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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Create new markets with owned media assets that are truly useful

At the turn of the last century, a French tire company started publishing travel guides and restaurant reviews These Michelin Red Guides, along with their coveted Michelin stars, are now iconic standards for tourists and foodies around the world. But why would a company that knew more about rubber than restaurants print them in the […]

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Marketing systems are enterprise systems

Marketing systems are enterprise systems CIOs and CMOs used to think about technology in very different ways. CIOs built systems of record and systems of transactions, and described them as core or strategic. CMOs used systems of engagement to create and track opportunities and drive growth. Now, a company’s systems of engagement are core systems […]

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Personalization is not the same as targeting – and marketing does both

Personalization and targeting are often used interchangeably, especially when we talk about marketing to the individual. Yet personalizing an experience for an individual and targeting an offer to an individual are not the same thing – and marketing does both. Personalization is an inbound marketing activity. It draws on interaction data from call centers and […]

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Everything begins with shared purpose and belief

The power to describe groups used to belong to institutions. Governments and corporations segmented us by age, gender and income. These demographics underpinned mass marketing, mass production and mass consumption. Social media now gives people the power to describe and form their own groups. Most powerfully, people associate with each other based on shared values, […]

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Marketing is built on data, but still takes intuition

Marketing connects brands with customers. This requires an in-depth understanding of people – their hopes, fears, desires and beliefs. Data science can help us to better understand people. But it also takes intuition. Intuition is sometimes thought of as impulsive. That may be because, unlike rational thought, intuition is an unconscious process and can therefore […]

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Brand and culture have become one

Billions of individuals equipped with smartphone, real time information and the ability to communicate on a global scale have turned the tables on marketers. Now, every member of the audience for our messages can reach everyone else. And they can all see everything about our companies, not just what we want to tell them. This […]

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Take smarter risks and be willing to learn

Not long ago, many finance functions had the reputation of being the Business Prevention Unit. That is rapidly changing. The CFO’s leadership role is evolving from merely keeping score to accelerating performance. CFOs are now expected to help identify new opportunities for the business, and champion the pursuit of those opportunities despite inherent risks. Largely […]

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Finance is leading transformation and growth

During the challenging economic times of the last five years, many CFOs demonstrated the value of their role by protecting resources and instilling cost discipline across the enterprise. Now, the economy may be improving, but forward-thinking companies are realizing that the same rigorous approach that CFOs used to manage through the downturn can also be […]

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