September 13, 2016
For over 25 years Joel Makower has been a leader focused on the intersection of business, sustainability, and innovation. He is the founder of GreenBiz.com and is of our industry, focusing on a topic that affects all of us, every day, through the industries we serve and the messages we deliver. Last year we heard from several speakers. Two leaders in particular — Debra Walton, Chief Product & Content Officer at Thomson Reuters, and Cynthia Figge, COO & Cofounder of CSRHUB — spoke about the importance of corporate social responsibility, sustainability, and diversity. Joel joins us this...
September 8, 2016
Solution selling, challenger selling, moving up the value-chain selling-- name the term, one of the hottest topics we hear about and research every day is focused on building a world-class sales channel to meet changing market demands. At the end of the day, digital disruption means commoditization.   When markets face downward pressure the downdraft sends competitors into partnerships, while new entrants create strong competition from the fringes. Companies either go down market and compete on price, or in many cases start building solutions by going up market to deliver more value and...
September 2, 2016
Last year at Outsell’s Signature Event, Michael Rhodin, the then head of IBM Watson, talked about the next wave of computing. One key point he offered was convergence is over – having happened in order to usher in the next era of cognitive computing and generation of workflow solutions built on machine learning and predictive analytics. Outsell continuously writes about the move from predictive analytics to prescriptive analytics and all of this is happening today in workflow solutions which are similar to application software only with 3rd party content flowing through the pipes, in real...
August 29, 2016
It’s a conundrum. It’s essential to be ‘global’ in a networked world, but is it possible to be global when you also must be local? Can ‘niche’ work at scale? How do you do this when language requirements, cultural norms, and regulatory environments all differ, and how do you do it when mobile devices, desktops, and screens in homes and cars play a role?   Years ago, I recall a speaker at Outsell’s Signature Event discussing their foray into legal information services and the challenges faced when scaling to other countries. Their company went from a local service provider to an international...
August 21, 2016
One of the benefits of running Outsell is we’re of the industry we serve, a privileged position we respect and about which we have deep gratitude.  From our lens and vantage point, we’re able to look at the tea leaves, connect the dots, look at the fringes of where new models are evolving and innovation is happening and then not only share that first and foremost with our marketplace but sit back and apply to ourselves.  The investment we’ve made in our platform recently has been in direct response to convergence and the critical factors shaping deep vertical business intelligence. I’ve...
August 17, 2016
This year Outsell’s Signature Event will feature speakers who are all addressing one critical success factor for thriving beyond the tipping point. I’ve been writing about each, why we picked the topic, why the speaker, one who has specific insight and experience about the topic, but also from the vantage point of one of the leading firms in each of our industry’s major sectors. When I read Tom’s article in Fortune a few months back, I knew he was ‘the one’ to address decision-making. Tom Monahan is the Chairman & CEO of CEB and his vantage point is as perfect as they come. No pressure...
August 14, 2016
Having been in this industry long enough to see cycles come and go, never has there been one as extreme as what we’re seeing today in the portfolios of our industry’s largest companies. We’re used to seeing customers going from centralized buying to decentralized buying. We’re used to seeing regime changes in natural ebbs and flows, or consolidation too. But wow, nothing like the X-Acto Knife on steroids pointing sharply at the deconglomeration (the new buzz word in the land of corporates) that's taken place these past few years.  UBM, Pearson, Thomson Reuters, and McGraw-Hill’s complete...
August 10, 2016
Years ago Outsell’s Chuck Richard got up at Outsell’s Signature Event and pointed to the one more important trends hitting B2B and the world of marketing and advertising in general. He pointed to the need for customer pull rather than advertiser push. So brilliant. So simple. So effortless.  But no, instead each day we are harangued and hassled, barraged and bruised, by the onslaught of messages, email, shrapnel in our home and office email boxes, cookies, trackers, and everything else in the ad tech and martech arsenal to hope, wish, pray, try to influence behavior that forces us to pay...
August 7, 2016
When I left off, we talked about innovation and talent being the 7th and 8th keys to success for companies in our industry to thrive beyond the tipping point. A firm can’t innovate without the right talent and the right talent is increasingly becoming harder to find. The information industry is competing with software firms and the big platform companies for talent. Our ability to find STEM talent is becoming harder with challenging visa laws internationally, and global competition for developers, digital advertising, product management, data science, or solution or challenger sales skills. ...
August 3, 2016
There are certain topics that come up daily in my ongoing dialog with leaders. At Outsell Leadership Council meetings, in confidential advisory sessions, or in off-site strategic reviews, they are constant and persistent. How do organizations innovate and foster breakthrough solutions? How do they create a culture that thrives on innovation and is comfortable and eager for the continuous change and agility innovation requires? How do they ideate? How do they choose what to innovate once they’ve got their ideas created? How do they execute when shareholders demand returns and core businesses...

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