Accenture and Splunk Inc. have formed a business group that brings Accenture’s functional knowledge, deep industry and technical experience together with Splunk’s platform technology to help clients maximize insights from data, with a particular focus on AI-powered IT operations, security automation, and intelligent supply chain. The Accenture Splunk Business Group expands the partnership between the two companies as they help clients better take advantage of real-time data from across their business and quickly take action to improve IT operations, supply chain and security processes, as well as manage and explore new revenue opportunities. Supported by approximately 8,000 Accenture people skilled in Splunk®, the new group brings together dedicated professionals from both companies to help equip organizations to be insights-driven. Accenture and Australia-based Coles Supermarkets collaborated to design and develop a solution using the Splunk platform to better manage supply chain disruptions. Leveraging Accenture’s Splunk-based myWizard® AIOps platform, they jointly developed a control tower monitoring solution that syncs critical data — such as sales reporting from store registers, inventory levels at distribution centers, and available in-store stock — to increase inventory and order accuracy, leading to improved product availability and healthier customer satisfaction. This has given Coles better insight into the overall health of their supply chain while enabling them to better meet customer demands.
- Execs from The Community, Alma DDB and Orci, three multicultural agencies that work with clients like Verizon, McDonald’s and Honda, highlighted how brands need to develop a deep understanding of the Latino experience in America in order to gain credibility in their communities. That means reviewing their budgets and how they’re blending their messages together to resonate with the fastest growing group of Americans, according to the 2020 Census.
- Orci has seen budgets drop even as the population rises, with marketers making up that gap with bigger general market media buys that reach a Hispanic audience, but don’t always resonate. Brands need to deliver a number of specialized messages to catch people where it resonates most. Orci wants brands to zero in on measuring results the right way. and tells brands they need think campaigns through end-to-end. That means evaluating infrastructure to ensure if a brand is driving customers somewhere like its call centers or websites, for example, they have Spanish-speaking options.
- Alma, always asks how much of their growth comes from Hispanics, noting that budgets should reflect that growth. It’s important to blend media sources that include mass marketing, Spanish-speaking media and Hispanic-owned media. As brands have committed to spending with more diversely-owned media outlets this past summer, Alma emphasized that brands shouldn’t abandon networks like Telemundo and Univision, which aren’t minority owned. “What we need is to enhance Hispanic culture driven media with minority owned channels and outlets, but not at the expense of something that’s proven,” adding audiences are going to go where they’re going to go and so brands should follow them. clients should be asking about how they can mix creative and media to make those decisions together again. Alma suggested an index for brands to understand the cultural value of the media they are buying against in order to match creative with the right audiences.
- The Community stressed that Hispanic Americans should not be treated as a monolith—or as one segment that can be targeted with a single message. While many share similar experiences that have shaped their cultural identity, Community team tailored messages first to build credibility, followed by mass marketing messages to acknowledge and blend in their experiences. This speaks more directly to them and is more nuanced to them, both in communication messages and also in situational dynamics. “When you look at how Hispanics are living today, in the English language worlds they navigate, [mass marketing] has got to be in a bigger conversation.”
Snapchat is rolling out new tools and educational resources to prevent younger users from buying counterfeit pills and illicit drugs via the platform. The goal of the new tools is to keep its users safe from “the devastating impacts of the fentanyl crisis.” The company says it has improved its proactive detection capabilities to remove drug dealers from its platform before they are able to engage with users and cause harm. Snapchat notes that its enforcement rates have increased by 112% during the first half of 2021, and that it has increased proactive detection rates by 260%. It also claims nearly two-thirds of drug-related content found on the platform is detected proactively by its artificial intelligence systems. It has also worked to improve its in-app reporting tools to make it easier for users to report drug-related content. Further, when users search for drug-related keywords, they’ll now see a new in-app educational portal called “Heads Up.” The portal will show relevant educational content designed to prevent harm. Heads Up distributes content from reputable organizations such as Song for Charlie, Shatterproof and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). Additional resources from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will be added in the coming weeks.
Facebook’s downfall may not translate directly to the success of decentralized alternatives. But there’s a significant trend happening where users are choosing to decentralize the web on their own. Alternative platforms are growing in popularity, even if they have fewer users in aggregate. Crypto is at the heart of this movement. Although crypto still suffers from reputational concerns, a huge number of people are flocking to the new tools of Web 3. Decentralized games like Axie Infinity or NBA Top Shot have seen massive growth. Writers are flocking to the token-based Mirror. Audius’ blockchain-based streaming platform is a serious player in the music industry. User-owned doesn’t always mean crypto. Arguably this trend towards multiplicity is benefiting alternative, centralized platforms like SubStack, Discord and Clubhouse the most. The broadly defined Web 3 will be an archipelago of apps and platforms where people choose to self-congregate based on their interests. And if one goes down, it won’t be earth-shattering news.
Snapchat is rolling out a new “Run for Office” in-app tool to encourage young adults to run for local office. The company says the new Run for Office tool is designed to help younger users engage with democracy in an easy way. The goal of the tool is to tackle common barriers that young people face when determining whether they want to get involved in local politics. Powered with information from BallotReady, this simple tool will help Snapchatters explore hundreds of opportunities to run for local office based on the issues they care most about. The tool includes a centralized portal that curates over 75,000 upcoming elections on the federal, state and local levels that users may be eligible to take part in. Users will also be asked to identify issues that they are passionate about so the tool can surface roles that they may be interested in. The new tool also provides access to candidate recruitment organizations and training programs. Snapchat users will also be able to nominate their friends to run for office through the tool. Users will be able to share stickers through the tool to start campaigning on Snapchat with their friends. Further, the tool includes a personalized campaign hub that shows users the steps they need to take to get on the ballot.
- Survey shows 44% of Gen Z workers and 38% of millennials reported that financial stress had interfered with their ability to do their jobs this past year, compared with 24% of all workers. 62% of Gen Z said their financial situation warrants advice from a professional. One-third said they are very likely to follow computer-generated advice, versus a quarter of other generations, and 60% of Gen Z participants are very likely to follow financial advice from a human, compared with 54% of older respondents. One in 3 Gen Z participants said they want help managing their current expenses so that they can save more money for retirement, versus 22% for all other participants, and 29% want help managing their debt, versus 15% for all others.
- They are also interested in their general financial wellness; about half welcome online assessment tools that can give them an overall financial picture and action plan. Gen Z is more optimistic than other generations about adopting positive financial behaviors in the post-pandemic world: Saving more in general: 62% vs 47%, Paying off debt: 48% vs 33%, Increasing 401(k) contributions: 47% vs 36%, Investing more outside their 401(k): 44% vs 34%, Rebalancing their 401(k): 40% vs 30%. The survey findings indicate that saving and investing for retirement may prove more important for Gen Z workers than other generations.
More than half (51%) of borrowers are delaying the purchase of a home because of their student debt, according to a report by National Association of Realtors (NAR). The survey found that of the 51% who have had to push back homeownership because of student debt, 60% of them are millennials — “by far” the most affected group. Aside from just purchasing a home, this report finds that more than half of those with student loan debt have delayed some form of major life choice,”
36% of borrowers said student debt delayed their decision to move out of a family member’s home, with 52% of Black borrowers saying the same thing;
31% of millennials would use additional funds to purchase a home in the future with no student debt;
And 28% of Black borrowers would use additional funds to purchase a home in the future with no student debt.
- PNC Bank kicked off a new initiative to help close the economic gender gap. Project 257: Accelerating Women’s Financial Equality” takes its name from the World Economic Forum’s 2020 Global Gender Gap Report. The project’s launch dovetails with PNC’s partnership with SheEO, an international nonprofit addressing women’s lack of access to capital, a major factor driving the gap. SheEO provides interest-free loans to businesses or ventures owned and led by individuals who identify as women or nonbinary and crowdfunds capital from activators who fund the loan pool and play an active role in evaluating and selecting the ventures. To date, SheEO has crowdfunded $7 million to support more than 100 ventures in the U.S., Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom. PNC’s three-year, $1.257 million commitment is the largest contribution that SheEO has received from a U.S. company.
- Through the partnership, Pittsburgh-based PNC, will work with SheEO to drive awareness and help increase the number of activators who support SheEO ventures with 50 PNC employees who identify as women or nonbinary serving as activators on behalf of the bank — one per market in which PNC has a presence. SheEO recently opened the 2022 venture nomination process. Businesses owned and led by individuals who identify as women or nonbinary can visit PNC’s website or SheEO’s website to apply and/or learn more.
Students facing a financial shortfall have increasingly turned to cryptocurrency investment to fund life at university, a survey has suggested. The proportion of students investing in cryptocurrencies tripled in a year. Mental health issues and the pandemic were the most likely reasons, but 41% said money was the key issue. “With an unstable part-time job market as well as some parents losing earnings due to the pandemic, the usual funding sources for students bridging the finance shortfall have become hard to come by,” the typical student faced a shortfall of £340 every month, as maintenance loans failed to cover the average monthly living expenses of £810. Financial help from parents, a part-time job and savings are still the most likely ways by far to plug that gap. Some had found other ways to raise money, ranging from overdrafts and selling possessions to gambling and taking part in drugs trials. Investment in cryptocurrencies was still niche, with about 6% of students trying it, but their numbers had risen threefold in a year.
Reverse Mortgage Funding, LLC (RMF) will be lowering its minimum eligible age for its Equity Elite proprietary reverse mortgage product suite to 55, making it the only product in the American reverse mortgage industry that can be offered to people under the age of 60 across 19 eligible states and the District of Columbia. The idea is to broaden the potential borrower base particularly to seniors who live in age-restricted communities for people 55 and older, as well as to begin the reverse mortgage industry’s eventual preparation for serving borrowers in the younger “Generation X” cohort born between 1965 and 1980, depending on one definition. A byproduct of the offering is the fact that members of the Generation X cohort — which had only just begun to qualify for other proprietary options this year, as previously explored on RMD — will now become more instantly accessible to RMF through its Equity Elite program if they choose to seek out reverse mortgage options. Since older members of Generation X are preparing for retirement, their levels of home equity are very high and speaks to the potent opportunity that exists for RMF to lower the age of eligibility. It also goes beyond the bounds of RMF as a company, however, and serves as a move that can potentially provide a boon to the wider industry.