Tag Archive for research

Discovery Tools for Better Living

Photo courtesy of JanneM

Now that we’ve comfortably slid into the New Year, many of us are thinking about making changes and implementing new practices to improve the quality of our lives. No matter who you are or what you do, it’s a perfect time to learn new skills, meet new people and set new goals. What better way to do that than to add some new tools to the online toolbox. It’s amazing how much inspiration can be found online if you know where to look. Skip the self-help websites and go for tools that you can use all year long.  Below are four of my favorites that I’ve found to be extremely effective, enlightening and even entertaining. So in the interest of better living, why not put these sites to work and make 2012 a year of increased knowledge, productivity and enjoyment.

Plancast – Want to increase your network and get active in your community? Just head on over to Plancast where you’ll find a list of events that are happening near you. The site is a fantastic resource for finding industry conferences, local gatherings and social activities that you may have missed otherwise.  The site has an integrated layer of community as well so users can find events that their friends and colleagues are attending, which makes going to them much more enjoyable.

Quora – Billed as a Q&A website, Quora, has amassed a huge network of subject matter experts in a relatively short time.  The site provides a simple platform for finding answers to complex business questions, technical issues and random inquiries where members rank the best entries. There’s also an option to follow questions so that you can receive notifications when new answers are added. The site recently increased the value quotient of the site with its new “boards” feature allowing users to compile content from elsewhere on the web.

Scribd – Whether you enjoy reading poetry, scientific findings or baking techniques, you’re bound to find what interests you at Scribd. Called the YouTube of printed materials, Scribd offers a vast array of online literature that never disappoints. Personally, I’m always finding content that either inspires me, educates me or both. If you’re a writer then you’ll definitely want to consider setting up an account to promote your work and share it with the community.

Udemy – Education is a lifelong process and with online learning tools like Udemy, it’s now just a click away. The site offers an assortment of courses ranging from the academic to the artistic; many are taught by leaders in their field.  The majority of classes are free of charge while some are nominal in price. Experts can teach others by becoming instructors and creating their own courses. Udemy’s mission is to disrupt and democratize education, and frankly, I believe they’re off to a great start.


Insights from IBM’s Global Marketing Study

Image taken from the IBM 2011 CMO Study

I recently had a chance to review IBM’s 2011 Global Chief Marketing Officer Study and was surprised by some of the findings. Based on interviews with over 1,700 chief marketing officers around the world, the study reveals that CMOs are struggling to overcome numerous challenges.  Titled, “From Stretched to Strengthened,” it identifies the top marketing trends impacting business from a global perspective.

What I found interesting was that both B2B and consumer brands are equally challenged. There’s wasn’t anything that separated the two business categories in terms of approach. There were also several references to ROI and how CMOs are in a similar position that CFOs were in 10 years ago. This really speaks to the growing analytical side of online monitoring and measurement. While being accountable though, CMOs are much more focused on building and strengthening relationships with customers than in previous years.

I have to give IBM a lot of credit for the way they delivered the survey results. The report was repackaged in so many digital formats that I don’t think they missed a social media channel. I’ve pasted links to various sites at the end of this post.

Here are the top marketing trends impacting businesses around the world:

  1. Explosion of data – Here’s a shocking statistic: 90 percent of the world’s data today has been created in the last two years alone. This presents a major problem in terms of analyzing all of the data and then determining how to use it in to develop better products and improve customer relations.
  2. Social media – The second area of worry is social media, which is primarily responsible for the exponential increase in data overload. CMOs are faced with the complexity of managing and participating in the social media landscape. They also understand that customers see this as a requirement for connecting and communicating with them.
  3. Mobile devices – The third largest issue is the proliferation of mobile devices.  With mobile commerce set to reach $31 billion by 2016, CMOs will need to uncover opportunities that contribute to the bottom line.
  4. Shifting demographics – Coming in fourth place is the shifting of consumer markets with new needs and consumption habits. Mass markets no longer exist and CMOs will need to adapt to those changes in order to succeed.

You can access the IBM 2011 Global CMO Study in multiple formats:

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