“Was that bad? I won’t be offended. I was way out of of my depth,” read the text message that I sent to Kiri.
We had just wrapped recording our three-hundred-and-first episode of the Future Commerce podcast. And, futurists, I felt like a fraud; to the point that I felt like scrapping the episode entirely.
My stunning admission to Kiri — I know next-to-nothing about retail media networks, Amazon’s DSP, or its Marketing Cloud. What I do know is that they seem like important topics to unpack for our audience, and Kiri has a brand new report that delivers a new, apparently mind-blowing, insight, on the topic.
But I just didn’t get it.
Our good friend Kiri Masters has been a guest on the Future Commerce podcast five times in as many years. She was a featured expert in VISIONS 2022, and she co-hosted half of Season 2 of Infinite Shelf. She’s easily our most-featured guest and collaborator.
To top it off, there are few people I look up to as much as I do Kiri — sure, she’s a successful agency founder with an exit, a two-time published author, and one of the foremost experts on Amazon that you’ll find. But that’s not why I admire her. I admire Kiri because she’s kind, approachable, and encouraging.
Within minutes, Kiri called to talk me off the ledge. “I think that this is far afield of what you typically cover, and it’s okay to not understand it all,” said Kiri. “I talk to people everyday who are trying to buy and implement this technology, and it’s their job to understand it, and even they don’t get it.”
Building the future means that we’re creating it as we go — rather, we’re making it up as we go along. Most of us are so busy shipping (orders, software, refunds, podcasts, you name it) that it’s tough to keep up on new developments. Isn’t that the basis of the S-curve of Clayton Christenson’s The Innovator’s Dilemma? Innovation requires focus and creation. Industry, however, requires SOP, order, and predictability. It’s difficult to do both.
“I’ve been a full-time media founder for six months now, and I’m feeling increasingly irrelevant,” I confessed to Kiri. “What happens three years from now? Five? Will my eCom and Retail professional audience trust that what I say is insightful? I’m afraid of becoming an eCommerce fraud.”
“Well, you talk to people. Lots of people. You become the connector, the conduit,” she replied. “You don’t have to be the one with all the insight. You just have to present it in an insightful way. Be the audience surrogate — if you don’t know, they don’t either. You’ll learn it together.”
If you’ve ever felt like an eCommerce fraud, you’re not alone. If you’re feeling woefully behind on what Amazon DSP and Marketing Cloud can offer both endemic and non-endemic brands on their platform, then we’ve got something in common.
If you’re like me and you need the ABC-123’s of it all, check out this week’s podcast.
P.S. By the way, we’re a mere 48 days away from our first-ever VISIONS SUMMIT, live and in-person in Chicago. We’ll be spoiled for riches with the number and frequency of insights. Please come, and bring a colleague.Psst. Do you want a special discount?? Reply to this email.
Walmart Health Clinics Expand. Walmart is expanding its Walmart Health locations — staffed by Doctors — into Oklahoma City, Dallas, Houston, and Kansas City next year. The centers offer various services such as primary care, dental, lab, X-ray, and more. Our own Brian Lange thinks that Walmart could be even more aggressive about opening these:
With inflation/prices rising the way they have and the monumental amount people spend on healthcare, this could be an enabler for people to rebalance their budgets... capitalism finds a way?
Also, check out our interview with the VP of Walmart Health on episode 213 of the podcast.
Amazon News. Amazon is shutting down its Halo division, and is discontinuing sales of all Halo devices. Meanwhile, the company reported a growth surge after the post-pandemic slowdown, but growth in its cloud-computer is slowing. And in it’s new focus on profitability, the company has entered into a multi-year strategic ad partnership with Pinterest.
More Sights & Sounds. The newest Indiana Jones movie features an AI de-aged Harrison Ford during its first 25 minutes. And Walmart has determined that nearly 75% of its vedors prefer to negotiate with its chatbot, noting that the chatbot closes deals in days, versus weeks.
Friendly Competition? Big Lots and The Container Store have both that they will accept coupons from Bed Bath & Beyond, following the company’s bankruptcy filing. They seem to be attempting to build new customer loyalty through previous brand disloyalty.
Gusher Glow-Up. Some of our favorite iconic 90’s kid snacks got a packaging facelift, thanks to design agency Pearlfisher. Fruit By The Foot, Gushers, and Fruit Roll-Ups are all looking fresh as can be for the newest generation of their fans.
Hold The Fries. McDonald’s says it can tell that customer’s budgets are getting tighter by the number of people who are ordering a la carte, sans meal. What is a happy meal without the side of fries. A sad meal, indeed.
It’s A No For Us, Dawg. Arizona Tea has responded to Liquid Death’s latest mashup with Travis Barker by Tweeting: “We promise to never make an at home enema kit,” followed by an amusing thread of conversation.