Nuggets of Knowledge

Nuggets of Knowledge: Connection

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Nuggets of Knowledge

These reads–fresh picked for you from the Genuinely team–focus on connection. Whether it’s finding your tribe, cultivating self-awareness and a positive attitude, using stories to bond, or practicing courageous vulnerability, these posts will provide additional insight on how to find and foster connection with your people.

bookreviewbecomingwise.wideaBecoming Wise

by Krista Tippett

In this 10-min. podcast, Krista Tippett and Seth Godin explore how the internet allows us to find and connect with “our tribes,” and the vast potential the internet offers us as a way to bring together community. “The digital world hands us a power to create our own tribes bound by passion and service, quite apart from bloodline or geography.”

62fuGWQNRxeD2xT3iDGy_140302_katia0682The Remarkable Advantage of Abundant Thinking

by First Round and  Katia Verresen

Does the drudgery of doing business get you down? Here’s a good article – and a practical one, too – about abundant thinking. Though this is a good read for anyone, because we can all use techniques to get out of pessimism and into abundance, these are particularly important lessons for leaders as they are the ones motivating and driving, and relying on, their teams. Through self mastery, neutrality, priming, self compassion, generosity, and gratitude, Verresen says you can move into abundant thinking. And, make a significant impact on your team. “When you build a tribe of people you support, you’re building a tribe that will support you.”

diary-968603_960_720Tough News: We’ve Made 10 Layoffs. How We Got Here, the Financial Details, and How We’re Moving Forward

by Joel Gascoigne

Joel Gascoigne, Co-Founder of Buffer provides a transparent account of the current state of the company, the reason for their recent layoffs, and the changes they’re making to recover. Having the courage to communicate and connect with their community on this level is the ultimate display of vulnerability and authenticity.

U.S. Deputy Defense Secretary William J. Lynn III trip to CaliforniaThe Pivotal Stories Every Startup Leader Should be Able to Tell

by First Round

A long(er) read about how powerful stories can be for the leader who is looking to foster connection and build more fulfilling relationships with the people on his or her team.


8 Rules for Creating Passionate Work Culture

by Paul Alofs

You’ll see it everywhere: employees want more than a paycheck. They want passion, connection, and a goal. Cultivating that work culture where employees feel comfortable enough to do that is an essential step, and Paul Alofs has eight easy tips to do it.

4 jonathan-mcintosh-flickr-1725x810_26899Extreme Habits of Highly Successful Teams

by Jeff Haden

Just because your team is spread out across the country doesn’t mean you can’t cultivate your own workplace culture and forge essential working connections. Jeff Haden has four tips on how to do just that.

Nuggets of Knowledge: May 2016

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Nuggets of Knowledge - GenuinelyThis month’s NOK list is all about social media, a timely topic given those new Twitter changes that were just announced. (We’d like to deem it prescience on our part, but alas.) These articles all focus on something that remains constant amongst the frequent and inevitable changes to individual social platforms and their functionality: the importance of being human on social media. As automation and bots become more prevalent, establishing genuine human connections remains a smart and ultimately necessary strategy. These articles discuss how to build that strategy into your social efforts.

6 ReasoColourful cloud shaped speech bubblesns to Make Your Business Human on Social Media

by Brett Relander

If you’re wondering why your social media isn’t getting the kind of engagement you’d like, or if you want to know how to build relationships with customers and future customers, Relander offer six great, simple reasons. Ultimately, you’ll build trust and loyalty with your customers if you approach social media from a human perspective.

customer-service-smileThe Trick to Mastering Social Media? Remember You’re a Human

by Jake Cain

A human approach on social media is never more important than when your company is dealing with customer service issues. The author mentions examples of companies who have incorporated an offline effort with their online effort, resulting in a big win in regards to customers trust and loyalty.

robot and manA More Human Than Human Agency

by Scott Schneider

Technology continues to advance and amaze us with the rise of bots. Where we have been working diligently to help companies understand how to be more human, especially on social media, Schneider reminds us of a coming challenge:

How will agencies [and companies] maintain human authenticity in an automated, bot-led world?”

It comes down to the fact that agencies (and companies) must learn to embrace technology and understand how it will continually challenge us to re-shape what we do. But at the end of the day, we have to find a way to be human and connect with people.

thumb_ico-audienceThe Ethical Guide to Growing Your Audience

by Jason Zook

This Crew post is a great reminder that growing your audience (whether it’s on social, through an email newsletter, or on your blog) is one of those things you can’t really find a shortcut for. It also speaks to the importance of being human when you’re trying to build the right audience from scratch. Those quality, passionate people you’re going after want value, consistency, inspiration, and the knowledge that someone cares. So ditch the superficial, short-lived hacks and start making human connections.

Nuggets of Knowledge: April 2016

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We’ve all been involved in the development and/or execution of a strategy, and we understand how wrenches get thrown that stop the wheels and get us off track.

This month’s NOK picks speak to those challenges: how should a company create a strategy? Why do companies not execute on their strategies? What constitutes a good strategy?

Marketing mix wheel

Creating the Right Marketing Mix

by Rand Fishkin (Moz)

There’s no right way to stack all the different marketing tactics, but you must understand your objectives before building a strategy. Once you know your objectives, you can then determine what part of the funnel will help you reach your goal most effectively.

Rand provides a great example on retargeting and making sure your goals are clear. Are you trying to get people to come back and engage with a new piece of content OR are you trying to convert more people? These two very different objectives need to be defined before activating a specific channel. Lastly, don’t forget to test and analyze. All the channels need to work together and the strategy may need to change over time as different parts of the funnel get optimized.

Brains and Hearts imageMaking Empathy Central to Your Customer Development Strategy

by Brian Barela (Loyal)

We know you already factor data into your strategic decision making, but do you also factor in empathy? In this article, Loyal explains why engaging both the minds and feelings of customers is critical for customer development.

In this actionable and specific article, Loyal provides activities, articles, and frameworks that explain exactly how to get to know (and share!) the feelings of your customers and use that knowledge to create meaningful brand experiences.

Harvard Business Review image

Why Strategy Execution Unravels and What to Do About It

by Donald Sull, Rebecca Homkes, and Charles Sull (HBR)

The authors counter some myths about why strategy isn’t executed based on a survey/study of 8,000 managers in more than 250 companies. Below are the myths they tackle and the issue or solution in parentheses after:

  1. Execution equals alignment.
    (It’s a cross-function, cross-unit thing.)
  2. Execution means sticking to the plan.
    (One must adapt to the problems and opportunities that pop up along the way. P.S. Being agile is easier said than done.)
  3. Communication equals understanding.
    (Strategic objectives are often unrelated to one another and to the overall business strategy. Add in corporate priorities, core competencies, core values and you’ve got a muddy mess.)
  4. Performance culture drives execution.
    (Performance measurements lead to “playing it safe.” Other things must be recognized, too: agility, teamwork, ambition, and experimentation.)
  5. Execution should be driven from the top.
    (What happens when the top brass leave? Distributed leaders from the “middle” should drive execution and be guided by the top.)

Good Strategy Bad Strategy: The Difference and Why it Matters
Good Strategy Bad Strategy book cover

by Richard Rumelt (Amazon)

Our final pick for this month’s NOK list is a book that came highly recommended from Aaron Dignan. Good Strategy Bad Strategy dives into the reasons that strategies either fail or don’t even qualify as a proper strategy in the first place. Through many historical and real-world examples, Rumelt illustrates how good strategy must be void of fluffy jargon, effectively assess the critical challenge at hand, and, most importantly, include a plan for action. The book serves as a stellar guide on what is necessary to be successful with strategy.

Nuggets of Knowledge: March 2016

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This month’s NOK list is a compendium of videos: videos that strike a chord with us emotionally, targeting our personal values and beliefs about core human issues. In order to be relevant to today’s consumers, brands are using emotional storytelling as part of their content strategy, tapping into our emotions to send a message and make a human connection. And, video is a great way to make that human connection.

International Women’s Day on March 8 was a great opportunity for many brands to make that human connection with their audiences by communicating the brand’s values about the lives, achievements, and struggles of women around the world. Rather than focusing on a product, these brands focus on important issues that elicit strong emotions in their audiences.

Brands embrace ‘fempowerment’ campaigns to appeal to women

by T.L. Stanley (Mashable)
In addition to advertising their product, brands today are advertising their values as a way to communicate and connect with their audiences on another level. In this article, Mashable offers a variety of brands – from the more masculine Brawny paper towels to a new Always #LikeaGirl campaign about emojis – that are honing in on women’s empowerment, and the emotions associated with being a girl/woman.

A detergent commercial makes a simple, powerful point about inequality 

by Frida Garza (Quartz)
Soap maker Ariel India (a Procter & Gamble brand), takes on gender inequality with an incredibly powerful video about how it’s not just up to mom to manage the heavy load of home, kids, and career. This purpose-driven campaign is an authentic and emotional way for Ariel to connect with their audience and show them that they’re not afraid to take a stand on something that also matters to their customers.

Why emotional storytelling is the future of branding

by Patrick Hong (Momentology)
There are so many great examples in this article that showcase the power of emotional storytelling. When asked why emotional marketing is important, Andy Maslen says, “Because information leads to analysis, but emotion leads to action.”

This is beating the odds

by Western Union (YouTube)
This short video, created by Western Union for International Women’s Day, tells the story of Siba, who aims to become one of the first female commercial pilots in South Africa. It is the most inspiring thing we’ve seen in a long time.

Nuggets of Knowledge: February 2016

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Mack Web is now Genuinely. Learn more.

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Welcome to Stop 5 of MISSION: Authentic

This month, in honor of some pretty cool stuff we’re working on over here, we’re bringing you a different kind of NOKlist. Instead of dropping some knowledge, this month’s Nuggets are holding up a few shining examples of businesses that are doing this marketing thing right.

We spend a lot of time pondering the things that make a company stand out: What draws people in? What makes them want to stay? What inspires customer loyalty, elicits sincere praise, generates the kind of word-of-mouth awareness that no agency or campaign can hope to duplicate? (You may have run across this theme in, oh, just about anything else we’ve ever written.)

We did our research – talked to our peers, consulted our gut instincts, spent some time observing the world – and came to this conclusion: consumers today are drawn to companies that sincerely, honestly, openly care about something more.

We call them authentic companies because when a company sincerely, honestly, openly cares about something, it shows. It glows, it shines, it affects everything they do. Which means that what you see on the outside is who they are all the way to the core. 100% genuine, authentic, Grade-A them-ness.

That’s what this month’s NOKlist is sharing with you. We each spent some time thinking about a company, a brand that we loved. Then we thought about why we loved it. Would you be shocked to discover that the reasons we found all came down to the sincerity, the authenticity of their mission or purpose?

The missions encapsulated below come in different shapes and sizes, from the love of a specific coffee bar to the more general dedication to a certain customer experience; from the very personal belief in the delight of juice to the wide-reaching insistence on transparency.

The shape of the mission hardly matters. It’s the determination to hold true to it that makes each of these companies shine.

See for yourself. Read More

Nuggets of Knowledge: December 2015

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Mack Web is now Genuinely. Learn more.

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In this, the last NOKlist of 2015, the whole team comes back together to offer you their chosen Nuggets of Knowledge. Just in case you’d forgotten how diverse that can be, here’s a little sampling of what’s on offer: reflections on both the ways of working and the joys (and miseries) of working, thoughts on the evolution of marketing in all its aspects, predictions for the future, and a defense of weirdness.

So, here you are. One last treat from the Mack Web team this year. Enjoy it and look forward to more great addition to the NOKlist archive in 2016! Read More

Nuggets of Knowledge: October 2015

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Something about falling leaves and shorter days must inspire sideways thinking because every article chosen for the October NOKlist is about taking a new perspective on an everyday topic, whether it’s approaching a specific project or reconsidering the way you work.

And since we also share our perspective on the issues presented, you get two new perspectives for the price of one.

You’re welcome.

For other deep thoughts, check out our Nuggets of Knowledge archive. Read More

Nuggets of Knowledge: September 2015

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With the onset of fall comes a natural tendency towards introspection and reflection. (Alternatively known as pouting out the window and bemoaning the gray weather). This month’s NOKlist is no different. We have, for your autumnal delectation, thoughts on productivity, the intersection of fashion and sustainability and gauging for authenticity, waging a blitzkreig war on your brain, why photos of wild horses beat out kitten gifs, and the nature of personal leadership.
Also, there’s a Wonder Woman cake. Just for the funny.

Check it out.

And, if you’re eager for more, check out our NOKlist archive, too. Read More

Nuggets of Knowledge: August 2015

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August is Big Picture Month for the Mack Web NOKlist. This month’s Nuggets of Knowledge are about looking at how things work together: how all things matter for the ultimate good of your brand, how to balance priorities and how to keep ideas alive beyond the moment, how to plan for the future of your designs and how to imagine the Future in all its glory. All fitting topics as summer draws to a close and we all prepare to head back to the grind.

There are also pandas.

If that’s not enough Mack Web amazingness for you, check out our previous issues of the NOKlist in the archive.

Read on to the pandas and perspective! Read More