A careful look at what’s missing from the Meeker report (including trust, evidently); a willingness to call out bad behavior in Silicon Valley; areas of impact of AI in healthcare; the end of car ownership; media habits of Gen Y and Gen Z compared; trends on influencer marketing; executives’ preference for thought leadership; Amazon may not get away with Whole Foods without a fight; manufacturing trends portend retail trends; original TV programming is coming to social platforms; China bans livestreaming; the impact of Echo on the music industry; the ousting of Travis Kalanick as Uber’s CEO and all of the fallout around it; Google Analytics for content marketers; the importance of preparation amid crisis; and more in the inquisitive edition of The Full Monty. Don’t forget check out where Brain+Trust is speaking (final section below).
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The Full Monty, a Brain+Trust Partners publication, exposes you to virtually everything you need in business intelligence at the top of every week. Links are below with commentary in italics. Please sign up for our email updates to make sure you don’t miss a thing. And please click send your colleagues to this page to sign up as well.
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- Unless you’ve been sleeping in your cab all week, you’re aware that Uber CEO Travis Kalanick resigned. More on the industry fallout in the Regulatory / Security section below.
- We all know and trust the annual Kleiner Perkins Caufield Byers Internet Trends Report delivered annually by Mary Meeker (as shared in the June 5 edition here). But in a bit of sleuthing, Tom Webster has determined that all may not be as it seems. While the report is exhaustive, Tom found that it’s a matter of what isn’t there that speaks volumes: namely, that the Meeker report presents data primarily from KPCB portfolio companies, thus assuring that “Internet trends” will be set by the companies that it funds. A clever bit of content marketing. And possibly an ethical morass.
- Listen to Tom discuss this with Mark Schaefer on the latest episode of The Marketing Companion:
- The VC industry is beginning to stand up and not only take notice of “bro” behavior, but take action as well. The Information published an account of six female entrepreneurs who were sexually harassed by VC Justin Caldbeck when seeking funding.
- LinkedIn chairman Reid Hoffman then wrote a commentary titled “The Human Rights of Women Entrepreneurs” that set off a chain reaction:
- Following the Uber model, Caldbeck then scripted an apology and took an indefinite leave of absence.
- The apology was seen as hollow and self-serving, with one of the victims herself not believing him.
- Is Kalanick’s ousting at Uber the cultural tipping point that made it safe to address these issues publicly? Given that there was a bit of hesitancy in condemning Caldbeck’s behavior publicly until Hoffman spoke out, it seems that the industry still has progress to make.
Artificial Intelligence / Machine Learning / Autonomous
The latest in AI, machine learning, bots, and autonomous everything.
- On Axios, four experts weigh in on what we need to know about the rise of AI. It includes the race (between China and the US), what children need to know, and the need for researchers.
- And while bots may be getting the lion’s share of hype right now, it’s instructive to view this as a swing of the pendulum — particularly in that humans will always have a role to play. Until the bots learn empathy, that is.
- Accenture‘s report Artificial Intelligence: Healthcare’s New Nervous System, looks at areas of the healthcare system most likely to benefit from automation & robotics: aside from medical imaging and diagnostics, robot-assisted surgery, virtual nursing assistant applications, administrative workflow, fraud protection and dosage error reduction.
- Cisco unveiled intent-based networking to deliver security and networking that learns, adapts, and gets smarter over time through the use of artificial intelligence. This is an early example of A.I. moving to a new part of the technology stack that hasn’t seen much AI adoption before.
- In the final part of this 9-part series, Christopher Penn concludes that the future of AI in marketing – or many other fields – is bright, but “so are our prospects if we’re willing to adapt and work with the machines, rather than oppose them.” It should be augmented intelligence rather than artificial intelligence. Check out the whole series (linked in his article).
- Ride sharing and self-driving vehicles will redefine our relationship with cars, and auto makers and startups alike are gearing up for the change. The Wall Street Journal ran a special section on the Future of Transportation, leading with a rather hyperbolic headline, “The End of Car Ownership.”
- The connected car goes beyond autonomous driving. Marketers are experimenting with developing smart car ecosystems as Internet-connected vehicles become the norm.
- The Tesla driver involved in a fatal autonomous driving accident ignored repeated warnings to put his hands on the wheel before he crashed into the rear of a semi-trailer, shearing off the top third of his car. According to the NHTSA report, during a 37-minute period when he should have had his hands on the steering wheel, the driver did so for only 25 seconds. We’re still not ready for autonomous driving. It’s not like ignoring your “check engine” light, folks.
- And on the same day that Tesla announced that it had hired leading AI expert Andrej Karpathy as the company’s new director of AI and Autopilot, Tesla’s Autopilot software chief left after only six months on the job.
- In the Waymo vs. Uber suit, parent company Alphabet claims that Travis Kalanick knew that Otto CEO and former Waymo leader Anthony Lewandowski was in possession of Waymo files five months before Uber acquired Otto. That sounds like grounds for firing—oh, wait…
- Essential for the next generation of cars: high-definition mapping.
Industry developments and trends, including retail, fake news, customer experience, content marketing, and influencer relations.
- Gen Z and Millennials are fairly similar in their habits of online media consumption — except notably for blogs and publisher sites.
- What consumers want from brands globally isn’t what you might think. There’s consistency among brands and among humans in the four kinds of content that move us.
- Chris Brogan writes that now more than ever, it’s clear that people seek personalization as big brands try to act small. This is reminiscent of Seth Godin‘s Small Is the New Big from 2005.
- The IAB showed that Q1 2017 is the seventh straight quarter of double-digit digital ad revenue growth in the US.
- People are paying for more news, ad blocking has stalled and news apps are on the rise. These facts and more from Reuters Insititute’s Digital News Report 2017 show that we live in weird times.
- Mark Schaefer covers six trends in influencer marketing — including the question of whether it should be called marketing at all. Our mantra has long been that it should be influencer relations.
- When it comes to thought leadership, busy executives prefer longer content according to the Deloitte Center for Industry Insights. While it might seem counter-intuitive, it stands to reason that executives might like more demonstrated deeper thinking rather than flash-in-the-pan insights.
THIS WEEK IN RETAIL:
- Amazon‘s bid for Whole Foods isn’t necessarily a done deal. It’s not unlikely that there will be a rival bid. Imagine if Amazon’s arch-nemesis Walmart threw its hand in…
- Amazon Prime Wardrobe will allow you to try before you buy. You simply pack up the clothes you don’t want and leave it at the front door for free UPS pickup. Assuming people aren’t using your porch for their own fashion shopping needs, that is.
- The Dash Wand is a handheld barcode scanner that you can use to add things to your Amazon shopping cart at home. It’s a Trojan horse for making Amazon ubiquitous throughout your home.
- Walmart is taking a stand with its vendors, requiring them to host Walmart-related data on rivals to Amazon Web Services. Perfectly logical, not only in that they don’t want sensitive data potentially accessible to the biggest competitor, and that they don’t want to support Amazon’s most profitable business unit.
- As Walmart grows its e-commerce chops, there are struggles with culture assimilation — notably startups learning about Walmart’s alcohol-free policies the hard way. While a ban on free alcohol may be a tough pill for some startups to swallow, given the recent spate of questionable behavior across Silicon Valley, perhaps this seasoned view can offer some benefit.
- Alibaba CEO Jack Ma was in Detroit last week to discuss his plans of complete global e-commerce domination. With the Chinese market at his back, he’s not kidding.
- Retailers are trying to lure customers to stores with “experiences.” It’s not likely that a gimmicky approach will work.
- It’s almost formulaic: in towns that experienced steel mill closings, the next wave of job losses will come from retail.
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News to know about relevant social, virtual, and augmented reality platforms that may affect your business.
TWITTER / PERISCOPE
- Twitter is taking on bots to fight the spread of fake news. The company said “We strictly prohibit the use of bots and other networks of manipulation to undermine the core functionality of our service.”
FACEBOOK / INSTAGRAM / WHATSAPP
- Facebook recognizes that as it grows, it’s more responsible for how we act online rather than simply being online. The company has updated its mission statement to “give people power to build community, bring the world closer together,” from “making the world more open and connected.”
- Facebook will launch a standalone app for video creators later this year which features a new suite of tools that Facebook is referring to as its Live Creative Kit, to help creators make their streams look more professional.
- The company is talking to Hollywood studios and agencies about producing TV-quality shows with an eye toward launching original programming by late summer.
- They’d better have their video viewability taken care of by then, as some agencies claim that Facebook video ad viewability rates are as low as 20 percent.
- Facebook introduced new privacy tools in India to combat catfishing and guard profile photos from being misused. It will be launched in other countries soon.
- Instagram Stories is crushing Snapchat with 250 million daily active users. Snapchat has only 166 million DAUs.
- Facebook isn’t the only platform looking to make original programming. Time Warner inked a $100 million deal with Snapchat to create up to 10 original shows a year. We’re slowly watching traditional television viewing being upended. Look again at that media consumption chart of Gen Z above and you can see where the trend is going.
- Snapchat’s new Snap Map is a way of using location-based data to share information with friends.
ALPHABET / GOOGLE
- At VidCon, YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki made a number of announcements about YouTube users and products. Those included: 1.5 billion logged-in viewers visit YouTube each month and viewers watch an average of 1 hour a day; YouTube TV will expand to 10 markets; and there’s a new look coming for desktop and mobile.
- Google will no longer read your emails to serve you ads in Gmail.
- Google has partnered with Facebook, Glassdoor, Monster and others to enable its users to hunt for jobs directly through Google Search and receive email alerts when relevant new employment opportunities arise.
The latest in the world of streaming video, audio, and the advertising, pricing and bundling models related to them.
- Chinese authorities have sent shockwaves through the social media sphere, with a blanket ban on livestreaming across three major online platforms.
- Netflix is unveiling choose-your-own-adventure stories for kids, where viewers get to hoose what happens next. It’s akin to the popular style of books from the 1980s.
- If you work for a brand and would like to know about some of the key developments in video technology, shooting and editing techniques, and examples of social video campaigns, check out this brands’ guide to social video.
- Pandora CEO Tim Westergren is stepping down. The company does not have a replacement planned. This comes at a critical time, as the company looks to maintain its market lead over Spotify and with the recent investment by Sirius XM.
- Amazon Echo and all voice activation is (or should be) making music labels rethink search, tagging, and marketing. Lack of visual menus mean that labels and artists should be more prepared than ever to compete for top billing.
- Given that connected cars are growing in prominence, Tesla is talking to music labels about creating its own streaming service.
- Program of the Week: This week we give you 10 great business podcasts to choose from. Do you have a program to recommend? Add yours to our Google Sheet: smonty.co/yourpodcasts.
- And don’t forget to subscribe to our show via email or on iTunes, Google Play, Stitcher, Spreaker or SoundCloud.
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Regulatory / Security
Business disruptions in the legal, regulatory, and computer security fields, from hacking to the on-demand economy and more.
SECURITY / HACKING:
- The UK Parliament’s email system is the target of a cyber attack. According to a House of Commons spokesperson, hackers have hit the British Parliament’s email system in an effort to break into the accounts of hundreds of MPs, Lords and their staffs.
- General Motors‘ Maven Gig has arrived in San Francisco to support the on-demand economy.
- Uber is finally matching Lyft’s tipping feature and has just added a teen rider and family profile option.
- Chinese bike-sharing company Wukong Bike has shut down after 90% of its bikes went missing. “That’s not what we meant when we said sharing.”
- In New York last week, Charmin ran a promotion with Van-Go, its on-demand mobile toilet. It’s the Uber for poop. Or is that Pooper?
THIS WEEK IN #DELETEUBER
The developments at Uber continue to warrant a unique section.
- As late at last Monday, Uber board member Arianna Huffington was advocating for the redemption of Travis Kalanick.
- But that was not to be, as the board ousted Kalanick on Tuesday. Why? Partially because of the press coverage, the distraction, and the dropping market share and valuation against Lyft. It’s a shame that it took a monetary reason, not a moral/ethical one for the Uber board to act.
- Here’s the inside scoop on how it all went down, from the New York Times.
- Now the search for replacement candidates is on. The key requirements seem to be experienced, no-nonsense executives such as YouTube‘s Susan Wojcicki or Ford‘s former CEO Alan Mulally. Then there’s always the insider route.
- How did it come to this? Wired offers a short history of the many ways Uber screwed up.
- But more than legal, ethical or cultural issues, the Wall Street Journal looks at Uber’s fundamentally flawed business model that isn’t even close to breaking even, let alone becoming profitable.
- Going one further, the Harvard Business Review thinks Uber is beyond saving and that regulators should shut it down.
Measurement / Analytics / Data
The future is not in plastics, but in data. Those who know how to measure and analyze it will rule the world.
- Convince & Convert offers this A to Z guide to Google Analytics for content marketers.
- Some insights on the forthcoming podcast analytics from Apple include the supposition that by focusing on a single provider of analytics (that also happens to be a distribution platform), podcasters may game the system.
- AVEs, vanity metrics and impressions are fluff. Four rules on getting away from these metrics and toward more meaningful ones.
Other links to help you reflect, improve, or simply learn something new.
- Who isn’t reading? From the Pew Research Center comes this startling statistic: 26% of Americans haven’t read a book in the past year.
- Contrast that with these 10 famous book hoarders. An old colleauge once said that his book collecting habit had all of the discernment of a vacuum cleaner, owing to the fact that he was “more of a book accumulator than a book collector.”
- The Roman philosopher Seneca knew a thing or two about misfortune and resilience, having been exiled in 41 A.D. for an affair with the emperor’s sister. So his mantra was about preparation: “If you would not have a man flinch when the crisis comes, train him before it comes.”
- There are plenty of examples of letters to 20 year-old and 30 year-old selves. But here’s a reflection from Tina Seelig on What I Wish I Knew When I was 40.
- Looking for the Red Thread in your personal, product, brand or presentation message? Tamsen Webster has some common pitfalls to avoid.
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Upcoming Brain+Trust Speaking Engagements
- Keynote at Health:Further in Nashville, August 23-25, 2017 (Frank and Scott)
- Session at Content Marketing World in Cleveland, September 6, 2017: “How to Build and Maintain an Audience with a Remarkable Newsletter” (Scott)
- Automotive and Transportation Lab at Content Marketing World, September 8, 2017 (Christopher, Tim and Scott)
- Digital Summit Detroit, September 12-13, 2017 (Christopher)
- Content and Commerce Summit in Los Angeles, September 18-201, 2017 (Christopher)
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Top photo credit: Coroners Inquests by Paul Townsend (Flickr)
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