an announcer for the Australian Football League. [20:00]
  • He had a secure job, but started working on his side hustle and became an entrepreneur. [22:15]
  • Social media is a demand generation platform and not a lead generation platform. [23:05]
  • How do you drive engagement with content? [24:00]
  • Drive awareness. Be a trusted source. [24:20]
  • How are brands identifying their most compelling customer stories? [24:45]
  • There are many types of user-generated content. Reviews, ratings, and other places. [25:15]
  • Brands are beginning to understand the power of user-generated content. [25:40]
  • There is a ton of brand UGC out there in the ether that they don’t even realize exists. [26:15]
  • Stewart wrote a report called Digital Pitchforks about people who rant about things online. [26:45]
  • Some companies use social as a megaphone and don’t even respond to support issues. [27:05]
  • Social media is rife for providing data for more useful insights. [27:45]
  • How are some brands using user-generated content in advertising? [29:40]
  • Stackla has seen a 4X uplift in results with ads that use UGC in the advertising. [30:25]
  • It’s like native advertising 2.0 — creative that is created by customers. [30:35]
  • Micro-influencers are found organically, and most regular customers trust them. [32:00]
  • Big thanks for coming on the show, Damien! [32:45]

If you missed last week’s episode, Travis and Stewart talked about artificial intelligence. A lot. In fact, it appears marketing is being taken over by AI, machine learning, and cognitive computing this week, as every piece of relevant news includes an AI element. After the news, we interviewed the one and only David Berkowitz about the future of social media.

Next week, we are chatting with Rishi Dave, the CMO of Dun & Bradstreet. We discuss account-based marketing and how to market and sell more efficiently.

As always, thanks for tuning into VB Engage. Please review it and rate it on your favorite podcast platform. Make sure to remark upon how smooth and silky Stewart’s voice is, and comment about how he is the 007 of the marketing technology world.

Until next week!


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