Monday, June 19, 2017

The Full Monty — June 19, 2017

Google and Facebook are stepping up their roles in combating terrorism and fake news; Amazon gets primed for Whole Foods; the state of the chatbot economy; using bots to build relationships; email and content marketing are essential to each other; trusted news sites and ads pair well; the three forces at play against brick-and-mortar retailers; report: how propagandists abuse the Internet; Instagram gives influencers tools to better disclose paid relationships; YouTube is heatmapping VR; Netflix has surpassed cable subscriptions; Spotify is more popular than ever and losing money; Airbnb wants more uniformity; Lyft is gaining on Uber; the fallout from the report on the investigation of Uber's culture; pressure is mounting to measure marketing's impact and performance; leadership titles matter less than you think; and more in the disruption edition of The Full Monty. Be 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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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. And please click send your colleagues to this page to sign up as well.

We've got all of these links — and those that didn't make the cut for publication — in The Full Monty Magazine on Flipboard.

Top News

  • Two moves by Google and Facebook — leaders of the online world — indicate their willingness to take responsibility for solving some of the most thorny issues we're dealing with as a society:
  • Following Sunday's terrorist attack in London, Google announced "We are working with government, law enforcement and civil society groups to tackle the problem of violent extremism online," specifically through four steps it is taking to fight online terror:
    • Devote more engineering resources to apply the most advanced machine learning research to train new “content classifiers” to help more quickly identify and remove extremist and terrorism-related content.
    • Greatly increase the number of independent experts in YouTube’s Trusted Flagger program and expand their work with counter-extremist groups to help identify content that may be being used to radicalize and recruit extremists. 
    • Videos that contain inflammatory religious or supremacist content will appear behind an interstitial warning and will not be monetized, recommended or eligible for comments or user endorsements.  
    • Implement the “Redirect Method” more broadly across Europe, harnessing the power of targeted online advertising to reach potential ISIS recruits, and redirect them towards anti-terrorist videos that can change their minds about joining.
  • Last week, Facebook solicited feedback on the toughest issues it is grappling with, publishing a list of seven “hard questions” (such as its role amid terrorism, how to define false news versus politicized speech) and an email address — — where users can send feedback and suggestions for more questions the company should address.

Artificial Intelligence / Machine Learning / Autonomous

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


Communications / Marketing / Business Strategy

Industry developments and trends, including retail, fake news, customer experience, content marketing, and influencer relations.




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




    • The main reason Tumblr never worked out is that no one at Yahoo understood it and the platform never figured out a way to turn its large user base into ad dollars.
    • At a conference last week, Marissa Mayer, ex-CEO of Yahoo, said "I'm looking forward to going back to Gmail." She later clarified in a tweet that she'd be using Yahoo Mail too. Convinced? Neither are we.


    • Last week, Snap closed at $17, a 4.9% drop from opening price, and below its IPO price, amid investor concerns about future growth and profit.


    • Slack is raising $500 million at a $5 billion post-money valuation and has drawn interest from the likes of Amazon, Microsoft, Google and Salesforce



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


    • According to a report by Leichtman Research, Neflix subscriptions have surpassed cable for the first time. Netflix has 50.85 million subscribers compared to 48.61 million for major cable networks. Cable subscriptions are down 4 million in the five years that Netflix subscriptions doubled.
    • How YouTube is taking on big TV: to outmaneuver traditional TV — and secure Google’s future — YouTube’s CEO must satisfy homegrown creators, risk-averse advertisers, Hollywood celebs, and a billion-plus viewers.


    • Spotify reached 140 million MAUs and grew revenue in 2016 over 50% to $3.3 billion, with a net loss of $601 million. It has guaranteed to pay big music labels more than $2 billion over the next two years.
    • Only 50 million of those 140 million Spotify listeners are paying subscribers, leading to that widening loss. Spotify's fans are loving it to death. It may be time to consider raising the price of a subscription.
    • GE remains confident of branded podcasts after 8 million downloads of its two programs. 
    • Program of the Week: Following the mention of Augustus Caesar in the This Week in Fake News section above, this week's program is The Life of Caesar(s). It started as a linear, relatively serious podcast about the life of Gaius Julius Caesar, the general, the consul, the dictator. Fairly quickly it morphed into an over-the-top, balls to the wall version of the same podcast, replete with potty mouths, rock songs, and political rants. Do you have a program to recommend? Add yours to our Google Sheet:  
    • And don't forget to subscribe to our show via email or on iTunesGoogle PlayStitcher,  Spreaker or SoundCloud.


    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?

    Don't miss this FREE 16 page report, full of information, insight and guidance on how to best approach prospects based on the findings.

    Some of the results are going to really surprise you.

    If you're seeing this, maybe you'd like to see your company's name here too. Let us know.

    Regulatory / Security 

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




    In last week's edition, we gave Uber its own section due to the various developments around its leadership and culture. We continue this week with further news.

    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.
    • Pressure is mounting on marketers to measure marketing's performance and impact. Currently, an MPM study finds that marketing is doing best at using data in order to improve its effectiveness, but is having less success in using data to make course adjustments and improve operational efficiency.
    • It bears repeating this week: Apple is making major changes to its Podcast app that include analytics for podcasters.

    Mental Nourishment

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

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    Top photo credit: Kurt Edblom, Redcrest Grocery and General Store (Flickr)



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