News Update – Best of the Day

23.02.2011 von  
Kategorie: Daily Top 3

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Wait or step ahead? It is a question of long-term strategy versus short-term tactics and planless activities most often in companies. Corporate sustainability is it’s new term. That difficult management question was put in front of 3000 executives who gave feedback. The results now can be seen in the study called „Sustainability: The ‘Embracers’ Seize Advantage“.

Some of the key findings…
– General benefit: 70% of the ‘Embracers’ see their sustainability initiative helps outperform competitors, compared to the 53% of the cautious adopters who thought the same way
– Revenue benefit: 66% of the ‘Embracers’ indicate that sustainability has added to their profit, compared to 23% of cautious adopters
– Management guideline: 52% of respondents say sustainability is a „permanent“ part of their corporate management agenda
The message of the study is: move early, communicate sustainability, let everyone make it happen, measure it and communicate expectations.

Chris Brogan shares some interesting insights in the future of the marketplace. He sees them distributed, mobile, integrated, subscription-based, weblocal, and „global for the little guy“.

It is funny to see how companies use „speed“ as a unique selling point… Coke & Mentos guys have harnessed the explosive power of these geysers: What happens when you combine 108 bottles of Coke Zero and 648 Mentos mints can be viewed in this video…

Flip Phone – Is this the future of smart phones?

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Sometimes I am thinking smart phones have more or less come to an end in their potential for innovation. And I always have to admit: No, there is still room for inventions…

Just some week ago, I came across the flashy Motorola Flipout. An Android phone with 7 x 7cm touchscreen display while also offering an intelligent Qwertz typepad. It fits into every trouser pocket.

Yesterday, I found one of these latest smartphone visions. It’s called Flip phone and it looks really cool. The phone has three flexible AMOLED touchscreens and a keyboard on the reverse. The Flip phone is based on a concept concieved during a 6 week long workshop done by Kristian Ulrich Larsen, Ewa Sendecka, Jeppe Vestergård and Victoria Kusk. It was then developed further for a semester by Kristian Ulrich Larsen as part of his MA program at Kolding school of design.

This is how Yankodesign describes the Flip phone: „a smart triangular piece held together with soft steel mesh hinges, hosting a custom flavor of Android. The boundaries of a PC and phone have smudged-up big time and this is a sample of what that future looks like“.

Personally, I like the Flip phone idea. Especially if people can watch different videos on different screens at the same time. And you? What do you think about it? Is this something that catches your attention, a product you would buy in the future?

Burson-Marsteller: Large companies getting into Social Media

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The second annual „Burson-Marsteller Global Social Media Check-up“ shows that 67% of of the Fortune Global 100 are on Twitter, and they are actively using such interactive tools as the „@reply“ function. They respond directly to other users, and the „@mention“ tool to gauge brand comments. This is a significant increase compared to last year.

Large companies even give more power to their audience. 74% of large companies on Facebook allow their users who „Like“ them to post on their page walls. And they don’t leave them alone in their conversation: 57% are responding to those posts.

The social sign-in revolution is happening…

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Gerd Altmann / pixelio.de

In the last weeks, I have been in the process of letting some of the publishers in our company know that the world of communities and forums is changing. The reasons are quite obvious: The world is getting social. New standards will become mainstream and as people have many registrations processes, passwords and combinations of login to remember, websites and online content production businesses have to change their mindset.

Here is the proof to my words (and yes, it helps me a lot…). A recent study by Janrain and Blue Research among „social media active“ people concludes that for online publishers, site registrations will be out soon and social sign-on is trendy, and becoming the new standard. The study found out that 66% of respondents said that social sign-in, which allows users to sign in on a platform using their profiles from Facebook, Google, Twitter or other social websites, is a potential solution. Just 25% of users are inclined to hand over their information when asked to register on a website.

Most (75%) of the over 650 respondents said, they don’t like online registrations and, when presented with a registration request, may leave the site, go somewhere else, or not come back again. More than three-quarters of the respondents even said they are putting incomplete or incorrect information in online registration forms.

Social sign-on/sign-in even pays into company’s brand image. 42% agreed that companies offering a social sign-in option “are more up-to-date, innovative and leave a positive impression compared to those which do not offer this capability” on their sites.

“The findings of the survey clearly show that consumers are frustrated with the traditional online registration process and will favor brands that make it easy for them to be recognized.” Paul Abel, Managing Partner, Blue Research

Spot On!
In my eyes, the reasons affirming the statement „pro social sign-in“ is easy. You don’t need to remember all singin passwords, and forgeting one is not an issue if you have many social accounts. At least, you will remember one login. And platform owners are not losing out of users then. 45% stated they have left a website after forgetting their password or log-in information. They just don’t answer the security question or use the „Reset my password“ functionality. Automation is wanted: 55% said they were more likely to return to a site that automatically recognizes their identity. Many publishers (60% according to a study by Gigya and Edge Research) have realized the opportunity to upscale on traffic and engagement by users and include sign-in options now.

Would you agree with these results? What is your way of using personal sign-in? Is social sign-in the future?

Do we have to talk about „conversation“…?

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It’s the basis of humans living together. It’s the essence of people getting in touch with each other…, and finally doing business together. It builds the fundament of collaboration, of cooperation. It’s the breath of the age of social. What is „it“…? Well, it’s not rocket-science. And still it seems to be the never-ending challenge for companies, for brands, and especially for people who are running the business. It is… conversation.

„Often I wish people understood the word „Conversation“ – To start a successful collaboration we must learn to lose fear of networking.“

Do managers really have to talk about „conversations“?
Yes, we do! Don’t you agree? And we all know why. We are getting sad about the way managers (don’t) encourage themselves to engage in conversations. How often do managers not respond to a written letter? How often did they not pick up your phone? How often have they not replied to emails? How often not shown any reaction to Facebook, Twitter and the likes?

Hello managers – wake up! There is somebody trying to have a conversation with you? You cannot argue what somebody wants before having listened to them, can you?! Ignoring is so easy and it happens so often. You can do better. You can participate. And your words have significance when you take part in a conversation.

How will traditional managers get new inspiration? How will they generate new connections? Yes, conversation is the answer…

Do brands really have to discover how to do conversations?
Yes, they do! They need to figure out what they want to be: person or economic construct. Active or passive conversationalists? Motivator or creator? Former sender or modern vendor? Brands might build a consitent dialogue but only value their opinion, playing according to their rules. Listening is where relevance brings brands back in the driver’s seat, and not making them sit still and beg that the driver (who ever that consumer is) knows the way towards to the targets.

Productivity, creativity, innovation, thought-leadership and ROI counts for brands. This M&M philosophy often goes straight against lose conversation. Brands have been shaped and formed around formal structures (organisations and meetings), planned grouping (= not Groupon but agendas), lead work-flows (step-by-step approach). In earlier years, conversations came with a coffee break, some biscuits, a cigarette on the floor. Conversation today comes with an email, a tweet, or a status update on LinkedIn at your desk. And they appear different in character and tonality, „the conversation mode is changing“ as Eric Schmidt called it at the DLD11 in his augmented humanity speech.

How will brands find innovation in the future? How will brands get response to products and services? Yes, conversation is the answer…

Do companies really have to reinvent the human dialogue?
Yes, they do! Companies are made from (and made by) people. People always had not enough time in their lives. Conversations cost time. Time builds trust and drive efficiency. Email took us time, too. We had to learn how to communicate online. Not now anymore. We know how it works. It is just a different platform or technology every crucial department of your business will be using in the future, called Facebook, Twitter, Groupon, Quora or blogs. They will control our marketing efficiency, our sales opportunities, our upscale, our revenue sheets. And we won’t even know, when we don’t embrace and value the conversation on the social web.

Power to „processes, people, potential and possibilities“ means opening up our mindset to a new way of conversation. A way that shows the value of starting the talk. A way that shows clients how companies rate their review, input and sharing of brand messages and product conversations. Customer just want to get the feeling that it is not a maschine out there they are buying from. They want to see the personal human touch that makes mistakes, laughs about themselves and answers when getting questions.

How will companies renew their strategy, their tactics, their visions…? How will companies build products that their customers want? Yes, conversation is the answer…

Spot On!
Conversations are the basis of your future business-strategy, as well as your web-strategy. This is nothing new, you knew it before. Companies have them multiple times every day. Brand can get engaged in them every minute on a day in the future. And you even more. Every minute you can have the chance to have conversations today. The only difference is that conversation is also happening online – not on the phone, not via fax, not via mail, not on the floor, or in meetings. You just have to embrace conversations… it is that easy.

Productivity! – Hardly working, or working hard?

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The main fear of C-level management is loss of control when it comes to the new media. The truth is the younger generation expects to have access to social media at the workplace and they use it, too.

Management wishes you are working hard, but you are hardly working? Management finds Facebook and their different derivats of social media are critical for productivity, and you are just eager after latest information and trends while you find the information needed through the latest technology better than years ago because people are less ego-centric? Management sees your distraction at work coming from Twitter but you were one of the people that helped the marketing, PR and sales department spread the message. Maybe they better watch out, that some of your colleagues are not playing PacMan in 2010 during working hours anymore?

See what affects productivity at the working desk…

Source: Good Men Project

So, my question would be: Is loss in productivity really coming from social media and social networking? Or what is your explanation…?

Volkswagen inspires kids – „May the force be with you!“

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Usually, I tend not to write about my family life, and the habits of my kids. Volkswagen manages now to break my personal rules of content creation, sharing and blogging. Let me share something that’s hunting me at home for some months now. And I don’t know if Volkswagen does me a favor here…

We have it all! Light sabers in all colours: green, red, blue, purple, and even with changing colours when you press the button. Uncountable Lego products, books, pens, balls, brithday invitation cards – you name it. Thanks to a trip to the Wonderland for Star Wars fans America, there is nothing missing in our house related to Star Wars merchandising.

And how often was my son chasing me inhouse, wearing his black Darth Vader cap and his Darth Vader helmet. And even our little one already copies his big brother. There is only one thing missing… They don’t have „the force“ yet. Which makes me feel quite relaxed these days as you can imagine. But maybe there habits will change today…

What is that one thing which human being -as well as my little ones- are still striving for? The force!

After adidas last year at the World Cup, Volkswagen now pics up a Star Wars topic in their new Super Bowl commercial. And the social web might do its magic to make this one of the most popular virals at the moment to be spread via YouTube and the likes.

The commercial is starring a little boy who tries to move objects with the power of his personal force. And he only succeeds once…

Yes, it seems that kids will find the magic in this car. Maybe if Volkswagen sells light sabers or gowns or Darth Vader helmets with it. I don’t know. My son loves the ad. If he will buy one of the new Passat 2012?

„May the force be with you, Volkswagen!“

PS: You might also check-out some other great Super Bowl commercials here.

GE Global Innovation Barometer 2011

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GE just published their report „Global Innovation Barometer 2011“. The survey asked 1,000 executives in 12 countries on what drives innovations in the future.

The main message of the research is „This faith is global – results are quite consistent from one country to another“. Thus, the KPI’s for innovation will be creativity, integration and localization.

Executives focus their managements activities on individual creativity, local needs and smalll business. The study also sees collaboration (40% combination of players partnering together) as key to innovation in the next 10 years whereas 29% find small and medium companies and 19% large companies giving high impact to innovation.

The results place U.S. ahead of Germany and Japan.