Modern marketing a marvel in creative work

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Creativity is something that is special and unique to each of us. For some of us, our creativity is more set, more structured, and for others it is a wild, flowing extension of ourselves. Some people are so creatively-tuned that they turn their creativity into a blooming career. There are so many careers that cater to the creative energy in all of us. When it comes to creative career paths, one that is often overlooked is marketing. It might seem to many like marketing is more of a structured-approach career path, but the entire basis of marketing today is set around creative license and bringing concepts and ideas to creative license for the masses to see and respond to. Creative work is something that we all aspire to in one way or another, but for those of us to turn it into a career, marketing is one of the most powerful ways we can harness our creativity and use it in a professional setting, to propel ourselves forward in our careers. In short, modern marketing is all about harnessing personal creativity to enhance professional reach and further exposure.

There are many different facets of marketing, as well. In many ways, photographers are marketers in their own right. Their work is a means of marketing images in an appealing way to clients, to audiences, and to companies around the world. Similarly, the same goes for videographers, artists, authors, musicians. The list goes on and on. The structure of modern society is that everything pivots and spins in a modem centred around marketing efforts. Everything anyone does is a direct action or response to some effort in marketing – even if not officially. We buy the clothes we see our friends and influencers we follow rocking. We listen to the bands that we find on Spotify. We read the books and watch the films our loved ones love. We buy the cars that companies promise are the most environmentally-inclusive vehicles on the roads. Quite literally, every motion in this modern world is driven by marketing in one way or another.

With this truth in mind, why not enjoy a career in marketing? Being in a career in marketing means that you are consistently working to achieve more ambitious goals, creative directions. But more than that, working marketing ensures that you have a release for all your creative ideas and expressions, while getting paid for it. And realistically, is there anything better in all the world than getting paid to do what you love? There isn’t. Freedom is something that we all crave in the deepest, darkest corners of our souls, and careers with creative cores are the very same professional pathways that bring out the creative energy and the freedom, in one neat little package. Never before has there been such an overwhelmingly positive nature towards these types of careers, and they are drawing in the masses more and more often, as everyone reaches for a career in the creative sector.

Businesses lean so heavily on creative marketing these days because that is the advertising and marketing strategy that modern consumers respond most positively to, and most consistently as well. Consumers run the world, and marketing is the way that businesses and individuals can reach their consumer bases with the most ease and velocity. There is no other branding strategy as concrete and broadly viable as creative marketing in all its forms. Creative marketing is the backbone of modern business success, but it is also one of the most overwhelmingly successful career paths for a creatively-inclined individual there is. Creative minds are the heart of our modern society and the subsequent expectations, and marketing is one of the most influential ways to turn creativity into a blooming career.

When it comes to being in touch with our creative side, for those who are more creatively-inclined than intellectually so, forging a career in marketing is one of the smartest professional moves they can possibly make. A career in marketing is something that is often overlooked when creative minds are considering their career options – until now. As the entire world practically revolves around marketing in all its forms, forging a career in marketing is a strong professional move that can – and often does – prove to be immensely valuable in the long run. There is a lot to be said about creative energy being utilised to bring exciting and unique ideas to the world, and that is the whole point of marketing. There is also a sense of freedom that is often difficult to match in other careers, because in marketing there is quite a lot of creative release that can flow relatively (if not wholly) freely. Modern marketing is often referred to as a marvel in creative work, and it is not at all difficult to understand exactly why. This is the new norm, and creative minds are driving this ideal.

Ads for the Millennial mindset

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Advertising strategies and content changed from billboards to radio and TV. Now the Internet and smartphones in the hands of Millennials require greater change in ads

There was a time that manufacturers could say whatever they wished about their product, even if untrue, and customers believed every word. Not anymore. The Millennials generation ‘s plea to brands, is, “Authenticity, not advertising.”

Millennials, making up 25% of the US population, and spending $200 billion annually on products and services, are not a segment to be ignored. And they have their own views of advertising as manipulated messages geared to increasing sales. A recent survey carried out by the Illinois-based McCarthy Group, found that 84% of millennials dislike and distrust advertising. At the same time, 58% of young people will tolerate digital ads or Google Search Ads to support their favorite digital personalities. Also, according to a recent survey by the mobile advertising platform, Aki Technologies, they found that consumers respond to ads on their mobile as they watch TV and ads they see just before they go to sleep.

The perspective was different in earlier times. Americans became addicted consumers with the rise of advertising in the mid twentieth century, with annual advertising budgets increasing from $6 billion in 1950, to over $13 billion in 1963. As President of the National Broadcasting Company, Robert Sarnoff, said in 1956, “The reason we have such a high standard of living is because advertising has created an American frame of mind that makes people want more things, better things, and newer things.”

The radio, the initial TV and billboards blended into the golden era of advertising. As TV became a popular family leisure activity, advertisers used TV images to differentiate their products and to show the strength and quality of their particular products, like a Band-Aid bandage staying fixed on an egg in boiling water. In the meantime, advertising had to change strategies to encourage consumers to keep on buying when their initial demand was sated. Continuously improved products came to be advertised to create “consumption anxiety,” making people buy products that were not essentials.

As technology evolved, there has been a shift in advertising motive. Today, the focus is not selling mentality, but concepts like community-building, energy-saving and conservation and sustainability.

Furthermore, with the advent of the Internet and the ensuing ability to obtain information instantly, people were no longer enthralled by advertisements. On the contrary, they viewed advertisements with a sense of skepticism, because the exaggeration and overpromise of many ads became apparent when reality showed something different. Therefore, people started looking to other online users of the product to exchange frank and honest opinions.

With Millennials being the first “digital natives,” growing up with smartphones and the Internet, they are not gullible or ignorant, and take ad content with a pinch of salt if they do not completely reject it. Therefore, with Millennials, advertising requires a fresh and honest approach.

Nevertheless, the truth appears to be that consumers do not hate all ads. They just abhor the bad ones. About 83% of people say, “Not all ads are bad, but I want to filter out the really obnoxious ones.” Even as many people use ad blocking apps to suppress all ads, 77% of them say they would like to filter out distasteful ads rather than blocking ads completely. There are many people who have, in recent times, been introduced to products they have come to love, through appropriately placed high quality advertising.

What stands out in the advertising arena is that millennials refuse to be “talked at.” They are in the habit of being able to control the information in their daily lives, and they interact no differently with the online brands they are introduced to. They want to have control of the messaging. They want products they wish to have for the things they want to do. They will not be lured to buy a product just because it is advertised. And if they are brand loyal, such as following the brand, or liking it on social media platforms, they expect to be rewarded for it. They seek out coupons, and want to have priority in receiving product updates.

As British writer and businessman, Paul Marsden reminds, “Business is all about solving people’s problems – at a profit.” Indian author of self-help books, Siv Khera’s perception is “We don’t have business problems, we have people problems. When we take care of our people problems, most of our business problems are automatically resolved.” Founder of the Twitter app store, Oneforty, Laura Fitton, says, “Focus on the core problem your business solves and put out lots of content and enthusiasm., and ideas about how to solve that problem.”

Thus, advertising of today revolves around being honest and open about resolving consumer problems. That is the way to reach the millennial mind.

Digital marketing leading business strategy in modern age

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In this world of increasing technological enhancement, it goes without saying that the entire world has experienced something of a gravitational shift towards concepts, processes, and systems that align with that technological impact. From entire industries to everyday life at home, the ways that we interact with the world has been fundamentally changed forever. One of the most impactful changes to everyday life and the economy in turn has been the impact on the way that modern businesses market. Digital marketing is a concept that was unheard of twenty years ago, and yet today it is the biggest marketing prospect in all the world. Years ago, traditional marketing strategies were what held businesses in high regard, what won them customers and propelled their business’ reputation into the next eras. When the rise of technological advancement and rapid digitalisation first came to be, marketing did not budge all that much. But as it became clearer that technologies and digitalisation were going nowhere (in fact, quite the opposite), businesses began to take note of these innovations, eventually incorporating them into their business strategies in what is today known as digital marketing.

There are many moving pieces to digital marketing. From SEO marketing to email marketing, and even to social media marketing strategizing, digital marketing is making its impact in ways that are not always entirely obvious straight off the bat. Businesses are feeling more in control, safer, and more energised because they finally have this new wall of business strategy that efficiently places them directly in front of the modern consumer. Modern consumers no longer react and act towards business’ marketing strategies in the same ways that they did so long ago, and a lot of that – if not all of it – is because technological advancement has shifted consumers’ attention from the real world around them, to the digital landscape in front of them through their device screens. This is the reality now, and therefore digital marketing is so important and so successful to modern businesses: without digital marketing efforts, businesses no longer have the same scope of impact on consumers that their competitors do.

Further, when the world is becoming so digitally focused – a focus that is international – the world of business is becoming more competitive every day, and businesses that do not modernise will almost certainly crumble to dust. In its nature, marketing is always shifting, forever changing and evolving. The rise of the internet has led to an increase in our use of technological and digital devices and systems. Because of this increased use, we are more than ever inherently focused on our devices. Businesses have taken note of this, and adjusted their advertising and marketing strategies accordingly, in the hope of gaining favour over competitors. The consumer has never been more powerful in the grand scheme of things, because even with businesses all jumping on the digital marketing bandwagon, there is so much traffic coming in from businesses always that consumers only click into and buy from the businesses that truly stand out. Having digital marketing strategies as part of a business model gets business’ foot in the door, but it by no means makes them automatically successful. To be truly successful in an ever-increasingly competitive economy, businesses must have a strategy in place that grabs the attention of consumers, and demands admiration and a unique flair.

The incredible thing to realise is that while digital marketing is a relatively new concept to businesses and industries the world over, it has already proven to be a weapon in modern (and likely future) marketing strategizing – when it is used accordingly and appropriately. Digital marketing is a wonder in modern marketing strategizing, and going forward into the future it is going to remain at the helm of powerful marketing concepts. As long as consumers’ attention is drawn to technologies and digital devices, digital marketing is going to remain the world’s most powerful and impactful marketing strategy. And if we have learnt anything in recent times, it is that technology and digitalisation are not going anywhere; in fact, they are only just beginning to kick into high gear. Digital marketing is the saving grace for modern businesses. While the world of business used to operate on strictly traditional terminologies, the rise of technological advancement and rapid digitalisation meant that consumers were taking more notice of businesses that used modern marketing methods to grasp their attention, because that is where their attention was.

Over time, digital marketing has ballooned to become this enormous undertaking that is both innovative and exciting, and businesses are loving it. Many businesses were beginning to feel the pull of irrelevance in a digital world, and having access to such an incredible wealth of [practically] global consumer reach has revitalised businesses that were on the edge of going out of business. Digital marketing has revitalised a dying industry, effectively pulling it back into realignment with the rest of the world, and the result has been nothing short of astonishing. Digital marketing is not just the next passing phase in the marketing world. It is the new reigning weapon in advertising and marketing, and modern (and future) businesses have it cemented in as part of their core business strategy.

Digital marketing a rising force in age of modern marketing

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Modern marketing is worlds away from its traditional predecessor. We live in an age now where everything is surrounded by, immersed in, or created of some remarkable feat of technological brilliance, digitalisation at its finest. Every industry in the world has been profoundly changed by these waves of technological advancement. We are more aware of this than we perhaps like to admit. It is the nature of humanity that we become more comfortable in our surroundings the longer they are there, the more familiar we become with them. The rapid surge of technological disruption and certain digitalisation is much the same way. We used to be shocked into focus when new technological innovations broke headway, and while they are still incredibly impressive, we have come to a point where we are so comfortable that we expect them, that they do not stand out to us as much as they should. Of course, there are exceptions to every rule, and digital marketing is one of those exceptions. A modern saving grace in the business world, digital marketing has everything that traditional marketing – and businesses making active and consistent use of those traditional marketing efforts – has been so desperately missing. This is a righting of ships, a realignment with the rest of the world.

Practically every business and industry has gone through its own kind of revitalisation in the wake of modernisation. The modern economy is vastly different to the one that existed fifty, even twenty years ago. We have long held on to the believe that some industries will always stay the same (if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it). Even as technological advancement swirled onto the scene, this still held true for many people. But digital marketing has come at a time where traditional marketing strategies were beginning to grow stale, no longer truly capturing the attention and will of modern consumers. A change was desperately needed. So, when digital marketing arrived on the scene, people were impressed and shocked simultaneously, feeling the excitement of the revitalisation of a business concept that, quite frankly, was very much overdue. And, it has blown up, ballooning to become most – if not all – modern business’ leading marketing strategy.

Whether businesses are investing in the professional assistance of an SEO agency or powering all their marketing efforts on their own, it is a virtual certainty that digital marketing is at least part of the mix. The marketing strategies that businesses use to increase their exposure and consumer drive that business’ reputation and global exposure to all-new heights, and it is heights that they are finally able to realistically leap to – all thanks to the revolution that is digital marketing. Because the world – and, in turn, modern consumers – are more engaged by digital efforts than traditional marketing concepts these days, businesses have understood that the key to their survival in this age – and going into the future, for that matter – lies in taking full advantage of digital marketing, using it to heighten business exposure and active consumer engagement. More than ever, we are surrounded by digitised efforts to gain our attention, and our business.

Digitalisation and technological advancement are at the forefront of modernisation at practically every angle. Digital marketing is at the forefront of the modernisation of the worldwide marketing stratosphere. Traditional marketing tactics can still work, but more and more often it is becoming abundantly clear that the true ringer for success for any business these days is the successful use of digital marketing techniques. Even so, it is important for businesses today to remember that different strategies work for different businesses, and so having the advice and/or assistance of a professional agency to can be the key to harnessing the power of digital marketing in ways that are not only efficient, but will yield long-lived results. Traditional marketing will always have its place in the marketing and business landscape – after all, it works well even now – but as more time passes, it will become increasingly evident that when traditional marketing strategies are utilised, they are done so in collaboration with the successes of digital marketing methods. Strictly using traditional marketing strategies will no longer cut it.

In a world where everything around us has been changed, impacted, or otherwise altered in some way at the hands of technological advancement, a revolutionary evolution like digital marketing has had significant impact on not only businesses, but the way we view businesses in this tech-driven age. We have never before been so enveloped in technological advancement and certain digitalisation, and digital marketing is helping to drive that tech-powered movement ever further. There is no denying that the introduction of digital marketing was a much-needed revitalising boost for the digital marketing stratosphere. Thanks to digital marketing concepts and strategies, even the most traditionally-driven businesses are being given new life, newfound exposure, and all-new purpose.

Winning clients and closing deals: the key concepts behind business negotiations

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Negotiations are an inherent part of business. This can be as simple as purchasing inventory or as complex as negotiating a merger of two companies. In short, many deals and transactions require negotiations.

Make sure you get your perspective on negotiations right.  It’s not a friendly outing at Starbucks. It’s a challenge that you must win by playing cool while the other party falters. You have to extract the best deal possible. You will have to sell hard. It’s a tried and tested way that’s proven to work much better than a soft sell. However, negotiation, like most other processes is a certain skill that has to be learnt and polished over time, mostly through negotiation training.

Aggressive People Win

Your stance has to be clear. If you are meek, passive and timid then you are not going to win many good deals. This can clearly be evinced for example by checking out the best lawyers. Negotiations are routine for lawyers. The most fearless, ruthless and downright belligerent lawyers are the winners in the negotiations game. They can easily intimidate people into agreeing to their terms.

Be Nonchalant Under Pressure

Knowing the relative strengths of the negotiating parties is extremely important. For example, as a vendor you are confronted with the question ‘there are so many other vendors out there, why should I pick you?’ Present all of your strengths, expertise and experience. At the end, you should insinuate that if you don’t go with you then you will not be available for them in the future. The time to act is now. Don’t betray your trepidation. If you make that mistake then the other party will bully you into compromises and concessions. Just show that you are in no hurry and you can walk out of the deal with perfect equanimity. This is an old ploy successfully leveraged by the best poker players. They know that even with a mediocre hand they can play on the fears of their opponents to win. To execute this high-level kind of negotiation, you will need to learn from experts with some serious negotiation experience, for which there are negotiation firms out there that teach these skills.

Don’t undersell easily

The prospective buyer will prod you to offer your best price. Be stubborn and don’t be cajoled easily. If you naively give your best quote the conniving customer will still say that it’s not enough and will ask for more. If you have to give discounts then do so very slowly always keep some room to maneuver. This way you will wind up giving a 4 percent discount instead of going all the way into double digits for instance. A little obduracy can pay.

It’s More Than Just the Price

Pay very close attention to the terms in addition to the price. If you get a low price you should be concerned as to why the other party is underselling itself and you should ask appropriate questions concerning quality in a judicious manner. If the price is too high then you should confront the seller with market data and say that such a high offering is not vindicated in the light of current market conditions. Keep asking questions and pay very close attention. Be skeptical and don’t accept anything at face value. Seek upfront evidence for any claims. Negotiation consulting can teach you to be this savy in a negotiation so you never get a bad deal.

Write It Down

When you understand that the other party is no longer willing to compromise then have them write down their final offer on paper and show it to your lawyer. He will advise you whether or not it’s a good deal. A lawyer can tell which terms are problematic. You can then decide at leisure whether or not those terms are acceptable to you. Invite your partners and associates to pore over the details and ask for advice from knowledgeable persons who have experience and acumen in this regard.

Cultural Values Matter

Due to the international nature of trade, you must pay attention to cultural values and sensibilities. For instance, when Enron was negotiating with Indian authorities, it lost its bid to some other company because the government thought that Enron’s pace of negotiations was too fast. It’s true that time is money but in many parts of the world, people like to take their time when the deal is big.

Successful business in this modern era starts with sound morality

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The modern business market is vastly different from the one that existed fifty years ago. We have evolved and shifted through countless eras and innovations to get to where we are today. The present-day business model centres around a healthy workplace environment, a positive team experience, and a passionate employee mindset. And at the heart of it all, successful business in this modern era begins and ends with sound and consistent morality and it doesn’t hurt to have great IT support. Without a persistent drive towards morality, there is nothing. We are more inherently focused than ever on maintaining a happy, healthy quality of life and overall lifestyle, and seeing as we spend (on average) a third of the working week at our jobs, it makes perfect sense that there is more of a drive towards maintaining morally sound, overall positive environments in a business workplace. It is entirely fair that employees want to be treated with dignity and respect, and it is perfectly acceptable to expect all modern businesses to not only comply with this ideal, but to constantly strive to ensure that it is met with the utmost dedication and effort.

First and foremost, it is crucial to understand the difference between a boss and a leader. A boss is someone who stands at the forefront of a ship while their employees tirelessly work to steer the ship in the right direction. A leader, on the other hand, is someone who is amid the chaos, working with their team to bring the ship to the safety of the shore. While a boss steps back and allows his employees do all the hard work, often (if not always) taking credit for the results of that hard work, a leader makes his team stand with him, and even pushes them to the front when the crowd cheers wildly for their efforts. Any good employer aims to be a leader, but only the hardworking, truly great ones effectively become one. We exist in a modern society that, above all else, values the values of teamwork, respect, and positivity, and no modern business can hope to thrive without these ideals and a leader driving the business forward, onward, and upward into new elevations of exceeding success.

The key to creating a business that prospective employees want to be a part of is ensuring that the workplace functions in a healthy way. It is all well and good to say that your company can provide candidates with a great environment to work in and a positive team, but words are just words without action. When your employees are happy, they do their best work. the same can (and should) be said for circumstances where employees are, for whatever reason, unhappy. To get the most out of any business’ employees, and to ensure that the company thrives at its highest possible frequency, the most important thing is maintaining that healthy, positive business model. The core of the business should resonate with the most positive employee experiences. That is how businesses get reputations as highly sought after companies, that is all there is to it. Well, that and a lot of hard work and determination.

When it comes to running a successful business in this day and age, everything starts with sound morality. A leader operates with morality in the back of his mind because it comes naturally and effortlessly. A leader understands that to attract – and keep – the top talent in this modern marketplace, their business must create a sense of imminent drive and whole purpose. There must be a sound reason and a just cause for employees to want to choose to work – and stay – with the business. Anything less and the business is not likely to last very long, not in this modern era. Present-day society demands that any business in operation today can maintain all these positive values, even when the going gets tough (because it will…no path to success is ever a completely smooth one). When it comes down to it, nothing worth having comes easily, and when it does there is probably a bump waiting around the corner.

The world of modern business has successfully made it through countless eras and innovations to get to where it is today. The present-day world of business focuses on the health and quality of life of all employees and business owners. While one owns the company and the others work for it, there should not be a differing level of respect held dependent on which post an individual holds. These days, prospective employees expect and pull favour towards businesses that can and will adequately meet their expectations. Their expectations centre around working in a healthy, positive business environment while feeling driven, challenged, and impassioned by their work. Businesses that are thriving are doing so because they are not stupid – these are the businesses that have recognised the traits of a workplace that matter to candidates and prospective employees entering the workforce. Luckily, they are (most of the time) more than willing and able to comply.

The future of fintech in terms of security

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Silicon Valley has been the center of the tech world, but this isn’t necessarily the case when taking a look at the fintech industry. There are companies all over the world excelling rapidly within this field. This might be because it is the most applicable sect of the tech industry. Fintech opens up doors to nearly any company taking advantage of its developments.

According to a well-done webinar by Morningstar Inc., “FinTech companies are businesses that leverage new technology to create new and better financial services for both consumers and businesses. It includes companies of all kinds that may operate in personal financial management, insurance, payment, asset management, etc.” This should paint you an accurate picture of the possibilities that this industry holds for the future of companies around the world.

Fintech means a lot to the start-ups using the strategies and the traditional banks that are set in old strategies. Traditional banking will continue to become more and more outdated if these banks fail to adapt some of the innovations that are being presented in the fintech field.  This is especially true when we consider the fact that Millennials are getting older and looking to places to invest and save their money. Banks that offer more electronic ease and other features are highly likely to take the cake when looking at new clients.

This means competition will remain fierce in the financial industry, thanks to fintech and all its advancements.  Large banks like Capital One are at the forefront of fintech and taking advantage of the developments it will bring. Banks that keep their head above water will be the ones remaining relevant through the changes that fintech will bring to the industry.

Security is a proponent of fintech that most people are excited about in the industry. There is room for so many improvements regarding information security and the safety of important data. There are companies focusing on this aspect of fintech that will drastically improve our ability to feel safe banking online.

The wariness towards trusting money that you are storing online is one aspect of fintech that will constantly need improvement due to the constantly changing online tools and features. This is a great field to go into because there will always be jobs making online banking safer. As technology progresses, so do the hackers that can find work arounds. This is widely known, which makes consumers wary. This creates a steady need for financial security developments and precautions. Examples of fintech products that make consumers feel at ease are tools like fake credit cards with numbers connected to your real credit card. This makes it so credit card numbers can’t be stolen. It’s genius—really. We just need to see more of this moving forward to create a theft-free and hack-free financial space online.

Companies like Experian have released tools that can help companies track consumer behavior. Two of these tools are Ascend and PowerCurve. PowerCurve predicts whether someone will be receptive to a product and Ascend uses AI to track consumer behavior. Tools like these paired with impeccable fintech strategy will really make a company stand out from the competitors.  Experian is also huge in fintech because it can protect from identity theft. They also allow lenders to run credit-scoring so they can assess applications for car finance etc. Companies like this are allowing other companies to meet tech and financial goals through their innovation.

We will definitely see an increase in companies that can provide tools like Experian does. These small, but complicated technological advancements have the power to revolutionize how a company sells and completes transactions. Small tools like the credit checking tool allow for companies to focus on their message, branding etc. while another company provides their advancement in financial technology.

Another tool that more companies will need is the help of fintech consultants and experts. Since fintech is fairly innovative and fresh, the need for consultants to lead companies in the right direction is apparent. This field is opening up a whole new need in the job field as well.

Moving forward, we can expect a decrease in the amount of banks sticking only to traditional banking. There also will be further developments in security, which will make this industry take off. Once the security aspects are perfected, we will see a huge increase in the success of fintech. The field is already changing the way humans invest, spend and save money.

One thing that can be said for sure about the future of fintech is that big data, A.I. and machine learning will all have a hand in its success. This industry is taking off and encompassing nearly any business that complete financial transactions, manages money, invests money etc. Fintech won’t be slowing down in the near future, that is certain.

The revolution of the food & beverage business

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The food and beverage industry has always had a prominent presence. Every living being needs to eat, and our consumption as a species has the most impact worldwide. Even as one of the world’s most integral industries, the food and beverage industry is one that has been through its fair share transitory eras. Over the years, the one steady shift has been the rise of experience-driven decisions – including our food. Food has always been an experience of sorts. Simply getting the groceries is an experience, for example. The shift, however, has come in the form of the importance that is increasingly being placed on the experiences that are associated with food. Rather than collecting material things, today’s society is now hyper-focused on collecting experiences. The food and beverages industry has not only noticed this gravitational shift, but it has been one of the pioneering industries in helping the focus to grow. From finally getting to eat at that fine dining restaurant you have been waiting to try, to travelling abroad and trying the street food, eating is all about the experience these days.

Evolution is a natural progression of all ongoing concepts, events, lives, and industries. The food and beverage business, for example, has always been driven to deliver food to consumers. The key shift in the industry lies in the importance being placed on providing more than just the food to consumers, but the experience as well. Consumers used to be driven by material wealth, but these days the modern consumer wants an experience they can enjoy. Food has historically been considered an experience on holidays, special occasions, and with family and friends. But the industry has noted that consumers want every meal to be an experience, and they have taken the hint and begun to produce a culinary experience that diners relish in.

Fine dining restaurants pride themselves on delivering food of the best quality in luxury surrounds. Cafes these days serve vegan and gluten-free food to cater to people with dietary requirements. Everywhere you look, food is now being treated as an experience – and that is how it should be. Not a single industry can survive without the support and supply of its consumers, and the food and beverage business is no different – from growing and purchasing the food, to using the ingredients to forge meals that will remembered long after diners’ stomachs are full.

From the way that consumers grocery shop to the way that food and beverage-focused businesses source their ingredients, the food industry is undeniably experiencing a resurgence in experience-focused business methods and models. One shining example of this is the recent ban of single use plastic bags in grocery stores throughout Australia. While grocery shopping is merely the collection of our food, consumers have made the conscious decision more and more often lately to call for the plastic bags that groceries have historically been packed into, to be banned. Single use plastic is harmful for animals that may choke on it, and the environment as well. Consumers began to make the conscious decision to shop at supermarkets that did not offer the single use plastics, and the supermarkets noticed and soon a ban had been carried out – and is still under effect – that saw consumers having to bring their own reusable grocery bags to stock their groceries into.

Just a single example of how the food and beverage industry has shifted to provide consumers with the types of experiences they want to have, the plastic bag grocery store ban is a mere taste of the importance of catering the experience with food to the consumers’ specifications. Failure to do so poses significant risk in this day and age. As consumers place more focus on what they eat, where their food comes from, and how their food gets to them, the food and beverages industry move towards a more adaptive consumer experience is one that has effectively given them a leg up. The interest in food has increased tenfold over the years, with a specific spike over the last few years in relation to consumers beginning to realise that their key focus should be not on the material things, but the experiences that carry them from one point in their life on to the next.

The food and beverages industry is one that has been through many great evolutions in its time. As the societal pull from material collections to experiences continued to take hold, industries around the world not only took notice, but took heed of the shift in consumer focus. Today, the food and beverages industry has a centralised focus on creating a seamless, extraordinary experience for its consumers. Each section of the industry does this in their own way, but the goal is always the same: to use food to sharpen fond memories into incredible moments. The food and beverages business is knee deep in its greatest evolution thus far, and it is interesting to note that its current era is derived from the core of what food is supposed to be about: the experience.

Creating opportunities for mixed-income housing developments

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Mixed-income housing developments have proven to improve social and economic outcomes for low-income individuals, yet a quick assessment of available options – whether at the community or national level – reveals that such housing options are highly limited. So why are these mixed-income residences so restricted? Though the 2016 Housing and Opportunity through Modernization Act (HOTMA) offers a housing voucher program tied to units rather than households, it’s difficult to incentivize property owners to support such units.

One significant barrier to mixed-income housing comes in the form of property managers who are concerned about conflict between tenants of differing income levels and class backgrounds. In Massachusetts, for example, all housing-authority managed senior citizen housing must also earmark 13.5% of units for disabled people under age 60, with a financial support system similar to that provided through HOTMA. As such, the tenants in these buildings may be higher income older residents and low-income, young people. Because the two tenant groups don’t understand each other, they’re less likely to amicably resolve problems and instead seek outside remediation, creating more work for property managers.

Greater use of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) resources can help minimize conflict between groups by training property managers. The department offers valuable certifications, like Certified Manager of Housing, which train property management professionals in business, finance, and interpersonal skills and prepare them for the difficulties inherent in managing public housing units. Additionally, local workshops and trainings by nonprofits can help property managers learn more about the diverse communities residing in their units.

As a result of interpersonal conflict, many mixed-income housing managers complain about frequent tenant turnover, but one of the great benefits of employing property management support is that it can help ease tensions and reduce that turnover. In fact, according to property managers, 77% of landlords see an increase in rental periods when property managers interface with tenants. Additionally, research by Paul Brophy and Rhonda Smith determined that mixed-income housing can only succeed when, in addition to excellent design and value differentials between market-rate units and low-income units, there is excellent management in place who can provide opportunities and activities for all residents.

Obviously location plays a significant role in the success of mixed-income housing; you’ll only attract higher income tenants if the location is appealing enough that they can move beyond any concerns about class (and, often, race) mixing. This was the theory behind the mixed housing development Urby in New York. Heavily supported by government funding and containing mandated public housing units, the property is in a trendy, rapidly gentrifying area. That location helped draw young, upper-middle-class tenants to the property, but has also created so much conflict that the property is now facing a racial discrimination lawsuit.

The reality quickly revealed by any housing map is that the majority of Americans live in racially homogenous areas and, as such, individuals simply lack the skills to live alongside each other. This is a consequence of decades of redlining, segregation, and white flight, not of any individual housing complex, but tenants need to be prepared to understand and cooperate with neighbors who may not share their culture or history. Great property managers know how to do this through community building events and social justice work, but not all mixed-income properties have managers who are sufficiently prepared to help tenants bridge that gap.

If we hope to see an increase in the number of successful mixed-income, landlords and property owners need to look to the few existing, well-functioning communities. Ethnographic studies of mixed-income housing have shown that success is often determined by the ability to organize around non-class social identities. This works better in mixed-income communities, rather than isolated mixed-income buildings, but the ability of residents to organize around age, religious affiliation, family structure, or other social elements. Additionally, they’re often contingent on access to other shared community spaces, like parks and schools.

Ultimately, as researchers note, communities are malleable – they can be reshaped by the ongoing efforts of tenants and community leaders. Moreover, if the last several years have shown us anything, class is increasingly malleable as well. Recent economic changes have left behind many younger members of the middle class and the growth of the gig economy suggests this won’t change any time soon. Additionally, a more socially conscious younger generation may be better prepared to support and participate in mixed-income housing.

There is no simple solution to the challenges posed by mixed-income housing, and while it is ultimately a social good, that’s only the case when residents can find a way to peaceably co-exist. As it stands, the majority of such complexes offer only forced proximity. What new models need to embrace is mixed-income housing as intentional community. The desire to participate in such a residential model needs to be the primary motivation for participation, rather than an afterthought.

 

2018 business trends that will remain relevant for the foreseeable future

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Some companies that are ahead of the business trends are Amazon, Tesla, Facebook etc. The digitization of business and the way humans work is shifting the entire industry. We are seeing nearly every aspect of businesses merging to with tech—here are some 2018 trends that will be relevant and develop even further in the coming years:

Paid social media is a way for business-to-business and business-to-consumer interaction. Everyone is on social media, so it makes sense that boosted posts and sponsored content are useful in gaining traffic and conversions for websites and businesses. Paid social media allows businesses to target their customer’s actions online and pay to get their content seen by relevant consumers.

There are large advertising agencies such as Edelman taking advantage of the increase in paid media by offering these services to their clients. Many businesses attempt to manage paid media on their own, but end up turning to experts at agencies to manage this aspect of their business. Paid media feels fairly new to the business industry, but it will continue to grow and be widely used.

Not only is banking shifting to almost completely online, there is a completely different form of currency being purchased—cryptocurrency. Bitcoin is the most widely discussed of this currency. It was formed in 2009 and the price of Bitcoin skyrocketed in 2017, which made a lot of money for those who owned it. The development of cryptocurrencies is interesting because it can be used to buy things anonymously and isn’t connected to any country and can’t be subject to regulation. With all of this being said, this is a new form of currency that is gaining attention around the world. It is difficult to predict what the future, but this currency exists and is widely used and known.

As previously mentioned, banking is shifting to nearly all online, which comes as no surprise in this age of technology we live in.

A trend that is making it easier for companies to market to consumers is the development of geo-fencing and hyper-local advertising. This makes it so advertisers can target an audience based on a specific location. This works by using Wi-Fi or cellular data to target users in a specific area.

For example, an online mattress company with lower prices than in-store mattress shops, could target users nearby a mattress warehouse with ads showing mattress reviews and the online store’s low pricing. This then makes these people who are potentially interested in buying a mattress, see that there are cheap options online. Using location brings benefits and saves a lot of time when looking at the marketing and advertising process.

This trend is bringing upon more advertising on the local scale as well, which benefits smaller businesses. Local businesses might not have a massive budget to spend on advertising to a wide audience on the internet. In this case, they can target people in the town they are located in or those driving through. This gives consumers a chance to be aware of small local businesses.

Everyday we see new segments of business or life transfer to being done online. Billboards are irrelevant when a graphic can be designed and sponsored on Instagram to reach more people. Some of the most successful companies like Amazon and Facebook make all of their money online. Digitization is a way to meet the online audience—which can be everyone if done strategically.

We can expect the digitization of everything to increase, especially in the realm of business, finance and advertising. Many companies are solely online because they don’t have to have a storefront and they can reach possibly even more customers. There is a lot of competition online, but it is the way of 2018 and we can only expect it to become more of a norm.

Due to the increase in digital use, businesses have to invest in new information privacy software and risk management. These complexities that occur online must be guarded for websites and companies to keep the trust of their customers.

This also is important to protect the information of the company from hackers. Reddit had an information security system that included two-factor authentication, and they were still hacked.  Recently. This shows the vulnerability that comes with doing business online and owning an e-commerce site or any site. It is crucial that business owners stay smart and proactive when thinking of their information and its vulnerability.

There are third part information security companies that are shining in this moment of needed online protection. The partnership between business and tech is something we can expect to continue seeing in 2018 and beyond.