It’s no surprise that in the last few years businesses have begun incorporating social responsibility into their marketing and public relations strategies. Sometimes these efforts work very well (think Colin Kapernick for Nike), and sometimes they fall flat (think Bell Let’s Talk’s lack of authenticity). So how do you create a strategy that will both bolster your business and contribute to the greater good?
Consumers are looking to their brands more than ever to have personalities, and are willing to pay a premium to align themselves with a brand that shares their values. This differs greatly from brands of the 50s and 60s, which were seen as stoic, unrelatable entities. You’re not going to impress everybody with your social strategy. However, if you can figure out who your target audience is, it’s wise to ensure that your mutual social values are reflected in every aspect of your marketing and PR strategies. Check out my top five tips on how to leverage social good for effective PR.
Businesses are more value-driven than they’ve ever been. While this may sound counter-intuitive to some, it often results in higher profit margins. This is thanks to the value-driven mindset of the millennial generation, made up of individuals that watched their parents struggle through the recession and are just beginning to have more disposable with which income to play. As a brand and as a business leader, it’s important for you to reflect on what your values are. Whether it’s women’s rights or issues of racial inequality, take some time to figure out what is important to you. No matter what it is – even if it seems like it doesn’t directly relate to your business, these values will become a core component of your strategy.
Merger and acquisition markets are thriving. According to the Institute of Mergers, Acquisitions and Alliances, capital markets are seeing the highest levels of M&A activity ever, and in 2017 hit more than $2.9 trillion for the fourth year in a row.
This continued and steady growth casts mergers and acquisitions (M&A) on a modern trajectory. However, will an industry, often resolute in tradition and antiquated convention, be ready?
Advanced organizations, predominantly in the technology and software sphere, have begun implementing new M&A and corporate development techniques to meet this increasing demand and promote successful, efficient outcomes.
Christina Amiry, head of M&A strategic operations at Atlassian, an enterprise software company, says that the organization is moving away from traditional M&A approaches and embracing what she calls “Agile” methodologies. Amiry explains that this modernized approach creates a more collaborative, people-driven and efficient M&A process.
In a traditional M&A strategy, the deal’s end-state is predefined while the requirements and practices are flushed out to a microscopic level of detail. However, the nature of M&A is unpredictable and dynamic. The deal’s end state evolves as diligence uncovers new information, as finances fluctuate and as integration begins aligning diverse, unique cultures. A product of this traditional approach is the M&A playbook.
The heavily relied upon playbook offers a structured set of practices and procedures to aid in solving the labyrinth that is diligence and integration. More often than not, this methodology and these playbooks are seen as the secret to harmonious M&A.
However, a KPMG study recently indicated that 83% of deals do not boost shareholder returns. To create more successful, modern and efficient deals, there must be a better approach. Amiry explains that Atlassian no longer uses traditional M&A playbooks, rather they use what is called a “game plan” approach.
Many people still associate artificial intelligence with science fiction dystopias, but that characterization is waning as artificial intelligence develops and becomes more commonplace in our daily lives. Today, artificial intelligence is a household name (and sometimes even a household presence – hi, Alexa!).
While artificial intelligence’s acceptance in mainstream society is a new phenomenon, it is not a new concept. The modern field of artificial intelligence came into existence in 1956, but it took decades of work to make significant progress toward developing an artificial intelligence system and making it a technological reality.
In business, artificial intelligence has a wide range of uses. In fact, most of us interact with artificial intelligence in some form or another on a daily basis. From the mundane to the breathtaking, artificial intelligence is already disrupting virtually every business process in every industry. As artificial intelligence technologies proliferate, they are becoming an imperative for businesses that want to maintain a competitive edge.
Before examining how artificial intelligence technologies are impacting the business world, it’s important to define the term. “Artificial intelligence” is a broad and general term that refers to any type of computer software that engages in humanlike activities, including learning, planning and problem-solving. Calling specific applications “artificial intelligence” is like calling a 2013 Honda Accord a “vehicle” – it’s technically correct, but it doesn’t cover any of the specifics. To understand what type of artificial intelligence is predominant in business, we have to dig deeper.
Machine learning is one of the most common types of artificial intelligence in development for business purposes today. Machine learning is primarily used to process large amounts of data quickly. These types of artificial intelligence are algorithms that appear to “learn” over time, getting better at what they do …Read More
Investing in high-quality phones for your employees can increase productivity and connectivity, especially if your business utilizes work apps to get things done. This smartphone buying guide is constructed with the needs and limitations of small business owners in mind, many of whom lack in-house IT talent and have limited experience buying hardware for groups. By working through the steps outlined here, you should be able to eliminate unsuitable options and find the right phones to help your team work efficiently.
The first step before buying most business technology is to set a budget. With smartphones, however, this is trickier, because the long-term costs are tied to paying for continued service as well as the hardware itself. Additionally, the choice of service provider is just as important as the choice of phone, since even high-end iOS devices are useless if there’s no reliable coverage. For that reason, we encourage all small business owners to do their homework when it comes to service providers before buying any devices.
As you research the following major service providers, pay close attention not only to the phones each provider supports, but also the small business plans offered (many of which make buying for groups more affordable) and local coverage maps. Opt for a service provider that has a diverse offering of smartphones, solid service and affordable business rates.
Service providers to consider:
For simplified mobile device management, we recommend small business owners choose one general operating system for all of their mobile devices. Using different versions of Android across devices usually isn’t problematic. However, managing both Apple (iOS) smartphones and Android phones is needlessly complicated.
Unless you have a compelling …Read More
If you’re a small business owner and you need an office, coworking spaces can provide you with a business community, enterprise-level perks and a versatile office space. If you’re based in or near a city, there are likely some, if not hundreds, of coworking spaces you can join. Think of coworking spaces like renting a home instead of buying one – you can set up a “lease” with the company for six months, a year or longer. The company you join will handle the nuts and bolts of your office; all you have to do is show up and work on your company.
Coworking spaces provide some serious advantages when it comes to networking and creating a positive culture for your small business. As with any business decision, however, there are some cons. If you need privacy and a lot of space, you may be better off finding an office specific to your company. Before you decide whether joining a coworking space is right for you, it’s important to understand the different types of coworking spaces, the value of a coworking community, standard amenities coworking spaces provide, and some current examples of coworking spaces.
Editor’s note: Are you in the market for new desks for your small business? Fill out this questionnaire to get quotes from our vendor partners.
Picking the right coworking space is all about what you, your coworkers and your business need. If you run a fledgling company, joining an industry-specific coworking space can expose you to like-minded people. For an established small business looking to get out of a drab office, some coworking spaces offer amenities like free coffee, beer, food and activities for employees. If you need a cheap alternative and a short-term lease, some coworking spaces are designed for high turnover. …Read More