Effective search can be a game changer for marketers, as search can now provide a powerful tool to support the customer journey and respond to customer needs. Customer expectations of search have fundamentally transformed over the last five years, with browser searches expected to be clean, clear, accurate and immediate.
We need to redefine the very notion of what 'taking a risk' or 'being brave' actually constitutes. Indeed, you can argue that brands need to get things wrong from time to time in order to learn, a hypothesis brilliantly laid out by Tim Harford in his book 'Adapt - why success must begin with failure'.
From Tesco's horsemeat scandal to the BBC's recent bullying accusations, some of the UK's most well known brands are facing serious challenges from within. With reputations on the line, and the value of their brands being endangered by the weight of negative publicity, it begs the question, how do all of these factors impact on the internal organisational culture?
Sir Bradley Wiggins' efforts in winning the Tour de France last summer, followed by Olympic gold, Sports Personality of the Year and rocking out with his guitar at the after party - combined with the rise and success of British Cycling at both the Beijing and London Olympics - have made cycling not only more popular as a spectator sport, but enormously popular as a participation sport.
One of my favourite statistics of 2012 came in the form of a media release from Fournaise Marketing Group, who had discovered that 80% of CEOs "do not really trust and are not very impressed by the work done by marketers." To provide some context, 90% of the same CEOs claimed to trust and value the opinion and work of CFOs and CIOs. Ouch.
It's perhaps appropriate that the biggest news this month, a month that marks the 110th anniversary of the birth of George Orwell, is a story about privacy. What would Orwell, whose dystopian novel 1984 painted a nightmare vision of a society under constant surveillance, have to say about the current scandal engulfing the U.S. and British security services?