Orchestrating the Experience: The New Buyer and Their Journey

March 29, 2018 by Carla Johnson Just what is a “buyer’s journey?” Do our customers really go through some kind of predictive path on their way to buying a product or service? Has this really changed over the last decade? It’s certainly no secret that the methods and tools that customers have at their disposal have changed more than we …

10 Women in HR to Keynote Your Next Event

March 13, 2018 By Carla Johnson Last week, USA Today senior technology writer Jessica Guynn called out cybersecurity technology giant RSA for having only one woman speaker at its event – anti-bullying activist Monica Lewinski. The RSA Conference is one of the world’s largest security gatherings. In my February post, 10 Women in Technology to Keynote Your Next Event, I …

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 …

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, …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …

Digitization or Integration: What’s Marketing’s Holy Grail?

May 11, 2017 by Carla Johnson One of the primary drivers of change for businesses in the last decade has been digital transformation. But with the shift to a heavy digital-first experience, marketers have neglected the bigger picture: creating a connected, integrated and seamless experience for customers who bounce between online and real-world interactions with brands. When we look at …

3 Top Trends in Customer Experience

May 9, 2017 by Carla Johnson I remember seeing the first Terminator movie. Holy crap, the machines scared me. They felt no pity, no remorse, no pain, no fear. It was a far-fetched idea in 1984, but now that our vocabulary is infused with artificial intelligence and virtual reality, some people have a great deal of empathy with Sarah Conner. …

How Giving Useful Ideas and Secrets Builds Trust

May 4, 2017 by Brian Carroll I had coffee with a potential partner, and our conversation ebbed to us talking about business philosophy, marketing, and lead generation. I talked about freely sharing ideas and helping people. He replied something like,  “I think companies [like yours] give away too many of their trade secrets on their website and blogs. They provide …

10 Things Marketers Need to Know About AI

April 11, 2017 by Carla Johnson Artificial intelligence (AI) is seeping into more and more industries, including marketing. While brands aren’t ready to hand over the reins of responsibility to AI quite yet, smart marketers are getting a handle on what it means to them and the future of their profession. A recent article in CIO points out that AI-enabled …

Human-Centered Design: What It Is And Why It Matters in Marketing

April 6, 2017 by Carla Johnson I’ve been watching the backlash to Pepsi’s Kendall Jenner ad this week. According to data from Amobee Brand Intelligence, digital content engagement around Pepsi has increased significantly (366 percent in just a day), but 43 percent has mentioned Black Lives Matter, 31 percent has labeled the ad as “tone-deaf” and 10 percent has tagged …