Taming the Power-Hungry Blockchain Beast with Decentralized, Clean Energy

Taming the Power-Hungry Blockchain Beast with Decentralized,
Clean Energy

Throughout history, every great breakthrough often came with negative consequences

and side effects. Think about Marie Curie. Her research on radioactivity is what makes X-rays possible today. Unfortunately, her discoveries and remarkable research are also what killed her. What about the Internet? It’s the most revolutionary invention for generations and holds countless opportunities that benefit billions of people around the world. However, cybercrime has never been higher and expected to reach $2 tln by 2019. It’s the same story with Blockchain. The technology has the potential to revolutionize every industry it comes into contact with. However, its biggest application remains in the cryptocurrency industry. And with the current excitement surrounding this industry, it’s easy to overlook the side effects that come with such a disruptive breakthrough.

Energy-craving Blockchain can have devastating consequences for the environment

Mining popular cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin, requires extremely powerful computer hardware that can solve complex mathematical equations. To run these computers burns up a lot of energy, mostly from non-renewable fossil fuels. And as the price of the digital coin sores so too does the number of people looking to get in on the action. Each and every Bitcoin transaction requires around 215 KWh (kilowatt-hours) to process. In comparison, the average American household uses 900 KWh every month. So around 30 KWh per day.

That means a single Bitcoin transaction uses the same amount of power as seven homes do in an entire day. What’s even more shocking is that a single Bitcoin mine relies on fossil fuels, like coal, can produce as much as 13,000 kg of CO2 emissions per Bitcoin mined. With 300,000 transactions per day, it’s easy to see what a significant impact the process has on the environment. And this is just from one cryptocurrency. Although Ethereum is less energy reliant, a single transaction on this network still requires the same amount of power as nearly two homes. In total, the network is equivalent in power consumption as the whole of Cyprus.

Centralized mining on a decentralized network

On a platform that is inherently decentralized, centralized mining operations seem counterintuitive. However, mining operations gravitate towards countries with cheap electricity. For example, China does over 80 percent of Bitcoin mining due to the country’s cheap supply of electricity. Unfortunately, the power supply comes mostly from dirty, non-renewable sources like coal. The country gets more than 70 percent of their electricity from coal.  In fact, a few years ago, it was reported that China burns as much coal as the rest of the world combined.

Burning coal releases large amounts of CO2 which is one of the biggest causes of the greenhouse effect and global warming. Apart from having a detrimental impact on the environment, large pools of concentrated mining pools spurred on by cheap electricity, have too much influence over the network. Look what happened to the price of Bitcoin when China announced their ban on ICO’s? The price becomes too reliant on single entities. This in stark contrast to the underlying concept of cryptocurrencies and Blockchain as a whole, which adds value exactly because of its dependency on a majority consensus to verify and approve transactions.

However, people and big corporations are becoming more aware of their social responsibilities and the size of the footprint that they leave on this earth. Development and adoption of renewable energy sources have seen a dramatic increase in the last few years, including solar, wind and hydropower. So much so that in many locations, there is an excess supply of electricity from renewable sources, that simply goes to waste. This is in great part due to the fact that the cost of building large-scale solar farms has dropped by as much as 50 percent in five years.

A three-fold solution

Envion is hoping to make cryptocurrency mining cheaper, cleaner and decentralized with their mobile data-centers. They’ve developed automatized mining units which are installed inside shipping containers. These containers can be relocated around the world with relative ease, reducing the dependency on single governments, economies or infrastructures.

The mining units, which exclusively consume power from reusable, green sources, are placed near energy supply points, such as solar plants and wind farms, reducing the cost of “transporting” electricity and enabling them to easily tap into excess energy production. In addition, the company developed a new, self-regulating cooling system, specifically for Blockchain mining, which is up to forty-times more energy-efficient and cost-effective than conventional, AC cooling units.

Envion further promotes environmental friendliness by recycling the energy produced from mining with the strategic placement of the mining units, close to objects and buildings that need heating, including warehouses and greenhouses. This enables them to reduce their energy costs even further. The end result is a mining solution that is more profitable due to lower energy costs, more secure due to mobile mining that puts less reliance on single entities, and more eco-friendly due to the usage of renewable, green power.

An ICO for the environment

Many of the ICO’s we see these days are largely based on Speculation. The EVN token is however fully backed by the hardware that it represents which is already operating successfully. The EVN token will be on sale for 31 days from Dec. 1, 2017, with a max cap of 150 mln. Once invested, token holders will have the right to dividends from the mining operations including 100 percent from proprietary mining operations (75 percent immediately and 25 percent reinvested to boost future payouts) and 35 percent from non-proprietary operations. Finally, token holders will also get a say in company strategy by voting on decisions.

Chuck Reynolds

Marketing Dept
Contributor
Please click either Link to Learn more about -Bitcoin.
Interested or have Questions. Call me 559-474-4614

David https://markethive.com/david-ogden

Can BitIndia Become the Paytm of Digital Money in India?

Can BitIndia Become the Paytm of Digital Money in India?

Bitcoin has been gaining popularity

in one of the most populous countries in the world, India. The digital currency is backed by the Blockchain technology, which has established itself as the driver and backbone in many fields. Both Bitcoin and Blockchain technology have been around since 2009 when Bitcoin emerged on the world stage and have steadily impacted the financial services industry and how it delivers products and services. Recently The Hindu Business Line, an Indian newspaper, quoted Nicolas Cary, President of Blockchain, one of the world’s largest Bitcoin Software

Company as saying:

“Over the past 12 months, we’ve seen unprecedented activity and growth in India. We think India could be the most significant market in the world for digital financial services. Within the next five years, it can potentially be bigger than that of the US.”

However, what will it take for India a country with 22 major languages, a billion plus people a geographic span of 3.2 mln kilometers to get onboard the Blockchain revolution? India needs specific solutions and BitIndia, a company that is promising to deliver a Blockchain wallet and decentralized crypto exchange “for the streets of India,” is emerging as an India centric platform that can act as a driver for the growth of both cryptocurrencies and Blockchain in the subcontinental country.

Indian solutions for India

The Indian market is so diverse and segmented that products and services that do not take an Indian hue and color often fail to impress the local populace. It is also important to understand that the rural population of the country is as high as 68 percent and constitutes a significant economic backbone of the country.

Back in the 1990s when India was undergoing what the local media dubs as ‘liberalization’ of the economy, newly-launched MTV played English music and had only English speaking VJs. Fast forward to today — MTV in India has completely taken a ‘regional’ hue. Businesstoday described the TV channel as neither ‘fish nor fowl.’ Localization and understanding of the market is the key to success for any business in the country and BitIndia is well aware of that. In a whitepaper, they underscore their approach towards

the Indian market:

“BitIndia wants to create a user-friendly, secure, decentralized atmosphere for India so that people can carry everyday transactions through BitIndia wallet. BitIndia further envisions to reach out to every person in India, starting from urban areas to educate at least 20 percent of the population about Blockchain and cryptocurrency.”

Can BitIndia be the Paytm of digital money in India?

BitIndia is emerging as a total financial platform that provides users with a mobile wallet for their Apple and Android devices as well as their web browsers and allows them to store cryptocurrencies securely. They are also working on building an ‘instant exchange,’ which will allow people to transact between digital currencies and the local currencies — this even as the user will have complete control over their private keys.

An Alpha version of the product will be available for download by the end of 2017. The currencies that will be traded on the platform include Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple and Litecoin. BitIndia wants to offer comprehensive services for users, who can buy, sell and save in digital currencies, allow merchants to accept payments with very reasonable and low transaction fees and help traders find opportunities to profit from cryptocurrencies. If BitIndia can reach 20 percent of the Indian population as is their stated aim they would be in a position to challenge established players like Paytm, who have already found a niche in the sprawling Indian market. Keep in mind only 0.5 percent of Indian population currently transacts in digital currencies according to BitIndia.

A strong India centric team backed by John McAfee

Cointelegraph covered recently how BitIndia is supported by John McAfee, the founder of the famous McAfee Antivirus. McAfee’s confidence is not misplaced as BitIndia has built a strong team to deliver their platform to the Indian public. John McAfee acts as a partner and advisor in BitIndia.

Sahil Kohli, the CEO of BitIndia knows cryptocurrencies and has a strong background in crypto trading. Kohli is also the co-founder of Applancer.co. Saumil Kohli, Founder of BitIndia, has co-founded two tech companies and also has a crypto trading background. The technology lead is Kunal Nandwani, the founder and CEO of uTrade Solutions, a company operating in the financial trading domain. BitIndia have found support in a strong advisory team which includes Reuben Godfrey, co-founder of the Blockchain Association of Ireland, Victor Wong, CEO of Sparkle Coin and others.

Rearing to go post token sale

BitIndia have recently concluded a token distribution and launched their ERC 20 compatible BitIndia token. They are planning to launch token trading by December 2017. Their roadmap indicates that they would like to create a future in which 25 percent of the global Blockchain trading will occur in India. Not an unlikely scenario if India is to surpass the US as the biggest digital financial services market in the world. The potential is there, the conditions are ripe, and we will all just have to wait and see if BitIndia can snag the opportunity and become the Paytm of digital money in India.

Chuck Reynolds

Marketing Dept
Contributor
Please click either Link to Learn more about -Bitcoin.
Interested or have Questions. Call me 559-474-4614

David https://markethive.com/david-ogden

LibraryChain? US Government Grants $100k for New Blockchain Research

The U.S. government has awarded a $100,000 grant

to a group of researchers looking to apply blockchain to public library systems. The Institute of Museum and Library Services was founded in the mid-'90s, with the aim of providing federal support to libraries and museums. Public records show that officials with the agency are funding a new effort at the San Jose State University Research Foundation, which seeks to conduct preliminary research into how blockchain tech could help libraries manage digital rights, as well better assist their communities. The work being conducted isn't exactly technical, however – rather, the funding will go to the planning of a forum event – buoyed by survey data and additional efforts – that would culminate with a topic on the applicability of blockchain to the library system.

As the grant document states:

"The proposed National Forum would bring together 20-30 technical experts in libraries, blockchain technology, and urban planning to discuss ways that blockchain technology can advance library services to support city or community goals. The resulting commentary from a project blog, national forum, and conference and the survey data will be evaluated and included in the project's final report, which will be available online."

Still, it's the latest instance in which an element of the U.S. government has moved to fund research into the tech and its possible applications. Whether recent legislative developments in Arizona come into play also remains to be seen. As previously reported by CoinDesk, lawmakers passed a bill this year recognizing blockchain signatures and smart contracts under state law.

Chuck Reynolds


Marketing Dept
Contributor
Please click either Link to Learn more about -Bitcoin.

David https://markethive.com/david-ogden

Swedish Programmer Becomes Rich After 2013 Bitcoin Investment

Swedish Programmer Becomes Rich After 2013 Bitcoin Investment

Swedish computer programmer Alexander Bottema has multiplied

his life savings over one hundred fold in the last four years. He first invested in Bitcoin in 2013, when the digital currency was priced at only $30. Bottema realized that Bitcoin had huge potential and sold all his stocks and liquidated his savings in order to purchase as much of the digital currency as possible.

Bottema has not sold any of his holdings, even as the price of Bitcoin has flirted with $4500 in recent days. In an interview with Business Insider, the Bitcoin investor says: ”I consider it a retirement insurance. I’m not thinking about buying any more, since I can never get the same return on investment again. I could consider selling some of my assets should the price hit 100,000 dollars.”

Brief profile of Alexander Bottema

Bottema was raised in a small community near Stockholm in Sweden and learned to program on his family’s Apple II computer. He studied computer science at Uppsala University in 1991 and went on to earn his PhD. He returned in Stockholm where he began working in data security and encryption for consultancy Upec Industriteknik. When his employer was bought out, Bottema and his two colleagues established their own company called Polytrust. Today, Bottema is living in the US and working at Massachusetts-based Mathworks, a provider of data analysis and simulation for industrial applications.

How Bottema discovered Bitcoin

According to Bottema, he encountered Bitcoin for the first time in 2010. At first he wasn’t interested in the digital currency, believing it to be infeasible. However, he changed his mind after the price of Bitcoin crashed and eventually rebounded.

Bottema says:

”I rejected it as something uninteresting. Seeing that I had a long track record in data security, I was certain that it wouldn’t be possible to build safe servers that are open, and envisioned a crash. The following year, I was sitting on the subway and read in the Metro newspaper how Bitcoin had recovered after a crash. I couldn’t understand how a currency that is built on trust could recover. That piqued my interest.”

Bottema is just one of the many so-called “Bitcoinnaires” who now have a high net worth due to their early investment in Bitcoin.

Chuck Reynolds


Marketing Dept
Contributor
Please click either Link to Learn more about -Bitcoin.

David https://markethive.com/david-ogden

India: Bitcoin is Used Mostly for Speculation While Government Lacks Focus

India:
Bitcoin is Used Mostly for Speculation While Government Lacks Focus

While the Indian government continues to advance

initiatives to study the regulatory environment for Blockchain and cryptocurrencies, the awareness and use of Bitcoin and cryptocurrency continues to grow within the Asian country.

Bitcoin users growth

Acclaimed fastest growing Bitcoin exchange in India, Bitxoxo has reached a milestone of 100,000 users on its platform. In a press release, the company claims to have been consistently adding between 10,000 to 20,000 users every month, and this has led to their current amount of users.

Elaborating on the growth, Hesham Rehman co-Founder & CEO, Bitxoxo says,

“We have been relentlessly working towards creating awareness around Bitcoin investments. India is very much ready to accept a currency revolution as it is moving towards technology acceptance. This will be one more stud to the same portfolio. The growing number of users reflects that Bitcoin is gaining popularity and trust. We are sure figures are further going to climb up.”

Mixed reactions

The Indian authorities have exhibited mixed reactions towards Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies especially in 2017. Earlier in the year, the finance ministry recommended that the Indian government discourages the use of Bitcoin. On the other hand, a proposal for the regulation of Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies is being drafted. Apparently, India is showing some real interest on matters that concern digital currencies.

Blockchain speaker and influencer, Kumar Gaurav tells Cointelegraph that the Indian government is aiming to end corruption and move forward with digitization, with projects like UPI and Aadhar. Yet, given that Indian banking and payment systems are advanced, cryptocurrencies are not seen as a payment tool that is required to solve any existing problem.

Speculation

Gaurav notes that Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are used by Indians mostly for speculation and money making. Gaurav explains that in India, betting or any kind of investment that is not regulated is illegal. India as a nation has capital controls, so the finance ministry will discourage the use of digital currencies.

Gaurav says:

“The Indian government is trying its best to understand the system and technology behind Bitcoin. It will still take some time to before a decision can be reached where it can be declared safe. Also, the Bitcoin ecosystem in India is not at a stage where the government has to take bold action for it and declare it completely illegal.”

Technology growth

India state governments are experiencing tremendous growth on Blockchain application sectors where it is creating clear value. Recently, Auxesis Group moved 53 mln people on the Blockchain network for the State Government of India, and are now working on issues which arose due to such large scale implementation. Gaurav does not expect so much short term value creation due to Bitcoin in the Indian ecosystem. He notes that the government deserves to be given enough time to work it out and come up with a final decision on Bitcoin investments. Meanwhile, people can enjoy the speculation.

Chuck Reynolds


Marketing Dept
Contributor
Please click either Link to Learn more about -Bitcoin.

David https://markethive.com/david-ogden

TradeCoinClub

TradeCoinClub

THIS may well be the best I have found, perhaps ever….

I have been laying low a bit lately while searching out and researching the best stuff online today, trying to fully and carefully apply whatever wisdom I’ve gained in some 16 years of working in this minefield.  And… I am SO happy to have MAJOR News for you! THIS may well be the best I have found, perhaps ever….

BITCOINS, YES –

Most knowledgeable online workers now prefer to use Bitcoins in business, for many very good reasons. Among the most knowledgeable, many have been looking for a TRADING PLATFORM for CRYPTOCURRENCIES and using Bitcoin, but there has not been anything genuine to date.  THAT HAS NOW CHANGED. 

WE CAN NOW –

–>> PASSIVELY EARN FROM FULLY AUTOMATED TRADING OF THE TOP TEN CRYPTOCURRENCIES.
–>> LEVERAGE BITCOIN AND EARN DAILY PASSIVE BITCOIN
.–>> DIVERSIFY PASSIVE BTC EARNINGS IN A POWERFUL NEW WAY.
–>> ACTIVELY EARN STILL MORE BTC BY REFERRING TO THE PLATFORM.

TCC: WHAT IT IS –

Trade Coin Club is an offshore registered company offering an automated trading platform for major cryptocurrencies.  Management is international and highly qualified. TCC trades in cryptos with licensed software that performs many millions of trades per day in ten of the major cryptocurrencies like Litecoin, Dash, BTC, etc. TCC itself works entirely with Bitcoins. Globally in a launch and pre-launch in different regions.

The company is full-function and earning and paying now

The site is sophisticated and well developed already and fully activated. TCC is uniquely well positioned in a high-demand global niche.  It is super-attractive for builders and leaders as well as for those who simply want to remain passive and leverage their Bitcoins into ever larger numbers.   Miners too will find it a highly attractive diversification that will likely earn a lot more strongly for them.

BENEFITS –

PASSIVE:
Recent member reports  daily “trading” profits with no losses – in dynamic rising Bitcoins!  Set it and let it run.  Those returns are substantially better than “mining”.

ACTIVE:
Members who refer receive 10% on both levels one and two, and lesser amounts down to as many as 8 levels.  Plus referrers can earn 8 to 10% daily from a binary structure too.  And there are MORE referral bonuses. It’s rich, but it is also very smart.
Compounding of one’s choice of all or some earnings is available. Withdrawal of earnings is on demand.

Ride the BTC Rise: 
We are working 100% in Bitcoin, so as BTC rises we enjoy the full benefits of its rise – to who knows what heights!  This is in contrast to some online options that actually work in dollars and only use BTC for pay-in’s and out’s.  In these, as BTC rises your dollar based payout in BTC falls.

GUIDANCE –

It is scant on the site at the moment, as it is so early in the life of TCC, so the guidance to signing up, getting set up and learning, etc., is currently best obtained in Youtube videos and not so much in the back office… as yet

Learn more:
TCC Details and OVERVIEW Videos and PDF –

TCC Presentation and background by boss, Joff Fortune, short, 20 min:  https://youtu.be/NiI7Joi_kag
TCC office in Belize: https://youtu.be/JHEDZ3PXx5Y
TCC PDF manual:  http://dreameagles.info/TCC/TCC_Manual_2-23-17.pdf

My personal advice is to dig in and enjoy these resources.  But do not get bogged down and too delayed in your explorations.  There can be good benefits to making your move quickly.  Be sure to have some Bitcoins, and a wallet to use for business.  I am personally using Coinbase and Blockchain as my bitcoin processors.  There are several choices.

How to Proceed –
Let’s keep this smooth and simple and let the videos take care of the heavy lifting.  Use them to ease your way and to avoid simple errors.
Cost Notes:  Joining is free, so you can do that immediately.
Minimum to participate actively is 0.30 BTC (0.25 plus a one time 0.05)  Other entry levels are at 1 BTC and the highest at 5 BTC from which one will earn the most the fastest.
Referring?  Edit this info page if you wish with your reg link.  Duplicate the process of sharing these resources if you decide to build teams, pass these instructions on. 
(Note: You need to be upgraded to at least the lowest Apprentice level package to refer.)

REGISTRATION LINK -> https://office.tradecoinclub.com/register/INFORMATION
Be sure your sponsor is listed as:  INFORMATION

INSTRUCTIONS VIDEOS, use these as detailed guides, follow these.

1. SIGN UP PAGE:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p8dFkcWlEF4&feature=youtu.be&hd=1

2. BUY YOUR PACKAGE:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LPnZaKO4mnA&t=633s

3. HOW TO ACTIVATE YOUR WEEKLY AUTOMATIC TRADE: https://youtu.be/sneX_yRH8Og

. PLEASE MAKE SURE TO LOGIN EACH WEEK BETWEEN SUNDAY EVERY WEEK, WE MUST NOW SET OUR TRADES BECAUSE OF LEGAL DEPARTMENT RECOMMENDATIONS4PM PST AND MONDAY 3:59PM PST TO RESET YOUR TRADES ACTIVATION.

4. SUBMITTING DOCS CORRECTLY:  (AT YOUR CONVENIENCE)  documents can be submitted later but before requesting withdrawals.
https://youtu.be/zVAM7jDlwOk

5.  Refer if you wish.  Edit this email to make it your own, with care to the signup link, and share it with your favorite contacts and friends.

6.  WHY IS THE EXCHANGE RATE WALLET ONLY SHOWING HALF OF YOUR DEPOSITS?

https://youtu.be/WeTx3yxIxlI

7.  HOW TO COMPOUND YOUR EARNINGS.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4mHr6jcHIfw&t=370s

8.  More info:  http://www.tradecoinclub.info

9.  ENJOY A BETTER LIFE IN A RICHER WORLD. 

Once again…

REGISTRATION LINK -> https://office.tradecoinclub.com/register/INFORMATION
Be sure your sponsor is listed as INFORMATION

P.S. keep this page for future reference and edit it to suit your needs.  Thank you. 

David Ogden
Entrepreneur
.

David https://markethive.com/david-ogden

Bitcoin Prices Spike Above $900 But Turbulence Remains

Bitcoin Prices Spike Above $900

But Turbulence Remains

 

coindesk-bpi-chart-94

 

Bitcoin prices passed $900 today, though this feat was diminished by several rallies that ultimately failed to push its value above this benchmark. Overall, the digital currency rose to as much as $904.76, after falling below $880 earlier in the session, climbing above this level amid modest volatility.

Later in the session, the price mounted another comeback, hitting a high just above $905, according to the CoinDesk USD Bitcoin Price Index (BPI). At press time, however, the price had dipped again to a value of $894.95. This upward movement represented the latest session of relatively mild price volatility, at least compared to the sharp price fluctuations experienced earlier this month.

Most notable, however, about the day's trading, may have been the lack of any serious decline over the day's trading. Bitcoin prices enjoyed their latest climb in spite of new Chinese regulatory developments that found the nation’s exchanges responding publicly to pressures from the People's Bank of China, the country's central bank.

Bullish sentiment

Still, market sentiment has been bullish, according to figures provided by a handful of exchanges, even with the confirmation that major Chinese exchanges Huobi and OKCoin had stopped offering margin trading. The market was 91% long on 19th January, Whaleclub figures reveal. In addition, more than 53% of Bitfinex orders that were executed in the 24 hours through 22:15 UTC were buy orders, according to BFX Data.

Chuck Reynolds
Contributor

David https://markethive.com/david-ogden

The Ultimate Marketing Machine

The Ultimate Marketing Machine

  • A Strategy & Execution Case

In the past decade, what marketers do to engage customers has changed almost beyond recognition. With the possible exception of information technology, we can’t think of another discipline that has evolved so quickly. Tools and strategies that were cutting-edge just a few years ago are fast becoming obsolete, and new approaches are appearing every day.

Yet in most companies the organizational structure of the marketing function hasn’t changed since the practice of brand management emerged, more than 40 years ago. Hidebound hierarchies from another era are still commonplace.

Marketers understand that their organizations need an overhaul, and many chief marketing officers are tearing up their org charts. But in our research and our work with hundreds of global marketing organizations, we’ve found that those CMOs are struggling with how to draw the new chart. What does the ideal structure look like? Our answer is that this is the wrong question. A simple blueprint does not exist.

Marketing leaders instead must ask, “What values and goals guide our brand strategy, what capabilities drive marketing excellence, and what structures and ways of working will support them?” Any Structure must follow strategy—not the other way around.

To understand what separates the strategies and structures of superior marketing organizations from the rest, EffectiveBrands (now Millward Brown Vermeer)—in partnership with the Association of National Advertisers, the World Federation of Advertisers, Spencer Stuart, Forbes, MetrixLab, and Adobe—initiated Marketing2020, which to our knowledge is the most comprehensive marketing leadership study ever undertaken. Co-author Keith Weed, the CMO of Unilever, is the chairman of the initiative’s advisory board. Todate the study has included in-depth qualitative interviews with more than 350 CEOs, CMOs, and agency heads, and over a dozen CMO roundtables in cities worldwide. We also conducted online quantitative surveys of 10,000-plus marketers from 92 countries. The surveys encompassed more than 80 questions focusing on marketers’ data analytics capabilities, brand strategy, cross-functional and global interactions, and employee training.

We divided the survey respondents into two groups, overperformers, and underperformers, on the basis of their companies’ three-year revenue growth relative to their competitors’. We then compared those two groups’ strategies, structures, and capabilities. Some of what we found should come as no surprise: Companies that are sophisticated in their use of data grow faster, for instance. Nevertheless, the research shed new light on the constellation of brand attributes required for superior marketing performance and on the nature of the organizations that achieve it. It’s clear that “marketing” is no longer a discrete entity (and woe to the company whose marketing is still siloed) but now extends throughout the firm, tapping virtually every function. And while the titles, roles, and responsibilities of marketing leaders vary widely among companies and industries, the challenges they face—and what they must do to succeed—are deeply similar.

Highlights from the Survey

 
Building Needed Capabilities

% of respondents who said that their organization’s training program was tailored to the specific needs of their business

 

 

Winning Characteristics

The framework that follows describes the broad traits of high-performing organizations, as well as specific drivers of organizational effectiveness. Let’s look first at the shared principles of high performers’ marketing approaches.

Big data, deep insights.

Marketers today are awash in customer data, and most are finding narrow ways to use that information—to, say, improve the targeting of messages. Knowing what an individual consumer is doing where and when is now table stakes. High performers in our study are distinguished by their ability to integrate data on what consumers are doing with knowledge of why they’re doing it, which yields new insights into consumers’ needs and how to best meet them. These marketers understand consumers’ basic drives—such as the desire to achieve, to find a partner, and to nurture a child—motivations we call “universal human truths.”

The Nike+ suite of personal fitness products and services, for instance, combines a deep understanding of what makes athletes tick with troves of data. Nike+ incorporates sensor technologies embedded in running shoes and wearable devices that connect with the web, apps for tablets and smartphones, training programs, and social networks. In addition to tracking running routes and times, Nike+ provides motivational feedback and links users to communities of friends, like-minded athletes, and even coaches. Users receive personalized coaching programs that monitor their progress. An aspiring first-time half-marathon runner, say, and a seasoned runner rebounding from an injury will receive very different coaching. People are rewarded for good performance, can post their accomplishments on social media, and can compare their performance with—and learn from—others in the Nike+ community.

Purposeful positioning.

Top brands excel at delivering all three manifestations of brand purpose—functional benefits, or the job the customer buys the brand to do (think of the pick-me-up Starbucks coffee provides); emotional benefits, or how it satisfies a customer’s emotional needs (drinking coffee is a social occasion); and societal benefits, such as sustainability (when coffee is sourced through fair trade). Consider the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan, which defines a set of guiding principles for sustainable growth that emphasize improving health, reducing environmental impact, and enhancing livelihoods. The plan lies at the heart of all Unilever’s brand strategies, as well as its employee and operational strategies.

In addition to engaging customers and inspiring employees, a powerful and clear brand purpose improves alignment throughout the organization and ensures consistent messaging across touchpoints. AkzoNobel’s Dulux, one of the world’s leading paint brands, offers a case in point. In 2006, AkzoNobel was operating a heavily decentralized business structured around local markets, with each local business setting its own brand and business goals and developing its own marketing mix. Not surprisingly, the outcome was inconsistent brand positioning and results; Dulux soared in some markets and floundered in others. In 2008, Dulux’s new global brand team pursued a sweeping program to understand how people perceived the brand across markets, paint’s purpose in their lives, and the human truths that inspired people to color their environments. From China, to India, to the UK, to Brazil, a consistent theme emerged: The colors around us powerfully influence how we feel. Dulux wasn’t selling cans of paint; it was selling “tins of optimism.” This new definition of Dulux’s brand purpose led to a marketing campaign, “Let’s Color.” It enlists volunteers, which now include more than 80% of AkzoNobel employees, and donates paint (more than half a million liters so far) to revitalize run-down urban neighborhoods, from the favelas of Rio to the streets of Jodhpur. In addition to aligning the once-decentralized marketing organization, Dulux’s purpose-driven approach has expanded its share in many markets.

Total experience.

Companies are increasingly enhancing the value of their products by creating customer experiences. Some deepen the customer relationship by leveraging what they know about a given customer to personalize offerings. Others focus on the breadth of the relationship by adding touchpoints. Our research shows that high-performing brands do both—providing what we call “total experience.” In fact, we believe that the most important marketing metric will soon change from “share of wallet” or “share of voice” to “share of experience.”

McCormick, the spices and flavorings firm, emphasizes both depth and breadth in delivering on its promise to “push the art, science, and passion of flavor.” It creates a consistent experience for consumers across numerous physical and digital touchpoints, such as product packaging, branded content like cookbooks, retail stores, and even an interactive service, FlavorPrint, that learns each customer’s taste preferences and makes tailored recipe recommendations. FlavorPrint does for recipes what Netflix has done for movies; its algorithm distills each recipe into a unique flavor profile, which can be matched to a consumer’s taste-preference profile. FlavorPrint can then generate customized e-mails, shopping lists, and recipes optimized for tablets and mobile devices.

Organizing for Growth

Marketing has become too important to be left just to the marketers in a company. We say this not to disparage marketers but to underscore how holistic marketing now is. To deliver a seamless experience, one informed by data and imbued with brand purpose, all employees in the company, from store clerks and phone center reps to IT specialists and the marketing team itself, must share a common vision.

Our research has identified five drivers of organizational effectiveness. The leaders of high-performing companies connect marketing to the business strategy and to the rest of the organization; inspire their organizations by engaging all levels with the brand purpose; focus their people on a few key priorities; organize agile, cross-functional teams; and build the internal capabilities needed for success.

Connecting.

In our work with marketing organizations, we have seen case after case of dysfunctional teamwork, suboptimal collaboration, and lack of shared purpose and trust.

Despite cultural and geographic obstacles, our high-performing marketers avoid such breakdowns for the most part. Their leaders excel at linking their departments to general management and other functions. They create a tight relationship with the CEO, making certain that marketing goals support company goals; bridge organizational silos by integrating marketing and other disciplines; and ensure that global, regional, and local marketing teams work interdependently.

Marketing historically has marched to its own drummer, at best unevenly supporting strategy handed down from headquarters and, more commonly, pursuing brand or marketing goals (such as growing brand equity) that were not directly related to the overall business strategy. Today high-performing marketing leaders don’t just align their department’s activities with company strategy; they actively engage in creating it. From 2006 to 2013, our surveys show, marketing’s influence on strategy development increased by 20 percentage points. And when marketing demonstrates that it is fighting for the same business objectives as its peers, trust and communication strengthen across all functions and, as we shall see, enable the collaboration required for high performance.

Another way companies foster connections is by putting marketing and other functions under a single leader. Motorola’s Eduardo Conrado is the senior VP of both marketing and IT. A year after Antonio Lucio was appointed CMO of Visa, he was invited to also lead HR and tighten the alignment between the company’s strategy and how employees were recruited, developed, retained, and rewarded. CoauthCo-author Weed leads communications and sustainability, as well as marketing, at Unilever. And Herschend Family Entertainment, owner of the Harlem Globetrotters and various theme parks, has recently expanded CMO Eric Lent’s role to chief marketing and consumer technology officer.

Marketing has become too important to be left just to the marketers. All employees, from store clerks to IT specialists, must be engaged in it.

Inspiring.

Inspiration is one of the most underused drivers of effective marketing—and one of the most powerful. Our research shows that high-performing marketers are more likely to engage customers and employees with their brand purpose—and that employees in those organizations are more likely to express pride in the brand.

Inspiration strengthens commitment, of course, but when it’s rooted in a respected brand purpose, all employees will be motivated by the same mission. This enhances collaboration and, as more and more employees come into contact with customers, also helps ensure consistent customer experiences. The payoff is that everyone in the company becomes a de facto member of tCo-authoring team.

The key to inspiring the organization is to do internally what marketing does best externally: create irresistible messages and programs that get everyone on board. At Dulux, that involved handing paint and brushes to thousands of employees and setting them loose on neighborhoods around the world. Unilever’s leadership conducts a quarterly live broadcast with most of the company’s 6,500 marketers to celebrate best brand practices and introduce new tools. In addition, Unilever holds a series of globally coordinated and locally delivered internal and external communications events, called Big Moments, to engage employees and opinion leaders companywide directly with the broader purpose of making sustainable living commonplace. Research shows this has led to a significant increase in employee commitment. Nike has a marketing staffer whose sole job is to tell the original Nike story to all new employees.

Inspiration is so important that many companies, Unilever among them, have begun measuring employees’ brand engagement as a key performance indicator. Google does this by assessing employees’ “Googliness” in performance appraisals to determine how fully people embrace the company’s culture and purpose. And Zappos famously offers new hires $3,000 to leave after four weeks, effectively cutting loose anyone who is not inspired by the company’s obsessive customer focus.

Focusing.

When we asked eight global marketing executives in one organization to list their top five marketing objectives, only two goals made it onto everyone’s list. The remainder was a motley assortment of personal or local objectives. Such misalignment, our data show, increases the farther teams are from an organization’s center of power. With marketing activities ever more dispersed across global companies, that risk must be carefully managed.

By a wide margin, respondents in overperforming companies agreed with the statements “Local marketing understands the global strategy” and “Global marketing understands the local marketing reality.” Winning companies were more likely to measure brands’ success against key performance indicators such as revenue growth and profit and to tie incentives at the local level directly to those KPIs. Ironically, almost all companies were meticulous in planning and executing consumer communication campaigns but failed to devote the same care to internal communications about strategy. That’s a dangerous oversight.

Marc Schroeder, the global marketing head for PepsiCo’s Quaker brand, understood the need for internal cohesiveness when he led a cross-regional “marketing council” to develop and communicate the brand’s first global growth strategy. The council defined a purposeful positioning, nailed down the brand’s global objectives, set a prioritized growth agenda, created clear lines of accountability and incentives, and adopted a performance dashboard that tracked industry measures such as market share and revenue growth. The council communicated the strategy through regional and local team meetings, including those with agencies and retail customers worldwide, and hosted a first-ever global brand stewardship event to educate colleagues. As a result of those efforts, all Quaker marketing plans are now explicitly linked to one overall strategy.

Organizing for agility.

Our research consistently shows that organizational structure, roles, and processes are among the toughest leadership challenges—and that the need for clarity about them is consistently underestimated or even ignored.

We have helped design dozens of marketing organizations. Typically we enter the scene after a traditional business consultancy has done preliminary strategy, cost, and head-count analyses, and our role is to work with the CMO to create and implement a new structure, operating model, and capability-building program. Though we believe there is no ideal organizational blueprint, our experience does suggest a set of operational and design principles that any organization can apply.

Today marketing organizations must leverage global scale but also be nimble, able to plan and execute in a matter of weeks or a few months—and, increasingly, instantaneously. Oreo famously took to Twitter during the blackout at the 2013 Super Bowl, reminding consumers, “You can still dunk in the dark,” making the brand a trending topic during one of the world’s biggest sporting events. That the tweet was designed and approved in minutes was no accident; Oreo deliberately organized and empowered its marketing team for the occasion, bringing agency and brand teams together in a “mission control” room and authorizing them to engage with their audience in real time.

Complex matrixed organizational structures—like those captured in traditional, rigid “Christmas tree” org charts—are giving way to networked organizations characterized by flexible roles, fluid responsibilities, and more relaxed sign-off processes designed for speed. The new structures allow leaders to tap talent as needed from across the organization and assemble teams for specific, often short-term, marketing initiatives. The teams may form, execute, and disband in a matter of weeks or months, depending on the task.

New marketing roles.

As companies expand internationally, they inevitably reorganize to better balance the benefits of global scale with the need for local relevance. Our research shows that, as a result, the vast majority of brands are led much more centrally today than they were a few years ago. Companies are removing middle, often regional, layers and creating specialized “centers of excellence” that guide strategy and share best practices while drawing on needed resources wherever, and at whatever level, they exist in the organization. As companies pursue this approach, roles and processes need to be adapted.

Marketing organizations traditionally have been populated by generalists, but particularly with the rise of social and digital marketing, a profusion of new specialist roles—such as digital privacy analysts and native content editors—are emerging. We have found it useful to categorize marketing roles not by title (as the variety seems infinite) but as belonging to one of three broad types: “think” marketers, who apply analytic capabilities to tasks like data mining, media-mix modeling, and ROI optimization; “do” marketers, who develop content and design and lead production; and “feel” marketers, who focus on consumer interaction and engagement in roles from customer service to social media and online communities.

The networked organization.

A broad array of skills and organizational tiers and functions are represented within each category. CMOs and other marketing executives such as chief experience officers and global brand managers increasingly operate as the orchestrators, assembling cross-functional teams from these three classes of talent to tackle initiatives. Orchestrators brief the teams, ensure that they have the capabilities and resources they need, and oversee performance tracking. To populate a team, the orchestrator and team leader draw from marketing and other functions as well as from outside agencies and consulting firms, balancing the mix of think, do, and feel capabilities in accordance with the team’s mission.

Companies are using this model to create task forces for a range of marketing programs, from integrating online and physical retail experiences to introducing new products. When Unilever launched Project Sunlight—a consumer-engagement program connected with its sustainable living initiative—the team drew talent from seven expertise areas. The international cable company Liberty Global uses task forces to optimize the customer experience at key engagement points—such as when customers receive a bill. These teams are led by managers from a variety of marketing and nonmarketing functions, have different durations, and draw from each of the three talent pools in different measure.

The task-force model is both agile and disciplined. It requires a culture in which central leadership is confident that local teams understand the strategy and will collaborate to execute it. This works well only when everyone in the organization is inspired by the brand purpose and is clear about the goals. Google, Nike, Red Bull, and Amazon all embrace this philosophy. Amazon’s Jeff Bezos captured the ethos when he said at a shareholders’ meeting, “We are stubborn on vision. We are flexible on details.”

Building capabilities.

As we have shown, the most effective marketers lead by connecting, inspiring, focusing, and organizing for agility. But none of those activities can be fully accomplished, or sustained, without the continual building of capabilities. Our research shows pronounced differences in training between high- and low-performing companies, in terms of both quantity and quality.

At a minimum the marketing staff needs expertise in traditional marketing and communications functions—market research, competitive intelligence, media planning, and so forth. But we’ve seen that sometimes even those basic capabilities are lacking. Courses to onboard new staff and teach targeted skills are just the price of entry. The best marketing organizations, including those at Coca-Cola, Unilever, and the Japanese beauty company Shiseido, have invested in dedicated internal marketing academies to create a single marketing language and way of doing marketing.

Senior managers across the company can benefit from programs for sharing expertise on consumer habits, competitor strategy, and retail dynamics. Virgin, Starbucks, and other corporations have created intensive “immersion” programs for this purpose. Executives at the director level can profit from advanced courses that focus on strategic considerations such as portfolio management and partnering. We find that senior leaders often gain a lot in digital and social media training, as they’re frequently less well versed in those areas than their junior colleagues are. Appreciating this, companies including Unilever and Diageo have taken their senior leaders to Facebook for training. We’ve collaborated with partners at Google, MSN, and AOL to develop similar programs, including “reverse mentoring,” which pairs very senior managers with younger staffers. Even the CMO can benefit from continued, targeted training. Visa’s Antonio Lucio, for instance, hired a digital native to teach him about social media and monitor his progress.

Underperforming marketers, on the other hand, underinvest in training. Their employees receive just over half a day of training a year, on average, while overperformers give people nearly two full days of tailored, practical training by external experts. At first blush, the Marketing2020 study reveals what you might expect: Marketers must leverage customer insight, imbue their brands with a brand purpose, and deliver a rich customer experience. They must connect, inspire, focus, organize, and build, as detailed here. The finding that’s striking—and should serve as both a warning and a call to arms—is that most organizations haven’t been able to put all those pieces together. Our data show that only half of even high-performing organizations excel on some of these capabilities. But that shouldn’t be discouraging; rather, it illuminates where there’s work to do. Regardless of how marketing delivers its messages in the future, the fundamental human motivations that marketers must satisfy won’t change. The challenge now is to create organizations that can truly speak to those needs.

David Ogden
Helping People Help Themselves

David https://markethive.com/david-ogden