Comcast and Charter team up to go wireless; Hulu goes live; Ringling Bros. circus breathes its last; media consumption habits of Americans; two features: This Week in Fake News and This Week in Retail; the state of social media reports for Twitter and Facebook; the continued push for video from each; the on-demand economy is not sustainable; Uber's in trouble (again); Apple may have an answer to Echo and Google Home; how Spotify gets music discovery right; personalized experiences are key to digital stores; the blending of online and offline operations is still in doubt; how data and hacking lead to a hijacked election; the world's most valuable commodity; the mental models you need for intelligent decision making; and more in the Cinco de Mayo edition of The Full Monty. We're sure you subscribe to The Full Monty podcast, and don't forget check out where Brain+Trust is speaking (final section below).
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- Comcast and Charter Communications, the two largest U.S. cable operators, have agreed to explore ways to work together in the wireless business and better compete nationwide with mobile giants like AT&T and Verizon.
- The Disney Digital Network will combine existing brands from the company, including Oh My Disney and Babble, with Maker talent and its gaming-focused Polaris network.
- Hulu launched its live TV service for $40 a month, which also includes Hulu's subscription video service as well as Hulu originals. Hulu is owned by NBC Universal, Fox Entertainment Group, Disney-ABC, and Turner Broadcasting, making this the first time that TV companies are selling a pay TV service directly to TV viewers.
- Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, "the Greatest Show on Earth," is shutting down this month. Its demise was partly due to dwindling attendance, animal rights activists, and changing preferences in entertainment consumption. In a nod to this, the circus will broadcast its final show on Facebook Live on May 21.
- Given that American adults now spend 12 hours and 7 minutes a day consuming media, the above should come as no surprise.
- Also of no surprise is how dominant Facebook and Google are, as together they account for 20% of global ad revenue.
- Domino’s is connecting its pizza tracker to other connected devices and platforms — from posting to/from a customer’s social platforms to turning the outdoor lights on at your home to make it easier for the delivery driver to see your address. Domino’s continues to be one of the most innovative companies in any consumer industry, much less the food industry — and stands out as a prime example of how leading companies execute digital transformation. Domino’s is as much a tech innovator as a pizza maker.
- This Week in Fake News
- Facebook is getting ahead of fake news in the run-up to the UK election in June. The social network published a series of advertisements in newspapers in Britain, giving advice to its millions of users in the country on how to spot misinformation online. It also removed thousands of possibly fake accounts and tweaked algorithms to reduce the amount of misinformation.
- The Media Insight Project looked at the reasons that people pay for news, finding that half of all US adults pay for some kind of news subscription, and do so because of coverage of a specific topic. This and a number of other factors related to digital and print subscribers are part of this study.
- Storyful and Moat debuted Open Brand Safety, working with CUNY School of Journalism to catalog sites that spread misinformation, then share findings with brands.
- Wall Street executives have stopped taking President Trump seriously.
- This Week in Retail
- Walmart's acquisition of Jet.com gave it a much-needed boost in e-commerce. Here's a look at their strategy to compete head-to-head with Amazon. (Disclosure: Walmart is a Brain+Trust client)
- Bonobos is in Walmart's sights as another acquisition target. Four lessons from their retail experience that can be applied to any digital experience include design of product pages and using retail locations as touchpoints for discovery.
- The next retail crisis may be felt in grocery stores, as these five forces come to bear on American supermarkets.
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TWITTER / PERISCOPE
- A look at Twitter's Q1 2017 growth that surprised Wall Street, although revenue was down. This was the largest quarterly growth Twitter has seen in two years.
- In addition to a 24/7 news channel in conjunction with Bloomberg, Twitter is betting on TV with a dozen partners, including BuzzFeed, LiveNation, the WNBA.
- Twitter's TV app is live on Roku. It doesn't require a Twitter account to join, and lets users watch videos on Twitter's timeline, similar to the implementation of Twitter’s apps on Apple TV, Fire TV, and Xbox One, which all launched over the past few months.
FACEBOOK / INSTAGRAM / WHATSAPP
- A look at the state of Facebook at this Q1 juncture: closing in on 2 billion users, a majority of users are mobile-only, and the company continues to push for video.
- The financials look healthy: $8.03 billion in revenue in Q1 2017. Revenue growth is slowing as ad inventory fills up, but it's still moving at a more brisk pace than Wall Street expected. The real question will be where Facebook next turns for revenue.
- Television is a good guess, as Facebook prepares two dozen TV-like premium shows.
- Film is another, as Facebook is looking for a film producer to create “motion picture content,” along with a software engineer for film and a production lead for media partnerships.
- Not long after its launch, Facebook Stories appears to be struggling to gain users or traction. Whether this is a deliberate ploy by Facebook to make Snapchat seem less appealing to Facebook users, or a reflection that Snapchat users don’t simply want the same features on Facebook’s platform is yet to be seen.
- With Facebook Live being used to broadcast murders, Facebook is adding 3,000 people to its community operations team to review reports of inappropriate content and to help prevent suicides.
- Facebook rolled out Instant Games on Messenger to all users, currently with up to 50 games including Words with Friends.
- In its effort to create TV-like content, Snap has signed original show deals with NBCUniversal, Turner and others, and is in talks with CBS and Fox.
ALPHABET / GOOGLE
- Google is testing a job posting feature that could rival LinkedIn. This follows Facebook’s move into the jobs space. It will be interesting to see the impact on LinkedIn (and whether LinkedIn opens wider to blue collar jobs in response to the dual threat from both Facebook and Google).
Collaborative / Autonomous / AI
- The on-demand economy is not sustainable, because most startups in the space are essentially subsidized by venture capital, rather than a viable business model. The survivors will figure out how to win customer loyalty to a clear-cut service that requires frequent use.
- Waymo says former executive Levandowski made deal with Uber before he left, was given 5M shares of Uber stock the day after leaving, which was months before his autonomous driving company Otto was acquired by Uber. The plot thickens.
- Uber's use of its "Greyball" technology [first reported by us on March 6, 2017] has it in hot water with authorities: the company is facing a criminal probe over its use of software to identify and evade authorities looking to crack down on Uber.
- Baidu is releasing a free operating system for self-driving cars. China’s leading search engine hopes to speed development of autonomous driving and draw carmakers to its services.
ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE / BOTS / BLOCKCHAIN
- Apple may have an answer for Amazon's Echo and Google Home. According to a report, there’s “an over 50% chance” that Apple will unveil a device, potentially called the “Siri Hub” this summer.
- Slack released a new search feature powered by artificial intelligence. It's designed to help users find relevant channels and subject matter experts more quickly than traditional search.
- Health care giant Humana will be relying on AI to improve customer service. Just as long as my doctor isn't a cold, unfeeling robot.
Virtual Reality / Audio
- Oculus is shutting down its Story Studio for VR film production, shifting away from internal content creation to support more external production. Leave the content creation to the experts.
- Microsoft is building an augmented reality viewer into the next version of Windows 10. It's designed to let Windows 10 users augment 3D objects, created in 3D Paint, into the real world by using any laptop with a webcam.
- WeChat is building an augmented reality store.
- Did you ever wonder how Spotify is able to nail it with its Discover Weekly playlists? Wonder no more as you're taken behind the magic.
- NPR, the AP and local newspapers are beginning to experiment with voice-activated news updates via Amazon Echo.
- Program of the Week: Beyond Social Media Show, hosted by David Erickson and B.L. Ochman, is an irreverent, fast-paced take on the week's advertising, public relations, and online marketing news by two long-time communication professionals. Do you have a program to recommend? Add yours to our Google Sheet: smonty.co/yourpodcasts.
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Content / Customer Experience / Influencer Marketing
- Not all marketing content is content marketing. Gartner weighs in on how to tell the difference and explain it to colleagues.
- An outtake from 20 Extraordinary Content Marketing Insights: "Once people realize 'more is more' we will see very significant growth in content."
- Value is everything. If you're not creating value, there's no reason to be contributing. And there are many ways to go about creating value, such as these 30 Possible Ways to Create Customer Value.
- Consumers want intuitive, personal digital store experiences, yet many of the major e-commerce players are missing the mark by relying on basic strategies that broadly target customer bases. Click the above for strategies to address that.
- Connecting the online and offline experiences and making them feel seamless and consistent is one of the takeaways in this customer experience obloquy from Ann Handley. It's well worth the read and touches on the many aspects of digital transformation — people, processes and technology — that we consult on at Brain+Trust.
- If you saw the flaming disaster that was the Fyre Festival, you'll want to see the leaked pitch deck that is beyond parody. This is everything that influencer marketing should not be; don't let this taint the otherwise well-executed practice.
Privacy / Security / Legal
- Google Docs was used as the base for a giant phishing scam last week that affected millions.
- Want to improve your company's reputation and increase the trust of your customers? Focus on data and privacy.
- A long read on the data and hacking that led to Brexit and the hijacking of democracy. An important read to understand the dynamics of what's going on currently and what's at stake.
Measurement / Analytics / Data
- The world's most valuable resource is no longer oil, but data. Just as titans of 100 years ago related to the oil industry needed monitoring— Rockefeller, Morgan, Vanderbilt, so do today's data monoliths: Facebook, Alphabet, Apple, Microsoft, and Amazon.
- In its effort to better understand the impact of its Journey site, Coca-Cola created a new metric around engagement.
- When asked "What Key Performance Indicators should we use for our business?" Reply with, "What are you trying to get done with your digital strategies?" This and other pieces of wisdom from Avinash Kaushik in The Very Best Digital Metrics for 15 Different Companies.
Leadership / Further Reflection
- Making better decisions is part of the leadership process. And in order to be well informed and make intelligent decisions, it's helpful to understand the variety of mental models available for consideration.
- Is FOMO a thing of the past? Digital minimalism is taking root amid the fear of burning out. It's a more practical answer to short-term detox and permanent plug-pulling that's gaining momentum among computer scientists, lifestyle experts, and even beauty brands. We might even call it JOMO (the joy of missing out).
- Teens certainly don't suffer from FOMO. Largely because they can't put their phones down. According to GlobalWebIndex, teen internet users worldwide spend 3 hours 38 minutes going online via their smartphones during a typical day—roughly 48 minutes more than the overall average for people ages 16 to 64.
- The beauty of our galaxy is something to behold. A pilot on a night flight across the Atlantic caught a time-lapse video of the splendor of the Milky Way.
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Upcoming Brain+Trust Speaking Engagements
- Keynote at the CEO Communications Summit at Concordia University's John Molson School of Business in Montreal, June 13-14, 2017. (Scott)
- Keynote at Health:Further in Nashville, August 23-25, 2017 (Frank and Scott)
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Brain+Trust Partners doesn't believe in gobbledygook — we use common sense strategic guidance to help you master the evolving marketplace. From strategy development to technology and data vendor selection, to digital transformation and streamlining processes, our focus is on the customer experience. And our decades of experience working for major brands means that we deeply understand the challenges you're facing. Let us know if we can help you.
May 08, 2017 content marketing, digital transformation, Facebook, News, newsletter, retail, Twitter, Video 0