Montreal: Now a world-class cloud computing hotspot

  What If What Next connects with business and tech journalists on a daily basis. This affords us the opportunity to track significant tech news and trends. Here is a brief summary of current stories that have caught our eye. If you are a US or European Cloud company looking at the Canadian market place consider Montreal. The City has become a world-class, cloud-computing destination. Why? Montreal has great universities, supportive governments, tech talent, a vibrant startup scene and great electricity rates supporting an ecosystem of data centers and associated service organizations. Canada Business recently published an important article on Google. Google has tapped the city for a new data center, the company’s first “Cloud Region” in Canada. The move follows Amazon, which recently opened a cluster of data centers around Montreal. IBM and French cloud computing company OVH have also set up centers in Quebec. Several Canadian companies have also jumped in including Bell and Cogeco. The CBC reported on the astonishing growth of AI in Montreal. The Canadian government announced $213 million in funding for a handful of Montreal universities, while both Google and Microsoft announced expansions of their Montreal AI research groups in recent months alongside investments in local initiatives. The province of Quebec has pledged $100 million for AI initiatives by 2022. Benefits Canada has reported that the influential Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec is investing in the cloud-computing industry by helping Montreal-based eStruxture Data Centers Inc. create a Canada-wide platform. Earlier in June, The same publication also reported that the Caisse invested $135 million in a financial technology company based in Charlotte, NC. Visit the Quebec Technology Association’s website for...

7 Reasons Why the Summer is a Great Time to Reach Out to the Media

Here are some of our thoughts on why the summer months are a great time to keep your PR engines running: 1. The summer can be a slow news time with white space to be filled. 2. Journalists are looking for stories. 3. Competitors might have gone silent and you can get heard. 4. Salespeople will appreciate the leads and inquiries. 5. New communication strategies can be tested. 6. Media releases and pitch letters will more likely get read. 7. It will be easier to get contributed content published. It would be great to learn about other experiences (and results) running PR campaigns during the summer months. I know we are hard at work and have launched a new PR offering. See http://bit.ly/2sXAfa4....

Social Media Trends to Watch

The field of Social Media changes rapidly. Here are some trends to consider and more importantly thoughtfully react to: Visual storytelling: In-the-moment and live content, live video-to-mobile. Twitter fatigue: Users are starting to crave something different—bigger, more detailed, more interesting pieces of content that roll out slowly, like once per day or week. Journalistic style writing is now the norm. Experience: A conduit for more vicarious experiences, video, feel like they’re a genuine part of the experience, as it’s unfolding. Areas of communications: Social media are now used for customer service, increasing the significance and interactivity of exchanges between brands and consumers. Paid is a reality: We are being herded into promoted ($) content. Millennials expect reciprocity: A two-way, mutual relationship with companies and their brands. Customers consider a brand’s social, environmental or philanthropic efforts when making purchase decisions. Customers expect: Brands should deliver a consistent, personalized experience across touch points. Avoid being “taken down” by social media: Marketers will need to find ways to reset and restore their Social Media platforms in order not to be overwhelmed by constant changes in the online ecosphere. Work with powerful middle- and micro-influencers: They often have more sway over a more intimate, targeted audience. Partner with influential users. It is important to put just as much time and energy cultivating influencers (movers and shakers) as with your customer base. Show your “why”: Make people fall in love with not only your product but with the brand and who is behind the brand itself. Humanize: Consumers may be more likely to pass over a bland brand. Humanize your brand! Use engaging social media: Wisely post timely content,...

7 Core Digital Marketing Elements

Consider these 7 core communication elements that should be at the core of your Digital Marketing campaigns: 1. Anchor Statement. What is the go-to description of who you are and what you do, sometimes referred to as an elevator pitch? 2. Unique Branding Proposition. What is it about what you do, or how you do it, that makes you unique, distinct, and special? What sets you apart? 3. Brand Tone and Temperament. What is the consistent mood, tenor, quality, character, and manner that you bring to all your interactions? 4. Brand Energy. What you can be counted on to contribute—in all circumstances and at all times? 5. Signature Story. Why do you do what you do? What’s the essential story that brought you to this place? 6. Signature Services. What are your core competencies and...