The distinction between “online” and “offline,” between “digital” and “physical,” once seemingly unambiguous, has begun to blur thanks to the ubiquity of smartphones and personal location data, ad and experience targeting, connected devices, wearable technology, the Internet of Things, and additive capabilities like 3-D printing. The biggest business opportunities for innovative experiences, according to digital marketing expert and “tech humanist” Kate O’Neill, will come from blending the physical and digital worlds intentionally to create a meaningful and integrated human experience. And to do that, we must recognize that human motivations connect these worlds through a transactional data layer, and create experiences with respect for the humanity represented by that data.
In looking at the opportunities presented by the convergence of physical and digital, O’Neill also examines the underlying meaning of place, as well as the abundant metaphors of place already in use in digital experience, and how we can shape our audiences’ experiences more meaningfully in alignment with our own business objectives. She unpacks trends like “omnichannel” marketing, digital transformation across all kinds of industries, and more. Executives, strategists, marketers, city planners, and anyone who creates experiences for humans will take away valuable insights from this book.
Kate O’Neill is a tech humanist and cultural strategist, as well as a writer, speaker, and observer of meaningful experiences. She is founder and CEO of KO Insights, which helps organizations develop their approach to data-rich experience design so that it is successful for the organization and more meaningful for the people who use their products and services. She has a history of pioneering big ideas in the marketing industry: she was an early voice for advocating empathy combined with data to guide experience optimization, and brought a meaningfulness model to marketing strategy. Her career has likewise been a series of firsts: after building the first departmental website at the University of Illinois at Chicago, she was recruited to Toshiba in San Jose, California and built their first intranet, shortly after which she held the first content management role at Netflix. Kate also founded digital strategy and analytics firm [meta]marketer, led cutting-edge online optimization work at Magazines.com, and held leadership positions in a variety of digital content and technology start-ups. She is a vocal and visible advocate for women in technology, entrepreneurship, and leadership — she was featured by Google in their global campaign for women in entrepreneurship — as well as for Nashville as a growing tech center. She serves on a dizzying number of other boards and committees while providing mentorship and marketing advice to dozens of startups and aspiring founders. Kate has been featured in CNN Money, TIME, Forbes, USA Today, and other national media, and has been named “Technology Entrepreneur of the Year,” “Social Media Strategist of the Year,” a “Power Leader in Technology” and a “Woman of Influence,” along with numerous other awards and recognitions.