EVERYBODY'S EVEREST

Two years ago, I had witnessed the start of the Ultra-Trail Du Mont Blanc. I left Chamonix with the goal to run the epic race in 2018. It became my dream and I turned the journey towards it into my personal ascend of Mount Everest. A few weeks ago, I signed up and I read about the opportunity to support a charitable organisation, as part of the admission and registration process. While running more often than not is an individual sport, I like to add a social team element to my sport. I want to use my undertakings as an outlet to mobilize people and to open their eyes for important issues.

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DEATH OF RETAIL? RISE OF LUXURY E-COMMERCE.

As 2017 was heralded to see the death of retail, as boutiques and department stores were closing its doors driven by changing consumer habits, price wars and the threat of Amazon, high-end e-commerce remains a bright spot in the shopping landscape. Online luxury sales jumped by 24 percent this year, according to a recent study by the consulting firm Bain & Co. and the online sales of personal luxury goods are expected to make up 25 percent of the market by 2025.

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THE BUSINESS OF BELONGING

Belonging has always been an essential ingredient in the business of brand building. However, as attention spans decline, the use of multiple screens rises and fragmentation grows, this fundamental need has been increasingly on our minds. What does this erosion of “belonging-ness” mean for individuals, society and businesses? How have and will these shifts change people’s expectations of brand experiences and the role brands play in their lives?

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HOW MILLENNIALS ARE SHAPING THE FUTURE OF TRAVEL AND TOURISM

Technology-savvy Millennials are seen by many in the travel and tourism industry as the new key segment to generate much of the targeted growth in the coming years. And, those 1.8 billion people worldwide do display particular characteristics that will heavily influence the future. According to recent data, Millennials are more optimistic and plan to travel more frequently and spend more on travel than boomers in the next five years. This global generation seeks authenticity and is very adaptable yet also has come of age with a built-in expectation of having control of their activities. They want to experience new cultures, blend experiences across different types of trips, encounter and engage with local people and have authentic experiences.

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WHAT PEOPLE REALLY WANT FROM PERSONALIZED MARKETING

What customers want and what businesses think they want are often two different things, which is why personalization can be a huge advantage for businesses and consumers alike. Targeted communications that are relevant and useful can create long-lasting positive customer experiences and impact the business revenue growth of up to 30 percent. Customers see value as a function of how relevant and timely a message is in relation to how much it costs. In other words, how much personal information has to be shared and how much personal effort does it take to receive useful content.

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IN SEARCH OF SILENCE

“You never find a place that is total silence,” Mr. Kagge said. “I’ve been looking, and I have not found it.” Erling Kagge is a 54-year-old Norwegian explorer, author and publisher. The closest he came was trekking to the South Pole, which he reached in early 1993. He was alone in frozen isolation for 50 nights and days. Given a radio to make emergency calls, he’d tossed the batteries on Day 1. “When you start, you have all the noise in your head,” Mr. Kagge said, but by the end “you feel your brain is wider than the sky. You’re a guy being part of this bigness, this greatness. To be alone and experience the silence feels very safe, very meaningful.”

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BCG 2017 M&A REPORT: THE TECHNOLOGY TAKEOVER

Tech is not just for tech companies anymore. Nearly every industry has been affected by digital and mobile technologies disrupting their market and no company can afford to ignore the impact of technology, starting with supply chains to customer engagement, and continuous with even more advanced technologies, such as Artificial Intelligence and the Internet of Things. The question is, how do companies rapidly access the technologies that can advance their businesses and integrate them successfully with their current operations?

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4 LIFE LESSONS FROM THE FIRST AMERICAN WOMAN TO WIN THE NYC MARATHON IN 40 YEARS

One week ago, at this year's New York City MarathonShalane Flanagan did what no American woman has done in 40 years: she won. The four-time Olympian beat the three-time NYC winner Mary Keitany to win the 2017 New York City Marathon in an astonishing 2:26:53 hours. Her victory came after a seven year-long road of frustrations and disappointments over the past decade, yet she knew she had to persevere, remain patient and keep working hard, in order to get her first major win.

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3 BEHAVIORAL MINDSETS FOR CONTENT PERSONALISATION

Content personalization is all about making the customer journey smoother, helping customers to be informed to make the best choice, which leads to better and quicker sales and service outcomes. In today’s world of short attention spans and rising expectations for a great user experience, content personalisation is inevitable. If applied correctly, it will lead to fewer abandonments, greater conversion rates, better quality sales, but above all happier customers!

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WHAT IS SEMANTIC SEARCH?

Search is changing. If you are a long time user of the Internet and, more specifically, search engines like Google or Bing, you can see how the way we look for information has changed over the past few years. There is no doubt that the search landscape is changing towards a more natural and spontaneous language. Currently, the most accurate way to deliver best-matching results can be achieved through semantic search, i.e. the ability to put typed searches into context. At Palenio we use semantic fingerprinting to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.

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DRIVEN BY MICRO-MOMENTS: THE FUTURE OF THE TRAVEL INDUSTRY

If you want to win the hearts, minds and wallet share of consumers, a report by Think with Google suggests that companies need to do more than just show up in those I-want-to-know, I-want-to-go, I-want- to-do, and I-want-to-buy moments, They are required to be useful and meet the customer’s needs in those exact moments. This means connecting people to relevant information, if required, in real-time and based on location. Micro-moments are critical touchpoints within today’s consumer journey, and when added together, they ultimately determine the customer experience.

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THE ARCHITECTURE OF MEANING: AESOP

“I guess the reason I started my own beauty company was that I wasn’t patient enough to be a philosopher, nor tolerant enough to be an architect,” Aesop founder and creative director Dennis Paphitis once confessed. The son of Greek hairdressers started the company in 1987 from his hair salon in Armadale with a “quest to create a range of superlative products for the skin, hair and body”.

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AMAZON OWNS A WHOLE COLLECTION OF SECRET BRANDS

After decades of selling products and collecting data about what people are buying, and when they are buying it, Amazon has started cutting out the middle-man by selling self-produced items. Through its AmazonBasics house brand, it sells various types of small items, from iPhone chargers to batteries, and foam rollers to washcloths. It is the sort of stuff that customers might not be too brand loyal over. Whilst Amazon-branded products are obviously recognisable, the company has started to sell products, using a different sub-brands that do not make it clear that they are Amazon-made products.

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WHAT IS DESIGN THINKING AND HOW CAN BUSINESSES USE IT?

In collaboration with Volvo, The Telegraph has launched Telegraph Connect, which is a network of communities dedicated to helping professionals grow their businesses and develop their careers. In their latest article, the focus lied on “design thinking”. Although rooted in design and creativity, it is a technique that businesses use to solve particular problems. John Oswald, the former business design director at Fjord, and now global principal of the advisory team at digital innovation consultancy, Futurice, describes design thinking as a cross-section of design, business and technology, brought together to solve human problems.

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THE FUTURE OF AD AGENCIES MIGHT NOT BE ADVERTISING AT ALL

There's been a lot of talk in the agency industry about rising competition from consultancies such as Accenture, McKinsey and Boston Consulting GroupR/GA has stared this threat in the face and is challenging the consultancies at their own game. In an industry that’s quickly and constantly changing thanks to technological innovation and consumer behavior, R/GA chairman and CEO Bob Greenberg sees self-disruption as a key business operating principle, one that has served the company well in the past and will ensure its survival in the future.

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IS MARKETING A SCIENCE OR AN ART?

Is marketing a science or an art? According to Alan Schulman, managing director of brand and creative content at Deloitte Digital. it is both. At this year's &then conference, he says that we must understand that marketing is still in the behavioral economics business and not the finite economics business. Hence, we still have to account for human behavior. However, with the insights we gain from data, we are talking about the science of marketing, rather than the art of persuasion. 

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WE ARE WRONG ABOUT MILLENNIAL SPORTS FANS

Millennials enjoy sports just as much as members of other generations. It’s the way they consume sports that matters. In a world with so many sports options across so many screens, sports fans of all ages are clicking away from unexciting, low-stakes or lopsided games. In addition, Brian Hughes of Magna Global says that the increased need for instant gratification and entertainment, like immediate stats and quick highlights, has funneled some young viewers away from TV.

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STADIUMS OF THE FUTURE: A REVOLUTION FOR THE FAN EXPERIENCE IN SPORT

With its own dedicated fromagerie, microbrewery and Michelin-calibre restaurant, it might be easy to forget you have come to watch the football when you are reclining in one of the premium lounges of Tottenham Hotspur’s new £750m stadium. The 61,000-seat behemoth will feature the longest bar in the country, heated seats with built-in USB ports, a glass-walled tunnel so you can see the players before the game and even a “sky walk” allowing fans to clamber over the roof of the arena.

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