Ann Smarty outlines three social media trends that will present opportunities brands in the new year, including a focus on the stories formats on Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp. "Interruptive experiences" are losing their appeal and can be replaced with more personalized efforts thanks to advanced tools, and augmented reality "enables brands to create one-of-a-kind, immersive experiences, which facilitates even more connection and brand-building opportunities," she writes.
Delta Air Lines has unveiled virtual queuing to its app, which alerts travelers when their seat is boarding. Delta says passengers can relax nearby instead of crowding at the gate while waiting.
Make an impression on a few people during networking events or conferences and be easily discoverable online instead of relying on business cards that may be lost or forgotten, writes Larry Cornett. "I've handed out plenty of business cards over the past 25+ years, but I can't recall a single time that my card helped me land new gigs," he writes.
Airbnb announced it will consider guests, hosts, communities and employees as stakeholders -- not just investors -- as it emphasizes governance on the road to an initial public offering. Airbnb will hold a stakeholder day instead of a shareholder day, and the startup plans to relate compensation to stakeholder satisfaction as well as traditional metrics.
Quanergy Systems co-founder and CEO Louay Eldada has resigned amid concerns about the driverless vehicle tech startup's finances and its ability to meet its technical goals. Funding rounds for the startup, once valued at over $2 billion, began to net significantly less than targeted, and employees say the company's development focus has shifted.
E-commerce and steady economic growth drove a 7% increase in credit card use in the past five years, according to a report from Packaged Facts. Previous research also points to fewer consumers using cash, especially those with household incomes of at least $75,000.
Businesses with highly specialized products can reach globally scattered customers with "intimacy at scale," writes Adam Davidson, author of "The Passion Economy: The New Rules for Thriving in the 21st Century." Pioneer Equipment, for example, is run by an Amish family that thrives on unique knowledge of its mostly Amish audience and close partnerships, including a metal supplier and a shipping firm.
Technology will continue to shape franchising this year through the growth of artificial intelligence, digital payments, delivery apps and voice ordering, writes Don Daszkowski, founder of IFPG. In addition, Daszkowski predicts progress in gamified digital training, automated text-message marketing and loyalty programs.
Research suggests that leaders with high levels of discipline and love have better-performing teams and less turnover than leaders who try to please or rule over employees, writes John Eades, CEO of LearnLoft. "Leaders whose style is to elevate their employees report having high-performing teams at rates better than all other styles combined," he writes.
Ad buyers and brands are rattled by the fact that Chrome is eliminating cookies and they're "losing their foundational tracking mechanism," Alison Weissbrot writes. She contends Google's Privacy Sandbox solution is "still too theoretical" and suggests marketers start the changeover process by considering first-party data usage, rethinking targeting and optimization and considering new measurement techniques.
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