Scott Monty - Strategic Communications & Leadership Advisor

Scott Monty - Strategic Communications & Leadership Advisor

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.

News items are in regular text; additional commentary has been added in italics.

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    • Facebook
      • 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.

    Collaborative Economy 

    • 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



    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?
    Partying at PrivacyCon

    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.

    Top image credit: Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook)