Curated Intelligence(TM): An Almost Unfair Advantage.

Sep 22, 16 Curated Intelligence(TM):  An Almost Unfair Advantage.

Posted by in Boardroom and C-Suite

The Vice President at my client was agitated. A new competitor had been positioning itself as the market leader in signing contracts with the National Institutes of Health and the National Cancer Institute with noticeable press coverage and a well-delivered marketing message. “I want to know if they really are competition for government business”. The VP wanted to understand if his company could effectively compete and win market share. We were able to answer his question fully. With a combination of proprietary database research, skilled, confidential phone interviews, as well as mining a government database containing all contracts submitted by any entity to the U.S. government, we were able to determine: how the competitor built their sales organization (organic vs. hired from the outside) their strategy for winning government business the size of contracts signed what agencies they were doing work with where they saw future growth Most importantly, we were able to discern truth from hearsay. With this knowledge, we informed the client that there is significant room for competition in the government market, highlighted agencies that have a need for their services – and advised them on best practices for building out a dedicated sales force. Over the past 30 years, I’ve noticed that many organizations, be it out of fear, ignorance, or even arrogance, claim knowledge of its competitors and make critical decisions with little to no objective intelligence. Our new approach to gathering intelligence has: Curated Intelligence™. Here are some of the questions that you should be asking of your organization, to determine if you need Curated Intelligence: Are there any indicators that your competitors may be developing new or different R&D, marketing and sales strategies? Are they growing their market presence in non-US geographies? Are they announcing new product and service offerings within the next 12 months? Have there been changes in corporate leadership translating into new strategy? Is the company considering any acquisitions, or being acquired themselves? If the answer is ‘yes’ to all or most of these questions, you really...

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The emergence of the power of our Polycultural Society fueled by the chasm in Social Economics

The digital revolution has fueled the emergence of the voices that make up our Polycultural society, and their strength and power are louder than words. Its economic …and increasing! While corporate and government leaders may have prepared more adequately to adjust and respond to the not-so-new emerging trends, they did not.   Perhaps it was “Cultural Blindness”  mixed in with cost cutting measures. When times are lean companies trade long-term strategies for short term tactics, with shareholders “paying the price.” It takes a lot more courage to do the right thing vs. the politically right thing. And in today’s fast moving, complex and diverse markets, the risks and costs are immediate. The power of instant communication through social media has clearly established itself as a new weapon and the voices of our Polycultural society are mastering its use to express their views against the economic backdrop we have been living under:  the second greatest economic depression in the history of the United States. History does repeat itself more often than not, but it always disguises itself as something else, so one must be attuned to seeing what others do not see …to really see. King Louie and Marie Antoinette suffered from Cultural Blindness, thus propagating the French Revolution …and we know what happened to them. But nothing to worry about …as we are much more civilized now. Today, you don’t lose your head, you just lose your job. From one who has made a living by studying the vital statistics and insights about the consumers that make up the Northern and Latin American hemispheres, this is the emergence of the power of the Polycultural society fueled by the chasm in social economics.  I have witnessed first hand the progression of this trend evolving over several decades. It is now prevalent and strong enough for everyone to hear …and we must respond differently and swiftly. These are new times, which bring seeds of opportunity for innovative approaches. I believe ideation and creation are the fuel of...

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Why Traditional Risk Methodologies are One Step Behind the Real World

By Mike Hatcliffe Here’s the headline from the front page of the Chicago Tribune’s section on Sunday July 3rd: ‘POLITICAL CUBICLES: Taboo on elections as workplace topic may be fading but gray areas remain’. The story under the headline talks to the changing and noisy political times that have descended on the U.S. during the run up to the Presidential election in November. One of the consequences is that the old adage of “don’t talk politics in the workplace” is breaking apart. As the writer notes: ‘Traditional taboos against discussing politics at work may be outdated in an age when social media platforms – far more popular than even four years ago – have people sharing political views around the clock.’ However, when discussing politics in the workplace, such is the nature of the debate in this election, you are also bringing incendiary topics such as race, sexual identity, gun ownership and immigration into the office, factory or store. All of these are complex debates which have the power to create tension, confrontation and upset, leading to unwelcomed behaviors and even violence. This is a good example of the new form of risk that organizations are facing—risks that are emerging from social, cultural, political and population shifts and which are not necessarily identified by traditional risk methodologies. Let’s look at how a leading global firm of consultants is talking about the nature of risk. One leading firm spotlighted what it considered to be the key risk management issues for 2016 in a press release in January. The seven that made the list were: Technology Risk Management Third Party Risk Management Fraud and Misconduct Crisis Management Data Security Achieving Compliance Program Effectiveness Improving Risk Data Aggregation and Reporting All are well worthy of concern and planning. However, there is nothing on the list—and the rigid approach of most consulting firms—that suggests the methodology is dynamic enough to reflect the evolving nature of risk. The Chicago Tribune’s reporting vividly illustrates with one small example that a...

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The Fragility of Brands in a Culturally Blind Society

By George L. San Jose We all have grown up in a rapidly changing world, and many times we heard our parents speak about “the way it used to be.” We call that progress. The digital era has brought instant ways for us to communicate visually, share opinions via text, emails, tweets, blogs… Everyone has the ability to become a publisher of their own thoughts, and affinity groups have the means to organize overnight. Just think about it… we have become global tribes, able to share our likes and dislikes with people all around the world… instantaneously. The power of communication and persuasion has shifted from a select few to the masses and the masses are not as homogeneous… as they once were. Okay, so most of us know this— indulge me and I’ll make it play out. Once not long ago, three major networks fed our nation homogeneous viewpoints—they taught us how to behave, how to think, and what to buy. Today there are hundreds of channels for us to learn how to behave, what to think… well you get the idea. Communication proliferation in content and channel preference is already the old reality. Now, let’s talk about what is not so apparent underneath the surface of these communications revolution there has been as equally important development. The major demographic and psychographic shifts that are now the proliferated voices… of the new faces and minds of America. Just look at the number of presidential candidates who postulated to run in 2016 and you will not find a number as high lest you go back 100 years… when people lived in ethnically segregated neighborhoods. Nothing illustrates this better than the movie Gangs of New York. History does have a way of repeating itself in ways we cannot even imagine. I’m not suggesting that we are gangs; rather, I’m merely using the analogy to illustrate one point: there are as many groups with different opinions and likes as there are people. The only difference is...

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Posted by in Latin America

By Cassandra Bremer, Content Manager and Developer at The San Jose Group Latin America is young, online and social, and that creates a huge potential for American companies to win a market share of the continent’s booming emerging middle class. As digital and social strategies are becoming more paramount for brands in the U.S. to establish themselves and reach consumers, digital strategies are emerging as a core messaging platform to reach target markets in Latin America, and here is why. Whereas the mobile industry in the U.S. accounts about 2% of the economy, according to eMarketer, it accounts for between 4% and 5% of the Latin American economy. And the industry is growing. Earlier this year, the Latin American regional operator America Móvil served almost 300 million subscribers in 18 countries, and by the end of this year, eMarketer estimates Latin American mobile phone users will pass the 396 million mark. Needless to say, with 400 million consumers using mobiles in Latin America (compared to the 258 million in the United States), mobile devises provide a huge arena for brands to target consumers. Mix the high mobile usage with the fact that Latin America is the fastest growing ecommerce market in the world next to China, and the market potential becomes obvious. While Latin America as a whole is a lucrative target for brands, Brazil is really leading the social/digital movement in the continent. This year, over three quarters of social network users in Brazil will visit social media sits via a mobile device, and in 2013, Brazil’s ecommerce industry reached $15 billion. In fact, Brazil houses 299 of the top 500 ecommerce sites in Latin America, and that statistic begins to make sense when considering the country’s young and thriving consumer base. With a massive population of 202 million people, 62% of Brazilians are under the age of 30. “Brazil is leading the Latin American market in online consumption, and with that the rest of the continent will soon follow.” said George L....

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