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An Imperative for Consumer Companies to Go Green

July 25, 2014 Comments off

An Imperative for Consumer Companies to Go Green
Source: Boston Consulting Group

Goods labeled organic, natural, ecological, and fair trade are no longer a niche in the food, personal-care, and household products sectors. These goods have entered mainstream retailers and become a large part of the market, with a broad base of consumers now purchasing them. In an otherwise stagnant industry, these “responsible consumption” (RC) products represent a major area of profitable growth.

The Boston Consulting Group has worked with market research company Information Resources Inc. to analyze point-of-sale data from nearly all retail chains in the U.S. (grocery, convenience, department, and wholesale-club stores). Not only do RC products account for 15 percent of all sales in these chains but also sales have grown about 9 percent annually in the past three years—making up 70 percent of total growth. Similar turnover and growth levels are expected across developed markets. Global surveys point to future growth as well, as most consumers intend to expand the number of categories in which they seek out RC products.

Most of this growth, however, is going not to A brands—the major product brands—but to specialty brands and to both specialty and conventional retailers. Most A-brand manufacturers, in fact, have weak or nonexistent offerings in this area. Continued inaction may cost A brands one-third of their current consumers over the next few years.

While A brands bring major scale and distribution advantages to the table, consumers are less likely to trust them when it comes to RC products. To build trust while leveraging these advantages, A brands can either acquire a specialty brand and grant it considerable autonomy or build an RC brand internally with external validation. A third option is to embrace “responsible” criteria for the entire A brand. Any of these options is preferable to maintaining a wait-and-see approach.

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Divide Between CMOs and CIOs Narrows, but Companies Still Struggle To Deliver Integrated Digital Marketing Solutions, New Accenture Research Shows

July 23, 2014 Comments off

Divide Between CMOs and CIOs Narrows, but Companies Still Struggle To Deliver Integrated Digital Marketing Solutions, New Accenture Research Shows
Source: Accenture

Chief marketing officers (CMOs) and chief information officers (CIOs) say they are working more collaboratively than in the past to take advantage of digital opportunities, but they remain at odds on a number of issues involving how to drive integrated digital marketing solutions for their customers, according to a new study by Accenture (NYSE: ACN).

The study, Cutting Across the CMO-CIO Divide, which was conducted by Accenture Interactive, is based on a survey of more than 1,100 senior marketing and IT executives around the globe. A key report finding indicates a growing collaboration between CMOs and CIOs – 43 percent of marketers and 50 percent of IT leaders think their relationship with the other has improved over the past year. Also, nearly one-quarter (23 percent) of respondents believe collaboration between the two teams is currently at the right level, up substantially from last year’s CMO-CIO Insights survey that stated only one in 10 respondents felt collaboration was at the right level.

Even though the marketing and information technology teams appear to be working more closely together, the survey highlights many challenges still facing the two groups that can impact a positive experience for customers and the company’s bottom line.

What Makes a City Great?

July 23, 2014 Comments off

What Makes a City Great?
Source: Sasaki

Urbanites across the country agree on a few things: they want great food, they love waterfronts, and they value historical architecture. As planners and designers, our job is to understand what people want and balance these desires with the big picture—economic realities, cultural needs, environmental concerns, and design opportunities—ultimately helping to shape a more satisfying and sustainable urban experience.

Our new report, The State of the City Experience, outlines the results of a survey of 1,000 people who both live and work in one of six dynamic US cities—Boston, Chicago, New York, Austin, San Francisco, and Washington DC. We asked what they like and what they don’t like about their built environment in four key areas: architecture, activities, parks and open space, and transportation, and what their personal outlook is for staying in a city long-term. Our participants’ answers show that while we may be in the “century of the city,” there is still much work to be done to improve urban life through thoughtful planning and innovation.

Upcoming Federal Court Decision Could Mean Premium Increases for Nearly 5 Million Americans

July 23, 2014 Comments off

Upcoming Federal Court Decision Could Mean Premium Increases for Nearly 5 Million Americans
Source: Avalere Health

A new analysis from Avalere Health finds that without action from the federal government nearly 5 million Americans would receive an average premium increase of 76 percent if the courts ultimately rule that consumers in the federal exchange cannot receive premium subsidies.

Halbig v. Burwell asserts that the Internal Revenue Service exceeded its authority in issuing a May 2012 rule that provides premium subsidies to individuals purchasing coverage through the federally facilitated exchange. While the ACA specifies that subsidies should be administered “through an exchange established by the state,” the law also gives the federal government the authority to establish an exchange on the state’s behalf. Only 16 states and the District of Columbia opted to create their own exchanges in time for the 2014 plan year.

“The court case has major implications for future insurance coverage and access to care for millions of Americans,” said Caroline Pearson, vice president at Avalere Health. “Depending on the ultimate decision by the courts and absent some other remedy, individuals in at least 25 states who remain in their current plans could see an average premium increase of over 70 percent.”

Birth, life and death of an app: A look at the Apple App Store in July 2014

July 23, 2014 Comments off

Birth, life and death of an app: A look at the Apple App Store in July 2014 (PDF)
Source: adjust

As the App Store and the apps within it mature, more than ever it becomes essential for marketers to look at new techniques to re-engage existing users and get ROI. This report shows the development of the App Store and highlights the critical need for marketers to engage key audiences for ensuring the longevity of their app.

Currently, there are 1,252,777 apps available in the App Store, and as many as 60 thousand apps are added per month – and this rate is itself growing.

In 2013, 453,902 new apps were released in the Apple App Store, exceeding adjust’s prediction of over 435,100 new apps by 4 percent. Almost 15 percent of apps in the store were removed during the year, which adjust labels as “Dead Apps”, due to violating App Store terms and conditions or voluntarily pulled down by developers, leaving 396,341 available apps with a release date in 2013.

Over the next year we predict 578 thousand new apps will enter the App Store (by 1 July 2015).

2014 BCG Local Dynamos: How Companies in Emerging Markets Are Winning at Home

July 23, 2014 Comments off

2014 BCG Local Dynamos: How Companies in Emerging Markets Are Winning at Home
Source: Boston Consulting Group

Emerging markets remain global growth engines. Although some of these markets are doing better than others, they collectively offer the most promising opportunities for expansion. Yet global companies often struggle to create successful business models in emerging markets. At the same time, many local companies are thriving—building businesses that attract local customers and defeat both other homegrown companies and multinationals. Understanding the successful practices of these companies can help you win in these markets, too.

Several banks, for example, have grown quickly and profitably in emerging markets, even though most consumers frequently have unstable incomes and don’t have even a checking account. In Mexico, Banco Mercantil del Norte, or Banorte, wanted to reach potential customers without constructing expensive bank branches, so it decided to rely on other companies’ bricks and mortar. The bank partnered with Telecomm-Telegrafos, a rural telecom operator with 1,621 retail locations; 7-Eleven, one of the fastest-growing convenience chains in Mexico, with 1,720 contact points; Tiendas Extra, a convenience store with 883 locations; Soriana, a supermarket chain offering 633 points of sale; and Grupo Control, with 75 points of contact as of March 2014. These partnerships aim to offer basic financial products such as deposits, credit cards, remittances, and withdrawals.

Across the Pacific Ocean, Bank Rakyat Indonesia (BRI), the nation’s oldest and most profitable bank, serves the street vendors and merchants that power the nation’s local economy. BRI sends employees equipped with handheld devices into 2,300 busy markets and bazaars, which cater to nearly 6 million customers. The bank is experimenting with floating branches to reach remote customers on Indonesia’s more than 900 inhabited islands.

In all industries, local companies are transforming the constraints of emerging economies into profitable opportunities and becoming thriving commercial enterprises. We have compiled a list of such energetic private-sector companies—or local dynamos—to highlight their accomplishments. Though there are hundreds of dynamos, we focused on just 50 to better see how their practices may be applied more broadly to all companies that want to succeed in these markets.

Defense offsets: From ‘contractual burden’ to competitive weapon

July 22, 2014 Comments off

Defense offsets: From ‘contractual burden’ to competitive weapon
Source: McKinsey & Company

Western defense companies now need to look outside their core markets for growth. In the aftermath of the global economic crisis and over a decade of engagement in southwest Asia, many Western countries have scaled back their defense budgets, favoring instead more targeted spending and austerity plans. In Europe, ministries of defense are downsizing their military operations and procurement programs, and in the United States, the effects of the Budget Control Act of 2011 and sequestration will restrict defense spending through 2021 absent congressional action. By contrast, many countries representing addressable markets in Asia, the Middle East, and South America are investing in defense-modernization programs and over the past few years have increased their defense spending at compound annual growth rates of between 5 and 10 percent.

wefi Reveals Top U.S. Locations for the Best Wi-Fi Connectivity During Summer Travel Season

July 22, 2014 Comments off

wefi Reveals Top U.S. Locations for the Best Wi-Fi Connectivity During Summer Travel Season
Source: wefi

Key travel considerations have changed dramatically as more and more people rely on their mobile devices to stay connected while away from home. With two thirds of Americans planning at least one leisure trip this summer, wefi, the market leader in delivering actionable mobile intelligence and network analytics, today revealed the top U.S. hotels, beaches and airports with the best Wi-Fi connectivity for these road warriors. As evidenced in wefi’s findings, not all destinations provide the same level of connectivity.

wefi collected data from more than 45 million hotspots based on the implementation of its intelligent network selection solution within multiple cable operators throughout the U.S. The metrics are based on a 45-day average of Wi-Fi speeds for each location starting from April 1 to June 15, 2014.

As mobile devices have become more and more essential to people on the road, it’s important to consider places with the best bandwidth connectivity. If traveling by air, consider that the Detroit Metropolitan Airport in Michigan offers the fastest Wi-Fi, closely followed by Denver International Airport in Colorado. For beach-goers, Clearwater Beach, Florida tops the list of beaches with the fastest Wi-Fi, while four of the top nine are located in California.

Cable is King but Streaming Stands Strong When it Comes to Americans’ TV Viewing Habits

July 22, 2014 Comments off

Cable is King but Streaming Stands Strong When it Comes to Americans’ TV Viewing Habits (PDF)
Source: Harris Interactive

Do you still call it “watching TV” when you’re not actually using a TV to do it? That’s a question that may be coming up more and more today, given the increasing use of streaming as a viewership option. While over three-fourths of U.S. adults (77%) say they regularly watch television shows via either cable (55%) or satellite TV (23%), over four in ten say they regularly watch via streaming (43%) including two-thirds of Millennials (67%).

What’s more, streaming seems to be slowly gaining ground on more traditional modes when it comes to the ways Americans most often watch television programs (though it’s in no danger of overtaking them in the immediate future). At 85%, the percentage of Americans saying they most often watch TV on, well, a TV (live feed, recorded or on demand), sans streaming, is down from 89% in 2012. Streaming, meanwhile, is up from 20% in 2012 to 23% today. This preferential shift is strongest when looking at Millennials, among whom nonstreaming TV preference has declined from 77% to 68% while streaming preference has grown from 41% to 47%.

London Tops MasterCard Global Destination Cities Index as Most Visited City

July 21, 2014 Comments off

London Tops MasterCard Global Destination Cities Index as Most Visited City
Source: MasterCard

London tops the list as the destination of choice for international travelers for the third time in four years, according to the annual MasterCard Global Destination Cities Index released today.

Now in its fourth year, the index provides a ranking of the 132 most travelled cities from around the world.

Rounding out the top five cities are Bangkok, Paris, Singapore and Dubai, which are benefiting from a surge in international travel fueled by an expanding middle class, innovations in luxury travel and rising need for business travel. The index also indicates this surge will continue, even with more technology and collaboration tools available to businesses.

Entrepreneurs Have the Potential to Create 10 Million Youth Jobs in G20 Countries, New Accenture Research Finds

July 18, 2014 Comments off

Entrepreneurs Have the Potential to Create 10 Million Youth Jobs in G20 Countries, New Accenture Research Finds
Source: Accenture

Entrepreneurs can help drive the creation of 10 million youth jobs across the G20 countries if existing barriers to entrepreneurship were lifted, according to new research from Accenture (NYSE: ACN). The study also indicates that while 74 percent of entrepreneurs surveyed by Accenture say they plan to recruit young talent in 2014, many believe that a shortage of people with relevant skills is hindering job creation and growth.

The Accenture study, “The promise of digital entrepreneurs: creating 10 million youth jobs in the G20 countries,” analyzes the views of more than 1,000 entrepreneurs and highlights the barriers that are limiting the potential of entrepreneurs to create jobs and grow the economy. The report illustrates that while 85 percent believe they have a critical role to play in the creation of jobs for young people, they face a number of challenges including securing funding, scaling and sustaining innovation, growing internationally and accessing the right skills. The study was developed ahead of the G20 Young Entrepreneurs’ Alliance Summit in Sydney.

The report indicates that many entrepreneurs believe more could be done to foster an environment of youth job creation in their country. Only one quarter (26 percent) consider the actions taken by their government to support youth job creation as relevant and efficient. Additionally, more than half (54 percent) cite a lack of incentives as a barrier to taking on more young people.

The Brink of Renewal: A Business Leader’s Guide to Progress in America’s Schools

July 18, 2014 Comments off

The Brink of Renewal: A Business Leader’s Guide to Progress in America’s Schools
Source: Boston Consulting Group

Major cities in the U.S. are committed to improving education, and their resolve is beginning to bear fruit. Cities such as Boston, New York, New Orleans, Dallas, and Denver have made measurable progress in student achievement and graduation rates. Denver, for example, boosted on-time graduation rates from 38.7 percent to 61.3 percent over a recent six-year period.

However, while individual examples of progress are heartening (and worth celebrating), the big picture isn’t nearly as bright.

On the whole, the nation’s preK-12 education system continues to be plagued by low overall achievement, wide achievement gaps, and uncertain prospects for the future. Consider just one indicator: the U.S. spends more on its schools than almost all other industrialized nations, and yet its students still lag behind their global peers—performing at or below average on many international measures.

It’s no surprise that pessimism prevails. In a recent Harvard Business School survey on U.S. competitiveness, the nearly 7,000 business leaders who responded named preK-12 education among the greatest weaknesses in the U.S. business environment. A significant majority also said they believe the U.S. is falling behind in preK-12 education compared with other nations.

Despite the troubling data, we believe that today can represent a historic turning point for U.S. schools. Promising trends, some decades in the making, are converging to make a transformation of the U.S. education system possible.

Free eBook: Court Structures of the Common Law World

July 18, 2014 Comments off

Free eBook: Court Structures of the Common Law World
Source: JustCite

Understanding how and why different courts operate can be a time-consuming, headache-inducing task.

It doesn’t have to be, though. We’ve done the legal legwork for you and crammed it all into an easy-to-read 59-page eBook, Court Structures of the Common Law World.

Download your free copy and discover:

  • The judicial hierarchy of 20 jurisdictions, including the UK, Ireland, Australia, Canada and Jamaica – all illustrated in handy diagrams
  • The historical and political backgrounds to these case studies
  • How key cases have laid the foundations for constitutional change

Free registration required to download ebook.
Hat tip: Library Boy

Global Real Estate Tra​nspare​ncy Index 2014

July 17, 2014 Comments off

Global Real Estate Tra​nspare​ncy Index 2014
Source: Jones Lang LaSalle

JLL’s eighth Global Real Estate Transparency Index , covering 102 markets worldwide, shows continued progress in the transparency of commercial real estate around the world. Over 80% of markets have registered improvement since 2012. The top improvers in each survey generally correlate with a surge in foreign direct investment and corporate occupier activity, as investors help to accelerate transparency reforms and governments realise that poor transparency will affect continued inward investment, long-term growth prospects and the quality of life of citizens.​​​​​​​

For More Than a Decade, The NY Yankees Have Been America’s Favorite Baseball Team; New Instant Replay rule considered good for baseball

July 16, 2014 Comments off

For More Than a Decade, The NY Yankees Have Been America’s Favorite Baseball Team; New Instant Replay rule considered good for baseball (PDF)
Source: Harris Interactive

The mid-point of the baseball season is now upon us as Major League Baseball pauses to celebrate their all stars. Those not playing in the All Star Game get a few days off to rest before the race to the end of the summer and post-season play begins in earnest. This means it is also time to see who America’s Favorite Baseball Team is this year.

Among those who follow the sport, the New York Yankees again win the honor of being “America’s Favorite,” as they have each year since 2003. In the second spot on the list again are their long time arch-rivals, the Boston Red Sox. Moving up seven spots, from ten to three are the San Francisco Giants. Rounding out the top five are the Chicago Cubs at number four (rising 3 spots from last time) and, at number five, the Atlanta Braves, dropping two spots from number three last year.

These are some of the results of The Harris Poll® of 2,241 adults, of whom 763 follow Major League Baseball, surveyed online between June 4 and 16, 2014.

Looking at the bottom half of the top ten favorite teams, tied for number six are the Los Angeles Dodgers (down from number 4 last year) and the Detroit Tigers (down from a tie for number 5), followed by the Milwaukee Brewers (#8, up from a 21st place tie), the Minnesota Twins (#9, up from a tie for #13) and in a tie for tenth, the Kansas City Royals (up from a tie for #19) and the St. Louis Cardinals (up from a tie for #11).

Who is going to win it all… and who don’t people want there
When it comes to the World Series, a repeat is not expected to be in the works as almost one in five baseball followers (17%) say the San Francisco Giants will win the Fall Classic this October, followed by the New York Yankees (13%), the Detroit Tigers (9%), the Oakland Athletics (8%), and the Los Angeles Dodgers (7%). Less than one in ten baseball followers (6%) say the Boston Red Sox will win again.

And, where there is the team people think will win, there is also the team fans don’t want to see in the World Series. Two in five baseball followers (40%) say the New York Yankees are the one team they least want to see make it to the World Series. At a distant second, 14% say this about the Boston Red Sox, while 6% say this about the Los Angeles Dodgers and 4% do not want to see the Chicago Cubs in the World Series.

CEOs and Consumers Disconnected on Sustainable Products and Services, Says Accenture, Havas Media report

July 16, 2014 Comments off

CEOs and Consumers Disconnected on Sustainable Products and Services, Says Accenture, Havas Media report
Source: Accenture

Only a third of consumers regularly consider sustainability in their purchasing decisions, according to a global study by Accenture (ACN: NYSE) and Havas Media RE:PURPOSE, which reveals the reasons for the disconnect between business and consumer expectations of sustainable products and services.

The report, “From Marketing to Mattering”, is based on a survey of 30,000 consumers in 20 countries. The study was commissioned in response and as a companion to the UN Global Compact-Accenture CEO Study on Sustainability, published in 2013, in which two thirds of CEOs admitted that business is not doing enough to address sustainability challenges, similar to the 73 percent of consumers in the latest research that say businesses are failing to take care of the planet and society.

The two studies reveal that, although CEOs see engagement with consumers as the most important single factor motivating them to accelerate progress on sustainability, they are often out of step with what motivates consumers to buy sustainable products and services. 81 percent of CEOs believe that their company’s reputation for sustainability is important to consumers, but the new research shows that less than one-quarter (23 percent) of consumers report that they regularly seek information on the sustainability performance of the brands whose products they purchase.

As result of the disconnect on the importance of a company’s sustainable reputation, only 32 percent of consumers say they ‘often’ or ‘always’ consider sustainability in their purchasing decisions.

UK Consumers Open to Pure Digital Banks, According to Accenture Survey

July 16, 2014 Comments off

UK Consumers Open to Pure Digital Banks, According to Accenture Survey (PDF)
Source: Accenture

One-quarter (25 percent) of UK consumers would consider using a pure digital bank – a bank with no branches or call centres that is only accessible via laptops and mobile devices, according to the latest survey of UK current account customers conducted by Accenture (NYSE: ACN).

Customers aged 25 to 34 are most keen on the idea of a pure digital, branchless bank; 33 percent would consider using one, while the youngest group of bank customers – those aged 18 to 24 – are the least receptive, with only 22 percent saying they would consider it.

Based on interviews with more than 3,600 UK current account holders, the survey points to continuing growth in the use of digital banking channels. It shows that 80 percent of customers went online at least once a month to interact with their banks, while monthly mobile banking usage has risen to 27 percent of customers compared with 21 percent in 2012 and 10 percent in 2011.

However, the survey also points to a rise in customers using branches. According to the survey, the number of customers going into a branch at least once a month has risen from 45 percent in 2012 to 52 percent this year, with the most pronounced increase among customers aged 18 to 24. Fifty-four percent of the youngest group, say they visit their bank branch each month compared to 39 percent of the same group in 2012.

Using Ethical-Response Surveys to Identify Sources of Disapproval and Concern with Facebook’s Emotional Contagion Experiment and Other Controversial Studies

July 15, 2014 Comments off

Using Ethical-Response Surveys to Identify Sources of Disapproval and Concern with Facebook’s Emotional Contagion Experiment and Other Controversial Studies
Source: Microsoft Research

We surveyed 3570 workers on Amazon’s Mechanical Turk to gauge their ethical response to five scenarios describing scientific experiments—including one scenario describing Facebook’s emotional contagion experiment. We will post an update of this paper containing the results and analysis on or after 12:01AM Pacific on Monday July 14.

Global Internet Privacy Study Reveals Consumers’ Conflicting Views

July 14, 2014 Comments off

Global Internet Privacy Study Reveals Consumers’ Conflicting Views
Source: EMC Corporation

Highlights

  • Taps into privacy attitudes of 15,000 consumers from 15 countries
  • 91% of respondents value the benefit of “easier access to information and knowledge” that digital technology affords
  • Only 27% say they are willing to trade some privacy for greater convenience and ease online
  • Only 41% believe government is committed to protecting their privacy
  • 81% expect privacy to erode over the next five years; 59% say they have less privacy than a year ago

2014 CoreLogic Storm Surge Analysis Identifies More Than 6.5 Million US Homes with Total Reconstruction Value of Nearly 1.5 Trillion Dollars at Risk of Hurricane Storm Surge Damage

July 14, 2014 Comments off

2014 CoreLogic Storm Surge Analysis Identifies More Than 6.5 Million US Homes with Total Reconstruction Value of Nearly 1.5 Trillion Dollars at Risk of Hurricane Storm Surge Damage
Source: CoreLogic

CoreLogic® (NYSE: CLGX), a leading global property information, analytics and data-enabled services provider, today released its 2014 storm surge analysis featuring estimates on both the number and reconstruction value of single-family homes exposed to hurricane-driven storm surge risk within the United States. According to the findings, more than 6.5 million homes along the U.S. Atlantic and Gulf coasts are at risk of storm surge inundation, representing nearly $1.5 trillion in total potential reconstruction costs. More than $986 billion of that risk is concentrated within 15 major metro areas. This exposure could constitute significant risk for homeowners and financial services companies, as many at-risk homes lack protection from insurance coverage.

The analysis examined homes along the coastlines of 19 states and the District of Columbia in the Gulf and Atlantic regions, extending as far west as Texas and as far north as Maine. Florida ranks number one for the highest number of homes at risk of storm surge damage, with nearly 2.5 million homes at various risk levels and $490 billion in total potential exposure to damage. At the local level, the New York metropolitan area, which encompasses northern New Jersey and Long Island as well, contains not only the highest number of homes at risk for potential storm surge damage (687,412), but also the highest total reconstruction value of homes exposed, at more than $251 billion.

Free registration required to download report.

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