Monday, January 30, 2017

The Full Monty — January 30, 2017

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Technology titans take issue with immigration order; Gen X is the heaviest user of social media; digital needs to grow up; redefining B2B marketing with GE; Twitter introduces Explore; Facebook is surfacing more relevant videos; Google eliminated more than 1.7 billion bad ads last year; Snap's IPO is expected this week; Airbnb, Uber and Lyft all develop immigration crisis responses; discovery and retention are an issue for voice-activated systems; the VR wars are on; a seven-part series on marketing trends to watch; why boredom may be good for you; 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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  • Without a doubt, the biggest news story during President Trump's first week in office was the executive order concerning immigration. And as you might expect, technology companies took issue with it. Their responses, from the strongest to the weakest, are an object lesson in the range of communications strategies that companies are employing in this post-factual era.
    • The post is being updated as additional company responses pour in (Jan. 30). Even Ford Motor Company, aligned with Trump on manufacturing and jobs, came out against the move.
    • More below on the ripple effect of the first week on various platforms and technologies.
  • We're in the midst of a fourth industrial revolution that is affecting the middle class the most. It's not jobs moving overseas that's impacting them, but rather technology: increasing automation, artificial intelligence, biotechnology, nanotechnology and other areas.
  • In its 2016 Social Media Report, Nielsen finds that surprisingly, the heavy social media user group isn’t Millennials. In fact, Generation X (ages 35-49) spends the most time on social media: almost 7 hours per week versus Millennials, who come in second, spending just over 6 hours per week. 


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  • Facebook announced a change to your News Feed: they'll be surfacing more relevant videos for you. In the past, video was ranked based on a few actions, like whether a video was live, if people bothered to turn on sound, or if you decided to open it to a full screen view. Last week's announcement adds another metric, ‘percent completion,’ to determine how to rank video and determine what’s worth inserting into your News Feed.
  • Ads are coming to Facebook Messenger. Big ads. The testing phase will determine the maximum size before users get totally annoyed. Now if they could only shut off game invitations...
  • If you're a MailChimp user, good news: the email provider is helping small businesses buy Facebook ads. Makes perfect sense, considering that the Custom Audiences feature requires an upload of your email database. It's a smart integrated move for MailChimp.



  • Later this week, Snap is expected to file for its long-anticipated IPO. Great. Another Silicon Valley technology company whose strategy will be led by quarter-to-quarter earnings

Collaborative/ Autonomous Economy





  • Apple is joining the Partnership on AI, a research group that includes Google, Amazon and Facebook. This is widely seen as an indication that Apple is becoming less secretive.
  • Fake news is one thing, but when combined with social bots, the issues becomes magnified.
  • One of the most significant issues plaguing AI leaders is one of discovery and retention: Alexa and Google Assistant users aren't sticking with the apps they try. In a non-visual environment, it's going to be tricky to attract and retain users for your apps. Humans simply don't work that way — something that should be eminently clear, as marketers have spent the better part of the last four years telling us that "visual communications" is the future.

Virtual Reality / Audio


  • Facebook has a new head of Oculus, its VR division. Hugo Barra is a former executive at Google and Chinese phone maker Xiaomi. No word of whether he'll be located in Facebook's HQ or if he'll be a virtual employee.
  • And Google just poached HTC's top Vive designer, who will work on Daydream. The virtual reality wars are real.
  • Google Daydream has opened its doors to all developers. While any app can immediately be seen on a non-Google Play store, developers still need to opt-in to Google Daydream distribution program in order to be seen in the VR version of Google Play.



Privacy / Security / Legal

Measurement / Metrics / Data


Essential Watching / Listening / Reading

"Curiosity is the cure for boredom. There is no cure for curiosity."
— Dorothy Parker

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I speak to groups and advise brands and agencies to help them embrace the fundamentals of human communication in the digital age. You can join these other top-notch clients by reaching out if you'd like to put my experience to work.

Photo credit: Zooey (Flickr)



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