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SEATTLE, WASHINGTON, USA — December 15, 2012 — It’s been a busy year with my new employer, Mediabrands, with multiple trips abroad on client business. Yet I’ve been fortunate to speak and lecture at a number of events this year.

Social Business — the idea of aligning your entire business, not just Marketing, with customer input, feedback and preference via social channels — continued to be the primary topic of interest for my audiences this year. Companies are making efforts in connecting with customers via social channels, but wondering, “how can we do this better?” Consequently, this year my talks have shifted from consumer behavior into business operations, and I’ve discussed social media resourcing, operations, process, governance and related topics like crisis communications and training. I’m finding that many attendees are time-starved and struggling with internal communications, cross-departmental handoffs and left-hand-right-hand issues. So, discussions have centered around those challenges.

Business schools, and their students, have also awoken to the opportunities provided by digital, and this year I served as adjunct and/or guest lecturer at the University of California at Berkeley’s Haas School fo Business, the University of Washington’s masters program, and Dublin City University’s Business School.

I’m predicting that local and mobile technologies and behaviors will become prominent in 2013 as the conversation shifts away from social and toward ubiquitous, local digital. At the close of this year, I had the chance to lead a panel discussion with app developers and Microsoft around “Is Windows Mobile 8 a game-changer?” at Innovation Dublin 2012. When social and e-comm become local and mobile, how do consumer behaviors change? How do internal operations change? What kinds of intelligence can we gather in order to increase marketing relevance and consumer interest?

I’ve got a few keynotes now in negotiation for 2013. Keep an eye on the website for upcoming dates. And have a fantastic holiday season!

– Eric