Business success webinarThere's never been a better time to stop, pause, and ask: are we creating something substantial with our businesses and our lives, or are we just trying to mitigate mistakes and risk? That was the message in discussing how to restart your business delivered by author and Twist Image President Mitch Joel yesterday during this Salesforce Marketing Cloud webinar, CTRL ALT Delete - Reboot your Business.

During the hour-long conversation, Joel discussed ways you can reassess and restart both your marketing strategy and your career path. Here are some of the suggestions he presented.

1. Direct Relationships

The prevailing thought in business is that every day, you have to beat down the competition for a customer. Joel says there is a war taking place within your business and business partners. He gave the following example: "Imagine buying a pair of headphones. I buy them at Target, and after the purchase, everyone is telling me to like them at Facebook. They want me to like the headphones and like Target on Facebook. A lot of people are pushing for a direct relationships with Mitch Joel. These brands are in a dire battle for direct relationships, even though they're in business with each other. Your feeds and streams are suddenly innundated with people trying to get your attention."

Now more than ever, Joel says, whichever brand you are in that food chain requires a direct relationship with customers, because at the end of the day, that's all there is.

2. Sex with Data

Most data and information we're gathering happens in linear fashion, according to Joel. If a brand sends a newsletter to someone in its database, they then have information based on a person's actions. We also now have circular data, which is the data customers are willfully creating and sharing; social profiles are one such example. On one point you have an opt-in, permission-based world where people allow you to send them messages. Sex with data is what happens when linear data interacts with circular data. Brands need to understand the actual person in a more in-depth way than just having a name in a database.

Marketers don't have a privacy problem, they have a personalization problem. People say they don't like advertising, but if they have to have to choose one type of advertising to continue to consume free media, they always say they want  advertising that is highly personalized.


3. Embracing the Squiggly

Many think linearaly when approaching their life and career. But now there are squares, triangles, squiggly lines, etc. that describe the path. The people that we admire most have all led very different lives. Joel cited research in which the average person now coming out of a university will have 6-7 different careers throughout their lives. Embracing the squiggly means embracing different skillsets and figuring out a career that works best for you.


4. Bonus Advice: Rebooting B2B

According to Joel, B2B companies have it worse in trying to create direct relationships and to have sex with data because it's more complex. The first step in rebooting is very different for each business; there's no unified way to do this. But he suggests to first look at your business strategy, look at other industries, and look at other business partners. If you could absolutely wipe the slate clean, what would that look like?

Join the next Marketing Cloud webinar, Turning Social Media into an Organizational Advantage, on 6/20 at 2pm ET with Chuck Hemann, Director of Analytics at WCG.

This post originally appeared on the Salesforce Marketing Cloud Blog.