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It’s Incredible How Much Reputation Matters For Brands

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/its-incredible-how-much-reputation-matters-for-brands-2012-12

In a time where trust in companies is at an all time low, it’s more valuable than ever. That’s not a moral or values based statement, it’s about the impact on the bottom line.

This chart, from a presentation at McKinsey’s Chief Marketing And Sales Officer Forum, shows how much investors and consumers reward an outstanding reputation: 

McKinsey

Despite the incredible value of reputation, according to McKinsey’s Betsy Holden, companies aren’t taking full advantage of their opportunities to increase it:

McKinsey reputation

One thing they can do to improve their reputation is bolster their social media presence. They can publish material related to the above, like information about transparency or environmental efforts, and can use it as a customer service tool. Being accessible and accountable increases trust.

That route may be particularly effective because social media is trusted by consumers at a rapidly increasing rate:

Social trust

NOW READ: McK insey Predicts The War For Talent Will Go Nuts By 2020

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Source: Google Mobile Ads Blog

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Friday, December 14th, 2012 news No Comments

Olds Are Smoking Less

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/12-to-17-year-olds-are-smoking-less-2012-12

According to new data, youths are smoking less.

From Morgan Stanley’s David Adelman:

Although the causes are somewhat unclear, updated data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) highlights continued and substantial declines in the prevalence of US youth smoking. For example, among 12-17 year olds the incidence of cigarette smoking in the past month declined from 13.4% in 2000, to 8.4% in 2010, to 7.8% in 2011. In the 12-year data set, youth cigarette smoking has essentially declined every year, with most declines statistically significant (including 2011 vs. 2010).

Why has this been happening?

There are many reasons in our view why the secular rate of US cigarette volume decline has increased. We have written about this dynamic extensively, and the multiple – and somewhat related – principal factors likely include: (i) Reduced social acceptability; (ii) Increased prevalence of aggressive indoor smoking bans; (iii) Higher prices and higher excise taxes; (iv) Some shift to other tobacco products, including moist smokeless tobacco, as well as lower-taxed cigarette alternatives (e.g., “pipe-your-own”); (v) Ongoing ethnic shifts toward Asian- and Hispanic Americans, who have a far lower smoking prevalence (as well as substantially lower per capita cigarette consumption among those who smoke); and (vi) The multi-year substantial and continuing decline in youth smoking prevalence. Total youth consumption is modest, but like a python eating a pig, the impact of these demographic dynamics will be visible over an extended period of time as today’s young adult cohort ages. Nine-month year-to-date US cigarette consumption is down ~3%, despite only very modest net pricing.

Here’s a chart showing that trend.  But as Adelman notes, some may just be shifting from smoking to using smokeless tobacco products.

smoking trends

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Tuesday, October 2nd, 2012 news No Comments

Source: http://gizmodo.com/5937981/ants-have-been-using-internet-algorithms-for-millions-of-years

Ants Have Been Using Internet Algorithms For Millions of Years Mankind has been able to accomplish some pretty impressive things, but some of them were around long before we figured them out. Ants, for instance, hunt for food in a way that’s basically the same as the Internet’s Transmission Control Protocol (TCP), and they were doing it long before the Internet was around.

It all has to do with how harvester ants gather their food. The same way that TCP will throttle data transmission if initial packets indicate little bandwidth, harvester ants will send less foragers out for food if the initial ones take too long to come back with grub.

From Stanford News:

[The] rate at which harvester ants – which forage for seeds as individuals – leave the nest to search for food corresponds to food availability.

A forager won’t return to the nest until it finds food. If seeds are plentiful, foragers return faster, and more ants leave the nest to forage. If, however, ants begin returning empty handed, the search is slowed, and perhaps called off.

And that’s not where the similarities end either. Ants also use TCP’s slow start technique, by sending out a wave of foragers (packets) to figure out the relative amount of food (bandwidth) before scaling their numbers up or down. Likewise, the same way a connection will time out if the source stops sending packets, the ants will stop sending out new foragers if none return for 20 minutes.

Balaji Prabhakar, one of the researchers behind the discovery, says that if this behavior had been uncovered pre-Internet, it might have influenced its design. Even so, this foraging process has been seriously time-tested, and there still might be things we can learn from it. In the meantime, who knows what other algorithms might already be out there, quietly waiting to be discovered. [Stanford News]

Image by S1001/Shutterstock

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Monday, August 27th, 2012 Uncategorized No Comments

Dr. Augustine Fou is Digital Consigliere to marketing executives, advising them on digital strategy and Unified Marketing(tm). Dr Fou has over 17 years of in-the-trenches, hands-on experience, which enables him to provide objective, in-depth assessments of their current marketing programs and recommendations for improving business impact and ROI using digital insights.

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