How Small Businesses Can Compete Without Big Data

Almost every day you hear a story about “Big Data” and the incredible predictive analytics that come with it. Target knows you’re pregnant before you do, Amazon knows what you want to buy, and Pizza Hut knows what you like to eat. As forbearing (and incredible) as the pundits make it seem, having mass quantities of predictive data is not a…

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Why You Keep Falling For Fake News

There is a strange thing that happens anytime we see something published. Intellectually we know, just because it’s published, doesn’t mean it’s true. It just means it’s published. Yet, when we see something published, we start to behave like someone who’s never seen a newsreel before. We’re in a trance. There’s something about being “published” that…

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Why Your Facebook Rants Feel So Darn Good (But Still Don’t Work)

We were at dinner. There were 6 of us. One of the six is Ann. Ann is the token loose cannon. We all are nice to Ann, but think she’s crazy. She’s a grandmother, very friendly, a little nutty. We’re polite and generally try and ignore her conspiracy theories or neuroticism because, you know, manners.…

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What Just Happened

At some point last night, we all had that moment. That moment you tell your grandkids about, like where you were when Kennedy was shot or when the first tower was hit. Last night, that moment was, “Oh %^&!, he’s really going to win.” I was on the couch with my husband glued to our…

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The Surprising Upside of Manipulation

A funny thing happens when you tell people you work in marketing. You become the devil. “So (dramatic pause), you manipulate people for a living?” That’s always a fun conversation starter. (I recommend this debate if you’re bored at your next dinner party. #protip) When I started in marketing, the ethical boundary for me was very…

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Why We Buy Things We Don’t Need

You know that feeling of standing in your closet filled with clothes, but you have nothing to wear? Most people believe that feeling is the brainchild of evil of branding and marketing experts conspiring to make you addicted to wanting more stuff. Trust me, marketers wish they could dupe you into buying things you don’t want. Heck, I’d…

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The Real Reason Self-Promotion Sucks

No one likes promoting themselves. It’s awkward, uncomfortable, and it feels icky. You think to yourself, “I’m not a sales person. I’m the subject matter expert. I shouldn’t have to do this. I’m above this.” And then one of four things happens: You start to explore your paid-ad options because the thought of organically growing…

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How to Write a Good Customer Survey

“Are you afraid of the impending revolution of the robots taking over the world or do you feel completely safe and not at all worried about A.I. technology?” That wasn’t a joke. A real surveyor for a real (and prestigious!) institution asked me this. A pollster had called and I agreed to “answer a few…

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When You’re Ready to Throw in the Towel

My fiancé was laughing at me. I had just declared my foray into entrepreneurialism a bust and he was laughing. “Who says “throwin’ in the towel’ anyway?” “I do.” “You’re not throwing in the towel.” “Yes, I am. I’m not cut out for this. I was wrong. This was stupid. It’s over.” Laughing. He was…

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Why Is Marketing So Confusing?

When you ask a marketer what they do, you get a politician’s answer: lots of words, yet somehow, nothing of substance is actually said. “We bring innovation throughout our projects and push technology as well as strategy to help our clients achieve success” What does that even mean? It’s code for: “We’re not sure what we do…

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