Making an Impact on Work Tech

Lessons Learned: Significant Brand Discoveries That Shaped Work Tech is a four-part blog series by Bret Starr highlighting unique strategies and best practices learned by The Starr Conspiracy since 2006.  Lesson No. 4: Impacting Work Tech Market leaders don’t just rake in the most category revenue. They also create the dominant paradigm for solution categories. I think that a lot of people believe the best solution with the best features and benefits is destined to become the market leader. However, the Work Tech garbage heap is stacked high with solutions (software and services) that offered superior features and benefits, but weren’t …

Takeover Strategy

Lessons Learned: Significant Brand Discoveries That Shaped Work Tech is a four-part blog series by Bret Starr highlighting unique strategies and best practices learned by The Starr Conspiracy since 2006.  Lesson No. 3: The Takeover The Takeover Strategy Model we created was based on our brand recognition research and the insights we formulated. In practice, it’s actually pretty straightforward. Premise No. 1: Lead generation performs suboptimally in media fields where the company has low brand recognition. Conclusion: Increase brand recognition in the media field before investing heavily in demand generation. Motto: “No one consumes thought leadership from brands they’ve never heard …

The Fourth Dimension: Brand

Lessons Learned: Significant Brand Discoveries That Shaped Work Tech is a four-part blog series by Bret Starr highlighting unique strategies and best practices learned by The Starr Conspiracy since 2006.  Lesson No. 2: Entering the Fourth Dimension In 2006, I discovered the fourth dimension of marketing. Brand. OK, I didn’t discover “brand” — but I did isolate brand (academically speaking) as a test variable in direct marketing, and was the first person (that I know of) who correlated brand recognition to both demand generation results and market share across across large data sets with stable cohorts of competitors operating in overlapping …

Lessons Learned: Significant Brand Discoveries That Shaped Work Tech

Lessons Learned: Brand Discoveries That Shaped Work Tech is a four-part blog series by Bret Starr highlighting unique strategies and best practices learned by The Starr Conspiracy since 2006.  Introduction We’ve made a couple of discoveries in my career that I’m pretty proud of. You’re not going to read about them in medical journals, Popular Mechanics, or National Geographic, but I do believe they have had an impact on technology marketing. I know they’ve had an impact on Work Tech, because they had a very real and measurable impact on brands like Taleo, SuccessFactors, Ultimate Software, Virgin Pulse, and Achievers. …

Podcast: Stay positive for pent-up demand

Stay positive. We think next year is going to be a blockbuster year for Work Tech. When you look back at 2020, sales of everything but communication, collaboration, and wellness solutions basically came to a halt between March and May. Activity began to rebound after that. Many Work Tech companies that we’ve spoken with reported all-time record sales months since June, including in the Talent Acquisition space that took such a hard hit at the end of Q1. We’re seeing lots of evidence of pent-up demand in conversations we’re having with customers and prospects, as well as the market research …

I can't prove it, but I can say it. — Stephen Colbert

Microsoft Viva: What’s the Deal?

ICYMI last week — Microsoft just did a cannonball into the middle of Work Tech’s pool with the announcement of Viva, a new platform focused on the employee experience. If you want to take deep dives into smart people’s takes on this, Josh Bersin (of course) has a long take on it and so does Stacia Garr at RedThread Research. Already Skillsoft and Cornerstone have announced Viva integrations. And HR Executive is hailing this as a “massive opportunity” for HR executives. Why is this such a big deal? Glad you asked. It’s Microsoft. They have scale. It can’t be understated …

Buy the ticket, take the ride. ― Hunter S. Thompson

Podcast: Certified employers and reformed capitalists

Good news: The type of validation that the elusive blue checkmark provides for narcissists on Twitter may soon be coming to the workplace. But this is just one part of a broader reformation within capitalism. Performance management giant Workhuman is launching a new initiative in which companies will seek to become “Workhuman Certified” as workplaces in which “people have the right to be respected, seen, appreciated, and heard.” According to TechRepublic, the process for companies to gain this status will include making a pledge to uphold Workhuman’s “Charter of Workplace Rights” that outlines what employees should be able to expect …

Join Ocho’s Book Club: Buy a Book. Help a Kid.

In this month of Thanksgiving, I believe that we all have learned a lesson this year in the importance of gratitude. I know I have. Let’s all be grateful for the blessings we have. We’re grateful to say that The Starr Conspiracy is surviving and thriving. Now we feel it’s time to pay it forward to all of those in our lives. What can we do? Let’s remember that 2020 has been a tough year for many. Not every business has fared quite as well. My St. Louis friend, neighbor, fellow Texan, fellow business owner, and all-round awesome person, Kelly …

Studio Reviews: Lady and the Tramp with a BLT?

Adam Sandler is back on Netflix with a spooky season adventure. Hubie Halloween takes us on a rollercoaster of Happy Madison references including names that you’ve definitely heard before, a goofy main character that harkens Sandler antics of yore, and more cameos than you could throw a stick at. This week we discuss our favorite parts of Hubie Halloween and get into some serious childhood discussions. Don’t miss the uncanny resemblance of our co-workers dog, Hank and Steve Buscemi. “It’s kind of like a Swiss Army Thermos. Made it when I was in the scouts.” – Hubie

I used to do drugs. I still do, but I used to, too. — Mitch Hedberg

Podcast: SPACs come for Work Tech

You’ve probably heard of SPACs by now, right? If not, you will hear much more soon. These Special Purpose Acquisition Companies are the hottest thing on Wall Street, and they’re invading Work Tech. These entities are so-called blank-check companies that are an alternative to traditional IPOs for financing. Essentially, investors give money to a sponsor, like a hedge fund, so that they can invest in a lucrative opportunity, but more or less with blind faith. Hence the moniker “blank-check” company. The sponsor takes the company public, bypassing the traditional regulatory hurdles of an IPO. This year has seen an explosion …

Vlog: Branding trends we see in Work Tech

A few weeks ago we launched our latest Brandscape on talent and learning categories coming together. Bailey led the creative and visual design insights in the report, so she gave us a tour inside her brain. In sum, we’re seeing brands become much more human, which we also talked about with Nancy a few weeks ago. What can brands do to create an innovative brand in the next year? Find your authentic self. Hear more from Bailey in this week’s vlog.

branding

Podcast: Certifications and Google are on the rise

There’s no lack of professional certifications for HR and L&D professionals, with ATD and SHRM certifications, among others. But what about one that’s all about Taking Care of Business (or TCB, as Elvis might say)? That’s what Brandon Hall Group is working on. Brandon Hall Group announced an interesting alternative to traditional HR and L&D certifications, an approach that’s more agile and focused on driving actual business results. Brandon Hall Group CEO Mike Cooke had this to say about the announcement: “We felt there was a void in certification programs that prepare human capital management professionals to work effectively with …

Contributing to the community

Creating impact in our community is a big responsibility. It’s something that a lot of people strive towards and it’s not always easy. The Starr Conspiracy has been working with a local elementary school for quite a few years to provide mentoring, tutoring, financial aid, and other support.   “It takes so little to have such a big impact” This week, Lou Chapman sits down with Springdale Elementary counselor (and wife) Kelly Gillham to discuss what our relationship has looked like over the last few years, how we’ve helped make an impact, and what has happened since the pandemic hit. How …