New Thinking

Analytics is most valuable when it makes employees more valuable

People are motivated by success. That’s why to make the most of big data, employees need to see how analytics helps them create real value. Customer-facing employees, for example, benefit from analytics that tells them the next, best action to take in a given scenario, helping them provide better service. Managers need to see decisions […]

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Embrace soft metrics

The metrics used to evaluate company performance have long been straightforward: revenue, gross profit margins, customer growth, and expansion into new markets. These hard-and-fast numbers make it relatively easy to gauge how well a company is doing from traditional financial and growth perspectives. However, as companies work toward becoming more customer-oriented, they are finding that […]

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Be global and local

Can you be global and local? Many companies no longer have a choice. They must find a way to capitalize on global scope and scale while still maintaining the insight and adaptability of a local business in each market they serve. And often it is the CFO who is being asked to make this balancing […]

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(Social) Listening is not the same thing as just hearing

Customers are talking about your company right now. Wouldn’t you like to know what they are saying? For the average person, social media is about sharing with friends, but for the marketer, it represents one of the most powerful customer insight tools ever invented. This is not exactly breaking news for most CMOs. Many organizations […]

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Embed finance people throughout the organization

Working in departmental silos allows for disciplines of specialized expertise to develop and mature. Silos also cause these departments to be isolated from the rest of the business, dampen communications and hinder relationship building. In many companies, the human resources function has known this for decades and worked to embed their own people throughout other […]

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Social business is more than a series of activities, it’s a culture

Becoming a social business is easy to talk about and difficult to do. Yet as more and more business takes place in social media venues, it’s critical. Social business requires a new set of activities—identifying and reaching out to influencers through various platforms, developing a voice that’s consistent with your brand for blogging, editing your […]

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There’s no one-size-fits-all for measuring digital marketing ROI

Telling marketing to raise its return on investment is like telling a sick person to be well. If only it were that easy. In a recent study, establishing an ROI strategy was the top challenge companies mentioned about social media, while not realizing a return on investment was number six.1 The lesson: companies are more […]

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With personalization comes complexity

Who can argue against personalization? The benefits are clear: by effectively anticipating needs and desires, you can strengthen a customer’s relationship to the brand and boost sales. But there’s another side to the story: personalization creates complexity. And with increased complexity, a loss of control. Personalization at scale means moving from a handful of customer […]

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Know when to be quiet

It wasn’t long ago that job one in marketing was to get your message across. Broadcast the merits of a product. Highlight the image and the brand. Trumpet successes. But shouting from rooftops has become less effective, and can even be damaging. For example, more than half of respondents in one survey reported a less […]

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Fail fast; learn faster

According to Thomas Watson, IBM’s founder, “The way to succeed is to double your failure rate.” This could be easier said than done, but Watson’s words are even truer now than when he spoke them. The barriers to experimentation are lowering by the day and our ability to learn is growing just as fast. Used […]

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Data drives better negotiations

Negotiation is an art. The ability to convince another party to meet your terms often employs emotion and psychology along the way, and can take decades to master. But competitive businesses can’t rely on a handful of seasoned negotiating stars to close key deals; they need a dependable, repeatable approach that can be learned and […]

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The only truth that matters is the truth you experience

Marketing messages once had their own truth and market power. Marketers had the power to use mass communications channels to generate demand regardless of the quality of the product or service their messages described. In the networked era, consumer word of mouth is both instant and everywhere. Poor products are exposed and punished. Good ones […]

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