Strategic Communications

How To Make Media More Effective for Cross-Device Marketing

Getting a message across to customers has been more complex. The rise of cross device access to media raises some intriguing strategic questions.

Bill Kee, Google’s group product manager for attribution, highlighted a critical one during his presentation at the 2017 Google Marketing Next conference. He explained that ad frequency can lead to an ineffective message for a customer.  “If I am on three devices, and if I see your ad five times,” Kee said, “it means you’ve reached me 15 times….believe me I get it.”

Thus the “golden snitch” among marketers today is planning media to be effective across devices.  There are plenty of ways to do so, but there a few specific actions which aid in  hunting the “snitch”.  Let’s look at some analytics related ideas as starter.

Evaluate analytic reporting and minimize last click analysis

Many analytics reports have been updated to consider more factors in attribution – the act of determining channels that contribute to ROI. In times past it was solely about comparing one channel versus another – now it’s about comparing how each channel contributes to each step of the customer journey. This is achieved with reports that combine metrics from the various solutions.

To Read More, please see Pierre DeBois‘ article on

Leadership ABCs—The Little Things Make a Big Difference

Reprinted with Permission By Catherine A. Parrish

Twenty years ago, after years of working as a leader in humanitarian organizations with operations all over the world, I was asked to take on a project to improve the communication, collaboration, and partnership among the executives of a large corporation.

These individuals were highly accomplished, educated, and renowned in their fields. Their strengths and credentials were vividly obvious.

I was to discover that their challenges were real but were primarily due to the absence of several basic and essential practices for relating effectively with their colleagues. Our work together launched my second career, that of a leadership and communication consultant, which has included working with academic and industry leaders in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics fields.

Catherine A. Parrish

Catherine A. Parrish

When asked what key insights I would share with the readership of the WICB column and the ASCB Newsletter, I reflected upon my decades of work with leaders in all sectors and from all over the world. As I revisited in my mind’s eye individual after individual and situation after situation, I was able to see that there are indeed a finite number of key insights or teachings that I use regularly in my work with individuals and with groups. These are basic practices that carried the day with the original client and that continue to improve workplace functionality and catalyze increased productivity for individuals and teams across a broad spectrum of sectors and individual leadership levels. Some of these practices are common sense; some are simply good manners; all have been used for centuries and require a high degree of thoughtfulness, maturity, and self-awareness. And importantly, in my consulting practice I find that effective leaders commonly use these practices.

Because of the simple universal nature of these practices and because I was young when I first learned some of them from my beloved French grandmother, Antonia, I call them “Leadership ABCs—the Little Things that Make a Big Difference.” Here they are:

Practice Good Manners

Be aware of others and their sensibilities. Be thoughtful. Be considerate. Be polite. Be pleasant. People matter. People forget your accomplishments but never forget how you made them feel. No matter where they are on the professional hierarchical scale, people want to matter, want to be noticed, and want to make a difference. Be one who notices others.

Everyone Has a PhD in Something and Is in Kindergarten in Something Else

This concept was first shared with me by my grandmother to explain the hurtful behavior of my brilliant grandfather, who was an acclaimed professor and author. When I asked her how one knows which side of a person is which, she replied, “By listening, ma Petite, by listening with curiosity and interest.”

Because I grew to understand that each of us has a PhD and is in kindergarten too, I was not intimidated by or overly impressed with any individual, nor was I dismissive of or impatient with any individual. In fact I learned to listen with interest for their fine gifts and to be compassionate regarding their shortcomings. And, after some years, I learned to apply this formula to my relationship with myself as well.

Sometimes we miss an individual’s brilliance because we are blinded by our awareness of his or her struggles. Similarly, sometimes we give up our own common sense because of the influence of an individual who might even be an acknowledged genius, but who is engaging in an arena where he or she lacks sensitivity. Or sometimes we are not able to relate authentically to someone because we are hurt by their mannerisms and therefore craft a role to protect ourselves.

The concept that each of us has a PhD and is in kindergarten too allows us to forgive others for their shortcomings and to remove or reduce our personal emotional response from the equation. Then, in a problem-solving situation, we can put our focus on listening and can, in fact, listen to others purposefully and without distraction for whatever is missing or is needed and will carry the day.

Lead with Listening and Listen for Gold

After practicing listening for solutions throughout the first decades of my life, the concept later became my mantra as I negotiated my way through difficult passages as the CEO of an international nonprofit. I practiced “listening for the gold” and encourage you to try this approach: Lead with listening and listen for what’s missing and for common ground and then offer what you hear back to your colleagues as a way to reframe the challenge and as a possible way forward. You will soon experience that all solutions are there begging to be discovered through the listening of engaged individuals like yourself. Listening for gold allows you to initiate an upward spiral in your workplace, family, and community.

Communicate, Communicate, Communicate

In a workplace or team environment, always communicate explicitly, even when you assume someone already knows what you wish to convey. He or she often does not already know and is waiting to be included. I have found time and again in my work with accomplished professionals that the source of a breakdown was inevitably due to missing communication and not, as one might think, to incompetence, intentional undermining, or apathy. So communicate and over-communicate. You and your colleagues will discover the right balance. Follow these practices:

  • Do not speak in code.
  • Do not leave out aspects of the message.
  • Do not be overly verbose, but do be absolutely complete.
  • When in doubt, communicate. Unless you are communicating strictly “need to know” information, include everyone who touches the project.

Inclusion and communication are vital keys to success.

Be Careful of Uncorroborated Assumptions, or at Least Check with Someone!

I cannot tell you how many times one of my sophisticated, intelligent clients has been damaged by or has inflicted damage upon another person due to an assumption that remained unexamined. Whether it be:

  • The scientist who did not attend a crucial meeting on his specialized subject matter due to feeling that their lack of an invitation was the organizers’ intentional choice; or
  • The senior vice president who assumed that the team of directors who had worked around the clock on a project had already received the news of its approval by the board of directors; or
  • The managing partner who assumed that paralegals and assistants attending the celebration luncheon were covered by the company credit card, while he departed actually having paid only for his fellow managing partners.

So examine your assumptions, find out what is true, and take appropriate action.

Have FUN!

To sustain participation and productivity in anything, I have found an essential element to be FUN. You have to find ways to make it fun for you and for others too. One way to have fun is to be fun. Create a commitment to bring a spirit of playfulness to the workplace. Identify activities and ways of being that are fun and put them on your priority list.

I can illustrate the use of the above concepts with a common challenge of leadership: making difficult decisions. All effective leaders realize and accept the responsibility and importance of making tough choices or resolutions albeit through fair practices and consensus building. An example is when a department chair has to make difficult decisions on allocation of limited resources with no clear consensus from faculty members on how to proceed. Effective leaders proceed by noticing others and listening for gold to air and acknowledge potentially divergent inputs and by communicating explicitly about options to ensure stakeholders are cognizant of choices and to avoid assumptions within the group. Of course these practices don’t ensure that all will agree with the final decision, but they promote consensus building and fairer procedures.

The key to following these simple Leadership ABCs is to practice, practice, practice. To do so you will need to begin with yourself:

  •  Practice good manners with yourself. Treat yourself kindly.
  •  Identify your PhDs and your kindergartens and be aware of each.
  • Lead with listening and practice listening for gold to your own creative thoughts and desires.
  •  Be in good communication with yourself. Check in daily.
  • Beware that your assumptions about yourself do not hold you back.

Have fun!


Catherine A. Parrish is President of NextLevel Leadership, Inc. Her website is


Goleman D, McKee A, Richard E. Boyatzis RE (2002). Primal Leadership: Realizing the Power of Emotional Intelligence. Harvard Business Review Press.

Landsberg M (2015). The Tao of Coaching: Boost Your Effectiveness at Work by Inspiring and Developing Those around You. Profile Books.

3 Reasons No Money Is No Barrier to Starting Your Business

More people are starting new businesses than ever before. That’s not because all of a sudden this year more folks have better ideas than in years past. It’s because the barriers to creating a new business have never been lower.

Technology has broken down the walls and empowered anyone to start a business of any kind. Flexibility, cost and mobility have created a solid foundation for entrepreneurship to continue growing in the years to come. Here are three key reasons anyone can become an entrepreneur.

1. Financial liquidity early on.
Historically, getting a higher education (i.e., university, graduate school, etc.) could actually be an impediment to starting a business. It’s sometimes viewed as a roadblock, layering you with debt — forcing you to work a “normal” job to pay down said debt — and pushing off your entrepreneurial dreams for a long time or forever. Unsurprisingly, no liquidity, or access to capital, is a common reason why people do not start businesses.

Now, it has actually never been easier or more transparent to refinance near term liquidity requirements, especially for someone in their teens or 20s. Young adults are now investing in themselves with respect to proper education and structuring their finances to where they have the flexibility to start a business without having creditors breathing down their necks. If they have an idea, there aren’t any financial chains holding them back from reaching their entrepreneurial potential.

2. Affordable legal and marketing.
Unlike in years past, you don’t need to ask a friend or family member to recommend a lawyer to help you cut through all the red tape to form an LLC. You can set up a legal entity in a matter of days, and pay no more than $50 to help with the filing. That’s not just a slight improvement — it’s a game changer for eager entrepreneurs everywhere.

Once your business gets set up, finding those first customers is not the grind it once was. Have a local service business? List yourself on Yelp, HomeAdvisor or Thumbtack. Sell software to other businesses? Find customers on LinkedIn. Build hardware to sell to consumers? Grow an audience and funds on KickStarter, or drive Googling consumers to your website with AdWords. The art of finding customers has moved online, which has dramatically reduced the legwork to help you grow.

3. Mobilization of businesses.
The days of buying into a multi-year office space lease are over. Coworking spaces, for example, have dramatically reduced the price of office space to accommodate anywhere from one to 20 person companies. Month-to-month desk or office rentals are the norm for any entrepreneur who needs office space, but these days, professionals are increasingly choosing mobile over a physical location.

In 2015, mobile usage eclipsed desktop usage for the first time ever. Across the board, consumers and businesses are turning to mobile for more convenient and real-time actions. Clients no longer expect a physical presence for a business, and businesses now have the ability to access their computers from their pocket. Handheld devices can handle scheduling, payments, marketing, employee management and more.

Not only is this structural shift to mobile more convenient for professionals, but it has dramatically reduced fixed costs for any aspiring entrepreneur.

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