The Human Age

The truth is out there. Maybe that’s why global brands have invested billions of dollars in digital platforms over the last decade in a bid to keep up with the rising demands for transparency. And the demands – as well as the budgets – continue to increase. Zepeda says your customers will give you access to other tangential needs and problems that they want you to solve. “You will go beyond your original box, and partner with your customers in innovative and co-created ways.”

Tunnel Work

hile working closely with one of its larger direct marketing clients to build a database for its catalog business, Marketsmith was gathering data from multiple sources. The well included orders for some of its client’s products on Amazon, its own information and other retailers. The next step was to segment all of the information. As Marketsmith was creating the database, the client asked if it was possible to drive more volume by simply sending everyone new to the database a new catalog.

Simple, right?

Q&A: The Real Secrets of Marketing Success

Andy Slipher believes that the secret to success in marketing – or anything, really – is in the steps that you take.  Keep in step with your customers and one step ahead of your competitors and you’ll be able to strategically see the playing field spread out in front of you. That’s the approach he drills into his clients, which include the likes of Coca-Cola, Verizon Wireless, Procter & Gamble, Jimmy Dean Foods, Honda Motor Company, Travelers Insurance, and scores of others. The founder of Slipher Marketing says the process is all about removing distractions and then making pivotal choices. In the end, what matters are your customer, the challenge, and the potential to be compelled by an explicit promise. We sat down with the author of the forthcoming book, “The Big How: Where Strategy Meets Success,” to get his take on what today’s consumers are really looking for.

Q&A: The Search for the Next Big Thing

Martin Lindstrom has seen human tendencies close up and devoted countless hours to studying them. What he has discovered is that our desires manifest themselves in hundreds of ways each day, from the computer passwords we choose, to where we place refrigerator magnets, and the way in which we take selfies or use emojis. In his book, “Small Data: The Tiny Clues That Uncover Huge Trends,” the bestselling author and noted branding expert reveals how these intricate pieces of information can decipher what reams of big data cannot – how unmet human desires can unlock the next brand breakthrough. The man who Time Magazine once listed as one of the “Top 100 Most Influential People in the World” has been called a modern day Sherlock Holmes. We sat down with him to get his take what today’s consumers are really looking for.

Personification

Now that consumers are fully tethered to social media and the internet with their buying habits, it’s time for brands to relax with their sales megaphones. Sellers have to tone down their sales talk and become skilled listeners engaged in a two-way conversation with the consumer. The brand has to understand why the consumer buys from them.  That communication forms the platform for the buying persona.

Onboard: Consensus as Competitive Advantage

Amanda Setili remembers it as a teaching moment. After a string of strong revenue growth inexplicably began to plateau, her company’s sales and marketing teams were working amid a deadlocked, awkward silence. Nothing either team did seemed to be able to revive the once robust numbers. “Diversity of thought and varying backgrounds of individuals is important. Different approaches to looking at problems and problem solving give you a wide variety of ideas and opinions for getting to yes. When everyone is aligned around your vision, mission and values, you’re pulling in the same winning direction. That’s a lot of power and a competitive advantage that’s not easily duplicated.”

Dirty Work

Dirty Work

“Grit is a commitment to long-term goals and commitment to work toward those things, even in the face of discouragement and setbacks, or no progress,” says Ed Etzel, ED.D., a professor and licensed psychologist for the West Virginia University Department of Intercollegiate Athletics and former Olympian. “It has some connection to passion. It’s a messy sort of thing. It’s along the lines of what people think about mental toughness.”

Intimacy Doesn't Scale

Intimacy Doesn't Scale

In his alter ego as The Workplace Therapist, Brandon Smith has had more than his fair share of conversations about the interactions people have with each other – both internally and externally. The challenge is what Smith calls the “curse of the choice.” Technology has provided access to many products and options, leading consumers to seek brands and people they like and trust. “We want and need trusted advisors in our lives.”