Marketers agree that Online and Offline Marketing are Merging

Online and offline modes of marketing are apparently converging, as per market research conducted by Gartner, where around 98% of the respondents alluded to the same. Digital marketing is now so well developed, that it has become an integral part of any business. The word has undergone a change in meaning as it now no longer means only marketing online, rather it refers to marketing in the digital world. It is not replacing traditional models, which are instead getting increasingly aligned with the digital version. Also, selling was once considered separate from marketing digitally, yet now the two have converged. Digital commerce is now very much a part of online marketing modules.

Separate Innovation from Entrepreneurship

 Business innovation is increasingly being associated perhaps unfairly with entrepreneurship. The Idea that is doing the rounds is that in order to innovate one has to start a new firm. Thus it is startups which are defeating established larger firms with the innovations which they are able to implement at short notice as opposed to the latter who have long bureaucratic systems of communications. Decision making in larger firms is time consuming thus killing innovation. MBA institutes such as Harvard and Stanford have started entire wings encouraging students to innovate and generate their own startups. Such startups are increasingly coming up with exit strategies knowing fully-well that eventually their enterprises will pay off and they can cash in at the right time. Larger firms are thus coming up with innovation metrics to gauge creativity. 


To improve culture, break down the “accountability firewall”  

Inadequacies in corporate culture can result in poor ethical standards leading to possible wrongdoing. Corporate Strategy should envision a culture which is strongly compliance driven while also encouraging a truly open culture which allows all employees to voice their ethical concerns. During scandal investigations, investigators look for explicit knowledge about wrongdoing possessed by senior officers to incriminate them. Thus, senior managers avoid making detailed inquiries into the operations of the rank and file because of the fear that they would be compromised during an investigation. This behavior came to light during the investigation in the banking scandal where the term accountability firewall was coined. The senior officers knew they could not be persecuted for things they did not see, so they donned blindfolds! What has been witnessed is that senior officers set high targets for their employees and then distance themselves from their efforts to meet these targets, thus, insulating themselves from the repercussions of employees using unfair means to achieve them. However, US & UK Governments have asked for gradual removal of these firewalls. When the senior managers know that they cannot hide behind a wall, they will encourage openness as otherwise their positions will become untenable.  

How Technology Scales the Pace of Innovation 

The time has come where technology is dictating every aspect of life and work. Instead of us ordering machines, it is the other way round and technology is making us do things it wants us to. Tesla has confirmed that its 2015 model will be replete with 90% self driving capacity and will reach cent percent by the year 2020. Uber as part of its latest business innovation drive has decided to try self driving cars for its formula. Car rental, parking lots insurance, supermarkets as well as other industries are set to be declared as obsolete due to technological upgrades. 

Not all Talent Agencies deliver on promise of Fame and Fortune 

Better Business Bureau has been broadcasting this message across parts of central and southern USA warning people not to get enticed by offers to work for or audition at talent management or search agencies, many of which are fake. Also there exist city hopping vans which call for open talent auditions, most of which do not really execute their promises. This is very common for careers such as modeling, acting or pop music. Lots of unsuspecting ‘customers’ have seen their fortunes dwindled by up to thousands of dollars on the premise of false promises. 

How Individuals and Firms thrive in an increasingly disruptive World

Business disruptions are now a constant part mainly due to the newer challenges that have taken place. In order to thrive in the existing world, individuals and organizations constantly need to test themselves. A perfect example is that of immigrants to the US, who market research has proven are twice more likely to set up their own venture rather than native born Americans. In fact more than half the firms based at Silicon Valley have an immigrant as one of the promoters. Risk taking also depends on the nature of the individual being prevention or promotion focused.

The one thing that the world’s most effective leaders have in Common, and you can have it Too

If genuine business analysis is conducted, a trend that clearly emerges is that top leaders believe in the 80-20 ratio. They believe that the vital fifth of the work is what must be focused on as that takes care of around four fifths of the business requirements. The rest 80% matters only for a mere fifth of the total work. That final part must never be neglected, but must be worked on only once the basic nuts and bolts has been taken care of. The trivial activities must be delegated. The team members must develop the right mentality and they must all work towards the areas they are accountable for. 

Find your Road to Character

The middle of the financial year is typically a time for reflection for a lot of professionals and also planning for the rest of the period till next March. This is also the time when individuals must find their true character and not just be stymied by workplace efficiency or profit margins. The task of talent management wings at firms get more complicated by the fact that due to Facebook and other forms of social media, human accomplishments do not get unnoticed and instead create undue additional pressure on people. However at the end of the day it is character and eulogy which must be focused more on rather than an individual’s resume.  

This Startup built a product so successful, it went public even before it Finished

The startup Reffind has developed some new mobile based applications which are sure to help professionals and firms. Their business innovation involves the products- Employ, Engage and Educate. The developers believe that these apps can eventually succeed work emails and are considered less of a disturbance for individuals. Also since many do not have the luxury of office computers, their mobile phone double up as work engagement tools. Employ helps with job referrals and talent recruitment. Engage is a training tool. Educate helps conduct employee surveys to gauge their product understanding.

Brand Management in the Internet Age: New options, new Concerns

Management of brands in the 21st century requires an understanding of the laws and protocols governing the internet. ICANN which is the nodal body looking into all domain names, has clearly set out policies for firms adopting suffixes. These norms have been lately liberalized which adds to the chaos as several firms are adopting this tactic of purchasing multiple domain suffixes. This has an adverse impact especially on digital marketing as a purchaser may be directed towards instead of which was the initial purpose. This is where firms have to be extra cautious. 

How ‘Design Thinking’ can spark Retail Innovation

An IBM anchored market research clearly reveals that creativity is the one trait most sought after within the C- suite. Creativity and in particular the concept of design thinking is most urgently needed in the field of retail irrespective of product – fashion, electronics or something else. Also the customer has to be treated as king in retail. Discount Tire is one mid-sized retail firm in the US which has shown panache for design thinking. Similarly, Stanford’s Hasso Plattner Institute of Design is one school where students are tested to the ends of their creative scale and such individuals can be extremely useful to the retail industry.  

Firms Target MBAs to charge up Digital Innovation

Management consulting industry leaders such as Bain, BCG and McKinsey are increasingly recruiting MBAs due to the ongoing digital revolution. M & A, strategy consulting, cyber security and IT integration are lines where business opportunities galore. Management students enrolled presently in business schools are much more digitally inclined due to the opportunities. Deloitte is the market leader in the UK with more than a fourth of the market share and is thus also among the principal recruiters. Also there has been a rise of around 26% in the number of professionals working as technology consultants.

Social Innovation and shared Value

Business innovation done for social causes requires a sense of shared value across the stakeholders. Social innovation can only succeed in case it is done in parlance with societal requirements as organizations do not exist in vacuum. It is different from philanthropy in the sense that it does not involve any charity, but rather creates business opportunities for weaker sections of society or enables certain activities to be undertaken that are not usually considered part of profit making ventures.

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