How we can learn from companies such as H&M or Zara

Dear reader

The modern multitaskers rely on entirely different channels for communication. They are more comfortable with social media, the web, apps… For them it is key that they get a sense of “one-to-one” marketing communication. This also implies more interactiveness.

To implement fast changes requires new corporate thinking and development of new capabilities: Incrementation listening to the consumer – without an arrogant mind.

It is hard to summarise a book in a few words. Thanks to the European Business Review, Jimmi Rembiszewski who wrote the book with me an I had the opportunity to write this article in the last edition of the European Business Review.

From Great to Gone Markeeting in the digital agePlease click to download and to share the article.

I think the book is a good reading but – it’s not up to me to make a final judgement. Only you, the readers, can tell.

Best regards,
Peter Lorange

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How to handle chaos or new order in tomorrow’s world?

Dear reader

a few weeks ago 52 students graduated from our business school: an important step in the personal and professional development of all graduates!

My faculty fellow Bill Holstein held a terrific speech I would like to share with you.

Download Graduation Remarks – March 30, 2012
by William K. Holstein, Professor of Strategy and IT, Lorange Institute of Business Zurich

He compared the current economic situation with the weather forecast and concluded that we’ve entered an area of unpredictability, which has a lot to do with the increased speed of communication.

I quickly summarize a few of his statements:

“In 2005 there were 134 million mobile phone users in Africa. In 2011, only six years later, there were 660 million – an average growth rate of more than 30 percent per year. (…) Such explosive growth in such a chaotic area of the works spells opportunity for those who can spell correctly.”

Bill Holsteins Graduation Speech (Graduation Remarks – March 30, 2012 William K. Holstein, Professor of Strategy and IT, Lorange Institute of Business Zurich) at our Business School“Sales on eBay conducted over mobile phones amounted to $600 million in 2009 and over $5 Billion in 2011. More than an 8 times increase in two years! And eBay expects the percentage of sales over mobile phones to grow 100 percent more in the next few years. (…) This changes the business model for a traditional retailer dramatically. Many will not be able to respond fast enough to survive.”

“U.S. workers tenure in their current job is 4.4 years. The average number of jobs in a lifetime: 11.4 for men, 10.7 for women, not three as for me.”

Bill summarized his speech in one word: chaos. Chaos is the opposite of the idea of order.  Or as Bill put it: “when conditions are chaotic, you must apply different techniques. “ This is the true challenge.

Yours,
Peter Lorange

Social Media: Where’s the Beef?

Dear reader,

faculty member Gordon Adler ** is a communications specialist and has been in the business for many years. Recently he published an article in the GAA magazine „News+More“ (alumni) on social media and posted it in his blog.

With his friendly permission we quote his blog post and include the mentioned article as pdf download. Thank you, Gordon!

Yours,
Peter Lorange

Social Media: Where’s the Beef?

by Dr. Gordon Adler

Many companies are using social media. Some are leading the way:

Others throw money at it, but they haven’t figured out how to use it well. I’m  no exception. I can talk a good social media game, but truth be told, I’m not sure what works and what doesn’t.  So, what should we do?

I tried to answer this question in a short article I published in News & More, the GAA Alumni Network magazine:  Social Media: Big Buzz, Big Budgets, But Where’s the Beef?

Here are three things you need to do to get started:

  1. Learn the basics
  2. Align your social media strategy with your communication strategy
  3. Measure returns on your social investment

Seems to me you can’t be in it for short term gains. Social media is a long game. You’ve got to be committed and consistent.

*******

** Gordon Adler is a communications expert who earned a Doctorate of Business Administration in Corporate Strategy Communication with distinction at the University of South Australia. He has been a Guest Lecturer at the Graduate Institute of Geneva, IMD and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) and was the director of the International School Bern for several years. He now shares the experience he gained as director of communications at IMD Lausanne and in other positions, through Adlerway, his own consulting company for strategic management and communications, and as a teacher at Lorange.

Job search and Social Media: The University Report 2011

Dear reader,

My whole life I’ve been deeply involved in both, advanced and executive studies and the economy as owner of a shipping company. One of the most important conclusions of my experience is that (unless you study human sciences) studies need to have a close link with practice. When you study you wish to either find or be back on the job as soon as possible after your degree.

Job search is key. In the latest University Report – Europe – Switzerland 2011 by Potentialpark a focus was on trends in social media and mobile recruiting. Among many other information the stuy indicated that students want to interact with employers on professional networks and that the graduates expect from companies

a)Building their professional network
b) or connecting with people they have met

You’ll find more and all information inside the report – interesting indeed.

Both, the ‘war on talent’ and  social media and online collaboration are important subjects in our various master studies. We offer a Master of Science in “Talent and Intellectual Capital Management” and, as part of the Master of Science in “Business Driven Information Management” a 2-day-module on social media and online collaboration.

Kind regards,
Peter Lorange

Who is…Entrypark

Their mission is to spring-board ambitious job seekers’ careers by facilitating their information-gathering and decision-making. By communicating relevant and valuable career information and opportunities from the world’s best employers, they aim to be the premier source of recruitment knowledge and insights for both job seekers and recruiters. Learn more about Entrypark’s activities below. www.entrypark.com

…Potentialpark

For almost a decade, Potentialpark has conducted market research about the information-gathering, decision-making and application processes of job seekers. Our knowledge and advice have helped employers, service providers and universities worldwide to communicate better with their target groups. www.potentialpark.com

Tools of a Revolution?

By Gordon Adler

We recently witnessed history being made in Egypt. But the role of the Internet, particularly  social media,  remains unclear – wild generalizations litter the blogosphere. Was it really Revolution 2.0?

There’s some truth in every analysis I’ve heard: social media enabled the revolution, propelled and accelerated it, but protestors would have toppled Mubarak without the Internet. The killer app was people demanding their freedom.  And so forth.

In a well-known New Yorker piece, Malcolm Gladwell claimed that social media – Facebook and Twitter – can’t create the strong bonds social activism requires. “People with a grievance will always find ways to communicate with each other.” So maybe Facebook and Twitter are useful tools, but not the tools of revolution.

Maybe the tools of the Egyptian revolution are the Egyptian people themselves. Maybe if Mubarak had been forced to step down five years ago,  we would have been celebrating the power of cell phones.

But then again, maybe the Egyptian protests were not only a Facebook event, but an Internet uprising. As a post from the communications Edelman Digital suggests, if the Internet didn’t matter, why did Mubarak’s cronies pull the plug?

Until the fiber optics went dark, the Internet served as a kind of communication cloud – where the cell phones, satellite phones, land line phones, fax machines, Facebook and other tools like Google and Twitter’s collaborative phone-to-twitter application Speak2Tweet basically created a huge flashmob (some say eight million) on Cairo’s streets.

Maybe we need to see the social media, not as the cause  of the revolution, but as the accelerator.  The propellant. The leaflets of the 21st century.

One thing is sure:  social media made the events in Tahrir Square into an international public spectacle. This increased pressure on the Mubarak regime. And empowered those with their feet on the ground near idling tanks.

Another thing is sure: Facebook and Twitter have become one of the ways many people communicate. Twitter has 600 million users. The Internet has an estimated 2 billion users. We should have been surprised if social media had not been used.

If you were amazed by the apparent power of social media in Egypt, you should be asking what took us so long to open our eyes. Grade school children wouldn’t be surprised!

All the arguments I’ve heard are probably right – in some degree.  Twitter and Facebok probably helped. They weren’t the only fuel. And certainly not the cause. I’m betting the revolution would have happened without the tools. But the tools are here to stay.

As I write this, images of protesting Libyans fill my TV screen. “Khaddafi out” read the signs on the videos uploaded from mobile phones. Keep your eyes on Libya, Iran, Oman, Jemen, Bahrain. We need more facts. In the meantime, events we thought impossible now seem possible.

Dr. Gordon Adler,
MA, MBA, DBA

is member of the facutlty at the Lorange Institute of Business.

He is the managing director of Adlerway, his communications and consulting company.