Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Episode 66: Clio and the Digital Watch




The study of history doesn't get a fair shake. I'm not just talking about studying it for the sake of consuming facts, but putting it in context with respect to the present. In all facets of life: business, politics, leaders.

We're constantly distracted by what's immediately in front of us that it's difficult to break away and reflect on things. That means considering external events and individuals, as well as being introspective.

If we're curious and patient enough to do this, we'll find answers and insights to the challenges we face chronicled by some of the great minds of the past.


"Employ your time in improving yourself by other men's writings so that you shall come easily by what others have labored hard for."
– Socrates


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Credits:

Theme songAfternoon by Maestross is on a royalty-free license from Jamendo.com.

Image creditThe Nine Muses - Clio (History) by Johann Heinrich Tischbein, 1780 (public domain)

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Monday, February 25, 2019

Unintended Consequences — February 25, 2019


Creators need to understand the potential impact of their actions, as evidenced by Honorius and Mary Shelley; skills needed in the age of A.I.; understanding the breadth of autonomous technology is important; the state of influencer marketing includes more scrutiny on relationships and authenticity; retail growth predictions; making Facebook ad-free is difficult; Pinterest is going public; TikTok is the latest advertising casualty; Vox and Sticther expand their partnership; the companies that are sneaking cameras into home devices and airplanes; how much hashtags matter on Facebook and Instagram; treat your weekends like vacations; remembering Sluggy; and more in the Unintended Consequences edition of The Full Monty for the week of February 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 thought it might be time to remind you about what Scott Monty Strategies does. Having spent 6 years in an executive role at Ford in charge of digital and social strategy, I coach big brand and agency executives and their teams on how to grow their business by better connecting with their stakeholders, particularly through digital transformation efforts. I welcome the opportunity to explore a relationship with your team.


Top Story

When you're creating something, there's got to be some consideration for its impact on humanity. Whether it's a new communications method, a transportation breakthrough, or a piece of entertainment. Part of intelligent design is understanding how it will be used by the masses (should you be successful enough to see mass adoption).

It's where Facebook tripped up and didn't anticipate the nefarious uses of its platform for election manipulation and fake news. And they're still struggling.

YouTube and Pinterest are making strides in this direction after running into similar issues. YouTube is demonetizing anti-vaxxing channels, deleting channels that led to questionable pedophile-related comments, and creating a one-strike warning and stricter rules for punishment. Pinterest simply "broke" its search tool for anti-vaccine searches. Facebook has also taken strides to reduce a number of fake news pages.

But each of these platforms is self-serve: that is, they each allow users to create their own channels by design. The utopian view was that they'd be used to bring people together. It seems they're doing just that — but perhaps for the wrong reasons.

Economists in particular assume that humans make rational decisions. But if history has taught us anything, it's that emotion will always supersede rationality. As much as we like to pontificate from the sideline or armchair, we're driven by emotions.

Philosophers refer to innocent evil: people with moral intentions make decisions that result in immoral consequences. And this is why the technology industry could do with a dose of history, psychology, classics, and philosophy.

Or Timeless Wisdom.

"I had begun life with benevolent intentions and thirsted for the moment when I should put them in practice and make myself useful to my fellow beings. Now all was blasted; instead...I was seized by remorse and the sense of guilt." 
— Mary Shelley, Frankenstein

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: In The Favourites of the Emperor Honorius by John William Waterhouse (1883), Honorius feeds his pigeons, indifferent to the news that Rome has fallen. According to Gibbon, "the amusement of feeding poultry became the serious and daily care of the monarch of the West" and who "passed the slumber of his life, a captive in his palace, a stranger in his country, and the patient, almost the indifferent, spectator of the ruin of the Western empire, which was repeatedly attacked, and finally subverted, by the arms of the Barbarians." (The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Edward Gibbon, Chapter XXIX)



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
  • It’s ironic that companies often spend significant resources on external strategy advice while ignoring one the most fruitful sources of strategic insights: their own employees. Unfortunately, employees whose ideas about strategy aren’t listened to may quit — and take their ideas with them. (MIT Sloan Management Review)
  • This year will mark a major milestone in the world of advertising. For the first time, digital ad spending in the U.S. will exceed traditional ad spending. (eMarketer)
  • The Global State of Influencer Marketing 2019 from Talkwalker found that brands will continue to invest in influencer marketing, but will focus on long-term relationships and will be on high alert regarding authenticity (and the bot-generated boosts some influencers generate). (MarTech Today) Those who game the system are eventually found out.
  • The top 10 CPG categories in 2018 were largely dedicated to our pets and our self-care. (Marketing Charts) Advice: f you've got an idea for a new product, make it be for how we look or feel, or how we take care of our pets.
Jᴏᴜʀɴᴀʟɪsᴍ / Cᴏᴍᴍᴜɴɪᴄᴀᴛɪᴏɴs / Rᴇᴘᴜᴛᴀᴛɪᴏɴ
  • Budding communications professionals may wince at the focus on video lately, but there's good news: video requires captions and transcripts. (Wistia) I recently addressed a college communications class and mentioned the importance of becoming good writers, above all — it's what will track to any corner of the profession.
  • If it's a day that ends in 'y,' there's outrage online somewhere. And when big brands have to deal with angry netizens, it's a matter of acknowledge, apologize, and investigate. (WSJ) And of course, it's a matter of knowing what to respond to and what to leave alone.


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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. 



Would you like to help other people get smarter faster?. Please consider recommending this newsletter with a tweet (or by sharing on whatever platform of your choice).


Platforms 

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

Fᴀᴄᴇʙᴏᴏᴋ / Iɴsᴛᴀɢʀᴀᴍ / WʜᴀᴛsAᴘᴘ
 Tᴡɪᴛᴛᴇʀ
Oᴛʜᴇʀ
  • Pinterest secretly filed paperwork with the Securities and Exchange Commission for an IPO this year. The company saw a 50% increase in revenue over the last year. (TechCrunch) Get in line, along with Lyft, Uber, and Slack.
  • TikTok has told agency partners in the U.S. that it is working on a biddable advertising option on the platform, signaling it is looking to further open up to advertisers.
    • Related: here's a short version of the TikTok playbook sent to brands, agencies and influencers. (Slideshare) It's happening again...


Media

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

Vɪᴅᴇᴏ
  • Just as Amazon shocked the retail industry into wokeness, Neflix did the same to the entertainment industry. Hollywood is racing to catch up with Netflix, with Disney in hot pursuit. (Variety) Good longread about the state of the industry.
  • Spectrum cable subscribers can get streaming access for just $15 a month. (The Verge) Another move showing how cable companies understand the threat and need to change if they don't want to be disrupted out of business.
Aᴜᴅɪᴏ

Please subscribe to The Full Monty podcast, 7 minutes of weekly business commentary, many times with a historical or literary twist. It's like Paul Harvey for business. New episodes every Wednesday.

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

⛰

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.
    • Since 2015, Jeff Wysaki has been making fake toys and signs and leaving them in public. Now you'll be able to enjoy them in person at the Museum of Toys pop-up in Los Angeles. (The Verge) I want a bag of Muppet Screams.
    • The sculpture of ancient Greece has captivated us for centuries. Why we've been fascinated by it for so long.
    • When we think of our Saturdays and Sundays as vacations — rather than days we’re simply not at work — we return on Monday happier and more refreshed, according to research. (UCLA Anderson)
    • If you're a public speaker and you want to know how to make people laugh, you need to employ twists in your stories. Twists come in several different flavors: the put-down, the aside, and the exaggeration. (The Accidental Communicator) 
    • Joe Sirola passed away recently. You may not recognize the name (or even the face), but odds are you saw or heard him in a commercial. I remember him fondly for his turn as Sluggy Patterson, a fictitious character developed by Volkswagen, who supposedly invented the "Punch Dub" (or Punch Buggy or Slug Bug) game. (Vimeo) These videos were a favorite of mine during my time at Ford.


    Top image credit: The Favourites of Emperor Honorius by John William Waterhouse, 1883 (Google Art Project - public domain)

    Wednesday, February 20, 2019

    Episode 65: The Purple Tutu




    Authenticity lives at the intersection of transparency and reputation.

    Why try to conform to the expectation of others? Why aim for the middle? Why strive for mediocrity?

    Well, you probably don't aim to be mediocre, but perhaps a series of compromises ultimately lands you there. If you were true to your brand and true to your ideals, you'd be unique and different.


    "Be yourself – not your idea of what you think somebody else’s idea of yourself should be."
    – Henry David Thoreau


    Download now (3.4 MB, 7:21)

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


    Links:


    Credits:

    Theme songAfternoon by Maestross is on a royalty-free license from Jamendo.com.

    Incidental musicNocturne No.3 in G minor - I. Allegro - Adagio espressivo by Louis-Emmanuel Jadin, performed by Felix Skowronek
    Copyright: Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0

    Image creditDiogenes by Jean-Léon Gérôme, 1859 (public domain)

    Subscribe on Apple PodcastsGoogle PodcastsSoundCloudSpotify, or Stitcher.

    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, February 18, 2019

    Digital OG — February 18, 2019


    Facebook's culture continues to dominate; experts comment on the executive order for A.I.; Volvo's subscription service is under fire; winning the hearts and minds of consumers; the importance of building trust; what the store of the future should be like; a new Twitter tool will create citizen video journalists; Netflix may lose subscribers over its price hike; podcasting deserves a larger share of advertising; the absence of leaked Equifax data is terrifying; Uber's latest numbers are in; a breakthrough in GDPR-compliant data analytics; improve yourself by reading old books; and more in the Digital OG edition of The Full Monty for the week of February 18, 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

    Have you signed up for updates from my main blog, Timeless Wisdom? That's where I share insights on current issues, through the lens of what great figures of history, philosophy or literature have taught us. Please add this essential to your inbox.




    Top Story

    Well, what do you know? It's Facebook back in the news, and not for a good reason. It's a continuation of the Cambridge Analytica / government questioning story line, and in this case, the U.K. Parliament and its Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee.

    The Committee said that Facebook representatives "deliberately misled" them or were not properly briefed themselves. Either way, it amounts to obfuscation by Facebook. Hey, add that to complexification from last week!

    In fact, they went even further, stating in no uncertain terms that they considered Facebook to be skirting along the criminal world: “Companies like Facebook should not be allowed to behave like ‘digital gangsters’ in the online world, considering themselves to be ahead of and beyond the law.” They also called for Facebook to be investigated by the U.K.'s data watchdog.

    This is a particularly sensitive time, as Facebook is also negotiating with the Federal Trade Commission for a multibillion dollar record fine.

    Even if we can forgive Facebook's decisions in the years leading up to the election and chalk it up as lack of foresight or a result of a lack of coordination internally, it's getting more difficult to overlook the transgressions above. The leadership has been given ample opportunities to come clean, and at every turn, they're guided by their moral compass, which is expressed through a series of delays, denials, and deflections.

    Even as Mark Zuckerberg continually expressed his idealistic desire to make the world a more connected place, the constant hunger for data and profits drove the company forward, ethics be damned.

    Peter Drucker once said that culture eats strategy for breakfast. Facebook's culture continues to cast a shadow over its strategy. Or perhaps it's a perfect reflection of it.

    “And those that deceive upon hope of not being observed do commonly deceive themselves, the darkness in which they believe they lie hidden being nothing else but their own blindness and are no wiser than children that think all hid by hiding their eyes.” 
    – Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan


    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:
    Justice and Divine Vengeance Pursue Crime by Pierre-Paul Prud'hon shows a dead man lying sprawled across the foreground while blood seeps into the ground from a wound in his neck. His murderer flees with the victim's belongings in his arms. Above, Divine Vengeance, illuminating the way with a torch, and Justice, armed with sword and scales, pursue the criminal. Prud'hon made this study for a monumental painting destined to hang behind the judges' bench in the criminal courtroom of the Palace of Justice in Paris. 


    Artificial Intelligence / Autonomous

    The latest in A.I., machine learning, and bots; mobility and autonomous everything.
    Aʀᴛɪꜰɪᴄɪᴀʟ Iɴᴛᴇʟʟɪɢᴇɴᴄᴇ / Mᴀᴄʜɪɴᴇ Lᴇᴀʀɴɪɴɢ
    • A detailed study by McKinsey suggests that Europe is falling behind China and the U.S. in artificial intelligence, while its digital gap continues to widen. (McKinsey)
    • President Trump created an executive order on America’s A.I. policy. The national strategy was released by the Office of Science and Technology Policy and includes five key goals: redirect funding, create resources for researchers, establish standards, retrain workers, and engage internationally. Four experts weighed in on the policy. (IEEE Spectrum)
    • Microsoft's A.I. pipeline goes from research to reality. It’s not enough to have brilliant researchers and a bunch of popular products. You’ve got to have a system–or several systems–for melding raw technology into experiences that make a difference for businesses and consumers. (Fast Company)
     AI for Marketers
    Be sure to download a copy of Christopher Penn's AI for Marketers: An Introduction and Primer (Second Edition). You'll find the kinds of questions you should be asking vendors, five practical applications of AI for marketing, what it will take for you to succeed on your journey, and more. 

    Aᴜᴛᴏɴᴏᴍᴏᴜs / Mᴏʙɪʟɪᴛʏ
    • Volvo's new car subscription service is meeting with some opposition: California auto dealers, who call it an illegal marketing scheme. (The Verge) I know, big surprise. Car dealers are resistant to change.
    • Self-driving car company Aurora has raised more than $530 million, on a valuation of $2.5 billion. (Reuters) The autonomous market continues to get more crowded, with payoffs years (or perhaps decades) away. Is there a surefire bet on any one of them? Stay tuned.
    • Meanwhile, robot delivery startup Nuro raised $940 million from Softbank. Nuro is one of the few companies operating entirely driverless vehicles on the road. (The Verge)


    Communications / Marketing / Business Strategy

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


    Sᴛʀᴀᴛᴇɢʏ / Mᴀʀᴋᴇᴛɪɴɢ / Cᴏɴᴛᴇɴᴛ
    Jᴏᴜʀɴᴀʟɪsᴍ / Cᴏᴍᴍᴜɴɪᴄᴀᴛɪᴏɴs / Rᴇᴘᴜᴛᴀᴛɪᴏɴ


    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. 



    Would you like to help other people get smarter faster?. Please consider recommending this newsletter with a tweet (or by sharing on whatever platform of your choice).


    Platforms 

    News to know about relevant social media and technology platforms that may affect your business.
    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
    • IAC Chairman Barry Diller, the former CEO of Paramount and Fox, talks about the diminished power of movie studios and why “Netflix has won this game.” (Recode)
    • After the latest price increase 27 percent of Netflix users say they could cancel, and many would welcome a cheaper, ad-supported version of Netflix. (Streaming Observer) Netflix needs to be careful, as they walk a fine line here. With so many streaming options now, they stand a very real chance of losing subscribers if they increase prices too much or too frequently. Fickle vewers can get their streaming content elsewhere just as easily. Another reason why Netflix's own programming needs to be superior.
    • TiVo's Video Trends Report found that nearly three-quarters (73 percent) of adults in North America use their televisions to watch TV shows, while close to half (45 percent) use their TVs to watch live sports. And one-third (33 percent) of teens use it to watch YouTube. (Marketing Charts)
    Aᴜᴅɪᴏ

    Please subscribe to The Full Monty podcast, 7 minutes of weekly business commentary, many times with a historical or literary twist. It's like Paul Harvey for business. New episodes every Wednesday.

    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
    • “We are caught between two extremes: a weak regulatory system in the United States that refuses to so much as investigate the Equifax breach and a fine-based scheme in Europe that is so harsh that regulators will never be able to impose the maximum allowable penalties. Neither of these systems comes close to striking the right balance of financial penalties mixed with corrective security measures. And until they do, companies will continue to escape serious consequences for their breaches." Why It's So Hard to Punish Companies for Data Breaches (Medium | The New York Times)
    • Now 17 months after the Equifax data breach, none of the personal information of the 143 million customers has made its way to the web. Investigators suspect that a nation-state is behind the breach, for spying purposes. (CNBC)
    • A look at the six tenets of data privacy in connected vehicles for OEMs, data providers, service providers, and consumers, according to otonomo. (via Lisa Joy Rosner)
    • The Government Accountability Office (GAO) recommends GDPR-like privacy laws in the United States to give people more control over their data. (Engadget) Facebook is now 15 years old. It's time for users to have more (or at least clear) control over their data.
    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.
      “If you join at eleven o’clock a conversation which began at eight, you will often not see the real bearing of what is said.” 
      — C.S. Lewis (tweet this) 

      Top image creditJustice and Divine Vengeance Pursuing Crime by Pierre-Paul Prud'hon, 1806 (Getty Museum)

      Wednesday, February 13, 2019

      Episode 64: Reputation Is Everything




      Henry Russell Sanders, the UCLA football coach, once said, "Winning isn't everything; it's the only thing." The same could be said for reputation, whether it's your personal reputation or the reputation of your company.

      What do we need to do to ensure our reputation isn't tarnished? At the turn of the last century, a well-heeled woman who wanted to retain her socialite status had to think twice before she asked for a divorce. One in particular endured a very public spectacle, but emerged not only with her reputation in tact, but in a position to advise others.

      Ultimately, character (or, in business terms, culture) plays an oversized role in the building and keeping of our reputation.

      "Associate with men of good quality if you esteem your own reputation."
      – George Washington


      Download now (3.8 MB, 8:14)

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


      Links:


      Credits:

      Theme songAfternoon by Maestross is on a royalty-free license from Jamendo.com.

      Incidental music: Ragtime Dance by Scott Joplin (1899)
      Copyright: Creative Commons Attribution 1.0 (public domain)

      Image credit: The Valley of Wyoming by Jasper Francis Cropsey, 1865 (The Met, public domain)

      Subscribe on Apple PodcastsGoogle PodcastsSoundCloudSpotify, or Stitcher.

      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.

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