38 Marketing Trends found for Human resources / Training/education

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Will Algorithms Govern the Future of Business Decision-Making?

Bottom Line: A new book on psychology and economics reviewed in today's Wall Street Journal, posits that business decision-making could soon be left to algorithms.

According to WSJ columnist Dennis K Berman, whose bi-weekly feature The Game focuses on the future of business, critical decision-making is all too often "ruined by our own biases; when making decisions we see what we want, ignore probabilities, and minimise risks that uproot our hopes". The remedy for such uncommercial frailties, Berman believes, is indicated in ...

[Estimated timeframe: Q1 2012 onward]

... a new book on psychology and economics, Thinking, Fast and Slow, by Daniel Kahneman. It suggests that in the near future key business decisions will be better left to algorithms than fallible human beings who "are often confident even when we are wrong".

An objective observer, Kahneman writes, "is more likely to detect our errors than we are."

At which point columinst Berman chips in. "There is a more important theme gathering around us: How analytics harvested from massive databases will begin to inform our day-to-day business decisions. Call it Big Data, analytics, or decision science. Over time, this will change your world more than the iPad 3.

"Computer systems are now becoming powerful enough, and subtle enough, to help us reduce human biases from our decision-making. And this is a key: They can do it in real-time. Inevitably, that "objective observer" will be a kind of organic, evolving database.

"These systems can now chew through billions of bits of data, analyze them via self-learning algorithms, and package the insights for immediate use. Neither we nor the computers are perfect, but in tandem, we might neutralize our biased, intuitive failings when we price a car, prescribe a medicine, or deploy a sales force. This is playing 'Moneyball' at life."

"Business people have been having such fantasies of rationalism for decades", Berman notes. "Until the last few years, they have been stymied by the cost of storage, slower processing speeds and the flood of data itself, spread sloppily across scores of different databases inside one company. These problems are now being solved."

He quotes Michael Lynch, ceo at UK-headquartered Autonomy Corporation, which garners vast amounts of 'unstructured data' then applies it to these analytic approaches.  Says Lynch: "We've just got to the point where the technology really starts to work". A claim affirmed by IT titan Hewlett-Packard which recently acquired Autonomy in an $11bn deal.

So, how to separate the hype from reality?

"There is a whole class of things that couldn't be done five years ago," says Opera ceo Arnab Gupta, a firm that recently received an $84 million venture-capital investment, valuing the firm at around $500 million. "A few years ago it might take a month to run a project involving 30 billion separate calculations. Today it can be done in two to three hours."

All data sources are attributed with links to the original insight. The insight is then summarised and, where appropriate, enhanced with additional information.

Source: WSJ.com
MTT insight URL: https://www.marketingtrendtracker.com/article.aspx?id=5744

Corporate Culture is Key to Future Innovation, Reports Booz & Co

Bottom Line: Certain companies succeed in producing innovative new products and services year after year, thereby delivering superior financial results. Booz & Company's Annual Global Innovation 1000 study demonstrates the reason for this success.

So what is the magic formula for these corporate successes? Booz & Company's seventh annual study concludes that it's not a matter of how much they spend on research and development, but rather how they spend it. The report examines the key qualities extant within these companies that allow them to outperform the competition. According to the Booz 2011 Innovation 1000 there are two vital innovation qualities ...

[Estimated timeframe: Q4 2011 onward]

... (1) Strategic alignment; (2) A corporate culture that supports innovation.

These qualities comprise three innovation strategies:

  • Need seeker
  • Market reader
  • Technology driver.

While no single strategy offers superior results, companies within each strategic category perform at very different levels.

And, no matter what a firm's innovation strategy may be — corporate culture is key to innovation success, and its impact on performance is measurable.

Specifically, the 44% of companies who reported that their innovation strategies are clearly aligned with their business goals —and that their cultures strongly support those innovation goals — delivered 33% higher enterprise value growth and 17% higher profit growth on five-year measures than those lacking such tight alignment.

Booz also asked innovation leaders participating in the survey to name the companies they considered to be the most innovative in the world.

For the second year in a row, Apple led the top ten firms, followed by Google and 3M.

This year, Facebook was named one of the world’s most innovative companies, entering the list at number 10.

In a comparison of the firms voted the 'ten most innovative' versus the 'top ten global R&D spenders', Booz found that over a 5-year period the former group outperformed the latter across three key financial metrics: Revenue growth; EBITDA as a percentage of revenue; and market cap growth.

Download "The Global Innovation 1000: Why Culture Is Key" (692kb, PDF)

All data sources are attributed with links to the original insight. The insight is then summarised and, where appropriate, enhanced with additional information.

Source: Booz.com
MTT insight URL: https://www.marketingtrendtracker.com/article.aspx?id=5694

Climate Change: "An Immediate and Grave Threat to World Health and Security"

Bottom Line: As planet earth's climate continues to ascend the thermometer, marketers are likely to experience a bitter chill - unless the world changes its current laissez-fair attitude toward climate change, warns a top level London conference.

Industry, finance, the military, consumers and marketers alike must accept major changes if the world is to avod ecological catastastrophe. That's the view of a high-powered convocation of doctors, academics and military experts attending a special meeting at the British Medical Association's headquarters in London on Monday. The meeting also warned that developed and developing countries alike need to raise their game. The conference also called upon ...

[Estimated timeframe: Q4 2011-2020]

All data sources are attributed with links to the original insight. The insight is then summarised and, where appropriate, enhanced with additional information.

Source: BBC.co.uk
MTT insight URL: https://www.marketingtrendtracker.com/article.aspx?id=5689

Will Tomorrow's Marketers be Required to "Stand by Your Desks"?

Bottom Line: Following medical studies that link excessive sitting to increased obesity and more serious health risks, Silicon Valley executives are increasingly fulfilling their daily chores in a standing posture at specially designed desks.

Silicon Valley employees - among them staffers at Google and Facebook - have swapped their traditional sit-behind desks for specially designed stand-up versions, claiming they feel more comfortable and energized as a result. The erect trend is also spurred by medical reports warning that sitting for too long can lead to increased health risks. Workers with high desks also have the option ...

[Estimated timeframe: Q4 2011 onward]

... of parking their derrières on special high stools as and when they feel the need to take the weight off their feet.

A study last year by the American Cancer Society found that women who sat more than six hours a day were 37% more likely to die prematurely than women who sat for less than three hours. The early-death rate for men was 18% higher. 

Also fuelling the trend to standing whilst working is a study released in January 2011 by the American College of Cardiology. It found increased mortality among people who sat longer at home than those who didn't.

Although there ar no official statistics as to the uptake of standing desks, anecdotal reports suggest Silicon Valley is embracing the stand-up trend.

Facebook managers report an upsurge in requests for standing desks, averaging five to eight a week and totalling up to 250 requests from its 2,000-plus workforce.

The company is also testing a treadmill station which enables a worker to walk or run while using a computer keyboard.

According to Google spokesman Jordan Newman: "Many employees ... opt for standing desks, and we offer them as part of our wellness program". However, Mr Newman was unable to cite the exact number of Google's high-deskers - a curious blind-spot for a company whose very existence is based on the numbers one and zero!

According to the WSJ report, one Facebookista, Greg Hoy - at 39 years a geriatric by Silcon Valley standards - asked for a standing desk seven months after joining the Facebook team. "I don't get the 3 o'clock slump anymore," he said. "I feel active all day long."

All data sources are attributed with links to the original insight. The insight is then summarised and, where appropriate, enhanced with additional information.

Source: WSJ.com
MTT insight URL: https://www.marketingtrendtracker.com/article.aspx?id=5664

Managerial Gender Pay in UK Will Not Reach Parity Until 2109

Bottom Line: The UK's Chartered Management Institute posits that it will take another ninety-eight years for the pay of female business managers to reach parity with that of their male counterparts.

Britain's Chartered Management Institute [CMI] claims it can accurately forecast the gender pay scenario through to 2109. In a recent survey of 34,158 managers across the UK, it emerged that female managers are paid an average £31,895 per year, compared with men earning £42,441 in a mirror role. For women managers as a whole, the pay gap is wider in 2011 than 2010, rising from £10,000 to £10,546. As a result, the number of years that will elapse before women managers achieve pay parity has risen from ...

[Estimated timeframe: Q4 2011 - 2109]

... fifty-seven to ninety-eight. 

Says CMI director of policy and research Petra Wilton: "While CMI is delighted that junior female executives have caught up with males at the same level, this year's salary survey demonstrates, yet again, that businesses are contributing to the persistent gender pay gap, alienating top female employees by continuing to pay men and women unequally. This kind of bad management is damaging UK businesses and must be addressed."

To help close the gap, Ms Wilton said the CMI wants the government "to scrutinise organisational pay, demand more transparency from companies on pay bandings and publicly expose organisations found guilty of fuelling the gender pay gap".

However, the CMI insists it is not calling for the imposition of quotas or for organisations to be forced to reveal staff salaries.

The report's author, former government minister Lord Davies of Abersoch, urged FTSE 350 companies to boost the percentage of women at the board table to 25% by 2015.

But he stopped short of imposing quotas, unless voluntary measures fail.

The CIM, which numbers over than 90,000 members, claims to be the only chartered body in the UK that awards management and leadership qualifications.

All data sources are attributed with links to the original insight. The insight is then summarised and, where appropriate, enhanced with additional information.

Source: BBC.co.uk
MTT insight URL: https://www.marketingtrendtracker.com/article.aspx?id=5661

Research Paints Portrait of US College Graduates of 2015

Bottom Line: This fall's college freshmen, due to graduate in 2015, represent a generation of highly-connected, tech and marketing-savvy youth who will expect brands to work harder than ever.

That's the finding of specialist New York agency Mr Youth, following its survey of 5,000 ingoing freshmen to understand how they socialize, interact and their general outlook. According to agency founder/ceo Matt Britton: "We wanted to gain insights into what this class looks like. Kids who are entering college are really the head of their own households for the first time. It's a really great time to build a relationship." According to Britton ...

[Estimated timeframe: Q3 2011 -2015]

... "For the most part, the outlook of the class of 2015 has been shaped by a few major events. The events of 9/11 and the financial crash of 2008 have shaped their outlook on safety and stability."

The Class of 2015 study posits that the events of 9/11 and the financial crash of 2008 have shaped their outlook on safety and stability.

"Unlike other incoming classes, this class has gone through a rough time based on their childhood," Britton opines. "Their childhood has been nothing like the childhood of many Gen-Xers. Their innocence has been stripped away."

But rather than adopt the ultra-cynicism of many Gen-Xers, the Class of 2015 has an outlook that puts them in charge of their own destiny. "More than ever, this class thinks they can draw their own path in life and that they just don't have to follow one path," Britton says.

That outlook has led these freshmen to begin cultivating their own public personae much earlier than other, previous generations.

Through social media, blogs and sharing sites, they're much better at establishing who they are and what they stand for. "They're really attuned to the fact that they need to build their personal brands," Britton says. "A lot of incoming freshmen realized their resume isn't going to take them anywhere. They have an opportunity to establish themselves as a brand."

Moreover, their definition of "friend" is very different to that of previous generations. While half of the members of 2015 have more than 300 "Facebook friends," nearly three-quarters (73%) don't consider someone a friend unless they have hung out in person.

"The word 'friend' in our culture and society has sort of been commoditized," Britton says. "They understand the clear distinction between who are their real friends are versus those who are [only] in their social networks."

And his advice to marketers targeting the 2015-ers?

"You want to integrate a product or service into their world that creates utility for them. Some brands really understand that. How can they facilitate those close personal experiences?

"That's more compelling than a brand trying to reach consumers [in traditional ways]."

All data sources are attributed with links to the original insight. The insight is then summarised and, where appropriate, enhanced with additional information.

Source: MediaPost.com
MTT insight URL: https://www.marketingtrendtracker.com/article.aspx?id=5649

US Jobless Figures Won't Drop to Pre-Recession Level Until 2021

Bottom Line: Marketers can anticipate a stagnant US consumer market over the next decade if projections made by the US Labor Department are accurate.

Despite recent data indicating that US employers added 757,000 staff to their payrolls in the first half of 2011, a return to the pre-recession unemployment level of 5% is unlkely before 2021 according to a Labor Department survey of US households. Underlying the apparently healthy number of new jobs created in H1 is the grim reality of 14.1 million unemployed people as at June 2011. But according to Wall Street Journal blogger Justin Lahart ...

[Estimated timeframe: Q3 2011 - 2021]

... a "back of the envelope" calculation suggests it will take one hundred and sixty-two months -- over a decade -- to reduce unemployment to the 5% level extant before the recession hit in December 2007.

The unemployment rate, based on a Labor Department survey of households, is the share of the work force (people with jobs plus people seeking jobs) who are unemployed. Out of a workforce of 153.4 million people, there were 14.1 million unemployed in June.

The Labor Department’s payroll figures are based on a separate “establishment” survey of employers that doesn’t include some workers, like farmhands, included in the household tally.

To get around this, assume employment in the household survey increases at the same rate as employment in the employer survey did in the first half of 2011. That implies a gain of 1.2%, or about 1.6 million employed, over the next year.

Mr Lahart's estimate also factors-in labor force growth. He explains: "If we assume that it grows at the same pace as the Census projects for the working age population – people aged 16 and over – it will increase by about 1.4 million people next year.

"With employment growing just a smidge faster than the labor force, then, the unemployment rate would still be a disappointingly high 8.9% in June 2012. The October 2012 unemployment rate — the last one we’ll see before Election Day — would edge down to 8.8%. And it wouldn’t reach 5% until December 2024."

All data sources are attributed with links to the original insight. The insight is then summarised and, where appropriate, enhanced with additional information.

Source: WSJ.com
MTT insight URL: https://www.marketingtrendtracker.com/article.aspx?id=5628

Climate Change Could Double Global Food Prices, Oxfam Warns

Bottom Line: Major reform of the global food production and marketing system is likely.

Come 2030 the prices of staple foods worldwide will have more doubled unless world leaders take prior action to reform the global food system, warns an Oxfam report, Growing a Better Future. By 2030, the charity predicts, the average cost of key crops will increase between 120% and 180%. According to Oxfam ceo Barbara Stocking: "We are sleepwalking towards an avoidable age of crisis - one in seven people go hungry every day despite the fact that the world is capable of feeding everyone.” She cites as the primary cause of the impending crisis ...

[Estimated timeframe: Q2 2011 - 2030]

... world climate change, which is likely to account for around half of the predicted increase.

The report calls on world leaders to improve regulation of food markets and invest in a global climate fund. Urges Ms Stocking: "The food system must be overhauled if we are to overcome the increasingly pressing challenges of climate change, spiralling food prices and the scarcity of land, water and energy."

The report identifies four "food insecurity hotspots" likely to trigger the crisis:

  • Guatemala, where 865,000 people are at risk of food insecurity, due to a lack of state investment in smallholder farmers, who are highly dependent on imported food.
  • India, whose inhabitants spend more than twice the proportion of their income on food than UK residents - paying the equivalent of £10 for a litre of milk and £6 for a kilo of rice.
  • Azerbaijan, where wheat production fell 33% last year due to poor weather, forcing the country to import grains from Russia and Kazakhstan. Food prices were 20% higher in December 2010 than the same month in 2009.
  • East Africa, where eight million people - with women and children the most vulnerable - currently face chronic food shortages due to drought.

Warns the Oxfam boss: "We are sleepwalking towards an avoidable age of crisis. One in seven people on the planet go hungry every day despite the fact that the world is capable of feeding everyone."

All data sources are attributed with links to the original insight. The insight is then summarised and, where appropriate, enhanced with additional information.

Source: BBC.co.uk
MTT insight URL: https://www.marketingtrendtracker.com/article.aspx?id=5583

German Scientists Near to Achieving 'Invisibility Cloak'

According to The Wall Street Journal [Invisibility Cloak A Step Closer, May 19], German scientists have developed a technique for bending light around objects so as to render them invisible to the naked eye. Not exactly a new story, this. In August 2009 MarketingTomorrow reported that an 'invisibility cloak' was under development at St Andrew's University, Scotland. Says Joachim Fischer, physicist and master of the paradoxical utterance: “Seeing something invisible with your own eyes is an exciting experience!" Meanwhile, inspired by a reality hitherto confined to the chronicles of Harry Potter, the marketing fraternity is among those waiting with baited breath to exploit the commercial possibilities of invisibility ...

... among them, perhaps, security and surveillance products, military hardware, wind turbines and Ashton Kutcher!   

Fischer and his colleague Tolga Ergin have for the past year worked with colleagues at at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology's Center for Functional Nanostructures [CFN] on refining the structure of the 'invisibility cloak' to such an extent that it is also effective in the visible spectral range.

Based on theoretical calculations, first attempts were started to produce such a material artificially. Among the early investigators were Sir John B Pendry (Imperial College, London, UK) and David R Smith (Duke University, Durham, North Carolina, USA and Imperial College UK), both of whom published the results obtained for an invisibility cloak for radar waves in 2006.

In 2008, Jensen Li (City University of Hong Kong) and Sir John B Pendry presented the theoretical idea of a carpet invisibility cloak. In 2010, Karlsruhe's Professor Martin Wegener and his team presented their first 3D invisibility cloak.

In invisibility cloaks, light waves are guided by the material so that they leave the invisibility cloak again as if they had never been in contact with the disguised object. Consequently, the object is invisible to the observer.

The exotic optical properties of the camouflaging material are calculated using complex mathematical tools similar to Einstein’s theory of relativity.

For more details on the invisibility cloak, click here.

All data sources are attributed with links to the original insight. The insight is then summarised and, where appropriate, enhanced with additional information.

Source: www.cfn.uni-karlsruhe.de
MTT insight URL: https://www.marketingtrendtracker.com/article.aspx?id=5576

World Population to Hit 10.1 Billion by 2100, Predicts UN

World population levels are projected to reach 10.1 billion by the end of the century, according to a new United Nations report released on May 3. Titled 2010 Revision of World Population Prospects, the report predicts that the bulk of the expected increase in global population will emanate from fifty-eight "high-fertility countries" in Africa, Asia, Oceania, and Latin America. The prime cause of the upcoming population explosion is ...

[Estimated timeframe: Q2 2011 - 2100]

... human fertility, which DESA cites as the main driver of population rates worldwide.

Introducing the UN report to journalists in New York, Hania Zlotnik, director of the Population Division of the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs [DESA] emphasized that although "the world is not about to collapse by adding so many people, what is important is that most of these people are being added in the poorest countries of the world".

Based on the report's medium projection, the number of people in the world (currently close to seven billion) will pass 8 billion in 2023, nine billion by 2041 and then 10 billion at some point after 2081.

Between 2011 and 2100, the population of high-fertility countries is expected to more than triple in size, up from 1.2 billion to 4.2 billion.

During the same period, the report estimates that the population of low-fertility countries will decline by around 20%, from 2.9 billion to 2.4bn. 

At present, 42% of the world's population live such countries: all European nations except Iceland and Ireland; nineteen in Asia including China; fourteen in the Americas; two in Africa; and Australia.

Meantime, closer to the here and now, DESA warns that the world population is expected to overtake the seven billion mark by October 31 this year.


All data sources are attributed with links to the original insight. The insight is then summarised and, where appropriate, enhanced with additional information.

Source: Xinhuanet.com
MTT insight URL: https://www.marketingtrendtracker.com/article.aspx?id=5558

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