How to Nail Cross Channel Integration (Without Being a Hammer)

Posted by Katie Del Angel on Fri, Apr 30, 2010
Stop approaching your customer interactions like a hammer to a nail. That's what yesterday morning's MITX panel discussion, Integrating Cross Channel Customer Experiences, was all about - seeing the broader goal as opposed to many singular goals (social media, mobile, web, etc.) Cesar Breamoderated the conversation today, and truly gave the audience some thoughtful insights.

Colin Hynes of Staples kicked off the discussion with perhaps one of the most notable shining stars of cross-channel integration of experiences: Target. As Colin delineated the story of his shopping experiences with Target, it was easy for all to understand why integrating across channels is so critical; by creating a practical, positive experience for customers, Target builds loyalty (even from a competitor!). Colin emphasized that Target is constantly pushing mobile, and linking that back to the customer experiences in the stores - because it makes the overall process so much easier to shoppers.

(See Colin explain more of why this is important in his live interview snippet.)

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Branding YOU - How to Manage Your Brand to Land Jobs

Posted by Katie Del Angel on Fri, Apr 23, 2010

Figuring out how to brand and sell yourself to future employers can seem like a daunting task in this competitive economy. Luckily, Chris Colbert's Personal Branding session at the MITX Career Combine last Tuesday provided some clear-cut, actionable advice for job-seekers to find their selling points and maintaining their personal brand.

Why is personal branding so critical now? Chris introduces the concept  here, and then elaborates on the tough truths of what it takes to get a job in this economy.
(Click the subtitles of each section to see presentation clips.)

Find & define your One Simple Thing (OST).
Interviewers often simplify the information overload from job applicants (from cover letters to resumes to personal interviews) down to one or two definitive words to recall people. Assuming you don't want someone to assign you the label of The Guy with the Bad Hair or something equally negative/boring, figure out what you want to be known by - such as your stellar ability to persevere through tough circumstances - and make that OST really stand out to become your defining characteristic.

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Innovation is Clear on Earth Day 2010

Posted by Gena Folts on Thu, Apr 22, 2010

Does anyone else notice some tension on Earth Day?  Companies are improving their products and educating consumers as part of their Earth Day celebration, but as the New York Times put it; "to many pioneers of the environmental movement, eco-consumerism, creeping for decades, is intensely frustrating and detracts from Earth Day's original purpose. "This ridiculous perverted marketing has cheapened the concept of what is really green," said Denis Hayes, who was national coordinator of the first Earth Day, "It is tragic." (Complete article available here).

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Introducing the Social Innovators of 2010 – and how you can help

Posted by Kiki Mills on Wed, Apr 21, 2010

In partnership with MITX, the Social Innovation Forum will be holding its annual Showcase on May 4 from 5:30-9:00pm at Microsoft New England Research and Development Center. Through a rigorous six-month evaluation process, six Social Innovators were selected to present at the Showcase.

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Foos Finale - Tech Hub Foosball Tournament Tomorrow

Posted by Gena Folts on Tue, Apr 20, 2010

Get in on the 114th Boston Marathon action yesterday? Here's your chance at a second helping of excitement, spectacle and pure athleticism - The Tech Hub Foosball Tournament! I expect there will be a similar turnout of spectators, so make sure you mark your calendar, limber up those wrists and get ready to foos your way to the finish line!

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Mobile Strategy from the Leaders in the New Mobile World

Posted by Gena Folts on Tue, Apr 13, 2010

It can be difficult not to lose yourself in the new world of mobile advertising. The innovation, creativity, and potential surrounding mobile is exciting, but can overshadow the reality of using mobile to reach consumers and the best strategies for getting involved can be elusive for those not deeply entrenched in this new channel. 

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Use Your Tech & Marketing Skills to Do Good Deeds

Posted by Kiki Mills on Thu, Apr 8, 2010

Want to use your skills for doing good? Is your company looking to help out in the community? Then you need to check out:

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Lessons Learned: Women's Careers in Retrospect

Posted by Katie Del Angel on Thu, Apr 1, 2010
At once inspiring and entertaining, last night's Lessons Learned: Women's Career Decisions in Review panel provided our female MITX members with some food for thought. This event concluded Women's History Month with a bang - some of the top women tech professionals took a moment to share with MITX, Girls in Tech, and Microsoft participants just how they got to where they are today.

Career Path Patterns -  Zig-zags & Concentric Circles
MITX President Kiki Mills kicked off the event with a humbling question that set the easy-going, known-each-other-for-years tone for the event: When you graduated high school, what did you think you'd go on to be? Though the answers were diverse, the overall theme was clear - no one expected to be where they are now, as esteemed professionals in the technology industry. It seemed that our four panelists shared the common perception early on that their career path "should" be clear and straight, like their brothers and fathers who knew from the get-go that being a doctor or a lawyer was their calling. But in retrospect, it became evident that that straight-line career path wasn't the only way to success.

As Nataly Kogan, Senior Program Manager at Microsoft, put it, "Zig-zagging is cool - as long as you can tell a story about it".

This candid bit of advice truly resonated with some younger professionals in the crowd*. Kathleen Kennedy, Chief Strategy Officer at Technology Review, agreed that changing course is okay, and not necessarily a waste of time. Diane Hessan, CEO of Communispace, explained that being passionate is also a huge part of becoming successful. It may not be the Peace Corps, but if you love your job, you'll be making a difference. Gail Goodman, CEO at Constant Contact, emphasized her biggest lesson learned from her journey to the top: Absorb & Observe; Be curious - sometimes the best lessons are learned on the fly.

Challenges in Retrospect
Kathleen shared her experience from a time she felt she wasn't going to be able to grow further with a former company; she explained that noting that nagging feeling that the job isn't right for you anymore is the key thing. Leaving that company ultimately allowed her to grow personally and professionally.

Diane's comparison of the workplace to a field hockey team illustrated her point that culture matters. Being surrounded by people with the same values as you can do wonders not only for morale, but overall in performance. She also threw a few inspirational words out there for women uncertain of making that big career change, advising them to go for it: "People will see you differently".

Gail's recount of an old coworker comparing her personality to a "garlic milkshake" really woke her up to the fact that negative feedback can be "hard to hear, but it's a gift. Then you have to decide how much you're willing to bend". Listening is a great catalyst for growing and improving.

The newest working mom on the panel, Nataly, offered some insight on being able to succeed with a young daughter. The good? ALL working mothers feel like you - stressed, worried, a bit overwhelmed - with the struggle of work/personal balance. The bad? It will never get better. But realizing the best medium you can will allow you to allow yourself to succeed.

Pearls of Wisdom
Kiki asked the ladies what the best piece of advice they'd received was, and they shared with me after the event. Check out their answers on our YouTube channel here: http://www.youtube.com/mitxvideos

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