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Why (and How) HR Needs to Act More Like Marketing

At this point, we all know that company culture plays a pivotal role in companies hurtling into out digital transformations. This is particularly true for the marketing department, which is changing at such a break-neck pace that marketing success now depends heavily on support from HR to identify …

How to Tell If Machine Learning Can Solve Your Business Problem

“AI,” “big data,” and “machine learning” are all trending buzzwords, and you might be curious about how they apply to your domain. You might even have startups beating down your door, pitching you their new “AI-powered” product. So how can you know which problems in your business are amenable to …

Better Questions to Ask Your Data Scientists

The intersection of big data and business is growing daily. Although enterprises have been studying analytics for decades, data science is a relatively new capability. And interacting in a new data-driven culture can be difficult, particularly for those who aren’t data experts.<p>One particular …

How Predictive AI Will Change Shopping

Imagine you’re about to leave the house to pick up your kids. As you grab your keys, you hear a voice from the device on your coffee table: “It looks like you’ll use the last of your milk tomorrow, and yogurt is on sale for $1.19. Would you like to pick up an order from Trader Joe’s, for a total of …

Virtual and Augmented Reality Will Reshape Retail

Your camping trip is coming up. You and a friend go shopping for a tent. Spotting one you like, you both crawl inside to check the capacity. But there’s something unusual about this scenario: You’re in Boston. Your buddy is in Houston. And neither of you is anywhere near a sporting goods …

Good Presentations Need to Make People Uncomfortable

It’s no secret that our digital communication tools are overwhelming us. A Deloitte study found that U.S. workers (in aggregate) look at their phones almost 8 billion times a day, and research shows that U.S. productivity has waned since the introduction of the smartphone. But the world of business …

Using Surveys to Understand the Customer Journey - SPONSOR CONTENT FROM GOOGLE ANALYTICS 360 SUITE

Your organization has plenty of data about customer behavior that tells you what different customers do where and when. You can see when they visit you online, how long they search, and how much they spend.<p>But too often the <i>why</i> behind their actions remains elusive. With the mountains of information …

The Forecasting Sweet Spot Between Micro and Macro

Forecasting is the third rail of business. Few companies are really good at it, and there can be big penalties for being wrong. In fact, a survey of more than 500 senior executives showed that only 1% of companies hit their financial forecast over three years, and only one out of five are within …

What Airbnb Understands About Customers’ “Jobs to Be Done”

On a recent business trip to London, I surprised the conference organizers by turning down the opportunity to stay at the posh hotel hosting the conference in favor of a rather modest Airbnb flat. The hotel was clearly much more luxurious. The flat would require me to take the tube or an Uber to …

Marketing Analytics Can Improve the Customer Experience - SPONSOR CONTENT FROM GOOGLE ANALYTICS 360 SUITE

Almost every organization today is putting customer experience (CX) at the core of its strategy, aiming to provide products and services that meet customers at every touch point. In a crowded, multichannel marketplace, companies realize that a great customer experience—consistently delivering what …

Know Your Customers’ “Jobs to Be Done”

For as long as we can remember, innovation has been a top priority—and a top frustration—for leaders. In a recent McKinsey poll, 84% of global executives reported that innovation was extremely important to their growth strategies, but a staggering 94% were dissatisfied with their organizations’ …

Assess Whether You Have a Data Quality Problem

Decision makers, leaders, data scientists, and managers often must make quick assessments about whether they can trust a set of data, whether they can include it in an analysis, or whether they need it to take a new direction. While there are thousands of variants, their basic question is, “Do I …

How to Beat Procrastination

Procrastination comes in many disguises. We might resolve to tackle a task, but find endless reasons to defer it. We might prioritize things we can readily tick off our to-do list—answering emails, say—while leaving the big, complex stuff untouched for another day. We can look and feel busy, while …

How CEOs Can Keep Their Analytics Programs from Being a Waste of Time

Despite billions of dollars invested in big data and analytics, the simple truth is that most projects and programs fail to meet expectations. And we have figured out why: analytics forces changes on the C-suite that the CEO has to anticipate and manage, but many don’t.<p>From how we choose presidents …

Embracing Change Means Disrupting Your Day

We recently gave a talk about change. At the start of the Q&A session, one young woman’s hand shot up. She brightly said into the microphone: “I am someone who loves change! I embrace change! I welcome change!”<p>She then paused, and asked a poignant yet plaintive question: “But how can I make sure …

To Form Successful Habits, Know What Motivates You

Have you ever been driven crazy by a coworker’s persistent questioning of what the team is doing, and why, and whether things could be done more efficiently—or have you been driven crazy by a colleague’s refusal to address those crucial questions?<p>Have you ever worked with someone who met deadlines …

Setting the Record Straight on Switching Jobs

<i>“Stay in a job for at least two years.”</i> <i>“Never leave a job until you have your next one lined up.”</i> Everyone from your mother to your mentor has advice about the best way to switch jobs. But how can you know whom to trust? Especially since what was true in the job market 20 years ago — even two years …

Your Company Should Be Helping Customers on Social

People under 35 spend almost four hours per day on social media, and more of that time is being spent engaging with brands. Our research has shown that the volume of tweets targeted at brands and their Twitter service handles, for example, has grown 2.5x in the past two years. Similarly, the …

Dispel Your Team’s Fear of Data

Kenneth Andersson for HBR<p>Most people are uncomfortable with data. Estimates, analytics, and data-driven predictions — they can all be confusing and overwhelming. Some of this discomfort is based on experience. Everyone remembers a time when their data was simply wrong, a prediction was misleading, …

5 Signs It’s Time for a New Job

Regardless of your age, background, or accomplishments, you have probably fantasized about the possibility of a new career at some point in your life – those who haven’t are the exception.<p>LinkedIn reports that of its 313 million members, 25% are active job seekers, while 60% can be considered …

Are You Proud of How You’re Spending Your Time?

When you feel like you’re just one e-mail away from failure at work, it can seem ludicrous to take your eyes off of what you believe absolutely needs to get done to consider what you might regret in the future. The amount of demands coming at you feels so crushing and so unavoidable that you …

What Happened When Linkin Park Asked Harvard for Help with Its Business Model

Photo by Mark Fiore<p>How do musicians make money today? Album sales are down 14%, single downloads are down 11%, and only the streaming services are up, 28%. Technology has forced music artists to completely rethink the way they approach their businesses. We’ve all had to adapt.<p>The most successful …

Project Manage Your Life

More and more companies are adopting software and product development frameworks like Agile, Scrum, and Kanban — which promote quick, iterative, lean production — to deliver higher quality products, faster. These methods help teams produce rapid, continuous improvements, via daily face-to-face …

How to Conduct an Effective Job Interview

The virtual stack of resumes in your inbox is winnowed and certain candidates have passed the phone screen. Next step: in-person interviews. How should you use the relatively brief time to get to know — and assess — a near stranger? How many people at your firm should be involved? How can you tell …

The Perils of Algorithm-Based Marketing

If I told you this article was written by an algorithm (and you believed me), chances are you’d be creeped-out, suspicious of the content, and unable to muster much if any emotional response to it.<p>That’s a natural response. Yet companies don’t seem to be able to see algorithms from the consumer’s …

Ease the Pain of Returning to Work After Time Off

Photo by Andrew Nguyen<p>As much as we all need vacations, the day or week <i>after</i> a vacation often leaves us wondering whether the joy of vacation is worth the pain of returning to work. Between the email backlog, the pain of readjustment, and the fight to get back into your work clothes after two weeks …

An Inside Look at Facebook’s Approach to Automation and Human Work

Running the operations of Facebook is an enormous task. First, there’s the sheer scale of its global networks and the absolute priority it places on reliable service and satisfying user experiences. Then there’s the fact that just maintaining the current offerings isn’t enough: operations is …

Conquering Digital Distraction

Sinan Koçaslan/iStockphoto<p>Digital overload may be the defining problem of today’s workplace. All day and night, on desktops, laptops, tablets, and smartphones, we’re bombarded with so many messages and alerts that even when we want to focus, it’s nearly impossible. And when we’re tempted to …

A Better Way to Map Brand Strategy

Marketers have always had to juggle two seemingly contradictory goals: making their brands distinctive and making them central in their category. Central brands, such as Coca-Cola in soft drinks and McDonald’s in fast food, are those that are most representative of their type. They’re the first …

The Internet of Things Is Changing How We Manage Customer Relationships

Steven Moore for HBR<p>Just as it’s hard to remember what life was like before the iPhone, it can be hard to remember business before there was CRM software — back when you still had to explain that it stood for “customer relationship management.” Today, CRM pervades the way many companies track and …