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Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Episode 72: Write Me


We take our communications for granted these days. It's so easy to tweet, text, snap, DM, PM, and email.

But the more mundane, analog way of communicating is more meaningful than ever. People want to be on the receiving end of your letters. But do you have anything worth writing about?

Download now (2.7 MB, 5:53)



Would you consider leaving a rating or review for the show on Apple Podcasts? It helps other people find us.


Links:


Credits:

Theme songAfternoon by Maestross is on a royalty-free license from Jamendo.com.
Incidental music: Adventure Western Music - The Wild West by Ross Bugden
Image credit: News from my Lad by James Campbell, 1859 (Wikimedia Commons - public domain)

Subscribe on Apple PodcastsGoogle PodcastsSoundCloudSpotifyStitcher, or wherever you get your podcasts. Or try this: ask Alexa or Google Home to "play the latest episode of The Full Monty podcast."

If you find this program valuable, please consider supporting it on Patreon. It covers the cost of hosting, email, music and more.


Monday, April 8, 2019

Pandora's Box — April 8, 2019


Big Tech has gifted us with our own Pandora's box; robots that can identify emotions; accomplishing autonomous driving using only cameras and reinforcement learning; two major U.S. advertising market milestones; standing up to influencers; another competitive move for Walmart; how Facebook's algorithm change affected different verticals; what happens when Instagram steals your handle; a three-year trend in pay-TV subscribership; with 300 streaming services available, one thing sets them apart; Spotify has some competition for paid subscribers; how to stop Google from tracking you; data visualization errors from the experts; leadership lessons from Game of Thrones; and more in the Pandora's Box edition of The Full Monty for the week of April 8, 2019.



The Full Monty makes you smarter faster, by curating essential digital business intelligence 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.

Contents:

Announcements
Top Story
Artificial Intelligence / Autonomous
Communications / Marketing / Business Strategy
Retail Apocalypse
Platforms
Media
Privacy / Security / Regulatory
Measurement / Analytics / Data
Mental Nourishment

Announcements


I consult with and advise firms on digital strategy, informed from my time an executive at Ford Motor Company. I've worked with digital communications teams, customer service leaders, and C-level executives at companies like WalmartMcDonaldsT-Mobile and IBM on issues related to strategy, customer experience, and digital, social and content strategy. I help them become more customer-centric, improve customer relationships, and grow their business.
I welcome the opportunity to explore a relationship with your team. Let's have an introductory chat. Or maybe you'd just like to pick my brain for an hour.


Top Story

It took the Roman Empire some hundreds of years to fall; social media is already seeing cracks a decade and a half in.

According to an NBC News / Wall Street Journal poll, the American public isn't too keen on social media companies like Facebook and Twitter. In fact, sizable majorities say these sites do more to divide the country than unite it, and that they spread falsehoods rather than news.

Some of the highlights:
  • Six in 10 Americans say they don’t trust Facebook at all to protect their personal information.
  • Eighty-two percent say social media sites do more to waste people’s time, versus 15% who say they do more to use Americans’ time well.
  • Fifty-five percent believe social media does more to spread lies and falsehoods, versus 31% who say it does more to spread news and information.

Bottom line: if America was giving social media a Yelp review, a majority would give it zero stars.

This is a serious problem. Not just for Big Tech and its own issues with reputation and regulation. But for society.

We've got what amounts to a public utility via multiple platforms (lest we forget, Facebook owns four of them) that have effectively spiraled out of control. In granting netizens the ability to communicate as freely and anonymously as we wish, these platforms have brought out the best and the worst of human nature.

What's more, it's not clear that regulation is going to do anything to rein this in. And the founders themselves don't seem to be able to claw back or control their creations. The end result is that we're left with an imperfect world in which to operate our businesses (nothing new there).

Here's an idea:
Given that this is what we have to work with right now, why not make a commitment to less advertising and more community-building? That is, put fewer resources into competing for what little attention is left out there, and instead create a sense of belonging for your customers.

Put your efforts into retention and relationship building rather than chasing down someone who might not want to hear from you in the first place.


If you enjoyed this commentary, please sign up for Timeless Wisdom in addition to this newsletter and I'll send you a couple of more items a week.

About this week's image: James Barry created The Birth of Pandora to bring to life the mythological story of the gods' revenge on humans. Prometheus stole fire from heaven, and Zeus took revenge by presenting Pandora to Prometheus' brother Epimetheus. In the painting, the gods are contributing to Pandora's creation, including the three cherubs approaching with the jar. Pandora opened this jar (later translated as a box) she gave to Epimetheus containing sickness, death and many other unspecified evils which were then released into the world. In modern times the idiom Pandora's box means "Any source of great and unexpected troubles," or "A present which seems valuable but which in reality is a curse."


Artificial Intelligence / Autonomous

The latest in A.I., machine learning, and bots; mobility and autonomous everything.
Aʀᴛɪꜰɪᴄɪᴀʟ Iɴᴛᴇʟʟɪɢᴇɴᴄᴇ / Mᴀᴄʜɪɴᴇ Lᴇᴀʀɴɪɴɢ
  • Researchers at Case Western have developed robots that can identify emotions by analyzing facial expressions in real time with a 98% accuracy rate. (Phys Org) Let's hope they can't recognize fear.
  • Natural language processing (NLP) is one of the most visible forms of A.I. (seen most commonly through voice assistants). Here's why NLP will be huge in 2019. (Venture Beat) It has to do with more than what we already see; there's lots of hidden orchestration that bots are doing at the enterprise level.
  • I mentioned the problem of robocalls in the March 18 edition (with a hilarious video by John Oliver); it turns out that robocalls are getting even worse, using your own and your friends' phone numbers to spam you. (CNN Business)
  • And just last week, I mentioned Google's ethics advisory board. Not so fast: Google has canceled its ethics advisory board amid concerns about the impartiality and ethics of its members. (Vox) Um, maybe select your board members a little more carefully rather than trashing the entire program.
Aᴜᴛᴏɴᴏᴍᴏᴜs / Mᴏʙɪʟɪᴛʏ
  • Lyft is banking on robotaxis to replace high-priced drivers and help turn ride-hailing into a profitable enterprise. Don't count on it. (Axios) In fact, autonomous vehicles will be even more expensive
  • Wayve is a British self-driving car company that claims to have an end-to-end self-driving system that uses standard cameras, no Lidar, no high-resolution maps, all powered by reinforcement learning. (Wayve) This could be interesting.


Communications / Marketing / Business Strategy

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


Sᴛʀᴀᴛᴇɢʏ / Mᴀʀᴋᴇᴛɪɴɢ / Cᴏɴᴛᴇɴᴛ
Jᴏᴜʀɴᴀʟɪsᴍ / Cᴏᴍᴍᴜɴɪᴄᴀᴛɪᴏɴs / Rᴇᴘᴜᴛᴀᴛɪᴏɴ
  • A small business owner who runs a beach club in the Philippines stood up to "influencers," telling them they couldn't barter their social media posts for a stay. (New York Times) Amen. So-called 'influencers' are often no more than freeloaders.
  • Fox News CEO Suzanne Scott, who succeeded Roger Ailes after his ouster amid scandal, says she is focused on communication as a way to rescue the firm's reputation and power through boycotts. (Variety)


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Retail Apocalypse

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


Platforms 

News to know about relevant social media and technology platforms that may affect your business.

Fᴀᴄᴇʙᴏᴏᴋ / Iɴsᴛᴀɢʀᴀᴍ / WʜᴀᴛsAᴘᴘ
  • After criticism over data leaks, Facebook will stop asking users for their email passwords as a means of verifying some new accounts. (Axios) Smart move.
  • A little over a year ago, Facebook announced changes to its algorithm that would impact publishers. Here's how the algorithm change affected various verticals, according to Parse.ly (Marketing Charts):
    • Hardest hit: Arts & Entertainment
    • 62% decrease for Style & Fashion
    • Politics, news and social issues least affected
    • 61% decrease for Family/Parenting
  • WhatsApp announced it is rolling out a new privacy setting that will help you decide who can add you to groups, preventing spam additions that have been a pain point for many users
  • When your Instagram handle is @SussexRoyal and you haven't used it for years, here's what happens: Instagram reclaims it for Prince Harry and Megan, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. The original account owner, a 55 year-old football fan, had this to say: "I can tell you that Twitter's gone mental. I used to have four followers and in 24 hours I've gone up to about 198." (BBC) He must be completely barmy now: following the news article, he has over 1,600 followers.
 Tᴡɪᴛᴛᴇʀ


Media

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

Vɪᴅᴇᴏ
  • The Definitive Oral History of TiVo bring us the dark origins of binge-watching. (OneZero)
  • Hulu is analyzing what the commercial experience might look like for binge-watchers. (AdAge) Makes sense. Binge-watchers shouldn't be subjected to the same kind of interruption or repetitive ads as other watchers. This could open up the opportunity for ad experiences that are multi-episodic or mini-stories themselves.
  • The top pay-TV providers in the U.S. — representing close to 95% of the market — have seen their percentage of lost subscribers double year-over-year for three consecutive years. (Leichtman Research) That's not what you'd call a positive trend.
  • There are more than 300 streaming video services available to consumers. With all these services, one feature that sets them apart from each other is original content. (Marketing Charts)
  • As expected, Netflix is raising prices across the board in May. (Variety) Hey, they've gotta find some way to pay for all of that original content.
  • In the March 4 edition, I shared Steven Spielberg's threat to exclude non-theatrical releases from Oscars consideration. Well, the Justice Department has warned the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences that its potential rule changes limiting the eligibility of Netflix and other streaming services for the Oscars could raise antitrust concerns and violate competition law. (Variety)
Aᴜᴅɪᴏ
  • Apple Music has passed Spotify in paid U.S. subscribers, up to at least 28 million for Spotify’s 26 million. (Wall Street Journal)
  • In 2018, streaming accounted for nearly half of music revenues worldwide. (IFPI)
  • Program of the Week: This week's show is Business Wars from Wondery. This is a show we've highlighted before, but because they keep introducing new 6-part series, it's worth revisiting. The current battle is Hasbro vs. Mattel — something for the kid in all of us.

If you don't already, please subscribe to The Full Monty podcast, 7 minutes of weekly business commentary, many times with a historical or literary twist. What's past is prologue.

Try this at home: "Alexa, play the latest episode of The Full Monty."


Privacy / Security / Regulatory

Business disruptions in the legal, regulatory, and computer security fields, from hacking to the on-demand economy and more.

Pʀɪᴠᴀᴄʏ / Sᴇᴄᴜʀɪᴛʏ / Hᴀᴄᴋɪɴɢ
Rᴇɢᴜʟᴀᴛᴏʀʏ / Oɴ-Dᴇᴍᴀɴᴅ Eᴄᴏɴᴏᴍʏ
  • Pinterest and Airbnb are teaming up on a spring and summer travel guide, designed to curate experiences for discovery by travelers. (AdWeek)
  • Waze is using data pacts, beacons, and carpools to win over municipalities that are looking to reduce traffic congestion, air pollution, and other conundrums. (Venture Beat)


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.
  • The Economist takes data visualization seriously, but that doesn't mean it isn't guilty of a few mistakes now and then. Here are some data visualization errors from their team. (The Economist - Medium)
  • Microsoft, SAP and Adobe announced the expansion of their Open Data Initiative as they look to bring in additional partners. The core principle of the alliance is that the customers own their data and they should be able to get as much value out of it as they can. (TechCrunch)


    Speaking 

    How can you energize your team and give them actionable ideas for boosting customer engagement? It's all about applying Timeless Wisdom to your process — practical and relatable lessons drawn from historical and literary contexts, updated to inform business growth. 
    Combine this with Fortune 10 executive experience and some great stories, and you'll be happy that you spent a fraction of what it costs to send your team to a major conference. I'll spend anywhere from an hour to a whole day with your team and give them the power to develop trusted, lasting relationships with your customers.
    Let's chat and see if I can customize a session for you.


    Mental Nourishment

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


    Top image credit: The Birth of Pandora by James Barry, 1804 (ArtUK - Creative Commons)

    Wednesday, April 3, 2019

    Episode 71: Tune That Name


    We marvel at people who seem to have a way with their fellow humans. People who seemingly have others in the palm of their hands. What is it about individuals like this that capture our imagination and admiration?

    It's not rocket science. But it does take a bit of work. The same can be said for personalization in marketing. It's doable, but it requires some effort. Are you ready?


    Download now (3.2 MB, 7:04)



    Would you consider leaving a rating or review for the show on Apple Podcasts? It helps other people find us.


    Links:


    Credits:

    Theme songAfternoon by Maestross is on a royalty-free license from Jamendo.com.
    Image creditOthello's Lamentation by William Salter, 1857 (Wikimedia Commons - public domain)

    Subscribe on Apple PodcastsGoogle PodcastsSoundCloudSpotifyStitcher, or wherever you get your podcasts. Or try this: ask Alexa or Google Home to "play the latest episode of The Full Monty podcast."

    If you find this program valuable, please consider supporting it on Patreon. It covers the cost of hosting, email, music and more.


    Tuesday, April 2, 2019

    Fool Me Once — April 1, 2019


    Fake news fakes out April Fools' Day; personalizing your drive-thru preferences; ethics needs advisory boards; the future of newsrooms looks bleak; retail requires physical and online together; the latest social network; Facebook's commitment to stopping hate speech; YouTube ignored similar requests; beware TV networks; Spotify to surpass Pandora users; Huawei's engineering is a terrible security hole; the EU's new copyright rules are vapid; Uber tried to stop Lyft every way it could; Airbnb is bigger than Hilton; capturing data for business impact; how coffee led to the downfall of an empire; and more in the Fool Me Once edition of The Full Monty for the week of April 1, 2019.



    The Full Monty makes you smarter faster, by curating essential digital business intelligence 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.

    Contents:

    Announcements
    Top Story
    Artificial Intelligence / Autonomous
    Communications / Marketing / Business Strategy
    Retail Apocalypse
    Platforms
    Media
    Privacy / Security / Regulatory
    Measurement / Analytics / Data
    Mental Nourishment

    Announcements

    I consult and advise brands and agencies through Scott Monty Strategies, which I founded after serving as an executive at Ford Motor Company. I've worked with digital communications teams, customer service leaders, and C-level executives at companies like WalmartMcDonaldsT-Mobile and IBM on issues related to strategy, crisis communications, customer experience, and digital, social and content strategy. It's all about better strategies to improve customer relationships and grow business. I welcome the opportunity to explore a relationship with your team.
    Let's have an introductory chat. Or maybe you'd just like to pick my brain for an hour.


    Top Story

    As you know, April 1st officially marked April Fools' Day. In the last decade or so, brands have stepped up their efforts to fool customers and the public with pranks that range from the subtle to the outrageous.

    Thanks to the advent of online scams and the inability by even the most intelligent people to detect fake news, we've seen a bit of a retraction of activity. Many people have expressed disdain or dread at the date, even vowing to remain off of social media for the day. In the U.K., government officials even asked media outlets to refrain from publishing traditional spoof stories on April 1.

    This is nothing new for humans. We've been gullible from the beginning, wanting to believe those who approach us earnestly for help. But fool us too many times, and we become immune to such requests. This is the moral of Aesop's classic The Boy Who Cried Wolf.

    Have we become the Internet who cried wolf?

    If you enjoyed this commentary, please sign up for Timeless Wisdom in addition to this newsletter and I'll send you a couple of more items a week.

    About this week's image: "Stańczyk during a ball at the court of Queen Bona in the face of the loss of Smolensk" by Jan Matejko depicts Stańczyk, the court jester during Poland's height. Besides his work as a court jester, he has been described as an eloquent, witty, and intelligent man who used satire to comment on the nation's past, present, and future. His usual mirth is gone, as he is deep in thought following the news that Poland lost the city of Smolensk to the Grand Duchy of Muscovy (Russia).


    Artificial Intelligence / Autonomous

    The latest in A.I., machine learning, and bots; mobility and autonomous everything.
    Aʀᴛɪꜰɪᴄɪᴀʟ Iɴᴛᴇʟʟɪɢᴇɴᴄᴇ / Mᴀᴄʜɪɴᴇ Lᴇᴀʀɴɪɴɢ
    Aᴜᴛᴏɴᴏᴍᴏᴜs / Mᴏʙɪʟɪᴛʏ
    • When it comes to autonomous vehicles, what's the acceptable death rate? Vision Zero in Sweden has an idea, and it involves makers of vehicles and roadways taking responsibility. (Automotive News) It's an interesting concept, given that vehicles are a leading cause of death today, and that safety should be paramount to any vehicle developer. Having consequences connected with actions is an important concept.
    • Manhattan is implementing congestion pricing, the first such city in the U.S. to charge a premium for vehicles in particularly busy areas of the city. The proceeds would help to underwrite subway repairs. (New York Times)  


    Communications / Marketing / Business Strategy

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


    Sᴛʀᴀᴛᴇɢʏ / Mᴀʀᴋᴇᴛɪɴɢ / Cᴏɴᴛᴇɴᴛ
    Jᴏᴜʀɴᴀʟɪsᴍ / Cᴏᴍᴍᴜɴɪᴄᴀᴛɪᴏɴs / Rᴇᴘᴜᴛᴀᴛɪᴏɴ
    • The Plain Dealer is laying off about a third of its unionized newsroom staff. A Pew Research Center analysis of Bureau of Labor statistics from 2008 to 2017 found overall newsroom employment dropped nationally by 23 percent and in newspaper newsrooms employment dropped by 45 percent. More than 2,400 media jobs have been eliminated so far this year, according to Business Insider. (Cleveland.com) The future of the news industry is in jeopardy, largely due to online offerings. Please support your local news organizations.
    • If you'd like to see a CEO self-immolate on social media, look no further than Elon Musk. (Agility PR) While he's incredibly engaged with customers, he also damages his company by ignoring legal and regulatory requirements for publicly-listed companies.


    Sign up for email updates




    Retail Apocalypse

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


    Platforms 

    News to know about relevant social media and technology platforms that may affect your business.
    • There's a new social network that isn't new at all. The one with the best conversion rates and engagement. (New York Times) One might argue it's not that social either. But it's effective.
    • Almost one-fifth of an average email’s total opens occur within the first hour of sending. Opens slowly decrease after the first hour, to the point where a little more than half (51%) of emails are opened by the 7th hour after they have been delivered. (Marketing Charts)
    Fᴀᴄᴇʙᴏᴏᴋ / Iɴsᴛᴀɢʀᴀᴍ / WʜᴀᴛsAᴘᴘ
     Tᴡɪᴛᴛᴇʀ
    Oᴛʜᴇʀ


    Media

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

    Vɪᴅᴇᴏ
    Aᴜᴅɪᴏ
    • To BBC or not to BBC? The BBC claims that Google isn't directing people to BBC Sounds (its own podcast service) but to its own. And now BBC has blocked Google from accessing its site. Bottom line: Google Podcasts pulls directly from all podcast providers, giving them equal access to data and listeners. (Podnews) Really, BBC?
    • Anchor launched a new "analytics suite" for both Android and iOS mobile devices. (RAINnews)
    • According to a forecast on digital music listeners, Spotify will surpass Pandora in terms of users by 2021—one year sooner than predicted last year. (eMarketer)
    • Spotify acquired true crime studio Parcast to expand its own podcast content. (TechCrunch)
    • Google is auto transcribing podcasts and saving that metadata for search. (Android Police)
    • Program of the Week: This week's show is American History Tellers from Wondery.  Every part of your life — the words you speak, the ideas you share — can be traced to our history, but how well do you really know the stories that made America? The events, the times and the people that shaped our nation.

    If you don't already, please subscribe to The Full Monty podcast, 7 minutes of weekly business commentary, many times with a historical or literary twist. What's past is prologue.

    Try this at home: "Alexa, play the latest episode of The Full Monty."


    Privacy / Security / Regulatory

    Business disruptions in the legal, regulatory, and computer security fields, from hacking to the on-demand economy and more.

    Pʀɪᴠᴀᴄʏ / Sᴇᴄᴜʀɪᴛʏ / Hᴀᴄᴋɪɴɢ
    • The U.K. slammed Huawei because its engineering is so bad that it has inadvertently left huge national security holes in its devices. (Bloomberg)
    • When Max Vest found hidden cameras in his Airbnb late at night, he dressed, grabbed his things, and headed for the door. One problem: the man allegedly recording him was in the next room. (The Atlantic)
    • The E.U. approved copyright rules over the objection of activists. New rules will require tech platforms to sign licensing agreements with authors, musicians, and news publishers if they want to post their content online. One component of the new law, called the “link tax,” would require sites like Google News to pay a fee when summarizing a story and linking to it. (Axios) They'll also have to proactively remove unlicensed copyrighted material from their platforms instead of waiting for complaints to roll in before acting. And you thought Brexit was a disaster?
    Rᴇɢᴜʟᴀᴛᴏʀʏ / Oɴ-Dᴇᴍᴀɴᴅ Eᴄᴏɴᴏᴍʏ


    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.


      Speaking 

      How can you energize your team and give them actionable ideas for boosting customer engagement? It's all about applying Timeless Wisdom to your process — practical and relatable lessons drawn from historical and literary contexts, updated to inform business growth. 
      Combine this with Fortune 10 executive experience and some great stories, and you'll be happy that you spent a fraction of what it costs to send your team to a major conference. I'll spend anywhere from an hour to a whole day with your team and give them the power to develop trusted, lasting relationships with your customers.
      Let's chat and see if I can customize a session for you.


      Mental Nourishment

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



      Top image credit: Stańczyk by Jan Matejko, 1862 (Wikimedia Commons - public domain)

      Wednesday, March 27, 2019

      Episode 70: Generation Gap


      Recent years have seen Millennials blamed for just about everything, from the changing norms around working hours, to marriage and car ownership, and for killing things like napkins, golf, and department stores.

      And while it's easy to lay the blame at the feet of a new generation that is disrupting the age-old way of doing things, this generational conflict has a tradition that spans the ages. If we can understand the patterns of differences in the generations, we can prepare for how to position our businesses appropriately.


      Download now (5.0 MB, 10:58)



      Would you consider leaving a rating or review for the show on Apple Podcasts? It helps other people find us.


      Links:


      Credits:

      Theme songAfternoon by Maestross is on a royalty-free license from Jamendo.com.
      Incidental music: Emerald Therapy by Audionautix is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license
      Image creditSaturn Devouring His Son by Francisco Goya, 1823 (Wikimedia Commons - public domain)

      Subscribe on Apple PodcastsGoogle PodcastsSoundCloudSpotifyStitcher, or wherever you get your podcasts. Or try this: ask Alexa or Google Home to "play the latest episode of The Full Monty podcast."

      If you find this program valuable, please consider supporting it on Patreon. It covers the cost of hosting, email, music and more.


      Monday, March 25, 2019

      This Again? — March 25, 2019


      Hit replay for the TV revolution, and a bonus Streisand effect sitcom; A.I. and ethics are becoming interwoven (or should be); what the tech sector gets wrong about mobility; the #AdobeSummit is here; how to build trust as a leader; what went wrong at Boeing; tales of the drunk shopper; Walmart's secret weapon against Amazon; Instagram goes shopping; Facebook's adult content guidelines, explained; Pinterest files for an IPO; Google gets a massive fine; Disney completed its acquisition of Fox; branded podcasts are preferable; Facebook employees may have had your password for years; Airbnb's guerilla warfare against municipalities; marketers can't put ROI against everything; why Wite-Out is still at thing; and more in the This Again? edition of The Full Monty for the week of March 25, 2019.



      The Full Monty makes you smarter faster, by curating essential digital business intelligence 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.

      Contents:

      Announcements
      Top Story
      Artificial Intelligence / Autonomous
      Communications / Marketing / Business Strategy
      Retail Apocalypse
      Platforms
      Media
      Privacy / Security / Regulatory
      Measurement / Analytics / Data
      Mental Nourishment

      Announcements

      I consult and advise brands and agencies through Scott Monty Strategies, which I founded after serving as an executive at Ford Motor Company. I've worked with digital communications teams, customer service leaders, and C-level executives at companies like WalmartMcDonaldsT-Mobile and IBM on issues related to strategy, crisis communications, customer experience, and digital, social and content strategy. It's all about better strategies to improve customer relationships and grow business. I welcome the opportunity to explore a relationship with your team.
      Let's have an introductory chat. Or maybe you'd just like to pick my brain for an hour.


      Top Story

      Remember when streaming video was a novelty? When you could brag about being among the first to switch from Netflix's DVD-mailer model to online video? The world of streaming media seemed simple in those days.

      The idea was that you could exercise choice and determine what kind of programming you wanted to watch — not be told by your cable company that you had to accept the sports package if you wanted to include a channel like AMC or Bravo. It was called bundling, and it led to ever-higher prices for consumers as they were locked into programming situations that they couldn't control.

      Along came Netflix — and Hulu— and Amazon Prime Video — and you were free from that.

      Until...

      Suddenly streaming services popped up everywhere. CBS, HBO, Showtime, and now newcomers Apple, Disney+, WarnerMedia, NBCUniversal and suddenly consumers are feeling subscription fatigue.  It's like the 1990s, all over again, but this time consumers are creating their own bundles. And it's getting a bit pricey.

      In the return to what is essentially the same business model (i.e., you can't get all of your preferred content in one place), we're also seeing retro programming. In 2018, 14 of Netflix’s top 20 shows, and all 10 of its top 10 shows, were broadcast-network reruns.

      It's as if we forget the past and long for it at the same time.

      Another case in point: there are instances when the misinformed public uses historical examples to reinforce a point, but haven't done their research thoroughly. Which is why it' heartening (at least for this former classics major) to see historians taking to Twitter to set the record straight.

      Then there's the instance of Congressman Devin Nunes suing Twitter over the Devin Nunes Cow account — a parody account — that annoyed him. But Rep. Nunes forgot the very real Streisand effect: the account had around 1,000 followers before last week's lawsuit; it currently has over 630,000.

      Those who don't know history...

      If you enjoyed this commentary, please sign up for Timeless Wisdom in addition to this newsletter and I'll send you a couple of more items a week.

      About this week's image: Ulysses and the Sirens (John William Waterhouse, 1891) depicts Homer's hero Odysseus (the Greek version of Ulysses) on his way home from the Trojan war, facing the Sirens. The Sirens, who with their melodious voices lured all navigators to destruction were, according to classical tradition, creatures having the body of a bird with the head of a beautiful woman. They were informed by the oracle that as soon as anyone passed by without heeding their songs they should perish. Circe warned Odysseus in advance, and he plugged his the ears of his crew with wax and ordered himself to be bound to the mast, allowing them to successfully pass the fatal coast. 


      Artificial Intelligence / Autonomous

      The latest in A.I., machine learning, and bots; mobility and autonomous everything.
      Aʀᴛɪꜰɪᴄɪᴀʟ Iɴᴛᴇʟʟɪɢᴇɴᴄᴇ / Mᴀᴄʜɪɴᴇ Lᴇᴀʀɴɪɴɢ
      Aᴜᴛᴏɴᴏᴍᴏᴜs / Mᴏʙɪʟɪᴛʏ


      Communications / Marketing / Business Strategy

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


      Sᴛʀᴀᴛᴇɢʏ / Mᴀʀᴋᴇᴛɪɴɢ / Cᴏɴᴛᴇɴᴛ
      Jᴏᴜʀɴᴀʟɪsᴍ / Cᴏᴍᴍᴜɴɪᴄᴀᴛɪᴏɴs / Rᴇᴘᴜᴛᴀᴛɪᴏɴ


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      Retail Apocalypse

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


      Platforms 

      News to know about relevant social media and technology platforms that may affect your business.

      Fᴀᴄᴇʙᴏᴏᴋ / Iɴsᴛᴀɢʀᴀᴍ / WʜᴀᴛsAᴘᴘ
       Tᴡɪᴛᴛᴇʀ
      • Twitter is cracking down on API abuse. If customers primarily use the data to serve business customers as a B2B tool, like for customer service or social media monitoring, they’ll have to pay to enter a commercial licensing agreement with Twitter with a custom price based on usage. Twitter refused to even specify the range those prices fall into. (TechCrunch) If data is the new oil, expect to pay.
      • For months, Twitter has been inserting tweets from popular accounts into feeds of users who do not follow them. (CNN Business) The practice means Twitter at times has amplified inflammatory political rhetoric, misinformation, and conspiracy theories. Because, why not? Everyone else is doing it.
      Oᴛʜᴇʀ


      Media

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

      Vɪᴅᴇᴏ
      Aᴜᴅɪᴏ

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      Privacy / Security / Regulatory

      Business disruptions in the legal, regulatory, and computer security fields, from hacking to the on-demand economy and more.

      Pʀɪᴠᴀᴄʏ / Sᴇᴄᴜʀɪᴛʏ / Hᴀᴄᴋɪɴɢ
      Rᴇɢᴜʟᴀᴛᴏʀʏ / Oɴ-Dᴇᴍᴀɴᴅ Eᴄᴏɴᴏᴍʏ


      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.


        Speaking 

        I'm pleased to be heading to the #AdobeSummit as an Adobe Insider, courtesy of Adobe.


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        Mental Nourishment

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


        Top image credit: Ulysses and the Sirens by John William Waterhouse, 1891 (Wikimedia Commons - public domain)

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