How do you end your emails these days?

Daily collection of must-read articles & opinions on marketing, technology and emerging trends.

Coffee Break is a daily digest curated by me, Aliyar, to challenge your thinking and broaden your perspective.

These hand-picked articles cover everything from emerging trends in marketing, consumer behaviour, retail, public policy, strategy and technology.


The advertising pitch competition that made 2020 a little better

We may not have figured out how to measure creativity as well as we measure CVR, but it’s still the force that connects and uplifts us in our darkest hour. C19 either paused or eliminated many creative campaigns, but these 10 projects developed by stuck-at-home students fought hard to make 2020 a little easier for the creative industry and a lot of out-of-work creatives around the world.


This is what really makes you invaluable.

Most people describe what they do by explaining what their job creates. Nothing wrong with that, since most other people only care for outcomes as well. But as a professional, that’s a shortsighted way of looking at yourself. A better way to constantly expand your career possibilities and make yourself invaluable is to take a tally of your transferable skills. It’s things like being good at conflict resolution, problem-solving or collaboration that may not seem like much, but make you truly irreplaceable.


From TikTok to Broadway in a few weeks

You may have heard how ‘no-code’, decentralised and lo-fi solutions bring in a new age of disruption. Ratatouille: The TikTok Musical is the best example of how an idea can go from a TikTok to a theatre production starring professional Broadway actors and musicians. It’s really all you need to know about the incredible speed and scale of platforms where new ideas can be tested cheaply and quickly.


Same same but different

In a time when most agencies are holding on for dear life, Sir Martin Sorrells’s S4 Capital is showing no signs of slowing down. S4 Capital’s gross profit was up by 79% last year while his former home WPP was down by £2,4 billion in H1 2020. For now, it seems that S4’s ‘holy-trinity’ model of first-party data fueling digital content, data and digital media is working well. So well, in fact, that they started the year by acquiring two new agencies in the US.


How do you end your emails these days?

A study found that thinking about ourselves as independent individuals make us want to improve positive outcomes while thinking of ourselves as a part of a group makes us want to avoid negative ones. This means that your message is more persuasive when it matches the receiver’s personal motivation.

When you’re sending your emails, remember to use ‘stay healthy’ when focused on the individual, while ‘keep safe’ work best when talking to a group.


A big win for gig workers

European courts across the continent are pushing to rewrite the digital rulebook. An Italian court ruled that Deliveroo’s courier ranking algorithm discriminated against gig workers by not distinguishing between someone being sick versus any other trivial reason for not being productive. While Deliveroo disagrees with the court’s decision, a decision such as this is none the less a meaningful win for EU lawmakers aiming to enable wider societal oversight of AI-fueled services.


A natural evolution of e-commerce

Social is a natural progression of retail as it closes the loop between browsing, sharing and shopping. Although real adoption rates remain low, a recent poll in the UK found that 2 in 3 shoppers would be more likely to purchase without leaving the social media platform. It’s already huge in China. If the adoption of TikTok is anything to go by, we can be certain social e-commerce will soon become commonplace, starting with FB/IG, especially for everyday items.


We’re only getting started.

The pandemic has left me conflicted on digitalisation. On the one hand, there’s the massive leap we’ve taken in the last 6 months and on the other, there’s the reality of knowing how long it actually took for many businesses to start using chatbots.

Keeping my glass half-full, maybe we’ll keep up the same pace as we move towards building autonomous digital businesses where automation will take over the tedious, labour intensive tasks and skilled workers (that’s you) can step into higher-value roles ushering us into a new age of efficiency and innovation.


The most important question about WFH

WFH has left employers reconsidering the role of the workplace. And as property-owners and city planners reimagine how to make the office building attractive again, I think the most important question to ask is when do we really need face-to-face interactions? Management experts believe that collaboration, innovation, acculturation, and dedication may be difficult to achieve without face-to-face interactions.


It takes more than facts to build the world’s encyclopedia.

Imagine how your life would be without Wikipedia. Growing up with the internet, Google and Wikipedia were my two big heroes. I can hardly blame natural language processing for the ill doings of Google. But as someone who values maintaining free access to knowledge and learning, I’m often reminded that the internet is unfathomably huge and despite our best intentions, even the safest places have a dark side.


Coffee Break is a personal project that I started to learn something new every day by reading quality articles on emerging trends in marketing and technology developments. Every day I curate the best articles and share them in this newsletter.