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Digital Media Embraces The New And The Old

Venke Sharma

2015 was a fantastic year for digital media and marketing. Leaving behind its label as a niche market, new media such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube are as much a part of our lives today as print, television, and cinema have been. And the best part is that digital did not replace traditional media, as many experts predicted.

Consumers, in fact, are living connected lives in which they do not differentiate between new and old forms of media. To them, it is one world that seamlessly connects various media forms and platforms, and where people can conveniently switch from screens and consume multiple messages simultaneously.

Just look at the numbers: The match between India and Pakistan during the 2015 World Cup was the most-watched live sports event on TV, with 288 million viewers. But more stunning, it was also the most-watched live sports event online and most-tweeted moment in India, with 118 million impressions.

Online video viewership is here to stay – but it’s not a monopoly

Without a doubt, new media is changing the rules of the game. Traditional media players are well aware of the growing popularity of user-generated content. Not surprisingly, the past year saw the launch of a host of Over-the-Top (OTT) platforms challenging the popularity of YouTube.

Even though more OTT players – both local and international – are expected to join the fray, much will depend on how the technology and infrastructure adapt. Cheaper, faster bandwidth and Wi-Fi will enable more on-the-go content consumption as the main viewing vehicle increasingly becomes the smartphone. The video ecosystem promises to be interesting, with TV channels, OTT players, online content creators, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube fighting and feeding off each other. 

Programmatic advertising: Catch me if you can

Another area witnessing a significant amount of change is advertising. The focus is slowly but surely moving to who should see the ad rather than when and where. Targeting and retargeting the most relevant audience to achieve a desired outcome is becoming more real-time than ever. Commonly referred as programmatic advertising, ad placement is based on an analytic study of consumer behavior patterns.

In essence, our Web experiences are so intricate that our browsing history and preferences are used to deliver appropriate ads. How many of us have visited travel websites and checked out a destination, only to be offered a plethora of low airfare options to that city? Well, that’s exactly what programmatic advertising does, and brands, agencies, and media channels are trying to get a better grasp of it.

Having said that, it’s still too early to swear off traditional advertising on TV. KPMG analysis of the media and entertainment industry indicates that television advertising in India is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 14% between 2014 and 2019, reaching INR299 billion.

While there is clear evidence of digital media transforming the Indian media landscape, there is no cannibalization taking place – for now. This can be attributed to the sheer size of the market and the depth of access. Going forward, I foresee digital media thriving, yet complementing, to the overall growth of the media market.

What do you think? Comment below or contact me on Twitter @venke.

This article is an abstract of Venke’s personal blog, 10 digital marketing trends that may shape 2016, originally published on January 6, 2016. 

 

 

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Venke Sharma

About Venke Sharma

Venke Sharma leads Digital Marketing and CRM for STAR India Pvt Ltd. He was recently named the most influential Digitalist Thought Leader from India. Digitalist Magazine’s research partner Absolutdata, a leading analytics and research company, scanned more than 1,200 business leaders in over 650 organizations and analyzed 1,000 LinkedIn profiles and 40,000 Twitter conversations to find the "Top 25 Digitalist Thought Leaders." Subsequently, a jury comprising of industry luminaries adjudged Venke as “Most Influential Digitalist Thought Leader” in the domain of marketing.

How Mobile Apps Power Up On-Demand Startups

Granner Smith

On-demand is set to transform the mobile commerce entrepreneurial space. Whether you’re looking for taxi bookings, food orders, healthcare services, home maintenance, business info, or more, the app store has a solution for practically every service you can think of, and smartphone owners are more than willing to use these mobile apps. While innovative startups are already trying to take the market by storm, there are still countless opportunities available for people looking to make their mark. This means there’s a phenomenal growth outlook for e-commerce startups that provide unique services on-demand. On the other hand, there are equally big challenges to overcome, as the competition is daunting.

Understanding the basics of on-demand business

Many opportunities and challenges of on-demand service startups are similar to the those of conventional e-commerce businesses. The difference is how services are delivered – as the name suggests, on-demand businesses deliver services to the buyer when, how, and where they need them.

The unique selling proposition of on-demand (compared to traditional e-commerce) lies in its convenience and spontaneity. To be successful, on-demand startups are tasked with creating a unique business idea that has sustainability, scalability, and profitability over a period of time.

Before you venture into this space, it’s important to understand the on-demand service business model, which is based on the following components:

  1. Identify a pain point (demand): Identifying and solving a pain point is the basis of any business model. The more unique your idea, the better its chances of survival and success.
  1. Determine whether your service is instant or scheduled: Once you have a business idea, you have to work on how you’ll provide the service you are promising. One consideration is whether the service is instantly delivered or scheduled. For instance, food delivery is an instant service with the customer expecting a short wait time. Scheduled service could be an airline booking for a future point of time. Startups providing instant services must have adequate capacity and supply to meet excess demand as needed.
  1. Find a reliable staff supply: Meeting that latter point requires a steady and reliable source of staff and supplies. On the staffing side, startups may choose between contracted workers and freelancers. While contracted staff provide reliability, freelancers may be more cost-effective. Startups should try to strike an equilibrium. Begin with more stable contractual supply on a small scale and gradually add freelance support to scale to your growth.
  1. Strengthen the core: Once the operational side of the business is taken care of, you need to strengthen your core with the right technology, meaning the mobile app that links you with potential customers.
  1. Planning and patience: Finally, when you have all the processes in place, it’s time to streamline them. The integration between offline (operations) and online (app technology) is a complex task, an art that’s mastered with patience and precision. Be prepared to invest a good deal of effort and money to make your business a success. At the same time, be realistic in your expectations, as overnight success is unlikely.

On-demand startups must be prepared for slow-paced growth, but the results can be phenomenal if they can sustain themselves through the testing phase. Creating a sound business strategy and adhering to it is the best way to proceed.

Mobile app: the lifeline of on-demand business

The entire concept of on-demand business is woven around mobility. Its services must be available anywhere and anytime, making the mobile app an essential ingredient of the business. An app is the platform by which the business accesses the market, provides services to users, and retains loyal customers. Here are the mobile app features needed to give users a great experience and bring business to the startup:

  • Convenience: On-demand service is synonymous with convenience. Convenience is not confined to delivering the service, but encompasses the entire performance of the app. The app should load quickly and have an excellent user interface. The entire checkout process should be quick and smooth, completed with a minimum number of clicks, and have few forms. Simplicity can be a deciding factor in engaging users, converting them, and bringing them back.
  • Live tracking: Real-time tracking that sends location-based offers to customers and enables them to track their order or service ensures customer satisfaction and helps build long-term loyalty.
  • Seamless payment: Customers prefer mobile apps that enable cashless transactions through the most popular, secure, and seamless payment options.
  • Reviews and ratings: Customer ratings are a key element in an on-demand business’ growth, as potential customers are more likely to have confidence in reviews and ratings provided by actual users. Real-time customer feedback is also an effective way for a business to continuously evaluate its performance.

A mobile app is a lifeline for an on-demand startup. It matches supply with demand to enable the business to deliver the service at the right place and the right time. For startups providing services on demand, the main driving force in growth is not money or inventory, but technology in the form of mobile apps.

For more on digital selling, see Primed: Prompting Customers to Buy.

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Granner Smith

About Granner Smith

Granner Smith is a Professional writer. His skill set is vast, his greatest expertise revolve in the worlds of interactive design, development, UX, social media, brand identity design, content creation. He works with reputed company, Orange Mantra that provide web and mobility solution. Follow us on Twitter @Orangemantraggn Facebook @OrangeMantraindia

How Social Media Has Changed The Automobile Industry

Simon Davies

Cars have changed a lot since the Ford Model T first rolled onto the market. But along with the vehicles themselves, the way the automobile industry sells cars has changed too, and it’s largely thanks to social media. Social media has completely transformed the conventions of car sales in many ways. Here are just a few of them.

Social media marketing for cars is now essential to attract buyers

Car manufacturers have traditionally relied on flashy television advertisements to promote their brands. But with the ever-changing media landscape shifting into social media, this all looks set to change.

A mass of research data, compiled into one article by V12 Data, revealed a number of insights into why car sales are now so reliant on social media. First, 84% of automobile buyers are on Facebook, and 66% of car buyers or owners who saw a Facebook ad clicked on it. That’s a 100% increase on 2014’s figure, meaning that car buyers’ interactions with Facebook advertisements are growing fast.

If the willingness of car shoppers to click on Facebook ads sounds unusually high, that’s because it is. A study from Unified found that Facebook adverts for cars are twice as likely to be clicked than other ads on the platform.

Those shopping for cars don’t just sit back and wait to be bombarded with ads, either. They actively seek out information on cars on the Internet. Three-quarters of car buyers surveyed said they used the Internet, including social media, to help them choose a dealership to visit. Half of car buyers said they visited only one dealership before buying.

With figures like these emerging from several different studies, any car dealership or manufacturer that is not using social media marketing is likely doing considerable harm to their business prospects.

Cars are now more about appearance than ever

The look of a car has always been an important buying factor, but the growth of social media has made it more crucial than ever.

Several of the most popular social networks place emphasis on users sharing images. Unsurprisingly, cars frequently pop up in these images. Instagram, in particular, is as crowded with cars as an airport car park.

Instagram users, especially wealthy ones, are keen to post pictures of their cars online to garner as many “likes” as they can. Browse the accounts of the so-called “Rich Kids Of Instagram,” and you will see many images of young car owners either driving or simply sitting on their new car purchases – often Porsches, Ferraris, and Bentleys.

One particular Instagram Rich Kid, Jack Watkin, amassed a car collection worth £1.7 million after having his driving license for just a month. The fleet includes two Bentleys, two Mercedes-Benzes, one Rolls-Royce, one Porsche, and one Range Rover, all of which have seen more mileage on social media than they have on the road.

This fondness of photographing their vehicles comes with a love of customizing them. Luxuries like custom number plates, rims, and elaborate paint jobs are increasingly popular ways for Insta-fans to put their personal stamps on their new rides.

Now car brands are using social media to reach their target market directly. Audi’s Instagram page, for example, is full of original visual content portraying the beauty of its vehicles that reassure potential rich-kid buyers that their Audi purchases would look good on their favorite image-sharing platform. The page has garnered 7.4 million followers, each one of whom has the potential to become a loyal customer.

The car buying process has moved online

Social media in the automotive industry is about far more than just attracting customers by placing adverts and aping their Instagram habits. In fact, increasingly the entire car-buying process takes place over social media.

Late last year, one driver bought an £825,000 Aston Martin DB5 over a social media app called Vero. Vero is a next-generation social network with the slogan “True Social.” Its primary goal is officially to “make online sharing more like real life,” though judging by this transaction, its true strength may lie in high-value automobile sales.

It’s not just newer social networks that are hawking car dealers’ wares. Facebook’s Marketplace feature allows users to buy and sell products from their local areas including, you guessed it, cars.

Less formal car sales are also taking place online between brands and social network users. Recently, Spanish driver Raul Escolano used the hashtag “#compraruncocheportwitter” (translation: ‘#buyacarontwitter’) to challenge car manufacturers to sell him a vehicle over the social network. Nissan took up his challenge and Escolano became the proud owner of a Nissan X-Trail.

Reporting on the story, Verge said: “Given how awful car purchasing experiences can be, this probably won’t be the last car sold on a social network.” It also suggested that any online expertise will be highly advantageous to car manufacturers and dealers going forward. Based on what we’ve seen, they are not mistaken.

For more on motivating shoppers, see Primed: Prompting Customers to Buy.

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Simon Davies

About Simon Davies

Simon Davies is a London-based freelance writer with an interest in startup culture, issues, and solutions. He works explores new markets and disruptive technologies and communicates those recent developments to a wide, public audience. Simon is also a contributor at socialbarrel.com, socialnomics.net, and tech.co. Follow Simon @simontheodavies on Twitter.

Teaching Machines Right from Wrong

Dan Wellers

 

By 2018, smart machines will supervise over 3 million workers worldwide.
21% of consumers in an FTC study had confirmed errors on their credit reports.
2014: the first annual Fairness, Accountability, and Transparency in Machine Learning conference.
A private university encouraged 20-25 students to drop out based on AI predictions of
poor grades.

Real-world examples of misused AI algorithms abound. These are just a few:

  • Women who weren’t pregnant — or weren’t ready to reveal it — received special offers of baby products and “congratulatory” messages.
  • People with minority ethnic names received a disproportionate number of ads implying they had criminal records.
  • Guests at a party learned a ride-hailing company kept track of customers who stayed out all night and went home in the wee hours.

Ethical-Edge Cases

Credit scoring algorithms designed to evaluate lending risk are now commonly used to gauge reliability and trustworthiness, determining whether someone should get a job or apartment.

Insurance underwriting algorithms determine the extent, price, and type of coverage someone can get, with little room for disagreement.

Healthcare algorithms could be used to penalize the currently healthy for their probability of future illness.

Algorithms often use zip codes as proxy for (illegal) racial profiling in major decisions, such as employment and law enforcement.

Self-driving cars will have to learn how to react in an accident situation when every possible outcome is bad.


What Should We Do About It?

All machine learning contains assumptions and biases of the humans who create it — unconscious or otherwise. To ensure fairness, business leaders must insist that AI be built on a strong ethical foundation.

We can:

  • Monitor algorithms for neutrality and positive outcomes.
  • Support academic research into making AI-driven decisions more fair, accountable, and transparent.
  • Create human-driven overrides, grievance procedures, and anti-bias laws.
  • Include ethics education in all employee training and development.

Above all, we must consider this a human issue, not a technological one. AI is only as unbiased a tool as we make it. It’s our responsibility to keep it on the ethical straight and narrow.


Download the executive brief Teaching Machines Right from Wrong.


Read the full article AI and Ethics: We Will Live What Machines Learn

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Dan Wellers

About Dan Wellers

Dan Wellers is the Global Lead of Digital Futures at SAP, which explores how organizations can anticipate the future impact of exponential technologies. Dan has extensive experience in technology marketing and business strategy, plus management, consulting, and sales.

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Why Millennials Quit: Understanding A New Workforce

Shelly Kramer

Millennials are like mobile devices: they’re everywhere. You can’t visit a coffee shop without encountering both in large numbers. But after all, who doesn’t like a little caffeine with their connectivity? The point is that you should be paying attention to millennials now more than ever because they have surpassed Boomers and Gen-Xers as the largest generation.

Unfortunately for the workforce, they’re also the generation most likely to quit. Let’s examine a new report that sheds some light on exactly why that is—and what you can do to keep millennial employees working for you longer.

New workforce, new values

Deloitte found that two out of three millennials are expected to leave their current jobs by 2020. The survey also found that a staggering one in four would probably move on in the next year alone.

If you’re a business owner, consider putting four of your millennial employees in a room. Take a look around—one of them will be gone next year. Besides their skills and contributions, you’ve also lost time and resources spent by onboarding and training those employees—a very costly process. According to a new report from XYZ University, turnover costs U.S. companies a whopping $30.5 billion annually.

Let’s take a step back and look at this new workforce with new priorities and values.

Everything about millennials is different, from how to market to them as consumers to how you treat them as employees. The catalyst for this shift is the difference in what they value most. Millennials grew up with technology at their fingertips and are the most highly educated generation to date. Many have delayed marriage and/or parenthood in favor of pursuing their careers, which aren’t always about having a great paycheck (although that helps). Instead, it may be more that the core values of your business (like sustainability, for example) or its mission are the reasons that millennials stick around at the same job or look for opportunities elsewhere. Consider this: How invested are they in their work? Are they bored? What does their work/life balance look like? Do they have advancement opportunities?

Ping-pong tables and bringing your dog to work might be trendy, but they aren’t the solution to retaining a millennial workforce. So why exactly are they quitting? Let’s take a look at the data.

Millennials’ common reasons for quitting

In order to gain more insight into the problem of millennial turnover, XYZ University surveyed more than 500 respondents between the ages of 21 and 34 years old. There was a good mix of men and women, college grads versus high school grads, and entry-level employees versus managers. We’re all dying to know: Why did they quit? Here are the most popular reasons, some in their own words:

  • Millennials are risk-takers. XYZ University attributes this affection for risk taking with the fact that millennials essentially came of age during the recession. Surveyed millennials reported this experience made them wary of spending decades working at one company only to be potentially laid off.
  • They are focused on education. More than one-third of millennials hold college degrees. Those seeking advanced degrees can find themselves struggling to finish school while holding down a job, necessitating odd hours or more than one part-time gig. As a whole, this generation is entering the job market later, with higher degrees and higher debt.
  • They don’t want just any job—they want one that fits. In an age where both startups and seasoned companies are enjoying success, there is no shortage of job opportunities. As such, they’re often looking for one that suits their identity and their goals, not just the one that comes up first in an online search. Interestingly, job fit is often prioritized over job pay for millennials. Don’t forget, if they have to start their own company, they will—the average age for millennial entrepreneurs is 27.
  • They want skills that make them competitive. Many millennials enjoy the challenge that accompanies competition, so wearing many hats at a position is actually a good thing. One millennial journalist who used to work at Forbes reported that millennials want to learn by “being in the trenches, and doing it alongside the people who do it best.”
  • They want to do something that matters. Millennials have grown up with change, both good and bad, so they’re unafraid of making changes in their own lives to pursue careers that align with their desire to make a difference.
  • They prefer flexibility. Technology today means it’s possible to work from essentially anywhere that has an Internet connection, so many millennials expect at least some level of flexibility when it comes to their employer. Working remotely all of the time isn’t feasible for every situation, of course, but millennials expect companies to be flexible enough to allow them to occasionally dictate their own schedules. If they have no say in their workday, that’s a red flag.
  • They’ve got skills—and they want to use them. In the words of a 24-year-old designer, millennials “don’t need to print copies all day.” Many have paid (or are in the midst of paying) for their own education, and they’re ready and willing to put it to work. Most would prefer you leave the smaller tasks to the interns.
  • They got a better offer. Thirty-five percent of respondents to XYZ’s survey said they quit a previous job because they received a better opportunity. That makes sense, especially as recruiting is made simpler by technology. (Hello, LinkedIn.)
  • They seek mentors. Millennials are used to being supervised, as many were raised by what have been dubbed as “helicopter parents.” Receiving support from those in charge is the norm, not the anomaly, for this generation, and they expect that in the workplace, too.

Note that it’s not just XYZ University making this final point about the importance of mentoring. Consider Figures 1 and 2 from Deloitte, proving that millennials with worthwhile mentors report high satisfaction rates in other areas, such as personal development. As you can see, this can trickle down into employee satisfaction and ultimately result in higher retention numbers.

Millennials and Mentors
Figure 1. Source: Deloitte


Figure 2. Source: Deloitte

Failure to . . .

No, not communicate—I would say “engage.” On second thought, communication plays a role in that, too. (Who would have thought “Cool Hand Luke” would be applicable to this conversation?)

Data from a recent Gallup poll reiterates that millennials are “job-hoppers,” also pointing out that most of them—71 percent, to be exact—are either not engaged in or are actively disengaged from the workplace. That’s a striking number, but businesses aren’t without hope. That same Gallup poll found that millennials who reported they are engaged at work were 26 percent less likely than their disengaged counterparts to consider switching jobs, even with a raise of up to 20 percent. That’s huge. Furthermore, if the market improves in the next year, those engaged millennial employees are 64 percent less likely to job-hop than those who report feeling actively disengaged.

What’s next?

I’ve covered a lot in this discussion, but here’s what I hope you will take away: Millennials comprise a majority of the workforce, but they’re changing how you should look at hiring, recruiting, and retention as a whole. What matters to millennials matters to your other generations of employees, too. Mentoring, compensation, flexibility, and engagement have always been important, but thanks to the vocal millennial generation, we’re just now learning exactly how much.

What has been your experience with millennials and turnover? Are you a millennial who has recently left a job or are currently looking for a new position? If so, what are you missing from your current employer, and what are you looking for in a prospective one? Alternatively, if you’re reading this from a company perspective, how do you think your organization stacks up in the hearts and minds of your millennial employees? Do you have plans to do anything differently? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

For more insight on millennials and the workforce, see Multigenerational Workforce? Collaboration Tech Is The Key To Success.

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