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First follower theory

First follower theory is the concept that attracting an adherent to a point of view or initiative is the most important step towards beginning a movement that might seem unusual or out-of-step with the surrounding culture.

Derek Sivers introduced the first follower theory at the 2010 TED (technology, entertainment, design) conference. According to Sivers, the first follower is what transforms an individual with a unique idea into a leader. Sivers considers the first follower to be as important to the development of a movement as the initiator, because the first follower makes the leader’s idea seem more credible.

Sivers illustrated his theory with a brief video from an outdoor concert in which a single man begins to dance while others around him ignore his dancing and remain seated. The dancing man looks foolish until another man joins him. The two dancers changed the dynamic from foolish to interesting. Soon, a third man joined the first follower and the initiator. This second follower changed the dynamics again, because now two individuals became a small group. From there, it was only a matter of seconds until people were running across the field to join the dancing and the small group became a large crowd.

Sivers used the video to point out the importance of the first person joining in. Once the first follower started to dance, the initiator became a leader. In his TED talk, Silvers pointed out that it is risky to be the first follower. Like the initiator, the first follower faces a social risk, in this case — being ignored or even ridiculed. The fact that the first follower took the risk, however, lowered the social risk for the third person and everyone else who followed. As more people joined, a tipping point occurred and the group dynamics changed from dancing being an anomaly to dancing becoming the social norm. Those few people who simply sat and simply watched the dancers now faced social risk by remaining seated.

The first follower theory is of interest to social marketers who want to harness the power of the Internet to build an audience. In this context, the first man dancing represents original content that is quirky and easily imitated. The first follower is represented by the first audience members who imitate the original content, putting their own spin on it, and the dancing crowd is represented by the hundreds of thousands of people on the Internet who not only imitate the other followers, but also “like” or “share” the content that is being created.

Marketers who understand the importance of the first follower often use these three approaches to build an audience:
1. They hire first followers, an approach also known as sock puppet marketing.
2. They become the first follower, imitating and adapting an initiator’s work.
3. They wait until a tipping point has occurred and promote the new social norm.

One on One with BCG’s Scott Hefter

Scott Hefter“Effective” and “government” are rarely words uttered in the same breath, especially these days. So needless to say, making government work better is a big business. It’s why BCG has hired operations expert Scott Hefter as a Partner. Hefter will draw upon his extensive government insider knowledge to help the firm beef up its U.S. public sector practice. Hefter joins BCG from PWC, where he led both its U.S. management-consulting practice and its global-analytics business. Prior to that, he was CEO of PRTM, a global management consulting firm specializing in operational and IT strategy that PwC acquired in 2011. Hefter sat down with Consulting to discuss his new role and his plans for growing the practice.

Consulting: New role, new company, what’s been keeping you busiest so far?

Hefter: My role here is to help build our public sector practice, both in the U.S. but also be part of the global team. On one level many things are the same, but on another, there’s a lot of things that are different. So there was a little bit of immersion into BCG and really understanding the breadth of the experience and the talent and then working to tune all of that to be appropriate for a public sector marketplace. It’s not starting from ground zero or from nothing, we actually have a fairly significant practice around the globe and in the U.S., but particularly in the U.S. not nearly as pervasive as I think we can be. I think of it as we’re sort of a well-funded startup; a lot of great past performances and experiences but there’s also a lot to do to make it a much more enduring practice for federal.

Consulting: Sounds like growth is big on the agenda. What are some of the biggest potential growth areas for the practice?

Hefter: It’s all about growth. Public sector was one of the fastest-growing industry practices last year. There’s a few big themes: one is a significant move toward private industry, public sector and social sector needing to work much more closely to solve today’s biggest global issues. When we look at things the world needs, they need people and capabilities that transcend both public and private sector. If I take healthcare as an example, between the ACA, what’s going on with veterans’ health, and you factor in what’s happening from a demographic shift in terms of an aging population, urbanization and emerging technologies, the answer to those really straddles public, private and social. I see BCG in a position with significant footprint in all three areas helping figure out what operating models are needed to be able to work across those boundaries.

The second one is you almost can’t go to a meeting, no matter what the topic, without getting into mobile data and analytics. When you think about it from a public sector perspective, it boils down to two thematic use cases, one around civic engagement and one around discovery. Civic engagement: how do you drive efficiencies on how call centers interface with civilians and citizens? You’re also talking engagement on more of a b2b level in terms of the regulators, how the SEC, EPA, FDA, etc. interface with the entities they’re involved with. The other would be discovery. There are large sets of data, not even the obvious places like DoD or NSA, but if you think about the data repositories that sit in places like the VA and Federal Reserve, How do you use analytics and big data and the algorithms to discover insights from all of that medical and financial information to promote better citizen health and national well-being? I think we’ve just been able to begin to begin to tap that.

Consulting: What are government leaders most eager to talk about?

Hefter: A big scene both in the U.S. and globally is around government agencies having mission changes. Whether the changes are brought about by a regulatory environment change or some of the megatrends I mentioned earlier regarding demographics. Increasingly governments are being resource-constrained, so how do you deal with the new mandate or mission or expanded role but in an efficient way? It’s got really pervasive implications on the organization, different types of talent different types of technology. A great example would be the regulators. Their roles have significantly changed, they have a need to engage more proactively and deeply with the entities they’re regulating. But that means there are different engagement models and they’ll have to engage in new ways. I think folks are struggling with what that means and how you do it in a timely and efficient manner.

Consulting: What are clients demanding?

Hefter: Advice and perspective. I think if the problems are evolving and you’ve been talking to the same people, you need to bring additional voices into the conversation. That’s an advantage for BCG, we have a presence, but we are, on a relative basis, new to the conversation, but extremely qualified and relevant. For example, cost cutting is on everyone’s mind. One of BCG’s clear strengths is our design, de-layering, talent development, leadership development. How do you connect those dots? I use DoD and their 20 percent cost reduction targets as an example. A lot of those targets have been met through letting the natural attrition occur and not replacing. That’s very logical, but what you wind up getting is not a strategically designed organization. You wind up with holes where it just happens as opposed to being thoughtful. You bundle that with big government workforce that’s aging, the question becomes, is there a way to take another look at it and put a strategic design in place and drive to a better answer over a long period of time and do it in a way that’s implementable within a federal environment? That’s a real problem and a real opportunity.

BYOC (bring your own cloud)

BYOC (bring your own cloud) is the trend towards allowing employees to use cloud application or cloud storage services of their choice in the workplace.

In a small or mid-size business, allowing employees to use public cloud services like Google Apps or Dropbox may be more cost-effective than rolling out the shared service internally. Problems can occur, however, when employees fail to notify anyone when they use such services. The use of any shadow IT can pose security and compliance concerns in the workplace and BYOC in particular can prevent business owners from knowing exactly where their company’s information is being stored, who has access to it and what it’s being used for.

To prevent BYOC from becoming a problem, businesses should implement policies that strictly define what personal cloud services can be used for work-related tasks (if any) and who needs to be notified when a personal cloud service is used.


“Workers who travel or who are in supervisory/ professional job categories that often require working outside normal hours are almost certain to use their own cloud storage.” — Tom Nolle

The unlikely origins of online banking

Banking in the 1960s had changed little since the time of Dickens. In Europe before 1970, the emergence of online banking was something that neither bank staff nor customers could have anticipated.  In that era, to transact business the customer had to visit the branch where their account was opened. Every transaction would have taken minutes, as opposed  to the seconds it takes today.  Accounts were passbook-based, and account records, usually in loose-leaf  ledgers, were held at the branch. Every customer transaction required manual  reconciliation of the passbook balance with the account record, the manual  updating of both at the time of the transaction and manual entries in the teller’s  daily log.  In most branches, systems were “pen and ink”, although machine posting was a  help in some branches, but was still manually operated.

READ:  http://docs.media.bitpipe.com/io_10x/io_102267/item_975079/prem_banking_revolution_270814.pdf


Customer Analytics for Dummies

DOWNLOAD BOOK http://public.dhe.ibm.com/common/ssi/ecm/en/ytl03233usen/YTL03233USEN.PDF

What Is the Difference Between Differentiated & Undifferentiated Marketing Strategies?

by Daria Kelly Uhlig, Demand Media

Simply defined, marketing is the process by which you communicate the value of your products and services to consumers. Your primary challenge is to choose which consumers to communicate with and the best strategy for reaching them with your message. Differentiated and undifferentiated strategies each have their place in effective marketing. The one likely to work best for your business depends on your target market and its needs.

Target Market and Segmentation
Your target market is the collective group of consumers who might have a need for your products or services. It serves as a launching point for the development of a marketing strategy. Segmentation divides your target market into groups that share demographic, psychographic or other common traits. Each segment has distinctive needs and purchasing behaviors.

Marketing Mix
A marketing mix consists of the four P’s: product, price, placement and promotion. Product is not only the goods or services you sell but also the traits that make them attractive to consumers, such as design and packaging. Price considers list price as well as discounts, financing and options, such as leasing, according to QuickMBA.
Placement refers to distribution — the locations where your products will be sold and the process you use to get them there. Promotion communicates the benefits and features of your product to consumers through advertising and public relations and the media you use to execute them. At the center of the marketing mix is the target market. Each part of the mix is optimized to generate a response from the target.

Undifferentiated Marketing Strategy

The undifferentiated marketing strategy focuses on an entire target market rather than a segment of it. This strategy employs a single marketing mix — one product, one price, one placement and a single promotional effort — to reach the maximum number of consumers in that target market. “Marketing,” by William M. Pride and O. C. Ferrell, gives commodities says sugar and salt are examples of products that might be marketed effectively through an undifferentiated strategy, as many consumers in the overall market have similar needs for the products. Pride and Ferrell note, however, that success with undifferentiated marketing also depends on the marketer having the resources and skills necessary to reach a very large audience.

Differentiated Marketing Strategy
A differentiated marketing strategy targets different market segments with specific marketing mixes designed especially to meet those segments’ needs. Each mix includes a product, price, placement and promotional program customized specifically for a particular segment. For example, a company that manufactures vitamin supplements might identify gender-based market segments. It could produce one multivitamin formula for women and another for men. It could further differentiate by segmenting the gender groups by life stage and creating different marketing mixes around each one. Differentiated marketing is best suited for markets with readily identifiable segments, each with distinctive needs.

Concentrated Marketing Strategy
The concentrated strategy provides a third-way solution that allows marketers to target a single market segment with a single marketing mix. The ability to specialize to this degree has the advantage of allowing a company to focus its resources on meeting the needs of a single, well-defined and well-understood market, which makes it more competitive against larger companies. On the downside, a concentrated marketing strategy can pigeonhole a company into a single product and market and leave it vulnerable to the effects of changing conditions within that market.

Identity of Things

The Identity of Things (IDoT) is an area of endeavor that involves assigning unique identifiers (UID) with associated metadata to devices and objects (things), enabling them to connect and communicate effectively with other entities over the Internet.

The metadata associated with the UID collectively defines the identity of an endpoint. Identity of things is an essential component of the Internet of Things (IoT), in which almost anything imaginable can be addressed and networked for exchange of data online. In this context, a thing can be any entity — including both physical and logical objects — that has a unique identifier and the ability to transfer data over a network.
Addressability makes it possible for things to be targeted and found. To be addressable for the Internet of Things, an entity must be globally uniquely identifiable, which means that it must be associated with something — typically an alphanumeric string — that is not associated with anything else.
To make communication among things effective and secure, however, it’s crucial to make more information about their identities available to other things. Following are some of the essential considerations for identities of IoT things:
Lifecycle: Some IoT entities can have quite extensive life spans. An individual’s electronic medical record (EMR), for example, is a logical object that maintains its identity through the person’s life. On the other hand, some other entities have very brief lifecycles. A parcel, for example, only exists as an entity from the time it is shipped until the time it is received.
Relationships: It’s important to know how an IoT entity is related to other entities, including not only other things but also external entities such as owners, administrators and other responsible parties.
Context-awareness: Identity and access management (IAM) for IoT entities must have the capacity to be context-dependent. It may be appropriate, for example, for an entity to access another entity or system under certain circumstances and inappropriate — or even dangerous — for it to be granted access otherwise.
Authentication: Multifactor authentication is effective to validate humans but less so for IoT things because many methods — biometric verification, for example — are not relevant. It’s necessary to find other means of securely authenticating IoT identities