Over 1 billion served on Monday, the New York Times increasingly relies on...email? how T-Mobile changed the wireless industry, giving consumers what they want, the most recent CMO Survey, let M help you out, Tumblr gets more serious about mobile, Uber has hired the two Jeep hackers as security advisors, a network of perpetual rides, New York's answer to Uber, technology and partnerships will boost podcast dominance, how iOS 9 may block more than ads, the FTC announces a Con, how a mid-air monopoly is possible and more, it's The Week in Digital.
A roundup of relevant links affecting our industry.
Each week, we compose a newsletter that includes a series of links about current events and trends in the worlds of technology, business, digital communications and marketing in order to keep leaders up to date on changes, newsworthy items and content that might be useful in your job. A new issue is available every Monday morning. Please subscribe - either to the full feed or just to this newsletter to keep up to date on developments.
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- Facebook reached a significant milestone last week: one in seven people - that's about 15% of the world's population - logged onto Facebook in a single day. If you haven't figured out how or why your brand needs to be on Facebook yet, then you'll probably never do it. It's Facebook's world and we're just living in it.
- You're likely a fan of newsletters if you subscribe to this one, so this news should be no surprise to you: the New York Times has changed up its newsletter structure - which typically followed the sections of the paper - and is now seeing an open rate of more than 70%.
- Chalk one up for the little guy. T-Mobile made drastic changes to its own wireless offerings - and affected how the entire wireless industry has reacted. How did they do it? By listening to customers and giving them what they wanted. That's how you do customer experience.
- While we're at it, here are five things that are killing your customer experience.
- Consumers want experiences, not things - this includes generations beyond the overhyped Millennials. So give them experiences, already!
- Want better marketing results with higher engagement and response? Try more personalization in a more timely fashion in your efforts. These are among the top things that consumers want, according to a recent CMO Council study.
- If you run a local business, online reviews can make or break your business: they are highly influential in consumers' decisions to shop at a local business.
- The CMO Survey is updated twice a year and always had insightful nuggets; the August 2015 release is no different.
- Mobile marketing platforms aren't performing too well currently; executives plan to increase spending by 160% on mobile.
- Social media integration is coming.
- ICYMI, Christopher Penn's ebook series on building your personal marketing expertise is here: Marketing White Belt, Marketing Red Belt, and Marketing Blue Belt. Highly recommended (and one of our affiliate partners).
- YouTube creators are a singular bunch. But a very powerful one. That's why Google has a formula for agencies looking to partner with YouTube creators.
- Twitter web users will now get desktop notification for direct messages. This, along with the extension of DMs beyond 140 characters, reinforces the company's commitment to Twitter as a messaging service that will compete with Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, and others.
- Facebook announced that it is launching M, a virtual assistant that will add a distinctly human touch to voice commands through its Messenger app. A combination of Siri and a concierge, as M will be a hybrid of artificial intelligence and human interaction. While the feature will only be available to a few hundred people in the San Francisco area to begin, the machine learning backed by real people will become more sophisticated to the point where it can scale. Consider the point in the above Industry section that personalization matters and imagine how a brand can offer this kind of service to certain customers and you've got a winning combination.
- With such a push into video over the last year, it's fitting that Facebook is finally cracking down on video piracy. This should give video creators a renewed sense of confidence that Facebook is thinking about their livelihood and what it means to have them as happy contributors to the platform.
- The latest Facebook advertising changes are here and this is what marketers need to know.
- The Instagram overlords have lifted their ban on non-square photos. Now you can upload portrait or landscape oriented images to the photo-sharing app. Does that mean it's no longer hip to be square?
- Yahoo is putting more mobile support behind Tumblr with a Tumblr "share" button for mobile apps, as well as real-time analytics and native video ads.
- Confused by live mobile video? Here are six ways to use Periscope for your business.
- Pure Michigan is already a leader in many social media platforms; its approach to Snapchat is garnering more admiration, both within the travel community and more widely. All hail the victors!
- The brand game on social media is getting more intense than ever, with more choices in where and how to spend advertising dollars and reach the hearts and minds of consumers.
- Here's how much social media has impacted communications and marketing over the last 10 years. But is it dead yet?
- Uber is partnering with the University of Arizona on autonomous vehicle research, specifically for mapping and safety purposes.
- Having seen the damage done to other automakers, Uber hired the two vehicle security researchers as top advisors at its Advanced Vehicle Technologies center in Pittsburgh - the same two who wirelessly hacked a Jeep recently. Autonomous vehicles and security go well beyond traditional automakers. With Google, Apple and Uber in the mix, the future of technology and autos is anything but a single industry's bailiwick.
- On the other hand, the Ontario Chamber of Commerce gets it: they admit that Uber is here to stay and have urged the province and federal government to get laws and regulations up to speed.
- In China, where Tencent has its own ride-hailing app in WeChat called Didi Kuadi, the Internet giant is keeping competition at bay by actively blocking Uber on WeChat.
- Here's how one person disavowed car ownership and uses Uber instead. She's admittedly a San Francisco-based venture capitalist, so take that kind of reality for all that it's worth.
- Uber is building a network for perpetual rides in San Francisco. Sounds a bit like Via in New York (mentioned in TWID 8/10/2015), but to tech reporter Jack Smith, it sounded more familiar:
- First French taxi drivers violently protested against UberPOP; now French restauranteurs want the government to ban meal-sharing site VizEat from allowing locals to welcome people into their homes for a meal. Once again, the country that helped Americans during the War of Indepdendence and whose national motto is "Liberté, égalité, fraternité" ("liberty, equality, brotherhood") is standing as a roadblock to something that could benefit its citizens and visitors. Vive la révolution!
- New York City's taxi industry isn't taking the ride-hailing revolution lying down. They've developed Arro, an Uber competitor that works with yellow cabs. The designers claim that is is faster, cheaper and more reliable than Uber — and notably, doesn't have surge pricing. Beta testing is underway on 7,000 cabs and it will launch in a few weeks. Does the home town incumbent have an advantage here, both with vehicle availability and price competition? Or perhaps they are misjudging why people use Uber—not just for the convenience, but because of an inherently better experience in the vehicle itself. Only when NYC taxis have improved their riding experience, from driver civility to vehicle cleanliness and more, will Arro have a shot.
- Bookmark this one: podcasters are turning to technology and partnerships to broaden the advertising options available to them.
- SoundCloud is on the receiving end of a lawsuit in which British performing rights organization PRS is filing on behalf of artists who aren't being paid for their music on SoundCloud. Here we have yet another instance of a global legal issue that goes beyond the boundaries of a U.S.-based company.
- Here's a simple way to launch a content platform in just two days.
- Science nerds need stories too. And when you take the time to think through your story arc and put together a meaningful plan for your audience, the response will reflect your efforts, as it did with a 125 year-old engineering company.
- These four strategies will help you kick-start your content marketing efforts into gear.
Metrics / Measurement / Data
- Content blocking is coming in Apple's iOS 9, and that means that more than ads will be blocked: so will Google Analytics, Optimizely and other marketing analytics platforms that could completely upend the analytics system you've built. Ultimately, if ads are shut off and measurement is uncertain, the digital ad industry could face a crisis of confidence and of effectiveness that could lead to more drastic actions by media companies and publications that could effect the availability of free content.
- But that doesn't stop the flood of money that's headed toward marketing analytics in the coming three years: according to a new research report, brands plan to increase spending by 73% in the next three years. Big brands in the B2C arena plan to increase spending by 100%.
Privacy / Security / Legal
- Noel Biderman has resigned as CEO of Avid Life Media, the parent company of Ashley Madison, after the catastrophic data breach and subsequent leak. The company will undoubtedly have a difficult job recruiting a replacement, as its reputation is in tatters - both as from an information technology perspective and a moral perspective.
- The FTC is getting serious about privacy as it announced PrivacyCon, a forum to be held in Washington, DC on January 14, 2016. But will cosplay be encouraged? And if so, will everyone look like this?
When You Have the Time: Essential Watching / Listening / Reading
- Did you ever wonder why in-flight wifi is so slow and expensive? Yes, it's a matter of more people trying to check Facebook, email and fantasy football stats and a single entity controlling the access - but the speed and pricing are a more intricate balance than you might think. It's like surge pricing with Uber, but there's never more bandwidth deployed when users have to pay more. I'm okay with a few hours of being unplugged - as long as the airlines don't allow the latest social media "guru" to livestream on Blab, Periscope or Meerkat next to me.
- Think Silicon Valley is the only place for innovative startups? Try Columbus, Ohio - or any major Midwest city - where access to capital is growing, entrepreneurs are solving real-world problems, and the cost of living is reasonable. Here's how one venture capital partner relocated from Silicon Valley to Ohio. It's also a reason I'm still based in Michigan and proudly advising RPM Ventures in Ann Arbor.
I consult with agencies and brands to help them improve their corporate and digital acumen. Please get in touch if you'd like to put my experience and digital smarts to work on a project, to advise your group, or to address an audience at your next corporate or industry event.