Bob ‘The Ad Contrarian’ Hoffman opened the 2014 ITV Spotlight Lecture last March – a debate on the failed predictions of advertising experts over the past decade, with particular focus on the social media marketing of brands, to wit:
...there are people in our business who believe that consumers are ‘in love’ with brands. They believe consumers want to have ‘relationships’ with brands. they want to have ‘brand experiences’ and be ‘personally engaged with brands’.
These people actually believe this. You go to their Twitter profile: ‘I’m passionate about brands!’ You’re what? Dude, get a fucking girlfriend.
Today the second annual conference of AfriLabs, the pan-African network of tech & innovation hubs, is starting in Berlin (also see an article on their first meeting last year).
History works in cycles and Africa is shaping up to be one of, if not THE, key battleground in the next phase of strategic technologically-enabled business development. Changes in the way networks and infrastructure works and the ability to create smarter, less geographically pinned business models are enabling businesses to function across the continent in a way that was, quite simply, impossible in previous ages of technology. How will leading businesses take advantage of this? What new players will take the world by storm, through African progress? How will different governance systems protect national and regional identity and resources? And can we avoid just another Western (and Asian)-led 'Scramble for Africa'?
The United Kingdom is undertaking an ambitious effort to simplify public access to government services and information. The man spearheading the process, Mike Bracken, explains the approach and its advantages. A McKinsey & Company article.
It's critical that digital government happens. But how can we make services that are efficient and effective and can be afforded, without excluding people? In the end, society will only work if we, as ever, square the circle: deliver efficiency and build around human need. How to do it is a question that every government in the world is having to answer - or will have to - soon.
Between news of NSA spying and Target hacking, people are warier than ever about sharing their personal info. Theodore Forbath of Frog offers five tips for building consumers' trust. Personally, I'm having trouble giving it up.
For CMOs, 2014 represents a return to marketing purpose and fundamentals. A charter to fulfill three strategic principles beyond just tactical content marketing.
Marketing needs to have a seat at the table in all important discussions. But recent explosions of technology, channels and content have made it harder for many to focus on the three key jobs of marketing - understanding the customer, fitting products to the needs of the customer, and enabling the product and service to sell itself. Everything else is a subset of these things and if we forget that, we have a problem, Houston.
DARPA Scientists Create Superfast Wi-Fi That Attaches Information to Light Beams This light speed data transfer enables 2.5 terabits per second. That ...
The world's going to shift again. Technology change keeps altering the quantitative world in fundamental ways and each time, it creates qualitative change in how we have to think, act, do business - and enables qualitative opportunities. What will it mean when you can transmit information 25,000 times faster than broadband limits now? It will mean a total shift in how you interact - again. How you shop. How you experience. How you think. And when you can put information directly into light, what's next?
Next iPhone News Gartner Inc (IT)'s Top 4 Tech Trends May Surprise You Next iPhone News Gartner Inc (NYSE:IT) data to keep an eye on: We live in a period where we can see technology developing faster then ever, with possibilities that 10 or 20...
Roughly 40,000 years ago, our ancestors made the earliest known cave painting in northern Spain. Their dots and stenciled handprints eventually gave way to fancier forms of communication like writing, which arose in ancient Mesopotamia around 3,200 BC. Paper, first invented by the Chinese in 105 AD, combined with writing, became the king of content storage for roughly 1,900 years.
Today, digital repositories of knowledge replace the physical.But here is irony: That 40,000 year old cave painting in Spain has survived and probably will survive for much longer than anything you write on Facebook, Twitter, and the majority of other social media sites. As far as technology has come, it may in fact be worse at preserving content in a way that matters....
Let's be clear - social media has always existed. All media is social. And as this lesson from history makes plain, we need to understand that our communication is temporary. What we make of it, however, and the effect we have on the world through it, can live on.
If you're into stories, into meaning and into relevance, try to get into Medium. Yes it's full of some diatribes and some nonsense, but what isn't? At its core is a call for better stories that aren't distracted from a single through-line, and which emphasise above all truth and reality. Some great stuff here.
Stock footage brand Dissolve puts its product to good use to call out lazy marketers peddling empty ideas.
Sadly, much of the media that gets made in marketing ends up looking like this. Of course, cliches are important and tend to be used as visual shorthand to communicate quickly. But the more we can think beyond these cliches - or even, like Dissolve's video here, use them in new ways - the better our ideas and work will become. Don't submit to the get-it-done-now culture. Try to make it better. Try to be creative with even the meanest resources and budgets. We must all try to make what we do better, even if we don't succeed or get shouted down by necessity, immediacy or low cost arguments.
As we evolve more powerful technology on all fronts, we concentrate on the positive opportunities it represents. However, we ignore the fact that this technology expansion creates huge gaps between expectations and results, between what we want to achieve and what we can achieve.
This 'dark side' of the technology wonderland needs to be examined and thought about at the same time as the technological opportunities. Here, John Hagel sets out the nature of this challenge.
Executive-assistant jobs can be thankless, but the corporate world's schedulers, gatekeepers and caretakers have a profound effect on the executives they serve.
Gatekeepers are always powerful. That's why they're there. And today's executive assistants are some of the most powerful, intelligent, savvy and connected in the world. Never underestimate them. Do all you can to cultivate them. They really could be the key to your success - whatever you do and whoever you're trying to connect with.
The pursuit of greater local knowledge by travel, tourism and hospitality shouldn't surprise any of us. However, what's more interesting is that this is evidence of a general shift towards localism and away from global, global global as the rallying cry.
The reason isn't just that people are tired of being seen as 'one customer' or 'one business' - in fact, it's partly because through technology and collaboration systems, it's easier to work globally - and so now, we can fruitfully refocus on the fine grain understanding of local events, conditions etc without which, global cohesion doesn't result in anything.
So global drive may enable, not prevent, local specialism to work better. It's another example of how you can be both general and specific at the same time, in an evolved market or brand.
I am not a supporter of the faddish idea that America is in decline. Despite all the hullabaloo about the ... (The United States Is Quietly Losing Its Innovation Edge to China: I am not a supporter of the faddish idea tha...
The fact that the US is no longer unrivalled isn't news of course. But the long term trend that could be more worrying to its leaders shouldn't be the loss of empirical financial weight (simply becoming the world's second largest economy, not the largest) - it's the loss of innovation, speaking of the deep wounds in scientific and technological infrastructure and funding, that should cause raised eyebrows and concern. The US has been the technology leader of the world for most of the last 100 years. Losing financial clout and losing innovative power are two sides of one coin of course - but it's the second side of the coin that should be more worrying.
How do you compete with free? How does a wedding photographer or a travel agent—someone who used to make a good living performing a task that was hard to do without them—compete against ubiquitous free alternatives?
Sometimes free is not good. We need to understand the worth of what we do and charge appropriately for what we're saying, doing, making - or thinking.
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