James O'Brien covers business, technology, social media, marketing, film, food, wine, the profession of writing, and news. The Nieman Journalism Lab has called his work "sponsored content done right".
Real estate has traditionally been a game won or lost based on old-fashioned networking and shoe-leather style hard work — deeply dependent on timing, detecting trends and more than a little bit of luck.
It may not be that way for much longer, however. Big data is changing the way real-estate professionals, buyers, sellers — and even banks — think about transactions involving property.
There is a human-resources future out there — one in which online resume databases, social media profiles, records of employment, and even scanned business cards and job applications come together to identify the best prospect in a crowd.
Whether it's a software company bootstrapping its way from a San Francisco studio or a shoe shop opening its doors somewhere on Main Street — technically speaking, every new business could be called a startup at the beginning.
But certain characteristics of certain startups — in the tech-sector, in particular — are different from shoe stores, bakeries and your typical boutique.
Canon knows that in the digital age, you probably already have a camera — and it's in your smartphone. But now, the company that made its name as a legacy camera brand by marketing photography equipment designed to capture magazine-cover quality images is reaching out to its online consumer base with a fresh emphasis on creation.
Conrad Hilton would have told you that a life well lived is one that includes a well-worn passport. For the marketing arm of the hotel empire that Hilton began in 1919, that philosophy is now manifest as a two-way conversation — brand and traveler in dialogue online.
"What's so exciting about marketing, for us, now, is that we haven't moved away from that vision," says Nancy Deck, vice president of portfolio and full service brand marketing for Hilton.
Red Bull is a publishing empire that also happens to sell a beverage.
Yet, no one seems to know exactly how Red Bull does it.
Thought leadership is poorly defined and diluted by over-assignment. What does it really mean?
If anything, peer-to-peer businesses are reaching for the next rung. As Internet usage expands — as it did, acutely, during the past half decade — the ability to connect and, perhaps more importantly, the ways that we connect, have been bridge-building engines for the P2P industry.