Not half bad
So we are in the second half of the year and I bet all of us, at some point, have expressed amazement at the swiftness with which the first six months of the year has flown by.
No matter how cliché this sounds, it seems just yesterday we welcomed the New Year amid fears of the Eurozone crisis engulfing all and sundry, sooner or later.
Six months later, the crisis continues to attract global attention, especially Greece, whose possible walkout, read orderly ousting, from the Euro will have major implications.
Here in Asia, the two economic giants China and India are already in for some sort of hard landing. What is interesting to note is India's GDP growth for 2011-12 stands at 6.5%, which is even lower than that of 2008-09, the year we saw the Lehman crisis.
The twin forces of economy and technology have compelled businesses to rework their strategy from the ground up to prepare for what seems like turbulent times ahead. Whether it's rearranging their physical presence in Asia's growth markets or acquiring capabilities they think the market will crave, this M&A market will be a fascinating space to watch.
The first half of the year was flush with acquisitions, ringing in more consolidation: from Salesforce, which snapped up Buddy media, to Facebook, which after a lacklustre IPO performance, bought out Face.com and yes, paid a bomb for Instagram.
LinkedIn acquired SlideShare and Microsoft picked up Yammer (quick, Google it) for US$1.2 billion, a move which experts say is more an act of compulsion than choice.
What this will eventually do for marketers is no doubt lessen the number of vendors they need to deal with, but at the same time add to an already growing number of options they have to market their brand. Marketers will need to stay on top of these developments and not rely solely on agencies for advice.
Our big tip for the next six months - and the topic of our feature on public relations - is that integration at the organisational level is only set to grow - if what happened at Esprit just a few weeks ago is any indication. Two top executives, the chairman and CEO, were held responsible for the brand's downfall and "resigned" amid plunging share prices and declining market share.
Perhaps, in the year ahead, CEOs will finally take a much more active role in building brand equity and marketing - with the once tenuous links between share price and brand equity now at the forefront of top-level marketing discussions.
So enjoy the issue, which now boasts QR codes linked to our site. Here's to more integration.
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