Why Your Data Policy Can Make or Break the Customer Experience

Recent incidents where businesses have failed to respect and protect their customers’ data haven’t done much to build trust with consumers. Understandably, consumers are increasingly cautious about what they share and whom they share it with.

Does this mean that business will soon need to give up the insights they’ve gained from collecting and analyzing customer data? Hardly.

In this article, I’ll explain why this cautious attitude has less to do with data collection itself, and everything to do with how your data policy is written, enforced, and shared with your customers.

I’ll also share some specific advice for retailers and other consumer-facing businesses on how to use personal data in a way that creates a positive experience for everyone.

Read moreWhy Your Data Policy Can Make or Break the Customer Experience

Is 2018 The Year Your Business Needs To Prep For AI?

Just a few years ago, it might have been easy to brush aside artificial intelligence (AI) as a fantasy more suited to science-fiction novels than everyday life. Today, that would be foolish — anyone who owns an Amazon Echo or talks to Siri already interacts with AI on a daily basis, and this is only the beginning of a long-term trend.

If you’re a business manager, you can’t afford to ignore this.

Read moreIs 2018 The Year Your Business Needs To Prep For AI?

Does a Great Brand Name Even Matter?

What does every (good) marketer do to develop a new brand? They spend time (and lots of it) trying to come up with a brilliant and unforgettable brand name. But despite all that hard work, great brands often die. Meanwhile, some brands that eschewed the traditional naming process manage to last decades. Is that fair? Not really.

But it raises an important question: Why are some brands so successful even though they didn’t go through a rigorous naming process?

Read moreDoes a Great Brand Name Even Matter?

How To Stay Motivated During A Pivot

Startups face no shortage of uncertainty, and nothing creates more uncertainty than going through a pivot. A pivot can be a soul-wrenching, sleepless, and hair-pulling ordeal that can leave you feeling like the whole startup thing was never worth it. That is, if you let it. But if you have the right attitude, a pivot can be a period of intense personal and professional growth – a unique learning experience that can help you grow in wisdom and fortitude.

I’ve gone through a pivot before. And I’m in the middle of another. Here’s what I’ve learned that has helped me turn the experience into a positive one.

Read moreHow To Stay Motivated During A Pivot

How To Pick a Target Market For a B2B Startup: Part 3

This post is Part III in series called “How To Pick a Target Market for a B2B Startup.” To start at the beginning, click here.

Marketing guru Regis McKenna once wrote, “marketing people should be on the road half the time–meeting customers, talking to people, building relationships, and seeing where the next product is going.” You know, actually speaking to live, flesh-and-blood human beings. Crazy.

While that much travel might not be feasible for everyone, his point was clear: understanding your market is key to successfully selling to it. As convenient as research and surveys are (which we discussed in Parts I and II) they simply cannot help you know your market really well.

That’s why interviews are the final (and most important) part of selecting a target market for your B2B startup.

Read moreHow To Pick a Target Market For a B2B Startup: Part 3

How To Pick a Target Market For a B2B Startup: Part 2

This is Part II in a three-part series about finding your ideal target market. Click here if you’d like to start from the beginning.

In part I of this series, I showed you how to use brainstorming and a bit of research to build a short list of potential target markets for your B2B startup.

Now it’s time to narrow that list even further.

To do that, we’re going to use surveys to ask polarizing questions and find out even more about our targets.

Read moreHow To Pick a Target Market For a B2B Startup: Part 2

Consider This Before Setting Your Marketing Strategy

As a marketer, it’s not uncommon to feel tempted to emulate the marketing strategy of another company you admire.

While there’s nothing wrong with drawing some inspiration from great companies, there’s a big risk involved with following someone else’s footsteps: they may be at a different point on the path, or might be on a different path entirely.

This brings up something every marketer should consider before developing a marketing strategy: the state of the industry you’re trying to enter.

Read moreConsider This Before Setting Your Marketing Strategy