Must Reads 264

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Good Morning Must Readers, this week’s newsletter includes the following important themes:

  • ChatBots & Food - Humans not being replaced human errors are…

  • Fractional Leadership - More expertise less time

  • More Ads - Where there are free products there will be more ads squeezed in, remember free product = you are the product

  • Productivity - How one word is causing so much friction and why intelligent company leads are chasing smarter, not harder (but many don’t understand productivity

  • Tarot Cycle - Why the next wave of social will always have tarot and alternative ways of seeing or shaping the future

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>> Chatbot Drive Throughs - US burger giant Wendys (aka the home of the frosty) and Google are partnering up to power a new generation of chatbot-driven drive-throughs. Google is leveraging their business relationships to push its chat-based tech ahead of competitors (good on them). Will diners care? (Not if it goes smoothly and if the food’s good) Will it improve the current flow or is it two brands testing out a work in progress? My educated guess is - we are going to see chatbots being implemented in numerous places where human resource is hard to recruit or training is mid to high in people but super easy for machines.

>> Fractional Leadership? - Interim, fractional, and part-time CxO are all varying roles within the c-suite now, I interviewed 5 fractional c-suite execs on why it’s important to know what fractional is and the benefits for companies 

>>Google’s Ad Play - Google is the internet’s OG when it comes to intend-based ads (you want something - we show you ads +) now Google has gone a step further and added an ad unit into your primary Gmail inbox away from their promotional tab. The issue is without ad blockers these tech players will always insert another ad unit, with so many using Gmail, Google search, YouTube, Chrome browser and Android you’re phone is potentially one big ad unit and this won’t stop (even with unhappy users the friction is so little that users won’t stop using their products and won’t stop clicking on ads). Expect this to continue and other big tech players and popular sites with similar free products push more ads. » Be aware if you use an adblocker, YouTube is now testing pop-ups suggesting adblockers aren’t allowed & to download YouTube premium

Something to keep in mind, where there is a search box and results there will be sponsored unit aka sponsored results from Amazon to Google to Twitter to TikTok, brands are following the same lead (supermarkets have been doing this for a few years too), expect this to continue and become more aggressive. Where there are emails in apps or ordering food on tracking screens etc expect more ads to appear

++ Trivia Time ++ Which brand’s app was downloaded 127m times last year? (A) McDonalds // (B) Uber Eats // (C) Door Dash.

>>  Tablets Drop - There has been a drop in shipments and purchases of tablets for the first time since 2020. This is not a surprise with the number of people returning to the office and not requiring to upgrade as often. iPads are a vital component in the Apple ecosystem but not as important in other companies moving forward.

>> 60% Of Americans Want Brands In Movies - This is an interesting survey with interesting results. Americans wouldn’t mind seeing brands feature somewhat in movies. We have seen a huge number of TV shows and movies based on silicon valley companies and utilities like Uber and we are seeing a Blackberry movie, And1 on Netflix, A Tetris movie and the story behind Michael Jordan and his air brand. I suspect we will see this continue and likely be 90’s and 2000’s brands featured heavily but won’t be 2-hour commercials. Lego adopted this around a decade ago and let’s see how many others can get a film made about them. I suspect Reebok and other cultural brands will be central to movies.

>> The Pitfall Of Productivity - Your Bosses Understanding Of It - Whenever I speak to business leads they want more productivity from their teams, they rarely understand what it actually means and where the line is. This Vox article really does nail this and drives home the importance of understanding what productivity is and is not and what you can do to help become a little more successful. FWIW most bosses have a bias for more as that’s what they are taught equals success, a bias for better and getting better at communicating successes and failures will get you far in most jobs and companies.

>> Personalities & Work - I bet if you work in a mid to large business you have had to take a personality insights test like DISc or 16 personalities. Why? They are back on the rise as more people return to the office, more people find out about their neurodiversity and companies adjust to modern work requirements. With so many layoffs we will likely see more tests like this happen within organisations and more people demanding tests or new tests being developed. (FWIW if you ever want to see something spread internally share a personality test — I’ve said before on must-reads you can treat them like horoscopes)

>> Tarot Trends, Waves & Themes - Tarot is one area that keeps returning on social media. Social media is changing and the way we discover and consume

Must Reads Role: Friend of Must Reads Jon and his agency Overdrive Digital are looking for a Senior PPC Account Manager if you are right or someone you might know would be well suited apply here.

Answer Time 🍟 - The answer is (A) McDonald’s app was downloaded 127m times in 2022, with more downloads from Uber eats and Doordash combined. One of the secrets behind this is free fries around national fries day & their newly updated loyalty points system.

>> 27 Good Responses To When You’re Not Ok - A solid post for when things aren’t ok and you might be struggling. It’s always ok not to be ok!

>> Where Great Ideas Come From - Yes they are made but learn from this long read why the environment and diversity is so important

Thanks and have a great week,

Danny Denhard

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