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Recently, I came across a LinkedIn post that railed against crowdsourcing and its negative impact on freelance design, in particular. The author’s point was simple enough: Crowdsourcing sites (like DesignCrowd, Crowdspring, 99designs, and countless others) run contests in which graphic designers compete by submitting what they believe is the best design solution to a challenge brought by a client. The winner gets paid; the losers usually get nothing. This exploits those who participate and are not chosen and drives down the market price of design projects for all designers.

He’s right, but shortsighted.

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Customers sometimes ask, “How can organizations like mine keep coming up with fresh material to share on social media?”

Well, here’s a very short answer that might make it easier to find material. And the best part is you already know the mnemonic. caad3dd72664a83b754aa0fa49ed407c

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The language of extremes has become commonplace.

How many times can we be told a movie is “the most poignant drama of our time” or an actor has given “the best performance of his life”? Is there any reason to believe people who tell us an event is “unprecedented,” or a tennis exhibition features the “perfect match-up,” or a piece of jewelry is “one-of-a-kind?” What turned frisbee into “extreme frisbee,” and what distinguishes kickboxing from “ultimate” kickboxing”?

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Who said learning can’t be fun? YOUR AD IGNORED HERE exploits the humor hidden in every corner of the Marketing world, while answering the questions that burn hottest in every businessperson’s mind. Want to learn the real secret behind “growth hacking” (p. 118) …how to overcome the fear of letting go? (p. 94) …why your branded content isn’t taking off? (p. 131) …where your next VP of Marketing is coming from? (p. 203) It’s all in here. Tom explains the promise of big data (p. 201) …why there’s a disconnect between marketing and sales (p. 196) …the folly of loyalty programs (pp. 62, 115) …which social media strategies will work and which won’t (p. 81) …and much more. In fact, you’d better buy two copies of this book – since it’s printed on both sides of the page, you’ll need a spare to hang the cartoons printed on the back of the ones you’ve already hung!

Buy it here: 8de927e93e4d19b4594563c048bb44c9

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Once in a genre, an artist comes along with a special gift for humanizing our world. In the world of business books, that artist is cartoonist Tom Fishburne. YOUR AD IGNORED HERE is a tome of delight – 200 pages of Marketing wisdom that will make you laugh, make you think, help you appreciate your world, and help you escape it. This is a self-help book for everyone who sells a product or service, a compass for entrepreneur, intrapreneurs and managers alike, a hard-to-put-down break from the daily grind, guaranteed to leave you yelling, “Sequel! Sequel!”

Buy it here: 8de927e93e4d19b4594563c048bb44c9

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According to leading 4ebb51e1f0feae9c520df16d729a810e® Software-as-a-Service provider CustomerGauge, the banking industry still has a long way to go in the Customer Satisfaction department. A relatively new industry commonly known as FinTech (Financial Technology companies) is giving the banking industry a real run for the money. ace6bbe59e636a67633b3ea2de1491fb

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We all know why it’s important to stay close to our customers throughout their customer journeys. So, I’ll leave the obvious to another blogger. But how do you go about it? And just whose responsibility is it? Those are entirely different questions.

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We’re big fans of that down-home feeling you get when you visit the original Starbucks coffee shop in Seattle. And nothing helps carry that down-home feeling through the stores better than the hand-written signs that describe their products.

But which, we ask, is a greater risk to your brand: losing that folksy, homespun look, or losing your credibility among your customers, the vast majority of whom have at least graduated from high school? 996dc8cadd218515fa4c22265b61c3e8