There were reactions to Reactions, Apple continues its fight to the core, NBCUniversal is making some advertising changes of note, what really damages your company's reputation, marketing budgets set to increase, Facebook VR, traditional ad measurement on a messaging platform, Uber is upset about a recent shooting, but won't let its screening process be held hostage, it doesn't take much or long for customers to leave you, how BuzzFeed thinks about data, the leadership industry, getting fired for honesty, the Zignal Labs chart of the week, plus a trivia challenge, our podcast pick and more, it's The Full Monty.
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And, if you're around at 9:30 pm ET on Sunday evenings, you can get a preview of a couple of topics via the live video on Facebook. If not, you can always catch the replay here:
In this case, the replay is edited, as we were unable to award an Oscar to our sound guy.
- This week, I'm headed to Raleigh, NC for the High Five Conference, hosted by the Triangle chapter of the American Marketing Association. I'll be speaking along with some other heavy hitters to a sold-out crowd, reminding them of the Broken Promise of Digital.
- If you missed my webinar on getting better at Publishing on LinkedIn last week, it's available on demand.
- NBCUniversal is upending the traditional advertising model. Beginning this fall, advertisers will be able to use programmatic ad buying for TV spots on networks like NBC, SyFy or USA by using their preferred demand-side platforms. However, insertions will still be manual.
- Additionally, NBCUniversal will also replace traditional ads with content paid for by American Express and produced by BuzzFeed. The content will include extra scenes and interviews with stars from the shows on which it airs.
- Netflix and other on-demand streaming video companies are changing the face of television with their original series. From binge watching to cord cutting, we're seeing new behaviors creep into the mainstream — and not just viewers, but distributors as well.
- Since Twitter and Facebook suspended some ISIS accounts, the terror group has targeted Jack Dorsey and Mark Zuckerberg. That's what you get for turning ISIS into ISISN'T on your network. But we haven't yet heard of mouthy Conservatives doing the same.
- At the same time, top officials from Apple, Snapchat, Twitter, Facebook and MTV (!) have lent their support to the U.S. government in defeating ISIS.
- When it comes to damaging your company's reputation, breaking the law and lying are equally as detrimental, as 80% of consumers indicate. Some 64% think unfair workplace and culture are very damaging, while 37% consider poor employee conduct extremely damaging. (See Yelp employee situation below).
- While virtual reality is still fairly new, users are still interested in experiencing it. In particular, 39% want to watch movies with VR and 38% want to play games. And generationally, it's fairly flat too: over 70% of Gen Z (10-17), Millennials (18-34) and Gen X (35-49) want to try it.
- Some web publishers are incorporating incentives to entice readers to their sites. Tactics include rewards to readers who visit their sites for a set duration-- say, 15 seconds -- multiple times in a row. The lengths big media companies will go to get noticed in an uber-competitive marketplace.
- Here are 25 statistics that show how marketing is changing. A sampling:
- Banner ads have a 0.12% click-through rate (CTR); mobile banner ads have a 0.14% CTR.
- Adblocking grew by 41% year over year in the last 12 months.
- 28% of users tried to block their information from advertisers — second only to criminals.
- Marketers who blog are 13X more likely to generate ROI.
- According to the latest edition of the CMO Survey by the Duke University Fuqua School of Business, CMOs in the US expect their marketing budgets to increase by an average of 6.9% over the next 12 months.
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Some of the results are going to really surprise you.
- Google is using machine learning to determine the locations where photos were taken, based on individual pixels within the photos. After you've finished marveling at the advances, you can waste a good 30 minutes by playing the human version here.
- Search-engine optimization now is less about stuffing a website with keywords and more about opening apps to Google’s computers, or regularly feeding them detailed product information, prices and photos. What goes in your app is the new SEO.
- YouTube creators now have the ability to blur out any object in their videos, in addition to faces. As privacy and security issues mount, this is a helpful tool.
- This headline says it all about the management concerns at Yahoo right now: Marissa Mayer is meeting with investors to save her job while laying off 400 people. Ouch.
- Time, Inc. is one of the companies that might buy Yahoo. Here's why it might not be such a bad idea. How'd the AOL thing work out for you?
- Ultimately, the decision to pursue a sale reveals one thing: a weak board.
- In a long-form interview, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg expands on his vision for the virtual reality market. It may seem silly now, but even the smartphone market took almost a decade to catch on. It's best to start thinking long term about VR strategies.
- Live video is now available for Android users and in 30 more countries. Interesting statistic: people watch a live video more than 3 times longer when it is live compared to when it is not live.
- Facebook is aiming to upend the telecommunications market with its new Telco Intra Project. The goal is to build open source hardware and software that will cover the three elements of a telecommunications network: the access (how a computer or phone gets online), the backhaul (how the signals get from the device to the Internet) and the core (information exchanged via data packet delivery). Facebook wants to create a simplified model.
- Facebook Reactions rolled out globally. You've probably already seen the six emoji options instead of the 'Like' button: like, love, haha, wow, sad, angry that all allow us to express ourselves more fully than a 'Like.' Because actually thinking of and typing out words to express the full range of the human condition is so 2015. Long live the digital grunt!
- Just use them with caution: a little emotion goes a long way. I'm still waiting for my Dislike button.
- Of course, this is just a more detailed way of tracking your interactions and preferences, with a likely course toward applying the same toward ad options.
- Facebook wants to give advertisers an immersive way to reach people without making them leave the social network: ad Canvas takes over the whole screen and keeps the experience in-app. It's like Instant Articles meet Instant Ads.
- You can now use email to invite people to Facebook events, whether or not they're Facebook users.
- And from the More You Know department: those Facebook quizzes that you love taking? They've got your data.
- Instagram now has more advertisers than Twitter.
- And it's showing double-digit growth, with one-third of all mobile users expected to be on Instagram in 2016.
- Twitter has a new VP of Communications with some significant experience: former Apple communications executive Natalie Kerris. Although, we'll wager that in her previous job she never had to deal with the kind of circus that Twitter is currently in the middle of.
- Shapchat cut a deal with Nielsen so it will now be able to show advertisers how ads are performing based on measurements that they are used to from other campaigns. So, rather than create new metrics that are right for the platform, Nielsen will continue supporting the twice-broken model of advertising.
- The future of the web is mobile. And the future of mobile is messaging apps. It's the emoji's world; we're just living in it. But expect emojis to more accurately convey sentiment than anything else.
Trivia question: What Uber-like tactic is Disney Parks adopting this year? *
Collaborative / Autonomous Economy
- Uber says it is "devastated" about the shooting by an Uber driver in Kalamazoo. It's unclear whether or not the suspect had any passengers in the vehicle while allegedly committing the crime, but he did pick up fares between shootings.
- However, Uber has dug in its heels and refuses to reconsider its driver screening process. As usual, a hard-line approach from a company that regularly bulldozes the competition and local regulations.
- And even though Uber instituted a panic button for its app in India, it won't be creating a panic button for the United States, because "911 is the panic button."
- The on-demand parking service Luxe is getting a $50 million investment from Hertz. Another example of a big brand getting smart about partnering with startups in the collaborative economy.
- Spotify has moved its sound to Google's cloud. The streaming music service is now using Google's infrastructure to store and stream its music around the world. It's a move away from data centers and to the cloud — a common refrain from many businesses today.
- SoundCloud Pulse is a new dedicated app for artists and music creators. The app is available on iOS and is an important move for SoundCloud, which needs to shore up its relationship with artists.
- Podcast Recommendation of the Week. This week, how about hitting the play button on Marc Maron's WTF? He consistently has some of the best interviews out there. And if you really like his work, check this out (and don't say I didn't warn you). Do you have a podcast recommendation for us? Add yours to our Google Sheet: smonty.co/yourpodcasts
Content / Customer Experience
- According to the 2016 Customer Engagement Index survey of 1,200 consumers, 47% percent of consumers would take their business elsewhere within a day of receiving poor customer service. There are options out there. Odds are, you're providing a commodity and your differentiator is service. Take it seriously.
- Here's how long people browse Netflix before they give up. And go and browse on Amazon Prime Video, Hulu or another service...
- There's a major change afoot for technology brands: the consumer engagement process today is more dependent on emotional values than ever. Technology companies, like CPG brands, must embrace an emotion-based approach to marketing.
"If you wish to persuade me, you must think my thoughts, feel my feelings and speak my words." — Cicero [TWEET THIS]
Privacy / Security / Legal
- The Apple saga continues, and while we won't recount the entire thing, here's the highlight reel:
- The FBI's reason for requesting extraordinary measures from Apple: they owe it to the families of the survivors. They also claim "The relief we seek is limited."
- And yet, the Department of Justice is also seeking to force Apple to extract data from about 12 other iPhones that don't involve terrorism charges.
- Wired was very clear: The Apple-FBI Fight Isn't About Privacy vs. Security. Don't Be Misled.
- Apple doubled down and released an FAQ about the issue in addition to its previous customer letter from Tim Cook.
- The tech industry got behind Apple, although Bill Gates did not.
- Meanwhile, Apple is putting its efforts behind stronger iCloud backup encryption and iPhone security to counter future FBI requests.
- Someone already has a schematic of the new unhackable iPhone.
- A journalist dared two hackers to ruin his life. And here's what happened. Think you're secure from hackers? Don't try this at home, kids.
- With all of this hype, it shouldn't be any surprise that the new encrypted messaging app Telegram has 100 million users.
- Selfies and fingerprints will now be part of the MasterCard security system for cardholders.
Measurement / Metrics / Data
- Be sure to catch this interview between Mitch Joel and Avinash Kaushik. There's no better person to learn digital marketing analytics from.
- How BuzzFeed thinks about data — by re-anchoring, embracing complexity, learning (not vanity), being pragmatic and understanding that some things are important but not measurable. Lots of great lesssons (and charts!) here for brands as well.
- 42% of C-level executives are focused on expanding the customer base, while 32% are focused on retaining the existing base. They measuring their success in customer engagement primarily through revenue metrics (customer lifetime value, revenue per customer and overall revenue increases).
Chart of the Week
Brought to you by Zignal Labs, a realtime, cross media analytics platform (also a client of Scott Monty Strategies).
Social Media Week New York took place, and as you might expect, getting social media types to post on social media about social media was easier than asking Donald Trump to talk about himself. Particularly of interest were the take-aways from the keynote of Mark Thompson, the CEO of The New York Times, as displayed here:
* Answer to the trivia question above:
- Uber isn't the only company employing surge pricing. Disney Parks (Disneyland and Walt Disney World) are using a tiered pricing model to help address demand. Prices will drop on weekdays in non-holiday and non-school break seasons, and will rise on weekends and in peak seasons (such as July weekends, spring break weeks and December). Analysts say that in pure economic terms, Disney’s price increases have been modest considering the soaring demand.
When You Have the Time: Essential Watching / Listening / Reading
- Being a leader isn't an identity, but a set of actions. And so was born the leadership industry. Just what are we looking for in our leaders? Shut Up and Sit Down is a long read from The New Yorker that traces our fascination with leaders and delves into the qualities that make a good leader.
- Trust is a funny thing. Real trust (even in our modern culture) doesn't always come from divulging, from providing more transparency, but from the actions that people take (or that we think they take) before our eyes. That is, trust can be completely irrational.
- Last week, we shared news of Yelp firing a 25 year-old employee for speaking out online. This week, it got downright messy.
- First, it devolved into a series of meta-commentaries and lectures on how others know better, first from a 29 year-old to the 25 year-old, then from a 36 year-old to the 29 year-old, and finally from a 3,000 year-old mummy to the 36 year-old. We understand. This is the Internet. Everyone has opinions. Now shut up and get back to work.
- To revisit the reputational statistics above, 64% of people think an unfair workplace and culture are very damaging, while 37% consider poor employee conduct extremely damaging. We'd argue that despite the whining of Yelp's ex-employee, there may be longer term damage to Yelp's reputation here.
- What about the bigger issue: should an employee be fired for honesty?
Employee morale reflects company culture. "Snarling people have snarling dogs." — Sherlock Holmes [TWEET THIS]
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I speak to groups and advise brands and agencies to help them embrace the fundamentals of human communication in the digital age. Please get in touch if you'd like to put my experience and digital smarts to work on a project, to consult with your group, or to address an audience at your next corporate or industry event.