“Do what you love, and the money will follow” is seductive advice, especially when wealth is scarce and jobs are few. The millennial generation has clung to this credo since the Great Recession, hoping the pursuit of passion would offer a roadmap to success in an uncertain economy. It helps explain why many juggle careers instead of vying for a corner office. After all, when your job is a moving target, it’s harder to downsize.

This line of thinking is why millennials may one day find themselves working for Generation Z. This is humbling to admit, because I am one of the former.

While my generation was busy making meaning, the parents of today’s teens were quietly raising a cohort more concerned with making money. The oldest among them will soon be entering adulthood, and new research from The Cassandra Report suggests they possess key traits that will help them thrive in the business world. (read more…)

You’re an entrepreneur, you’ve got great ideas, and business is booming. So why not be recognized as a thought leader in your industry? After all, your competition is doing it. With blogs and social sharing platforms at everyone’s fingertips, establishing a strong presence in the sea of voices is almost as important as your product or service. The big question is, how do you get your voice heard, and how do you know what to say and who to say it to?

Here are four tips on excelling in the school of thought leadership.

Articulate what makes you special

Spend some time deciphering exactly what makes your business stand out from the crowd. How are you innovative? How is your company playing the game differently? Nothing says leader more than spearheading a shift in industry thinking. It’s not as intimidating as it might sound — we don’t all have to be Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh transforming the call center into a model of corporate culture. (read more…)

Now is what’s next.

That is how Ben Jones, creative director for Google’s agency team, ended his presentation on creativity in real-time at the 4A’s Transformation conference.

Jones went on to explain that reacting quickly to tent-pole television events with creative yields strong results, and a strong mobile strategy is what will increase brand recognition and loyalty with consumers. Long gone are the days when people would talk about social and mobile as “nice to haves” or “the next big thing.” Mobile and social took a front seat this year for all major brands and agencies.

Like many conferences over the past year, there was a lot of discussion about programmatic and the increasing need for automation within these platforms.

The topic attracted debate, and the question was asked, “Is programmatic ready for prime time?”

Amanda Richman, president of investment and activation at Starcom USA, drove the point of addressability and targeting the audience. (read more…)

There’s an industry gathering for everything these days: Cannes, CES, Social Media Week, and my new personal favorite, South by Southwest.

Although all tend to appeal to marketers, CES historically has been the most technology-driven, whereas SXSW has owned the culture and entertainment space (due to its three-pronged nature of Interactive, Film and Music). However, this year’s festival seemed particularly focused on technology — virtual reality, mobile shopping apps, and beacons dominated sessions and conversations.

Technology and advertising have long gone hand-in-hand. From radio to TV and the Internet, innovation has undoubtedly affected the context in which brands reach their consumers. More interestingly, I’d argue, is the influence of technology on media.

Millennials are particularly familiar with the evolution of media. We’ve been through it all — from e-mail to chat rooms to Myspace and Facebook, YouTube and Snapchat, Twitter and Instagram, and — gasp — Meerkat.

Rather than focus on what wearables or beacon tech means for consumers, at SXSW, I chose to learn more about the future of distributed media, in a session led by BuzzFeed’s Summer Anne Burton. (read more…)