GoldieBlox vs. the Beastie Boys – What Constitutes Fair Use?


Guest post by Monica Corton (@momusing), Executive Vice President, Creative Affairs & Licensing Next Decade Entertainment, Inc.

Now that the Beastie Boys have gone on the offensive for the unlicensed and unauthorized use of their song “Girls”, written by Adam Horovitz and Rick Rubin, as used in the Goldieblox viral video campaign to feature their girls toy line . . . let’s try to unpack what actually happened and why songwriters and music publishers firmly believe that this was not a fair use. There have been rumors that the case was settled, however, I have checked, and the case is moving forward. More importantly, what is not moving forward well is the relationship between the tech/digital world and the music business.

The Quality Prism: The secret to co-creating brands through social media


Guest post by Greg Narain (@gregarious) co-founder of Chute, a company that helps brands discover or collect relevant photos from social networks and incorporate the visuals into their websites and apps

Brands finds themselves at a challenging crossroads in their evolution. For decades, companies have utilized a command and control model as it pertains to their brands. Billions of dollars have been spent to carefully craft specific messages and deliver them via campaigns. However, as consumers continue to create and promote their own stories, brands now must decide how to integrate that content into their own stories.

Apple Still Lives in the Shadow of Steve Jobs and That’s a Problem for Its Future


Don’t be fooled by the coming iWatch.

Don’t see Apple’s new TV product as the dawn of a new era of Apple innovation.

The new products you’re going to see from Apple this year and next are the final new designs coming to fruition from Steve Jobs’ vision. And, that means that in just a few short years, Apple is at risk of losing its throne as the world’s most valuable brand.

Empowering Employees with Social Media Improves Customer Relationships and Grows Revenue


Employee empowerment is about creating brand advocates to scale customer relationships and effectively compete in new digital markets. Organizations can no longer rely on inbound and outbound sales reps, people willing to jump through hoops and obstacles via call centers, or traditional marketing to boost awareness and demand. Customers demand engagement, in real time, and that takes human beings, training, and support.

4 Steps to Connecting with—and Engaging—Generation C

Connected, empowered consumers—also known as of Generation C—have come to expect businesses to know them, to understand them, and to deliver what they want, where, when and how they want it.

I recently published an ebook with IBM, The Connected Consumer and the New Decision-Making Cycle, that explores the new decision making cycle of connected customers. You can download it for free here. Thanks IBM!

Build Experiences Not Just Products


Music is the one thing that accompanies me on my journeys, experiences, as well as my adventures in writing. While earbuds deliver sound, they do not deliver the essence of the song, the waves of sound, nor the soul of the artist. At the same time, I have a hard time justifying the need to buy overly expensive headphones just to enjoy music the way it was written or meant to be heard.

Business Transformation: Why General Motors is Investing in Customer Experience


As editorial director and conference producer of The Pivot Conference, I have the privilege to meet with the people who are bringing about real change inside organizations. During the 2013 conference, I had the chance to interview Dr. Rebecca Harris (@RebeccaHarrisDr), who leads the Social Media Center of Expertise at General Motors in Detroit. Her role is all about transformation and integration as she works across brands and around the world on social strategy, social tools, social processes, points-of-view on multiple social topics, and overall integration between brands, divisions and countries.

2014 – The Embolden Years: Change agents lead the way for digital transformation


Happy New Year!

2014 is upon us and it’s once again time to share our (Altimeter Group) predictions for the year ahead. Except this time, predictions are moved aside in favor of important trends that are on the horizon. Let’s use this time together wisely in the hopes of prioritizing our investments in relevant strategies and the time and resources necessary to bring them to life this year and next.

Audience as the New Currency: YouTube and Its Impact on Hollywood and Social Media


Guest post by Brendan Gahan (@BrendanGahan), a YouTube marketing expert. Gahan was Forbes 30 under 30 for Marketing & Advertising and has helped Fortune 500 brands with their YouTube and social media marketing.

5 Steps to Improving the Customer Experience with Big Data

Guest post by Lisa Arthur, CMO of Teradata Applications and author of the new book Big Data Marketing (Wiley). Follow her on Twitter @LisaArthur.


Brian Solis is a digital analyst, anthropologist, and also a futurist. In his work at Altimeter Group, Solis studies the effects of disruptive technology on business and society. More so, he humanizes technology’s causal effect to help people see people differently and understand what to do about it. He is an award-winning author and avid keynote speaker who is globally recognized as one of the most prominent thought leaders in digital transformation and innovation.

Brian has authored several best-selling books including What’s the Future of Business (WTF), Engage! and The End of Business as Usual. His blog,, is ranked as a leading resource for insights into the future of business, new technology and marketing.

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