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Social Commerce Rises from the Dead

once left for dead, social commerce is on the rise as brands have learned that they must provide a social experience and not just adapt .com approaches.
Don Dea's insight:

Users have become more comfortable releasing their data to brands in exchange for value. A 2012 study by Accenture found that 61% of online shoppers would be willing to give up data for personally relevant offers; 75% of online shoppers preferred retailers that use personal information to improve the shopping experience.

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Ron Sela's curator insight, September 7, 2013 3:10 PM

Social Commerce Rises from the Dead

digitalNow
Exploring leadership, management, innovation, and technology issues and trends; impacting associations & non-profit organizations in the digital age.
Curated by Don Dea
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Why Leaders Should Create Meaningful Environments

Why Leaders Should Create Meaningful Environments | digitalNow | Scoop.it
To be consistently successful, leadership tasks need to be distributed across levels, across functions, across geographies and across individuals to wherever the best information and capabilities reside. But this raises two questions: What capabilities are needed for effective leadership? And how can these capabilities be mobilised to put distributed leadership into action?

The capabilities you need

Our research has identified four such core capabilities for distributed leadership, which we call the “4-CAP model”.

The first is “sense-making”, which involves making sense of the context in which the organisation is operating. This should include dialogue and frequent communication up and down the organisation, as well as communication to outside stakeholders to source expertise and new ideas. Connecting and mapping customer demands, cultural norms and competitive challenges is essential to understanding the environment
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Language skills crucial for global CEOs

Language skills crucial for global CEOs | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Being multilingual creates a stronger connection with peers, employees and consumers, which is critical for a business like ours.
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Oliver, A New Apartment-Finding App, Cuts Out The Middlemen

Oliver, A New Apartment-Finding App, Cuts Out The Middlemen | digitalNow | Scoop.it
The app does everything you’d expect. You simply select an apartment and make an appointment with the landlord. While brokers will tell you that they help weed out the weirdos and the lookie-loos, if the sharing economy has proven anything it’s that services like this can work quite well when the landlords do a little work and most apartments require applications and credit checks anyway, further reducing the utility of the broker.
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Five ways to bring advertising to life in the internet of things

Five ways to bring advertising to life in the internet of things | digitalNow | Scoop.it
“The aim is to use connectivity to make products through which consumers willingly enter a direct relationship with you.”

That he says is the value of the internet of things to advertisers, but we are not there yet.
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Transforming social media complaints into opportunities

Learning from the customer

Finally, all of the above would be a fruitless endeavor if customer service representatives are not empowered to effect real change without the organization. This means that processes and channels must be established for them to efficiently channel specific cases to colleagues who will be tasked to assist, and for genuine customer feedback to be funneled directly into the organization’s knowledge base.

Implemented properly, social media networks offer a golden opportunity for marketers to reach out to to an even greater swathe of their customer base than before, and offer personalized service to not just placate irate customers, but to potentially develop new ones from their fans and followers, too.

Have your organization embarked on a process of addressing complaints on social media? What are some of the challenges you faced, as well as successes?
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Managing a global business: Communication matters

Importantly, the role of culture must be taken into account when designing a good communication strategy. Leaders and executives need to ensure that the messages employees receive are interpreted as intended, in order to avoid possible misunderstandings that could cause harm to the organisation. Given how quickly information spreads by way of social media and other outlets, even a small misinterpretation or misunderstanding can quickly be magnified and cause serious trouble.

However, I am not saying that technology is bad. Rather, I think business relationships can be enhanced and intensified by technology as long as we are using the right technologies in the right ways. Instead of abandoning technology in favour of a more human way of working, we need to find ways to make technology evolve to complement and expand human potential.
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Workplace Distractions That Kill Productivity

There are many ways for workers to avoid doing work, according to a recent survey from CareerBuilder. Given our total independence on all things digital, many productivity-draining distractions are technology-driven, including the use mobile devices, social media and the Web. Others are "unplugged" interactions that date back to the beginnings of office culture: gossiping, taking smoke breaks and marathon meetings. The consequences can be severe in terms of compromised work quality, missed deadlines and even lost revenue. To avoid falling into these traps, CareerBuilder recommends surrounding yourself with productive people because watching others do their jobs well can be a positive influence. Another suggestion: Schedule breaks as a formal part of your routine, as well as a time to reward yourself after you've accomplished something worthwhile. "Between the Internet, cell phones and co-workers, there are so many stimulants in today's workplace that it's easy to see how employees get sidetracked," says Rosemary Haefner, chief human resources officer of CareerBuilder. "The good news is, taking breaks from work throughout the day can actually be good for productivity, enabling the mind to take a break from the job at hand and re-energize. The trick is finding the right [work-appropriate] activities that promote—rather than deplete—energy." As a special bonus, we're including a list of highly unusual ways employees have wasted time
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Changing change management

Change management as it is traditionally applied is outdated. We know, for example, that 70 percent of change programs fail to achieve their goals, largely due to employee resistance and lack of management support. We also know that when people are truly invested in change it is 30 percent more likely to stick. While companies have been obsessing about how to use digital to improve their customer-facing businesses, the application of digital tools to promote and accelerate internal change has received far less scrutiny. However, applying new digital tools can make change more meaningful—and durable—both for the individuals who are experiencing it and for those who are implementing it.
Don Dea's insight:

For many organizations, a five-year strategic plan—or even a three-year one—is a thing of the past. Organizations that once enjoyed the luxury of time to test and roll out new initiatives must now do so in a compressed period while competing with tens or hundreds of existing (and often incomplete) initiatives. In this dynamic and fast-paced environment, competitive advantage will accrue to companies with the ability to set new priorities and implement new processes quicker than their rivals.

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New research on personalization finds limited efforts, big gains, and growing importance of real-time behavioral data

New research on personalization finds limited efforts, big gains, and growing importance of real-time behavioral data | digitalNow | Scoop.it
The top objective is reaching more prospects, but most companies begin their personalization efforts with known prospects or customers.
Don Dea's insight:

email was by far the channel most used for personalization with 80% reporting using email to deliver personalized messages. And even though marketers say their top objective for all channels is reaching more new prospects, most personalization is targeted to known prospects and prospects, with 47% reporting only sending personalized messages to a known audience.

Marketers are using transaction history more than demographics for personalization, but should be able to improve personalized communications by utilizing real-time behavioral data such as website and mobile activity. Further, real-time behavioral data is taking a more central focus as research shows interest has a "half-life." That is, according to Charles Nicholls, svp of product strategy for SAP Hybris, explained to VB Insight that after 12 hours, 70% of interest fades. Developing tracking tools that monitor real-time behavior could deliver better insight on interest and intent.

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Big data versus big congestion: Using information to improve transport

Based on conversations with industry practitioners, we have identified three significant barriers to leveraging information effectively to improve transport-infrastructure usage.

First, there is a lack of transparency. Transport infrastructure involves complex networks with many participants. An airport, for example, will have dozens of different airlines, ground-handling companies, and retailers, plus air-traffic control, customs, and the airport-operating company itself. Each player collects its own data and does not necessarily want to share it. That can sometimes make sense; no retailer wants to give away the store. But the ability to track passengers could benefit just about everyone. For example, knowing where foot traffic is and how it moves can help to optimize gate and asset allocation. That could not only increase airport capacity but also boost retail revenues. For that to happen, though, the data need to be pooled.
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Seven social media strategy mistakes brands still make

1. Their social strategy doesn’t align with a clear business objective
I’ve seen a lot of social media briefs and agency proposals and far too few of them start with a genuine business problem or marketing objective to tackle. When brands start by asking an agency to add some layer of interactivity or social media engagement on to the end of their campaign that’s all they get. But if they brief it about a business challenge they will get a far more impactful and meaningful result. Your social media objectives should be exactly the same as your overall marketing objectives, or at least a subset of them.

2. They don’t define a clear media role for social
Consumers are spending a lot of time on social media (1.72 hours a day, or 28% of all internet time, according to GWI) so it’s a good idea for brands to be there, but what is the role of that within your wider media ecosystem and consumer journey? If you want to simplify this question there are three main options: amplify and extend a television campaign by spreading your reach to lighter viewers; allow a brand that doesn’t have the budget to run a TV campaign to still engage at mass scale by using social as a standalone channel; or drive continuity and front-of-mind awareness all year long outside of campaigns.

3. Their activity is disconnected from the scale of their business
This links closely to the above and, as I keep mentioning, is consistently the top reason brands don’t see meaningful results through social media. If your business objective is to drive penetration of a new product into millions of households, why is your social media activity focusing on engaging a few thousand? Big brands sell to large numbers of people and their social media marketing should reflect that as much as any other channel does. Marketers shouldn’t let innovation, excitement and buzzwords blind them to that.

The golden days of free, mass social media reach never really existed
Jerry Daykin
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4. They rely on free, viral discovery of content
Many a production agency has convinced a brand manager that their content will be so good it will go viral all on its own. They are almost never right and even if they were, they’d be even more right with some proper media strategy. You don’t make a TV advert and leave it lying around in the hope it goes viral. The same is true for digital and social content, especially if you’re a big brand that needs to work on a large scale to have any chance of realising business objectives. It is increasingly an embarrassment to the industry that brands are still willing to invest in content that no one sees meaningfully.
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Ten habits of bad management

Ten habits of bad management | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Bad managers clean up the mess of their predecessors - even when there is no mess.
When appointed in a new position, the bad manager claims that the predecessor has made such a big mess of the department that it will take at least one year, if not more, to get everything in order, and of course the bad manager cannot possibly work yet on achieving the departmental targets this year…maybe next year too.

Bad managers are always busy, busy, busy
They are involved in many, many projects; in fact, they're so busy that there isn't enough time to work on regular tasks! And because these projects are vital for the success of the organization (or so they say), bad managers cannot possibly be expected to work on their departmental targets. They will get to that when their other projects are finished…which they never are.

Bad managers know how to play the goals game
They know that departmental goals should be loose, with lots of slack, which means the targets will be very easy to achieve. Bad managers will never get optimal results from their departments; but that doesn't matter to them, bad managers would rather have low performance than run the risk of punishment for falling short of ambitious targets.

Bad managers only manage from a distance
Bad managers love to use performance indicators because these make it possible to practice hands-off management. This in turn makes it easy for bad managers to avoid the day to day department activities altogether. And of course, if anything goes wrong, they can dodge accountability: they weren't there, after all!

Bad managers always blame somebody else
Bad managers have a host of excuses at their disposal when they don't achieve departmental targets. They blame the management reports because these do not accurately reflect performance; their own reports show that they did achieve the targets.

Bad managers blame the outside world: the economy was going down, it has rained too much, it hasn't rained enough, whatever - but that is the reason everything was going against the department and therefore it was just impossible to achieve the targets! Next year, they say, will be better. They blame the weakest colleague, it was his or her fault the department floundered. So the organization first needs to hire someone new before they can be expected to work on achieving their targets.
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35 explanations of Silicon Valley lingo that the rest of the world doesn't understand

35 explanations of Silicon Valley lingo that the rest of the world doesn't understand | digitalNow | Scoop.it
1. In the wild

Seeing a new technology out in the real world, not just at launches and demos.

Have you spotted the new Google car in the wild yet?

2. Founder Syndrome

Founder syndrome is when a company's founder starts thinking he is a rockstar and that the startup is still going because of his bright opinions on everything. He starts neglecting what engineering proposes and puts his nose in every single detail. It can also be called the "I'm like Steve Jobs" Syndrome.

Founder at early stage: Guys! Let's work together and make it happen, we all rock. 


Founder after the syndrome: No, just do it like I said, everybody is using this Ruby On Rails thing, we must use it too.
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4 questions every leader should be able to answer

4 questions every leader should be able to answer | digitalNow | Scoop.it
You have to be the leader who makes a difference for the business and for the people in it who make it hum. Becoming that authentic leader requires being able to answer four important, soul-searching questions:
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Unlocking the Three-fold Secret to Great Leadership

Unlocking the Three-fold Secret to Great Leadership | digitalNow | Scoop.it
We find the best leaders are very good at setting priorities, which actually means saying no to things.”
Don Dea's insight:

The easiest is definitely the “R,” relationships. Most leadership theories focus on behaviors and traits, and how you should show up as a leader, and that’s all very important in leadership, of course. About half — 47% — of the leaders in our data set were reasonably good at building the relationships that make a team function.

On the flip side, the hardest one is the “W,” the who, which is hiring the right people, removing people, shifting people around on your team to make sure you’ve got the right people matched to the right priorities. Only 14% of leaders were excellent at that, which means 86% of all leaders are completely ignoring one of those important factors of being a successful leader.


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Unbundling the corporation

The forces that fractured the computer industry are bearing down on all industries. In the face of changing interaction costs and the new economics of electronic networks, companies must ask themselves the most basic of all questions: what business are we in?
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What's Your Leadership Promise?

My leadership promise to you…

I will always listen to your viewpoint with an open mind.
I will strive to be equitable and ethical in all of my decisions.
I will never belittle or demean you.
I will not hold you back from other job, promotion, or growth opportunities.
I will be trustworthy.
I will be honest.
I will care about you as a person, beyond just an employee showing up to do a job.
I will give you the direction and support you need to do good work.
I will make time to talk with you on a regular basis.
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Be more productive with these tech tips

Technology simplifies our lives in many ways — we scan and digitally file material, we research easier with Google search, and our smartphones with their multitude of applications can speed up work. Rather than have technology encroach into our lives, chose the best parts to streamline your communications.
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5 steps to embrace a technology culture within your marketing team

Step 1: Always Keep Your Focus on the Customer

Everything you do as a marketer should start and end with the customer. It is vital that the marketing team is embedded across the organization, but if you’re not focused on exceeding customer expectations, delivering a seamless customer experience, building, planning and executing around the customer needs – you’re toast. Your competition knows this and is focused on acquiring the customer and delighting them. Technology underpins every element of the customer experience today, and it’s our job as marketers to push the boundaries of what is possible and stretch the technology to its breaking-point in order to meet the demands of an increasingly digital-first customer.

Step 2: Speak the Same Language as the CIO

Today’s CMO and marketing professional has to understand the challenges and the language of their CIO, and be able to talk about their needs and requirements at a technology level. As someone with a background in technology, I understand the frustrations and concerns around so-called Shadow IT for the CIO.  Just because a CMO can purchase specific marketing solutions – and the rise in cloud based technology has made this much more common – doesn’t mean they should! Department level Shadow IT projects can have profound effects on the compliance, performance and security of an organizations’ data, which is why your CIO may sometimes appear to be reluctant to adopt the latest cool tech that will make your jobs so much easier.
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Horizontal leadership and the spaces in between

Horizontal leadership and the spaces in between | digitalNow | Scoop.it
The atom locks up two energies but it is the third thing present which makes it an atom.” That third thing cannot be explained.

In times of volatility, leaders need to think outside the boundaries of their own business, sector or nationality in order to engage the challenges and opportunities that exist in this ‘third place’ - the space in between. The ability to do this is what marks out ‘horizontal’ leaders - those who are capable of stretching their imagination to lead from these third spaces that are impossible for any one organization to see or handle on their own.
Don Dea's insight:

Horizontal leaders are able to construct broadly-based coalitions and networks around ‘messes’ - those ill-defined, ambiguous and adaptive challenges that exist in a third dimension and as such lie outside the capacity or mandate for any one person or organization to solve, no matter how skillful they may be.

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The Unexpected Benefits of Product Returns

Product returns are typically seen as a necessary headache and a cost drain. But companies can use their return policies to enhance customer loyalty and increase profits.

When customers send back a product they’ve bought, managers usually view the transaction in a purely negative light. After all, researchers have estimated that manufacturers and retailers spend more than US$100 billion each year on return-related logistics, an average revenue drain of nearly 4 percent per year. And that number is probably conservative, because even if some returned products can be resold through subsidiary outlets that specialize in unloading used items, the loss in profit on the original sale can be substantial.
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The smartphone market just had its second best quarter in history but it wasn't just because of Apple and Samsung

The smartphone market just had its second best quarter in history but it wasn't just because of Apple and Samsung | digitalNow | Scoop.it
"The overall growth of the smartphone market was not only driven by the success of premium flagship devices from Samsung, Apple, and others, but more importantly by the abundance of affordable handsets that continue to drive shipments in many key markets," Anthony Scarsella, Research Manager with IDC's Mobile Phone team, said in a statement.

It's also worth noting that Samsung lost over 3-percentage points in market share, while Apple, Huawei, and Xiaomi all saw incremental increases. The low-end, "Other" brands also slightly dropped its overall share.
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The New CMO Imperative and How to Get There

The New CMO Imperative and How to Get There | digitalNow | Scoop.it
To Survive You Need These Table Stakes:

Increase your quantitative focus and measurement skills. This is particularly important for credibility.
Move back-burnered, business-focused responsibilities front and center.
Talk the language of business. You should be able to read balance sheets, understand business models and key drivers of business value, and identify key growth opportunities.
Leverage emerging marketing channels to build strong brand loyalty, reach targeted audiences, and gain insight into customer needs.
Understand which metrics are valuable for demonstrating the impact of marketing on the business.
Build collaborative teams committed to adding and demonstrating value to the business.
Prove that the investments you are making on behalf of the company are working.
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Exploring Students' E-Textbook Practices in Higher Education

Exploring Students' E-Textbook Practices in Higher Education | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Key Takeaways

A two-year university-wide study of students' e-textbook practices found that e-textbook use has increased and become broader demographically.
Lower cost and convenience remain the top reasons students purchase an e-textbook, not the interactive features designed to enhance learning.
The instructor's role has not changed significantly in the past two years, suggesting the need for further professional development including increased awareness, instruction, and active modeling.
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