Tuesday, March 13, 2018

The Full Monty: Trust Matters — March 12, 2018

With fake news on the rise and human nature to blame, there are few areas of respite; a major announcement from Brain+Trust; trends in marketing budgets include an increase in social, digital and analytics; don't forget the human connection; the winner in referral traffic; Twitter's approach to fake accounts; the Infinite Dial 2018 is here and chock full of insights; Big Tech needs regulating; how blockchain is changing analytics; how to compete more effectively in a crowded world; and more in the Trust Matters edition of The Full Monty from Brain+Trust Partners for the week of March 12, 2018.

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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.

An Announcement
Brain+Trust Partners is pleased to be affiliated with the newly-launched Brain+Trust Insights, a new analytics consulting firm that helps brands make better decisions faster by making dark data light. Please check out our announcement.

Top Stories

There's no question that we live in a society in which information moves faster than ever before. So the old adage that "a lie is halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to put its pants on" is quite accurate.

A recent study in Science found that false news travels faster and wider and that the blame lies with humans. It's the same reason that gossip tabloids have always flourished and that the Kardashians are so widely followed. Human nature seems to gravitate toward a willingness to spread falsehoods and exaggerations.

And this is why Facebook (and other big technology companies) are in a pinch ahead of the midterm elections. Because what they have to fix isn't just an algorithm: it's human behavior. Behavior that they've trained with Pavlovian-like responses tied to endorphins that 'likes' and 'retweets' cause in the brain. The ubiquitous nature of technology and its endemic effects make this a societal problem, with reverberations that are being felt in government, child-rearing, school, and more.

There's still a need to be aware of and efforts made to stomp out fake news. Interestingly, even amid the growing era of machine learning, journalists may be better suited to do sniff out fake news. That is, journalists who aren't being coerced into bashing national media companies by their employers. 

But what's the answer? One New York Times columnist took a two-month hiatus from digital sources, getting his news only from print newspapers. The result was a less frenetic, richer experience with himself and his family. And an Ohio man completely cut himself off from every kind of news. Those kinds of solutions may not be for everyone, but they do indicate just how deep technology pervades our minds and the need to make some kind of change to our behavior.

 Ultimately, it comes down to trust: trusting the sources from which you get information, whether it's from brands, news sources, family members, Twitter accounts, or wherever you're engaging. And knowing that you have the power to influence others, because that's who people trust over all sources. Your employees, customers, fans, family and the like — they're the ones who will be the best resource when it comes to leading and defending your brand or your story. If you have a good relationship with them and can be consistent and persistent, you stand a chance of breaking through.

Artificial Intelligence / Autonomous

The latest in AI, machine learning, bots, and blockchain, mobility, and autonomous everything.




Communications / Marketing / Business Strategy

Industry developments and trends, including advertising & marketing, journalism, customer experience, content, and influencer relations.



  • Lester Holt took the occasion of the 70th anniversary of NBC Nightly News to reflect on changes to news broadcasts: the focus is on scoops, exclusive interviews, and on-site reporting, given that viewers already know the day's news. The big question is: how might we take these same concepts and apply them to brand journalism?
  • Publishers and brands ought to be thinking about Flipboard, where referral traffic is up compared to social platforms.

Retail Apocalypse

Humans are a transactional species, and the practice — if not the very notion of what retail is  is undergoing a historical metamorphosis. 


Want to know 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?

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News to know about relevant social, virtual, and augmented reality platforms that may affect your business.






The latest in the world of streaming video, audio, and the advertising, pricing and bundling models related to them.




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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.



    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.

    Mental Nourishment

    Other links to help you reflect, improve, or simply learn something new.

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    Upcoming Brain+Trust Speaking Engagements

    Upcoming events:
    • The Brain+Trust Partners team will be Social VIPs for the #WatsonIoT team for IBM's Think Conference. 
    • The National Automobile Dealers Association annual meeting
    Can we speak for your organization or event? Drop us a line.

    Brain+Trust Partners helps smart, risk-taking executives discern the real from the hype. From strategy development to technology and data vendor selection, and streamlining processes, our focus is on digital business transformation that improves customer experience and drives efficiency for your company. 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.

    Top image credit: Washington Crossing the Delaware by Emanuel Leutze, public domain.



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