Master thesis-The Transition of European Digital Economy towards a True Digital Single Market-Introduction

1. Introduction
A strong economy needs a robust and vibrant digital economy. Yet the European digital economy is mired in low growth for years, caused by fragmented market, underinvestment and lack of innovation. This thesis will identify the importance of digital economy and provides a clear policy framework that tackles these problems and creates a true European digital single market, which will benefit consumer, strengthen the industry and bring long-lasting prosperity to the whole society.
1.1 Objectives
Today, the digital economy has become a worldwide phenomenon which is affecting the whole macro-economy. A strong digital economy leads to increased productivity, high economic growth and enhanced ability of existing industries to create more jobs. However, Europe is lagging behind the United States and some Asian countries in developing its digital economy and its market is fragmented. In order to unlock opportunities and improve its competitiveness, the Commission set the digital single market as one of the seven pillars of the Europe 2020 Strategy in 2011(cf. EU 2012, p.28) and as the EU’s second priority in 2014. Since then, a lot of proposals regarding how to better develop the European digital market has been submitted. The objective of this paper is to summarize and evaluate some most critical issues by analyzing the current situation, evaluating proposals and give author’s own recommendations within existing framework and with a focus on the market-oriented policy and regulation which can strengthen the competitiveness of the European digital economy and transform it into a true internal market.
1.2 Framework, Outline and Stakeholders
The following session will illustrate overall framework of the thesis, the outline of each chapter, and the related stakeholders in achieving digital single market.
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1.2.1 Framework of the Thesis
With the objective mentioned above, this thesis provides a framework which includes four key categories: how to consolidate the fragmented market, increase the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) investment, balance the competition, and encourage innovation. These four categories are inter-related (See Figure 1.1). Consolidated market and single market approach can drive both investment and competition. Both investment and proper competition will stimulate digital innovation.
Figure 1-1: Framework of the Thesis
Source: Own illustration
1.2.2 Outline of the Thesis
More details of each chapter are outlined below:
• Chapter 2. The importance of the digital single market
In Chapter 2, the author explains the importance of a digital single market for the EU. Huge potential can be exploited in a digital single market by achieving efficiency gains and improving the productivity across industries with the use of the ICT.
• Chapter 3. Current State of the Digital Economy
The Chapter 3 of the thesis discusses the current state and existing challenges of the European digital economy. Since the problems have already seriously impeded the development of the digital economy, the author calls for urgent solutions and their implementations in order to keep pace with the global competition.
• Chapter 4. Evaluations and Recommendations
The Chapter 4 is the main chapter of this thesis. Further discussions regarding the main causes of existing problems are presented. Some debatable topics are also exploited and author’s evaluations and recommendations are provided. The recommendations do not cover all sides of the matters but instead focus on a market-oriented approach that calls for a consolidated market, balance of investment and competition, and promotion of innovation, all of which, from author’s point of view, are crucial for fostering a true European digital single market.
• Chapter 5. Conclusion
The Chapter 5, the main recommendations and suggestions are summarized as a final conclusion of this thesis.

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Smart working practice

The effort you put into your work is not necessarily commensurate with your reward.
Most employers will demand more of you. Smart working practice yields a better return for your effort.

A pay raise is something you need to ask for. However, you shall not do this until you have proved your value. A Shortage of manpower can off you a good opportunities. Ask for it otherwise your company will offer you a pay raise. Therefore, you should ask for one. Your boss will consider it if you have his recognition.

If you are in a bad relationship with your boss, never complain to HR. Try to communicate with your boss. Don’t go above the head of your boss. After all, he is the person who needs to address the problem in the first place.

Don’t try to show off when you come to a new company.The loyalty is more important than how talented you are. If you keep on showing off your ability, your boss is likely to think you are not trustworthy or may even think you are coveting his position. When you first enter a new company, the first thing you need to try is to adapt to the environment and the personality of your colleagues. Lower yourself even if you are an expert.

It’s very dangerous to discuss your private life at work. We spend most of our daily life at  the office and sometimes share our life with our colleagues. Don’t be surprised if your boss assigns some important projects to someone else on the grounds that you have family or personal issues such as recent poor health.

Don’t oppose your boss. Even if your boss is not competent, not smart or not capable, don’t try to do things behind his back. He/she must have some capability to be in this position such as organizational skills, leadership, or loyalty. He/she is the guard who can open the door to recognizing you or promoting you.

Consider all the emails you are sending. Even if you have deleted the email in your mail box, it will stay/remain in the server forever. Don’t send emails purely for entertainment. If your boss is copied into these emails, he/she will think you are wasting time at the office.

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Return on Investment in Market Research(by SIS International Research)

Market research companies can implement several strategies for tracking return on investment for their research. The client can specify project milestones, objectives, KPIs, and other metrics detailed in this article.

Value Added Market Research + ROI measures = Competitive Advantage
Companies are increasingly under pressure to justify their market research expenditures, especially in recessionary times. They need more actionable insight than descriptive information, with which they can implement into their strategy. Research firms can work with clients to devise value added research projects that contribute directly to the bottom line.

We at SIS International have compiled a few ways that company can realize Return on Investment (ROI):

Execution metrics in market research:
The research firm and the client create a list of project milestones that judges how the research firm delivers. Metrics can include quality of deliverables, milestones for deliverables and other useful metrics that track the research firm’s performance. This can help the research firm to better meet the needs of the client, while allowing the client to benefit from added value market research.

Objective metrics in market research:
The client can specify in detail beyond the research brief and RFP what are their overall strategic and corporate objectives in quantitative figures. The research firm can work with the client to devise recommendations in accordance with the client’s quantitative objectives.

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) in market research:
The research program can include key performance indicators. These KPIs can be leveraged into Business Intelligence customized tracking studies and dashboards for longterm Return on investment. These KPIs should be concrete to let clients know precisely what would be considered success.

Strategy Analysis in market research:
Research firms can indicate how competitors are likely to react to the research deliverable’s actionable recommendations. This way, the research firm goes beyond the research requirement, predict how competitors might react and provide recommendations for how the client can counteract competitive movements.

Benchmarking:
Research firms can analyze current performance against the past, that of competitors and in light of best practices. It allows managers to implement the research and make powerful business decisions based on robust research.

Summary
There are many other ways to integrate return on investment, including the above project management and research efforts. Clients and research firms can work together to focus projects on realizing ROI while simultaneously improving the research program’s intelligence yield.

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Audience fragmentation Is no longer a question for debate

For readers of media and technology press, hardly a week goes by without some commentator prophesying bloody revolution and the death of the newspaper industry at the hands of the internet. In the traditional and new media market place, audience fragmentation is no longer a question for debate: it is fact. The challenge for publishers and advertisers alike is to recognise, accept and work out how best they can reach into the ‘long tail’ and monetise this fragmentation.

The industry needs to recognise that this is not about taking sides and not an issue of new versus old media. There is no need for blood-letting. This is about evolution and moreover, represents a golden opportunity that new and old should gratefully grab hold of with both hands. The technological and sociological changes of the last decade represent an opportunity for both sides to evolve, working together for the benefit of the greater community – Old Media embracing New Media and new technologies, traditional journalists guiding citizen journalists, and publishers working in harmony with advertising agencies to maximise access to, and the benefits of, the new online communities through advanced virtual advertising networks.

Furthermore, rather than just adapt, the most pioneering of news organisations have recognised that the fragmentation in the market place and technological advancements represent not a hurdle that has to be crossed, but rather a pathway to a brighter new horizon

Indeed, according to the latest ABCe figures, showing ever increasing growth in the digital sector, the digital sector is precisely where the action is. The Guardian website served a record 18,407,758 unique users in October, representing year-on-year growth of 44% and an increase of 10% from September alone. The number of page impressions also reached a record of 168,712,972. A decade ago, when the traditional news publishers were making their first tentative steps in the new internet landscape, The Guardian was the most pioneering – quickly establishing a strong brand, expanding reach, and tapping into new and lucrative markets. Of key importance was establishing a foothold that would more than make up for diminishing advertising revenues in the traditional market place. That pioneering approach is largely responsible for the record figures outlined above. The Guardian was quick to adapt and quick to evolve, embracing the new opportunities offered by the digital age.

However, evolution is a continual process, not something that can necessarily be staggered. Although many news titles have established strong online presences, the issue of fragmentation and diminishing advertising revenues is a constant. Just as fragmentation of traditional media forced publishers to expand into the online domain a decade ago, fragmentation of the online market place is forcing news publishers to adapt again – with the average consumer now visiting 77% more sites regularly than it did five years ago (Source: Compete). Indeed, the rapid fragmentation of the online audience has presented the newspaper industry with a very real problem, namely finding and serving the right audience.

Once again, it is The Guardian that has been the most swift to react. Recognising that the new online market place is a disparate community of bloggers and niche publishers who exert real influence in the chosen areas, The Guardian has built some very effective and mutually beneficial bridges between itself and this new breed of ‘community journalists’. Furthermore by forming a platform partnership to develop and host their vertical ad network with Adify, The Guardian has created a super-targeted branded network – that provides the niche sites with both advertising revenue and promotional opportunities, while offering The Guardian’s advertisers the chance to target the long tail audience in these important topics. 

The importance of embracing fragmentation is clear and provides further evidence of how publishers and agencies can evolve together. Grant Millar, joint MD of Vizeum UK stated as long ago as August 2006: “Media is increasingly seamless and fluid, as audiences follow content and experiences across platforms, terrifying for the traditional-minded and their creaking methodologies, but full of opportunity for those with vision and understanding to navigate it. Clients are now more in need of upstream channel planning and aware of the business consequences of getting it wrong”.

Certainly, the media landscape has changed, the balance of power has shifted and for many, it represents worrying times. However, rather than sound the death knell for the traditional news publishers, for those who are able to adapt and evolve, it represents a land of great opportunity and golden returns.

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