There's no question that 2016 threw a lot at us. It's tough to keep up with trends and industry news — which is one of the reasons I began The Full Monty as a newsletter nearly four years ago. [Note: if you don't yet subscribe, here's a quick way to get on board.]
Given that it came fast and furious, you may have missed a few of the essential reports or industry developments, so we've got some of those of which you should take note. And if you find this or our regular updates of any help to you professionally, we'd urge you to consider supporting us on Patreon.
Trust in FluxThe Edelman Trust Barometer continued its annual summary of what the world thinks of the government, media, NGOs and businesses, and this year indicated a widening gap between the informed and uninformed public. Given the recent spate of elections, it's our prediction that this trust gap will widen in the coming year.
Broaden your HorizonsAs a classics major, we were drawn to this piece on why everyone should study classical culture. Aside from being inspired by the less-than-usual sources, it also helps with strategic thinking, as you begin to see the interconnectedness of ideas. And it makes you more interesting to talk to.
The Boss Needs HelpCMO.com's top 10 marketing trends for 2017 takes a look at what executives need to deal with in this world that's half-digital, half-analog in its thinking. From geo-political uncertainty to issues of trust, the rise of AI, blockchain and mobile, and the confusion around multiple vendor partners, it's a lot for any single executive to deal with.
While I Have Your AttentionMeanwhile, CMOs are getting antsy. It's not surprising, given that the average tenure of CMOs has dropped to 44 months. But CMOs have desires for 2017, and they include — among other things — a broader focus on brand, fewer AORs and more specialty shops, and better justification for investment in marketing.
Social Business Is Everyone's BusinessAltimeter looked a little deeper at the state of social business in 2016. For those not familiar with social business, this is the concept of taking what's learned externally and bringing it back into the enterprise, to benefit from the input. What's becoming even more prevalent is the move away from just sharing on social media, and gathering data and insights that must be integrated across many different departments. Innovation itself is no longer enough, as companies struggle with integration: from customer service to customer data, with a better governance structure in place to alleviate confusion.
Like, Comment or Share this 800-lb. GorillaMeanwhile, the Pew Research Center took stock of the demographics of various social platforms in 2016, concluding that there's no stopping Facebook. Engagement and usage of Facebook is on the rise, with 79% of online Americans using Facebook, more than double the share that uses Twitter (24%), Pinterest (31%), Instagram (32%) or LinkedIn (29%). That's 68% of all U.S. adults.
Newsflash: Marketers Use Social to Self-PromoteBuffer took at look at the state of social media in 2016 and found that marketers are very good at talking about themselves on social channels (SURPRISE!). Video is still top of mind for many marketers, but it's a challenge to find the time and budget to make good on it. Video is currently a hot commodity on Facebook, and 93% of marketers are on Facebook, where they're spending money. And surprisingly, only 21% of respondents are using social channels for customer service. That's a big opportunity for improvement, and frankly one that should take precedence over finding the time and money to spend on video creation.
The Future of Work Still Includes WorkThe future of work is changing, and we need to change with it. According to Glassdoor, HR needs to get with the program by transforming itself to a "people science" by making use of data. This may be a hard pill to swallow for a department that is largely behind the times in adapting to changes; marketing and communications have already shown how much they lag, and they're usually change agents.
The report also notes that automation doesn't necessarily portend fewer jobs. The more likely scenario is different jobs. Other observations: there's an increased desire for nontraditional benefits and the gig economy may lose steam as demand for such services decreases.
When News Breaks, We Fix ItNieman Labs has more predictions for journalism in 2017 than you can read on your commute. There's no question that 2016 marked a wild and unpredictable year for journalism, from unexpected election results on both sides of the Atlantic to the crescendo of "fake news" exacerbated by Facebook and Google. From trust to truth, communities to transparency, drones to data, video to VR and more, there's a number of topics that deserve your attention in this round-up.
But it's clear now more than ever that we need to make the case for journalism as a profession and to step up and pay for good reporting.
Uber for MonopolyNaked Capitalism ran a four-part series called Can Uber Deliver? in which it used data on the industry's competitive economics, to address the question of whether Uber’s aggressive efforts to completely dominate the urban car service industry has (or will) increase overall economic welfare. It's a long read, but if you're at all interested in the gig economy or the ride-hailing industry specifically, it's worth spending some time on this series.
- Part 1: Understanding Uber's Bleak Operating Economics. Uber is a fundamentally unprofitable enterprise, with negative 140% profit margins and incurring larger operating losses than any previous startup.
- Part 2: Understanding Uber's Uncompetitive Costs. Uber is the industry’s high cost producer, with a significant cost disadvantage in every cost category except fuel and fees where no operator could achieve any advantage.
- Part 3: Understanding False Claims About Uber's Innovation and Competitive Advantages. Uber has not in fact introduced major product/technological/process breakthroughs that create huge competitive advantages incumbents could not match.
- Part 4: Understanding That Unregulated Monopoly Was Always Uber's Central Objective. The belief that monopoly power can be a major source of financial returns is widely held among the venture capitalists that funded Uber, and its spending priorities and marketplace behavior have been totally consistent with a company pursuing global industry dominance.