Tapping overlooked marketing data to drive business growth

Credit: CC0 Public Domain

Researchers from University of Houston, Columbia University, Emory University, and University of Connecticut published a new paper in the Journal of Marketing that reviews factors that contribute to the disconnect between the data companies create and the productive use of that data.

The study, forthcoming in the the Journal of Marketing, is titled “Capturing Marketing Information to Fuel Growth” and is authored by Rex Du, Oded Netzer, David Schweidel, and Debanjan Mitra.

Digital home assistants and wearables have become more popular than ever, collecting detailed information from consumers. In addition to the data explosion, the public offerings of Palantir and Snowflake highlight the rise of companies focused on big data analytics. Yet, despite enterprise leaders’ and researchers’ optimism in the potential that data holds, there is still a disconnect between the volume of data created and the ability of organizations to harness that potential to drive growth. A new article in the Journal of Marketing reviews factors that contribute to this disconnect, drawing attention to organizations’ tendency to focus on data that is easier to access and measure and highlighting overlooked data sources that offer considerable opportunity to support growth.

To examine how marketing data can be leveraged to drive organizational growth, the researchers look at the different ways value can be created for the organization. Drawing on the customer equity framework, they review how marketing data may support growth in customer acquisition, customer relationship development, and customer retention.

With regards to customer acquisition, the study probes the potential for organizations to make use of biometric data to support acquisition efforts, such as identifying the ideal time and means of engaging prospects. It also identifies opportunities to use social network data to make acquisition efforts more efficient and effective by leveraging existing social ties that may facilitate the spread of marketing messages. In developing customer relationships, the researchers discuss what can be gained from identifying and predicting trends so that organizations can stay ahead of the curve. They also highlight how customer-level competitive intelligence can be gathered and used to grow existing customer relationships. To support customer retention, they illustrate the potential to take advantage of unstructured data such as call center logs and videos of service interactions to support firm representatives by providing them with real-time feedback. They also discuss the value that can be derived from data that supports causal inference and how this may be used to support proactive churn mitigation efforts.

Du elaborates that “While we see tremendous potential in tying marketing data to firm growth, we cannot ignore the challenges to implementing a data-driven growth strategy. Specifically, how does an enterprise move from obtaining control over data and deriving relevant insights to implementing a data strategy? For marketing data to drive organizational growth, marketers must consider data as a component of a strategy problem. That is, how can emerging sources of data be brought into alignment with an organization’s growth strategy? To do so, we call for not only quantifying

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Tony Robbins puts money behind Cape Canaveral space balloon business

Self-hep guru Tony Robbins is reportedly putting some of his money behind a Cape Canaveral start-up that wants to send people to space onboard balloons.

The company, Space Perspective, announced Wednesday in a press release that it has secured $7 million “for the development and early flights of Spaceship Neptune to the edge of space.”

A high-performance space balloon with a pressurized capsule.  (Space Perspective)

“The infusion of capital advances the human space flight company another step closer to fundamentally changing the way people have access to space for research and tourism,” the statement read.

Space Perspective said it chose investors who are the “cutting edge of venture capital.” Among its investors is Robbins.


“My life is dedicated to delivering people extraordinary experiences that expand human consciousness,” Robbins said in a press release. “I always say a belief is a poor substitute for an experience and Jane and Taber’s work at Space Perspective will deliver a life-changing experience to people across the world and help us all realize that we are part of a human family sharing this remarkable planet.”

According to the company, the “space balloon” uses a pressurized capsule technology that “gently travels to and from the edge of space over a six-hour period.”


The company says it will offer “opportunities for groundbreaking research and life-changing travel experiences for off-world travels.”

It’s first flight, Neptune 1, is scheduled around the end of the first quarter 2021 from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center Shuttle Landing Facility.


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Howard University School of Business Announces $250,000 Gift from Ryder System, Inc.

The MarketWatch News Department was not involved in the creation of this content.

Howard University School of Business is the proud recipient of a generous multiyear gift of $250,000 from Ryder System, Inc. The gift will support the Center for Excellence in Supply Chain Management (CESCM), as well as scholarships for supply chain majors, paid internships at Ryder, and the development of data analytics curriculum and programming in the supply chain program. The gift is in recognition of Ryder’s partnership with the School of Business over the last 17 years. Howard is ranked 13th among all undergraduate and graduate university supply chain programs in the nation by Gartner, the leading research and advisory company.

This press release features multimedia. View the full release here: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20201202005828/en/

“We are very grateful to Ryder for making this investment in the Center for Excellence in Supply Chain Management and in our students,” said Anthony Wilbon, Ph.D., dean of the Howard University School of Business. “For the past 17 years, Ryder has partnered with us to support the growth of the Center for Excellence in Supply Chain Management by developing our curriculum, participating in the classroom and serving as a strong adviser, helping us become one of the top supply chain centers in the country. We look forward to our continued partnership.”

The Center for Excellence in Supply Chain Management supports both the undergraduate and graduate programs at the School of Business by providing students with exposure to the supply chains of Fortune 500 corporations and government entities. The CESCM advisory board and corporate partners play a critical role in supporting supply chain management students by offering internships, classroom lectures, corporate site visits, supply chain conferences and scholarships, and providing input on curriculum to help prepare students for high-performance careers in supply chain management.

Ryder System, Inc. (NYSE: R) is a leading logistics and transportation company. As a member of the CESCM advisory board for 10 years and a partner with the School of Business since 2003, Ryder has contributed to the success of Howard’s supply chain management students and the supply chain program by providing funding, time and talent. Through internships and working with Ryder executives on real world corporate challenges, students gain experience that helps prepare them for successful careers in the industry.

“Our partnership with Howard is one of our longest with any university,” said Ryder Chairman and CEO Robert Sanchez. “We’re excited about taking it to a new level. There are a lot of exciting things happening in the industry, like e-commerce, electrification and green energy, that will change the way supply chains operate over the next 10 to 20 years. Getting the next generation ready to excel in that environment is what we’re about and what Howard is about.”

Ryder wanted to celebrate the long-standing partnership by supporting Howard’s work to train the next generation of supply chain leaders and increase diversity in the industry. The coronavirus pandemic made this effort more critical. The company recognized

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Clarkson University Students Launch Flourishing Care Package Business

Potsdam, NY, Dec. 02, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — One of the most traditional methods for family members to maintain a connection with their college student while they’re away at college is to send a care package. Here at Clarkson, a pair of brothers has taken the concept of a care package and turned it into a flourishing business that makes the process easier for family members and ensures that students receive their goodies in a timely fashion. 

Dylan Practico ’21, an innovation and entrepreneurship major, and Brandon Practico ’24, a business studies major, continue to expand the business Dylan founded as a first-year Golden Knight. We spoke with them about College Care and all that goes into providing a convenient care package service for Clarkson students.

How did this business come to be and when was it started?

Dylan: When I was a freshman in Professor Marc Compeau’s class, we were tasked with creating our own business and making it a reality. I was in a group with three other people, and we began the early stages of developing the business. 

The following year, I took another course taught by Professors Erin and Matt Draper. One of my group members joined me in this course, and throughout it, we focused on figuring out our target market and how to reach them. We were able to sell a few care packages, but not as many as desired. After this course, I bought in the other group member. 

My goal after these classes was to make this business my full-time job while at school. To do this, I had to expand my customer base and find an easy way to reach them. I discovered the Clarkson University Parent and Family Association Facebook page, and this is what fueled the large influx of customers. I began asking customers to leave a review on the Facebook page so other parents and family members could see our product, and that is when it started taking off. 

Now in our third year, we have customers recommending us independently when they hear of families who want to do something to lift their students’ spirits. 

What is your business all about? How does it work? 

Dylan: Our business is centered around helping students and their families bridge the gap between home and school. We provide family members with a wide variety of personalized care packages that can be delivered directly to the student’s residence hall. 

We deliver packages for any occasion, such as birthdays, sick days, thinking-of-you, and holidays like Easter and Halloween. Customers are able to contact us through email, and we provide them with options for purchase. They then send us the information and payment all online, and we deliver the care package on the desired date. 

How has your business evolved over time, including your role in it? 

Dylan: In the first year of business, our sales were $250. Last semester alone, the sales reached $4,000. We have grown exponentially each semester, and our total

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John Whiteman, business leader and education advocate, dies

a man wearing a red shirt: John Whiteman led Empire Southwest and advocated for children's issues.

© Ivan Martinez
John Whiteman led Empire Southwest and advocated for children’s issues.

John Whiteman helped build heavy-equipment seller Empire Southwest into one of the largest private companies in Arizona, employing roughly 1,900 people statewide. But friends and colleagues say they mainly remember him as a force for philanthropy, especially that focused on making life better for young children.

Whiteman, who died May 30 at age 79, was a force for early childhood education, improved health care for minors and protections against human trafficking.

“He had a genuine desire to help other people,” said son Jeffrey Whiteman, who succeeded his father as CEO of Empire Southwest, the Caterpillar equipment dealer for Arizona and southeast California. “That’s what he was all about — helping people and making things better.”

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Focus on children

Whiteman’s passions led him to advocate for political change, especially in support of full-day kindergarten in Arizona.

“He was the tip of the spear for the business community in advocating for new funding sources for the schools,” said Rodney Glassman, a recent candidate for Arizona Corporation Commission who served Whiteman as an attorney and later became friends and neighbors with him in Phoenix.

Phil Francis, the retired chairman and CEO of PetSmart, recalled Whiteman as a man not only who championed education in spirit but put his money and energy into it. For example, he noted that Whiteman founded and funded a charter school, Educare, located in a lower-income, bilingual neighborhood of Phoenix.

Despite political differences. “We agreed that education is a way to leave Arizona a better place than we found it,” Francis said.

Whiteman also was instrumental in establishing the Arizona Museum for Youth, now the i.d.e.a. Museum, in Mesa.

“He was one of the first people talking about early childhood brain development,” recalled Mesa’s mayor, John Giles. “He would fly in national experts to explain how critical and neglected that issue was.”

Whiteman had children of his own — five kids, 16 grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. He most recently lived in Phoenix with his wife, Betty.

Whiteman set up family charitable foundations to ensure that his children and grandkids continued a legacy of giving, Glassman noted.

Mesa Man of Year

In addition, Whiteman sponsored early-childhood learning classes and other programs in Mesa schools, and even provided rental homes where Mesa police could conduct sting operations to combat sex trafficking, Giles said.

“Mesa would be a very different place without John Whiteman,” the mayor said. In addition to the economic impact of Empire Southwest’s growth, Whiteman bolstered philanthropy in the area. 

Whiteman was named Mesa’s man of the year a couple of years ago, which Giles called ironic because he wasn’t a city resident.

“But his impact was very much as a Mesa person,” Giles said. In addition to Whiteman’s charitable efforts, “His company was selling mining equipment all over the world, doing it from a Mesa address, and that contributed

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Count Your Business Blessings, There’s Actually A Lot To Be Grateful For This Thanksgiving

CEO and founder of Grokker, the on-demand well-being engagement solution, personalized to match employees’ needs and abilities.

2020 has been one of the most stressful years in modern history, but instead of cataloging its challenges — and there have been many — let’s take a few moments to bask in the silver lining and the albeit mixed blessings the year has produced, specifically for employees and their employers.

This Too Shall Pass — And Strengthen Us.

Everything we’ve experienced this past year has given us the gift of resilience, a gift that’s as valuable to a business as it is to its employees. Research examined by Harvard Business Review shows that those who are the most intimately exposed to suffering benefit from higher resilience levels, and — specifically for the workforce — the more changes one absorbs, such as layoffs or furloughs, sheltering in place and change in work hours, the more resilient one becomes. 

Resilience en masse, especially when it’s guided by strong leadership and an organizational growth mindset, is what gives a workforce culture a beautiful combination of humility, grit and consciousness that it couldn’t really achieve any other way. Since the outbreak of the pandemic, things have gotten better for employees across several key indicators of organizational (not to mention employee) health.

Personal Connections, Prioritized 

When employees had to unexpectedly begin social distancing and many pivoted to working in relative isolation at home, companies quickly recognized the importance — and need — for connection. It’s required for effective virtual collaboration, of course, but social belonging and camaraderie are central to maintaining cultural ties. As a result, companies are exploring new ways to meaningfully connect colleagues using both technology (e.g., video meetings and instant messaging apps) and workday practices (e.g., kicking off meetings with social banter and virtual happy hours).

These connectivity tactics will become entrenched in the “new normal” and won’t simply fall out of favor — because, thankfully, they really work. A Boston Consulting Group (BCG) study analyzing employee sentiment on workplace changes brought on by Covid-19 found that U.S. employees who reported satisfaction with social connectivity with their colleagues were approximately 3.2 times more likely to say they were as productive or more productive than they were pre-Covid-19. 

Engagement And Productivity For The Win 

Since 2000, Gallup has been tracking the relatively steady metric of employee engagement. They reported that in 2020 — surely to no one’s surprise — engagement levels fluctuated more than ever before. “After a wild summer,” they said, “…engagement has reverted back to pre-Covid-19 levels,” noting that the pandemic-related disruptions to the workplace had a short-lived negative impact on organizations who have shown a commitment to finding and implementing solutions and interventions that enable employees to engage — and work effectively.

BCG also had this to say about new ways of working: “Understanding the drivers of productivity in this new environment and designing appropriate, sustainable working models are crucial to the success of work.” In fact, employees in their

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Ulster University Business School supports regional upskilling and reskilling with funded online courses

Funded by the Department for the Economy, the online business related courses will upskill and retrain individuals impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Ulster University Business School is deeply committed to supporting regional recovery from the current pandemic, ensuring that individuals can transform their careers through having the right skills and capabilities.

There are 200 places available on three courses, which are strategically aligned with emerging skill requirements, bridging skills gaps and building future talent pipelines. The courses provide practical and timely opportunities for those whose job role and / or business has been affected by the pandemic.

Professor Gillian Armstrong, Director of Business Engagement, Ulster University Business School commented:

“We are delighted to offer these new online courses to help support individuals and businesses during this difficult time and have made a concerted effort across Departments to respond quickly. The courses provide a unique opportunity for individuals to utilise the unsettled period to gain commercially relevant knowledge, skills and behaviours, whilst gaining confidence and an opportunity to experience new ways of learning collaboratively within education currently”.

Niamh McBride, Business Development Manager at Tobermore is currently completing a Postgraduate Certificate in Business Analysis and Consulting. She said:

“As my career in the events industry was halted, the funded DfE programmes with Ulster University Business School couldn’t have come at a better time. The programme has developed my project management and business knowledge and transferred them into an analysis and consultancy framework; helping me explore the how and why of business success and business growth.  More recently, I was able to use these skills to move into my current new role in Business Development and the flexible delivery mode means I can still complete the programme. If anything, Covid-19 is giving us all an opportunity to retrain, learn and develop new knowledge and skills, a silver lining to 2020 in my case!”

Business courses available for January 2021 include:

  • Postgraduate Certificate in Professional Development (Understanding International Business)
  • Postgraduate Certificate in Professional Development (Enabling Business Recovery)
  • Advanced Certificate in Management Practice (Transformational Management in a Digital World)

The Advanced Certificate in Management Practice (Transformational Management in a Digital World) was designed in collaboration with Digital DNA and Belfast Metropolitan College to meet the evolving needs of NI companies. The Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated both the speed and scale of technological adoption with tech led solutions on the rise across many sectors. This unique course arms students with the skills and attributes needed to grow and succeed.

Simon Bailie, CEO at Digital DNA said,

“Digital technology is at the forefront of every aspect of our professional and personal lives and the global pandemic has accelerated the digital workplace. To create value in the new dynamic world of work, it is critical managers are digitally prepared to lead change and growth in fast-paced digital environments. Leveraging emerging technologies will help current and future leaders adapt to the challenges and opportunities facing all businesses, and the UUBS programme will provide the workforce with the tools and

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Business education as a pillar for UAE-Israel relations

a group of people looking at a phone: Business education as a pillar for UAE-Israel relations

© Provided by Khaleej Times
Business education as a pillar for UAE-Israel relations

The signing of the Abraham Accords this past September was a watershed in regional relations, marking a new beginning for the people of the United Arab Emirates and Israel. The agreement has opened up new opportunities for friendships, partnerships, and mutual exploration. Indeed, the accord itself lists no less than fifteen “spheres of mutual interest”, including finance, energy, and education. As dean of Tel Aviv University’s Coller School of Management, Israel’s leading business school, the sphere of education is of particular interest to me. Education, in general, is widely recognised for its ability to build bridges between peoples and cultures, and this is particularly true about business education.

Our economies share numerous things in common – a strong, skilled workforce, creative energy, an openness to ideas, excellent educational institutions and vibrant technological entrepreneurship, innovation and new venture creation. It is no wonder that Israel, a land-poor in natural resources but rich in human ones, has become a world leader in technological entrepreneurship. For the UAE, entrepreneurship is more recent, stemming from a strategic decision to diversify the economy beyond its traditional export sector of oil. Hence, if our past has kept our economies apart, the future unites them.

This future, however, depends on top-notch managerial education and experience. Israel appreciates this lesson all too well. Known as the “start-up nation”, Israel is a global leader for the number of startups per capita – with 2,000 startups founded in the past decade and another 3,000 small and medium-sized high-tech companies. Indeed, Israeli innovations include a long list of everyday products and services, such as the disk-on-key technology, ZIP compression, WAZE, and many more. Yet for all the hype over every startup that succeeds in breaking into the marketplace, roughly 95 per cent of startups fail. And the reasons, though always varied, usually come down to poor management. This is why business schools have such an important role in instilling rigorous managerial understanding and best practices in our students. Given our mutual interest in entrepreneurship, innovation and new venture creation, this is where I believe Israeli and Emirati institutions of higher learning should strive to act together.

When it comes to our own educational systems, we are already on firm ground. For Israel, higher education has always been one of the major pillars of society, with the first academic institutions founded already before Israel’s independence in 1948. The Coller School of Management, Israel’s first and largest business school, is home to some 3,500 students across various areas of specialisation, including management of technology and information, strategy and entrepreneurship, and business data analytics.

Mutual cooperation can take many forms, including joint research projects, joint academic seminars and conferences, joint executive education programmes and more. Faculty and student exchange programmes would be a natural start. A specialised type of student exchange can take place around the creation of a joint incubator that will straddle

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Dubai SME accredits the first free zone business incubator in Amity University

  • Sami Al Qamzi: The incubator will provide an ideal platform that promotes entrepreneurship and innovation
  • Abdul Baset Al Janahi: Universities are an incubating and supportive environment for ideas of the youth and to foster a culture of entrepreneurship
  • ‘Ideas to Action’ is a business incubator that helps produce a generation of creative and innovative business owners

Dubai: Dubai SME, the agency of Dubai Economy mandated to develop the small and medium enterprise (SME) sector, announced the launch of the first certified free zone business incubator in Amity University Dubai. The new facility, launched under the the University Incubators programme of Dubai SME aimed to encourage innovation and entrepreneurship, will further contribute towards transforming national and private universities into free economic and creative zones as stated in the sixth article of the Fifty-Year Charter of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.

The ‘Ideas To Action’ at the Amity University draws on the long experience of Dubai SME in entrepreneurship development and its status as the authority for accrediting business incubators and accelerators in Dubai. The accreditation programme is intended to regulate business incubators and accelerators invested in fourth generation technologies in the emirate and make sure that they provide the best tools for young entrepreneurs to implement their creative projects.

His Excellency Sami Al Qamzi, Director General of Dubai Economy, said: “Business incubators accredited by Dubai SME reflect its strategy, specifically in developing the business environment in Dubai. Dubai SME seeks to provide an ideal platform that promotes entrepreneurship and embraces innovators and entrepreneurs with creative ideas, enabling them to transform their ideas into distinct projects that serve the sustainable development process. The accredited business incubators and accelerators enable to reach out to the largest segment of young entrepreneurs across various sectors and support the efforts to build a knowledge economy based on creativity and innovation, thus strengthening Dubai as a competitive economy, locally and regionally.”

The university-level incubators represent a qualitative initiative to develop the infrastructure in educational institutions to engage young talents and encourage them to think innovatively as well as enter the world of entrepreneurship at an early age. It provides them with early start-up support and directs them towards the most promising economic sectors in the UAE.

Abdul Baset Al Janahi, CEO of Dubai SME, commented: “We are pleased to witness the launch of the ‘Ideas To Action’ business incubator and welcome it as the first certified free zone business incubator in the Dubai Business Incubator Network (DBIN). Such incubators help create a promising generation of entrepreneurs and those interested in the SME sector. Dubai SME, in coordination with universities, will provide integrated mechanisms to empower the youth, help them develop their ideas and entrepreneurial talent, and support them to explore business opportunities, thus paving the way for varied and innovative start-up companies, which will undoubtedly add value to the GDP of Dubai and the UAE in general.”

Al Janahi added:

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McGill University’s redesigned MBA program equips students to lead in shifting business climate

“As the COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated, what works today will not always work tomorrow,” said Professor John-Paul Ferguson, Academic Director of the MBA program. “At the Desautels Faculty of Management, we are in close communication with industry leaders who are searching for candidates to help them build more resilient, future-ready companies. Our newly designed MBA program gives students the right blend of skills and experience to answer the call.”

Traditionally, most MBA students relied on their degree to reach the next level within their company or industry. Today, an increasing number of students enroll in the MBA program to change industry, relaunch their career in another country, or prepare to start their own business. “Our redesigned MBA responds to changing student needs as well as to market demand,” said Ferguson. “The average MBA student has changed significantly in the past 15 to 20 years.” The Faculty’s one- or two-year program options, which differ in length depending on whether students do an internship, are designed to meet more diverse student needs.

The Desautels MBA program helps students gain a competitive edge through offering flexible, personalized specializations in fields such as financial technology and data analytics. As Montreal emerges as a global hotspot for AI and machine learning, the Faculty capitalizes on its strong industry ties to give MBA students unparalleled access to learning opportunities in the field.

The redesigned MBA program also acknowledges the growing number of students who want to use their degree to make a social impact. “Our students aren’t just thinking about how to climb the corporate ladder,” said Ferguson. “They want to leverage their skills to make a real change in their communities.” The redesigned MBA program incorporates sustainability themes into its core classes, ensuring that every MBA student grapples with themes of environmental, social, and economic sustainability by the time they graduate. “To lead in this uncertain economic climate, our students need to be equipped to develop business practices that are viable and beneficial in the long term,” said Ferguson.

As the world experiences a second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, MBA students at the Desautels Faculty of Management prepare to join and create companies with a mounting set of challenges. “Our job is to form leaders with the agility to navigate an uncertain future,” said Ferguson. “The redesigned MBA program is a major step in the right direction.”  

About McGill University’s Desautels Faculty of Management:

Founded in Montreal in 1821, McGill is a leading Canadian post-secondary institution with 300 programs of study and over 40,000 students from over 150 countries around the world. Since 1906, McGill’s Desautels Faculty of Management has continued to be one of the top management schools in the world, offering programs at the undergraduate, masters, doctorate, and executive levels. The Faculty emphasizes the integration of teaching, research and practice, and applies a multi-disciplinary, holistic approach to identifying opportunities and solving problems. Find out more.


Major changes to the redesigned MBA will include:

  • Program length options of one or
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