Recommended reading: Thinking forward and outsourcing dilemmas

Marketing Week reviews the latest books and blogs for marketers.


Think Forward 2020

By We Are Social 

Once the wild west of content, now the internet is embracing new rules of engagement that could have a big impact on brands. This is the theory being explored by social media agency We Are Social, which identifies a series of trends that could help brands break out of the status quo.

We Are Social believes that going forward people will place a higher value on digital content by crediting creators, boycotting plagiarism and calling out the brands that fail to acknowledge creators.

The report anticipates the rise of “social self-care” as people move to a more measured form of digital consumption that is less about seeking validation and reflects increased mental health awareness.

We Are Social also expects to see a backlash against influencer culture and the metrics driving it, as well as a trend towards people consciously taking control of their digital footprints amid privacy concerns. Furthermore, the report suggests that social content is set to become far more long-from, allowing for complex narratives to sit across digital platforms.

READ MORE: Think Forward 2020 

Cultural Velocity: Making Ideas Move

By Jonah Berger and Stefan Burford

Jonah Berger’s previous book, Contagious: Why Things Catch On, was a well-received, best-selling unpicking of how and why certain ads, products, memes or songs enjoy viral status.

Now Berger, a marketing professional at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, has teamed up with Stefan Burford, global chief strategy officer at the London-based Initiative agency, with this new book looking at how brands can become more relevant, and more successful, by utilising the power of culture.

The duo pore over the ebbs and flows of hundreds of successful cultural marketing campaigns, from Nike’s Dream Crazy to KFC launching a collaboration with Japanese designer Nigo, measuring their trajectory and lifespan.

Five pathways to move your ideas faster into the wider cultural conversation are presented in this entertaining, thought-provoking book, examining why certain brands continue to get talked about in an age of diminishing paid media effectiveness.

All or some

By Seth Godin 

In his latest blog, Seth Godin wrestles with the question of whether it is worth outsourcing an entire project, or better to break it up into different tasks.

If you give the entire project to one individual then the coordination costs go down, says Godin, because all the details are in that person’s head and the brand doesn’t need to worry about making sure the details match up.

However, if you break a project into tiny parts, Godin suggests that you can find exactly the right person, or process, and the work can be carried out simultaneously.

READ MORE: All or some 

How machine learning pushes us to define fairness

By David Weinberger 

In this article, David Weinberger acknowledges that the growth of machine learning is encouraging businesses to address the level of fairness within their organisations.

The issue with machine learning is that the system learns from data, which is prone to picking up human biases, says Weinberger, and cleaning the data so there are no “hidden, pernicious correlations” is incredibly difficult.

This means that machine learning is helping us think about fairness in new and productive ways, and therefore address unconscious bias in organisations. The article suggests that the way machine learning works means brands need to instruct it to work in precise ways and by doing so are forced to decide on the outcomes they find ethically acceptable.

How machine learning pushes us to define fairness



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