What The NY Times Doesn’t Have; Facebook Sharing Gets Less Personal

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John Geraci, former director of new digital products at The New York Times, recalls his time at the newspaper as a “resounding failure,” though not “a complete failure.” In a Harvard Business Review article, Geraci credits the Times for bringing in “entrepreneurial employees” to help build revenue-driving products. But the initiative failed because the Times lacked what Geraci calls “the Ecosystem Mindset.” Like most of its big corporate brethren, the Times thinks of itself as self-sustaining, that all of the resources it needs to thrive are available in-house. What it doesn’t have, says Geraci, is “an implicit understanding that the solutions to your key challenges are not all inside the building, but are out there — and that you must locate and interact with them to thrive.” Read on.

It’s Not Personal, It’s Facebook

Something interesting is happening with Facebook sharing. Bloomberg reports overall sharing and engagement remains high, but what users post has shifted from personal stories to news or links from other sites. One unnamed Facebook source refers to it as “context collapse,” as the juicy details of people’s lives shift to Snapchat, Instagram and others, and the result is the loss of important data supporting Facebook’s contextual web. The social giant is trying new ways to prompt personal messaging, like “On This Day” reminders from previous years, and other ways to make users feel a sense of intimacy. More.

Appeasing The Pubs

Of course, lack of user context won’t keep Facebook from courting the pubs, as the social network will allow branded content on its verified pages, Instant Articles and Facebook Live. Branded content will help publishers monetize on the platform, many of whom saw traffic decline up to 20% last month after switching to Instant Articles. A new tool allows publishers to tag marketers in sponsored posts, letting clients track performance data. Facebook’s standards for content, however, remain high. “Our branded content guidelines prohibit overly promotional features, such as persistent watermarks and pre-roll advertisements. Additionally, cover photos and profile pictures must not feature third-party products, brands or sponsors,” said Facebook product manager Clare Rubin. More at Digiday.

Hearts & Science

Omnicom Media Group announced the launch of its data-driven agency, Hearts & Science, with inaugural client Procter & Gamble. The network is a play to consolidate Omnicom’s digital and data expertise across its agencies [read the release]. Former Annalect CEO Scott Hagedorn will be the agency’s new CEO. “Hearts & Science has been designed to protect the balance and leverage the connections between information and emotion, combining data-driven planning and buying practices with orchestrated content creation, delivery and optimization.” More at Adweek.

Teasing The Upfronts

Data and accountability will be important selling points at this year’s upfronts, according to a number of TV execs at a Simulmedia presentation last Thursday. One marketer, Yin Woon Rani of Campbell Soup, said digital media and data science have changed C-suite expectations for channels like TV. “We will increasingly be held accountable to business outcomes,” said Peter Naylor, SVP of ad sales for Hulu. “We absolutely want to take credit where credit is due for helping fill shopping carts.” Arlene Manos, president of national ad sales at AMC Networks, said her company is taking the unique business intelligence assets traditionally reserved for its own content and marketing initiatives and “beginning to apply it to advertisers.”

But Wait, There’s More!

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