Tackle centralization versus decentralization

The debate about whether to centralize or decentralize marketing strategy and execution seems never to end. There are advantages and disadvantages to both. The decentralized structure puts decisions closer to customers and aligns best with the local business unit priorities. A centralized marketing function delivers consistent brand messaging and efficiencies of shared services. The best […]

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Hone your powers of persuasion

The role of the CFO is expanding beyond the domain of finance to include responsibilities for organization-wide strategy and growth. While this transformation gives CFOs the opportunity to step outside of their traditional roles, it also comes with some new challenges—not the least is how to motivate and lead people outside of the finance department. […]

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Know your customer better

CFOs who think that understanding the customer is marketing’s job should consider this: Enterprises with a strong understanding of their customers are 60 percent more likely to financially outperform their competitors.1 And that means everyone in the c-suite should know the customer, including those in the finance function. While CFOs may be new to figuring […]

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Create a culture of analytics

To truly obtain the benefits of analytics, companies must create a data-centric culture that reaches across the organization.1 Successful organizations are infusing analytics throughout their organizations to drive smarter decisions, enable faster actions and optimize outcomes. In its 2013 study, Analytics: A blueprint for value, the IBM Institute of Business Value found that 75 percent […]

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In the social era, the hard sell is dead

The oft-quoted 20th-century quip that suggests half of all advertising spending is wasted needs a digital age update. Now, the wasted proportion could be as high as 99 percent according to some experts.1 Yet with more tools and techniques than ever for measuring the return on advertising spending, the effectiveness of many traditional marketing efforts […]

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Social is the new shop counter

Social is about more than building a brand and improving customer service. As more businesses move into the digital realm, social interaction is becoming what the shop counter was in days gone by—a place to share information, opinions and ideas with customers. Such exchanges offer companies insight into improving existing products and services and ideas […]

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CIOs are moving from the back office to the front lines

Since its inception, the role of the CIO has always been in flux as technology capabilities and the needs of business are always rapidly changing. The number of CIOs who are responsible for providing basic IT services has increased, as has the number responsible for pioneering and engineering innovation.1 Although the basics will always be […]

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Use cognitive computing to build new kinds of organizations

Business leaders make thousands of decisions over the course of a year. Fortunately, we have more data, more evidence to help support those decisions than ever before. But the sheer volume and complexity of the information that could potentially inform a decision far exceed the analytic capabilities of the human mind. Imagine if some of […]

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Know your customers without knowing your customers—and without being creepy

Enterprises with a strong understanding of their customers are 60 percent more likely to financially outperform their peers.1 But there’s an important balance to be struck. As companies strive to understand, even anticipate, their customers like never before, they are finding that certain lines must not be crossed. For those with valuable brands, missteps can […]

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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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