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TOP THREE WAYS TO CONNECT WITH A NEW GENERATION

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Embrace new technology tools

By Susan Jacobs, Director of Marketing & Client Services, ALL-STATE LEGAL

Embrace new technology tools

Embrace new technology tools

With the proliferation of new apps and technology tools, keeping your business relevant and visible to the next generation can be a challenge. Competitors constantly seek ways to make inroads into your customer base, creating mobile-friendly tools and online branding venues to speak the Millennial generation’s language and appeal to their constantly connected lifestyle.

In a highly competitive industry, just having a Facebook page and Twitter account is no longer enough. But there are ways to break through the clutter and connect with the next generation. Here are three tips to help you reach out to Generation Y:

1. Embrace new technology tools

The methods companies use to connect with customers has always evolved, but the pace of change has accelerated as new technology tools emerge. The key to managing this change is to remain flexible. The essentials of an effective branding strategy aren’t fundamentally different – you still need to maintain a consistent identity, build long-term relationships and remain responsive to customer needs. But the tools for communicating your brand promise and making an impression on new customers are changing.

Consider a new spin on identity essentials, such as using QR codes on a printed business card to build a bridge between the physical and digital worlds. With the right identity management solution, companies that use QR codes on business cards can enable new contacts to scan the printed QR code using a smartphone or tablet to gain instant access to a managed online identity that enhances professional credibility. A digital business card can provide easy access to downloadable vCards, common contacts on LinkedIn and Facebook, customized Google search results and much more.

2. Think mobile first when planning new client communication strategies

sterne kessler vizcard

sterne kessler vizcard

The growth of the mobile web is one of the most significant technology trends today, with mobile web searches steadily comprising a larger share of overall searches and some analysts predicting that mobile Internet traffic will surpass traditional online traffic by 2015. This means it’s essential to optimize your company’s site for mobile viewing: Customers are increasingly likely to first encounter your brand on a mobile device, and they’ll move on if forced to scroll from side to site to view a non-optimized site.

When planning customer communication campaigns, consider professional and corporate identity strategies that enable customers to access branded, mobile-optimized microsites. A business card with a QR code is one example; other options include QR codes on printed brochures or links in text messages and emails that direct users to mobile-optimized websites and mobile company directories to illustrate the firm’s breadth of experience and broad capabilities.

3. Make it easy for customers to engage with your brand on their own terms

YouTube streams approximately four billion videos every dayi, which underscores the growing importance of video as a means of communication. Companies spend millions of dollars every year to create video presentations that convey their value proposition or capture key executives’ thought leadership, but to be effective, this material has to be readily available on the platforms potential customers – including Generation Y – use.

It’s a great idea to post videos on social media pages like Facebook, but the reality is that prospective customers are more likely to encounter your brand via an advertising piece or contact with a banking or finance professional than to look your company up on Facebook. That’s why it’s important to make sure you give them a bridge to your digital identity. With the right identity management solution, you can engage customers on their own terms, using mobile marketing tools to deliver instant access to personalized mobile microsites that can be shared via a QR code, text message, email or mobile wallet card.

Engaging Customers with New Technology Tools

Susan Jacobs

Susan Jacobs

Connecting with new customers in a rapidly changing business environment can be a challenge, but if you remain flexible and willing to embrace new technology solutions to get your message out and build your brand, you can succeed in the Digital Age. Remember that more and more customers – particularly the Millennial generation – will encounter your brand for the first time on a mobile device, so plan your communication campaigns accordingly.

Give customers a way to engage your brand on their own terms, showcasing your professionals’ expertise on platforms that customers already use to access information. Keep in mind that while social media pages can be an effective marketing tool, you’ll need a way to connect prospective customers to your team – and deliver value when they find you online. By following these tips, you can expand the circle of potential customers and keep your brand relevant in a rapidly changing world.

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Australia says no further Facebook, Google amendments as final vote nears

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Australia says no further Facebook, Google amendments as final vote nears 1

By Colin Packham

CANBERRA (Reuters) – Australia will not alter legislation that would make Facebook and Alphabet Inc’s Google pay news outlets for content, a senior lawmaker said on Monday, as Canberra neared a final vote on whether to pass the bill into law.

Australia and the tech giants have been in a stand-off over the legislation widely seen as setting a global precedent.

Other countries including Canada and Britain have already expressed interest in taking some sort of similar action.

Facebook has protested the laws. Last week it blocked all news content and several state government and emergency department accounts, in a jolt to the global news industry, which has already seen its business model upended by the titans of the technological revolution.

Talks between Australia and Facebook over the weekend yielded no breakthrough.

As Australia’s senate began debating the legislation, the country’s most senior lawmaker in the upper house said there would be no further amendments.

“The bill as it stands … meets the right balance,” Simon Birmingham, Australia’s Minister for Finance, told Australian Broadcasting Corp Radio.

The bill in its present form ensures “Australian-generated news content by Australian-generated news organisations can and should be paid for and done so in a fair and legitimate way”.

The laws would give the government the right to appoint an arbitrator to set content licencing fees if private negotiations fail.

While both Google and Facebook have campaigned against the laws, Google last week inked deals with top Australian outlets, including a global deal with Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp.

“There’s no reason Facebook can’t do and achieve what Google already has,” Birmingham added.

A Facebook representative declined to comment on Monday on the legislation, which passed the lower house last week and has majority support in the Senate.

A final vote after the so-called third reading of the bill is expected on Tuesday.

Lobby group DIGI, which represents Facebook, Google and other online platforms like Twitter Inc, meanwhile said on Monday that its members had agreed to adopt an industry-wide code of practice to reduce the spread of misinformation online.

Under the voluntary code, they commit to identifying and stopping unidentified accounts, or “bots”, disseminating content; informing users of the origins of content; and publishing an annual transparency report, among other measures.

(Reporting by Byron Kaye and Colin Packham; Editing by Sam Holmes and Hugh Lawson)

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GSK and Sanofi start with new COVID-19 vaccine study after setback

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GSK and Sanofi start with new COVID-19 vaccine study after setback 2

By Pushkala Aripaka and Matthias Blamont

(Reuters) – GlaxoSmithKline and Sanofi on Monday said they had started a new clinical trial of their protein-based COVID-19 vaccine candidate, reviving their efforts against the pandemic after a setback in December delayed the shot’s launch.

The British and French drugmakers aim to reach final testing in the second quarter, and if the results are conclusive, hope to see the vaccine approved by the fourth quarter after having initially targeted the first half of this year.

In December, the two groups stunned investors when they said their vaccine would be delayed towards the end of 2021 after clinical trials showed an insufficient immune response in older people.

Disappointing results were probably caused by an inadequate concentration of the antigen used in the vaccine, Sanofi and GSK said, adding that Sanofi has also started work against new coronavirus variants to help plan their next steps.

Global coronavirus infections have exceeded 110 million as highly transmissible variants of the virus are prompting vaccine developers and governments to tweak their testing and immunisation strategies.

GSK and Sanofi’s vaccine candidate uses the same recombinant protein-based technology as one of Sanofi’s seasonal influenza vaccines. It will be coupled with an adjuvant, a substance that acts as a booster to the shot, made by GSK.

“Over the past few weeks, our teams have worked to refine the antigen formulation of our recombinant-protein vaccine,” Thomas Triomphe, executive vice president and head of Sanofi Pasteur, said in a statement.

The new mid-stage trial will evaluate the safety, tolerability and immune response of the vaccine in 720 healthy adults across the United States, Honduras and Panama and test two injections given 21 days apart.

Sanofi and GSK have secured deals to supply their vaccine to the European Union, Britain, Canada and the United States. It also plans to provide shots to the World Health Organization’s COVAX programme.

To appease critics after the delay, Sanofi said earlier this year it had agreed to fill and pack millions of doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine from July.

Sanofi is also working with Translate Bio on another COVID-19 vaccine candidate based on mRNA technology.

(Reporting by Pushkala Aripaka in Bengaluru and Matthias Blamont in Paris; editing by Jason Neely and Barbara Lewis)

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Don’t ignore “lockdown fatigue”, UK watchdog tells finance bosses

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Don't ignore "lockdown fatigue", UK watchdog tells finance bosses 3

By Huw Jones

LONDON (Reuters) – Staff at financial firms in Britain are suffering from “lockdown fatigue” and their bosses are not always making sure all employees can speak up freely about their problems, the Financial Conduct Authority said on Monday.

Many staff at financial companies have been working from home since Britain went into its first lockdown in March last year to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.

One year on, the challenges have evolved from adapting to working remotely to dealing with mental health issues, said David Blunt, the FCA’s head of conduct specialists.

“During this third lockdown, there has been a greater impact on mental well-being, with many people struggling with job security, caring responsibilities, home schooling, bereavements and lockdown fatigue.”

Bosses should continually revisit how they lead remote teams, he said.

“The impact of COVID-19 is creating a huge workload for those considered to be high performers, while the remote environment potentially makes it much more challenging for those who were previously considered low performers to change that perception,” Blunt told a City & Financial online event.

Companies should consider “psychological safety” or ensuring that all employees feel confident about speaking out and challenging opinions.

“We’ve heard varying reports of how successful this has been,” Blunt said.

Pressures in the financial sector were highlighted this month when accountants KPMG said its UK chairman Bill Michael had stepped aside during a probe into comments he made to staff.

The Financial Times said Michael, who later apologised for his comments, had told staff to “stop moaning” about the impact of the pandemic on their work lives.

Blunt was speaking as the FCA next month completes the full rollout of rules that force senior managers at financial firms to be personally accountable for their decisions to improve conduct standards.

There have only been a “modest” number of breaches reported to regulators so far as firms worry about being “tainted” but more cases will become public as sanctions are revealed, Blunt said.

“Regulators won’t be impressed by lowballing the figures.”

(Reporting by Huw Jones; Editing by Mark Heinrich)

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