Michael Zammuto on Artificial Intelligence

I have had a strong interest in artificial intelligence for many years. I followed it carefully and began adding artificial intelligence features to my business platforms including Brand.com’s reputation analysis tools. More recently, Completed.com launched with AI features studying technical, sentiment and behavioral clues as part of the platform which measures, scores and monitors the ‘trust score’ of reviewers submitting content to Completed.com.

Michael Zammuto working at his desk

Michael Zammuto reading and Blogging on a variety of topics.

I also read a lot about AI and talk about it frequently with my kids, especially the opportunities it creates and possible societal challenges it may cause. For fun I recently launched a Weebly Journal dedicated to my personal writings on AI and hope you will visit it.

Disclaimer: this site and the AI journal on Weebly represent my personal opinions and this does not imply the opinions of any other organization or person. My opinions also do not imply any forward looking product, business or technology decisions or investments in any way. They are my personal ramblings only.

Review Michael Zammuto on Completed.com

I co-founded Completed.com and serve as its CEO because I believe that people deserve recognition for the good work they do and because I believe that everyone gets better with trusted, constructive feedback. Claim or build your profile and start reviewing anyone in business today. Ask people around you to rate you and learn what they really think about you.

Visit My Completed.com Profile and Leave Review Me and Leave Constructive Feedback

Website badge for Completed.com Michael Zammuto's profile

Click the image to be taken to Michael Zammuto’s professional profile on Completed.com. Please leave a review if we have worked together and let me know how I am doing

A New Breed Of Chief Growth Officer Takes On B2B In The Age Of The Big Internet Platform

Chief Growth Officers Take B2B To The Mega Platform

Synopsis

Michael Zammuto Internet Executive

Michael Zammuto Is An Expert In B2B Sales & Marketing Growth For SaaS and Internet Companies

The rise of online “mega-platforms”, a small number of sites controlling huge amounts of the internet, is obsoleting traditional B2B Sales and Digital Marketing leadership roles to make way for a new Chief Growth Officer. CGOs drive huge sales growth by combining sales, marketing, operational, entrepreneurial and data expertise and they see traditional marketing and sales tactics not as integrated programs but parts of a whole they construct from the ground up in what we are calling Sales Architecture.

Growth In A World of Giants

Today, any scalable, successful sales and marketing program must start with your strategy for working with the mega platforms that control the internet. The main effect of this is that traditional B2B sales and marketing programs must give way for a single, enterprise Sales Architecture that aligns the entire experience from your target audience’s phone and laptop screen to the successful booking at the bottom of your sales pipeline.

SimilarWeb Listing of Top Sites.

SimilarWeb Listing of Top Sites.

Traffic is power and the power has shifted to the huge and mighty. Every gatekeeper, influencer, recommender and decision maker that you need to reach is on some combination of Twitter, Facebook, Amazon, Google, Yahoo, LinkedIn, eBay, Instagram or a handful of other sites but social marketing won’t let you reach or influence them.

The number of internet users continues to grow but that growth is dwarfed by the surge in the number of websites. In 1993 there were 108 thousand people on the internet for every website. Ten years later it was 19 people per site and today less than 4. So, your website is lost in an endless digital jungle.

Internet Users Per Website. Website growth has outpaced internet user growth

Internet Users Per Website. Website growth has outpaced internet user growth

The monsters are getting an ever-growing share of all that traffic too. In 2012, ChaCha built the largest PPC social traffic platform in the world on Twitter. We harnessed a deluge of data to align topics and keywords of large influencer tweets to keywords in articles to optimize advertising revenue per session. As a result, ChaCha.com shot up to become the 35th busiest website in the world in just a few months. Today, if a site had that same traffic it would nearly make the top 10 because the mega platforms are consuming more and more of the traffic.

At Brand.com we built a platform to connect over 100 major news sources to marketers and could (for a while) use content marketing and SEO to strongly influence search traffic. But Google decimated traditional SEO tactics so the ‘above the fold page 1’ spots are increasingly dominated by mega-platforms and sites with authority you cannot practically build. As planned, this helps shift traffic to Google’s paid search offerings meaning you pay for what used to be free. Increasingly, sites like Google are integrating information into their search results effectively hoarding traffic from sites in their own search results. Today content marketing is a powerful tool but without paid traffic sources you will rarely get volumes for large scale marketing programs.

This consolidation means the giants are squeezing everyone else. Publishers are getting killed by the downward trend in advertising rates while marketers are having to pay more and more for access to eyeballs. This means that traditional online marketing, especially so called ‘brand building’ is getting killed with out of control costs per leads (CPL) and campaigns that drive clicks for the behemoths but few sales for you.

 Sales Architecture: One Internet – One Pipeline – A Billion Cohorts

Clicks don’t equal sales. Clicks equal cost. Because the mega platforms were built themselves around network effect, at their core they are B2C engines. Every step in the process needs to be built around how these mega platforms can be tamed to profitably increases B2B sales. This means the correct message must reach each person in the sales process at the right stage. Online marketing and your inside and outside sales have to work together as a single unit. Small errors in one tactic can be harder to find but cost you dearly in missed growth. Guerrilla marketing and the company website or blog and niche sites such as those around verticals have their place but are decreasing elements of the sales architecture. For starters, no activity can be done without clear cohort analysis that connects every marketing and sales decision with the outcome and few organizations have true end-to-end management of their spend.

 Extinction Level Event: The Demise of Sales & Marketing

At great firms the traditional border between sales and marketing campaigns has collapsed. These companies are seeing massively scalable success by moving to a Chief Growth Officer who owns the company’s Sales Architecture and views every marketing and sales activity as part of a continuum. I always house sales and marketing together and measured and reward every step from beginning to end. Getting complete cohort analysis and testing of every critical decision and visibility and KPIs at every step is a massively difficult process that many traditional sales and marketing experts cannot tackle.

Traditional sales and marketing roles historically attracted very different types of people and they may approach the internet from their silo. Most have failed to keep up with the lighting-fast pace of change. Surprisingly few have any deep knowledge about the internet. Many talk a good game but probe and ask your sales manager the CPL for their leads. Ask them how to social proof during the proposal phase in a world where every company is Googled. Ask them to show you the cohort of close rates for outside sales on leads from content marketing vs. advertising. Or ask them how they connect the dots between the positioning value prop in social marketing with the final pitch. Too often you will find a disconnected process. Many sales people view online marketing purely in terms of market awareness and lead generation. As leads reach the bottom of their sales funnel the tactics and messaging increasingly looks like the same approach as 5 or 10 years ago. Chief Growth Officers, on the other hand, ensure that every step of the process supports the sales team converting the booking by ensuring cohesive prospect experience throughout.

Marketers are even worse off. Many corporate marketers feel totally disconnected from the sales process. So, they strongly naturally resist any integrated pipeline metrics. Few are taught direct response marketing and fewer still know how those responses support the later stages of the sales process. Too often, traditional marketing leaders want the same tall wall between their online efforts and close rate and want to be judged on engagement metrics that make direct marketers roll their eyes.

The Chief Growth Officer owns the Sales Architecture and is comfortable at the entire continuum of the marketing and sales process. They align the sales and marketing resources in new ways that allow them to leverage the mega platforms to drive massive growth. Armed with essential operational and technical skills, this new breed of growth leaders build organizations that use data like never before.

About The Author

Michael ZammutoView Michael Zammuto's profile on LinkedIn

  • Transformation Executive Who Repeatedly Accelerates Growth to
    Mike Zammuto and Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter meet and discuss the Philly Tech and Startup Community

    Michael Zammuto welcoming Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter at an event in Philadelphia

    >100%

  • Deep Expertise Selling and Marketing High Growth SaaS CRM, PoS, ERP & Revenue Lifecycle from $1k to $5M Price Points
  • Top Digital Marketing Expert Who Built The 35 Busiest Website, The World’s Largest Social PPC Network, Content Marketing Network of 100 News Organizations, Massive Global Email Marketing, Hugely Profitable Webinar Programs and Keyword Hyper-Optimized Display Advertising Programs
  • Inside & Outside Sales Program Expert Who Has Created Multiple-massively scaling programs tranforming their organizations into growth engines
  • Operator – Entrepreneur Hybrid Who Builds Optimized, Data-Addicted Sales Operations That Win
  • Case Studies at Stanford Business School & Microsoft Dynamics CRM
Michael Zammuto with former Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell

Here is Michael Zammuto meeting with former governor Ed Rendell. Governor Rendell is a big supporter of the Philadelphia tech and business communities. Mike Zammuto recruited Mr. Rendell to be an advisor to Brand.com

Sources

https://www.quantcast.com/top-sites Traffic at the mega-sites

http://www.internetlivestats.com/total-number-of-websites/ Users Per Website

 

 

 

Cloud Commerce Consulting Mission – Sharing Some Hard Fought Lessons In 90 Days

The most valuable lessons are the most hard fought ones. I learned a lot working for great startups and growth companies. I had the honor of joining some turn around teams and learned a lot and worked with amazing people. Being a startup exec is an amazing and energizing field but even the best need help sometimes and Cloud Commerce Consulting is here to help them with it. What works at one stage of a startup rarely continues to work at later ones. Taking a company from first revenue to $20M or $100M is no less challenging than launching the startup and takes all new approaches.

Our newest offering is a 90-day startup transformation package we will be announcing shortly. It builds on the incredible lessons I learned working with the amazing Dr. Behnam Tabrizi and his 90 Day Rapid Transformation process. Behnam helped with the massive transformation of Ontario Systems and I learned so much that can benefit others.

Very excited to get this one to market. Read More soon on CloudCommerceConsulting.com

-Mike

Michaela Zammuto Keynote on gratitude as a personal and leadership tool

I am so impressed with so many of these birght young people. Michaela Zammuto is my daughter and she and her friends are among the most energetic and positive young people I have ever met. They truly belive they can affect real change and solve big problems but are humble and know everything must be earned.

 

This keynote is a great example of that. Michaela was elected president of the 2016 student council and her student body at the JW Hallahan Catholic School in Philadelphia. At eh indeuction ceremony for Michaela and the other officers she gave this wildly well received speech. I am so impressed, proud and amazed at her poise and power of her message.

 

 

US Ranked 32 In Youth Employment & Opportunity

With a kid adult entering college next year and two others not far behind I worry about the opportunities they have. So when the US is ranked 32nd globally in employment opportunities for the young it raises a question. Do I suggest my kids start their career in the United States or look globally for the best place to make a life? The Commonwealth Secretariat published a report that analyzes a number of economic, political, health and welfare factors into a Youth Development Index. Whatever you think of the US’ 23rd overall ranking it is worth looking at the 32 place ranking we got in Employment & Opportunity.

To see the full ranking criteria and scoring download the full report here and look at page 119 for rankings or read a summary on the Miami Herald’s Site

Commonwealth Youth Development Index Ranking Lists US at 23 for 2016

Commonwealth Youth Development Index Ranking Lists US at 32 for Employment and Opportunity in 2016

Rethinking poverty – from aid to economic miracle

 

Last Year’s documentary, “Poverty, Inc.” asks if the global approach to addressing severe poverty has unintended consequences and asserts we could be inadvertently damaging the ability of people in those countries to better themselves through internal economic development.

 

The framework for addressing human suffering from disasters (natural like earthquakes and unnatural like wars and many famines) has been the same my whole life. Driven by heart wrenching media reports and championed by celebrities and public figures from all walks, well intentioned people give money through tax receipts, charitable donations, and feet on the ground to addressing suffering and to longer term developmental programs. We do this through transfers to governments and NGOs who are supported by armies of consultants and volunteers of all stripes. More conservative elements argue with the adage “Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime”. But there are critics to both mindsets, arguing that giveaways and the ‘teach them to fish” approach are not the best mindsets for supporting developing countries becoming developed countries.

Global Poverty

There are many entities from governments, NGOs, charities and even celebrities involved in the global effort to reduce suffering

There are many entities from governments, NGOs, charities and even celebrities involved in the global effort to reduce suffering

We want to believe this is helping, and of course it does, but it comes with a not-so hidden cost that perhaps substitutes treatment for cure. This is the focus of “Poverty, Inc.” the most thought-provoking documentary I have seen all year. Please consider watching it. You can stream it on Netflix or rent it from YouTube, Amazon. It argues that everyone from celebrities and our governments to NGOs and charities to the peoples of both the developing and developed worlds have bought into a system that only now we are realizing does massive, sustained harm even as it does good.

 

The 2010 Haitian Earthquake Case Study

On January 12th 2010 a 7.0 magnitude quake hit just outside Port-au-Prince affecting 3 million people and destroying or severely damaging almost the entirety of Haitian infrastructure including emergency and medical services, air sea and land transportation, communications and supply chains. Corpses rotted in the rubble and the government resorted to mass graves. Over the next few years there was a massive Cholera epidemic affecting 6% of all Hattians. Although the numbers are highly contested, between 100,000 and 160,000 probably died.

 

The global community reacted almost in unison and at massive scale to the devastation, sparking talk about a new, global approach to disaster recovery. Money, donated goods and people flooded into Haiti Clearly a lot of good was done and Haiti has a lot of ongoing needs. The government estimates 10,000 NGOs are operating in Haiti, many continuing programs started as earthquake responses. Temporarily supplementing private enterprises that have been devastated is one thing but consider how long that goes on before you are denying these local businesses the markets they need to prosper, grow, provide jobs and so forth. Subsidies are designed to create market distortions. But distortions of giving on a large, sustained scale have consequences. When humanitarian aid becomes a way of life with programs and giveaways sustained over years it displaces or even prevents the internal development of the country.

 

Case in point is rice. For decades, the US government has subsidized American rice farming. During Bill Clinton’s presidency the US began a new, sustained hunger program of delivering highly subsidized American rice. US farmers have received $ 13B in rice subsidies and very low import tariffs when selling to Haiti. Haitian farmers have received no subsidies. This was intended to address hunger and also designed to supplant inefficient and environmentally damaging local agriculture techniques. Plus, it promoted US agriculture and the President, Congress and many others celebrated a great program. What has happened is that the Hattian consumer now consumes rice offer at 3 meals a day, destroying domestic rice production and the businesses and jobs that supported them. The documentary shares a clip of Bill Clinton himself explaining how he and others was wrong about this program and he sees now the damage it did. American rice growers have benefited from the expensive taxpayer subsidies but this sort of sustained corporate welfare causes its own distortions in the resources and techniques applied to food production as also demonstrated by corn subsidies from Ethanol fuels.

 

Even well intentioned social programs. At least 80% of Haitian orphans have at least one living parent. Most are arguably ‘poverty orphans’ whose parents gave them up thinking that the institutions would raise them better. Doing so costs them their parental rights and effectively dismantles any hope of the child being raised or reunited with its parents. Well intentioned, prospective adoptive parents often don’t know they are adopting a child who has a parent who actually wishes they were raising them. In essence, the program actually CREATES some orphans.

 

African Cheetahs

After the Rwandan genocide a church in Atlanta organized an effort to deliver free eggs to suffering villagers. They flooded the market with free eggs. This drove local egg producers out of business. They shared the story of a chicken farmer who was focused on egg sales. Since nobody would buy his eggs the farmer sold his hens only to then see the church stop the program and move on to new causes. Now the community has to import eggs

 

One argument for programs like these is that if you free up local economies from subsistence farming they can focus development on higher value-added industries and develop their economies faster. Herman Chinery-Hesse is a software entrepreneur called “the Bill Gates of Ghana.” He tells of a time that he and other local techies bid on a government software contract. They bid against a European country. The home government for that European country gave Ghana a loan for the project and their software company won, telling Herman that nothing beats free money. The Ghana firm ended up subcontracting to the European firm doing as he says “the hardest and least profitable parts.”

 

Even respected and cool social entrepreneurs like Tom’s Shoes gets some treatment in the documentary. It raises the issues of what happens when free shoes (for example) enter a market on a large scale but often unpredictable schedule.

 

The documentary references a George Ayittey TED Talk on Africa’s Cheetah and Hippo generations whose criticism of “Swiss Bank Socialism” by their society’s slow moving, ‘hippos’ in the government and entrenched business interests at the expense of their at the younger, more entrepreneurial generation of ‘cheetahs’ I recommend watching this. Ayittey is unflinching in his criticism of African governments and leaders and argues that aid subsidizes these rulers and disincentives them from creating an environment that promotes local economic growth.

 

If you have ever traveled to a developing country with extreme poverty one thing you notice is that they are not universally poor. Some development exists in all places at varying levels and with varying support. All people have the ability and right to improve their lot and the question is what role can the international community and the people and institutions of the wealthiest countries play in supporting and encouraging that.

 

“Poverty Inc.” effectively argues that there are unintended consequences from the aid-centric approach to global poverty and argues that these have developed into a “Social Fact” that reinforces continuing with a given approach.

Our approaches to global poverty have become entrenched and habits and vested interests reduce review of the overall effectiveness of the approach.

Our approaches to global poverty have become entrenched and habits and vested interests reduce review of the overall effectiveness of the approach.

Instead it argues we should shift to promoting development of the local economies by pressuring governments where needed and supporting efforts to improve rule of law, land property rights, right to start a business, links to exchange ideas and trade which are lacking in many places.

 

The best outcome for is for local countries to create the circumstances for a sustained ‘economic miracle’, the rapid economic growth in an area. After World War II much or Europe including and especially Germany along with Japan, aided by the Marshal plan began long, transformative processes that took them from shattered, starving states to economic powerhouses. In many different forms this later occurred in Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea, China Brazil, India and many others. All of these examples include aid and plenty of examples of richer countries “teaching them to fish” (perhaps best illustrated by W. Edwards Deming’s efforts in japan). But the critical ingredient that may separate these from Haiti and the poorest states in of Asia, Africa or the Americas is that the conditions for growth were developed. Step one may be repositioning recipient nations not as ‘victims’ of disasters, natural and unnatural, but as partners who have the right and ability to create their own miracles.

Get ready to hear this election will good for newspapers.

Here is why it won’t be.

100 newspapers have disappeared since 2004. Get ready to start hearing how this election will be good for newspapers.

 

Now, I two years ago I didn’t actually say “News Is Dead.” But ‘misquoted me’ may have been more correct than the real me was at the time. In 2013 and 2014 I was quoted pretty publicly that I felt that traditional editorial and entertainment media were simply not going to transition their existing model to digital revenues and something much more serious was needed. Like many, I was critical that sponsored content had been something developed by the publisher’s sales department and then was published to mimic editorial content. This was by placid agreement by sales & editorial which have decades of avoiding each other in the company lunch room. So what is the update?

Pew Research Newspaper Revenue Trends

Newspaper revenues are shrinking and digital ad revenues are growing much slower than the drop in print advertising and subscriptions as seen in this Pew Research Chart from 2003 to 2014.

Newspapers are designed to be ‘inefficient’ producers of content. By that I mean they produce some of the costliest original content possible. Produced in medium-to-short-form but with a lots of research, interviews and fact checking, the news business has always depended on subscriptions plus healthy advertising rates to survive.

 

Election cycles have historically been fantastic for local media. Newspapers will see a blip in an otherwise downward collection of trends. This will lead the PR folks in the print news industry to try to use it to argue that the long term trends are actually neither. Unfortunately for them it isn’t true. Digital is taking a larger portion of a rapidly shrinking pie.  The Pew Research Center’s annual report tells the tale. In 2015 their circulation fell by the greatest amount so far this decade. Advertising revenue dropped even faster than overall circulation diving 8% last year.

 

Young people are ignoring newspapers in droves but the bleeding is occurring much faster than aging. The Pew Research report says that only half of the elderly read papers now.  We are probably past the point of no return. Let’s hope the news industry can pivot better before misquoted me turns out to be right.