April 23, 2018

Is data profiling wrong?

The marketing community has been rocked by yet another scandal, this time concerning the ethics of data profiling and a consumer’s right to privacy. Cambridge Analytica, a UK-based data company, mined the personal information of 50 million Facebook users without their knowledge while working on Trump’s presidential election campaign in order to create psychographic profiles […]

China’s Belt and Road Initiative: the most ambitious development plan ever conceived?

With the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), President Xi Jinping plans to link China to Europe via investments in rail, roads, ports, dams, bridges, gas pipelines and power plants. There are now links between 66 countries across Asia and Europe, with some estimating the final cost of the project to be in the region of […]

Now is the winter of our..

… discontent? Perhaps, but the recent FT-ICSA Boardroom Bellwether Winter 2017 survey of FTSE 350 companies saw some early signs of improvement – at least economically. As regards the business environment, 27% of directors anticipated an improvement in global economic conditions and 36% predicted no change. Although no statistics on international growth were published in […]

Cape Town water supply: a small nudge in the right direction

At the beginning of 2018, experts predicted that Cape Town would be the first major city in the world to run out of water, and the date given for ‘Day Zero’ was 12 April 2018. This is a result of three years of drought. Residents at that time will only be able to have 25 […]

Time for transparency

Carillion plc is a British multinational facilities management and construction services company, employing around 43,000 people worldwide (20,000 in the UK) with annual revenues of around £5,000m. Last month, as news of the collapse of Carillion filtered through, shareholders in Carillion plc must have been wondering just where their investment went wrong. To find out, […]

KFC response to its chicken shortage is a lesson in crisis management

In the UK KFC has run out of chicken. For a food outlet specialising in deep-fried poultry this is something of a disaster! It has recently changed suppliers and the new delivery company is having “teething problems”; these are so substantial that it has resulted in a mass closure of outlets. At the time of […]

Bye Bye Market Segmentation and Target Marketing

Ten years or so ago, academics were extolling the techniques of market segmentation and target marketing (not to mention the third leg of the triumvirate, ‘positioning’) as the basis of long-term competitive advantage (see Marketing course Modules 7 and 8). Recently, this doctrine has come under serious threat. Classic segmentation techniques like socio-demographics have been […]

Scale up training: creating stars or sustainable business?

This article first appeared in BQLive on Wednesday 14 February, 2018. According to the UK government, people, not products are the key to scaling businesses. They refer to a report by Innovate UK last year in which personality, communication and resilience of leaders are cited as the key factors investors consider when considering funding scale-up […]