Intelligent Head Quarters http://www.intelligenthq.com Business intelligence innovation network for growth education change Thu, 31 Jul 2014 06:00:32 +0000 en-GB hourly 1 How The Internet of Things Will Impact Business Part 2 http://www.intelligenthq.com/innovation-management/how-the-internet-of-things-will-impact-business-part-2/ http://www.intelligenthq.com/innovation-management/how-the-internet-of-things-will-impact-business-part-2/#comments Thu, 31 Jul 2014 06:00:32 +0000 http://www.intelligenthq.com/?p=42791 cidade

Practical Applications of the Internet of Things

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How The Internet of Things Will Impact Business Part 2 Illustration by Maria Fonseca

How The Internet of Things Will Impact Business Part 2 Illustration by Maria Fonseca

Practical Applications of the Internet of Things

An exciting revolution is just around the corner, where an Internet of Things is able to improve lives and innovate in ways that previously seemed unimaginable. In Part 1 of this series we explored the MIT Review of the Internet of Things, looking at what it means and how the economics of it will work. In this second part we will look at how the Internet of Things is envisaged to be used on a practical level, and how it is already being used.

The MIT Technology Review of the Internet of Things provides some fascinating insights on the near future regarding how technology will be applied to simple devices and electronics in order to make improvements. One such change that MIT writes of is with regard to the electric light. Radio chips are being added to light bulbs by Philips Lighting. This is allowing lights to get networked, and the outcome of that is that it will be possible to be more energy efficient. As MIT explains:

“Light bulbs can readily share space with sensors, wireless chips and a small computer, allowing light fixtures to become networked sensor hubs”.

One of the interesting and fun innovations that is a part of this, is that Philips has been able to work with app developers to come up with ways to change the colour of the light that comes through the bulb. It is possible to download an app named Goldee, and this will allow a customer to change the colour of their house to that of a sunset. Alternatively, MIT explains that it is possible to make lights flash to jukebox music. Of course, as Philips explains, this is just the beginning, and there are many ways in which it may be possible to use this technology to integrate it with other systems. For example, sensors can switch the lights off when nobody is there, which it is claimed can reduce spend on lighting by 70%.

Another fascinating innovation that is created that falls under the umbrella of the Internet of Things is that of wearable technology. Google Glass is perhaps the most famous and well known example of this, but there are plenty of others that you may not be as aware of. In fact it is estimated by the MIT Review that the IDC estimates that:

“19 Million: Number of watches, bands and other wearables expected to ship in 2014”.

This indicates a phenomenal uptake in wearable technologies. Wearable technologies include head worn computers, watches, activity trackers and more. They are able to sense their environment, record data and transmit the information that they collect to networks. As well as Google Glass, MIT reports that Google is working on glucose sensing wireless contact lenses.

OMSignal screenshot from website

OMSignal screenshot from website

There is also OMSignal which has created an OMShirt which gathers biometric data. Meanwhile Jawbone has created a wireless wristband that tracks activity. In fact Jawbone has grand visions regarding the Internet of Things, and its CEO claims that:

“Your car should know that you’re tired because you didn’t sleep that well so it should be alert to that, how awake are you when you’re driving, those things”.

Wearable technologies are not without their challenges. MIT reports that one is getting people to even wear them at all, while the other is the problem of power. However, steps are being made to develop these types of technologies and it is only a matter of time before they become quite advanced.

Another innovation is being developed by a French company named SigFox. In this case the company plans to improve the San Francisco Bay Area wireless network by making it possible to link to a variety of different items that can link to the internet. Currently mobile networks get jammed up with the volume of phone calls and data activities that people do in this area, but with this new network, objects can connect and transmit signals that will provide assistance. These items that will offer power will be embedded in the environment and will themselves be powered by batteries. If it works, this will have ramifications for other areas also where the wireless network is problematic.

The following video explains other possible applications of SigFox:

 

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Trillion Fund : Crowd Financing Renewable Energy Projects http://www.intelligenthq.com/finance/trillion-fund-crowd-financing-for-renewable-energy-projects/ http://www.intelligenthq.com/finance/trillion-fund-crowd-financing-for-renewable-energy-projects/#comments Wed, 30 Jul 2014 13:55:40 +0000 http://www.intelligenthq.com/?p=42783 trillion fund

If you have ever wondered how you can get involved with supporting and financing renewable energy projects, Trillion Fund could be the answer to your question. Trillion Fund is an organisation that offers a crowd …

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Trillion Fund: Crowd Financing for Renewable Energy Projects Intelligenthq

Trillion Fund: Crowd Financing for Renewable Energy Projects Intelligenthq

If you have ever wondered how you can get involved with supporting and financing renewable energy projects, Trillion Fund could be the answer to your question. Trillion Fund is an organisation that offers a crowd financing platform specific to renewable energy projects. The creators of the platform have shared goals of helping people to achieve something helpful with their money while also creating cleaner energy for use. The company was named as “Trillion Fund” because the organisation believes that a trillion represents the level of funding that is required to stop climate change and reverse it from its current highly damaging levels. One important way to achieve this is by leveraging renewable energies. As American film director Josh Fox famously said of energy sources:

“I think that the world is in the middle of a huge transition that we have to make to renewable energy. We have to transition away from fossil fuels very, very quickly.”

The time to move to renewable energy sources is now, and Trillion Fund is going a long way to facilitating this much needed change through its innovative platform. The platform offers people a variety of different ways in which to offer backing to projects. These include peer to project loans, bonds, debentures or shares in funds or cooperatives. When you put your money towards a particular project, your money goes to that project and to nowhere else.

Trillion Fund operates through an activity called “peer to peer lending” which has otherwise been named as “loan-based crowdfunding”. The benefit of working through a platform like Trillion Fund is that fees are reduced for the person or organisation borrowing the money. The money is lent by regular people that have a little extra cash to invest, and Trillion Fund explains that the buyers are individuals or businesses that need that little extra cash for some reason. In particular, Trillion Fund focuses on “peer to project loans” which are when money is lent to a renewable energy company through its platform. These types of projects are argued by Trillion Fund to be:

 “An interesting source of steady interest because their revenue comes from electricity generation.”

Trillion Fund currently features a handful of projects. There is a biomass project, a hydro project, three wind projects and seven mixed energy projects. Interestingly the largest category of projects at the current time is solar. One of these projects aims to mount solar PV on roofs of 19 schools in England. For this there is a minimum investment of just £5. Another allows participants to invest in solar for hospitals and to achieve 3% return on their investment, though the minimum investment for this project is £250. A third aims to install two 249kW solar sites in Kent, again requiring a minimum investment of just £5. Already funded include solar projects in Nottingham, South Wales and Brighton. Other fascinating projects include an endeavour to install a wood fuel heating system at a Leicestershire school, a project called Whalley Hydro that plans to develop a 100kW micro hydroelectric plant on the south side of the River Calder. This interesting example of a community thriving to find alternative energy sources was covered by BBC and the video can be watched here:

Either types of  projects  are a wind project to support an already built single wind turbine in Cornwall and a variety of mixed energy projects. One, Guinness EIS 5 is a fund that invests in solar, wind, hydro, anaerobic digestion and biomass boilers. With any kind of investment there are risks and Trillion Fund is very transparent about this, providing clear information to potential investors about the problems that they could potentially face. However, they do also provide guidance on the types of project to invest in to mitigate that risk at least to some degree. Trillion Fund recommends not investing more than you can afford to lose. Another challenge outlined is liquidity, as once an investment is made it may not be possible to get it back before the end of the loan term unless there is someone that can buy it from you. A common risk with all investments, and investing in projects on Trillion Fund is no exception, is that of returns not necessarily meeting the target that was set out. The organisation recommends opting for post-construction projects to reduce the level of risk associated with investment.

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How The Internet of Things Will Impact Business Part 1 http://www.intelligenthq.com/innovation-management/how-the-internet-of-things-will-impact-business/ http://www.intelligenthq.com/innovation-management/how-the-internet-of-things-will-impact-business/#comments Wed, 30 Jul 2014 06:00:37 +0000 http://www.intelligenthq.com/?p=42698 Internet of Things

An MIT Technology Review of The Internet of Things Part 1

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Internet of Things
How The Internet of Things Will Impact Business Image source: Mashable

How The Internet of Things Will Impact Business Image source: Mashable

“Billions of computers that can sense and communicate from anywhere are coming online,” (MIT, 2014).

This is the ominous opening statement of the MIT Technology Review of the Internet of Things. MIT argues that the Internet of Things will have a huge impact on business, though many businesses are not ready for the onslaught. The Internet of Things is where computers that usually do not participate that are embedded in everyday objects like refrigerators start being used for the information that they can gather about the environment around them, or harnessing their power to actually control that environment. The reason that this is happening now is that the component parts that allow the Internet of Things to exist are getting cheaper. Cheap radios are used for this and their current price is approximately $5. This makes it much cheaper than in the past to really be able to offer an Internet of Things.

Until now many people have dismissed the Internet of Things as being a futuristic dream, rather than reality. However, the Internet of Things is fast approaching. It is predicted that even human bodies will participate in the Internet of Things (MIT, 2014). All kinds of devices can be included and these might include sewer pipe sensors, home appliances, lights and factory machinery to name just a few. This means that it is not just technology companies that will be affected by the Internet of Things, but a seemingly endless range of other types of companies as well.

The following video, made by Mashable, summarizes what is the internet of things:

Economists have predicted that the impact of the Internet of Things could be tremendous. It could provide for the possibility of new types of platform emerging. MIT interviewed Marshall Van Alstyne, a leading economist to find out more about this. Alstyne argues that the Internet of Things will lead to these types of platforms developing because it will allow devices and products to be used in ways that they had never been conceived of being used in the past. For example, he explains that Philips Lighting is adding APIs to LED lights. This allows people to be able to use them to do a variety of things such as create a large array of different colours. This means that colours can be used to create a mood, or to “change the lights in your study in conjunction with the stock market conditions”, describes Alstyne. What it means also is that products can be opened up in such a way that third parties can create added value to them, in a similar way that apps have for iPhones. This opens up the market for a phenomenal number of different platforms, though challenges do arise from this, such as how the wealth is distributed to those that add value in this way.

MIT describes how one company, Nest, is offering value by the use of the innovative Internet of Things. The company was founded by people that formerly worked at innovation leader, Apple. It quickly created a way to transform a basic device, the thermostat into a device that was connected to the internet. It is already selling an estimated 100,000 of these per month. The device works to start obtaining data once inside a person’s home. It uses motion detectors, temperature sensors and sensors for light and humidity. All of this helps it to build up a pattern of information about the behaviour and preferences of the people that live there. One function that the Nest thermostat is already achieving is related to demand. It is able to respond effectively to demand. The Nest device uses information about people’s habits to program both heating and air conditioning settings. It achieves this through a WiFi connection that furnishes it with weather data. Customers are able to maintain control by using a web browser or a telephone. It has already signed up Austin’s municipal utility, Austin Energy to its Nest Labs’ Rush Hour Rewards experiment. This has allowed the organisation to be able to offer a rebate of $85 on a one time basis if those customers allow the organisation to trim their air conditioning use by using these smart thermostats. This is just one example of the tremendous benefits that the Internet of Things can bring, and more of these will be explored in Part 2.

 

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Understanding Organizational Restructuring Through Neuroleadership http://www.intelligenthq.com/resources/how-organizational-restructuring-affects-the-brain/ http://www.intelligenthq.com/resources/how-organizational-restructuring-affects-the-brain/#comments Tue, 29 Jul 2014 14:00:52 +0000 http://www.intelligenthq.com/?p=42760 neuroleadership

Knowing how your brain works when facing a threatening environment in your company

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How Organizational Restructuring Affects The Brain

How Organizational Restructuring Affects The Brain

We live in a world that is increasingly digital, interconnected and in a constant flow of change. It is therefore necessary to increment our skills concerning collaboration and leadership. But how does our brain and biology conditions our social behavior? Can such an understanding help us improving our skills and leadership? NeuroLeadership is a recent field that in its essence is about using the knowledge and research coming from the different fields of Neuroscience and Psychology such as Neuroscience, Cognitive Neuroscience, Social Neuroscience, Positive psychology and others, and applying it to the areas of Leadership development, Change management Management training Education,  Consulting Coaching. Neuroleadership aims to help leaders and people in general improve their ability to:

  • make decisions and solve problems
  • regulate better their emotions – help people stay cool under pressure
  • collaborate and engage better in team work
  • be able to better manage change

In the  following video Dr. David Rock, gives us an overview of what neuroleadership is: Over the following article I will look at a particular situation, a company undergoing organizational restructuring,  as a case study on how Neuroleadership works in situations of change concerning management processes. Organizational restructuring When a situation of organizational restructuring happens, especially if it lasts for several years, and involving the need for some people to leave the company, a threat environment is created. This environment provokes uncertainty in people’s minds, as they may have a constant unconscious thought of uncertainty concerning whether they are going to leave the company or not. This situation causes a difficulty in using properly the capacities / features of an area of the brain called the Pre Frontal Cortex (PFC), as people are driven mainly by the perceptions and fear of what can be happening to them over the course of the restructuring. Planning, strategizing, having the ability to focus on what’s really needed and important to do to keep the business going on, albeit what is going on around people, becomes immensely difficult. People unconsciously start to use more the areas of their brains more responsible for their reflexive (automatic) systems. Those areas are the amygdala and their limbic system, (the Ventromedial Prefrontal Cortex and basal ganglia are also regions that become  more active), whereas the reflective system (driven by medial, lateral and dorsomedial prefrontal cortex, and medial temporal lobe) are less used. On the other hand, when a situation of organizational restructuring occurs, corporations direct people and organizations /business units to start acting in the new way of doing things, using mainly a top down approach, deciding at a top level the new organizational hierarchies, by drawing “boxes” where they are going to put the directors, executives, managers, etc., most of the times without consulting / hearing operational people that really know how to do the job, and what’s important for it to be done properly. By lacking to find a common purpose and by not involving some of the implicated people, restructurings becomes more of  an imposed exercise than an engagement exercise. But impositions coming from the top, combined with the stress usually attached with uncertainty / lack of proper / timely communications are a powerful combination for restructuring not to provide the results forecasted and desired at the top. Employees begin mainly to function in autopilot (lead by the working of the basal ganglia region of their brain), doing things in their known and habitual way, and being prone to be very sensitive and ready to give emotional responses very quickly. Learning to do things in the new way, having the capacity to pay focused attention on what are their assigned tasks is almost humanly impossible.They become  “victims” of their limbic system and  “survival” (finding a new job / finding ways to escape being fired) becomes the underlying driver of people’s behavior. Unfortunately, top management deciding reorganizations keep doing things the same way, in spite of all the negative signs given by their internal  surveys, and the results of more than 4 decades of research on such situations of organizational change, indicating that only around 30% of such change initiatives actually succeed. If the C level people, the ones deciding upon reorganizations, were aware of how the brain works in a threatening environment, and how it end ups affecting the whole company,  they hopefully would start to conduct things in a different way. Likewise, when in a threatening environment, people automatically move “away” from the situations/people that trigger in them perceived or real threats, as their brain area of the Pre Frontal Cortex (PFC) is not working properly, and what reigns are the fight or flight responses – the brain prepares the motor sensors for survival related action(s). This means that the heart and lungs get an extra supply of blood and oxygen, reducing the amount of such substances in the brain, especially in the PFC. With fewer resources to work according to its natural functions, the PFC reduces its leading role in the brain, causing people’s focused attention to become scarcer. Organizational restructuring triggers a threat environment In an organizational restructuring environment, since threats are “in the air”, threats act as distractors all the time, making attention to be directed towards stimuli that can signal that a threat is about to happen. The brain is always scanning the environment and neurons are always active to decide if and how to respond. Even if employees are directed to keep their focus on the business and ignore the “noise” caused by the restructuring, their brains have difficulty in paying attention to what is relevant to do concerning their jobs,  as threats are perceived as coming from everywhere. Attention is focused not on the business goals, but on the individual’s personal goals – usually related to survival instincts. During such restructuring phases, cortisol, the stress related hormone, is spread across the whole body and brain, and if restructuring lasts for a significant period of time, people’s brain’s start to physically change in response to the attention being constantly driven to scanning the environment. An overactive amygdala also inhibits other important and useful hormones to be released and able to do their job properly. The so called “feel good hormone” – dopamine – that normally acts on virtually every part of the brain in order to modulate neuronal activity, making us positive, motivated, engaged and able to work towards goals, reduces its flow. This again has implications on the organizational environment – demotivated, disengaged people produce and perform much less, are more prone to errors, and have more difficulty in relating in a normal way with managers, colleagues and also clients. The negative Impact in the service to clients, can be just another spark towards increased negative financial impact, as since organizations are typically more concerned to what is happening inside (dealing with the reorganization), they start serving clients as if they are not the reason the company exists for. In a quick summary – people in high alert for internal organizational threats, become less focused, less prone to collaboration, less attentive, disengaged, demotivated, which can lead to a poor client service, triggering clients leaving or not renewing contracts, which in the long term has a negative financial impact on the whole company. Memory, a key component in learning new things, which are the new way of doing things dictated by the top, is also negatively impacted, as with the amygdala taking the lead, there is a negative impact to the hippocampus, inhibiting new memories to be formed. Learning is therefore more difficult, if not impossible. Training courses risk being awasteful way to spend money, as a strategy to keep people busy and not focused on the business priorities, as people are in an away mode. How to Improve the environment in a company undergoing an organizational restructuring When a company faces a necessary restructuring environment, it is therefore important that the ones deciding on the restructuring initiatives, consider the importance of including programs that can help people become less stressed (work life balance programs – partially financing gyms / health club attendance, massage at work, meditation, mindfulness and yoga, etc.). Also important is to start providing employees with some kind of personal assistance in the form of personal / leadership development programs – including coaching and mentoring. This will start to restore people’s confidence in themselves, reducing their anxiety, which will enable the possibility for increased motivation and engagement, creating more certainty and less “noise” in their brains. With the brains working in a more quiet environment, solutions, alternatives and insights are more likely to appear, as people start to direct their attention and actions more to possibilities than to problems. This can be then a possible first step towards increasing the likelihood of successful organizational and financial results, which are precisely the goals of a restructuring initiative.

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Woodrow Wilson quote http://www.intelligenthq.com/latest-news/woodrow-wilson-quote/ http://www.intelligenthq.com/latest-news/woodrow-wilson-quote/#comments Wed, 30 Nov -0001 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.intelligenthq.com/latest-news/woodrow-wilson-quote/ The post Woodrow Wilson quote appeared first on Intelligent Head Quarters.

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Guide to Wearable Technologies Part 2 http://www.intelligenthq.com/resources/guide-to-wearable-technologies-part-2/ http://www.intelligenthq.com/resources/guide-to-wearable-technologies-part-2/#comments Tue, 29 Jul 2014 06:00:11 +0000 http://www.intelligenthq.com/?p=42704 androidly

Recent Developments in Wearable Technologies

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Image source: Androidly, a smartwatch

Image source: Androidly, a smartwatch

In Part 1 of our Guide to Wearable Technologies  we explored the history of wearable technologies. With the exception of wrist watches and pacemakers and other similar devices, wearable technologies were in the past only really accessible to the wealthy. There were some other exceptions such as hearing aids, and also developments designed for intelligence agents that cast images in the mind of James Bond films. That has changed in recent years, and particularly with the development of Google Glass. However, writing for Android Authority in 2013, J. Angelo Racoma reported that:

“The new decade is ushering in renewed interest in wearable computing as many technologies have matured”.

The reasons for this, according to Racoma are grounded in the fact that many components that sit within wearable technology are becoming cheaper, more efficient and more advanced and this has driven organisations to innovate in fascinating new wearable technologies. Racoma argues that one of these is the wristwatch attachment to the sixth generation iPod Nano which allows it to use a wristwatch attachment in order to be able to function as a computer worn on the wrist. However, one of the biggest developments in this field to date is the well published creation of Google Glass.

Google Glass is a wearable device that is inserted into glasses. As Racoma explains, this particular innovation appears to have attracted the public’s interest, even though Google was not the first to come up with such an idea. Google Glass provides an electronics device that provides camera, web access and voice based interaction, all of which is worn in a head mounted display (glasses). It also offers augmented reality. Racoma details that the Google Glass product is considered to be categorised as a “ubiquitous computer” as it can be used both passively and actively. It has some interesting functionalities that have been appealing to potential consumers such as a gyroscope, accelerometer, magnetometer, bone conduction transducer and it has video recording, touchpad input and ambient light sensing. It uses the Android operating system.

Google is not alone in developing glasses as a wearable product, and other companies are also working on similar developments. According to Racoma, some of the most notable are that by Scope Technologies which is working with Epson to develop what it describes as an augmented reality training system. Another option is Seebright’s “Spark” product. This is a device that is also worn on the head which provides users with what is described as an “immersive experience”, allowing them to see great detail of an object. Vuzix is a formidable competitor that is likely to emerge to challenge Google Glass. Meanwhile, one organisation called Innovega is undertaking to develop contact lenses that “present images right on top of a user’s eye to enhance normal vision” (Racoma, 2013).

Vuzix Star

Vuzix Star

Aside from technologies worn on the head, smartwatches are also developing. These are watches that are able to carry out many other functions than informing the user of the time or date (Racoma, 2013). Sony has been one of the leaders in this field, and the organisation has developed its version of a smartwatch which is able to offer users the opportunity to look at social media feeds, receive notifications, read texts that have been received and interact with a smartphone by acting as a remote control. While Sony was not the first to explore the opportunities in this particular area, other products were developed earlier that were not particularly successful, partly because they were also not necessarily reliable or of a high quality according to Racoma. Now however, stiff competition is growing to build a smartwatch market, and Apple has reportedly applied for a patent in Japan (among other countries) to develop an iWatch. Google is also taking steps to enter this field.

Racoma explains that India is taking the smartwatch even further and that a company called Androidly, comprised of college students from India have launched a smartwatch that offers all of the features of Android OS. It allows the user to make calls as well as taking photographs and is priced at £150, making it more affordable than some of the wearable technologies of the past . Other players in this field include Pebble Watch which attracted significant attention on Kickstarter and MotoActv, a Motorola version of a smartwatch. Love it or hate it, it seems that wearable technologies are here to stay.

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The Importance of The Relationship Economy http://www.intelligenthq.com/social-media-posts/the-importance-of-the-relationship-economy/ http://www.intelligenthq.com/social-media-posts/the-importance-of-the-relationship-economy/#comments Mon, 28 Jul 2014 14:00:28 +0000 http://www.intelligenthq.com/?p=42700 Relationship economy

More and more commonly business leaders are being told or coming to the awareness that customer relationship management is critical to the ongoing success of their organisations. This is particularly true with regard to social …

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Relationship economy
The importance of the relationship economy

The importance of the relationship economy

More and more commonly business leaders are being told or coming to the awareness that customer relationship management is critical to the ongoing success of their organisations. This is particularly true with regard to social media, and in fact social media has transformed the ways in which businesses and customers interact with one another. The end result of this has been that managing relationships with customers has become a key feature of social media activities for businesses.

Brian Solis is a Principal Analyst at the Altimeter Group and the author of What’s the Future of Business or WTF for short. He is also a LinkedIn Influencer and knows his stuff as far as social media and customer relationships are concerned. Brian describes the importance of relationship economics for businesses and explains that relationship economics may be defined as:

“How genuine communication and engagement in social media helps businesses improve relationships with employees and customers while also improving the bottom line”.

Solis goes on to explain that using social media to enhance customer relationships is one of the most underutilised benefits of social media. He explains that one of the greatest advantages of social media to businesses is that it gives them a “voice and persona”. This allows businesses in the eyes of Solis to be able to empathise and develop communities where people belong and do things together that actually matter. Some companies are doing particularly well at this and have really embraced the opportunities that social media bring to be able to truly engage with the customer. It may not surprise you at all to know that Facebook, Google and LinkedIn appear on that list. It would be rather disappointing for them if they did not. However there are some other organisations that are also doing extremely well in this area. These include Cisco, The Wall Street Journal, Gartner, Bloomberg and Michael Page International. All of these companies were deemed by Altimeter and LinkedIn research to have really shown that they can use social media to increase their engagement with customers and employees.

Solis reports that the study carried out by Altimeter Group and LinkedIn had some core findings that should be of interest to all organisations that want to improve their results on social media and within the relationship economy. One such finding was that the behaviour of executives leads the way and drives standards for engagement among the company’s employees. Indeed, it was identified that “54% of engaged employees read content by their company through social media” and many reported finding out company information through this means. In the companies that were most socially engaged employees were found to be also likely to engage, and in half of all cases executives encouraged this. Overall it was noted that 31% of employees feel more engaged as a result of real executive interest and engagement in social media.

There were other benefits for companies that had a greater interest and engagement in social media.  One such benefit was that employees in the most socially engaged companies in the study were found to be more optimistic compared to other companies. One fifth of respondents also reported that they are more likely to feel inspired when companies utilise social media for engaging with employees. Where social media use is valued employees are more likely to be connected themselves with people in other teams via social media which has obvious benefits for working relationships.

Social media engagement in the relationship economy was also notably linked to competitive advantage. Solis reported that 20% of socially engaged organisations are more likely to be able to retain talent, and even more thought that these organisations were able to attract excellent new talent in through their doors. Additional findings were that social media engaged companies were perceived to be more competitive in 40% of cases, were 57% more likely to get increased sales leads, and were 58% more likely to attract the top talent. All of this demonstrates the key importance of social media. The bottom line coming out from the study appears to be that those that really invest in social media properly and engage with employees through it have increased chances of success.

One can consult the infographic published by LinKedin here:

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Guide to Wearable Technologies Part 1 http://www.intelligenthq.com/resources/guide-to-wearable-technologies-part-1/ http://www.intelligenthq.com/resources/guide-to-wearable-technologies-part-1/#comments Mon, 28 Jul 2014 06:00:52 +0000 http://www.intelligenthq.com/?p=42702 guide to wearable technologies

A History

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Guide to Wearable Technologies Part 1

Guide to Wearable Technologies Part

With the development and publicity associated with Google Glass, wearable technology is working its way back into fashion. Wearable technologies are described as those accessories and items of clothing that include computer and electronic technologies. These may have the benefit of offering practical solutions to problems, but they may also simply be designed that way simply for the way that they look. Wearable technology can sometimes also be described as body-borne computers. This leads to Android Authority writer Racoma (2013) to describe even 1990s watches that acted as calculators to be wearable computers.

Wearable technologies are not a new phenomenon. Indeed the simple wrist watch fits into the definition of wearable technologies, and according to Lauren Hall-Stigerts (2014) writing for Big Fish Games:

“The first wearable wrist watch was created…by taking a woman’s pocket watch and attaching It as a bracelet chain commissioned by the Queen of Naples in 1810”.

Stigerts-Hall goes on to argue that watches were not initially loved by almost everyone as they are these days. Rather, men dismissed them as a fad that would fade away. However, nowadays a very large proportion of the population wears a wrist watch.

After the wrist watch the next development in wearable technology came much later. This was the pacemaker, developed by John Hopps (Stigerts-Hall, 2014). The pacemaker was designed to provide a warning signal if the heart was dropping beyond temperatures considered to be acceptable. In this case the pacemaker would provide a shock to the heart to get it to beat at the correct right. By 1958 the product had been developed to the point where it was able to be placed beneath chest skin. Interestingly Stigerts-Hall explains that Hopps ended up using his own invention, and had two pacemakers in his life time. While the pace maker by Hopps was not the first invented, the one developed by Hopps was the first that was small enough to be considered wearable and able to offer real benefits to health.

Racoma (2013) argues that the 1980s was the real advent of practical wearable computers. The example given is from 1981 when Steve Mann, an inventor in computational photography created a multimedia computer that was designed also to be worn as a back pack. In the late 1980s, yet another wearable technology was created. This was called Private Eye and amounted to a display that was mounted on the head. In the 1990s things progressed further and a wearable computer system was developed by Park Enterprises. Later, in 1993, Racoma explains that KARMA (Knowledge Based Augmented Reality for Maintenance Assistance) was developed.  However, in 1994 an even more advanced wearable computer system was developed. This one had the ability to record the interactions that the wearer had with people and devices. It was named “Forget me Not” and it worked by using wireless transmitters. Also in 1994 a head mounted camera was developed that was designed to act as a wearable wireless webcam. Most of these developments were prohibitively expensive for the general public, and as Racoma (2013) explains, the Trekker wearable computer in 1998 retailed at $10,000 making it out of the reach of most everyday consumers.

Racoma argues that in the 2000s there was less focus on wearable computers and technology, but nonetheless that some developments were made during this time. For example, a Tinmith wearable computer developed by Dr Bruce Thomas and Dr Wayne Piekarsky was unveiled at a technology conference and it was designed to support research specifically in the field of augmented reality. Meanwhile, in 2003 the Fossil Wrist PDA was introduced to the market. This was a wearable computer that offered greater value than some of its predecessors in the sense that it allowed the user to synch with their computer, provided that computer was a PC. It used a Palm operating system.  By 2009, the Glacier Computer, a wearable computer, was introduced according to Racoma. This was designed with the emergency services, field logistics and security and defence teams in mind, and it offered the ability to run on Linux or Windows operating systems. It was possible to link it up using WiFi, GPS and Bluetooth. The product’s market name was the W200 computer. However, wearable technologies have really started to take off since the start of this decade and this will be the subject of Part 2 of this series.

Additional resource: infographic on wearable tech.

Infographic by VoucherCodes.co.uk

Infographic by VoucherCodes.co.uk

 

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Francesca Reigler quote http://www.intelligenthq.com/latest-news/francesca-reigler-quote-3/ http://www.intelligenthq.com/latest-news/francesca-reigler-quote-3/#comments Wed, 30 Nov -0001 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.intelligenthq.com/latest-news/francesca-reigler-quote-3/ The post Francesca Reigler quote appeared first on Intelligent Head Quarters.

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Francesca Reigler quote http://www.intelligenthq.com/latest-news/francesca-reigler-quote-2/ http://www.intelligenthq.com/latest-news/francesca-reigler-quote-2/#comments Wed, 30 Nov -0001 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.intelligenthq.com/latest-news/francesca-reigler-quote-2/ The post Francesca Reigler quote appeared first on Intelligent Head Quarters.

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Francesca Reigler quote http://www.intelligenthq.com/latest-news/francesca-reigler-quote/ http://www.intelligenthq.com/latest-news/francesca-reigler-quote/#comments Wed, 30 Nov -0001 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.intelligenthq.com/latest-news/francesca-reigler-quote/ The post Francesca Reigler quote appeared first on Intelligent Head Quarters.

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Guide to Social Media and Storytelling Part 3 http://www.intelligenthq.com/social-media-posts/guide-to-social-media-and-storytelling-part-3/ http://www.intelligenthq.com/social-media-posts/guide-to-social-media-and-storytelling-part-3/#comments Sun, 27 Jul 2014 06:00:41 +0000 http://www.intelligenthq.com/?p=42693 video social media

The role of social video

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Guide to Social Media and Storytelling Part 3 - Social Video

Guide to Social Media and Storytelling Part 3 – Social Video

Video has obvious applications to storytelling, but it is a relatively recent innovation that this is also applied to social media to become “social video”. Cameron Uganec, the Director of Marketing for the successful organisation Hootsuite says of this:

“What hasn’t changed is the power of motion picture story telling. A new form of communication is evolving that combines this power with social media: social video”.

Uganec defines social video as those videos that are specifically created and designed for the purposes of sharing on social media networks. He argues that these videos are not the TV 30 second advertising slots of the past and are very different. Indeed, Uganec argues that there are six principles that social video should be built around if it is to succeed. The first three are directly linked to audience engagement. Uganec states that the first is to listen, the second is to be agile and the third is to engage with the audience. However, listening is in itself engaging with the audience. This first step requires really doing research to understand what customers are sharing and what they care about. Being agile means being able to change what you are doing based on audience needs, and developing a video that will really capture their interest, through clever storytelling. This too is engaging with customers.

 

Six Guidelines to use video in social media Intelligenthq

Six Guidelines to use video in social media Intelligenthq

Uganec’s fourth step to creating good social video that embraces the most important features of storytelling is to “be emotive”. Videos need to inspire and/or provide other positive emotions to the audience that encourages them to share, as explained in the earlier parts of this series. Creating content that is shareable is fundamental to success with social video, and only those videos with compelling and rousing content are likely to go viral, drawing the desired attention to your brand.

Steps five and six are to build momentum and to create the viral effect according to Uganec. In terms of building momentum, like anything energy needs to be expended to get the video underway. Uganec argues for an approach of buying paid media heavily for the first two days, and also getting someone to share the video with influencers in your industry field. This will help the campaign to grow a momentum all of its own, leading to the viral effect occurring. Targeting influencers is explained to be particularly important as it can achieve an audience far greater than traditional broadcast ever could, and the fact that it is online forever means that it will continue to get hits after the initial campaign is over.

Social video can be hard to get right, but through sticking to the principles of storytelling that have already been described it is easier to achieve. An important recommendation from Uganec with regard to social video is the concept of keeping them short. While 30 minute videos have been known to succeed, usually short videos will be more effective because people have the time to be able to give to a one minute video, while a half an hour video is a major time commitment that many people will simply not be willing to make. At the same time it is argued to make the video strong at the start to draw people in. If the video is longer than 30 seconds evidence suggests that they will keep watching if their attention is drawn within those first 30 seconds, or even sooner.

Uganec explains that the customer should be the hero as this makes for a more powerful story that is more likely to engage the customers that you want to attract. Trying to make a video that will not age too quickly or is not too time sensitive can also be very helpful for making sure that you maintain interest in your social video over a longer period of time. It is also necessary to use the principles of search engine optimisation in videos, since YouTube is in itself a giant search engine. Giving the video titles that reflect your search terms, as well as including them in the description and in the video name can all help to bring an audience to your video.

 

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Will Biosphere Consciousness Change Our Economy ? http://www.intelligenthq.com/innovation-management/9-quotes-by-jeremy-rifkin/ http://www.intelligenthq.com/innovation-management/9-quotes-by-jeremy-rifkin/#comments Sat, 26 Jul 2014 06:00:02 +0000 http://www.intelligenthq.com/?p=42711 butterfly

Eight enlightened quotes by Jeremy Rifkin, the Economist for the biosphere millenium

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Will Biosphere Consciousness Change Our Economy ? Intelligenthq

Will Biosphere Consciousness Change Our Economy ? Intelligenthq

Jeremy Rifkin, a renowned social thinker and economist is the bestselling author of twenty books concerning how the recent scientific and technological transformations occurring in our economy, the workforce, society, and the environment have and will revolutionize the world in unimaginable ways. Rifkin, who runs the Foundation On Economic Trends, wrote  thought provoking  books on these issues, such as  The Zero Marginal Cost Society (2014), The Third Industrial Revolution (2011), The Empathic Civilization (2010), The European Dream (2004). In 2011, Jeremy Rifkin publishedThe Third Industrial Revolution, which became a New York Times Bestseller, and that captured the attention of the world. His vision of a sustainable, post carbon economic era has been endorsed by the European Union and the United Nations and embraced by world leaders including Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany, President François Hollande of France, and Premier Li Keqiang of China. Jeremy Rifkin has been an advisor to the European Union for the past decade.

Intelligenthq assembled here some of his most interesting ideas on the rise of a biosphere consciousness due to the connected effect of the internet of things and the internet:

1. “We are just beginning to glimpse the bear outlines of a new economic system, entering on to the world’s stage. It’s called the collaborative commons.  This is the first new economic paradigm since the onset of capitalism and its antagonist socialism in the early nineteenth century. Is a remarkable historical event and has long-term implications for all of us in our day to day lives.”  Jeremy Rifkin

Quote by Jeremy Rifkin Intelligenthq

Quote by Jeremy Rifkin Intelligenthq

2. “Using less of the Earth’s resources more efficiently and productively in a circular economy and making the transition from carbon-based fuels to renewable energies are defining features of the emerging economic paradigm. In the new era, we each become a node in the nervous system of the biosphere.” – Jeremy Rifkin

Quote By Jeremy Rifkin

Quote By Jeremy Rifkin

3.  “What makes the IoT a disruptive technology in the way we organize economic life is that it helps humanity reintegrate itself into the complex choreography of the biosphere, and by doing so, dramatically increases productivity without compromising the ecological relationships that govern the planet.” – Jeremy Rifkin

Quote by Jeremy Rifkin Intelligenthq

Quote by Jeremy Rifkin Intelligenthq

4.  “What type of new economical system can organize this system? There is another sector in our life, that we rely on every single day, that are absolutely essential: the social commons, the social economy. It is all the activity we engage in to create social capital. It doesn’t create capital market. Social commons is growing faster than the market place. It is growing faster than the market place. The social commons include any activity that is deeply social and collaborative.” – Jeremy Rifkin

Quote by Jeremy Rifkin - Intelligenthq

Quote by Jeremy Rifkin – Intelligenthq

5.  “Turning points in human consciousness occur when new energy regimes converge with new communications revolutions, creating new economic eras.” – Jeremy Rifkin

Quote by Jeremy Rifkin Intelligenthq

Quote by Jeremy Rifkin Intelligenthq

6. “We need a change in consciousness to go with this technology platform. We need a new narrative: we need to shift from geopolitics to biosphere consciousness in one generation. The biosphere is understood here as what goes from the biosphere to the depths of the ocean 40 miles where all living beings interact with all chemicals to create a very complex choreography that we call “life on earth”. That is biosphere that is our indivisible community.” – Jeremy Rifkin

Quote by Jeremy Rifkin

Quote by Jeremy Rifkin

7.  “In the 21st century, hundreds of millions—and eventually billions—of human beings will transform their buildings into power plants to harvest renewable energies on site, store those energies in the form of hydrogen and share electricity, peer-to-peer, across local, regional, national and continental inter-grids that act much like the Internet.” – Jeremy Rifkin

Quote by Jeremy Rifkin Intelligenthq

Quote by Jeremy Rifkin Intelligenthq

8.  “The Empathic Civilization is emerging. A younger generation is fast extending its empathic embrace beyond religious affiliations and national identification to include the whole of humanity and the vast project of life that envelops the Earth.” – Jeremy Rifkin

Quote by Jeremy Rifkin Intelligenthq

Quote by Jeremy Rifkin Intelligenthq

 

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Website Profile: Socialbakers http://www.intelligenthq.com/social-media-posts/website-profile-socialbakers/ http://www.intelligenthq.com/social-media-posts/website-profile-socialbakers/#comments Fri, 25 Jul 2014 06:00:54 +0000 http://www.intelligenthq.com/?p=42696 bakers

How to monitor the effectiveness of your social media campaign

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bakers
Website Profile: Socialbakers

Website Profile: Socialbakers

Social media for business can be difficult to master, especially for small business owners that do not necessarily have lots of time to invest in this area. Many find themselves wondering if social media postings are just a waste of time, but without being sure do not know what to do about it. Others find it hard to develop a strategy that attracts the attention that they seek. Ever wondered how you could really monitor and understand the effectiveness of social media campaigns? Well, there’s an excellent solution out there that is definitely worth reviewing, and that is Socialbakers.

Socialbakers is an innovative organisation founded in 2008 in the Czech Republic with a remit to help companies to be able to monitor the overall effectiveness of their social media campaigns. The organisation provides analytical services to offer their customers with insights to help them to be able to improve their social media usage for their businesses. This includes the ability to review rates of engagement, track the most important influencers in their field, compare themselves against those performing to a high level on social media, follow competitors and optimise their presence on social media websites such as Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn and YouTube.

Socialbakers describes itself as:

 “A user friendly social media analytics platform which provides a leading global solution that allows brands to measure, compare and contrast the success of their social media campaigns with competitive intelligence”.

The company has grown rapidly due to the popularity of its ground breaking services, and as of the end of 2013 it had 230 employees that offered services in 100 countries to more than 1,800 clients. One of the features of its success that has allowed it to grow so rapidly has been the fact that its analytics platform has been continually innovated and it is described as easy to use. This is considered to be particularly true with regard to the graphical reporting, making it easy for businesses to be able to monitor their success or otherwise. The company has major clients that include Vodafone, Avea, the BBC and McDonalds, to name just a few.

The Socialbakers PRO Suite in particular offers a number of different benefits for businesses. Its Builder component provides organisations with real-time competitive analysis that allows them to see what their social media is doing as it is happening. There is performance reporting and a collaborative work flow. Socialbakers argues that this aspect of the tool is a content management platform that allows businesses to be able to spend less time on the administrative tasks associated with social media, and more time creating compelling posts and other content. There is also a Listening feature as a part of the PRO Suite and this provides Socialbakers users with the ability to monitor conversations in real time on Twitter and Facebook. Not only that, but it can provide analysis that is exportable by keywords, allowing organisations to be able to pinpoint ways of improving. The Ad Analytics component of the PRO Suite provides an opportunity to see how the company performs with its social ads. This compares companies with their competitors to enable companies to be able to devise campaigns that cost less and save time while allowing the managing of a greater number of advertisements. All of this provides organisations with the ability to make more effective decisions about what they are doing on social media to be able to drive improved performance on these platforms.

Socialbakers may not be considered to be particularly cheap for some bootstrapping organisations. Its cheapest, most basic plan comes at a monthly fee of $120, and this allows the monitoring of up to three profiles or pages. There is an advanced plan at $240 a month where this rises to 7 pages, and a premium plan whose subscribers pay $480 monthly for 20 pages to be monitored. The enterprise solution costs $1,000 per month or more (depending on custom features to the solution); though more than 20 pages or profiles can be monitored. Luckily organisations can benefit from a free trial that allows them to decide whether or not it will be worthwhile for them to take the plunge. Perhaps the main question for some businesses is whether they can afford not to invest, given that determining return on investment for social media campaigns is so difficult.

 

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Making Innovation Happen Around the World Part 3 http://www.intelligenthq.com/innovation-management/making-innovation-happen-around-the-world-part-3/ http://www.intelligenthq.com/innovation-management/making-innovation-happen-around-the-world-part-3/#comments Thu, 24 Jul 2014 15:00:17 +0000 http://www.intelligenthq.com/?p=42684 i teams

Innovations of i-teams

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i teams
Making Innovation Happen Around the World Part 3

Making Innovation Happen Around the World Part 3

In the first article in this series we explored the steps that Nesta i-teams have been taking to innovate in different kinds of cities around the world. In the second part we examined some of the specific teams in greater depth to understand what they are doing and what has been achieved so far by the i-teams that Nesta identified. In this latest article we will review some other Nesta i-teams in depth to analyse their achievements also.

On the subject of innovation and i-teams Geoff Mulgan the Chief Executive of Nesta explains that:

“I-teams are becoming smarter about the tactics and alliances they need to thrive.”

He argues that government bodies and public servants need guidance and inspiration to find the building blocks needed to solve problems more effectively and quicker.

Experimental Fund for Youth – France

In France, one i-team is focusing on the problems associated with youth, and a group based in Paris called Experimental Fund for Youth has been designed to promote student success. It also has a mission of improving social and professional integration of those under the age of 25. The team is small with just 12 participants, and the programme was launched in 2008. In that time it has enjoyed some interesting successes. It claims to have itself provided support to 554 projects and experiments which have had benefits for almost 500,000 young people.

Investing in Innovation Fund – USA

With a different theme an i-team operating in Washington DC in the USA has a team of 10 with a remit to provide competitive grants to expand innovative practices that can have an impact on improving student achievement or student growth. The team is called Investing in Innovation Fund (i3) and the focus is on factors like dropout rates, increasing graduation rates and retaining students in colleges. Grant funding is provided to education programmes, and in 2013 alone the team awarded £82 million to 25 different programmes. Grants are awarded where programmes can be shown to serve people from pre-school through to those at grade 12. An interesting requirement is that the programmes selected have to be able to show that they have an equal level of funding offered by a private sector partner, consequently developing helpful partnerships between the private and public sectors in education. One example of an awarded programme is in Virginia where the grant provided helps to provide coaching and research-based teaching coursework for secondary school science teachers. This helps in turn to increase the abilities of science teachers through professional development which has positive benefits for the students.

Mindlab – Danmark

In Denmark, Mindlab is another i-team with a remit of a different focus. In this case the team of 12 people works at the national government level to create change that delivers value to citizens, businesses and society. The way that this is achieved is through engaging civil servants and citizens in identifying problems and then developing policy recommendations based on these. To date the i-team has achieved a 21:1 return on investment in savings to government and businesses. The methodology is human centred design and the perspectives of the population, government and businesses are used to redesign services that better meet needs. One simple yet necessary change that the team has driven is to the problem of registering industry codes for new businesses. This had been shown to be highly ineffective due to confusion and bureaucracy, leading to low quality statistics.

The following video, presents to us the work of Mindlab:

Nesta – United Kingdom

Finally, Nesta’s own i-team in London, the Nesta Innovation Lab is working with a mission to support innovators to develop ideas that solve big social challenges. The team is larger than some of the others described, with 65 team members, but the remit is also very large, as the aim is to incubate and scale disruptive innovation for the public good. The i-team grants funds to innovations that work towards the goals that are considered to be important, and it applies open innovation to social problems. One example of a programme supported was People Powered Health. Working together with hospitals, doctors and community organisations and patients in six different locations new approaches were developed with a focus of actively engaging patients, communities and social networks to better manage diseases such as diabetes. This is estimated to be able to deliver £4.4 billion in savings to England’s health system, and as a result steps are being taken to expand the programme nationally.

Making Innovation Happen Around the World Part 1
Making Innovation Happen Around the World Part 2

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How CMOs Deal With The Challenges of Technology Part 2 http://www.intelligenthq.com/business-education-2/how-cmos-deal-with-the-challenges-of-technology-part-2/ http://www.intelligenthq.com/business-education-2/how-cmos-deal-with-the-challenges-of-technology-part-2/#comments Thu, 24 Jul 2014 06:00:42 +0000 http://www.intelligenthq.com/?p=42663 CMOs part 2

In the first part of this article we have reviewed the results of a recent report entitled “Stepping up the challenge” that provided valuable insights given by 524 CMOs who are in the process of adapting their companies …

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CMOs part 2
How CMOs Deal With The Challenges of Technology Part 2 Intelligenthq

How CMOs Deal With The Challenges of Technology Part 2 Intelligenthq

In the first part of this article we have reviewed the results of a recent report entitled “Stepping up the challenge” that provided valuable insights given by 524 CMOs who are in the process of adapting their companies to the ubiquitous digital environment in which  we all exist today. In this second part, I will now review what is necessary to do concerning  three fundamental areas, as identified by the mentioned report:

To know how to use advanced data analytics procedures to understand deeply the customer

The most progressive enterprises pay close attention to all the signals provided by the customers across their journey. This means to be able to gather information from point-of-sale data, loyalty programs etc,  and to be able to conjugate such information with valuable insights from  other sources, including real-time conversations on social networks. All this info can be used as a basis to take decisions on a wide range of activities. This means that analytics is embedded in the day-to-day routine. According to the report  digital pacesetters are well advanced on this:

“Digital Pacesetters are also doing much more to extract useful insights from the wealth of data available to them, by combining and integrating data from both internal and external sources (see Figure 7).”

The clear advice of the report, to all CMOs is to become ready to transform yourself into a digital pacesetter. But how can you accomplish that? The report sketches an action plan:

  • Get the CIO on your side
  • Invest in analytics
  • Fuse for clues – which means to combine classical sources of information such as point-of-sale data, loyalty programs, etc. with the other sources such as the ones arising in the social media environments, for example in real time conversations with customers . 

Design rewarding customer experiences

There is a well known evidence that is shaping the way businesses operate nowadays:  If the customer lifecycle used to conclude itself at the point of sale, the situation is completely diverse now, due to the online world. Companies should therefore take advantage of the digital environments to speak with the customer, encouraging them to share their experiences. The goal should be to move to an approach to the customer that focuses on a sustainable relationship, which might transform customers into loyal advocates.

Digital Pacesetters, who are more willing to collaborate with customers are already advanced in such procedures, which will be mainstream sooner or later. The report gives  guidelines on how to put such a plan into action:  start with the big picture by creating a clear vision and plan, think about how to create value for your customers at every step on the consumer journey and convert customers to colleagues by facilitating a two-way dialogue.

CMOs plan to use certain technologies more extensively in the future.

CMOs plan to use certain technologies more extensively in the future.

Quite interestingly the report concludes that collectively, CMOs still have the same top goals they had in 2011 which were: “To design great mobile apps, engage customers via social media and manage customers effectively.”

Some minor variations among them is that traditionalists and social strategists are primarily interested in developing apps for example, whereas digital pacesetters are focused in creating consistent cross-channel customer experiences.

To capitalize on new technologies to provide those experiences smartly and efficiently.

By the end of the road,  the goal is now how to use really well new technologies to deliver first rate customer experiences. Comparing this report to a similar one, done in 2011, there is evidence that companies in general have stopped trying to “tame social media” as it seems they are much less interested in  monitoring their brands on social networking or in sites and blogs than they were in 2011. Another revealing question is that the goal monetization in social media has “sunk to the bottom of their agendas”.

CMOs face different challenges, depending on how far they´ve gone down the digital path Image source: Stepping up for the challenge IBM 2014

CMOs face different challenges, depending on how far they´ve gone down the digital path Image source: Stepping up for the challenge IBM 2014

The advice given in this area is:

  • Prioritize mobility
  • Move to the future fast – Meaning that companies should explore the new technologies available, and establish collaborations and partnerships, as to be able to provide the customers with a great experience. It is also important to know as much as possible on analytics, and other technologies such as marketing automation, customer collaboration and relationship management tools. 
  • Connect the dots  - With the explosive emergence of so many digital platforms, social media networks and the mobile environment it is mandatory to investing in integrated software to manage your relationships with actual and prospective customers and ensure you interact consistently with them, regardless of the channels they use.

The full report can be read at CMO insights from the Global C-suite Study

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How CMOs Deal With The Challenges of Technology Part 1 http://www.intelligenthq.com/business-education-2/how-cmos-deal-with-the-challenges-of-technology-part-1/ http://www.intelligenthq.com/business-education-2/how-cmos-deal-with-the-challenges-of-technology-part-1/#comments Wed, 23 Jul 2014 15:48:50 +0000 http://www.intelligenthq.com/?p=42658 cmos

Recent study by IBM entitled "Stepping up to the challenge" investigate CMOs insights about digital marketing and technology

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How CMOS Deal With The Challenges of Technology ?  Part 1 Intelligenthq

How CMOS Deal With The Challenges of Technology ? Part 1 Intelligenthq

How CMOS deal with the challenges of technology ? And what can a CMO do to improve and adapt his or her company to an increasingly interconnected digital world ?

Some answers to this questions can be found in IBM’s  Institute for Business Value (IBV) recent study, that was published in March 2014, and that is entitled “Stepping up to the challenge”. The study resulted from interviews in person with 4,183 top executives from more than 20 industries. The document concentrates on valuable insights given by 524 CMOs who are in the process of adapting their company to a growing digital environment, concerning the changing factors affecting their industries and their prognosis for the next 3-5 years. The report also focuses on how the CMOs interviewed are helping their companies to become more “ customer-activated”.

Overall, the study concludes that if on one hand, CMOs are attaining more influence, as CEOs increasingly need their information and expertise for the best strategic planning of their companies, on the other hand, it seems that there is still a lot to be done concerning the improvement of a strong digital marketing presence, as a way to orient services towards the customer. As such, according to the report, only 20 percent have set up social networks for the purpose of engaging with customers and even less have set up analytics to capture customer insight, or have implemented a digitally enabled supply chain.  In reality 82 percent of CMOs confirm how they are not ready to cope with big data, and almost 70 percent, with social media.

Figure 2 from study: "Stepping up to the challenge" IBM 2014

Figure 2 from study: “Stepping up to the challenge” IBM 2014

But CMOs are extremely aware now of the importance of technology, concerning the management of the customer relationship. Thus, all the interviewed mentioned how they are willing and planning to implement some key marketing techniques in the next years, such as predictive analytics, and mobile applications features. But the study warns:

“there’s currently a huge gap between aspiration and action. And it’s questionable whether CMOs are moving fast enough to keep up with the speed at which the commercial landscape is evolving, or whether they need something akin to a turbo boost.”

This useful report not only delivers the interpretation of the data as it sets a plan of action and advice, that can be useful to any CMO.

What Kind of CMO Are You ? 

In the course of this research, the study concluded that there are three distinct profiles of CMOs  at different stages on what they entitle wittily as “the path to digital nirvana. “ These are:

The traditionalists – “The Traditionalists are just setting off. They’re challenged by the data explosion, the growth in social media and the plethora of new channels and devices; have yet to integrate their physical and digital sales and service channels; seldom engage with customers via social networks; and rarely use analytics to extract insights from the customer data they collect.”

The Social Strategists – “They’ve recognized social media’s potential as a vehicle for engaging with customers, and they’re building the infrastructure they’ll need to operate in the social arena. But, like Traditionalists, they haven’t yet begun to exploit the opportunities arising from the data explosion and advanced analytics.”

The Digital Pacesetters“are much further down the road. They’re reasonably prepared for the data explosion and well placed to handle the increasingly heavy social and mobile traffic from a growing range of devices. They’re also actively putting the resources required to operate as a fully integrated physical-digital enterprise in place. And they regularly use advanced analytics to generate insights from customer data.”

The striking conclusion here is that there is a strong link between the financial performance of the company and what type of CMO one is. As such, 43 percent of the best performing companies in this study, have as their CMO, digital pacesetters compared to just 25 percent of traditionalists.

Image source: "Stepping up to the challenge" IBM 2014

Image source: “Stepping up to the challenge” IBM 2014

The report concludes that to succeed in the digital world, it is therefore necessary to work in three fundamental areas:

  • To know how to use advanced data analytics procedures to understand deeply the customer
  • Design rewarding customer experiences
  • To capitalize on new technologies to provide those experiences smartly and efficiently.

Each of these three areas will be examined more closely in the second part of this article, to be published tomorrow.

 

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