In the News – May 2010

Climbing the B2B Social Media Ladder

By Brian R. Hook, May 27, 2010,

Business-to-business companies are using social media strategies more and more. Just like consumer-focused companies, they know such strategies are important for building brand recognition and helping their return on investment. Ana Cano, senior vice president and director of digital and social media at Euro RSCG Worldwide PR, North America, tells E-Commerce Times that ROI will vary by client needs, expectations and business objectives. “The standardization of measurement is very much a work in progress for the entire industry,” she adds, “and one we’ll continue to watch as it develops and formalizes in the coming months—and perhaps years.”

Are You Ruled by Superstition?

By Flic Everett, May 24, 2010

We might be living in an übermodern world of advanced ideas and digital connectedness, but the truth is that people are as superstitious as ever. From dodging black cats to chucking salt over their shoulder, people are still practicing irrational superstitious rituals. Expert trendwatcher Marian Salzman explains what’s up: “The world is so topsy-turvy, with terrorists trying to strike us down while we head out to dinner, we think we can protect ourselves and our loved ones with new practices that become ‘must-dos’ to keep the truly evil things at bay.”

Power from the People

By Marian Salzman, May 20, 2010

With the recent Supreme Court decision to allow corporations to contribute unlimited amounts of money to political campaigns, it seems that the election system has reached a tipping point. Despite this, says Marian Salzman, president of Euro RSCG Worldwide PR, North America, some local-minded politicians, such as former Stamford, Conn., mayor Dan Malloy, are offering a value-driven counterpoint to the money. He is now running for governor of Connecticut. “Malloy, like many American politicians, simply can’t afford to fight money with money,” Salzman writes. “But I’ve learned that, at least in his mind, money is not the hot commodity. Community is.”

Panera’s New ‘Pay-What-You-Want’ Café: Can It Scale?

By Marcia Stepanek, May 19, 2010

National bakery chain Panera Bread recently opened a nonprofit shop in St. Louis, where there are no set prices and customers are allowed to pay what they can or volunteer to help at-risk youth if they can’t afford to pay. At first blush, the enterprise seems to show that good intentions can equal good business. This is the first time such a venture has been attempted by a for-profit corporation (the nonprofit shops are managed by the philanthropic arm of the company), so the idea of scaling to a national scope is being considered. Trendspotter Marian Salzman told USA Today that she doesn’t have high hopes for sustained success, but the jury is still out on the potential upsides to this charitable business model.

Non-Profit Panera Cafe: Take What You Need, Pay What You Can

By Bruce Horovitz, May 18, 2010

Panera Bread decided it wanted to test a theory in socially aware business by converting one branch of its restaurant chain into a nonprofit organization where customers can pay whatever amount they can afford. It’s a noble effort, but is it good business? USA Today turned to expert trendwatcher Marian Salzman to get a realistic read on the idea. “I don’t think the honor bar system will work nationally,” Salzman says. “While young people are very much attuned to helping out and making a difference, if they find themselves sitting next to other customers with whom they don’t feel comfortable, they’re not coming back.”

Panera Launches First Nonprofit Cafe

From the Daily Beast, May 18, 2010

Consumers today are demanding not just product value but also social awareness from the businesses they support. One company, Panera Bread, has gone out on a limb to embrace this very notion, offering customers at one branch of the restaurant chain the option to pay what they can for their meal. Euro RSCG Worldwide PR president, and expert trendwatcher, Marian Salzman gives her read on the chances of Panera’s honor system succeeding in the long run.

The Transformation of American Youth: From Teenager to Teenagent

By Marian Salzman, May 12, 2010

Empowered by the tools of social media and transcending traditional boundaries with mobile technologies, teenagers are experiencing a social renaissance. Teens are now the creative engines driving the digito-social revolution of business and culture, writes Euro RSCG Worldwide PR President Marian Salzman. “It’s almost as if the core definition of a teenager can no longer be negotiated by age (already the ‘tween’ classification feels schmaltzy and trite),” she says, “but rather by the kind of actions and activities in a person’s life. Teens are now agents of change, agents of communication, agents of innovation.”

Q&A: Redefining Teens, $216 Billion Buyer Power

By Sarah Mahoney, May 11, 2010

Teens wield far more influence than they are given credit for, Marian Salzman, president of Euro RSCG Worldwide PR, North America, tells Marketing Daily. She calls them master communicators and says they’ve “stripped out the verbosity” in their language. Salzman also says the recession has made them worried about earning a living and paying back college loans when the time comes. But once they’re ready to be on their own? “Both for quality of life and the high-tech factor, these kids are more drawn to places like Austin, Texas, and San Francisco—they want to be part of that high-tech Google world,” Salzman says. “They are very aware that Mark Zuckerberg was still a teenager when he started Facebook and invented a business that changed the world.”

Local Fabulous: How Our Focus Has Narrowed and Local Has Become the New Global

By Marian Salzman, First Quarter 2010

It wasn’t so long ago that globalization was the big new thing. Everyone wanted to know what it meant, how it’s manifesting and how to keep up with it. But today, writes Euro RSCG Worldwide PR President Marian Salzman, after 10 years of chewing on the sour grapes of globalization, and after tiring of the amorphous, anonymous and ambiguous information of the Internet, people are turning inward. “Now what’s going on in our immediate communities—whether they’re geographic or virtual—is what’s important,” Salzman writes. “It’s a radical reshaping of our culture, and there are examples of it everywhere.”

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