Thursday, March 3, 2016

Fishy Fish Immigrants

In 2011 I first posted about the rampant mislabeling (a.k.a. bait & switch) of fish based on numerous scientific studies.  Scary given that the U.S. imports approximately 90% of its seafood; 20% to 32% of wild-caught from questionable resources.  Good news: We are slowly cleaning up our seafood supply chain.

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I would like to share an update on some of the progress the U.S. has made recently as it pertains to seafood supply chain:

·        President Obama just signed the Port State Measures Agreement.  Officials are empowered to prohibit port entry/services for foreign vessels suspected of illegal fishing.

·        The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced earlier in the year their plan for an improved tracking/reporting system for catch to market.   

·        There has been a plethora of complaints filed by major trade unions and the United Nation’s addressing imported seafood produced by forced slave labor, specifically in Southeast Asia.  Legislation passed by Congress is awaiting President Obama’s signature.     

Fishy fish immigrants!  Do you know where the fish you eat comes from?

Friday, February 26, 2016


I am in the midst of another social media experiment – Instagram.  I see the value of the platform for savvy marketers.  I understand the value of utilizing it as a connectivity tool with friends, if one has friends on Instagram.  To me, Instagram is a game changer.  

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To better understand the relevancy of Instagram as a leading social media platform, let me share some key stats.
·        400 million active monthly users that share 70 million photos per day. 

·        It is a global phenomenon; 70% of Instagram users come from outside the U.S. 

·        eMarketer projects that Instagram will generate $2.81 billion in ad revenue by 2017 (last year it generated approximately $600 million).

·        56% of the platform’s users have been on it 1-2 years of which 53% actively share what they are doing.  Note: 7.4% share food and beverage photos.

·        71% of their users’ access Instagram when they are free; 12% every hour! 

So why do I believe it is a game changer?  Two things: 1.) We live in a very visual society.  It is easier to share photos rather than write about an activity even if we have a social platform (Twitter) which enables us to write 140 characters; and 2.) It will eliminate the need for mailing postcards to family and friends, thus reduce the revenue generated from postage stamps.  In addition, it will negatively impact the revenue of numerous specialty magazines (e.g., travel, food, fashion, etc.).

Will I continue to utilize Instagram?  Not as frequently as the other platforms I am committed to such as Twitter and LinkedIn because I enjoy aggregating information.  But it certainly is a great way to fantasize taking a trip to a warmer part of the world, especially in the dead of winter here in Philadelphia.

Monday, February 15, 2016

Happy Birthday Abe

Last Friday was Abraham Lincoln’s birthday.  As the 16th President of the United States he led our country through one of its most difficult periods in U.S. history, the Civil War.  As a result, he preserved the Union, abolished slavery and strengthened our government.  Abe was also a major trendsetter!  

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What is with all the beards being sported by Millennial males? 
I remember listening to a speech about Millennials by Michelle Barry, President and CEO of Centric Brand Anthropology.  She indicated that beards represent a form of expression, but also exhibit pragmatism.  I decided to conduct my own research to better understand the current proliferation of Millennial male hirsuteness.  I actually found a study published by the University of Western Australia that analyzed numerous species of primates and concluded that those that live in larger multilevel societies, use beards as a badge to compete for attention.  Suzanne Boccalatte, co-editor of the book Hair, explains that throughout history facial hair trends come in waves.  The current trend potentially indicates masculinity is being “in” since beards have been associated with men that exhibited simple, traditional values (Henry David Thoreau), masculinity (Ned Kelly, Australian bushranger) and strong leadership (Karl Marx).

Abe, you were definitely a hipster, ahead of your times.  Happy Belated Birthday! 

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Sense of Gravitas

Meaningful word gravitas:  grav•i•tas /’ gravɘ , täs/  (noun) a very serious quality or manner. 

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It is the beginning of February.  Are you still sticking to your 2016 New Year’s resolutions?

It has been years since I made any resolutions because candidly I always ended up breaking them.  Instead, thanks to technology issues over the holidays, I had no choice but to shut down.  I used the down time to think about those things that really matter plus what I should focus on over the next passage of time.  I renewed my sense of being (a.k.a. gravitas).

“I gravitate towards gravitas.”  Morgan Freeman (actor)  

Monday, January 25, 2016

Knowledge Workers

I surfed my way through Winter Storm Jonas this past weekend.  Plenty of good material online.  One article that piqued my interest was written by Ryan Holmes, CEO of Hootsuite.  He advocated the need for companies to acknowledge social media literacy, a topic I have always been passionate about.     

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Back in 2013 I wrote Social Enterprise Smarts = Profitability Plu$.  I detailed the four steps companies needed to take to evolve into a powerful social enterprise.  The first step is to develop a company of Knowledge Workers – employees that exhibit “social smarts” thanks to their ability to embrace the proliferation of social technologies.  Consequently, your employees will improve their overall communication and collaborative skills, as well as being better informed.  I indicated this first step would take training and resources which was the spine of Ryan’s article.  He indicated that companies are just beginning to invest in on-the-job training programs to improve their employees’ social media skills.  Research company Altimeter revealed that almost half of the companies they surveyed are investing in corporate training which is on a serious upswing, rising 15% in the U.S. to $70 billion this past year.

Are you the leader of an organization that is ready to get on the bandwagon of social enterprise?  I would like to make two suggestions:


·        Be patient, be realistic.  You will not be able to flip on the light switch and expect your people to be Knowledge Workers overnight.  It takes time and experimentation to better understand the collaborative world of Web 2.0.

·        Plan, plan, plan.  Social media has evolved beyond the domain of one individual or department.  Social tools are now being utilized by Customer Care, Sales, HR, etc.  In a social enterprise, every employee should be a spokesperson (the voice) for your organization.  Plan accordingly and share the plan so everyone clearly understands their role in your social enterprise.  More importantly, empower your people.    

Are you prepared to invest in your people to build a team of Knowledge Workers?

Discussion Welcomed!


Thursday, January 21, 2016

Consumer Mosaic

Viewed an Expedia ad while watching the Australian Open.  Shows a man and his cute little kid in a tiger outfit going on holiday.  No woman.  Should I assume the man is a single dad?  A good example of how marketers are connecting with the current consumer mosaic. 

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I first read about the consumer mosaic back in November, 2015.  Denise Morrison, CEO of the Campbell Soup Company, advocated that the portrait of the current U.S. Household is changing.  Consequently, she believes that advertising movements should be customized accordingly to better connect with consumers.  Some primary examples of the consumer mosaic are multicultural homes predominately Latino, Asian and African America; single parent households, L.B.G.T. (e.g., same sex households); adult-only households (with or without pets).  Campbell Soup’s “Made for Real, Real Life” TV campaign is a forerunner how marketing movements need to morph and think beyond just targeting demographics (a.k.a. buckets).    
Is your marketing department working on connecting with the new consumer mosaic?

Friday, January 15, 2016

The Popcorn Pinch Point

Have you seen Star Wars yet?  More importantly if you did catch the film, were you able to endure the popcorn lines?  You could have saved a whole bunch of nanoseconds with your new popcorn app. 

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In 2015 I wrote about Chill’s rolling out their NoWait app.  Their guests will be able to check out availability/wait time to be seated thus minimize the time they spend waiting in line.  Consequently, I was not surprised to learn two major multiplex theater chains, AMC Theatres and Regal Entertainment are going to utilize similar technology so their customers will now avoid the “popcorn pinch point.”  Moviegoers can preorder/prepay food and beverages from their smartphones.  The multiplex chains are banking on the reduction of time customers spend in line will result in increased concession sales.  For the record: 50 percent of ticket sales are returned to the studios. Concession sales from approximately two-thirds of the moviegoers that actually purchase food and beverages account for profit margins of 85 percent or higher.

Why not download your popcorn app today and avoid concession stand gridlock the next time you go to a multiplex theater?