Independent Thinking Blog

Every Budget Tells A Story

One of the best courses I took in graduate school was an economics requirement that everyone else had dreaded – and then proceeded to hate. I loved it. The topic was fascinating. So what enthralled my liberal-arts-educated brain? A primer on social security, pensions,...

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Personalization or Privacy: Which Comes First?

Consumers want personalization. It's the 21st century equivalent of the place where everybody knows your name. It's why we love Amazon. It's why we use mobile wallets and let our browsers auto-save form data. It's why Facebook is so insistent on wishing me "good...

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Here’s Why Chatbots Aren’t Ready for Prime Time

It's time to talk about chatbots again. Last year I asked if chatbots would solve customer service. As companies, we want automation to take over simple tasks. But, as consumers, we want something else. We want seamless transactions and brand consistency. We can...

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Happy Presidents Day 2017

Happy Presidents Day 2017. I was hoping to take the day off, but deadlines interrupted. It is, however, gorgeous outside -- and I'm determined to step away from the computer and go for a walk before the sun sets. So this week I'm going to bypass the usual blog post...

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6 Website Elements Worth a Second Look

It's a good idea to periodically review your website.  And it's not just about content, but all your website elements. I was skimming some webinar materials the other day on websites and what works and what doesn't. Some of the advice was pretty basic, like making...

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The State of Corporate Messaging

We've talked before about invisible buyers, a term coined by my friend Tom Martin to describe the fact that people do a lot of online homework before they pick up a phone, email, or even send you a tweet. This means that if you don't pique their interest you may never...

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Why “Be Wacky” Isn’t Such a Crazy Idea

I wasn't planning to write a post about being wacky. Actually, I started to write a post about my favorite content curation tool. (That post is in the queue.) But then, because it's Martin Luther King Day (aka, a holiday) and my mind is in 10 places at once, I spotted...

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Is Management Theory Dead?

Is management theory dead? Happy New Year! It's 2017, and the calendar kindly gave us a 1-day reprieve from the real world. Jobs, and schools, and thinking about everything on our to-do lists. There will be time soon enough to recap the old and think about what's...

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11 Ways to Repurpose Your Content

We’re on a content roll, so let’s keep going. We’ve talked recently about content audits and the value of identifying and purging outdated, redundant, and irrelevant content. We've also discussed 5 key elements to an effective content strategy. Now the rubber hits the...

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I Define Your Brand

You can try to define your brand. You can create your corporate culture. Build a great product. Map your touchpoints. Hire wisely. Turn your customers into raving fans. And yet-- I define your brand. Your employees, customers, members, patients, and everyone else your...

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Content Strategy Starts With 5 Key Elements

I heard someone state recently that only about one-third of companies have a documented content strategy. Even if that number is a little low, it means a lot of organizations are either (a) pushing out content with no discernible strategy or (b) doing very little if...

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