Data-Driven Marketing | Step One: Get Smart, Get Strategic

by Lisa Arthur

via Getty Images

The ability for your team and the C-Suite to align behind a shared strategic vision is the first step in my process to successful data-driven marketing.

Once you have a shared vision you can build a case to your larger organization that will:

  • Connect the dots between projects
  • Show how those projects drive value
  • Create alignment if changes spark turf wars

After you’ve created this strategic vision, other things will start to fall into place. Once you have a solid vision, you can truly get smart and strategic about data-driven marketing. Because every business is unique, starting points, visions and plans will vary from team to team. Once you’re ready to put data-driven marketing into action,  break down your strategy into smaller components. This is a good first step to take because you need to give each component some attention while still staying true to your overall vision.

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Onboarding as an Action Plan | Interview with Pam Fox Rollin

by Natalie LaFontaine

via Getty Images

The C-Suite Network continues its special series on performance management; building the right conditions for a company to perform. In an era with no “grace period,” where C-Suite leaders must be effective from day one, we wanted to learn from a top executive coach how the best companies are accelerating leader performance.

In “42 Rules for Your New Leadership Role,” Silicon Valley executive coach Pam Fox Rollin describes practical and effective actions for business leaders to make a strong start at their new VP, Director, or Manager jobs. Drawing from extensive interviews with corporate leaders, she provides executives with the manual no one handed them when they received that promotion or offer letter. C-Suite execs will want to use this as a roadmap to bring on new executives and challenge their organizations to design more effective onboarding processes for mid-level managers.

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Should I Text in Business?

by Lewis Denbaum

texting in business

Texting has taken over the cell phone world. The average person sends 350 texts per month but only makes 200 cell phone calls in the same period. Although most texting is personal, more people are using texting in business settings.

Using text messages internally is an easy decision. Find out if your colleague is a “texter” and decide whether it works for both of you to communicate via text. Otherwise, don’t assume your text messages are going to be read in a timely manner by your colleagues, especially the older they are.

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Content Marketing ROI: How is Your Content Performing?

by Hana Abaza

via Getty Images

Content marketing is getting all the buzz and rightly so. It can be incredibly powerful, but (and there’s a big “but” coming) your success hinges on quality execution and diligent measurement so you can continually iterate to improve your content marketing results. When you’re looking at establishing a baseline for how your content marketing efforts are performing, and communicating your content marketing ROI to your executive team, according to Joe Pulizzi, there are three key questions that need to be answered:

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Does Your Organization Make the Excellence List?

by Christy M. Pruitt-Haynes

via Getty Images

Throughout my career, I’ve had the privilege of working with several companies and organizations. While each has been a unique experience, there is one thing they all had in common: Each wanted to excel — not strive for mediocrity or just exist. I’ve never heard a CEO say, “We should strive to be in the middle of the pack for our industry.”  No entrepreneur ever said, “I hope I am OK at this business.” Everyone wants to be excellent! So, if excellence is the universal goal, why do so few achieve it?  What makes an organization excellent, and, more importantly, how can you add your organization to the Excellence List?

Before we discuss the traits, let’s quickly define organizational excellence. Most organizations measure success, a.k.a. the “excellence ruler,” in two terms: financial excellence and mission statement excellence. Financial excellence simply means they make a lot more money than they spend. Mission statement excellence means that the organization is meeting or exceeding its written mission statement. Seems easy right? Make a lot of money and meet your goals in the process? Well, as my grandmother always said, “If it were easy, everyone would do it.” Having had the benefit of working with some excellent, and some not-so-excellent organizations, I’ve learned that the excellent ones share five essential traits.

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Do Your Frontlines Own the Customer Experience?

by Emily Capito LCSW, MBA

via Getty Images

If the complaints in your organization tend to burn up the ladder until you finally take the initiative to resolve the problem, you’re not alone. In fact, upset customers are communicating directly to the C-Suite these days, bypassing the ladder altogether.
Once relegated to the limits of family and friends, a bad experience can now circle the globe in a matter of minutes, thanks to social media. In the Economist Intelligence Unit report, Getting Closer to the Customer, Frank Eliason, senior vice president of social media for Citi, puts it bluntly, “Consumers now own the brand.”  It’s become imperative for leaders to nurture customer loyalty.

The C-Suite is fairly removed from the day-to-day customer interactions. Yet, many of us have a tendency to own the process. The very idea that a busy executive — removed from the customer experience by three to five layers of management — has the time to resolve every hiccup or even has the best idea of what will work is absurd.

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Digital Marketing Strategy: Drive it Like You Stole It!

by Rik Walters

digital marketing

I’ve always had a passion for cars — fast cars. That passion for speed extends to my digital marketing strategies, and so I wondered, why can’t we drive digital marketing like we stole it? You know, run through the gears, get the RPM close to the redline and see what that machine can do.

I have had to pleasure of speaking with many leading Silicon Valley CEOs over the past two years. More than two-thirds explained their top concern is a lack of strategic execution, with an average of only 30 percent of strategic initiatives successfully executed on time in their organizations. These enterprise leaders feel the lack of execution can be related to how fast their teams move and how quickly they move on from failure. What do you think the reason is for the lack of execution? How can you accelerate the execution of strategic initiatives in your company?

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SoLoMo: Taking Personalization to the Next Level

by Salil Godika

photo by Tim Bishop for Weber Shandwick Worldwide

Walking by a store, you get alerts on your handheld about a new range of products that have come in. Enter the store, use your handheld to scan a QR code and share it with your trusted social circle to get feedback, make an informed decision and walk out with your choice. In case the desired model is not available, access the online store instantly and place the order. What was a vision a few years back is now a reality.

Research indicates that providing a personalized experience can result in even greater sales and brand loyalty. This is where SoLoMo takes center stage for retailers. SoLoMo is the convergence of technologies — social, location and mobile — enabling customers to have a richer omni-channel experience, thereby converting them to strong brand advocates.
Today, you have consumers who swear by the information available from their trusted social circle, search engines that churn out customized location specific results and smartphone applications that enable integration of location information faster than ever before. A combination of all these factors has become a powerful driving force in influencing purchasing decisions. Retailers have to be cognizant of this technology convergence which offers them an opportunity to micro target customers.

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The C-Suite and Social Media: An Interview with Thomas White

Only 23 percent of marketers invested in blogs and social media last year. At EContent Magazine, Thomas White, co-founder and CEO of the C-Suite Network, weighs in on why so many C-Suite leaders are reluctant to embrace social media and how they can use social networking to engage with customers.

According to HubSpot’s 2013 State of Inbound Marketing report, 23% of marketers invested in blogs and social media last year. That number seems shockingly low, and could indicate that some decision-making executives are still wary of social media. EContent talked to Thomas White, co-founder and CEO of the C-Suite Network–a company designed to enable c-suite professionals to maximize the potential of peer networks and social media–to better understand the C-Suite’s hesitance to embrace social media.

Q: What are the main concerns still holding C-Suite executives back from embracing social media?

A: Unfamiliarity with social technology. It’s hard for C-Suite executives to be beginners in new areas. So, rather than jump into these areas, they hold back.

They don’t see the value to themselves and their companies – C-Suite leaders don’t realize they get more information from their customers in social media interactions than any other channel.

They believe they are too busy. Ask a C-Leader if they have time for customers, and they will likely say “yes.” Yet, they haven’t made the connection that social media is about engaging in a direct dialogue with their customers.

Read the full article at EContent


Is the Glass Half Full or Half Empty? Who Cares!

by Larry Winget


It doesn’t matter if the glass is half full or half empty. The only thing that matters is whether it quenches your thirst. In other words, does it work?

There are literally thousands of motivational speakers spouting ridiculous platitudes that do nothing more than make you feel good in the moment and have very little lasting effect. They sound good, but they don’t work. Let me prove it to you. I bet you’ve heard these lines:

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