Seth_Godin_IMWeek_06_2013

~by Marty Shaw, Global-Z Director of Sales & Marketing

I had the great pleasure of meeting my favorite marketing guru, Seth Godin, in person at the inaugural Integrated Marketing Week (IM Week) last month. He was the keynote speaker kicking off the event. I was fortunate enough to have him sign his new book for me; V Is for Vulnerable: Life Outside the Comfort Zone“A full-color ABC book for grown-ups, with a powerful message about doing great work”. During his lively presentation Seth certainly did not let any attendees down, providing insight and advice on how to navigate what he refers to as the new “connection economy”.

I have written a number of reviews of Seth’s other best selling books and what I’m so often left with in reading his books, and now having seen him present live, are his memorable quotes that inspire and leave you thinking about them long after. During Seth’s IM Week presentation, he said a few quotes that were particularly thought provoking for me:

  • “Fly close to the sun”, in line with another often-quoted expression he uses; “safe is risky”.
  • “We have to continually be jumping off cliffs and developing our wings on the way down.” This Kurt Vonnegut quote highlights the risks that Seth encourages each of us to take within and outside our lives as marketers.
  • “Anticipated, personal & relevant communication” were the terms he used to help guide us as thoughtful marketers; the wings, if you will, which will help each of us succeed.
  • “Are you going to matter, not just succeed?” Yeah, that was a real big thought-provoking question! If what we do doesn’t matter, why are we doing it?

Seth maintains that what we all need is “grit” to succeed in the new connection economy. This reminded me of a TED Talk I recently watched presented by Angela Lee Duckworth; “The key to success? Grit”. I encourage you to watch it. I think Seth & Angela are onto something.

Seth’s presentation ran about 50 minutes and my brief synopsis does it little justice. Read his books, his blog, and meet him in person if you can. I’m confident you will be glad you did. If you know his work already please leave comments below, or even if you don’t know Seth’s work I’m interested in your thoughts on these points I have mentioned.

 


~ by Jennifer Martell & Katie Favreau, Global-Z Co-Morale Officers

It is that time yet again to hear what we, your favorite GZers a.k.a the Co-Morale Officers, have been up to!

Our job is typically all fun and games, but sometimes the reasons for said fun are unfortunately very sad.  Such is the case for one of our recent shindigs.  Tao Qian, a beloved colleague, left Global-Z.  Tao and his family relocated to the great state of Louisiana, which was just a little too far from good ol’ Bennington for him to commute anymore.  When we found out that Tao would be leaving us we were all more than a little sad.  We love Tao and it will just not be the same around here without him.  Tao was always such a delight, and one of the sweetest and nicest persons I have ever had the pleasure of knowing.  He is also wicked smart!  He added very much to Global-Z in his time here, including teaching my fellow morale officer how to speak and write a little in Chinese.   With all the sadness surrounding Tao’s departure we had our work cut out for us trying to boost everyone’s morale around here…and what better way to do that than with our second annual GZ Luau!?

This year we were in a bit of a bind as our grill master was lounging by his pool in Spain, so we needed to think fast.  Thankfully, our Sales & Marketing Assistant, Paul, came to the rescue!  Paul was an amazing grill master cooking ribs, ham, and pineapple to perfection! (Perhaps once Leonid returns to the states we will have a grill-off to see who the best really is.)  Having solved our grilling dilemma, we were ready to have a proper send off for Tao and once again transformed our conference room into a tropical paradise.  It was a great party with a very bittersweet mood as we were all sad to see Tao go. I’ll let you check out the pictures for yourself!

We all miss you Tao, and hope that Louisiana is treating you and your family well.  We think of you often and wish you the best with all that you do in the future!

Gary_Palmer

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

~By Paul Harris, Sales & Marketing Assistant

Recently, Global-Z had the unique opportunity to speak with Gary Palmer, Director of Information Alchemy ltd, an independent marketing information consultancy and services provider which helps organizations take control of their data resource and extract from it maximum value through data-driven marketing and customer insight.

Gary works in the United Kingdom, and he has twenty years of experience in getting real business value from data resources. He spoke with us about the impact of bad data quality, information management and the future of data-driven business decision making.

We hope you enjoy our interview with Gary.

Global-Z: Why do so many organizations have a hard time starting a data governance program?

Gary: Part of the problem is that data is pervasive, and responsibility for it diffuses. Very few organizations have assigned a clear accountability for managing data. What they should be doing is finding the particular functions within the context of their own company and industry who stand to gain most or suffer worst according to the state of the data. Then they should back this vested interest with a strong official mandate to establish and maintain governance over this vital resource.

Global-Z: Has the European economy had a negative impact on businesses ability to finance and focus attention on data quality issues?

Gary: It has been proven enough times that firms who maintain marketing budgets are the ones that assume strong positions as the recession ends. Good data quality  can enhance and unleash one of the few remaining sources of unique competitive advantage. After all, only you have your customer data. Sadly, the economic conditions have become an easy out for organizations wary of what is, to be fair, a relatively new discipline. The brave few acting now will reap the benefits.

Global-Z: Let’s pretend you are a CEO of a large direct marketing company, where would a data quality initiative fall in your list of business priorities?

Gary: Poor data quality is invariably a symptom of broken business processes – so fixing that would have to come pretty high. Then an initiative to leverage the potential of the cleaned data set to deliver unique customer insights has to lie at the core of strategy for any direct marketing driven organization.

Global-Z: In the future, how do you think data analytics and tracking will affect the consumers experience when buying products and services?

Gary: In the past, marketers have had a bad habit of using analytics to spot the next opening for launching new promotions or products. This is like talking to a person who is mentally rehearsing their next utterance rather than actually listening to what you are saying.

In the future, I hope we will  see a switch to using tracking and analytics to genuinely listen to customers with the aim of readying the organization to service their expressed needs.

Global-Z: What is the most challenging part of your job?

Gary: The most challenging part of my job is overcoming the idea that data is arcane, nerdy, boring or not worthy of anyone’s attention.

Data is a resource inevitably generated by all organizations that can be a source of friction or fuel, heat and light. When data is used properly,  it can turbo charge any organization.

Global-Z: What do you like most about your job?

Gary: I like seeing organizations discover and use new capabilities based on the clean, well maintained data resource they have after I finish a project with them!