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first_imgTeams took advantage of the ideal, sunny conditions Tuesday to post low scores across the board. The winning team from Norwalk Ready Mix of Scott Bohlender, Jim Brown, Eric Berkey and Tanner Weatherman claimed the team title with a score of 130. Eric Boehlert was the individual winner of the Classic for the second-straight year and third time overall with a score of 65 to earn the coveted Blue Jacket awarded to the low-score of the tournament. For the 11th time, Bulldog supporters enjoyed an afternoon of play at the lush Talons of Tuscany. The pristine course is owned by one of Drake’s biggest supporters, Mr. Dennis Albaugh. Mr. Albaugh generously allows the Drake athletics department the opportunity to host its annual golf tournament, which serves as one of the department’s biggest fundraisers. ANKENY, Iowa – The annual Drake Golf Classic was played under pristine blue skies at one of Iowa’s most exclusive golf courses, the Talons of Tuscany, in Ankeny, Iowa, Tuesday, June 12.center_img For more information about the 2019 Drake Golf Classic at The Talons of Tuscany, contact Austin Strawhacker (austin.strawhacker@drake.edu).Print Friendly Versionlast_img read more

first_imgSouth Africa’s presence is increasing in Africa, with local brands able to shape the culture of shopping in countries like Nigeria, says Brand South Africa’s research manager, Petrus de Kock. South Africa is one of the top three countries of origin for foreign direct investment in Africa, meaning our companies have internationalised at a rapid pace since 1994.Between 2008-2013, the South African Reserve Bank approved nearly 1 000 large investments by South African corporations into 36 African countries. Brand South Africa general manager for research, Petrus de Kock.Petrus de KockThe dawn of a democratic dispensation in South Africa in 1994 did not only bring with it a bill of human rights, the right to vote, and freedom from oppression, but also led to a proverbial explosion of the country’s corporations onto the continent.Evidence of this proverbial explosion can be seen not only in the number of South African brands active in peer African markets, but also in the 2013 EY Africa Attractiveness Survey which indicates that the top three countries of origin for foreign direct investment (FDI) on the continent (by number of projects) are the UK at 104; the USA at 78; and South Africa with a total of 63 during 2013 alone. This means that since the end of apartheid South African corporates have internationalised at a significant pace, making the country one of the leading sources of investment on the continent.In the 2013 budget speech, the then minister of finance, Pravin Gordhan, indicated that during the 2008-2013 period the South African Reserve Bank approved nearly 1 000 large investments by South African corporations into 36 African countries. These are in many instances not insignificant projects, for example, the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) has investments in 41 projects across 17 countries that added to a cumulative African investment portfolio of R6.2 billion by 2012. These IDC-led investments are predominantly in mining, industrial infrastructure, agro-processing and tourism.The IDC is but one significant example. During 2014 Brand South Africa’s research into the country’s exposure to peer African markets from a business, government, and civil-society/cultural point of view finds that the country’s corporate brands (both private and parastatals) have played, and will continue to play, a crucial role in carrying the nation’s flag across the continent. For this reason Brand South Africa set out to, in a more systematic manner, research the profile of the nation brand, how South Africa and South Africans are perceived on the continent, and additionally to identify opportunities and challenges South Africans, South African brands, and generally speaking the nation brand faces when investing in, trading with, interfacing or interacting with markets across Africa.From the fieldwork and related research it has become apparent that if South Africa, and South Africans are known for a few key attributes of features then in Nigeria one finds significant interest in South African corporate brands’ managerial and corporate governance capability. In Kenya fieldwork found that while there may be some criticisms of the South African personality (more on that in a moment), products and services from South African suppliers, retailers or service providers are often cited as reputable, reliable, and in some cases competitively priced.In some markets, such as Nigeria, several interviewees indicated that Shoprite’s entry has to some extent changed the shopping culture. This implies that South African brands have not only internationalised, but have in the intervening twenty years of democracy become well known, and respected for rendering quality services & products.Any South African who may suddenly develop a craving for a Spur or Steers “fix” – outlets can be found in Lagos and Nairobi. South African banks such as Stanbic have made it easy to transact, draw cash, and pay for services in the markets where it has a presence. Metropolitan Life in Ghana offers increasingly sophisticated insurance solutions to a growing business and consumer market. In Nigeria the Protea and Southern Sun hotel groups have become well established brands that form part of the Nigerian hospitality industry. Also in Ghana, corporates such as AFGRI, John Deere and smaller South African service providers deliver valuable services in the agriculture, plumbing, electrical, engineering, and automotive spaces.This means that the profile of the South African brand in markets such as Kenya, Nigeria, and Ghana (the countries focused on in the 2014 phase of the SA Inc project) is quite diverse, and by and large each market has unique reasons to accept, use, buy and interact with South African brands, products and services.However, while there is a lot to celebrate in terms of the significant economic and business ties that have developed during the past twenty years, Brand South Africa’s fieldwork research in Kenya, Nigeria and Ghana during 2014 also uncovered some important findings regarding challenges, particularly focused on market entry strategy some corporates have faced in their efforts at entering these markets.Learning to listenFieldwork interviews in Kenya and Nigeria indicate that South Africans can from time to time come across as somewhat aggressive, imposing and unwilling to listen to the advice from partners or local advisors. This raises an important issue pertaining to the internationalisation strategy South African corporates deploy when considering entry into peer African markets.Typical market entry strategy will consider “hard factors” such as:         Any internationalisation strategy has to consider inherent risks pertaining to the sector, local competition or international presence, the policy and regulatory environment of the market;         In order to mitigate the unique market entry risks corporate leaders must assess risks and then decide on an appropriate strategy such as:         Will the company go and establish a o Should the company seek local partnerships and/or shareholders to create joint ventures, or         Should the company operate in a foreign market by licensing the firm’s products in another market to be distributed and marketed by local partners.The above are but a few of the somewhat challenging questions corporate leaders, marketers, and strategists face when deciding to internationalise and expand into foreign markets be they on the continent, or further afield in emerging markets or so-called developed economies.Seeing that the Sub-Saharan African economy has been growing at significant rates during the past decade, opportunities for expansion onto the continent have expanded. However, during fieldwork interviews in all three markets it became apparent that perceptions of corporate brands, South African individuals, and the country as a whole, plays an important role in managing relationships.For example, in both Kenya and Ghana interviewees (both South Africans in these markets and local businesses or corporate leaders) indicated that the success of a market entry strategy relies on the ability to take the above decisions on “hard issues” including elements noted above. However, the perception of personalities, and the manner in which South Africans interact with local business partners can in some instances cause deals to fail.The above means that one of the key findings of Brand SA’s research is that the success or failure of a corporate market entry strategy often hinges on the “soft factors” as well. These include an awareness of, and willingness to learn from partners, advisors, or South African individuals or corporates with experience in the market. In Kenya as well as Ghana local advisors often indicated that South African corporates are good with dealing with the hard issues, but when it comes to understanding local business culture, nuances in the use of language, and etiquette associated with social and business interactions with local stakeholders often lead to misunderstandings and failure to develop synergy at an interpersonal level.In Ghana, for example, an interviewee (a South African with more than fifteen years of experience with doing business in West Africa – particularly Nigeria and Ghana) indicated that corporates from South Africa in some instances think that they can proverbially ‘go it alone’ through the market entry process. Such processes often entail complex business registration and licencing procedures, tax compliance and expat quota management to name but a few unique challenges corporates may face when entering markets. Furthermore, unheeded advice from local partners, or advisors such as the case mentioned here, can often mean disaster and massive loss of capital due to deals that go wrong.Key lessons & recommendations to draw from the fieldwork         The South African corporate brand profile on the continent is extremely diverse;         South Africa, as third largest source of FDI on the continent can continue to play a pivotal role in the diversification of economies in peer African markets to the mutual benefit of the nations concerned;         In all three markets where fieldwork was conducted this year a bi-national business chamber exists. From a strategic point of view government and business from SA already active in these markets, or intending to expand there, can utilise these as strategic platforms for a range of services, such as:         Introductions to possible local partners, advisors, suppliers, service providers;         A platform to share knowledge, build insight and networks to understand local business environment;         Develop relations with local partners not only to grow business, but also to get exposure to the local business culture, and national culture generally;         Such platforms that typically involve the South African High Commissions or Embassies in the markets can with increased support fulfil a critical bridging function that can soften the landing of SA corporates in peer markets.The lesson to draw from this is that while South African corporates have exploded across the continent post-1994, a lot of work remains to be done to understand the unique hard and soft factors that may impact on the internationalisation- and market entry strategies of South African corporates across the continent.As the National Development Plan outlines, South Africa aims to expand not only its own trade with African markets, but essentially to support the gradual increase of volumes of intra-African trade. This has to be facilitated and supported with relevant policy, infrastructural and innovative solutions. To this end Brand South Africa’s SA Inc research project aims to bring new insights to the fore that can assist governmental, business, and civil-society stakeholders when engaging with markets, people, businesses, universities, or cultural activities.Finally, the conclusion is that South Africans may have to learn how to listen more carefully to the advice of local partners, advisors, or friends. By learning to listen, we will be better equipped to listen in order to learn more about the soft factors that can sometimes come and bedevil the best laid corporate internationalisation strategy.This research note was republished in volume 26, issue two of PMR Africa magazine.last_img read more

first_imgRead Next Calvin Abueva. Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netJust a week removed from the national team pool, Calvin Abueva made a shock appearance in Gilas Pilipinas’ fourth Monday evening practice at Meralco Gym.Alaska’s energizer bunny showed up for the first time to join the squad, but it’s unclear if he has already hashed things out with Reyes.ADVERTISEMENT John Lloyd Cruz a dashing guest at Vhong Navarro’s wedding Globe Business launches leading cloud-enabled and hardware-agnostic conferencing platform in PH MOST READ Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa Slow and steady hope for near-extinct Bangladesh tortoises Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH 2 ‘newbie’ drug pushers fall in Lucena stingcenter_img NEXT BLOCK ASIA 2.0 introduces GURUS AWARDS to recognize and reward industry influencers Also making his first appearance is “23-for-23” cadet and Ateneo Blue Eaglet Kai Sotto.Present from the cadet pool were Thirdy Ravena, Isaac Go, Matt Nieto, CJ Perez, Robert Bolick, Javee Mocon, Paul Desiderio, Juan Gomez de Liaño, J-Jay Alejandro, Abu Tratter, Jeo Ambohot, Arvin Tolentino, Kenneth Tuffin, and Will Gozum.Joshua Sinclair, who is recovering from an ACL injury, and Ricci Rivero also watched the practice at the sidelines.Nigerians Ola Adeogun and Eugene Toba of San Beda and Chibueze Ikeh of Ateneo also helped in the preparations.The Philippines will take on Australia at Margaret Court Arena in Melbourne on February 22, before flying back home to battle Japan at Mall of Asia Arena on February 25.ADVERTISEMENT Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Publico nails winner as Wangs-Letran shocks Che’Lu-San Sebastian LATEST STORIES Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Last week, Reyes announced that he decided to cut Abueva along with Raymond Almazan for the second window of the 2019 Fiba World Cup Asian qualifiers for missing the first three practices.Unlike Abueva, Almazan did not show up as he was the lone absentee from the current pool.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSLillard, Anthony lead Blazers over ThunderSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutJayson Castro bannered the 34 men who participated in the session, together with current pool members Gabe Norwood, Troy Rosario, Allein Maliksi, Kevin Alas, Roger Pogoy, Jio Jalalon, Mac Belo, Matthew Wright, Carl Bryan Cruz, and Kiefer Ravena.June Mar Fajardo and Japeth Aguilar, who both had games on Sunday, sat out the session. View commentslast_img read more

first_img Dan Cohen AUTHOR Plans to convert a 68-acre portion of the former Naval Air Station Alameda, Calif., into a mixed development with homes, commercial space and parkland moved one step closer to being realized this week after Alameda’s Planning Board unanimously approved the proposal.The city council will take up the plan next month, when it also will consider the development agreement the city has struck with Alameda Point Partners for the parcel, reported the Alamedan.The city selected Alameda Point Partners after deciding to direct the project itself following two failed efforts led by master developers over the past decade.“We took the different approach,” said Jennifer Ott, the city’s chief operating officer for Alameda Point. “Because of that, we were able to streamline the public, community process,” Ott told the San Francisco Business Times.The developer’s plan calls for 800 townhomes and condominiums, a quarter of which will be affordable to lower income residents; 600,000 square feet of retail and commercial space, including a 125-room hotel; 15 acres of parks and open space; and a new ferry terminal in Seaplane Lagoon.Community advocates, business leaders and other members of the public who spoke at Monday’s board meeting overwhelmingly supported the project, saying it would provide much-needed housing and infrastructure to support economic development.Residents and elected officials have expressed concerns about increased traffic generated by the development in the past — a particular concern due to the Alameda’s island geography — but City Planner Andrew Thomas said officials would strive to reduce traffic impacts by requiring the developer to offer transit options and a high proportion of rental housing that attracts people who are less likely to drive.last_img read more

first_img Post a comment All the cool new gadgets at CES 2019 CES 2019: Every story so far: See all of CNET’s coverage of the year’s biggest tech show. CES 2019 schedule: It’s six days of jam-packed events. Here’s what to expect. CES 2019 CES 2019 Next Big Thing CES 2019 Live 85 Photos 0 Tagscenter_img Livestream The way we watch video has never been more complicated or exciting. The media industry has seen audiences spread across more platforms than anyone expected, and now we watch video anywhere and everywhere we can, from our phones to our fridges and from YouTube to network-built apps.  With 5G just around the corner and all the lower latency it promises, and with hardware reaching resolutions that challenge the acuity of the human eye, it’s time to rethink possibilities around what we watch and how we watch it. CNET and CES have partnered up to bring that discussion to you with some of the brightest thinkers in the technology and entertainment industries. Enlarge ImageAlex Kurtzman, Executive Producer, Star Trek: DiscoveryOn Tuesday, Jan. 8, join CNET for our most exciting Next Big Thing panel yet: The Future of Media. For the 19th Next Big Thing, CNET’s session takes place at the C Space Storyteller Stage at the Aria on Tuesday, Jan. 8 at 1:45 p.m. PT. Moderated by CNET’s Brian Cooley and me, Lindsey Turrentine, we’ll be talking first with a special guest, Alex Kurtzman, executive producer of Star Trek: Discovery and the Star Trek franchise. We’ll discuss season 2 and chat about how changing screen sizes and settings influence the way Kurtzman writes and produces Star Trek. (Star Trek: Discovery season 2 premieres Jan. 17 on CBS All Access. Disclosure: CNET is owned by CBS.) Next, Cooley and I will chat with a panel from all corners of the media world, and what a conversation it will be. We’ll be joined by Yoon Lee, SVP of Content and Services, Product Innovation at Samsung; Toby Eduardo Redshaw, SVP of 5G Ecosystems and Enterprise Innovation at Verizon; and Heather Rivera, Global Head of Product Partnerships at YouTube. We’ll talk hardware, we’ll talk pipeline and we’ll talk content production and strategy.  If you can’t make it to Vegas to join us, we’ll be streaming Next Big Thing live in the player above. Don’t miss it! Share your voice Tech Industry Star Trek Samsung Verizonlast_img read more

first_img The cynics among us would say that the new year gives people a new start on old habits. And despite great leaps in innovative technology and know-how, when it comes to the world of high tech, some digital businesses seem no different from the masses who fail to achieve their resolutions after several weeks or months of trying. For the past eight years, companies have dubbed each January “the year of personalization” when it comes to digital marketing. Because businesses have many different types of users who require various types of experiences, “personalization” is deemed part of the solution to the million-dollar question today: how can we predict customers’ behavior and thus improve the digital experience? Businesses across every industry invest countless resources in an effort to answer this question, as it will help the organization gain a competitive advantage, and thus increase profits — but many end up failing repeatedly.What are they doing wrong?Related: Top 8 Marketing Trends That Will Define 2017To answer this question, it’s important to realize why digital personalization is important in the first place. The underlying assumption is that if we can identify similar behaviors among groups of customers, this will allow us to predict how other clients will behave. But this is easier said than done. Some believe that, just like buying a new pair of sneakers and some flashy sports clothes in order to join the gym, all you need is new data crunching technology, big data and some data scientist to find meaning in it all, and you’ll be ready to make predictions. The harsh truth is that this is a recipe for disaster. There’s too much data and not enough psychological analysis.The availability of data is not the problem — quite the opposite. Today, there is data that relates to user behavior (clicks, page views), social events (likes, shares), item details (category, price) and contextual information (time of day, weather, device) and much more. The problem is that none of it tells you why your customers are (or aren’t) buying your product online. We spend far too much time looking at what customers do, and not enough time trying to understand why they do it.  For example, let’s assume that our data-driven analysis of consumer behavior in a clothing store reveals that the average order value was much higher during daytime compared to evening. The data-based conclusion would be that people tend to spend more money during the day, and thus there’s nothing else to be done. Yet an alternative explanation might be that the customers who came in the morning were welcomed by a friendly, beautiful sales rep who smiled at them as they entered the store. The warm interaction had affected their shopping behavior.What’s needed is to organize the data in a way that shows a deep understanding of how people think and behave. In other words, consider hiring a psychologist.Psychology helps us build more accurate interpretations of situations. For example, studies have shown that when we read content from our smartphones, we pick content that’s more emotional than content we might read on our desktops. This can be explained by the fact that we perceive our smartphones as an extension of our bodies — something that we trust with the most intimate details of our lives — whereas desktops feel much more separate and distinct, not to mention the fact that they don’t travel with us.Behavior is more than the sum of its parts.When it comes to human behavior, data scientists can sometimes be accused of living according to the “black box” assumption, essentially, that human behavior can be understood only by observing external data. As Yuval Noah Harari wrote in his article “Big Data, Google and the End of Free Will,” “In its extreme form, proponents of the Dataist worldview perceive the entire universe as a flow of data, see organisms as little more than biochemical algorithms and believe that humanity’s cosmic vocation is to create an all-encompassing data-processing system.”Related: All Business is Personal — Especially in EcommerceSuch an approach doesn’t work in everyday interpersonal communications — studies have found that day-to-day interactions are based almost entirely on nonverbal communication. Nor does it work in understanding online behavior. Instead, we have to take into account the underlying drivers of customer decision-making processes. Data analysis should be driven by expert knowledge and psychological theory instead of applying the “let’s just try and see” approach. One of the data scientists of our biggest retail clients told me he found significant differences in the paths that led users to convert. He found that users who converted weren’t using the website’s filters, while visitors who didn’t convert were using it. He was about to show this finding to his manager and suggest deleting the filtering option until I spotted a fundamental flaw. We know that conversion is a process and it takes few iterations for a visitor to convert. In his analysis he didn’t differentiate between first-time visitors (who needed the filter to find what they were looking for) vs. returning visitors who have already gathered the information needed to make a decision and were ready to convert.Psychological models can help us better understand the notorious problems of irrationality and the role of emotions, cognitive bias or environmental cues play in our purchasing decisions. People may believe that their purchasing habits are a result of a rational process, but in reality, many of our purchasing decisions are done on impulse, when something triggers our limbic (emotional) system. Stop talking about conversion rates and start talking about conversion cycles.We need to start thinking of conversion as a process and not as an action or an event as stated by the conventional wisdom of analysts and data scientists. The path from initial brand exposure to cash register is long and usually it takes few touch points for the user to convert.  We need to stop talking about conversion rates, and start talking about conversion cycles.A “conversion cycle” can be defined as the continuum from product or brand exposure to purchase. This process can involve multiple iterations and may also include transitions between different devices or between the offline and online worlds. Conversion is, after all, the result of an intertwined decision-making process, and the site visit is only a small part of this process. Think of it as an iceberg: what you see above the water is the result of everything hiding beneath the surface. The next challenge is identifying where the customer is in the conversion cycle. When we know this, we can effectively influence his or her behavior. By segmenting “new” vs. “returning” customers, we can see where the customer is in the cycle and hence offer different recommendations. For first-time visitors, we can provide more information, assistance and popular or bestseller recommendations, while for the returning visitors who know what they want, we can offer a discount to increase the motivation to buy or use urgent massaging such as “limited stock” or “limited edition.”Related: 5 Low-Cost Ways to Personalize When You’re Bootstrapping ContentIt is psychological models of customers’ behavior, and not just data, which can help identify intent. It’s possible to translate these patterns of customer behavior into advanced metrics to understand where the visitor is in the conversion cycle. Algorithms could integrate visitor actions, attributes and contexts (such as the type of page or the type of website) in order to determine intent. In the near future, we believe that businesses will be able to use this knowledge to react in real-time to each individual’s needs, at each unique stage in the conversion cycle. All this will ensure that “personalization” will become a reality, not just another one of those old habits. December 19, 2016 Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Free Workshop | August 28: Get Better Engagement and Build Trust With Customers Now This hands-on workshop will give you the tools to authentically connect with an increasingly skeptical online audience. Enroll Now for Free 7 min readlast_img read more

first_imgUniversity of Alabama students gathered at the Ferguson Center ballroom this weekend for the annual Multicultural Leadership Summit.The theme for this year was #HereToLead: Exploring Leadership through Social Injustice. Two keynote speakers discussed what it meant to be a leader in the age of social media. People also attended workshops on topics that apply to the workplace culture.Gretchen Moore thinks this summit could help students become better leaders through technology.“They’ve talked about identity development, what it means to be a leader, they’ve talked about conversations around how leadership through technology is something that is new for the 21st century and finding your voice as a leader means finding your voice through technology,” Moore, the assistant director at UA’s Center for Service and Leadership, said.There was also a panel discussion on being an advocate for social justice.last_img read more