June 8, 2017

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Android Creator’s Phone Startup Raises $300 Million
Bloomberg (6/7)
The financing round valued Essential at $900 million to $1 billion, according to an analysis by Equidate, which runs a market for private company stock. Essential submitted paperwork on the new investments in late May, a few days before co-founder Andy Rubin unveiled the first two products: a high-end smartphone and an Amazon Echo-like gadget for the home.

Meredith Kopit Levien Moves Up to COO While Product and Tech EVP Kinsey Wilson Is Out in NYT Reorg
Adweek (6/7)
Kopit Levien has been with the Times since 2013, joining as evp of advertising before taking on the role of chief revenue officer in 2015. Prior to joining the Times, she had been at Forbes Media for half a decade, serving as chief revenue officer before her departure to the Times.

AWS Launches Greengrass IoT Service Out of Preview
VentureBeat (6/7)
Greengrass lets customers write functions that can be deployed on compatible devices and run in response to triggers from local hardware or the AWS cloud. Using those functions, it’s possible to handle data processing without a network connection, which is key for IoT devices.

With New Pay Plan In Place, Fewer Shareholders Protest at WPP Meeting
MediaPost (6/7)
Today, with a revised compensation plan in place that puts a lower ceiling on potential long-term incentive pay than in the past nearly 80% of votes cast were in favor of new plan. Shareholders at the meeting also questioned board chairman Roberto Quarta about CEO succession planning.

Industry Perspectives
Rise of the Machines: Agencies Need to Be Consultative, Not a Commodity, to Succeed
The Drum (6/8)
As both Hall & Partners and TBWA have demonstrated, partnerships are crucial if companies are to construct efficient multi-disciplinary strategies that will extract the most value out of technological advances. Marketers will need to partner with agencies, tech partners and start-ups, trying to be more experimental as they shift from the traditional view of vendors and partners.

HomePod First Impressions: Lots of Unknowns, But Its Sound Is Impressive
Macworld (6/8)
At this point, some aspects of the HomePod are locked in. First and foremost, the hardware itself: It’s possible that Apple will tweak it here and there between now and when it goes into full production, but it’s unlikely to change much. That means the seven-inch tall speaker, covered in 3-D mesh fabric in black or white, is what we’ll get in December.

If Your Company Isn’t Good at Analytics, It’s Not Ready for AI
Harvard Business Review (6/7)
With more centralized information architectures, all systems refer back to the primary 'source of truth,' updates propagate to the entire system, and decisions reflect a single view of a customer or issue. A set of structured analytics provides retail category managers, for instance, with a complete picture of historic customer data.”

How Machine Learning Can Improve Content Marketing
eMarketer (6/7)
The biggest challenge is the lack of content to fuel the technology investments that companies have made, which makes it difficult for them to see a return on those investments. For example, marketers are investing in web personalization technology to tell a targeted story to every individual customer, but they don’t have the volume of content needed to make that personalization worthwhile.


Google, Facebook, Microsoft Spent Hundreds of Millions to Advertise in 2016
MediaPost (6/7)
Google spent nearly $350 million to advertising its products and services in 2016 – up from $232 million in 2015 and $227 million in 2014, Kantar Media reports. Investments went to display, search, mobile, online video, TV, print, and OOH.

HPE Merges IT, OT with Edgeline Software Platform to Crunch IoT Data
CIO (6/7)
Now, as a sea of data is sucked in to all kinds of devices in all sorts of places, there is an increasing need to merge IT and OT in order to collect, store and analyze information in the most cost-efficient manner possible – all in real time. The network edge increasingly is where the action is, as these worlds come together.”

Research Insights
Analytics Tools Are Still a Challenge for Many
eMarketer (6/7)
Almost a third of US analytics users (30.0%) surveyed in March 2017 said their analytics technology is too hard to use, citing complicated interfaces. Some 27.1% also said that the tools require too much coding – another indication of the complexity of these solutions.

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