by _comunica2punto0

#marketing Does Management Consulting Actually Work?

In Marketing on 29 abril, 2017 at 18:05
Being a manager requires an extremely broad skill set that few people have when they first enter into management. Often employees are promoted to the manager level because they show a strong talent in one or more areas of business. Unfortunately, their weaknesses usually become glaringly obvious after missed deadlines, goals or failed projects. This is when many businesses will call in a management consultant. To better understand the value of this type of consulting, lets cover the basics.

What is management consulting?

Management consulting is the business equivalent of life coaching. Rather than helping someone maximize their own personal potential, management consultants help clients develop better skills in their areas of management weakness. Life coaches are hired by their individual clients, management consultants are hired by the company the manager works for. A career in management consulting can be profitable but there are lot of consultants out there to compete with.

What does a management consultant do?

Management consultants evaluate a wide range of managerial criteria to determine where a manager is falling short and then help them develop in their areas of weakness. For example, an individual might have come to the attention of a C-Suite executive because of their can-do attitude and stellar performance. Once they are promoted into management, however, they may find themselves overwhelmed by trying to do everything themselves and not delegating. In other cases, a person with great relational and people skills that has a reputation for building solid, high functioning teams can have a difficult time understanding departmental budgets, scheduling software or other data driven tasks.

Why do businesses hire management consultants?

Every person has a range of strengths and weaknesses. Not only are there no perfect managers, there are few, if any, individuals that excel at all areas of management the second they are given the position. Most individuals will shine brilliantly in one area and bomb in another. Most savvy C-Suite executives promote people with certain important skill sets, and then get them help to develop in their less-than-stellar areas.

Does it work or how does one measure that it works?

Whether management consulting works or not depends on several factors, such as:

  • How open the manager is to being coached: Sometimes, managers think they have it all together and the real problem is the employees. If the manager doesn’t feel they have a problem or that they have any areas of weakness, they will most likely fight against any attempts to help them grow or develop. In that case, consulting will generally fail.
  • Whether the firm hiring the consultant is identifying the right problem: Sometimes a firm will hire a consultant to come in and figure out what the problem is with a certain department or manager and sometimes they will feel they already know. Sometimes they may be right and sometimes they may be wrong. If they try and hire a consultant to fix a problem that doesn’t actually exist, while ignoring the one that does, consulting will generally fail.
  • Whether the area of expertise of the consultant lines up with the weaknesses of the manager: If a consultant’s area of expertise is in marketing and the manager’s problem is that they lack people skills, even the best marketing consultant will probably not be able to help the manager develop better relationships with their team. Keep in mind, marketing experts will almost always see a lack of marketing as the problem, while relationship experts will almost always see poor relationships causing a lack of performance. Getting the right consultant to fix the right problem is crucial to the success of the consulting.
  • Whether the consultant is genuinely qualified: Sometimes, the best sales people are the least qualified. Just as managers can sometimes be fooled by a stellar resume and a good sales pitch, C-Suite executives can also be fooled by a great sales pitch from an inept consultant.

Measuring the success of a consultant depends on the problem that needed to be addressed. Most often when departments are underperforming, their failure is measurable while the reason is not. Employees that are revolting against a micro-manager or overly bossy manager don’t have a statistical model for measuring the bossiness level of their supervisor. On the other hand, if a consultant is brought in and productivity in that department increases measurably, then it would be safe to say the consultant was successful.

via Business Articles | Business 2 Community

#marketing 10 Big Office Trends to Watch This Year

In Marketing on 29 abril, 2017 at 18:01

2016 saw a huge surge in millennials in the marketplace. As a younger workforce becomes more active, companies will start working toward accommodating this new generation by branching out when it comes to attracting and retaining new talent. Older employees will be working alongside a younger demographic, and companies will be looking for new ways to meet both generations in the middle.

Check out the ten biggest office trends to look for this year.

  1. Business Casual Becomes the New Norm

A younger workforce coupled with a growing number of freelance employees may lead to a more “laid back” approach to office attire. Gone are the days of wearing a suit and tie; more employees will be encouraged to dress comfortably to help cater to a growing demographic that overwhelmingly disagrees with the idea of dressing to impress.

  1. Offices Get “Smarter” When It Comes to Technology

More wireless charging stations, outlets, and cords will take up more space in the office. Companies will soon start incorporating more apps into the day-to-day routine. Everything from room bookings to meetings to even client calls will be done via different apps. Brick-and-mortar buildings will undergo a major overhaul to include more smart technology. Smart desks and chairs could also become more popular.

  1. Office Layouts Include More Green Space

Green is the color of productivity — at least that’s what one Harvard study has found. Better in-office design and maintenance has been found to lead to happier, better-focused employees. This year, companies are expected to start incorporating more green spaces into the workplace. As an added bonus, more eco-friendly design layouts have been found to lead to overall higher cognitive function and lower sick rates among employees.

  1. VR Takes on a Bigger Role in the Training Process

Interactive apps will play a bigger role when it comes to the hiring process. In fact, HR companies around the world have already started tinkering with VR and other apps to help hire, train, and reach out to potential employees. More employee training seminars and customer-facing modules will be done via virtual reality.

  1. Workplace Wellness Programs Become More Popular

Standing desks, ergonomic chairs, employee wellness initiatives — these programs saw a boom in the tail end of 2016 and will maintain a healthy level of growth well into this year. More employee fitness programs will continue trending in 2017, with more companies offering generous prizes and benefits for employees who participate. Look out for more inter-office wellness competitions with added perks.

  1. More Employees Work Remotely

Not only are more people working remotely, they’re doing it for longer. A Gallup survey found that 43 percent of employees in the U.S. spent time working remotely. As more workers opt for jobs that give them more flexibility, offices will work to attract talent with the perceived notion that full- and part-time employees have the option to spend a considerable amount of time working offsite.

  1. Companies Focus More on Privacy-Conscious Software Like VPNs

Companies will likely start incorporating more privacy-conscious business practices in the workplace. Common privacy protocols like 2-factor authentication and increasingly stringent password requirements will become more commonplace. Additionally, companies will start routing employee traffic through a VPN, or virtual private network, to help protect their network. Common VPN services are easy to use and can be installed on most office routers to instantly cover every device connected to it.

  1. Steep Increase in Office Interconnectivity

Even with more employees working remotely, a growing trend to watch for is a greater focus on inter-office teams. Offices and organizations might start restructuring the office space to focus more on specific teams or groups of employees. Placing employees in a team setting has been found to help increase work productivity while helping employees and managers meet their goals. Setting up inter-office teams help ensure a more organized and structured way to meet an increasingly critical market demand.

  1. Employees Face Fewer Nontraditional Perks

Perks like free gym memberships, discounts, and student loan repayment plans may sound like enticing work benefits, but studies show they lag behind more traditional full-time perks like health insurance, 401(k) plans, and generous paid time off. A Glassdoor study revealed that while non-traditional perks might help increase the number of applicants for a particular role, it offers little sway when it comes to employees’ overall satisfaction and view of the company. Perks such as office gadgets and toys will become the normal, as companies move more towards a friendlier environment and more towards solving issues such as work burnout and stress.

  1. More Jobs Force Companies to Offer Stronger Benefits

Conversely, while nontraditional benefits are predicted to see a sharp decline in 2017, traditional perks like health care and paid time off are expected to become more generous. In a recent Forbes study, work flexibility was found to be the single biggest employee benefit. Therefore companies are expected to work alongside employees in building an environment and creating benefits packages that give individuals more time and flexibility to enjoy life outside of work.

An improved job market means both employers and employees have more sway when it comes to the workplace, leading to more flexibility, more engagement, and inevitably more options.

via Business Articles | Business 2 Community

#marketing #SocialSkim: LinkedIn’s Major New Milestones, Twitter’s Growth Rebound: 10 Stories This Week

In Marketing on 29 abril, 2017 at 16:45

This week’s ‘Skim covers all sorts of LinkedIn goodies and social networking milestones: LinkedIn officially hits a half billion users globally, rolls out new Matched Audience features for even better ad targeting; Instagram’s growth accelerates dramatically, nears 1 billion users; Twitter reports its strongest growth in over a year, reveals plans to livestream content 24/7; Pinterest calls it quits with social networking; Facebook’s new split-test feature for ads; and much more…

Skim to stay a step ahead of the rest!

1. LinkedIn hits new milestones

LinkedIn announced it’s hit a major milestone and threw around some interesting new figures that show just how global a player the professional social network has become. It now only counts 500 million members across 200 countries but also plays host to more than 10 million jobs, boasts more than 100 million published articles per week, and provides users access to more than 9 million companies worldwide.

The announcement, made via blogpost by the vice-president of growth and international products, also includes some interesting information about the most connected cities, countries, industries, and job functions. Go ahead and check them all out.

2. Instagram tops 700 million users as growth accelerates

Helped by Stories, Web sign-ups, and an easier way to onboard users with lower-end Android devices, the Facebook-owned social network is now twice as big as Twitter in number of active users, and its growth is accelerating.

Though it took six months for Instagram to move from 400 to 500 million users, it’s taken only four months to make the jump from 600 million to 700 million. Snapchat’s growth, on the other hand, has sunk 82% since Instagram unveiled Stories last August.

The United States and Brazil continue to hold the No. 1 and 2 slots in popularity for Instagram, although 80% of the social network’s users live outside the US. The app might just be the next Facebook-owned platform to hit the 1 billion club, and it might happen sooner than we think.

3. LinkedIn strengthens ad offering with Matched Audiences

New targeting capabilities on LinkedIn mean brands can now use the platform to home in on website retargeting, account targeting, and contact targeting. The new Matched Audiences is now available for all LinkedIn ad products, including Sponsored Content, Sponsored InMail, and the platform’s other native ad formats.

The new features will let marketers show ads to users who’ve previously visited their websites, market to contacts included in their customer databases, and reach the decision-makers at the desired companies for account-based marketing strategies. With website retargeting and contact targeting leading to 30% and 37% increases in click-through rates, respectively, it’s no question that these new capabilities might appeal to your LinkedIn strategy.

4. Twitter reports strongest growth and profit in over a year

Despite all the doomsday news the social network faces, Twitter’s stock shot up 11% after the company reported the strongest growth in monthly active users in more than a year and a much better than anticipated quarterly profit.

Monthly active users jumped 6% in the first quarter of 2017, reaching 328 million and beating analyst expectations. Twitter advertising revenue also didn’t fall as much as anticipated, leaving markets a bit more upbeat about the company’s future than they have been in the past. We’ll see if this stretch holds as the social network continues to develop new products and features.

5. Pinterest wants the world to know that it’s not a social network

The company—which many consider a social network—will launch its first major US advertising campaign this summer with the goal of convincing people that it’s actually a visual search engine.

It’s even going to get rid of its “like” button to differentiate it from the Facebooks and Instagrams of the world. Pinterest wants to encourage its users to check out the platform for inspiration, and then get off the Internet and try their hand at creating something in real life. It wants to be the visual discovery tool of choice, and that could just be its ticket to survival in today’s age of cutthroat social media competition.

6. Twitter plans to stream live TV 24/7

Before releasing its quarterly report, top Twitter management said the social network plans to eventually air live video 24 hours per day, 7 days per week on both its website platform and its app. Could it be a smashing success? Yes. The only question is whether Twitter can do so before traditional TV service providers make the full transition to digital delivery of their content—something already well under way.

Not many details were provided, but Twitter says it’s already working on programming, building on the 800+ hours of live content the platform aired in the first quarter of 2017.

If Twitter can manage to transform into a TV-like media destination that promises around-the-clock breaking news, sports, and information channels, it could be enough give the social network the boost it needs to fight off competition.

7. Facebook tests new way to beat fake news

The social network seems to be testing all sorts of tweaks in an effort to crack down on fake news that could influence its users with false information. A new Related Articles widget in the News Feed, which normally only appears after you’ve clicked through to an article and then back to Facebook’s platform, will now start appearing even before users select a story.

Related Articles will also include third-party fact-checked stories in an effort to provide people with additional information and varied perspectives. The hope is that the new feature might just spark users to think before clicking on and reading through—and becoming indoctrinated by—a falsehood-ridden piece of content.

8. Completed wants to loosen LinkedIn’s grip on professional social networking

Completed, a new professional social networking platform, wants to take on LinkedIn, but do so with a Yelp-like twist. Instead of asking its users to rate just a company, Completed also wants its members to rate the business professionals that make up a company.

The social network says the ratings—a sort of “constructive criticism of employee performance”—should create a sense of accountability that can upend the current process businesses use for career development and hiring.

Completed just wrapped up a one-month beta period in which is added 150,000 people to its roster. Do you think the company could take on LinkedIn? Or will the Microsoft-owned social network’s iron grip hold tight on professional social networking?

9. How to use Facebook’s split-testing feature for ads

Looking to improve your Facebook ad performance, but not sure exactly how to do so? The social network recently introduced a split testing feature to help marketers find out which audiences, delivery settings, and ad placements optimize their results.

From creating new campaigns and tracking conversions by enabling the split-testing option, to deciding which variables to test and setting your budget and scheduling your campaign, Social Media Examiner has a a step-by-step guide to optimizing your campaigns with the utmost efficiency.

10. We’ll wrap with the Federal Trade Commission’s putting influencers in their place

Influencers are seemingly becoming the norm for brands—big and small—across all verticals, but that doesn’t mean using them will result in an endorsement post for your product or service that feels organic and doesn’t appear salesy—particularly if the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has its say.

The FTC wants to make sure users know when influencers are being paid for their posts, and thus recently sent out 90 letters to celebrities, athletes, and other influencers to tell them they must “clearly and conspicuously” disclose that they are making No more “thanks Louis Vuitton!”—as if Louis Vuitton just felt the need to ship you a $1,500 handbag because you said you liked it.

The bigger question might be how the FTC decides definitively when someone becomes an influencer, and when the endorsement or post of a product or service was only inspired by free gifts or payment.

via MarketingProfs How-To Articles

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