OUR INSIGHTS & PERSPECTIVE IN HBR

HOW MARKETERS CAN CONNECT PROFIT AND PURPOSE

 

HARVARD BUSINESS REVIEW
SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY | JUNE 2018
By Cara France and Mark Bonchek

It takes time for a big idea to make its way into business practice. Six years ago, Harvard’s Michael Porter and FSG’s Mark Kramer made the bold statement that shared value — the idea that the purpose of a company is to achieve both shareholder profit and social purpose — would “reinvent capitalism.” They encouraged companies to go beyond CSR (corporate social responsibility) and integrate social impact into companies’ competitive strategy. And in 2011, Nathaniel Foote and Russ Eisenstat proposed a “better way to manage in the 21st century.” They found “higher-ambition” leaders achieved superior performance by doing well and doing good.

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HOW LEADERS CAN KEEP THEIR COOL IN A CRISIS

 

HARVARD BUSINESS REVIEW
LEADERSHIP | FEBRUARY 2018
By Cara France and Mark Bonchek

The word crisis suggests something that happens infrequently. But these days, crises have become a regular state of affairs. Brands that you’d think would be fairly immune to scandal have found themselves embroiled in controversy. And those that deal with public relations challenges regularly have still been caught off guard by a customer insurgency. Some crises disappear quickly and others never seem to go away. When it comes to a crisis happening…

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WHAT CREATIVITY IN MARKETING LOOKS LIKE TODAY

 

HARVARD BUSINESS REVIEW
SALES & MARKETING | MARCH 2017
By Cara France and Mark Bonchek

What makes marketing creative? Is it more imagination or innovation? Is a creative marketer more artist or entrepreneur? Historically, the term “marketing creative” has been associated with the words and pictures that go into ad campaigns. But marketing, like other corporate functions, has become more complex and rigorous. Marketers need to master data analytics, customer experience, and product design. Do these changing roles require a new way of thinking about creativity in marketing?

To explore this question…

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BUILD YOUR BRAND AS A RELATIONSHIP

 

HARVARD BUSINESS REVIEW
BRANDING | MAY 2016
By Cara France and Mark Bonchek

The way we think about brands need to change. In the past, they were objects or concepts. You had a relationship with a brand. But in this social age, brands are the relationships. By defining a brand’s particular kind of relationship, companies can create greater engagement, differentiation, and loyalty. To understand this new mental model for brands, it is helpful to see how the concept has evolved…

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THE BEST DIGITAL STRATEGISTS DON’T THINK IN TERMS OF EITHER/OR

 

HARVARD BUSINESS REVIEW
STRATEGY | JUNE 2015
By Cara France and Mark Bonchek

It has become an axiom that “strategy is about making hard choices,” as we have been advised for over 20 years by leading thinkers including Michael Porter and Roger Martin. But our work with a community of senior executives in the Bay Area suggests that today’s market leaders are following the advice of Yogi Berra: “When you come to a fork in the road, take it.” Faced with hard choices, innovators find ways to transcend the tradeoffs. While their competitors make the hard choice between one or the other path, these businesses reap the benefit of both.

Transactions and relationships. When it comes to digital engagement, many companies feel they have to choose either…

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A CHEAT SHEET FOR MARKETERS ON THE FUTURE OF DIGITAL PLATFORMS

 

HARVARD BUSINESS REVIEW
MARKETING | MAY 2015
By Cara France and Mark Bonchek

Customer engagement has never been more urgent or more elusive. Real engagement – the kind that goes beyond a momentary impression to a meaningful interaction – isn’t happening on traditional channels. It’s happening today on digital platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, YouTube, SnapChat, and Instagram.

To understand the future of digital platforms and what it means for marketers, we spoke with senior executives in a community of top marketers from Silicon Valley. The perspectives of these executives suggest that the pace of innovation shows no sign of slowing down.

Marketers who want to understand the future of these platforms need to understand seven P’s…

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STRATEGIES TO ATRACT SUPERPOWER MARKETING TALENT

 

HARVARD BUSINESS REVIEW
TALENT MGMT | JULY 2014
By Cara France and Mark Bonchek

Today’s most competitive marketplace isn’t technology but talent. The challenge of attracting and retaining talent is particularly acute for marketers. Their function has been turned upside down and inside out as a result of digital technology, empowered employees, and connected customers.

In this new world, the best marketers exhibit five superpowers – each of which requires new types of talent. Our previous article describes each of these superpowers with examples from Intuit, Sephora and others. As a recap, they are…

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MARKETING CAN NO LONGER RELY ON THE FUNNEL

 

HARVARD BUSINESS REVIEW
MARKETING | MAY 2014
By Cara France and Mark Bonchek

One of the central concepts of marketing and sales is the funnel — through which companies are supposed to systematically move prospects from awareness through consideration to purchase.

But consumers are now more informed, connected, and empowered than ever. Does the funnel still work in a digital, social, mobile age?

We asked some of the leading marketers in the world — from companies like Google, Intuit, Sephora, SAP, Twitter, and Visa — to assess the relevance of the marketing funnel.  What we found says as much about the future of business as it does about the future of marketing…

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THE FIVE SUPERPOWERS OF MARKETING

 

HARVARD BUSINESS REVIEW
MARKETING | DEC 2013
By Cara France and Mark Bonchek

Customers are more connected and empowered than ever before. If you want to win their hearts and minds, you have to master the latest technology, assimilate vast quantities of data, engage and delight your customers, and deliver products and services that surpass expectations.  Plus you have to attract the best talent to your own organization and align your team around a shared purpose.

It would seem a nearly impossible feat.  And yet today’s top marketers are combining technology and teamwork to generate extraordinary results.

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PEOPLE ARE THE NEW CHANNEL

 

HARVARD BUSINESS REVIEW
MARKETING | MAY 2013
By Cara France and Mark Bonchek

In the past, channels delivered messages to audiences. You either owned the pipe or paid to use someone else’s. You controlled the message all the way through that pipe.

In a digital and social age, pipes are less important. People are the channel. You don’t own or rent them. You can’t control them. You can only serve and support them.

This new world is disorienting because pipes and people work very differently as channels. Pipes flow out; people flow in. Content is pushed out through pipes, but pulled in through people.

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