screenshot_92In a world of ‘digital everything’, there is no privacy and nowhere to bury bad news. Data leaks everywhere, from the supposedly top-secret revelations of Edward Snowden to the private mobile phone accounts of celebrities. Digital cameras capture confidential conversations, brutal wars, dangerous working conditions and embarrassing political gaffes. This flood of data washes around the world at a furious pace: every second of the day sees 24,000 gigabytes of Internet traffic, 7,000 Tweets, 90,000 YouTube videos viewed, and 2.3 million emails sent.  This is an insight which global brands must understand: embrace the Age of Authenticity or risk being left behind.

UnknownThere is a pervasive, deeply running digital marketing talent gap – a substantial difference between what employers value and what talent is available. While 71% of large brand/enterprise organizations believe their digital marketing team is strong in some areas, their employees exhibit mediocrity/ weakness in others when importance and strength are analyzed together, with sizeable gaps in every area studied.

imagesLarge organizations of all types suffer from an assortment of congenital disabilities that no amount of incremental therapy can cure. First, they are inertial. They are frequently caught out by the future and seldom change in the absence of a crisis. Deep change, when it happens, is belated and convulsive, and typically requires an overhaul of the leadership team. Absent the bloodshed, the dynamics of change in the world’s largest companies aren’t much different from what one sees in a poorly- governed, authoritarian regime – and for the same reason: there are few, if any, mechanisms that facilitate proactive bottom-up renewal.

newretailThe decline of the U.S. middle class has corporate America and Wall Street scared. And nobody is more frightened than America’s biggest retailers.   More than five years after the end of the Great Recession—August 2014—retail spending per person had finally reached its prerecession level.  The culprit is low wages and income growth for the middle class. Median household income in 2013 stood 8 percentage points below its 2007 prerecession level. The simple fact of the matter is that when households do not have money, retailers do not have customers.