Photo Courtesy of Rob Potter

For companies struggling to get to the next level, growth hacking may seem like the cure-all that’s worth doubling down on. But before you sign a retainer with the shiny new agency promising massive lead generation and unbelievable growth, take a closer look at their methods.

Growth hackers who focus more on driving traffic and less on understanding your target audience and how to speak to them, might give you impressive early results that are only skin deep. …

(Avoid Pitfalls when Shifting to Remote Work)

Over the past 30 years I’ve worked for global companies that adopted flexible remote working policies, and have traveled frequently and worked remotely as part of small startups and virtual teams. As a consultant, I know what it feels like to be a permanent remote worker as well as what it is like managing and mentoring teams from afar.

What I have learned is that figuring out the how — technology platform, communication norms, meeting cadences, core work hours and time zones — and fostering social interaction and relationship building, is only half the battle.

Yes, it is official. Four more weeks of shelter-in-place. Now we’ve got to get REALLY creative if we’re going to make it. This week’s article highlights creativity we’ve observed, inspired by shelter-in-place around the world.

During this time, our better days as a family have included events we’re looking forward to (like birthdays and special drive-bys), little things we share (like MEMEs or funny videos), projects we complete or little things we achieve. Chris can now do a full backflip. Andrew made Paprikash in honor of our Marvel Marathon. …

This month, millions of high school seniors are expected to submit a “statement of intent to register” with a college of their choice. However, the situation students face this year is far from normal. Without the assurance that campuses will be open in the fall, many may consider an admission deferral request or a gap year, or community college enrollment that allows students to stay closer to home.

If students feel that there are more options to consider, perhaps there will be less pressure to conform to a single path (immediate entry to college with the best brand name possible)…

Copyright 2019 Marvel. Portal scene from “Avengers: Endgame”.

OK, what’s next. We are all so ready for the new normal, whatever that may be. While we have been putting on our happy faces, I wonder how my kids will view this time of shelter-in-place. Overall we’ve been very lucky, we are healthy, our basic needs are met and we can’t complain.

So many events have had to be canceled or postponed — reunions, weddings, concerts and performances, competitions, sports and more. I am sad for each of my kids who, along with millions of their peers around the world, were each expected to celebrate their academic achievements this…

Gain valuable marketing insights and make the most of your market research budget.

Talk with customers 1:1 to achieve authentic and cost-effective insights.

Primary market research can give your company a competitive edge and it does not have to be expensive. As a marketer, I enjoy talking to people and with each conversation, I gather deeper insights into why they do or what they do, and what’s important to them.

Because at the end of the day, that’s what matters. People buy a product because it’s important to them. To be good marketers and to grow profitable businesses, we need to understand why and how they buy and turn these…

After checking in with hundreds of friends, extended family and professional acquaintances (and hundreds more thanks to social media feeds), I’m starting to hear common themes. We survived the shortages (pasta, yeast, toilet paper) and the transition to new routines (work and school from home). We indulged in the buying sprees (furniture, content streaming) and adapted to getting things done on our own (trimming hair, cleaning bathrooms). We even chipped away at that never-ending to-do list (yard work, home maintenance). In California, we’ve gotten through Week 4 — or is it now Week 5? …

It’s been three weeks of shelter-in-place. We’ve evolved from the shock of the initial adjustment to taking each day as it comes. For anyone who knows me, sporting such a cavalier attitude is rare.

We realize that at this moment, we can’t change what’s happening in the world. People we know have lost loved ones, and family and friends who are healthcare providers on the front lines put themselves at risk every day. But we can empower ourselves to make the most of the things we can still control.

We’ve had time to reflect, to enjoy a slower pace of…

We’ve gotten through our second week of “shelter-in-place” (Day 15) and we’re still talking to each other.

And it’s official. Our local schools (California Bay Area) will extend closure through May 1 to help slow the spread of COVID-19. Given Trump’s recent extension of federal social distancing guidelines, we expect that the state of California will maintain its stay-at-home recommendations past Easter.

So we’re “shelter in place” for a longer period than expected, making the best of our situation. We’re getting used to our new normal.

We watched a mid-day satellite launch together. That wouldn’t have happened under normal circumstances.

My 14-year-old practicing social distancing as he perfects his backflips in the backyard (in his pajamas).

With over half the country being asked to stay at home (or in our case, “shelter-in-place”) for the foreseeable future, many might be wondering what it looks like after a week. Worldwide, we are all weathering the same storm and many are suffering, old and young alike (although there are fewer cases, COVID-19 can seriously affect young people, too). To help our community get through this crisis quicker, we will do our part. Social distancing, quarantine, lockdown. I’m an eternal optimist and try to find the bright moments in any bad situation. And this past week has given me plenty…

Jennifer Apy

Chief Growth Officer, Team Leader & Corporate Strategist | Passionate about helping SMB companies succeed | Lifelong learner, champion of innovative technology

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