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ESPN and BuzzFeed to lay off talents amid ‘Changing Consumption habits’

Posted November 30, 2017 by Abhishek Pandey @ 3:40 am

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ESPN has decided to let go almost 150 of their employees following a round of job cuts earlier in the year which had cost more than 100 jobs. This comes in the continuation of lay off by media firm Buzzfeed which decided to let more than 100 of its talents in a series of job cuts. Amid of speculations by Mckinsey that Automation might cut more than 800 million jobs by 2030, ESPN and BuzzFeed have started to feel the pressure, the reasons being Changing Consumption habits and a ‘diversifying revenue model’ adopted by them.

Earlier in the year during the spring, ESPN had counted more than 100 of its on-air talent positions from across the network. The follow up lay off might be from the Production, technology and other digital positions mainly. The memo released by John Skipper, ESPN President, reads:

A necessary component of managing change involves constantly evaluating how we best utilize all of our resources, and that sometimes involves difficult decisions. Our content strategy—primarily illustrated in recent months by melding distinct, personality-driven SportsCenter TV editions and digital-only efforts with our biggest sub-brand—still needs to go further, faster…and as always, must be efficient and nimble. Dynamic change demands an increased focus on versatility and value, and as a result, we have been engaged in the challenging process of determining the talent—anchors, analysts, reporters, writers and those who handle play-by-play—necessary to meet those demands.  We will implement changes in our talent lineup this week.  A limited number of other positions will also be affected and a handful of new jobs will be posted to fill various needs. Thank you as always for your continuing dedication to our work.’

As per Deadspin, the company will provide ‘severence, a 2017 bonus, the continuation of health benefits and outplacement services’ to employees affected today.

As per the Wall Street Journal report, BuzzFeed, the techno-media giant will also be cutting jobs close to 100 in the number who are mostly located in U.S. and U.K. offices. If we consider the memo released by the CEO and Founder Jonah Paretti – members of the business team which also includes the sales, creative, client services, marketing, and others will also be impacted from the job cut as that division has been completely restructured. This is necessary for accordance with the ‘diversifying revenue model’. As part of the restructuring, President Greg Coleman will also be assigned a new role for which no new specifications have been given. Here is the memo released by the CEO of BuzzFeed-

As our strategy evolves, we need to evolve our organization too – particularly our Business team, which was built to support direct-sold advertising but will need to bring in different, more diverse expertise to support these new lines of business. Unfortunately, this means we have to say goodbye to some talented colleagues whose work has helped us tremendously. In the US, we are restructuring select functions of the Business teams, including sales, creative, client services, Ad solution and Marketing to better support our diversifying revenue model. In the UK, we are realigning the organization to focus on content for global audiences and our core UK news beats- investigation, politics, media and social justice- and intend to make reductions across Buzz, Commercial, News, and Admin as a result. We will communicate today with everyone impacted by these changes. I would like to thank the departing employees for their many contributions to BuzzFeed. They will be missed and I know the will go on to do big things in the future’.

If we remember a year ago, the editorial staff of BuzzFeed’s UK team has requested the opportunity to unionize. Paretti, on the other hand, had disagreed with the request with Wall Street Journal citing the job cut to its missed expected revenue target for the year 2017 by 15 to 20 percent. The global initiatives led by BuzzFeed would be in turmoil unless the whole restructuring is complete.

Maserati names Accenture as its Global Experience Partner

Posted November 29, 2017 by Abhishek Pandey @ 1:18 am

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Customer relations play as the most important platform on which the brand’s name is made. It works as an adhesive to keep the brand and its affiliate marketing strategy in place. Maserati, the luxury car maker from Italy has partnered with Technical giant Accenture for recording Global experience in its products. It has been tasked with improving how the brand has engaged with its loyal customer over the year.

Accenture Interactive which is a part of Accenture Digital has been given the responsibility for enhancing the Luxury car maker’s customer experience through its digital platforms in order to increase its sales and brand equity globally. The customer interaction, as per Accenture Interactive, plays a very important role in the increment of sales. More specifically, the company will be the in charge of its digital brand strategy, digital advertisement, digital content production, campaign management and analytics services.

As per a statement made by Jacob Nyborg, Head of Marketing for Maserati, ‘We are proud of our reputation for delivering a superior customer experience, yet we are still committed to improving every interaction we have with current and potential customers’. ‘High-quality brand experiences change the nature of our relationships in a positive way and we want to engage with our customers across all channels, from media to after sales, in more meaningful ways.’, added Nyburg commending Accenture which has the right capabilities to deliver strong experiences built around ‘Consistent, seamless and authentic interactions.’

In the current times, focus on customers should be the priority of all brands as the consumers would only like to invest when they are provided with exceptional quality justifications. And therefore, the company has been given the task of making all departments and not just the sales and customer service more consumer-centric. The capabilities such as end-to-end creative, data-driven marketing, digital analytics, and digital performance management will be fused into the core of Maserati’s business.

Maserati expects Accenture Interactive to have more personalized digital content covering customer responses and advertising to engage current and prospective customers. The company will, therefore, collaborate  with such a team which drives its market growth through the customer experiences including its marketing and digital delivery departments and creative agency Karmarama. Accenture had acquired Karmarama, a previously independent creative agency in the UK last November.

As per Anatoly Roytman, who is the lead at Accenture in Europe, Africa, and Latin America, ‘Progressive businesses like Maserati recognize that experience is the new battleground with customers expecting integrated, human-centered experiences both digitally and the real world. The mandate from Maserati is clear: to use digital to help drive sales, and at the same time, build premium brand equity.’

Maserati had spent more than $5.35 million on advertising in the US alone in 2016 and $2.41 million in the first six months of the year, according to Kantar Media. It is, however, unclear about how much Maserati spends globally and how much of the account Accenture interactive will control.

 

Filed under: Company Headlines

Roku shares climb by 13% after its comparison with Netflix

Posted November 28, 2017 by Abhishek Pandey @ 4:52 am

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Roku, a video streaming platform which went online just two months received an unprecedented hike on its shares when it was compared with the giant of the category, Netflix. Since September, its stocks have grown up to 89% as it went all-time high on Monday when Needham Analyst Laura Martin almost doubled her price target for Roku. The 13% increase, with a peak at $45.10 on Monday was accompanied by an out of the line increase in its stocks since its inception.

This price surge was triggered hours after Needham Analyst Laura Martin gave the stock a price target of $50 which is 10% higher than the Wall Street’s consensus target of 45$ as confirmed by Bloomberg. As per Wall Street Analyst Martin, ‘Like Netflix, we view Roku as a pure-play on over the top (OTT) TV viewing growth, but Roku has no content risk as compared to Netflix. Recent Announcements and press reports that Disney, Google, and Amazon are launching new Over-The-Top (OTT) helps Roku but hurts Netflix.’

Roku and Netflix

As per Martin, Netflix is the closest competitor of Roku but the former can get hit hard if companies mentioned in the comment go ahead and released their OTTs. It can still benefit if these companies give their video license to third parties rather than released their own OTT but this seems highly unlikely as Disney had already issued the notice regarding its pull out of content from Netflix. As per Bloomberg, Roku’s Founder and CEO, Anthony Wood, who owns 27.3% shares of the company, became a billionaire earlier in this month when the shares almost doubled in just three days. While the speculations of it touching the target of $50 as per Martin, it is now just 9% away from topping its record of $48.80 which it had hit on November 14. The current shares have increased by 89.55% since its IPO in the last week of September 2017.

About Roku

Roku can be described as a series of digital media player set-top boxes manufactured by itself partnering with Over-the-top content in the form of channels. The name has been derived from the Japanese word meaning ‘six’. The name was owned as it was the sixth company founded by Anthony Wood, its founder, and CEO who owns 27.3% shares of the company. The device can be connected to any television set or any other video output platforms for better entertainment.

 

Filed under: Events,Marketing Innovation

Microsoft and Moleskine to develop auto sync of Smart notebooks to Windows

Posted November 27, 2017 by Abhishek Pandey @ 3:02 am

Ever wondered about handwritten notes might get synchronized with the Windows? Well, this does seem a distant possibility as Microsoft and Moleskine team to develop an algorithm which helps the synchronization of paper notebooks with windows. With the development, it would be easier for people to synchronize their handwritten notes with the computer directly without a formidable wire connection. In another word, the path-breaking technology will help reduce the time elapsed in bringing the written document through the scan process. In this technology, a direct link will help reduce the time gap in connection.

What is the Technology behind Smart Notebooks?

The two giants have joined hands to produce an app which syncs handwritten notes with Windows 10 devices which in turn works with Moleskin’s Smart Notebooks Writing System which includes a Moleskine Paper Tablet Notebook, a Moleskine Smart Planner and a Pen+ Smart Pen. The Application uses a nCode Technology, which is a special invisible code printed on the page that allows the smartpen to track movements, position and page number, this application then transfers anything written on the page to the Windows 10 device. This is significant technology which helps in the transfer of data made viable and less time-consuming. This, in turn, will help reduce the time lag in the transfer.

The nCode Technology, developed and first patented by NeoLab, has the capability of digitizing 15 different languages and transfer content onto larger screens or say TVs or Computer screens. The Application can connect up to seven smartpens at the same time. The biggest success of the nCode technology collaboration with Moleskine helps to allow real-time simultaneous collaboration. It will also store all handwritten content, even offline and can transfer it to the application when a connection is made available.

The collaboration

Microsoft, the top of the list for the BrandZ Top 100 brands had preconceived adaptability when it comes to making notebooks sync with its Windows. With Moleskin developing its Smart Writing System available, it was a perfect timing for Microsoft to introduce such a system in its next installment. Moleskine, the Italian Manufacturer, Papermaker and Product designer had a great chance to mark itself on the global list with such technological collaboration.

The Output

The collaboration has a vivid output pattern as it is to set a new pattern in the field of digital synchronization with the Windows. The trend will have worldwide acceptance and adherence to the digital media workspace. This technology will have an impact on the marketers who can use this for their meetings and to discuss public workspace as well.

How to make your brands valuable in these times?

Posted November 24, 2017 by Abhishek Pandey @ 2:07 am

The current scenario of the market is very flexible given the non-existence of turmoil these days. It is important for brands to clear their ambitions to escalate growth in the coming quarter. For that to happen, the paths to achieve the standard must be set in accordance with the market principles. Recently WPP and Kantar Millward Brown released the report on BrandZ Top 100 Global Brands report 2017 and it is astonishing how some of the businesses have based their growth. Here is how you can make your brands more valuable in these times –

Purpose-Oriented Business

It is important to have a strong purpose oriented business in these times when there is uncertainty and world is unsettling. In these times, what can save your business is an attitude with settled nerves. In the market, people are looking for answers to their questions and security to their business and this makes for interesting yet tough time. if we take reference from the BrandZ report by WPP, businesses with a clear purpose have fared better than the most and purpose, therefore makes difference to the marketers as well as to brands. This is why these businesses have grown three times the rate of other brands over the past 12 years or so. The purpose oriented businesses are grown with keeping the basics clear. Consumers, on the other hand, have a tendency to be attracted to brands who are in more than the money making business.

Different Approach to Business

A difference in approach for businesses can give them an uncanny advantage over their competitors. This was one of the three components along with Meaning and Salience which comprises the Brand Power, the BrandZ measurement of Brand Equity. The difference in business can vary overwhelmingly as the report covers some businesses who grew 258 percent in brand value over 12 years. This is good for technology-oriented businesses whom the consumers deem different than other because of their understanding of business at this level. Brands with long heritage have challenges in achieving difference successfully.

Flexibility in Business

Flexibility is one point which makes any brand grow in its value. To remain in one category is not the destiny of any company. Many brands who particularly venture into the technology ecosystem mostly benefit from this flexibility. To gain market prominence and growth, the companies must extend themselves across and beyond their perceived categories. The focus should entirely be on complementing the needs of the consumer rather than expanding the category itself. The category should be the realm, considered only by consumers.

Responsible and Accountable

The companies ought to be responsible in these times to gain the trust of the consumers. Their authenticity and accountabilities can take them to places in gaining consumer’s trust. As major institutions have continued to disappoint the general consumer, brands have an opportunity to face growing skepticism, even cynicism and with honesty, they can tackle both these things. To make them more realistic, they must address the demands and services of the people.

Always be prepared for consumers

Often the companies and brand invest more to understand the consumer behavior at certain times. These efforts and investments bring the companies move closer to their consumer base and the consumers often start to believe in them as their friends rather than strangers. Now having started a relationship, people often expect more from companies even in the changing times. Amidst these turmoil times like Immigration, inclusion, climate change, and other issues, the consumers expect the brands to take a stand for them. Now, taking tough stands can be fatal for companies given their consumer base and the soil on which they are based. Usually, the businesses should take a stand on principle and not on politics and if they do it, they get even close to what will give them profit –their own consumers. So, be prepared for those who believe in you.

 

Filed under: Blogroll,Company Headlines

WPP publishes 2017 BrandZ Top 100 Global Brands

Posted November 22, 2017 by Abhishek Pandey @ 11:38 pm

The BrandZ top 100 Global Brands report for the year 2017 was recently published by WPP and Kantar Millward Brown. it did not show much of a difference in comparison to its report in 2016 as the Fearsome five tech giants comprising of Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Amazon, and Apple continue to rule the top positions yet again. The top 100 brands have increased in valuation by 8% to now be worth $3.64 trillion. The five giants alone have a valuation close to 25% of the total valuation of top 100 brands.

The report, now in its 12th year of publication, values brands through comprehensive study and grounded in unique attitudinal data from over 3 million consumer interviews over the year. The data at the end of the report is the reflection of how the companies have evolved over the year into more profitable brands. There is disenchantment in the market and amid these challenges, the brands have continued to evolve.

Who are the winners in 2017 BrandZ Top 100 Global Brands?

In the recently published 2017 BrandZ Top 100 Global Brands report, Retail sectors take a huge stride in category value growth, increasing by 14%. E-commerce sector gives a huge push to retailers like Amazon and Alibaba continue growth by 41pc and 20pc respectively. Aguila, a Colombian beer manufacturer, Coca-cola and pampers solidify Brand contribution, a BrandZ metric for the strength of brand alone. The BrandZ Business-to-Business Top 20 increased 11 percent in terms of value. Shell led from the front with a 23 pc rise as DHL and FedEx show 20 pc growth as well.

Adidas, on the other hand, led the charge in brand value growth, increasing by 58pc on the strength of its on-trend fashion to raise brand popularity in the US.

US and China show continued progress

US and China are eager to leave a mark on the world brand values.  This came to be a showcase in the report as 54 of the top 100 brands are based in the US which now comprises 71 percent of the Global Top 100 value. US brands have risen in value by over 181 percent in brand value over 12 years making a significant progress. To break it down, it comes up to 12 percent increase year-on-year value which is ecstatic. China, on the other hand, has 13 of these brands as home base. These brands have shown a continued growth up to 937 percent over 12 years. These brands now comprise 11 percent of Global Top 100 Value.

Domination of Technology based Brands in the report

Technology-driven brands made a mark yet another year with Apple and Google retaining No. 1 and No.2 spots respectively. they are now valued at almost $250 Billion, when if combined becomes the economy of Sweden. Amazon entered the  Global Top 10 at Number 4 with a valuation close to $139 Billion. 37 technology-oriented brands now comprise 54 percent of the 2017 BrandZ Global Top 100 value which is a 16 percent year-on-year increase to be precise. The category sees continued aggression as seven newcomers entered this years’ list for the first time include –YouTube, HPE, Salesforce, Netflix, Snapchat and telecom giants Xfinity and Sprint.

Top 20 Risers in the List

Adidas showed a comprehensive progress with the most aggressive rise in the year at 58% growth.  Moutai –an alcohol-based brand showed a progress worth 48% increase to see another rise in the report. Other such risers in the list include – Amazon, Burger King, Brahma, Tesla, Netflix, Domino’s Pizza, Rosneft, Tencent, Facebook, Tim Hortons, Salesforce, Samsung, Shell, Corona, Morgan Stanley, Skol, PayPal, and DHL.


Source: Kantar Millward Brown/BrandZ (Including data from Bloomberg)

Filed under: Brand Marketing

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