Monday, June 30, 2014

Love the Game



Blink:
Week two of Wimbledon began earlier this morning.  Great tournament!  I have posted about tennis previously, exploring the lessons I have learned and their correlation to business.  For me, this year’s event is clearly beginning to emphasize a changing of the guard.
                                                                                                                                            
Read On:
On the men’s side of the game, outside of a few upsets, the cream of the crop, the usual cast of top players, once again are demonstrating the physical/mental talent it takes to be a champion.  Miraculously one teenage phenomenon has made it to week two.  In addition, several thirty year old, wily veterans are combating the power of the youngsters with their understanding of how to master the nuances of playing on grass.  On the women’s side of the game, several youngsters are surfacing thanks to implementing a well rounded, classic strategic game to offset the power and intimidation of the veteran players.

A new era of hybrid tennis is on the horizon – a changing of the guard.  The best of classic tennis combined with the power and athleticism of new tennis.  How does this relate to business?  Business is a mental game, so age and the toll it takes on one’s physical performance does not come into play.  Experience is the key!  So is hybrid marketing, a blend of classic marketing with the new, interactive, collaborative platforms of Web 2.0.         

Do you love the game?  Are you ready to change and become a marketing champion?


Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Trailblazing



Blink:
“Do not go where the path may lead: go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.”     – Ralph Waldo Emerson 
                                              
Read On:
Last week I attended FARE 2014 in Dallas.  A great conference!  The keynote speakers were motivational, the educational sessions informative, plenty of quality networking breaks, etc.  I was even afforded the opportunity to moderate a breakfast table discussion on one of my favorite topics – Social Marketing. 

My key conference takeaway:  People are still confused where the new collaborative world of Web 2.0 is heading.  The majority of the people whom I interacted with throughout the conference expressed their struggle to grasp the changes that were taking place.  No surprise!  The more I read as I shared in my last post Collaborate?, innovation, change, etc. is not happening to a large degree.  Corporations are finding it difficult to adapt.

This much I do know:  Social media is a small piece of the pie.  Social media is all about the tools people are using to engage/collaborate with one another.  Social Enterprise is the whole pie.  Once again, I would like to summarize the four pillars of social enterprise as I detailed in my post one year ago titled Social Enterprise Smarts = Profitability Plu$:

·         Knowledge Workers – Employees with “social smarts.”

·         Social CRM (Customer Relationship Management) – Organizations that get closer to their customers.

·         Collaboration – Organizations who internally and externally collaborate day to day with all parties to increase their overall performance.

·         Big Data – The ability to analyze data in real time that will result in increased profitability.

Explore!  Be a trailblazer!


Monday, June 16, 2014

Collaborate?




Blink:
Collaborate: Has this word evolved into the most commonly misused word in Corporate America in 2014?

Read On:
Webster’s definition:

col•lab•o•rate \kә-lab-ә-,rāt\ verb 1 : To work jointly with others or together esp. in an intellectual endeavor or in order to achieve or do something.

Interesting, last week I read two articles from respected sources which expose that global corporations were falling short in their key strategic initiatives due to a lack of collaboration within their walls.  For starters, a senior McKinsey & Co. executive interviewed in an article titled Mastering Digital Marketing, stressed that one of the organizational barriers companies were experiencing when stepping their toes into digital marketing was getting people to work together (a.k.a. too many silos!).  Subsequently, survey results published by Affinnova, a global technology company, revealed that the current innovative processes at leading CPG companies were broken. In addition to employees not fielding enough market insight, innovation was thwarted because sales teams were not involved in the critical stages of product development (a.k.a. too many silos!).  Directly quoting Affinnova’s overall conclusion:

“Having a formal innovation process or structure is not a key factor separating top and bottom-performing companies.  Neither is size or revenue.  What matters is culture.”

Warning!  Collaborate!



Tuesday, June 10, 2014

The Way We Eat



Blink:
This morning, online I read a press release about the growth of our sustainable food system, an article about GMO foods, more news on the government’s proposed sodium reduction legislation, etc.  Let’s throw into the mix numerous articles about our snacking behavior.  What is with the way we eat?

Read On:
Let me begin with a direct quote from the president of NRDC (National Resources Defense Council) whose organization sponsored a sustainable food event in Los Angeles at the end of May: 

“Americans are realizing that if we change the way we eat, we can change the way the food system works.” 

Valid point!  As a result, more consumers have joined the debate about GMO foods and labeling.  More companies and restaurant operators are working hard to reduce the amount of sodium in their products.  The USDA reported there were 8,144 farmers markets in the U.S. in 2013 compared to 1,755 in 1994 when they first began publishing the National Directory of Farmers Markets.  The top three trends according to the National Restaurant Association’s 2014 Culinary Forecast were locally source meats/seafood, locally grown produce and environmental sustainability, respectively.

American Eating Behavior Facts:

·         50% of all our eating occasions at home and away-from-home are considered snacks (source: Hartman Group).

·         50 million consumers who snack between meals indicated salty snacks are their favorite snacks and 90 percent of the households reported eating salty snacks in the last thirty days (source: Lab42 survey).

·         New findings from Pulse at the Pump: Road Trip (source: Outcast) revealed that 61% of this summer’s road trippers indicated they will temporarily set aside healthy eating for QSRs (Quick Service Restaurants).

Due to some of my travel experiences and observations, I have witnessed that most cultures are defined to a large degree by the food they eat.  Some busy Americans are beginning to slow down, thus are trying to define the way they eat.  However, it appears based on our current lifestyles that we are evolving into a “grab & go” culture. 

Have you defined the way you eat?