Getting a good night’s sleep with Beddit

I was offered a chance to experiment with Beddit, one of the latest devices in the “quantified self” movement. Here’s what I learned.

“Quantified self” is a term used to describe the intersection of technology and health that drives heightened awareness of a person’s state of being. The most well-known consumer device in this area might be the Nike Fuelband and one dimension where it falls notably short of its competition is in sleep tracking, which the Fitbit and Jawbone Up both offer.

However, devices specifically focusing on sleep tracking exist. Most notably in 2009 the Zeo was launched as one of the first consumer devices in the quantified self movement. The Zeo consisted of one device strapped around the user’s head to record sleep data and a second device that served as an alarm clock and data upload machine. Aside from the awkwardness of sleeping with an electronic device strapped to your head, the rest of Zeo’s user experience was pretty cool. The metrics were simple: REM sleep, light sleep, and deep sleep, total amount of sleep, and “ZQ” — a made-up sleep quality score not unlike Nike Fuel.

A good night's sleep via Beddit

My major takeaway from using Zeo was that the data is interesting, but behavior change is required to drive different outcomes. Maybe that’s part of why Zeo went to sleep forever last spring.

Enter Beddit, a sleep monitoring technology that can monitor a user’s sleep patterns without the need to wear anything — headband, wristband, or otherwise. I was offered a chance to experiment with Beddit and based on my prior experience with Zeo, I was eager to give it a try.

Beddit is incredibly easy to install. Place the sensors on your mattress, plug them into the Beddit device, connect to wifi, and you’ve completed all the hard work. After adjusting your profile settings, all you have left to do is sleep.

A good night of sleep via Beddit

Beddit offers four metrics beyond sleep: movement, heart rate, ambient noise level, and light level. This data can help illuminate factors impacting your sleep. I might need to take Beddit with me on my next trip to New York to measure just how much taxis honking and city lights impact sleep quality.

In addition to the machine data, Beddit allows you to add notes to each night to help explain what happened. For example, if you exercised that day or had a spicy meal, your annotations can help correlate activity to sleep quality, allowing you to modify behavior accordingly. Like any other device, Beddit can’t change your actions but it can help you understand quite a bit in order to affect change.

Looking forward: as the quantified self movement evolves, keep an eye out for convergence with the connected home. Imagine this scenario: Beddit is tracking your sleep and you have a higher movement rate than usual. In response, Wemo dims the nightlight in your hallway. Nest raises the heat a couple of degrees, because the temperature has dropped below freezing. Your Android phone switches to do not disturb mode, silencing noisy app alerts. You wake up the next morning feeling relaxed and refreshed.

Social Business Index: Bringing the Left Brain into Social Business

For the most part, traditional marketing is dominated by right-brain activity. Creativity, visualization, intuition – those characteristics drive success for brands in the media landscape. Quick, think of some of your favorite brand campaigns. Maybe Apple’s 1984 spot. Or 20 years later, Mitsubishi’s See What Happens. Maybe more recently, Old Spice Guy or The Most Interesting Man In The World.

Similarly, participating in social media is a right-brain activity. It’s full of spontaneous self-expression and person-to-person community engagement. Brands receive recognition for using these new communication channels in innovative ways – whether Comcast using Twitter for customer service, Nike splicing hundreds of user videos together to create The Chain, or Dell taking to blogs to share information during a product recall. As brand participation in social media grew commonplace, analysts (like me) and managers began to wonder – is there a way to make sense of this? And if so, does it matter?

To answer these questions, left-brain thinking comes into play. In the traditional marketing world, market mix modeling (MMM) – correlative measurement of multi-channel media spend and sales results – can provide some answers. In the digital world, web analytics allow marketers to track activity and fine tune efforts. In the “social” world, finding a solution to “tick and tie” numbers hasn’t been easy. The unstructured nature of social data creates challenges in automated analysis. Many vendors have access to data, but won’t monitor sources unless they have financial incentive to do so. Moreover, most social media measurement focused on keyword mentions – useful for calculating buzz levels, but missing a wider perspective on social business activity.

Dachis Group would like to promote more left-brain social business thinking and help brands get a holistic perspective on their positioning relative to competitors and others. Today, we are opening up our Social Business Index to the public, offering perspective on the world’s “most social” businesses.

Composite Index and Ticker

The Social Business Index (SBI) is the first lens into the Dachis Group big data analytics platform, covering over 26,000 brands from over 20,000 companies, including over 100 million social accounts worldwide. We’ve invested significant time and energy into the SBI, sourcing from APIs, data buys, data partnerships, scraping, crowd sourcing, company contributions, and our own internal data team. We have had over 100 companies participating in an early access program leading up to this launch to help harden the data and provide insights on different ways the data can be used.

The SBI offers an unbiased, objective approach to how “social” a company and its brands are, helping make sense of social media activity’s impact on business performance, starting with competitive positioning. This is the first in a series of lenses into the platform that will help brands answer performance questions that have been addressed to date by subjective analyses and self-reported results.

Public access is now available at http://www.socialbusinessindex.com – brands can register for more in-depth access to the tool. 

It’s time for left-brain thinking in social business.

 

 

What’s the cost of feeding an ego?

Yesterday, measurement service Klout announced that they had added five networks to their score calculations, allowing users to have their composite influence tracked on social networks like Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, Blogger, and others.

Klout has monetized in B2C with targeted product sampling and could easily generate B2B dollars by monetizing its APIs. It’s a fun service for consumers, playing into real-life game mechanics by providing system feedback at large for an individual’s social media behavior.

Users don’t actually have to create a Klout account to have a score. For example, Twitter creator and co-founder Jack Dorsey. Rated by his Twitter handle alone, his Klout score is fairly high. However, by creating an account and providing access to your data on other networks, Klout promises that your score will be more accurate and will not go down.

Playing this game comes with a price – paid by your privacy.

 

I’m a Klout user. I was about to add a couple of the new services and paused when I read the authorization instructions for Flickr:

Klout_flickr
Think about this. If you’ve made content private, then there’s probably a reason for doing so. For me, family pictures fall into that category – why give Klout access to that data? Although it seems extremely unlikely, why would you want to let Klout replace a picture of Raffles Place with a K+ logo? Or potentially use your account as a marketing vehicle – adding comments or notes on pictures with a message like “looks great! you should try klout.com!”…?

Here’s another authorization request, for YouTube:

Klout_youtube
While the YouTube inbox isn’t exactly your email inbox, would you want to give a service access to your personal messages? Then again, Klout is adding Google+ access soon and given the service’s close ties to Gmail addresses, assigning access to your messages could be an integration requirement.

But the bottom line is this – most users don’t care about or aren’t aware of these privacy issues. And for many, the data contained in these networks may have little real value anyway. Nevertheless – is the privacy for ego tradeoff worth it?

 

 

Measuring your way to a good night’s sleep

I’ve been spending the past month using the Zeo, a consumer electronics device that measures sleep patterns and provides sleep coaching guidance. Schneider Associates sent me the device (much appreciated). I had just read about Zeo in Delta’s Sky Magazine and was curious – unfortunately, I don’t sleep well on business trips, which gets to be a problem when you travel as much as I do.

The Zeo stands as a proof point in the ongoing consumerization of technology. The only sleep studies I’m familiar with are ones from TV, where subjects spend the night in a lab hooked up to wires and sensors like they’re plugging into the Matrix. The Zeo allows the sleep-challenged to spend the night in their own bed with a monitoring device about the size of a headband. The data is fascinating. By measuring electrical signals produced by your brain, the Zeo records the amount of time you spend in REM, light, and deep sleep.

After a couple weeks, I realized that just seeing the numbers each morning wasn’t going to make any difference in my sleep quality. You can’t really make yourself get more deep or REM sleep (I think). To paraphrase Lord Kelvin, “if you can measure it, then you can manage it.” In this case, I was able to measure something previously difficult to get data on. The data alone is interesting but of little value; a behavior change is required to drive different outcomes. To this end, the Zeo recommends a series of coaching sessions to alter approaches to sleep.

When it comes to social business design, measurement is scattered, making management more difficult. For starters, businesses need to understand what to measure, why it matters, and how to do it. Where do you start? In fundamental practice areas: customer engagement, workforce collaboration, business partner optimization. The next step is making the data actionable. How can you change culture, process, and infrastructure to drive better outcomes? Behaviors must be altered to capture value.

I think that too often, people jump from measurement to ROI too quickly. If we take a different approach that accounts for the interim steps required to get from start to finish, we’ll be able to sleep better knowing how our social business investments are performing.


A framework for measuring social media


Do you think it’s tough to measure social media?  It might be simpler than you think.

I’ve blogged before about how game mechanics describe social media participation.
Games have scores.  Scores track progress, which results in success or failure.

Although social media channels seem to be mostly qualitative in nature, user activities can be easily quantified.  Although users interact with channels in different ways, four common factors quantify social media success:  Attention, Participation, Authority, and Influence.

Here’s a framework for measuring social media:

  1. Attention.  The amount of traffic to your content for a given period of time.  Similar to the standard web metrics of site visits and page/video views.
  2. Participation.  The extent to which users engage with your content in a channel.  Think blog comments, Facebook wall posts, YouTube ratings, or widget interactions.
  3. Authority.  Ala Technorati, the inbound links to your content – like trackbacks and inbound links to a blog post or sites linking to a YouTube video.
  4. Influence.  The size of the user base subscribed to your content.  For blogs, feed or email subscribers; followers on Twitter or Friendfeed; or fans of your Facebook page.

There’s an “x-factor” that comes into play well:  sentiment.  The spirit driving user participation matters.  The net result of these adds up to a score for social media engagement.

So what’s the monetary value of a visit, comment, link, or friend?  Well, the only honest answer is “it depends.”  Only you know how much these interactions matter to your brand, regardless of industry, channel, or competitive results.

Now…was that so tough?

CGM: You Have To Measure It To Manage It

Brandweek_3
I have an opinion piece up now in Brandweek’s Spotlight section about brand monitoring.  Other bloggers who’ve occupied the space before me include David Armano and Chris Thilk.

Here’s a little bit on what I’m talking about:

To succeed in CGM today, you need to listen and
measure before getting involved. Sticking your head in the sand isn’t
an option; neither is operating in 24/7 knee-jerk reaction mode to
every piece of CGM related to your brand. Brand monitoring can help
marketers measure and make sense of CGM by delivering aggregated cost-
and labor-intensive consumer insights.

To read the entire article, visit Brandweek.com.

Romo and ROMO

You want to succeed in marketing today?  One good word to remember:  romo.

Left-Brain ROMO:  The acronym for Return On Marketing Objectives, as popularized by Marketing Evolution (this the company that identified the momentum effect in social networks).  Integrated marketing may be the top issue on marketers’ minds today, but not without the need for accountability for what’s being spent.

Right-Brain Romo:  As personified by Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony.  He’s quickly becoming known for his on-field creativity, the ability to improvise and produce results.  No time left, need to produce results?  No problem.  With all of today’s talk about left-brain marketing, let’s not forget what marketing is better at than any other department.

These ideas work together – knowing what works gives you more room to be creative.  Knowing how to improvise gives you a chance to make the big ideas pay off.

Analytics 2.0 with Avinash Kaushik, Google

I’m at Darden today, speaking at an executive education course.  Great presentation from Avinash Kaushik, Analytics Evangelist at Google.  The big idea of the morning?

Analytics 2.0:
– [start here] Clickstream data (the what)
– Multiple outcomes analysis (the how much)
– Experimentation & testing (the why)
– Voice of the customer (the why)
– Competitive intelligence (the what else)
– Insights (the gold) [end here]

Can your company answer the question: "why does your website exist?" in 15 words or less.  Craft this statement around business outcomes.  Conversions aren’t always sales – they can be interim goals, e.g. could be brand referral or propensity to visit a store.

The job of the online marketer is "learn to be wrong, quickly."  The web allows experimentation (A/B testing) at scale previously very difficult.  Google did this on Picasa.  Current page showed 30% lift.  "Free download" text doesn’t work as well as a button that says "try now." A picture showing functionality didn’t work at all (i.e. trying to show how much better than Photoshop).

Three key questions to figure out site intentions.  Most sites have conversion of 2%.  Why?  Not everyone came to your site
to buy something.  Goal:  to find segments of discontent – and respond
to them at scale.  So answer these:

  1. Why are you here?  (aka primary purpose)
  2. Were you able to complete your tasks today?
  3. If you were not able to complete your task today, then why not?

Recommendations:

  • Insight One:  the 10/90 rule.  Tools and Professional Services:  $10 vs. Investment in intelligent resources:  $90
  • Insight Two:  Data quality sucks, get over it.  The web is the most perfect imperfect medium in the world
  • Insight Three:  Reporting is not analysis.  Empower your analysts.  The critical few is the secret – on any dashboard you should have max 6 – 8 metrics.

Yahoo! up next.

iPhone: advertising and brand monitoring

Iphonetoday
The iPhone goes on sale today, which you probably knew.  Do you remember seeing any ads for it?  TV?  Print?  Banners?

I’ve seen some paid keywords on Google.  Given the amount of buzz, hype, anticipation around the launch – why even bother?  (unless you’re marketing Blackberries.)
Today I got an email with the image at left.  Search ads and email –
that’s it.  Compare that to the consumer-generated content around the
product:  on YouTube, Flickr, and in blogs.

Here’s what brand monitoring experts have to say about the launch:

– Matt Hurst at Microsoft predicts the topic will garner 1% of blog discussion today.  Looks like he’s right.
Nielsen Buzzmetrics indicates positive sentiment around features.  Relevant Noise disagrees.
BrandIntel points out that although discussion levels are high, purchase intent remains neutral.

So it seems as if we have a Subservient Chicken question here:  lots
of buzz, but what about sales?  At minimum, the iPhone is already a
huge success for the Apple brand and time will tell us about the bottom
line…