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Conference Recap: World’s Greatest Problem Solvers

I recently attended the World's Greatest Problem Solvers conference. The conference spanned three days, had a single track, and was held right here in Boulder, CO. The premise? Bring together individuals from a wide variety of fields to discuss some of the greatest challenges facing the world, with a focus on how the internet of things can help us tackle these problems.

Distinguished speakers covered a range of thought-provoking and pertinent topics. Everything from containing infectious disease and combating violence to ensuring food security and maintaining energy sources was discussed. The conference included a mix of panels, interviews, and presentations. It was light on PowerPoint slides and heavy on engaging discussion. Speakers covered real work from their fields of expertise and passionately shared their views on the topic at hand.

Since the conference was small, it provided an intimate setting to get to know speakers and other attendees. Everyone was encouraged to mingle and discuss the topics during breaks and meals. This aspect enhanced the overall event by allowing attendees to review issues in more depth and make connections to address specific problems together.  

Put The Team First, Be a Flexible DPM

“Always and Never are two words you should always remember to never use” - Wendell Johnson

I recently had the opportunity to give an attendee talk at the DPM2014 Summit on a topic near and dear to my heart -- being flexible as a Digital Project Manager (DPM). As I’ve had the opportunity to connect with more project managers in the industry, I’ve heard more about PMs attempting to perfect the processes they use on projects —  from the number of meetings they have, to the tools they use, to the agile methodology they incorporate. These DPMs seem to be striving towards a formula  they can use to guarantee a project’s success. The problem is, projects are unpredictable. Most projects have different internal teams and different client teams. Because of that, I’m a firm believer there is no one-size-fits-all process.

RMDPM Meetup Wrap-Up: A Discussion on Wearables

On Thursday, November 20, a few Digital Project Managers (DPMs) from the Boulder area got together to discuss wearables. Josh Zapin led a discussion on the history of wearables, what’s happening now in the field, and what could happen in the future. It was a fun and fascinating conversation. Though we all agreed that in our day-to-day jobs, we likely didn’t need to consider Android or Apple watches, we did have a great conversation about this new technology. Below are three main points that I took away from the discussion. If you’re wondering, yes I did tally my number of points using one of the first known “wearables”: the calculator watch.

Social Media Tools that Marketers Love

recent Forrester report by Nate Elliot indicated that 73% of social relationship marketers wouldn’t recommend the primary vendor or tool they use to manage their branded social profiles. In August, we launched SocialPiq (as a part of our innovation lab, Pointless Corp.) as a simple way to solve this issue and help marketers find social media tools based on their individual preferences.

SocialPiq pairs a user’s needs with the most appropriate tool to meet those needs and prevents the frustration of randomly choosing a tool that ends up being a poor fit. Query options include capabilities, supported social media networks, business scale, and more. After logging thousands of user searches in the past few months, we’re excited to share our findings so far!

The Pitfalls and Annoyances of Price Testing

In my time at Viget, I've spent considerable time thinking about how to maximize the revenue organizations generate online. Traditionally, we have helped clients more effectively sell by creating beautiful marketing websites that present product information clearly and concisely. But when it comes to optimizing total revenue, there are two parts of the formula - price and conversion rate. Through iterations of design, copywriting, and testing, we can improve conversion rates. Price, on the other hand, has typically been a constant that doesn't change through an iterative and testable process.

It has become increasingly common for us to hear from clients that they want to test their prices, which is great. We love getting deep into our clients' business challenges. But here's the problem: price testing is a prickly issue to dive into. On the surface, it would seem there should be a good way to do it. We have a number of research and testing methods available to us: surveys, focus groups, interviews, and the silver bullet, A/B testing. Surely, we can use one of these to easily and accurately test prices? Oh I wish... Unfortunately, price testing is difficult because of a few key problems that I'll run through below.