In the digital world of infinite choices – unlimited products to choose from, media to consume, forums to contribute to – consumers have become their own filter. To reach us, brands and media companies now must convince us to want to be reached by them. And that means being relevant.

Here are a few articles I found relevant for CMOs recently – I’d love to discuss with you in the comments.

Choose For Me: Using Big Data To Deliver A Better Consumer Experience
by Ben Jones for

Consumers have become the most important delivery channel – “Channel Me.” They’re increasingly in control of what they see, when, and how they see it. To reach them, brands must craft a relevant, personalized experience that predicts and delivers exactly what they want. Social data is the key to this puzzle – use the data consumers willingly give you. It’s not about listening, it’s about personalizing and constantly improving their experience with your brand.

Death to retail: The rise of the online-only brand
by Allen Gannett for The Next Web

The death knell has been sounded for retail the way we used to know it: omnichannel integration is all the rage right now. This article takes the idea one step further and discusses the inherent advantages of pure online-only businesses – instantly national, no local inventory, ability to sell in a completely different way (like Dollar Shave Club). If “get it to me now” were solved, this would be game over.

Let’s Stop Overlooking Systems Innovations
by Suzi Sosa for Forbes

“Product-based innovations are easy to love.” They’re tangible and understandable – naturally, they get attention. But systems innovations – innovative uses of existing technology to accomplish new goals – aren’t so sexy. They’re less patentable, more difficult to comprehend and develop, and thus get ignored by investors and markets alike. Great post from Suzi Sosa on amazing innovations some incredible social entrepreneurs are bringing to market. You’ll see why “unsexy” doesn’t matter.

Twitter follows Facebook down the walled garden path
by Ben Popper for The Verge

Twitter is slamming doors to its open API. It wants to become a media company, delivering content unavailable elsewhere via its own mobile app and website – just like Facebook – which, leadership believes, will make selling advertising to big brands simpler. Twitter’s recent move to end its partnership with LinkedIn set off discussions about whether this is the network’s best approach – and attracted lots of naysayers, especially within the community of developers who build on the Twitter’s API. Time will tell whether selectively closing the API helps or harms the network.

How Serial Innovators Find The Best Problems To Solve
By Abbie Griffin, Raymond L. Price, and Bruce Vojak for FastCompany

“It takes as much time to solve a bad problem as it does a good problem. And if you’re not working on good problems, you’re really wasting your time.” Love this. The best solutions tackle real consumer pain points that they’re willing to pay to solve. Serial innovators have an uncanny ability to locate good problems, see them through a different lens, and find solutions that fit with a company’s strategy.

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