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ICYMI last week, I launched a new company, Brain+Trust Partners. Check out our vision and mission and see if you're interested.
Big companies are playing catch-up; Yahoo exposes itself (and you); Twitter may be for sale; apps dominate the mobile web — but not exactly as you'd think; consumers want a texting relationship with businesses; Google wants in on the messaging craze; Facebook owns up to misstated video metrics; Snapchat flashes its hardware; the government wants data from autonomous vehicles; the role of news and journalism in evolving podcasting; the biggest influencer of B2B software purchasing; the single most important trait in leader and more in this week's edition of The Full Monty. Get trivia and the poem of the week exclusively on The Full Monty podcast.
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- It was cat-and-mouse across the cloud and e-commerce world last week.
- Salesforce launched Einstein, an AI platform that works with its SalesCloud and MarketingCloud products, in an effort to outflank Adobe and Oracle.
- Oracle unveiled a new cloud infrastructure, proclaiming an end to Amazon's dominance in cloud computing.
- And Walmart finalized its acquisition of Jet.com, as it aims to catch up with Amazon.
- The first presidential debate of the 2016 election is happening on Monday evening. As you might expect, we've come a long way since the first televised debate in 1960. Now there are a variety of ways to experience it:
- NBC News is hosting a series of VR events leading up to the U.S. election.
- YouTube is streaming the debates from PBS, Telemundo and the Washington Post.
- And Facebook and Twitter are livestreaming both the presidential and vice presidential debates.
- Here are five charts detailing the influence of mobile apps on digital media consumption.
- In particular, desktop time is shrinking and smartphone apps have contributed 80% of digital media consumption growth over the past 3 years.
- Looking at monthly mobile app users by age, the fastest year-over-year growth belongs to the 55-64-year-old bracket, which grew its monthly app time by 37% over the past year.
- Apps account for growth of digital time for every other age bracket, but tablets account for the most growth in older groups.
- Mobile web audiences are larger, but mobile app audiences are more engaged.
- IBM's app wasn't user-friendly. So they asked Apple to partner on the user interface. This is how the (unlikely) partnership actually works, as told by the people from both companies who manage it every day.
- 9 out of 10 consumers say they want to text with brands — but most companies can't support the experience.
- Take a deep dive into PR Week's 2016 Global Agency Business Report, the most comprehensive roundup of intelligence about PR agencies across the world.
- How social does a CMO have to be? Here are three essential guidelines for a CMO's social media success.
- Verizon wants to buy Vessel, the video startup, which is pivoting to be more Snapchat-like, according to some. There's no question video would be valuable to Verizon too. Especially if the Yahoo acquisition doesn't work out.
- Video advertising has changed. According to YouTube, when viewers arrive on the site, 68% of the time they know exactly what they're looking for. Are you prepared to serve your customers with the right kind of video content?
- A (perhaps) surprising discovery about video content: there’s hardly any correlation between engagement-based metrics (like click-through rates and views) and ROI (intent to purchase).
Get the scoop on what 500 marketers (budgets up to $10 million) believe and how those beliefs influence their behaviors when it comes to hiring and firing agencies just like yours.
Some of the results are going to really surprise you.
FACEBOOK / INSTAGRAM / WHATSAPP
- As we've chronicled here, Facebook has been pushing for more video content by brands and users alike. So imagine the shock when last week we discovered that Facebook has been overstating a key video metric, the average time users spent with videos. While this should concern many companies that have been pouring resources into Facebook video, the company is still committed to the medium and will certainly rectify things.
- Why Facebook is the #1 enemy of newspapers and journalism. One reason: newspapers don't have all of the personal data about readers that Facebook does about its users, so they're at a natural disadvantage.
- To further enable businesses to target discovery of experiences on the Messenger Platform, Facebook is starting to roll out ads in News Feed that drive people to chat with your bot on Messenger.
TWITTER / PERISCOPE / VINE
- The big news of the week in the social network space was that Twitter is a takeover target. Suitors include Salesforce, which missed its social opportunity with LinkedIn; Google, which has failed at every attempt of a home-grown social network; Verizon, which may be preparing for a non-Yahoo event; and Microsoft, to thrwart Salesforce again.
- Salesforce seems like the odd one out of this, as Twitter is as much a news and media platform as anything else. They might be thinking about plugging the "firehose" into their social listening tools, but that still leaves a gap, as Twitter doesn't cover everything. But having such a powerful data stream is still appealing to cloud companies that run on data.
- Wouldn't it be great if Twitter required all offers to be submitted in 140 characters or less? [TWEET THIS]
- Some sources suggest Twitter may command as much as $30 billion, which narrows down the list of potential buyers.
ALPHABET / GOOGLE
- Allo, the standalone messaging app that Google announced back in May, is now available to the masses — and probably smarter than any messaging app you’ve ever used.
- Don't expect any privacy on Allo, which Google had previously promised.
- Of course, some don't think this is enough for what ails Google. "It has all the features of Google Hangouts except, um, it won’t send text messages from your number."
- Cheer up, Google! Teens use YouTube and Gmail more than they do social networks.
- Google is launching a new feature for Google Books which aims to challenge to Amazon's Kindle app when it comes to helping you find new things to read - a Discover recommendation feature and Editorial supplementary content.
- Google Trips is a great new app for all things related to travel.
- Google is planning a hardware event for October 4. Our sources tell us it's for their new VR device.
- Speaking of hardware, Snapchat — now known as Snap, Inc. — released Spectacles, a gaudy pair of video-sharing sunglasses that will snap up to 10 seconds of video with the press of a button. Creepy.
- Unlike Google's attempt at glasses (remember Glass?), Snap's Spectacles will cost only $139. Great — creepy. At scale.
- Rumors began circulating on Thursday morning that Yahoo was going to announce a data breach of some 200 million accounts.
- That turned out not to be true. The next day, Yahoo said it was 500 million accounts. The company said it believes a state-sponsored player was behind the breach, which occurred in late 2014, making Yahoo even slower than Wells Fargo to acknowledge some funny business. The news complicates the Verizon takeover offer, which may be dependent on such material news, and leaves a blemish on Marissa Mayer's record, which was already spotty at best.
Collaborative / Autonomous Economy
- Airbnb has raised $555 million in its latest funding round and is now valued at $30 billion. This places the company at #4 among the world's most valuable startups, with Uber, Xiaomi and Didi Chuxing leading the way.
- No background check? No problem! Uber simply requires drivers to take selfies for added security. Hopefully, Kim Kardashian won't be my next driver.
- Uber is researching a new veritcal-takeoff mode of transportation that flies passengers around cities. First it was autonomous cars, now it's drones.
- Related: the anti-drone movement is taking off. Companies and governments are hacking unmanned vehicles and putting up their drone shields. See also the Elon Musk OpenAI news below.
- NHTSA, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, issued its rules for autonomous vehicles last week. Under the new rules, companies that are building and testing self-driving cars will be required to share extensive amounts of data with federal regulators.
AI / BOTS / BLOCKCHAIN
- We seem to be in the golden age of artificial intelligence. What's happening to force this convergence?
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Virtual Reality / Audio
VR / AR
- Google has filed a patent for a hand-controlled mobile VR headset. The combination of lightweighting of the headset and VR driven by your phone could speed the mainstream adoption of VR.
- The podcast world is much broader than those who first heard about it through Serial would think. But what role can news and journalism play in the evolving medium? Part 5 in this 5-part series.
- Podcasts have benefited from the unique intimacy of its ads. Can that strength survive the rise of programmatic and dynamic ad insertion?
- Program of the Week. This week, our recommendation comes from Paul Kelly: KCRW's Left, Right & Center. American political discussion featuring a pundit from the left, right and center. Refreshingly civil, well-rounded, smart discourse. Do you have a program to recommend? Add yours to our Google Sheet: smonty.co/yourpodcasts
- And don't forget to subscribe to ours via email or on iTunes, Google Play, Stitcher, Spreaker or SoundCloud.
Content / Customer Experience / Influencer Marketing
- McKinsey takes a look at what drives customer growth, with a particular focus on companies that are taking the time to meet customer needs better than competitors do.
- What influences software purchase decisions in a business-to-business environment most? Word of mouth.
Privacy / Security / Legal
- The age of hacking cars is coming, but Elon Musk is doing his part to thwart hackers. His OpenAI project aims to project AI from hackers — such as hackers who'd like to target Teslas.
- This tool sends you an alert when your data is leaked. Unlike Marissa Mayer.
- With the connected world ever-expanding, it's no wonder that we have to think about Cybersecurity and the Internet of Things.
Measurement / Metrics / Data
- The Conversation Research Institute launched this week. The group focuses primarily on insights that drive business and marketing decisions.
Essential Watching / Listening / Reading
- People like many different qualities in their leaders. But it turns out there's one quality that everyone wants in a leader: humility. Let's hope this is a predictor of a certain outcome in November.
- Too many updates and digital distractions may be harming you. Remember when you used to be human? Before reading this newsletter, certainly.
- New York's most powerful critics are here and they're going to teach you how to read books and watch movies more intelligently.
- It's a good thing you have that information, because here are all of Netflix's releases for October.
- And just for good measure, the 100 greatest television shows of all time.
- Technology was supposed to rescue us from the mundane things in life. So why are we still using periods? You'll probably note that the link contained a question mark. So. Ironic.
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