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jerryking : self-protection   12

The Ad Industry Has High Hopes for Direct-to-Consumer Businesses
June 17, 2019 | WSJ | By Nat Ives.

Advertising has turned its attention to what it hopes will be the next new engine of growth for the industry: direct-to-consumer marketers.

Direct-to-consumer businesses, which offer everything from mattresses to toothbrushes to home workouts, start by cutting out middlemen such as physical retail distributors. And they relentlessly focus on measures such as the cost to acquire a new customer—while relying on advertising, usually on social media, as the main way to grow.......ad executives hope that the booming DTC business can become a major new revenue source for the industry.....DTC brands play in an apparently unlimited range of products and could have rapid expansion ahead.

A varied field
Measures of DTC activity vary, but all indicate rapid growth. For a picture of U.S. ad spending by DTC companies, Magna tracks a basket of 13 companies that it considers disrupters, including footwear seller Allbirds Inc. and bedding marketer Casper Sleep Inc. Their spending increased 35% last year to $378 million, and is likely to grow another 30% this year and 25% next year.

And they’re spreading out from their usual advertising havens such as social media. The 13 brands’ national TV spending soared 42% in 2018 to $137 million, for instance, and is expected to rise 34% this year and 25% in 2020, Magna says........For some DTC brands, diversification is partly about protection.....Bombas LLC decided to move a big chunk of its marketing budget away from Facebook .....fearing its strategy could be hurt if the social network unexpectedly changed an algorithm or shifted a policy......Diversification is also a matter of taking growth to another level. DTC brands are “reaching the scale where they want to talk to the mass market, to consumers everywhere in the country, not just the trendsetters,” ......After a certain point for a DTC brand, increasing spending in the same place begins to produce diminishing returns, says Heidi Zak, co-founder and co-chief executive at DTC bra company ThirdLove Inc. The company says it has sold more than four million bras since it started taking orders in 2014, and has had annualized revenue growth of 180% over the past four years. It declines to disclose its sales figures or ad budget.

“Today, when people ask me where we are, I say pretty much everywhere,” Ms. Zak says, rattling off advertising channels including Facebook, Pinterest , search, podcasts, radio, direct mail, print and TV. The company ran its first national branding campaign last fall to advance a theme of “To Each, Her Own”—with a longer-term goal rather than immediate sales.
advertising  advertising_agencies  booming  brands  customer_acquisition  direct-to-consumer  diversification  out-of-home  self-protection  social_media  store_openings 
june 2019 by jerryking
Donald Trump has ushered in a new global order. Here’s how Canada can protect itself -
JANUARY 21, 2019 |The Globe and Mail | COLIN ROBERTSON.
SPECIAL TO THE GLOBE AND MAIL
PUBLISHED 21 HOURS AGO
UPDATED
Colin Robertson is vice-president of the Canadian Global Affairs Institute.
building_codes  bullying  Canada  climate_change  maritime  multilateralism  new_normal  post-WWII  rogue_actors  rules-based  Thucydides  Donald_Trump  international_system  self-protection 
january 2019 by jerryking
Bacteria to the rescue: Indiscriminately killing germs eliminates the ones that are helping us - The Globe and Mail
WENCY LEUNG
The Globe and Mail
Published Sunday, Jan. 31, 2016

Toronto microbiologist Jason Tetro in his new book, The Germ Files: The Surprising Ways Microbes Can Improve Your Health and Life (And How to Protect Yourself from the Bad Ones).

As Tetro explains, antibiotics and antimicrobial products kill germs indiscriminately, destroying the ones that keep us healthy along with those that cause harm. Rather than wipe out entire populations of bacteria, yeasts and fungi, scientists are now searching for ways to bring them into better balance, allowing them to live among us, and within us, harmoniously.
germs  bacteria  mens'_health  digestive_systems  colons  books  TPL  antimicrobial_resistance  immune_system  antibiotics  self-protection 
february 2016 by jerryking
The Data Companies Wish They Had About Customers - WSJ
March 23, 2014 | WSJ | by Max Taves.

We asked companies what data they wish they had—and how they would use it. Here's what they said....
(A) Dining----Graze.com has a huge appetite for data. Every hour, the mail-order snack business digests 15,000 user ratings about its foods, which it uses to better understand what its customers like or dislike and to predict what else they might like to try...more data could help him understand customers' tastes even better. Among the information he wants most is data about customers' dietary habits, such as what they buy at grocery stores, as well as better information about what they look at on Graze's own site. And because the dietary needs of children change rapidly, he'd like to know if his customers have children and, if so, their ages.
(B) Energy-----Energy consumption is among its customers' main concerns, says CEO William Lynch. For instance, the company offers a product giving homeowners the real-time ability to see things like how many kilowatts it takes to heat the hot tub in Jan. Because of privacy concerns, Savant doesn't collect homeowners' energy data. But if the company knew more about customers' energy use, it could help create customized plans to conserve energy. "We could make recommendations on how to set up your thermostat to save a lot of money,
(C) Banking-----the Bank of the West would like "predictive life-event data" about its customers—like graduation, vacation or retirement plans—to create products more relevant to their financial needs...At this point, collecting that breadth of data is a logistical and regulatory challenge, requiring very different sources both inside and outside the bank.
(D) Appliances-----Whirlpool Corp.has a vast reach in American households—but wants to know more about its customers and how they actually use its products. Real-time use data could not only help shape the future designs of Whirlpool products, but also help the company predict when they're likely to fail.
(E) Healthcare----Explorys creates software for health-care companies to store, access and make sense of their data. It holds a huge trove of clinical, financial and operational information—but would like access to data about patients at home, such as their current blood-sugar and oxygen levels, weight, heart rates and respiratory health. Having access to that information could help providers predict things like hospitalizations, missed appointments and readmissions and proactively reach out to patients,
(F) Healthcare----By analyzing patient data, Carolinas HealthCare System of Charlotte, N.C., can predict readmission rates with 80% accuracy,
(G) Law----law firms that specialize in defense work are typically reactive, however some are working towards becoming more proactive, coveting an ability to predict lawsuits—and prevent them.How? By analyzing reams of contracts and looking for common traits and language that often lead to problems.
(H) Defense---BAE Systems PLC invests heavily in protecting itself from cyberattacks. But it says better data from its suppliers could help improve its defenses...if its suppliers get cyberattacked, its own h/w and s/w could be compromised. But "those suppliers are smaller businesses with lesser investments in their security," ...A lack of trust among suppliers, even those that aren't direct competitors, means only a small percentage of them disclose the data showing the cyberattacks on their systems. Sharing that data, he says, would strengthen the security of every product BAE makes. [BAE is expressing recognition of its vulnerability to network risk].
data  data_driven  massive_data_sets  Graze  banking  cyber_security  BAE  law_firms  Whirlpool  genomics  social_data  appliances  sense-making  predictive_analytics  dark_data  insights  customer_insights  real-time  design  failure  cyberattacks  hiring-a-product-to-do-a-specific-job  network_risk  shifting_tastes  self-protection  distrust  supply_chains 
november 2014 by jerryking
The need for an analytical approach to life
November 3, 2013 | FT.com | By Rebecca Knight.

Risk analysis is not about predicting events; it’s about understanding the probability of possible scenarios, according to Elisabeth Paté-Cornell, professor at the Stanford School of Engineering.
In her latest research, she argues that expressions such as “black swan” and “perfect storm”, which have become journalistic shorthand when describing catastrophes, are just excuses for poor planning. Managers, should “think like engineers” and take a systematic approach to risk analysis. They should figure out how a system works and then identify the probable ways in which it could fail.
So does a black swan event exist?
The only one that I can think of is the Aids epidemic. In the case of a true black swan, you cannot anticipate it.
And what about ‘perfect storms’?
A combination of rare events is often referred to as a perfect storm. I think people underestimate the probability of them because they wrongly assume that the elements of a perfect storm are independent. If something happened in the past – even though it may not have happened at the same time as something else – it is likely to happen again in the future.
Why should managers take an engineering approach to analysing the probability of perfect storms?
Engineering risk analysts think in terms of systems – their functional components and their dependencies. If you’re in charge of risk management for your business, you need to see the interdependencies of any of the risks you’re managing: how the markets that you operate in are interrelated, for example.
You also need imagination. Several bad things can happen at once. Some of these are human errors and once you make a mistake, others are more likely to happen. This is because of the sequence of human error. When something bad happens or you make a mistake, you get distracted which means you’re more likely to make another mistake, which could lead to another bad event. When you make an error, stop and think. Anticipate and protect yourself.
How can you compute the likelihood of human error?
There are lots of ways to use systems analysis to calculate the probability of human error. Human errors are often rooted in the way an organisation is managed: either people are not skilled enough to do their jobs well; they do not have enough information; or they have the wrong incentives. If you’re paid for maximum production you’re going to take risks.
So in the case of a financial company I’d say monitor your traders, and maybe especially those that make a lot of money. There are a lot of ways you can make a lot of money: skill, luck, or through imprudent choices that sooner or later are going to catch up with you.
So you can do risk analysis even without reliable statistics?
We generally do a system-based risk analysis because we do not have reliable statistics. The goal is to look ahead and use the information we have to assess the chances that things might go wrong.
The upshot is that business schools ought to do a better job of teaching MBAs about probability.
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
“Numbers make intangibles tangible,” said Jonah Lehrer, a journalist and
author of “How We Decide,” (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2009). “They
give the illusion of control. [Add "sense of control" to tags]
engineering  sense_of_control  black_swan  warning_signs  9/11  HIV  Aids  business_schools  MBAs  attitudes  interconnections  interdependence  mindsets  Stanford  imagination  systems_thinking  anticipating  probabilities  pretense_of_knowledge  risk-management  thinking_tragically  complexity  catastrophes  shorthand  incentives  quantified_self  multiple_stressors  compounded  human_errors  risks  risk-analysis  synchronicity  cumulative  self-protection  systematic_approaches 
november 2013 by jerryking
Sharpen those little grey cells
October 3, 2001 |Globe & Mail | By WESLEY WARK.
Canada can‘t join the war on terrorism or protect itself unless we upgrade our intelligence capabilities, says international security analyst....And Ottawa must create a Canadian foreign intelligence service, similar to the CIA or Britain‘s Secret Intelligence Service, the SIS. Canada is the only G8 nation without such a service. This hampers our ability to understand foreign developments, and to contribute meaningfully to any global war on terrorism. At the moment, the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) has a limited mandate for foreign-intelligence collection, is tied up in red tape and hamstrung by lack of resources and expertise. As we debate the creation of a Canadian secret service, we must decide whether CSIS is the appropriate body to take on this difficult mission.

The most secretive institution in the Canadian security and intelligence community is the Communications Security Establishment (CSE), a bland title that hides an institution responsible for foreign-communications intelligence and the protection of government-communications networks. It will need more resources and a significant technological upgrade to operate at the same level as its sister organizations, the National Security Agency in the United States and GCHQ (Government Communications Headquarters) in the United Kingdom.
security_&_intelligence  CSIS  Wesley_Wark  9/11  CSE  self-protection  sigint  GCHQ  NSA  intelligence_analysts 
july 2012 by jerryking
Ten Ways to Protect Yourself When Hiring Independent Contractors or Consultants
May 1986 Business Owner Vol. 10, Iss. 5; pg. 14, 1 pgs. Ten
items should be kept in mind when using a contractor: 1. Define the
work, clearly stating the purpose and objectives. 2. Make sure the work
done is the company's property. 3. Set firm dates for completion of a
project's various stages. 4. Set a firm overall fee; get a written
estimate and set a maximum fee level if the work is charged on a time
basis. 5. Check out the contractor through references. 6. Provide for a
termination clause if the work is not completed on schedule. 7. Obtain
progress reports and make payments, if possible, during selected stages.
8. If the contractor is working part time, make sure the contractor has
the time to devote to the company. 9. Have the contractors indemnify
the company for any misuses of proprietary given information. 10. Make
sure there is a written agreement for all work. The company's lawyer
should review written contracts.
ProQuest  contractor  contracting  management_consulting  reference-checking  entrepreneur  hiring  guidelines  self-protection 
november 2010 by jerryking

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