Monday, September 25, 2017

Follow at Your Own Discretion — September 25, 2017

It's time for the Four to lead us somewhere worthwhile; using AI and big data to drive success at Coca-Cola; five industries that will be transformed by voice; it's hard to insure self-driving planes; top attributes of good customer experience; the C-suite finally realizes the power of social media; Toys R Us writes a new chapter (11); Walmart makes it possible for all customers to shop online; Amazon is making Whole Foods like a traditional grocery store; Twitter heads to Washington; Facebook details a plan to address election interference; the music industry is growing; Equifax still can't get it right; Uber loses London; how to write a proper cease and desist letter; measuring PR with a communications stack; the difference between open- and closed-minded people; and more in the Follow at Your Own Discretion edition of The Full Monty from Brain+Trust for the week of September 25, 2017.

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Top Stories

  • The Four — Google, Facebook, Amazon and Apple — have been granted cult-like and carte blanche status for some time. L2 founder Scott Galloway argues that the worm has turned and it's time they accepted more responsibility as they touch the third rail (politics) and continue to gain massive scale that affects wide swaths of the economy. For example:
    • Amazon should make its second headquarters in Detroit to commit to revitalizing the heart of America;
    • Apple should stop with the tax avoidance already;
    • Facebook needs a Night Watch and a CEO who identifies as American rather than global and who will stand up to Russian meddling;
    • Google is the most vulnerable as the war on tech in Europe escalates; it needs to demonstrate good corporate citizenship.
  • Facebook and Google’s advertising platforms are out of control. That used to be a good thing. Now…not so much. John Batelle looks at how we got here: Facebook took nearly all the world-beating characteristics of Google’s AdWords and added the crack cocaine of personal data, while programmatic rose. What does the future hold? At stake is not only the fundamental advertising models that built our most valuable tech companies, but also the essential forces and presumptions driving our system of democratic capitalism. 
  • As Amazon wields a growing power as a search engine, it is also becoming a more compelling advertising platform and, as a result, is posing the first real challenge to Google and Facebook.
What does the future hold? At stake is not only the fundamental advertising models that built our most valuable tech companies, but also the essential forces and presumptions driving our system of democratic capitalism.

Artificial Intelligence / Machine Learning / Autonomous

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


Hey, you'd trust Otto, wouldn't you?

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



Regulatory / Security 

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




    • If you're going to write a cease and desist letter, try following the example of Netflix's counsel, who wrote a friendly and humorous missive to fans of Stranger Things, who had created a pop-up bar without the proper licensing and permission. See? Even lawyers can be human.

    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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    Top image credit: The Pied Piper of Hamelin, (Wikimedia Commons)



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