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How to Identify What Makes Customers Buy

March 8, 2018 By Carla Johnson Just because two customers are close in age, live in big cities and earn similar incomes doesn’t mean they spend the same way. Despite what they have in common, they could be very different customers once we dig into the details. Once we understand what influences how people make decisions, we can look at …

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The Truth About Brand Extension into Unlikely Categories

March 6, 2018 by Mitch Duckler Many companies try to benefit from the equity of their established brands by launching brand extensions—new products that are introduced under an existing brand name. In our previous post, Why So Many Brand Extensions Fail, we discussed how extending brands has the potential to both heighten acceptance of  new products/services and generate positive spillover effects …

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15 Ways to Build a Thriving Corporate Culture

March 1, 2018 by Carla Johnson Whether you’re a newbie startup up or an established Fortune 100 company, culture affects every aspect of your customer experience. It’s the defining element that tells people whether you believe your own sales job. In 1992 Harvard Business School professors John Kotter and James Heskett wrote the book Corporate Culture and Performance. In it, …

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Hierarchy is Out – Authenticity is In!

February 27, 2018 by Michelle M. Smith The business world has had a long-standing love/hate relationship with hierarchy. Hierarchy determines who gets to decide what and where the information flows, which allows us to focus our attention on other aspects of running the business. It reduces complexity, helps us scale and get things done, but it frustrates us by making …

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How External Events Shape Buyer Values & Preferences

February 22, 2018 by Carla Johnson It’s more than one thing that makes a customer decide whether or not they’ll buy something. People are multidimensional – they respond to the combination of big and small factors. Marketers use to be able to rely on things like demographic information and financial characteristics to predict how customers would behave. But with increasing …

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Five Demand Generation Myths That Need To Be Dispelled

February 20, 2018 by Carlos Hidalgo  Demand generation is a key part of the customer experience. Ensuring that buyers have a good buying experience is a necessary stage in the content experience continuum. However, many myths abound with demand generation, which are making it harder for B2B marketers to have success. Below are the five most common myths about demand generation …

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10 Women in Technology Speakers to Keynote Your Event

February 13, 2018 by Carla Johnson Last month I wrote the first in a series of blogs about why and how we need to bring more women onto the main stage at events. The response has been incredible, and I want to thank everyone who has shared the post, commented, sent me emails, texts and picked up the phone to …

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Sorry…That’s Not What Our System Says…

February 8, 2018 by Carla Johnson I went to my local library yesterday to use their production studio to make a higher-quality voiceover recording than I could do on my laptop. My schedule’s tight so I reserved the room online ahead of time. I checked in with the woman behind the desk when I got to the library. She checked …

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How Brands are Using Artificial Intelligence in Customer Segmentation

February 6, 2018 by Mitch Duckler With another year of rapid advances, artificial intelligence (AI) was the marketing technology buzzword in 2017. And in 2018, AI and machine learning will become even more accessible to brands. AI will pave the way for marketers to laser focus on target market segments and reach customers, while attracting new prospects and leads, with highly-personalized …

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Is Marketing Its Own Worst Enemy?

February 1, 2018 by Carla Johnson People have been talking about marketing’s need to change for as long as marketing’s been around. We’re told to adjust or perish. Choose between surviving and thriving. Stop taking orders and start creating value. But marketing has the potential to be much more than any of these best-case scenarios. Which is exactly the point …

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The Future Will Be Led By Strategists

January 30, 2018 by Michelle M. Smith I always remind my readers and audiences that however talented they are, their CEOs don’t want them to be Sales, Marketing, HR or Tech leaders – CEOs want them to be business leaders with Sales, Marketing, HR or Tech expertise. It’s more than semantics. It’s a serious reminder that whatever your area of …

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The Multidimensional Customer: Building Experiences from the Outside In

January 25, 2018 by Carla Johnson When, where, why and how do people spend money? The motivations that make up how people make decisions have become incredibly complex in the last few years. And while businesses keep gathering bigger and bigger data, customers feel brutally frustrated with how brands interact with them. The outcome is that companies find that they’re …

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What do B2B Customers Want in 2018?

January 23, 2018 By Carla Johnson Getting their message and content in front of their target audience is the biggest challenge B2B executives say they face in 2018, according to Bridge the Gap: The State of B2B Marketing Communications 2018, a report published by communications technology company Ytel. In fact, 55 percent of the 2000+ CEOs and other top executives …

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Does Innovation Make a Company Innovative?

January 18, 2018 by Carla Johnson I have a client that’s proud of his new innovation center. It’s well thought out. He’s hired the best-of-the-best across the board. Design thinking is core to their innovation discipline. They bring customers in for focus groups and collaborate on product development. He’s able to deliver products that solve problems in the marketplace. But …

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Five Ways to Keep Your Marketing Plan on Track

January 11, 2018 by Dean Kaplan As a business owner, I really enjoy working with my marketing team. I find their creativity and flexibility to be inspiring and they work hard to develop great strategic plans with detailed timelines.  But we all know that sometimes schedules go off the tracks and I admit that often it’s due to company leaders …

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10 B2B Women CMOs to Keynote Your Next Event

January 9, 2018 by Carla Johnson CES received a backlash when it announced the roster of keynotes that was barren of female representation. Kristin Lemkau, CMO JPMorgan Chase responded with a list of 22 “amazing women innovators in tech and media who would slay any keynote anywhere.” And she came up with this list in less time than it took …

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How Well Do You Trigger Anticipation?

January 4, 2018 by Carla Johnson When I was a kid, I couldn’t wait for Sunday nights. I grew up on a farm and work was never a 9-to-5 gig. With crops, hogs and cattle, we worked whenever work needed to be done. But Sunday nights were different. Sunday night was when we had milkshakes and grilled cheese sandwiches for …

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Why B2B Brands Should Jump on the UGC Bandwagon

January 2, 2018 by Mitch Duckler For years, the world’s biggest B2C brands (e.g. Starbucks, Target, Coca-Cola) have been riding the user-generated content (UGC) wave, while B2B brands have only recently begun to gain traction in creating and distributing UGC. Between 70 and 90 percent of the buyer’s journey is complete before engaging with a vendor, and according to Forrester, a customer …

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What “It’s a Wonderful Life” Teaches Us About B2B Branding

December 21, 2017 By Carla Johnson Sally Hogshead teaches people and brands how to be fascinating. I love her approach to branding because how many people would describe our companies as fascinating? Few. The other day she wrote a story about the holiday classic, It’s a Wonderful Life. Released in 1946, it tells the story of an angel sent from …