Happy Saturday, friends. It's St. Patrick's Day weekend in Boston (also known as "bro Christmas") and while I'm not Irish...


In edition #25 of The World's Best Newsletter:

1. Listen Well, Speak Up, and 3 More Lessons from Madge
2. My Rules for Increasing Retention and Creating Growth within Existing Accounts
3. A Look at B2B Buying Dynamics: A B2B Persona is Not an Island
4. Why Many Startups Fail to Live Up to their Brand Stories
5. How a Mom Would Have Handled the BBC Dad Situation
6. Marketers Are More Confident Than Ever - Should We Be? 
7. Take Your Damn Victory Lap
8. Quote of the Week: Chuck Palahniuk

Read on - before you imbibe that green beer (gross).

1. Listen Well, Speak Up, and 3 More Lessons from Madge

This week I was invited to the Ad Club's Womens Leadership Forum, where Madge Meyer spoke to a room of 1000+ women.

I could not get enough of Madge’s easy humor, or her confident humility. I realize “confident humility” may be an oxymoron, but what I witnessed was a delicate balance of touting her remarkable success, sharing lessons born of mistakes, all delivered with an empathy that left each of us feeling that her journey was – or could be - our own.

Read more in today's post.

2. My Rules for Increasing Retention and Creating Growth within Existing Accounts

Julie Persofsky is back with a set of advice for getting more from your current account base. 

"Most companies have revenue engines that run on delicately intertwined gears of new logos, retention and upsell/cross-sell. If one gear isn’t working effectively, the others have to work harder and exude more effort in order to make up the difference." 

Read more in her full article.

3. A Look at B2B Buying Dynamics: A B2B Persona is Not an Island

Ardath Albee is an expert in complex B2B marketing without all the fluff that comes with being an expert. She was an advisor for my startup, and I have learned MUCH from her and her books. 

This week she posted a new piece that sums up the relationship between each of the individuals involved in our products: 

"Let’s say your sales team says they must engage a CXO in order to close a deal. But they also share that there’s a Director of IT who conducts the evaluation of the software you’re selling. Also, because the software addresses employee communications, the VP of HR will need to sign off. And the purchase is pretty hefty so the CFO will need to approve a budget reallocation to pay for it.

So now we have 4 personas and we haven’t even considered whether the evaluation will also include feedback from a select group of end users since the ROI of the purchase will depend on user adoption...

  ... By being prepared with content that answers the concerns of other personas, you can help the buying committee work together to make progress and see it through to a successful outcome.

Don’t do your marketing programs a disservice by treating a buyer persona as an island. Get to know the dynamics of the buying committees and find ways to help them work together more productively."

4. Why Many Startups Fail to Live Up to their Brand Stories

I love this interview with Regis McKenna (called "Silicon Valley's original storyteller") as it speaks to the longevity of a brand vs. the allure of creating a fast narrative - something many startups do to attract investor attention, and often, overreach. 

The best dig at most startups? "They try to create a perception with words rather than with deeds."

Actions matter. Products matter. Impact matters. Context matters. History matters.

"Reality does eventually catch up with perception. In marketing, there is this concept that what you’ve got to do is to get people to have a perception, and you do that by constantly sending a ‘message’ out and basically selling a message. But that message must be grounded in reality."

Yes. Read the full interview. 

5. How a Mom Would Have Handled the BBC Dad Situation

We all saw the video of the father interviewed on BBC from his home office who was ADORABLY interrupted live by two kids and a panicked wife (who, incidentally, many assumed was the nanny. Rude. This is why we can't have nice things.) 

This parody shows how a mom would have handled the same situation. She keeps talking confidently, doesn't miss a beat, quells both toddlers, cooks dinner, and difuses a bomb. 


Watch the video.

6. Marketers Are More Confident Than Ever - Should We Be?

The unstoppable force that is Carla Johnson recapped an AMA survey, which found that confidence among marketers is rising among topics like investing in the right customers, ability to measure, and having the right tools/processes in place. 

One finding that I found interesting.... 86% of marketers 35 and younger are optimistic about the power and influence of marketing in an organization over the next few years.

Only 56% of those 56 and older felt the same. 

This has a lot to do with how technology is impacting the value of marketing today, and the uncertainty many feel as the industry changes so dramatically.

Full article, as always the case with Carla, is well worth the read.

7. Take Your Damn Victory Lap

File this one under "metaphors for life." Scotland's Laura Muir won a gold medal at the European Indoor Athletics Championships. Usually, winners get a victory lap - you know, with the flag held proudly over their head. 

This time, however, the event was running late. Watch as an organizer tries in vain to stop Laura from taking her lap. Laura persists, and scoots around the organizer's absurd attempt to steal her thunder. 

This is a metaphor, people. Take your damn victory laps, whenever they're earned. If you don't toot your own, nobody's going to do it for you. 

8. Quote of the Week

Chuck Palahniuk is a dark guy- this is an understatement. But his books resonate with a stark honesty that makes him one of my generation's most beloved authors. 

Earlier this week, my beautiful wife was reading Lullaby, one of his national bestsellers. It was an old copy of mine, and so she discovered my habit for underlining passages ad nauseam (sorry, babe.) This week's quote of the week is one I had drawn a thick blue box around years ago:

"Experts in ancient Greek culture say that people back then didn't see their thoughts as belonging to them.

When ancient Greeks had a thought, it occurred to them as a god or goddess giving them an order. Apollo was telling them to be brave. Athena was telling them to fall in love. 

Now people hear  commercial for sour cream potato chips and rush out to buy, but now they call this free will.

At least the ancient Greeks were being honest."  

Always a cynic, that Chuck.

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