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This week: the shocking truth behind mobile ad units; top priorities for marketers in 2016; you don't control your timelines; Snapchat is an important media company; getting to Mexico in an Uber; the demise of on-demand parking; the expected rollout of autonomous vehicles; why NPR is not promoting its podcasts on the air; all about influencer marketing; the importance of privacy, even in 2016; inside the mind of a procrastinator; the Zignal Labs chart of the week, our weekly trivia challenge, podcast pick and more.
Virtually everything you need in business intelligence. If you’re on Flipboard, you can get these links — and additional ones — by subscribing to The Full Monty Magazine at smonty.co/fullmontymag.
If you're around at 9:30 pm ET on Sunday evenings, you can get a preview of a couple of topics from the week's via the live video on Facebook. If not, you can always catch the replay here:
- Upcoming speaking engagements include the YouToo Conference at Kent State University on Friday April 8, 2016.
- Digital strategy is more than just planning for online presence and operations; its very nature means there may be major economic impacts and disruptions that cause companies to refocus significant resources. A long and smart read from McKinsey.
- BuzzFeed is launching a new ad format that allows advertisers to run campaigns simultaneously across all of his company's Web and mobile properties and six of its social platforms (Snapchat Discover, Vine, YouTube, Facebook, Instagram and Tumblr). Opening access to all of a publisher's networks makes sense, yet it's not a standard offer. Perhaps it's time to say farewell to the lowly banner ad.
- The real reason people should think about ad blockers is not because of the annoying or intrusive ads; it's because ad content accounts for between 18% and 79% of mobile data transferred. In other words, the advertisers are making you go over your data limits.
- If you have yet to understand the power of earned media, look no further than the runaway success of Donald Trump, who has underspent half of the candidates on advertising.
- Marketers want to put more focus on customer-centric initiatives in 2016, along with strategy and brand management, and better reporting and insights. But they're also looking for better technology and a better set of reporting tools for creating dashboards and custom reports. Ahem. See the Chart of the Week below for a client who does just that.
- As unusual as it may sounds, Liberty Mutual — an insurance company — is leveraging Facebook's 360-degree video for an immersive choose-your-own-adventure. This isn't virtual reality per se (more like VR-lite), but we have to give an old school industry props for experimenting.
- Apple News is opening up is app to all publishers who wish to curate and even monetize their own content. Now Apple News will go beyond just news publications. Is this more of a competitive threat to Facebook or to Flipboard?
- The majority of updates that most brands make are of the 1:1 variety — replies, reactions, conversations — but less time and budget is spent on these. If marketers flipped their focus, the impact could be tremendous. And it's not only budget; how your team is structured to take advantage of this is important as well.
More than 93% of social content created by brands is 1:1. [Tweet this]
- Are you putting enough focus on email? Among digital marketing tactics, it's considered one of the easiest to execute and the most effective.
Get the scoop on what 500 marketers (budgets up to $10 million) believe and how those beliefs influence their behaviors when it comes to hiring and firing agencies just like yours.
Download this FREE 16 page report, full of information, insight and guidance on how to best approach prospects based on the findings.
Some of the results are going to really surprise you.
- Here's a secret trip to try: how to tell who has shared your content on Facebook.
- If you really can't get enough basketball this month, you can always play Facebook Messenger's secret basketball minigame.
- Twitter has often been derided, or too complicated, or not complex enough, too similar to Facebook, or not Facebook-like enough. The bottom line is that Twitter can be as useful as you make it. "What's your name?" "What do you want it to be?" — Pretty Woman
- You may not have noticed it, but Twitter quietly turned on its new algorithmic timeline, meaning that you'll see tweets that you may have missed, rather than a strict chronological timeline.
- Twitter was not alone, as Instagram turned on its own algorithm to show you the content it deems worthy, "based on the likelihood you’ll be interested in the content, your relationship with the person posting and the timeliness of the post."
- Still, people freaked out.
- It shouldn't be a surprise. As we saw above, Twitter has done it. And Pinterest. And remember that time Facebook made a change to the Timeline? That was in 2011. The real reason social networks change their timelines from chronological to algorithm-based filtered feeds? Because they're growing up.
- Admit it: you were wrong about Snapchat. I was.
- The most-used social app of 12-24 year-olds is more than just a silly visual messaging app. It is an important media company: it has reach, immediacy, authenticity, engagement, geography, brand recall, and an economic engine behind it.
- More evidence: Snapchat just hired a VP of product who was a longtime executive at Pandora; and added video startup NowThis to is Discover section.
- If you're still having trouble, here's another primer on how to use Snapchat — especially if you're over 30.
- But if you're a luxury brand, YouTube is more powerful than Snapchat. For now.
Trivia question: What is the latest and tastiest entry in autonomous vehicles? *
Collaborative / Autonomous Economy
- Good news: soon you'll be able to review your neighbor's Airbnb rental. It could mean more honest assessments of things; it could also give neighbors an opportunity to stop that
drug-induced orgybusiness traveler rental before it even happens.
- On-demand valet parking seemed like a good idea. It wasn't. Two shut down (Caarbon and Vatler) and another three are shifting away from the on-demand model (Luxe, Zirx, Valet Anywhere). "You really need to get money from customers." Hey, maybe Silicon Valley is growing up.
- Lyft and Maven, GM’s catchall brand for its car-sharing programs, will be rolling out a short-term rental program for Lyft drivers in Chicago later this month.
- Uber launched Passport, a one-way cross-border service from San Diego to Mexico. Buena suerte getting home.
- Meanwhile, up north, two Uber drivers were arrested in East Lansing, MI and are under investigation of criminal sexual conduct.
- And for those who thought that Uber shouldn't have been part of the news story of the driver who went on a shooting rampage in Kalamazoo: the driver claims that the Uber app took him over "like artificial intelligence that can tap into your body." We can sympathize. The same thing happens to us with Facebook.
- Uber has sounded-out auto manufacturers for a large order of self-driving cars.
- Google says that autonomous vehicles will have a gradual roll-out and will phase in over decades, with warmer, sunnier climates going first. Typical of a California-based company.
- Ford has developed its autonomous vehicle technology to sense snow or rain. Typical of a Michigan-based company.
- Audio search has long been a hoped-for, wished-for and needed function. DeepGram is working on a solution to search podcasts and lectures for quotes.
- CBS is selling off its radio division. A big blow for traditional radio. This is where is all started.
- Spotify is settling a dispute with publishers in a licensing dispute and will pay them more than $20 million in owed but unpaid royalties.
- NPR has decided that it won't promote its podcasts or NPR One on the air.
- At first glance, this might seem foolhardy, but it's actually a smart move. Their affiliates are harmed by the promotion of national-level shows that don't tie back to local fundraising; and why send more people away from the radio? They need to serve the audience first. And this includes reaching new audiences that don't yet listen on the radio.
- Podcast Recommendation of the Week. This week's recommendation is Faster Than Normal. Peter Shankman hosts this show in which he interviews guests and taps into their knowledge and experience on how to use the gift of ADD / ADHD to excel. Do you have a podcast recommendation for us? Add yours to our Google Sheet: smonty.co/yourpodcasts
Content / Customer Experience
- Long-form content is alive and well. Anthony Bourdain thinks that digital media is perfect for exploring deeper stories in travel and food.
- We hear a lot about influencers and influencer marketing. Here's a series of links on that topic. And reminder: I advise on influencer relations; it's something I used to do at Ford.
- What is an influencer and how do they make money? Re/code asked so you don't have to.
- But finding them can be problematic unless you know where to look.
- Of course, at $10K an Instagram, some of them may be a little overpriced. You need to know how to vet them too.
- And if you'd like to know the impact of an influencer, we've got you covered.
Privacy / Security / Legal
- While the legal outcome may not yet be settled, the FBI - Apple saga has had one certain impact: Facebook, WhatsApp, Google and others have increased their encryption of user data.
- Meanwhile in Europe, thanks to a ruling by the highest court, cafes can become hotspots for illegal piracy. The court determined that cafe owners don't have to install passwords or monitor traffic. It may be just us, but we think there's a difference in the degree of difficulty of those two things, and installing a password isn't an undue burden on a small business.
- As autonomous vehicles and connected cars become the norm, the FBI warns that cars are the next big hacking risk.
- A Florida court ruled in favor of Hulk Hogan over Gawker Media, which had published a private video of him. In a thirst for staying atop sensational news stories, the online gossip site published what it considered newsworthy. A jury thought otherwise and awarded Hogan $115 million in damages. Let's not forget that during the trial, Gawker exhibited their judgment for all to see, saying they'd draw the line at posting a sex tape of a celebrity who's under 4 years old.
- A journalist stands up for herself and gets attacked further. And this is someone who has a platform on which to defend herself. Imagine how difficult an online smear campaign would be for an average citizen.
Measurement / Metrics / Data
- Six new tools from Google Analytics will help marketers mine customer data for insights.
- You've long heard that acquiring a new customer is more expensive than retaining one. Here's an analysis to help you determine just what the ROI is on that.
In fact, a 5% increase in customer retention rate increases profits by 25% to 95% [Tweet this]
Chart of the Week
Chart of the Week
Brought to you by Zignal Labs, a realtime, cross media analytics platform (also a client of Scott Monty Strategies).
American Airlines is in a tailspin. The company has been dealing with a series of public issues that have called its management style and entire corporate culture into question. In the span of five days earlier this month, a flight attendant purposefully set a fire on board a flight; its pilots issued a letter of complaint to the management questioning its commitment to product and culture; and the company reversed course on three month-old decision to fly to Venezuela, effectively abandoning many customers. As a result, the news stories and mentions began picking up pace, which you can see below in the total mentions chart. More available here.
* Answer to the trivia question above:
- The latest autonomous vehicle is Dominos Robotic Unit (DRU), a pizza delivery robot. The four-wheeled vehicle, developed in Australia, can traverse roads or sidewalks and has a 12-mile range. Two separate units keep drinks cold and up to 10 pizzas hot. Customers access the unit with a code.
When You Have the Time: Essential Watching / Listening / Reading
- That one trick everyone tells you to do to save your iPhone battery? It doesn't work.
- If you think virtual reality is the most exciting technology you'll ever encounter, think again.
- Who's hiring the most MBAs in the tech world? Amazon. And it's not even close.
- In the US, diagnoses of narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) have risen sharply over the past 10 years. Hey, wait — Facebook and Twitter have been around for 10 years. Exactly. It's what happens when you combine vanity, social media and the human condition.
- That being said, you might want to read How To Be a Better Friend, Even When You're Busy.
- It's not often that a TED Talk gets a standing ovation, but Tim Urban managed it with his delightful and creative talk that takes us Inside the Mind of a Master Procrastinator. No, don't wait to watch 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.