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Ilana Rabinowitz

7 Ways To Become A Rock Star of Innovation

by · November 22, 2013

Great innovators are the new rock stars. Steve Jobs was the Mick Jagger of innovation. Like Jobs, sometimes the stars are individuals, like Richard Branson, Arianna Huffington or Phillipe Starck, but more often it is a company, like GM, Square, Intel, Facebook, Google, 3M, or Nike that achieves this status.

Today innovation is more than a nicety; it’s a survival skill. Rapid changes in technology over the last ten years mean that you either innovate or get left in the dust as entire industries undergo major upheavals.

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Marketing Lessons From The Suicide Hotline

by · September 6, 2013

For several years I volunteered on a suicide hotline. Before taking calls, I was required to take about 100 hours of training in using active listening skills.  From that training, and the experience of talking to people in situations where what you say really matters, I learned some of the most valuable lessons in communication.

The first thing I learned is that what you’re most likely to say to people in crisis is probably the worst possible thing you can say. Yet, no matter how much I (and everyone I volunteered with) learned about what NOT to say, it was hard to get out of the habit of saying the wrong thing.  Our knee-jerk reaction was to give people advice.  What’s wrong with that?  It puts the focus on you, not the person who needs help.  Giving people advice tells them what you would do. It might make you feel better that  you’ve got a quick fix for them but it’s really not helpful. 

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What’s the Next Trend In Digital?

by · July 18, 2013

Most digital marketers I know are fascinated with trends. And one of the best tips in predicting trends is that for many major trends, there is often an equal and opposite countertrend. I learned this from Robyn Waters, the former trendmaster at Target, who developed the idea of design for the masses, and described countertrends in her book, The Hummer and The Mini.

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Show, Don’t Tell: 5 Lessons In Communication

by · June 12, 2013

I recently attended a conference dedicated to creativity and commerce called C2-MTL. The paradox of the event is that you can’t teach people to be creative with traditional teaching methods. Yet I walked away awash in ideas.

How did this happen? How can you teach someone something that isn’t teachable The conference played by the first rule of communication: “show, don’t tell.”  Show, don’t tell is about conveying a message so that the lessons learned are personalized, rather than a list of laws. That’s a tall order. One that we, as marketers need to take to heart.

Here are 5 ways that this conference was able show innovation, rather than telling people how to be innovative and they can be applied to communicating lessons in leadership, writing, speaking or marketing.

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Technology Is A Canvas, Not A Platform

by · May 1, 2013

This statement, spoken by David Droga, founder of the creative agency Droga5 at the Innovation Uncensored Conference,  best captured the truth about digital marketing today.  It points to the shift in marketing that’s occurred since the advent of social media and explains the surge in popularity of conferences and books about creativity and innovation.

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Why You Are Ignoring The Most Important Data

by · April 11, 2013

Business is having a love affair with big data. In the last few months it seems that every conference and webinar I come across has “big data” on the agenda.

Big data is the allure of more. More information. More access to behavior. Opportunities for more sophisticated analysis.  The thinking goes likes this: If we know every move people make then we not only know everything,  but we can predict everything.  As business people we love it because the information is finite, scalable and measurable.

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Will Social Media As We Know It Be Enough?

by · March 21, 2013

I had the misfortune of being home sick last week and watched daytime T.V.  for the first time in years.  Barely able to change the channel, I watched a lot of commercials. What I noticed was a trend in focusing on personal service and hand-crafted products.

The Personal Touch Is More Important Than Ever

Commercials for the Discover Card had the message that when you call, a human being will answer the phone.  And that person will talk to you in a way that feels like you are being talked to by someone who is like you.  Over several different Discover ads, the main character was a completely different demographic, and in each one, the customer service rep on the other end of the line at Discover spoke in his or her accent, looked like the caller and completely understood the caller’s needs.

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A Conference That Can Help You Reinvent Your Business

by · February 28, 2013

Why do you go to a conference? Perhaps to learn more about tactics that have worked well for others. Or to network with people in your field. Often, it’s to educate yourself on cutting edge techniques or tools.

But can a conference help you become more innovative? Can a conference help you think beyond the scope of best practices and industry trends? Is it possible to return from a conference inspired and equipped to do the creative work that will help you reinvent your business?

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In Marketing, Motives Matter

by · February 7, 2013

Marketing is becoming a very different business. I’m not talking about the new tools and platforms. I’m talking about how marketers themselves have to change the way they think about the people they reach.  That change is going to be counterintuitive and uncomfortable for business people. It requires that we look at the ultimate goal as the relationship.

Now, I can hear you saying “we’re in business to make a profit.  That has to be our goal.” And I promise you, behaving in a more human way won’t hurt you there.

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About Ilana Rabinowitz

Ilana Rabinowitz

Ilana Rabinowitz is the vice-president for marketing for Lion Brand Yarn and blogs about social media at Marketing Without A Net. Rabinowitz approaches marketing with an uncompromising focus on the customer and a grounding in psychology and neuroscience to understand what motivates people to make buying decisions.  She believes that businesses need to develop their own media as a means of creating a branded experience for customers.  She has spoken at digital marketing conferences including Web 2.0, Blogher Business and Internet Retailer. She is the author of a book about psychology, a book about mindfulness and co-author of a book about the culture of knitting. Follow her on Twitter at @ilana221.

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