July 24, 2017

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Amazon Is Said to Bid for Indian Payments Business FreeCharge
Bloomberg (7/24)
Amazon is trying to buttress its digital payments operations as it takes on local rivals including Paytm E-commerce Pvt as well as Tiger Global Management-backed Flipkart Online Services Pvt. The U.S. company has entered its fifth year of operations in India as the country shapes up to become of the world’s largest online retail markets.

SoftBank, Didi Hand $2 Billion to Uber's Biggest Asian Rival
Bloomberg (7/23)
The deal cements an alliance between SoftBank, Didi and Grab, which competes against Uber in markets from Malaysia to Thailand. The Singapore-based ride hailing company said Monday it expects to close another $500 million from unspecified new and existing backers.

WPP's Grey Acquires Full-Service Digital Agency Sensio
MediaPost (7/21)
Both deals are part of WPP’s intention to bulk up its holdings in Europe outside the UK in the wake of Brexit. Given the uncertainty of ongoing Brexit negotiations, WPP is placing an even stronger emphasis on growth in Western Continental Europe.

Vice Lays Off at Least 60 Employees to Emphasize Video and Scripted Content Production
Adweek (7/21)
After news came last month of an investment of $450 million, Vice has laid off around 60 employees, or 2 percent of its 3,000-person staff in North America and Europe. Vice will continue to focus on video and scripted content production while also expanding internationally.

Snap Hires Swiss Team Behind Software Protection Startup
Bloomberg (7/21)
Snap has also placed advertisements seeking to hire information security experts and cryptographers in Switzerland, and has been slowly increasing its European presence. It’s one of the lead sponsors at Black Alps 17, a cybersecurity conference at Yverdon-les-Bains, northeast of Geneva.


Google Runs Tests To Search For Ad Fraud
MediaPost (7/21)
Google is taking the lead on an industry initiative called ads.txt spearheaded by the Interactive Advertising Bureau. Ads.txt aims to wipe out fraud known as spoofing and increase transparency in programmatic advertising by keeping a public record of the Authorized Digital Sellers of the ads.

Promoted Content
Success Story: Delivering High Returns with Content Marketing
A four-year run of The Business Value Exchange (BVEx) has proved the value of an agile model for corporate marketing and is delivering high returns, including engagement with target customers. Read about how DXC and IDG leveraged content marketing to build a community of over 10,000 influencers and CIOs.

Industry Perspectives
Quest for AI Leadership Pushes Microsoft Further Into Chip Development
Bloomberg (7/23)
Bringing chipmaking in-house is increasingly in vogue as companies conclude that off-the-shelf processors aren't capable of fully unleashing the potential of AI. Apple is testing iPhone prototypes that include a chip designed to process AI, a person familiar with the work said in May.

A Guide to the 10 Next Hot Jobs in Digital Marketing, and for Several Years to Come
Adweek (7/23)
After querying a bevy of experts, we identified 10 jobs that will be the most important and in-demand roles in digital marketing for the next several years—or at least until the next wave of innovation comes crashing down.

Why Brands Should Shift Their Focus From Data to Identity
Adweek (7/23)
With so much focus on programmatic, myopic targeting and short-term goals, marketers have not reaped the true rewards of data-driven marketing. Indeed, the ANA has highlighted the significant challenges facing the industry from driving growth and business performance to an unmanageably complex digital media supply chain to inadequate measurement and metrics.

Influencer Marketing In Need Of Industry Standards
MediaPost (7/21)
Today's pay-to-play influencer model can't sustain itself. A fundamental principle of marketing is to create long-term relationships between brands and consumers, and marketers need to do the same with influencers. 'The influencers need to become your friends—your family.'

Your Guide to Top Tech Conferences 2017
CIO (7/21)
Regardless of your intent, there's never a bad reason to maintain a solid network of professionals and experts in your vertical or other fields. If you can't make it, or if you've already blown through your travel budget, many of these conferences offer virtual and live-streaming options as well.

Research Insights
IT's Identity Crisis: How to Remain Essential as the Business Evolves
CIO (7/21)
Forty percent of the CIOs said that they make 50% or less of the IT decisions for their companies. And 39% said that business departments buy their own technology without consulting IT 'often,' 'very often' or 'most of the time.' Meantime, IT departments themselves perform a shrinking proportion of the technology work they still oversee

Majority Of Emails Read On Mobile Devices
MediaPost (7/21)
Email messages opened on a mobile device have nearly doubled over the past five years, according to a report released this week by data and email solutions provider Return Path. Return Path analyzed more than 27 billion email opens between May 2016 and April 2017.

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