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Subscriptions are up at the New York Times; fact-checking fake news; clarity ahead for native advertising; trustworthy sources for B2B buyers; surprise! Twitter is an echo chamber; Facebook nears 2 billion users; Instagram steals Snapchat's users; Snap's S-1 shows no plans to be profitable; Uber loses users (say that 3X fast); former NASA engineer working on flying car for Uber; Ford fearful of autonomous hiccup; Starbucks goes AI; United is trying for customer-friendly skies; content marketing trends to watch; bone up on your cybersecurity; how right turns can save the environment; the worst technology predictions of the last 100 years; and more in this week's edition of The Full Monty. And don't forget to check out The Full Monty podcast.
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Upcoming Brain+Trust Speaking Engagements
- Speaking at the Brazos Valley IABC on February 21, 2017. (Tim)
- Addressing the Country Radio Seminar in Nashville on February 23, 2017. (Tim)
- General sessions at Social Media Week Indepdendent Austin, February 27 - March 1, 2017. (Christopher, Tim)
- Speaking at DMAWest Tech Summit in Salt Lake City, March 17, 2017. (Tim)
- Keynote at Social Media Marketing World 2017 in San Diego, March 22-24, 2017. (Scott)
- Concurrent session at Texas Society of Association Executives Tech Talks, March 30, 2017. (Tim)
- Keynote at Ragan's PR and Media Relations Summit in New York, April 5-7, 2017. (Christopher)
- Keynote at the CEO Communications Summit at Concordia University's John Molson School of Business in Montreal, June 13-14, 2017. (Scott)
- Can we speak for your organization? Drop us a line.
- We all know that the newspaper industry has had its challenges in the digital age. But the New York Times has been among the leaders (despite what President Trump would have us believe). In fact, the New York Times added 276,000 subscribers since the election — more than it did in all of 2015. How's that for "fake news"?
|Credit: SNL (YouTube)|
- MIT determined that by activating a community, the spread of unreliable news can be curbed. It turned to Reddit and engaged the /r/worldnews community to fact-check fake news, resulting in twice as many comments and half as many up-votes — a statistically significant outcome.
- Native advertising may achieve some clarity in 2017, with the broad classification breaking down into two distinct types: programmatic and nonprogrammatic.
- Slack launched its Enterprise Grid to work with the largest companies. Expect Slack to go head-to-head against Microsoft and its Yammer and Teams apps.
- LEGO built a social network for kids and it's not creepy. Whether it's a network for kids, an in-store shopping experience, or a new product, it's important to sweat the details and think deeply about the customer experience.
- You happen to be reading one right now, so maybe you could answer this question: what makes a curated newsletter great?
- Good news: there's a list of the most helpful and trustworthy resources for B2B buyers. They include free trial, product demos and a referral from a colleague or friend.
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TWITTER / PERISCOPE / VINE
- It may not come as a surprise to you, but a recent study determined that Twitter is an echo chamber. Well, not one big one, but that you're more likely to engage with people who share the same viewpoints as you. It's actually an ancient human trait called homophily, in which we hang out with people like us.
- Twitter has a resource for African-American employees, @Blackbirds, that is now rolling out as a bot for Black History Month.
FACEBOOK / INSTAGRAM / WHATSAPP
- Facebook's Q4 2016 earnings showed the continued dominance of the social juggernaut, with $8.81B in revenue and 1.86 billion users, a growth rate of nearly 4 percent. Facebook warned that it may run out of ad inventory by mid-2017. One of the most important and widely overlooked stats is Facebook’s stickiness, or what percentage of monthly users come back every day. That stayed constant at 66 percent, the same as last quarter.
- Facebook announced new partnerships with third-party ad-tech firms to improve the quality of measurement data and show marketers how its ads perform compared to TV.
- That's important not only because of the familiarity with TV and TV advertising, but because Facebook is developing an app for television set-top boxes, hoping to tap into more ad dollars there.
- Facebook wrote a paper on how it would develop AI, if it were, which it isn't. Yet.
- Don't look now, but Instagram Stories is stealing Snapchat's users. That's not just a platitude: Snapchat's user growth slowed 82% after Instagram Stories launched. Oh, snap.
- Snap officially filed its S-1, launching the process for its $3B IPO after five years in business. In the document, we learned that Snapchat offically has 158 million daily active users — an attractive number for advertisers. An unattractive number: the cost of revenue was $47 million higher than sales.
- Not to be missed from the S-1 filing: “We have incurred operating losses in the past, expect to incur operating losses in the future, and may never achieve or maintain profitability.” The investors must be incredibly pumped to read that.
- Marketing is huge for Snap: they paid out $58 million in revenue sharing to media companies last year.
- Make sure you've upgraded your Chrome browser, if you use it. After February 8, Gmail won't work with Chrome v53 or lower. An especially important message to get to your customers and subscribers, if you run any kind of email marketing effort.
Collaborative / Autonomous / AI
- Last week's questionable decision by Uber to break the taxi strike at JFK airport led to an online protest for users to #DeleteUber. Did it have an effect? Uber's system had trouble keeping up with the account deletion requests and by the end of the week, some 200,000 Uber users had left.
- In addition. Uber's CEO Travis Kalanick left President Trump's economic advisory panel. However, Tesla CEO Elon Musk decided to remain, "for the greater good." Either that, or he's taking a more practical view of his company's efforts in the energy space.
- Uber has added Mercedes-Benz to its list of autonomous vehicle partners. Parent company Daimler AG plans to develop its own self-driving cars and trucks that will be part of the fleet.
- So much talk about autonomous vehicles, yet people still ask, "Where's my flying car?" It may be available on an app: Uber just hired a veteran NASA engineer to develop flying cars.
- Ford Motor Company (which debuted a new ad during the Super Bowl) is concerned about moving too quickly in this space, particularly if autonomous cars eventually kill someone.
- Google's Waymo had fewer disengagements in 2016 than previously, indicating that its self-driving technology is getting better. "Disengagements" are when a driver has to take over from the system.
- Automation is happening, and it will bring substantial benefits to businesses and economies worldwide, but it won’t arrive overnight. A new McKinsey Global Institute report finds realizing automation’s full potential requires people and technology to work hand in hand.
- Much of the world around is is partially automated, with a mixture of human and machine interaction. There's more to be in awe of than to fear.
ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE / BOTS / BLOCKCHAIN
- Similarly, the Internet is mostly bots. More than half of web traffic comes from automated programs—many of them malicious.
- Starbucks has debuted voice ordering via Alexa. But that does nothing to speed up the line when you arrive. Baristas aren't bots. Yet.
- Amazon's Alexa is a wondrous thing to some people. Yet to others, it's a glorified alarm clock.
Virtual Reality / Audio
- An update to Snapchat's Lenses could recognize and add to landscapes as well as faces, pushing it further into the augmented reality space.
- Spotify may delay its IPO until 2018, as it reconsiders its licensing deals with music labels, relying on its strong numbers. Spotify currently has over 100 million users.
- Program of the Week: The American Marketing Association's new podcast Answers in Action. Listen as the editorial staff of Marketing News reviews items related to the latest publication. 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
- Apple, IBM and United Airlines teamed up to develop mobile apps for United's employees, in an effort to improve the customer experience. Rather than be limited by the number of computers at a workstation, the airline can now call in as many people as it needs with these mobile devices in tow to help ease congestion during emergencies and periods of high traffic.
- It sounds trite, but in content marketing, it's important not to overthink and to simply write what customers love.
- Five trends in content marketing to watch in 2017 include live video, influencer marketing, and audio.
- The key to understanding your customers and creating a superior customer experience is to listen with empathy.
"When people talk, listen completely. Most people never listen."
— Ernest Hemingway
Privacy / Security / Legal
- Smaller businesses are frequent targets for cyber crimes for a simple reason — they're easy targets. Make sure you're up to speed on 5 cybersecurity tools your company should have.
Measurement / Metrics / Data
- Even at events, it's important to have data on the engagement and participation of your audience.
- Predictive analytics is in — analytics firm Uptake has raised $40M and is partnering with iconic industrial companies that have yet to fully integrate data analytics to improve business operations.
Essential Watching / Listening / Reading
- Humans suck at predictions, particularly when we have a vested interest in the thing the technology is overcoming. If you want any proof, look no further than the absolute worst technology predictions of the last 100 years.
- Example: “The wireless music box has no imaginable commercial value. Who would pay for a message sent to no one in particular?” — Associates of David Sarnoff responding to the latter’s call for investment in the radio. In their defense, the same thing is being said about Twitter.
- If you've made it this far, congratulations. You may want to know all about why the habit of delaying gratification is useful.
- An epidemic of hearing loss is growing, and it's due in large part to earbuds and headphones.
- Did you know that UPS reroutes its drivers on longer routes in order to avoid making left turns? And doing so saves them 10 million gallons of gas a year, among other things. It's an example of how mathematics and logistics can be used to impact the environment and business operations.
- There's an instinctual reason why your Patriots-obsessed friends think the team can do to wrong, despite past cheating scandals. Or, it could be that the Pats are just that good.
|Credit: NFL Trash Talkers (Facebook)|
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Photo credit: Wikipedia