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[Report] Analyzing the M&A of the big four: Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon

Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon—collectively known as GAFA—are among the richest companies on the planet, with $1.7 trillion between them. The four frequently splurge on smaller companies, whether they plan to absorb new innovations or halt a growing competitor.

Amazon prioritizes big names around the world, whether it’s Whole Foods Market or the company’s Middle Eastern counterpart, Google is moving into hardware and data, while Apple and Facebook use their ample wealth to bolster their respective points of differentiation in a competitive market.

The history of business is littered with companies deemed ‘too big to fail,’ who ultimately fell by the wayside. GAFA is fully aware of this, and uses acquisitions to maintain their edge while continuing to grow so rapidly.

In our latest report, “GAFA: What can we learn from their acquisition strategies?” we look into GAFA’s mergers and acquisitions, from YouTube in 2006 through Whole Foods this past summer, and the trends they highlight.

Click here to learn more.

The post [Report] Analyzing the M&A of the big four: Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon appeared first on ClickZ.

Reblogged 2 hours ago from

22+ Reasons Why You Should Visit China

The Chinese civilization is one of the oldest in the world, and these photos will prove it is also one of the most beautiful.

If it’s your first time visiting China, then Beijing, Shanghai, and Xian are a must-see. The famous Great Wall, Forbidden City, and Summer Palace are found in Beijing; Shanghai is a world-renowned metropolis with a stunning skyline; and Xian, on the Yellow River, is home to the Terra-cotta Warriors and Horses of Emperor Qin Shi Huang.

Have you ever been to China? Post your photos, of vote on your favorite submissions below!

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My dad made my mom hold his cape for his Christmas jammies pic

Fixed my mothers garden for her birthday

Janet Jackson Lost 70 Pounds Without Doing Any Cardio

Taylor Swift's reputation debuts at No. 1 on Billboard 200

Ben Affleck Says He's a Bit More Leniant with His Kids Than Jennifer Garner 

Words Like 'Good' And 'Will' Don't Belong Together If This Is The Kind Of Thing They Do

I know some people who work here because they are disabled. I was horrified to find out that they could be treated like this — legally!

Goodwill posted an official reply to this video (because, of course) that basically says … oh, heck, you can read it yourself if you’d like.

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The state of Marketing Technology by Scott Brinker

Marketing technology has seen an impressive growth over the last years. What should we expect next? Scott Brinker, offers his insights.

Scott Brinker, Program Chair of MarTech and VP Platform Ecosystem at HubSpot, presented his insights on the state of marketing technology. He is the one who created the popular graphic of the marketing technology landscape back in 2011, updating it again this year. Its latest version features nearly 5000 martech companies and we can’t help but wonder, are there too many martech companies nowadays?

According to his stats from the 2017 Marketing Technology Landscape, there are now 5,381 solutions on the updated graphic. The number went up by 39% from last year. What’s more impressive is the fact that only 4.7% of the solutions from 2016 were removed.

According to Scott Brinker, 61.3% of the 2010 martech landscape has been consolidated. 

However, he still remains optimistic, mentioning that this consolidation is not actually rampant. In fact, it has fueled entrepreneurship, as there are new companies coming up every year, with the growth outpacing the loss.

As with every other industry, there are only a few $1+ billion companies but thousands of < $100 million niche innovators and vertical specialists.

It’s the differentiation and the vertical markets that contributed to the market’s growth, leading to a growing martech demand.

This explosion in the martech industry has created new job roles, with the head of marketing technology being one of them. The responsibilities of this role vary and they blend all the stages that can ensure that marketing technology can have an integral part in an organization.

Moreover, a new study from Chief Marketing Technologist indicates that 26.9% of the respondents are about to restructure their marketing and IT departments for the sake of martech. An additional 14.9% of the respondents plan to do so in the next 12 months, while 19% of marketing leaders have already restructured their marketing department in the last year.

The rise of martech

There are many reasons that contributed to the rise of marketing technology. The simpler ones have to do with the wider digital transformation. Nowadays it’s easier than ever to build and also sell software.

Moreover, Scott Brinker notes that various environmental factors have also contributed to this growth:

  • consumer tech disruptions
  • entrepreneurship culture
  • globalization
  • Moore’s Law
  • accelerating business clock speed
  • beyond advertising
  • the viability of small and virtual businesses

All these factors led to a redefinition of marketing, gaining an expanding scope. Marketing becomes more strategic, facing departmental intersections and as it becomes embedded in products, it is now part of the full customer lifecycle.

According to Scott Brinker,

“The digital revolution has moved marketing from a peripheral function to the centre of business growth, as customer experience becomes paramount”

It has been observed that the best-of-breed marketing technology stacks dominate the market today. In fact, they are twice as popular than single-vendor suites. As 98% of these marketing technologies are focused on web, mobile web and mobile app touchpoint, the challenge is to keep up with the changes.

Scott Brinker presented the five stages of coming to terms with the marketing landscape:

  1. Denial: this is the stage that marketers try to focus on the traditional definition of marketing. Why should they blend technology into it?
  2. Anger: the rise of martech solutions can lead to anger when trying to decide on which ones to focus on
  3. Bargaining: there comes the dilemma on which options to choose. What if you buy everything from one vendor?
  4. Depression: as with every new technology, it takes time to make it work.
  5. Acceptance: once you start understanding the changes in marketing, you accept the current state and work towards improving your place in it

The biggest challenge for marketing leaders and organizations nowadays is to keep up with all the changes.

There is a rapid technological change, but unfortunately, organizations are not changing at a similar rate.

Thus, there is a need to change the management of the organization to take advantage of technology in marketing. Martech overlaps with marketing, technology, and management. A grand view of these three teaches us that there’s no need to separate them, as they need to be combined to bring the customer into the focus.

Leaders are able to react to all the rapid changes, allocating the majority of the investment to the core, while there’s also a wider exploration on the edge.

This could help businesses explore new innovations while scaling the most important ones into the core.

It is estimated that the average marketer uses 100 different pieces of software month and they don’t even know about 90 of them. This proves the rise of embedded technology and how marketing approaches technology.

That’s when marketers have to understand the changing business needs, helping customers first and technology second.

How is this then? Scott Brinker notes that this is certainly challenging, but also a big opportunity.

The post The state of Marketing Technology by Scott Brinker appeared first on ClickZ.

Reblogged 15 hours ago from

Christian Bale Drops Out Of ‘Enzo Ferrari’ Biopic Due To Health Concerns

Christian Bale has relinquished his lead role inMichael Mann’s 15-year project, a biopic on Enzo Ferrari, amid health concerns.

Bale,known for his dramatic method acting technique,has decided to forgo the role of the famous automaker and the substantial weight gain it would have required.

The film, set in the pivotal year of 1957, was set to begin shooting this spring and proposed too short of a timeline for Bale to gain the necessary weight in a healthy manner, according to Deadline.

The 41-year-old actor’s distinction in Hollywood is rooted in his ability to dramatically alter his physical appearance in preparation for roles, but it seems his claim to fame has finally come at too high a cost.

In 2004’s “The Machinist,” Bale plays Trevor Reznik, a man so severelyinflicted withinsomnia, it begins to affect his weight and mental health. Bale’s drastic weight loss reveals an emaciated man, 60 pounds lighter from his starting weight.

Standing at 6 feet tall, Bale returned to a healthy 180 pounds in just six weeks following “The Machinist” for the role of the Dark Knight in “Batman Begins.” He reportedly binge-ate pizza, ice cream and as many as five meals in one sitting for the rapid weight gain, which sent him to the doctor multiple times.

After filmingalongside the late Heath Ledger in “Batman Begins,” Bale dropped another 30 pounds for his role as the heroin-addicted ex-boxing champion Dicky Eklund, brother to Mark Wahlberg’s Micky Ward in “The Fighter.”

The yo-yo dieting finally paid off for anunrecognizable Bale when he won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for his role in “The Fighter” in 2011.

Again, in David O. Russell’s 2014 Golden Globe-winning “American Hustle,” Bale played con artistIrving Rosenfeld, aka Mel Weinberg, a role for which he packed on another 43 pounds. At the time, he told PEOPLE,

I ate lots of doughnuts, a whole lot of cheeseburgers and whatever I could get my hands on. I literally ate anything that came my way.I was about 185 and went up to 228. I’m still working it off.

Althoughthe film is an unfortunate loss for both Bale and Mann, it’s a win for the actor’s well-being. Such extreme yo-yo dieting can have severe effects on health including digestive problems, heart problems, depressive disorders and even shortened life expectancy.

Only time will tell who will replace Bale in the role of the famed automaker.

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