Marketing Automation: Moving Towards the “Perfect System”

10-Second Summary

  • Is it possible to automate the “entire” marketing function?
  • Key content themes: Marketing Automation, Artificial Intelligence, Personalized Content

The Article

Marketing Automation is one of the dominant trends in the business world right now. About sixty percent of companies are already using marketing automation in some way, and most who have it plan to increase their commitment to the platform. With an ROI of about 5:1, it is an attractive investment that can be leveraged in various capacities by companies large and small.

Although every business’ needs are different, it can sometimes be helpful to envision a hypothetical “blue-sky” situation, without material or bureaucratic constraints. Such an exercise can provide leaders with a rough philosophy or ideal to work towards, while stimulating thought about new possibilities.

Today, we’ll be examining what a marketing automation system might look like if implemented to its absolute fullest capacity. As we shall find, the technology to achieve this ideal is mostly within reach, and it is likely that some well-resourced businesses are already approaching or have achieved this level of sophistication.

In this post…

  1. The essence of what marketing automation is and does.
  2. Relevant features of the technology that enable our “blue-sky” exercise.
  3. What an ideal marketing automation system might look like.
  4. The impacts this kind of system would have on the business.
  5. What you can do RIGHT NOW to take advantage of marketing automation.

What is Marketing Automation?

Marketing Automation is a term that refers to a group of technology solutions which allow marketers to partially or fully offload tasks to a software system, which may or may not be augmented with artificial intelligence.

Automation technologies are capable of things like automatically personalizing content based on customer data, segmenting audiences, leading customers through email workflows, and even managing digital ad buys based on real-time factors. This represents a significant development in marketing’s ability to craft sophisticated customer experiences while minimizing work that would otherwise be time-consuming – like dynamic personalization for large lists or managing ads in real-time.

The essence of marketing automation is letting the computer take care of the time-consuming and repetitive tasks, while marketers focus on more “human” work like strategy, content creation, and the management of human-to-human touchpoints like live chats on websites, social media, and webinars.


Features of Marketing Automation Technology

There are four relevant features of marketing technology that are relevant to our vision, and a fifth that may become a reality in the near future.

Feature 1: Personalized Emails at Scale

Perhaps the most common use of marketing automation technology has to do with sending personalized emails at scale, and also managing the emails that customers receive based on certain triggers, their buying habits, or their open and click behavior. This personalization is moving beyond simply addressing the customer by name – offering dynamic content automatically is possible, as well as edits of core content to adjust tone.

Feature 2: Automated Content Pathways

Depending on how customers interact with your emails, they can be sent down sophisticated chains of branching emails that are designed to nurture leads with content they are likely to engage with, at a cadence they won’t find irritating.

Feature 3: Computer-Assisted Data Interpretation

One of the advantages of computer-style intelligence is that it can retrieve, process, perform computations on, and derive insights from large amounts of data. A fundamental part of marketing is the development of customer insights, which requires a great deal of research. Crucially for research purposes, artificial intelligence is now becoming quite adept at interpreting the significance of data, and can therefore be used to simplify the research process by delivering relevant information to marketers in the form of reports and notifications.

Feature 4: Dynamic PPC Management

Unlike human beings, who can usually only pay attention to one thing at a time, and for limited durations, an artificial intelligence is always on – and is capable of multitasking. This allows certain marketing automation solutions to manage PPC ad buys for marketers, and even generate dynamic ad content automatically, saving marketers a great deal of time on PPC management and optimization.

Future Feature: AI-Generated Copy

Although some may argue that this technology already exists, in our opinion it has yet to reach the level of sophistication and reliability required of B2B marketing and sales. On one hand, artificial intelligence is already capable of generating poems, essays, music, and recently even complex and intriguing visual art (have fun). On the other, the implementation of AI-generated content has very dangerous pitfalls, mostly including racism and conspiracy theories, although the intelligences are improving every day. So, this level of content generation is likely in the near future – perhaps in two to five years for most businesses.

The Machine Maven: A Perfect System

Julia, a new researcher at a marketing agency, slipped on the VR headset that her manager handed her and leaned back in her chair. For a moment, her vision was pitch black.

“Okay, so we’re going to switch on the interface,” her manager said. “Some people get motion sickness, but usually you adjust in about a minute. Ready?”

“Yep,” replied Julia. As the pixels flickered to life in front of her eyes, she found herself hovering the middle of a high-resolution starry expanse, faced on one side with a six-foot-high virtual dashboard, with data updating in real-time.

“You see it?”, asked her manager.

“Yeah. This is really cool,” said Julia enthusiastically. “And you were saying I can move this stuff around?”

“Take your controllers, point to two corners of a screen, and pull out. It’ll expand so you can look at it more closely. Also, if you press the button under your right index finger, you’ll be able to access more data and see what our Maven is up to.”

When defining a hypothetical perfect system, we should first establish some guiding principles for what constitutes “perfect” in the context of marketing automation. For purposes of simplicity, we’ve narrowed the list down to three.

One of the gold standards in artificial intelligence is the Turing Test, which is considered to be passed when a human cannot tell whether they are communicating with another human or a computer. It follows that the first goal of the perfect marketing automation system should not be to “pass” this test, as customers would consider such a practice deceptive, but to provide the kind of personalized experience and attention that could be expected from a close one-on-one relationship.

The second goal of the perfect marketing automation system is to automate as many presales touchpoints as possible, as much as possible. As we shall discuss, eliminating much of what is currently considered “marketing work” will not eliminate marketing roles, but prioritize new types of skills and new kinds of work.

Finally, the perfect marketing automation system will provide an unprecedented level of presales excellence, making it enjoyable and easy for buyers to become acquainted with your business, gather information, and deepen the relationship.

We have termed this perfect system the “Machine Maven”. In addition to automating large portions of the customer insight process, which is possible already, the Machine Maven will be capable of interpreting the brand of a business, including tone, values, and visuals, and then generating personalized content and delivering it to customers entirely automatically. Some possibilities for the future could include:

  • A faster shift away from style guides to style guidelines, allowing artificial intelligences and marketers to establish parameters of brands and innovate within those parameters in real-time, in much the same way that clever social media teams riff on brand themes in response to current events.
  • Fully-automated email campaigns, including a great deal of content creation. This would include both visuals, which are personalized to the buyer’s tastes, and written content, which can be written by AI or curated and remixed from banks of human-generated content. Additionally, complex workflows and paths can be constructed to nurture leads without a marketer having to conceive of or build them.
  • Sophisticated ad retargeting strategies, with visuals personalized to the buyer’s tastes and content based on where they are in the buyer journey. Ideally, this would besynchronized with other channels to maintain awareness of, and respond to, their behavior and needs.
  • Sophisticated reporting for marketers and leadership, which would include real-time dashboards, automated daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, and annual reporting, and notifications regarding buyers that require human attention.
  • A strategic function of the AI which scrapes web data, news articles, industry reports, competitor activity, internal customer data, and the social media firehose to maintain full industry awareness and communicate insights to marketers. This AI could even serve as a partner during the strategic development process by automating parts of the primary research process, performing calculations on likely outcomes, and providing feedback to marketers about potential paths. Once this type of AI becomes technologically feasible, it is possible that research firms, archives, and perhaps even governments will begin offering data as a service (DAAS) to feed the Machine Maven with insights.
  • A system for identifying buying triggers, presenting relevant calls-to-action, and handing them off to either marketing or sales for human interaction.
  • A sophisticated AI chatbot on the website which is indistinguishable from a human, although it would be marketed as a virtual company representative – perhaps an “avatar’ of the company. Not only would this chatbot be able to answer detailed and complex buyer questions, the personality of the responses will be able to be aligned with the brand tone, or even the mannerisms and personality of the CEO. Much like other functions of the Machine Maven, this intelligence would deliver calls-to-action or connect the buyer with a human when it deems appropriate, deepening the relationship on behalf of the company with minimal supervision.
  • When voice activation and virtual reality become more appealing than they are currently, it could be possible for marketers to view and manipulate data in a Minority Report style environment and collaborate remotely with enhance visual capacity. Aside from being fun and very cool, being able to interact with data in new ways may make it easier for marketers to make sense of complex data sets and develop useful insights. Remote work would also become a bit more enjoyable, as future virtual reality environments could lead to virtual meeting rooms in full 3-D.

As can be seen, the possibilities are extremely exciting and could transform the marketing function. Further ahead in the future, the sales function could experience a similar transformation as buyers, who increasingly operate with a “self-serve” mentality, may opt for a virtual salesperson rather than a real one. The same could be true of account management, with virtual account managers taking care of some front-line tasks.

How Would a Perfect System Transform a Business?

Although the prospects for business transformation with a system like the “Machine Maven” are tremendous, we will focus on what marketers might do with their time once a significant portion of their current role is automated. These are some possibilities:

  • Strategy & Brand: If it indeed comes to pass that marketing becomes automated to this extent, the Machine Maven will be responsible for a great deal of content creation and will exceed the effort of a 50-person creative team. Although this potential is extremely powerful, the artificial intelligence will still require thoughtful direction and careful shepherding to ensure it represents the business faithfully and accurately. Marketers will be spending their time collecting primary data, working with the Machine Maven to draw insights from secondary data, establishing strategy, and translating that strategy into guidelines and parameters for the Maven to execute on.
  • Content Creation: As intriguing as AI-generated art can be, there will likely always be a premium on human-generated content. Unlike the mechanized and algorithm-driven nature of artificial intelligences, human thought is noisy, nonlinear, and motivated by subjective concerns, and will continue to develop content out of reach of even sophisticated artificial intelligences. With a great deal of their day freed up by our hypothetical Machine Maven, marketers will be free to develop truly excellent content, moving the content marketing world away from 300-500 word templates to consistent and insightful thought leadership.
  • Account-Based Marketing: The third thing marketers will spend most of their time doing is collaborating with sales to target key buyers with personalized content. Sales, either as part of a targeted effort or as part of an existing conversation, will be able to rely on marketing for completely custom collateral that can advance sales conversations in exactly the ways that is required. We believe that existing technology already offers enough automation functionalities that sales, marketing, and even customer service can be united like never before. With the hypothetical Marketing Maven, the lines between marketing and sales would continue to blur.

Taking Advantage of Marketing Automation Today

As mentioned previously, sixty percent of businesses are already using marketing automation in some capacity. If you are part of the forty percent that are not currently on the train, this is something you need to prioritize in terms of researching and understanding how your business could benefit from the investment.

However, as a stand-alone product, marketing automation can only do so much. In order to be used to its fullest capacity, your marketing automation software needs to connect to your Customer Relationship Management (CRM) solution in order to use and store customer data.

These are some of the solutions that we’ve decided to focus on at Marketing CoPilot:


Dynamics 365




$1800+ per month

$800+ per month

$850+ per month

Ideal For…

5-10 person B2C marketing teams with full IT support and large email lists to manage

1-5 person B2B marketing teams with no IT support


1-5 person B2B marketing teams with limited IT support



With any of these solutions, but particularly with Dynamics 365 Marketing, it is already possible for you to automate large amounts of marketing work with the right approach and strategy. Sophisticated email workflows, rotating qualified leads to sales, automated reporting, and elements of PPC automation could save your marketing department hours per day, and if your solution is connected to a CRM, your salespeople will have easy access to a customer dossier when marketing hands the lead over.

For years, Marketing CoPilot has worked with businesses, particularly in the B2B sector, to transform their approach to digital marketing. We offer a suite of marketing services, live coaching programs, and have published a book on digital marketing strategy for marketing leaders.

Join us on November 30 for a webinar on the considerations involved with connecting different kinds of marketing automation solutions to Microsoft Dynamics 365 Sales.

Epilogue: Who’s Going to Get There First?

If you are thinking long-term and see ways in which your business could leverage aspects of the hypothetical Marketing Maven, our opinion is that you might want to switch to the Microsoft 365 Dynamics stack for your marketing automation, CRM, and even ERP. We work largely in the Microsoft sector and find the product to be robust, feature-rich, and sophisticated.

Additionally, in terms of companies who are innovating, Microsoft has been a leader in technology since it was founded. It currently has many building blocks of the Marketing Maven in its product stable, including Dynamics 365, Cortana, Azure, and even the HoloLens. It seems likely to us that if any company were to develop something resembling the marketing Maven, it would likely be Microsoft.

Gender and Technology in a Post-Pandemic World

Janet Lin Gender and Technology

Gender and Technology in a Post-Pandemic World

Welcome Back to the Show, Janet Lin!

For our first episode on gender and technology in a post-pandemic world as a part of our new series on women and emerging tech we are honoured to bring back friend of the show, Janet Lin! Tune in now!


With a background in Computer Science from UNB, Janet has spent 20 years of her career leading Digital Transformation, delivering innovative Customer Engagement Technology in the Canadian Retail, Health Care, Banking and Payments industry. She is passionate about helping Canadians live well in Lending and Payments, Loyalty, Digital Commerce, Digital HealthCare, Omni-channel Beauty, Digital Marketing and Media via various technology platforms. 


Janet has launched multiple innovative, industry-breaking initiatives in North America, including recognition for the Global Innovation Award Winning digital product. Janet is named as one of the Top 100 Most Powerful Women in Canada by the Women’s Executive Network. She is undertaking the new challenges to transform Retail and Commercial Lending and Payments Technologies at Equitable bank. At EQ Bank, Janet Lin reports to the CTO Dan Broten, who reports directly to President and CEO, Andrew Moor.


A leader in diversity and inclusion, Janet established Loblaw’s Women in Technology committee from 5 women to 500 women, which promotes a diverse, flexible, and inclusive environment for women across all levels of technology. It has the vision to “Empower Canadian women in technology by promoting thought diversity and providing best-in-class opportunities for networking, career growth, and recruiting.” She also co-led the Loblaw gender diversity committee, Go Further Women. 


At Equitable Bank, Janet joined a Newcomers Employee Resource Group, focusing on helping Newcomers to Canada to live well and define a career path in the Canadian corporate environment.


Gender Diversity and COVID-19

Janet has worked in the tech sector for many years and has seen the ways in which diversity, inclusion, and gender equality have evolved in the industry. Janet tells us that from her perspective, she believes that much of the work towards achieving this equity happened before the pandemic. However, as we have seen, COVID-19 did a great deal to undo much of the progress that we had previously made in achieving equity when it comes to gender and technology. 


“A lot of women had to sacrifice their career development during the pandemic due to family situations and other priorities. Women-owned small businesses also had huge impacts on them due to the pandemic […] it’s so much harder to talk about gender diversity now than it was three years ago.”


Janet tells us she is excited to emerge from the pandemic with other female leaders to highlight these disparities and to celebrate the efforts and achievements of women on the frontlines of combatting them.

Media Partnership WTT WIT

Women in IT Summit

The Women in IT Summit – Canada edition is returning live on October 25th at the Four Seasons Hotel in Toronto! The summit’s agenda is packed with must-attend sessions, keynote speakers, debates and workshops to educate on and discuss how we can put diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility at the core as we continue to develop revolutionary technology. To view the agenda and register, please click here.


To buy tickets or tables, please contact Zanib Malik


If you have any questions about the registration process, please email the team and they’ll be happy to help.


Connect with Janet on LinkedIn


Listen Now!

The Common Sense Approach to Service


Welcome to the show Ben Vollmer!  

Ben Vollmer has over 25 years of experience in consulting, sales, and product management at General Electric, ePartners (acquired by DXC) and most recently, Microsoft. At Microsoft, he was responsible for the development and execution of a commercialization strategy for Dynamics 365 Field Service, advancing global go-to-market efforts, as well as focus on strategic customer engagement. At ePartners, Ben worked to establish new offerings and geographic coverage models globally. ePartners was the first Business Application focused partner with a national footprint focused on Sage and Microsoft with over 1,200 team members and 8,000 customers.

Ben joined IFS with the primary objective to enable customers to maximize the three areas that define moments of service: customers, people, and assets. Regardless of complexity, he takes a customer-centric approach in understanding an organization’s business goals and their processes and helps aligns them with IFS’s capabilities to create exceptional customer experiences. As SVP of Product Management, he owns the IFS’s strategic roadmap for the product, industries and IFS Labs.



Where it all Started

When Ben was 6 years old, his dad gifted him a Franklin Ace 1200 PC and a book on the basics of computers and said “Go learn this, it’ll get you somewhere in life”, and he was right. From there, Ben learned how to program basic though there was not much use for it at that time.


Fast forward to 1994, Windows 95 was just launching and Ben was working for a company that needed to track people registering for their classes. So, he deployed GoldMine to enable them to do this. When he called the reseller (or the VAR if you can think that far back) to ask for some help with setup, the reseller was shocked to see how far Ben had gotten in the deployment process and offered him a job on the spot. From there, he started doing CRM applications full time.


As his career progressed, he moved into the ERP where his main focus was field service and later became employee #6 at Microsoft for CRM.



The Future of Customer Expectations

We say there are only two audiences online today; humans and machines. This is something a lot of companies in this field have struggled with because they are either brilliant technologists who don’t fully understand the buyer journey (humans/customer experience) or they’re building a fantastic front end-user experience but don’t have the software to back it up.

Over the last few years, customer experience expectations have skyrocketed, but our user interfaces are still hard-coded. Take a tool like Outlook for example; Outlook does not have the context of what you are doing. Aside from visual appearance, the tool functions as it did years and years ago. Ben believes the future of customer experience lies in emersion of the machine blending with the conversion of the human.

“Natural language user interface, the ability to have the UI learn… those are areas I think our hard computer science problems haven’t solved yet, and that’s where we’re heading to next!”


Bringing Context to Customer Experiences

Traditionally, there is no context at work, just forms. Think about when you jump into your car and plug in your phone, Apple CarPlay or Android Auto automatically pops up. Maybe it’ll show you a list of frequent destinations you can navigate too, or allow you to resume a song you were listening too. These are applications that understand the user and help to provide a clear path for success. Ben touches on why he thinks the context is further along than we think and why trust is such an integral piece in the future of customer experience.





Fast Five Favourites

At Common Sense Professional, we like to ask our guests a rapid-fire round of five questions to get to know their favourite things in the tech space right now. 

  1. Favourite tech or business tool you are using today? evercontact
  2. Who is a company/person that does marketing fantastically? HubSpot
  3. Favourite recent read? The 5 Dysfunctions of a Team by Patrick Lencioni and anything Bob Herbold
  4. Favourite podcast? Plant Money
  5. Most important business result you measure your success by? The impact I have on other people and the success of others around me. 



Keep Up With Ben on LinkedIn

Listen on Spotify

How to Achieve Prospect Mastery on LinkedIn: It’s Just Common Sense!

achieve prospect mastery

Welcome to the show Candyce Edelen!  

Candyce Edelen is a seasoned entrepreneur with plenty of road rash earned by co-founding two FinTech companies, one of which made the Deloitte Fast 50 list in 2004. In 2007, she launched PropelGrowth and enjoyed 10 years of growth from inbound and referrals. But in 2018, she and her partner decided to pivot to a new target market where they didn’t have an existing network. She didn’t have a big travel or conference budget and hates cold calling, but she had to generate new sales quickly. So, she researched LinkedIn lead generation techniques in order to achieve prospect mastery on LinkedIn. After a bit of trial and error, she landed on a strategy that worked really well. Within 6 months, she made 500 new connections and booked 125 sales calls, using only LinkedIn and Google. It worked so well, she started teaching other sales teams how to use the same methods. This approach allows her clients to develop a consistent and predictable strategy for bringing in qualified sales opportunities.


Getting Past 1st Base

Connecting with prospects on LinkedIn requires a systematic, personalized, human-to-human approach. Getting people to accept your initial connection request is the most important conversion point when trying to achieve prospect mastery on LinkedIn. Candyce has been able to improve her connection rate from 35% to 70% by taking the time to get to know who she is connecting with and finding a nugget of information that she can use to spark a conversation about their interests.

“You gotta slow down in order to speed up. People don’t do business with people who pitch slap them on LinkedIn. People do business with people they know, like, and trust.”

Once you have sent a personalized message to a prospect, the first thing they are going to do is look at your profile. In order to avoid immediate dismissal, it is important that your headline is clear on who you are and what you are offering. Additionally, using your about section to talk about how you solve problems for your customers gives them the opportunity to get to know you before they decide to connect.

Staying organized and keeping track of your numbers is also an important step in prospecting on LinkedIn. Candyce uses excel to create a prospecting scorecard where she has a clear view of what is working and what is not. It is important to take your time, look at the numbers, and do the research.



Why We Shouldn’t Use Automation on LinkedIn

Let’s flash back to 2005: before marketing automation, everyone you sent emails to replied. It wasn’t until marketing automation hopped on the scene and started spamming people that we stopped answering emails.

Fast forward to today, we’re lucky to see a 20% open rate let alone a response. Marketing automation effectively broke email.

“If we spam on LinkedIn and we have more and more bots, we’re going to train people to ignore messenger. Let’s not break LinkedIn like we did email”

Sadly, we’re already experiencing more and more automated requests on LinkedIn. Businesses are so focused on achieving speed and efficiency that they are losing sight of what social was meant for in the first place – to be social, to share human to human connections. It’s that fear that drives Candyce on her mission to educate business professionals on how to properly and effectively use LinkedIn before it’s too late.


Let’s Talk Pitch Slapping

So, what is pitch slapping? Pitch slapping is when someone sends you a direct message or connection request where they pitch you immediately.

“A pitch is a pitch in the eyes of the beholder, not the sender. It’s easy to pitch slap, it’s hard not to pitch slap.”

Candyce runs a 90-day prospecting accelerator for people who really want to achieve prospect mastery on LinkedIn. The program is run in small cohorts of 10-20 people who work on LinkedIn together for 10-12 weeks. The people that attend this program are 100% on board with no bots, no pitch slapping, just genuine 1-1 human connection. However, by week 4 of this program attendees have started to send messages and generally find they are not getting good results. Candyce has found that after reviewing the messages, every single one has been a pitch slap.

Traditionally, the sales approach is to make assumptions about what a prospects pain points might be, to talk about those pain points, and how your company solves them. That approach just simply does not work on LinkedIn or even anywhere else for that matter.

The best way to avoid pitch slapping is to treat LinkedIn like a proper networking event by asking questions and sparking conversations about their interests without assuming their pain points or reason for being there in the first place.





How To Achieve Prospect Mastery 

The three do’s of LinkedIn act as a framework to achieve prospect mastery, and it really just common sense!

  1. Show respect 
  2. Do your homework 
  3. Be human



Fast Five Favourites

At Common Sense Professional, we like to ask our guests a rapid-fire round of five questions to get to know their favourite things in the tech space right now. 

  1. Favourite tech or business tool you are using today? Obviously LinkedIn, but I’d also like to shout out VideoAsk owned by TypeForm.
  2. Who is a company/person that does marketing fantastically? Chris Walker with Refine Labs talking about dark social and the need to get over the idea that everything in marketing is attributable.
  3. Favourite recent read? They Ask, You Answer by Marcus Sheridan and How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie.
  4. Favourite sales strategy: PropelGrowth Prospecting Mastery
  5. Most important business result you measure your success by? Revenue!



Keep Up With Candyce on LinkedIn

Listen on Spotify

The Common Sense Approach to Maximizing Growth and Exit Value for Your Firm


Welcome to the show Jim Barnish!  

Jim Barnish has spent the last two decades growing tech companies as an entrepreneur, operator and consultant. Jim now runs Orchid Black, a growth services firm complete with growth experts just like Jim that share an incredible track record maximizing growth and exit value for founder-led tech companies with at least $3M ARR that are “in the black” (profitable). If you’re wondering how to make your business worth SO MUCH MORE on the path towards acquisition, Jim & the Orchid Black team are a must.

The Necessity of a Re-Brand

In 2020, at the beginning of quarantine, Jim was well underway with his firm and began the process of re-branding his business to Orchid Black. Jim took the time throughout the lockdown to get in touch with his ideal customer profile (ICP). He found that he was gaining momentum in working with founder-led innovator companies, however, the current branding of his business at the time was not matching up with this buyer persona. 

“It was hard at first. We had built this brand that had a great reputation in Tampa and other areas and markets. But it became a necessary evil to work through and do a strategic rebrand that would align us with our ICP. […] After getting some customer feedback and some feedback from the market on how the new brand was resonating compared to the old story brand, it was a no brainer.” 


Finding Your Buyer Persona

Throughout the process of this re-brand, one of the first things Jim did – and the essential first step in understanding your business performance – was hone in on an ideal client and figure out how to speak to them.

Jim’s top three recommendations to get closer to understanding who your ideal buyer persona is:

  1. Talk to your customers – the ones that love you – and figure out why they love you!
  2. Next, figure out not just why they love you, but also why they are willing to pay you so much? Figure out what is happening in that particular customer journey to make it work so well and then double down on it.
  3. Ask for feedback from people who are not customers, as well. Customers know a lot about you and they see a lot of how you work, but there is value in getting a more objective opinion as well.

Scaling with a Growth Mentality

For Jim, finding people for your business who think differently than you and amplifying their strengths and ideas, while painful at times, is how you effectively execute a growth mentality for your company in order to scale.

“When you bring different minds to the table you can build on ideas. It doesn’t mean they are going to have a better idea than you, it means that they will have a different take on your idea and you will have a different take on their ideas and this will lead to evolution. This is what high-performing teams are; actually being a team.”


It’s Just Common Sense!

For Jim, so much of these growth and business sustainability pursuits can be boiled down to common sense. So why do so many people get it wrong?

“Because it’s simple. All the things that are simple in this world are the things that people complicate which makes everyone get it wrong […] It really boils down to common sense at the end of the day.”


Fast Five Favourites

At Common Sense Professional, we like to ask our guests a rapid-fire round of five questions to get to know their favourite things in the tech space right now. 

  1. Favourite tech or business tool you are using today? A CRM tool like HubSpot or Project Management tool like Monday, because they’re built for scale and built for growing companies. 
  2. Who is a company/person that does marketing fantastically? Hubspot 
  3. Favourite recent read? Predictable Revenue by Aaron Ross and Marylou Tyler, and anything by Strategyzer 
  4. Favourite sales strategy: BDR (business development representative) or SDR (sales development representative), as well as leveraging channel partners 
  5. Most important business result you measure your success by? Two things: happy customers and happy employees (these go hand in hand), as well as the value of the data that his business is getting. 


Keep Up With Jim on LinkedIn

Listen on Spotify

3 Common Sense Ways to Unlock Better Business Relationships


How do we unlock better business relationships in a digital world?  

This week’s guest JC Quintana is an internationally recognized business relationship psychology researcher, speaker, and author, who is on a mission to help companies unlock better business relationships through strategy and technology. He lectures as an adjunct professor of Customer Experience (CX) and Design Thinking at 14 major U.S. universities with a focus on the importance of aligning customer advocacy, employee engagement, and operational business success. His illustrious career includes senior executive roles over a client, employee, and alliance partnership initiatives at DXC, HP, Sage, DHL and ADP. JC is the best-selling author of two books on customer relationship management (CRM) and business relationship psychology. He lives in Kennesaw, GA.

Relationship Building in a Remote World 

While we know that many things have changed in the 24 months, JC tells us that the psychology of relationship-building has not. The bottom line is that, amid the madness of the world we live in, we have not stopped being humans. Empathy, equity, and value continue to drive forward our relationships. Every time we are assessing our relationships – pandemic or no pandemic, remote or not remote – we calculate the value using the equation: Rewards – Cost = Outcome.

What has changed is the delivery methods for these relationships. Methods and social norms that we have grown so used to have changed in recent years. These are factors we then bring back to the cost-benefit analyses we all run when assessing our relationships. 


“Over the years we’ve told companies ‘it costs too much money to make a phone call’, so as much as you can, divert any incoming calls to chat or to email. As people got locked in place and needed a more human connection, that model fell apart, because we were then renegotiating relationships in the midst of changing needs, characteristics, circumstances, and capacity.”

The Common Sense Approach to Unlock Better Business Relationships 

Working in the tech space, we often see people eager and excited about the next new thing. A hot-button tool that will save them time and money. A shortcut or a gold ticket solution. The reality is that, at its core, relationship building has never changed, but when we start taking these short-cut solutions and applying them to our relationships, that is when it comes back to harm our business. 


To unlock better business relationships, we need to bring them back to the basics and treat them as what they are: relationships. Amid drastic change and increased expectations that are largely driven by new and emerging technology, it is important to remember the human and relational side of the business. JC tells us that relationships are the same in an interpersonal sense as in a business context. We can’t separate it, because we are human. Just as our health and wellness need to pick the right relationships to pursue, it is important to the health of your business to nurture the right business relationships. 


Back to the Basics of CRM 

JC has written two books about CRM: Speaking Frankly About Customer Relationship Management and Serious Relationships: The 7 Elements of Successful Business Relationships. JC tells us that we in the business world have completely changed what CRM means: we have made it about the technology, about the platform. 


“We cannot be all things, to all people, all the time. And we think that’s what technology is for. To make it so we can be all things, to all people, all the time. And this is not true.”

We need to go back to the basics of creating a psychologically safe relationship for your customers and your employees to trust you. According to JC, the world needs more of 3 things right now: 

  1. Real focus on the right customers 
  2. A genuine focus on relationship equity with those customers 
  3. The ability to manage the right activities to lead to a quality relationship with them 


Fast Five Favourites 

At Common Sense Professional, we like to ask our guests a rapid-fire round of five questions to get to know their favourite things in the tech space right now. 

  1. Favourite tech or business tool you are using today? Business Model Canvas 
  2. Who is a company/person that does marketing fantastically? Brene Brown 
  3. Favourite recent read? Would You Do That to Your Mother? The “Make Mom Proud” Standard for How to Treat Your Customers By Jeanna Bliss 
  4. Favourite sales strategy: Solutions Selling. 
  5. What Most important business results do you measure your success by? Relationship quality. 


Keep Up With JC on LinkedIn

Listen now on Spotify

How to Get Management on Board with Marketing

Turning reluctance into results

As marketers, a story we are frequently told by business leaders is that they know something about marketing. Oftentimes business professionals are thrown into marketing roles for short periods of time to work on lead generating initiatives or website management without being marketers by trade.

An alternative story we so often hear in the business world, is that of a company hiring outside marketing products or services and seeing very little return on their investments. We see large sums of money being spent on advertising, website development, and short-term email initiatives, only for results to erode over time.

Regardless of the story, the result is the same: management is frustrated by marketing and they do not know who to trust.

So, how do we build that trust? How do we get management on board with marketing? At the BBC Event hosted by the Channel Marketing Academy, Marie Wiese moderated a discussion with Jennifer Harris, Amy Spencer, and Liz Anderson which set out to answer these questions.

(Read More…)

Women Talk Tech Episode 62: Closing the Access Gap – Helping Female Founders Scale

Cover Images 1

Helping Female Founders Scale

Welcome to the show, Jennifer Jordan.

On this week’s episode of Women Talk Tech, we are joined by Jennifer Jordan. Jennifer is the Managing Director for the Female Founders First program with Barclays  and Techstar, a program designed to allow trail-blazing female-led companies with resources to grow, scale, and advance their businesses.

(Read More…)

Marketing CoPilot