A couple of months ago I read an article on Michael Hyatt’s blog about how we our society values achievement but completely undervalues rest. I’ve been thinking about that a lot since then. I think it’s true. As many of us lucky ones return from our annual vacations it’s probably a good time to reflect upon that. Do you invest sufficiently in rest-time or are do you think your too important, too busy or simply too awesome to do so?
I recently read an intriguing post about IBM’s new Personality Insights tool that uses Watson to analyse text in order to make an assessment of your character. Interesting idea – and fun to try.
Inspired by this, today I’m launching a new tool – The Purple Salix Podcast Personality Profile. No science, no financial investment, no unpleasant bending – just a simple hypothesis:
Yesterday I joined a webinar hosted by Laura Ramos of Forrester Research in conjunction with Idio on the topic of Predictive Analytics. Predictive Analytics is not a particularly new term – I first bumped into it several years ago with a case study where the social media analysis tools were being used to predict the outbreak of ‘flu epidemics across the US (turns out that before people retire their sick bed the last thing they do is to tweet their friends to tell them all that they’re feeling a bit snotty). The business benefit of this was that the analysis allowed you to predict an outbreak several days before people made an appointment with their doctor. For a drugs company or a medical supplies company that could provide vital intelligence to ensure that supplies were prioritised to the most-needed locations.
As a self-confessed productivity nerd, I am always seeking new productivity tools that can help me become more efficient with my technology. By popular request I’ve decided to share a few of my current favourite tools that help me get stuff done. All of these are firm favourites rather than ones that I use only for a few weeks before discarding. Where they are platform-specific I’ve tried to offer alternatives. Hope you find this list useful.
Until recently I’ve believed that Marketing Automation is really only applicable to larger enterprises – and even then, typically only successful in companies where there is real leadership commitment to seeing through a full transformation of the marketing function. But a couple of recent client engagements have helped me realise that the world is changing and that Marketing Automation can be deployed in smaller enterprises, especially those with tiny marketing departments. So what’s changed?
How do I know that I’m focussing on the right stuff? This is a challenge that all of us face – in our personal as well as our professional lives. Indeed, in our increasingly connected world that continues to blur the boundaries between work and home, and in which there are an overwhelming number of digital and physical interrupts/distractions, this question becomes really important to be able to answer with clarity. But most of us are so busy being busy that we can’t separate the important from distractions, or the important from the important to me.
Last week I ran the latest of my “Making Marketing Automation Work” days at B2B Marketing’s offices in London. I think this is the fourth time of running this day, and each time is very different. Two years ago it was primarily of interest only to the larger players – but I’ve noticed a distinct shift in SME interest of late. Some of that is just the natural flow of things, but I think it also has a lot to do with the emergence of lower cost, simpler solutions from the likes of Act-On and Pardot, but also the growing number of agencies offering full managed services, meaning that you can have access to skilled resource to operate the tools.
I remember when I first met my Financial Advisor. At our initial meeting he told me to write down everything I spent my money on for the next month. It was a revelation – simply by becoming aware of where your money is going, you start to realise how much of it you are spending on things that really aren’t important to you. And then you can consciously start to do something about it.Tracking Time can work in exactly the same way.
For most of my clients who are looking to integrate marketing automation into their overall marketing landscape, at some point the question surfaces about what should be the best deployment strategy. Typical areas for discussion are
- How do I make a noticeable difference to our performance without reaching full deployment?
- Should I deploy using in-house resources or using partners?
- How should I phase the deployment of functionality?
- How should I phase the geographic deployment?