Could you be drawing unsupported conclusions and making suboptimal business decisions because of your data?

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Sound familiar?

A department head schedules a meeting with their team and other lateral department heads.

After thanking everyone for coming, the organizer dives in. He begins pulling up dashboards with various metrics, ostensibly pointing to a departmental goal.

He points out a few statistics and arrives at the damning conclusion:

Based on the data, we need to double down on live events, incentivize the sales team to push more of our flagship product, and 5x the amount we’re spending on paid ads.”

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Companies that adapt and take advantage of current trends can maintain momentum and revenue during the pandemic.

An unexpected global pandemic pushing a bull market to the brink of Depression isn’t how anyone planned their 2020 revenue projections. The goals set at the beginning of the year are largely unattainable for most businesses, most of whom find themselves quickly pivoting product, marketing, and hiring plans.

There’s nothing easier than blatantly cutting marketing budgets. But many executives find themselves wondering how they’ll emerge from this if they do.

Waiting it out loses opportunities to adapt and differentiate your brand during this time. …

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An unexpected global pandemic pushing a bull market to the brink of Depression isn’t how anyone planned their 2020 revenue projections. The goals set at the beginning of the year are largely unattainable for most businesses, most of whom find themselves quickly pivoting product, marketing, and hiring plans.

There’s nothing easier than blatantly cutting marketing budgets. But many executives find themselves wondering how they’ll emerge from this if they do. I’s possible for most brands to drive revenue and connect with customers and stand out organically by understanding their unique strengths and relevance. …

By Jacob Markus, Associate Consultant

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Photo by BBC.

We focus so much on the things that change as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, that we often overlook what has stayed constant.

The sweeping “changes” that organizations have made as a result of COVID-19 were not invented last month: Work From Home (WFH), flexible hours, and sharing our “whole self” at work along with family pressures and constraints have been trendy for years. Countless books, studies, and Harvard Business Review articles have advocated for the increased productivity and engagement that comes from these practices.

These are concepts that have been studied and implemented…

A Framework for Categorizing Feedback

When most people hear “That’s not how it works” from someone who’s highly confident or respected, it’s often the end of the discussion. But I’ve found through a decade of policy research and startup leadership that there are 3 categories of “That’s not how it works.” And it’s easier to categorize the right response than you think.

The 3 types of “That’s Not How it Works”

1. A sign to pivot

i.e. Theranos scientists’ feedback to CEO Elizabeth Holmes.

2. A sign that you’re onto something innovative

i.e. “ Squeamish “ receptions to ideas like Lyft or AirBnb, which made people uncomfortable by disrupting status quo.

3. A sign you’re talking to the wrong person

  1. Someone who thinks that the “right” way to work will never change, or has close-minded feedback…

For the long-term viability of your startup, it’s important to be clear about your goals and understand whether you’re actually attempting to raise a pendulum round.

Raising a bridge round can be a smart strategic move for startups who need extra capital between their current and upcoming funding rounds. Many investors are happy to participate, and many founders find it gives them the flexibility to grow to the next stage or overcome an unexpected obstacle.

Before you do though, it’s important to ensure that you’re actually raising a bridge round, and not a pendulum round. The difference can make or break the sustainability of your business, and ensure that you’re mapping toward metrics that support rather than detract from your long-term growth objectives.

What’s a Pendulum Round?

I believe that…

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Dog-friendly offices are becoming a popular perk, but can negatively impact office culture if implemented inconsistently.

Dog-friendly offices have become quite the trend. What started as a fringe perk has now become more mainstream across startups, creative agencies, and even entire industries like the tech sector. There are numerous studies showing the purported benefits of dogs on employee productivity, job satisfaction, and engagement — so much so, that some companies are hopping on the bandwagon with little planning. Some office managers effectively announce: “Have a dog? Cool — bring ’em in! We’ll even throw them a birthday party and post pictures on our company’s social media account.”

While it’s easy to get swept up in the…

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Finding the balance between best practice and innovation is essential for marketers: after all, if you follow the same playbook as last year or that your competitors use, your message will likely be forgotten. At the same time, there are some strategic frameworks that can provide structure to the experiments and brand you’re trying to build, and should be leveraged.

This is especially true in emerging industries and those that are changing particularly rapidly. Fintech (finance technology) and edtech (education technology) are two such examples, but for this article, we’ll focus on edtech.

In the rapidly-evolving space of education technology…

The temptation to launch an affiliate marketing program seems logical, and consistent with the theories of network effects and virality to boost sales and brand recognition. (Definition: Affiliate Marketing is a channel through which a company incentivizes existing customers to refer new ones.) You want customers to like your product, and refer others. Referrals seem to fall in the purview of Marketing, so this seems straightforward enough.

In most businesses, referrals are actually more a function of product experience than any clever copy or incentive could create. …

Strategica Partners

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