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Fuse Highlights: Food for thought

Every few weeks, we share insights with our Fuse subscribers along with news and trends we’re following across the web.

Here’s a compilation of some of our key insights from last quarter.

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Data literacy: Food for thought

How do you get from buzzwords like “data literacy” and “data culture” to confidence that data is driving better decisions across the business?  

If Peter Drucker was right — and he’s Peter Drucker, so he probably was — culture eats strategy for breakfast.  

It’s not enough to build a business case for data. You need a business culture to support it. 

In our experience, success starts with aligning people, processes, and business goals with purpose-built data and technology solutions. When people understand what data makes possible and how it impacts their job — where to find it, and how to read and interpret the data they need — convincing them to use it to drive better decision making is a much easier lift.  

Easier said than done? You bet. We love a complicated algorithm or elegant data architecture, and we’re basically ninjas at selling business cases (if we do say so ourselves). But there’s a reason Fusion stakes a claim on being people-focused. Because we don’t just love data. We love when it works.  

Get smart: If you’re looking for an overview of data culture and a baseline for building data literacy across your organization, we recommend Be Data Literate by Jordan Morrow. Although written as a primer for individuals, the book’s framework could easily be used as a springboard for helping your whole company level up its data acumen. 

Read the full Fuse: Data for March.

A one-brain approach to B2B marketing

In AppleTV+’s bizarrely compelling drama Severance, employees’ brains are modified to separate their work memories from their off-work thoughts. Of course, what makes the show sci-fi is the fact that no one really has a “work self” and a “life self.”

So, why does B2B marketing often seem to assume that consumers and business purchasers are different people?

Compare your IG feed to the LinkedIn ads you’re served. One platform shows you talking Australian lizards. The other shows you text about processing speeds. When you need insurance, you remember where to go. When it’s time to make a CMS platform decision you…probably should have made a note.

We want to believe that our B2B customers make purely rational decisions, but experience and data suggest otherwise. Whether it’s B2C or B2B, people predominantly buy from emotion, not stats and features. Creative marketers who are willing to push the envelope can capitalize on this idea to stand out in the sleepy B2B marketing landscape.

It’s hard to argue with results. One of our clients, a pharma sales enablement company, saw 3x lead growth when they pivoted from standard B2B ads to a brighter, more engaging campaign direction.

Your B2B targets don’t come to work as a separate persona. Creative marketing captures attention with a whole-brain approach.

Ready to ditch the sinister work-life lobotomy assumptions? We’re always ready to talk about how to set your brand apart, whether it’s new creative or a streamlined martech stack. Let us know how we can help.

Get smart: Wondering how to sell creative marketing internally? We’ve been reading The Human Element: Overcoming the Resistance that Awaits New Ideas and thinking through the authors’ framework for overcoming our natural resistance to change — especially as it applies to organizations. If you’re struggling through a shift, this book could be worth your time.

Read the full Fuse: Marketing for March.

Put your technology on a balanced diet

Tech creep is kind of like strolling the cereal aisle with a four-year-old (or a 34-year-old, no judgment) who begs for the choco-sugar-neon-behavior-bombs instead of the sensible-fiber-nut-loops you had planned.

When it comes to building your tech stack or stocking your pantry, “it looked cool” isn’t really a strategy.

And yet, for many companies, an enterprise architecture hodge-podged out of whatever looked good at the time often gets the job done.

Until it doesn’t.

A move to the cloud, a new data privacy mandate, or even the increasing demand for speed and agility to stay competitive might expose the imbalance in your tech stack. How do you get back to a more wholesome view?

Realigning your solutions with your organizational goals and objectives is a great start. Regardless of how long you’ve been using it, does every piece of your technology still fit your plan? You might need to let go of sunk costs and admit that a tool has gotten a little soggy for your current needs. You might need to put your appetite for shiny new solutions on a diet.

At the risk of straining our balanced breakfast metaphor past the breaking point (too late?), we recommend putting a healthy strategy on the menu. As guidelines change and organizations shift to keep up, this is a great time to reassess your tools and processes. In its simplest form, a refreshed technology strategy includes a current state audit, an ideal state articulation, and a plan to bridge the gap.

Whether your internal culture skews Team Sugar-Bombs or Team Fiber-Loops, we can help you take a strategic view and bring your technology stack back into balance.

Get smart: We get that it’s a little bit ironic for a bunch of tech consultants to recommend a book like Cal Newport’s Digital Minimalism. But hear us out. Newport’s approach to consumer technology – that tech and platforms should have to earn their place in your life by proving that they help you meet your goals and values – has some merit for the business world as well. We’ve all seen what Newport terms “maximalism” at play in sprawling, bolted together legacy architectures. Maybe the time has come for a more minimalist, goal-driven tech stack. Whether you’re ready to start over or looking for ways to modernize what you have, we’re always happy to talk technology strategy.

Read the full Fuse: Technology for April.

About the author

New Era Technology

New Era Technology creates powerful digital, data, and technology solutions that keep companies moving forward in a rapidly changing world. Our 500+ consultants use data insights, experience design, and tech innovation to help you reimagine your business for whatever comes next.

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