Monday, January 28, 2019

Believe Me — January 28, 2019

Who can you trust these days? Is Alexa dangerous? What happens when new mobility meets the U.S. legal system? What concerns CEOs most in 2019? Why aren't DTC brands saying yes to Amazon? What 10 social media trends will matter most? What's the secret sauce of podcast advertising? How is streaming turning into cable's business model? Should you be able to monetize your own data? Is it time to regulate influencers? How are marketers changing their TV attribution strategies? Are digital detoxes solutions looking for problems? When can I come speak to your team? The answer to these questions and more await in the Believe Me edition of The Full Monty for the week of January 28, 2019.

The Full Monty makes you smarter faster, by curating the essential 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.


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


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Top Story

"Can I be honest with you?"

That question should spark immediate suspicion. Because it connotes that the person asking the question (a) isn't usually honest with you, and (b) is about to bring down a hammer of sorts.

Here's the thing: we have a problem right now with the truth and trust. The #3 issue keeping CMOs up at night is establishing trust.

It's apt then that the latest edition of the Edelman Trust Barometer came out last week. Also ironic that Mark Zuckerberg's opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal ("The Facts About Facebook") was the same untrustworthy stuff we've heard from him — such as the old canard "We don't sell people's data." No, you sell access to people by using their data. Semantics.

And entirely transparent that Zuckerberg used the WSJ as the medium for his message. Facebook has systematically weakened the news industry, and its CEO can't publish this on his own page? Oh, right: regulators don't necessarily follow him on Facebook, but they do read the WSJ opinion pages.

Ever since getting caught up in the Cambridge Analytica scandal, Facebook has said that its #1 mission is to establish trust (I won't say "restore," because that implies they had it in the first place). But gaffe after gaffe has seemingly obliterated that platitude.

As you read though the links this week, take a good look at how many of them have to do with a lack or breach or trust, or an absence of honesty.

It's an epidemic. And the brand that figure out how to be authentic, believable, and trustworthy stand to win.

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About this week's image:
The Procession of the Trojan Horse into Troy by Giovanni Domenico Tiepolo (1760) illustrates a famous passage from Virgil's Aeneid (Book 2). After a fruitless 10-year siege, the Greeks constructed a huge wooden horse—the horse being the emblem of Troy—and hid a select force of men inside including Ulysses (Odysseus). The Greeks pretended to sail away, and the Trojans pulled the horse into their city as a victory trophy. That night the Greek force crept out of the horse and opened the gates for the rest of the Greek army, which had sailed back under cover of night. The Greeks entered and destroyed the city of Troy, ending the war.

Artificial Intelligence / Autonomous

The latest in A.I., machine learning, and bots; mobility and autonomous everything.
Aʀᴛɪꜰɪᴄɪᴀʟ Iɴᴛᴇʟʟɪɢᴇɴᴄᴇ / Mᴀᴄʜɪɴᴇ Lᴇᴀʀɴɪɴɢ
  • We're just at the beginning of voice assistants. Soon, they may be much more than humble servants. Which leads some to ask: is Alexa dangerous? Which really stems from a wider question of trust. (The Atlantic) Alexa, are you dangerous?
  • Alexa is now delivering headlines in a "newscaster" voice. When U.S. users ask "what's the latest?" the device will use direct waveform modeling to respond in the tone used by anchorpeople. (TechCrunch) I wonder if we'll be able to pick the newscaster voice that's the most trustworthy to us? Imagine if Walter Cronkite or Sean Hannity answered.
  • Hey, if you don't trust your voice assistant, just do with this designer did: build a device to keep your home voice assistant from spying on you. (FlowingData)
  • Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud computing unit is open-sourcing Neo-AI for machine learning. This will serve as a framework for optimizing A.I. models on other platforms, such as Google's TensorFlow, Nvidia, and others. (VentureBeat)
  • The technology behind Libratus, the A.I. bot that defeated human poker champions in 2017, has been contracted by the Pentagon for $10 million. The technology will be used for military strategy, planning, and simulations. (Outer Places) But not for shutdown negotiations, obvs.
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


IRI Webinar

  • Personalization is needed more than ever. But how do you do it at scale? It's really all about knowing your audience and serving them up what matters to them, ideally based on what you know - such as their purchase history. IRI has the solution in their latest FREE webinar: How to Improve Audience Targeting for Your CPG Ad Campaigns. (IRI Worldwide) 

Retail Apocalypse

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

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News to know about relevant social media and technology platforms that may affect your business.
  • How a Vermont social network became a model for online communities. (The Verge) The bad news for large players like Facebook is that it takes human curation, approvals, and interaction, and that it seems to work well in manageable numbers (Vermont's is about 160,000 members). The good news is that it serves as a model for brand- or interest-based communities.
  • Related: the 10 social media trends that will matter most this year. (Search Engine Journal) 
Fᴀᴄᴇʙᴏᴏᴋ / Iɴsᴛᴀɢʀᴀᴍ / WʜᴀᴛsAᴘᴘ
  • Twitter is beginning to roll out a redesigned interface for web users, including the addition of an emoji button and an update to its trending section. (The Verge) I've been using it for the last couple of weeks; it's very similar to the mobile app.


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

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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.


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    Mental Nourishment

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

    Top image credit:  (public domain, Wikimedia Commons)


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