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experienceUs, marketers, we love buzz words.

Omni-channel. Real-time marketing. Retargeting. The list goes on.

Each one of us wants to show off how cool, cutting-edge, and tuned-in with modern times our brand is. We listen on the web. We entertain on social. We crank out a ton of content every day, hoping for virality. We measure the amount of conversations, likes, and shares. If we are really good, we analyze purchase intent and actual purchase data and correlate it back to all of our busy social efforts.

And all the while we are missing the most important measure of all – relationship capital.

Here is the thing. Consumers do like to talk about brands. They do like to be entertained every now and then. But when push comes to shove, what consumers truly want the most from brands is to know that they, consumers, matter. And the only way to do that is through consistently delivering amazing experiences. If brands are not able to deliver those, they have zero chance to retain their customers (and we all know how much more expensive it is to attract a new customer vs. retaining the current one). Therein lies the rub: retaining our customers is not possible without building long-term relationships with them. And building strong relationships requires knowing and understanding your customers like never before.

Relationship capital should be the most critical measure of business success.

Instead, all we are tracking is the bottom line. Continue Reading »

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Hsieh TonyGoogle’s new London office is due to open in 2016 – and the internet is already buzzing about what looks like one of the most VIP workspaces in the world. Mashable reports that it will have an open-air swimming pool, an indoor football pitch, a climbing wall and a roof garden – all in the very heart of London. Add to that free lunches and a design that allows employees to cycle right into the building to store bikes, as well as the major transport hub of King’s Cross station on its doorstep, and you will have some very happy Google staff.

So why is this 5-star luxury so important to Google? Not only do they want to hire the very best employees, but they want to retain them too. Highly-skilled workers, especially in the tech industry, are in demand across the globe, and keeping your staff (who you may have trained up at great expense) is vital. So providing a state-of-the-art workplace shows you appreciate your team. They will stay with their employer longer, feel a greater commitment to their company, and are likely to talk about the great organization they work for.

A workspace like Google’s acts as an advert for new recruits, as do the people who work there. A company’s best asset is its employees, so it is important to attract the best candidates – and to keep them.

Of course, not all companies have Google’s budget.

For businesses wishing to give their employees the VIP treatment, but don’t have the resources for their own swimming pool, there are some simple steps you can take. Continue Reading »

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linkedinB2B businesses and brands are increasingly waking up to the fact that LinkedIn can seriously boost their profile. It’s by far the most business-focused social media platform. In fact, according to LinkedIn, more than three million companies have LinkedIn company pages. If you’re on LinkedIn, there’s a good chance your clients are too. These tips could open up a whole new world of possibilities.

1. Get connected: start a group

LinkedIn claims its members are sharing insights and knowledge in more than 2.1 million LinkedIn Groups. Instead of joining a group, why not start your own based around specific interests? It’s a great way of getting people talking while establishing your business or brand as the dominant force. It shouldn’t be self-promotional; get the conversation started by flagging up an interesting development within your industry or suggest a new idea. Intel’s ‘Student Lounge’ group is a great example of a company putting its stamp on the youth market. Continue Reading »

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I was backstage in Bucharest, Romania, after my keynote at a large tech conference discussing the challenges of building the culture of excellence with a few fellow speakers, when one of them proposed simply:

“Highly suggest adding a Don Draper clause to your employee contracts.”

“A Don Draper clause?” I asked, baffled.

“Oh, absolutely,” replied Lexi Mills in her charming British accent. “Our employees love it!”

DonDraperLexi is a Head of Digital at Dynamo PR, an award-winning PR and digital consultancy in London. The story that followed surprised and delighted me at the same time.

Apparently at Dynamo, every employee has a Don Draper clause (inspired by Mad Men) included in their contract, which means that on a regular basis each employee receives strange, creative, wonderful, personalized treats/gifts paid for by Don. One employee gets a regular deliveries of chocolate. Others get roller coasters, Givenchy cosmetics, Winnie-the-Pooh paraphernalia, burger birthday cakes, vegetarian’s recipe bible, brainwave cat ears, etc. Curious for more? You can explore @DonDraperClause Twitter handle.

The clause is just one part of Dynamo’s culture, which is designed to attract and keep the best staff – particularly critical in PR, where there is a high turnover. Sometimes everyone gets involved and it becomes a fun way to find out more about their colleagues’ likes and dislikes, their personality, and life outside the office. Leadership team takes building and nurturing the right culture seriously.

What’s even more interesting is company’s vacation policy. “Since last year, we offered all of our staff unlimited holidays,” says Paul Cockerton, co-founder of Dynamo PR. “It enabled one of our employees, for example, the opportunity to drive from London to Mongolia in over 5 weeks, raising funds for charity.”

Now, that’s the company I can get behind! No wonder they have almost no turnover. Continue Reading »

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kayWe are all builders. We are all innovators. I refuse to think otherwise.

When we grow up we are taught that innovation is something special. To be an entrepreneur, you somehow have to be different. Being an entrepreneur and an innovator, they say, requires a particular approach, personality, training, the list goes on. I think this is wrong! It is my sincere belief that we are all entrepreneurs. Even those who work for large organizations can impact true change, they are intrapreneurs. All it takes is passion, curiosity, and strong desire to make even a small impact on the world.

No person is the same. No approach is the same. No view of the world is exactly the same. We need to trust our own personal lens of the world. And no matter what others think, pursue our dreams. That is what brings change and transformation.

It is my hope that these 33 quotes will inspire your inner entrepreneur / intrapreneur: Continue Reading »

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