The End of an Era, and A New Adventure

Five years ago when I started [meta]marketer, the words “marketing” and “analytics” didn’t hang out together in public all that often. They were uttered side-by-side by only a very small circle of idealistic geeks. I know because I was one of them. A vocal minority of us, at conferences, in interviews, and in written publications, presented a clear and consistent argument for strategic use of data as a means to improved profitability.

Over the next few years, the industry began to sit up and take notice. The ability to mine data for insights, learn about customer behavior, and refine strategy accordingly was compelling, although the execution often proved challenging. Still, data use has grown and more companies are using data to make marketing decisions.

How well companies use that data is another question. We have always stood on the side of responsible data use. We’ve always advocated empathy for the customer experience. “Relevance is a form of respect” is a [meta]marketer core value and catchphrase, as is “analytics are people.” I’m proud that we have always been a champion of humanity in an increasingly data-driven and digitized world.

As we now approach our fifth anniversary, a lot has changed. More companies are offering tools, more firms are offering consulting in this arena, more voices are advocating good sense about how companies work with customer data.

It is partly with this evolution in mind that I announce that I am closing [meta]marketer to pursue new adventures. We enjoyed a five-year run as an industry thought leader and we helped disrupt the marketing status quo by bringing both data accountability and customer centricity to the forefront. We’ve survived many changes and obstacles, but we all now have bigger opportunities outside of the company’s focus. We’ve developed a thorough transition plan for existing clients, and our staff will be given ample assistance in transitioning to new roles. (If your company would be a good fit for any of them, feel free to reach out to them or to me on their behalf, but do it quickly! They’re awesome, and they’ll be snapped up fast.)

For myself, I am forming a new holding company (KO Insights) encompassing several passions and projects:

Public speaking. I have so enjoyed being a voice for strategic, customer-centric, disciplined, data-validated marketing, and I will continue to do so. But in addition my experiences as an entrepreneur, mentor, commentator, and consultant – not to mention my personal life experiences – have afforded me much broader perspective and I am eager to fold that into my message as well. I will be exploring opportunities to speak professionally to audiences large and small about pattern recognition, integrative systems and strategy, and especially about meaningful experiences, both in business and in life.

Writing. I have been writing two books, and will focus on finishing and promoting those, as well as additional professional writing projects.

Taking on select consulting clients. I still have a personal passion for helping companies make smart strategic decisions about their relationships with their customers. I enjoy the privilege of meeting with companies, understanding their approach, and helping provide clarity and direction. It’s a genuine thrill for me when I watch the dots connect for my clients as we solve problems together.

I’d love to hear from you if you have an event or group you’d like me to speak for, and by all means contact me if your company has consulting needs I can help with. I’m looking forward to meeting more people, helping more companies, and doing more of what I love. I’m also looking forward to seeing my team succeed in their next ventures, and watching this whole space evolve further. It’s been an amazing five-year adventure, and I know the next adventures are going to be just as exciting. If you’re interested in keeping up with my updates, I would love it if you “liked” my speaker/writer/consultant page on Facebook.

Thank you for your support over the years and for being with us on the next steps.

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