OTTAWA — The number of articles generated by community newspapers in Canada has declined by almost half over the last decade, and many news organizations are trending toward not-for-profit business models to make up for a dramatic decline in advertising revenues, two studies to be released Tuesday reveal.
News coverage of local councils and other democratic institutions was down by more than one-third from 10 years ago, said a report from the Public Policy Forum called “Mind The Gaps — Quantifying The Decline of News Coverage in Canada,” which studied articles appearing in community papers across five regions of the country.
Spending on digital marketing grew by 44 percent last year in the United States and Britain to $52 billion, a study has found, estimating that global outlays on such tactics are approaching $100 billion.
In contrast to placing online ads through intermediaries, digital marketing, or “martech”, has the appeal of enabling brands to target consumers directly via social media, search-engine optimization or voice-activated assistants, such as Amazon’s Alexa.
If I were a senior executive in healthcare, it would scare the hell out of me to learn that Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, Warren Buffett of Berkshire Hathaway fame, and JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon formed an independent company “free from profit-making incentives and constraints” to provide “simplified, high-quality and transparent healthcare at a reasonable cost” to a million or so of their U.S. employees. The fact that the CEOs chose surgeon and author Atul Gawande — an outspoken critic of the healthcare industry’s practices — to lead it wouldn’t settle my nerves. The news might even be jarring enough to induce me to read Vijay Govindarajan and Ravi Ramamurti’s Reverse Innovation in Health Care. Although that might prove cold comfort indeed.
Deploying a digital-first banking platform is not only now possible but mandatory for financial institutions of all sizes. To compete effectively in the future, every bank and credit union must understand the four facets of a digital platform strategy — omnichannel capability, modular structure, open API architecture, and smart technologies.
THE FINANCIAL BRAND
The extent and effect of digital transformation is measured by the sum of its parts. But if you peel back the layers of many prominent case studies, you’ll realize a couple of things. First, the term “digital transformation” often means different things depending on scope and intent. Second, initiatives are often focused on the “digital transformation of…,” a discrete effort or group (the parts), not necessarily larger parts of the enterprise (the sum). However, in my research, I’ve repeatedly observed that when organizations concentrate on customer experience and engagement, digital transformation may start among the parts, but it ultimately winds up reshaping the entire organization.
CLOUD WARS — Doubling down on his belief that Microsoft must help customers become world-class software creators themselves, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella today showcased several innovative customers embracing “tech intensity” to innovate and grow in today’s high-intensity digital economy.
Security experts are up in arms about an update to Google’s Chrome browser that they say undermines users’ privacy.
The issue is complex, but it revolves around how and when people choose to log in to the Chrome browser (which is different than logging in to Google services like Gmail). In past versions of the browser, this was a voluntary step. Doing so means users can sync information like bookmarks, passwords, and browsing history between devices, a feature Google calls “Chrome Sync.” It also means that their user data is stored on Google’s servers — something that some people are understandably unhappy about.
Apple today announced it has completed its acquisition of Shazam, one of the world’s most popular and highly-rated music apps, used by hundreds of millions of people worldwide.
“Apple and Shazam have a long history together. Shazam was one of the first apps available when we launched the App Store and has become a favorite app for music fans everywhere,” said Oliver Schusser, Apple’s vice president of Apple Music. “With a shared love of music and innovation, we are thrilled to bring our teams together to provide users even more great ways to discover, experience and enjoy music.”
“We are all in the gutter,” wrote Oscar Wilde, “but some of us are looking at the stars.” That is the nature of strategy through execution. You operate deep in the weeds, managing countless day-to-day tasks and transactions. At the same time, you keep a steady gaze on your company’s long-term goals — and on ways you can stand out from your competitors.
STRATEGY + BUSINESS
TORONTO — Canada has been trying to grow its innovation sector for decades and prove that it can compete on the world’s stage, but Shopify’s founder believes the country shouldn’t be too quick to celebrate when U.S. technology giants head north of the border.
THE FINANCIAL POST
Canada Post is constantly looking to the future by investing in innovative technologies and ideas. We’re especially proud of one example of this: our new concept stores in select locations across the country.
These unique stores are the first of their kind in North America. Each one is a miniature innovation lab that allows us to test new services and try fresh ways of meeting the evolving needs of online shoppers. For our customers, these exciting locations are a place to experience the post office of tomorrow, today!
The headset from Facebook’s Oculus division will be a stand-alone device that won’t require a smartphone or a connection to a personal computer to create artificial worlds.
Although Zuckerberg unveiled the Quest on Wednesday, it won’t be available until next spring, for US$399.
Pinterest is opening its first office in Canada in Toronto at the start of October in an effort to expand its presence outside of the U.S.
The San Francisco-based technology company runs an online platform that allows users to create a digital board they can pin aspirational photos to.
For all its behind-the-scenes innovation, Google Search has looked more or less the same for the last 20 years: You type some words in a search box and get back a list of links.
The company’s added lots of bells and whistles over the years, but the core concept has remained the same and the experience has pretty much looked the same.