Survey: Marketing Leaders Responsible for More Than Ever

The early results from our Marketing Leadership Survey are in, and a shocking percentage of marketers say the job has changed dramatically in just five years. Marketing leaders have acquired (or been loaded with) more responsibility in almost every area.

The early results from our Marketing Leadership Survey are in — there’s still a week to go, so don’t forget to take it yourself and enter to win a $100 AMEX gift card! — and a shocking percentage of marketers say the job has changed dramatically in just five years. Marketing leaders have acquired (or been loaded with) more responsibility in almost every area.

Have the roles and responsibilities of marketing leaders changed in your organization over the past 5 years?
Credit: Target Marketing and NAPCO Media Research

More than half of respondents say marketing responsibilities has changed greatly or completely over the past five years. And five years really isn’t that that much time, essentially since 2013. All this change has happened in less time than Snapchat’s been around.

Looking specifically at how responsibilities have changed, the movement has only been in one direction: up. In fact, after our first survey email, the “much less responsibility” answer column has yet to be touched, and even “less responsibility” has only been selected a handful of times.

Notice that orange does not appear on this chart, and there are only slivers of light blue. | Credit: Target Marketing and NAPCO Media Research

The area of marketing responsibility expanding the most is technology, where over 80 percent report increased responsibilities. That comes as no surprise, as marketing technology is expanding and marketers are controlling, or at least demanding, more and more enterprise technology spending.

Metrics/reporting and data responsibilities aren’t far behind, with over 70 percent of respondents saying those responsibilities have increased.

Surprisingly, none of those lead the “much more responsibility” column. That went to Innovation, where over 40 percent of our respondents say they now have much more responsibility.

How do those answers stack up to your own evolving roles and responsibilities? Take the survey and let us know, and you’ll be entered to win $100!

And keep an eye out for the final report we’ll be putting together from this research. These are only two of the insights we’re developing; the final report will include how marketing leaders are spending their time, how they’re spending their money, how they base their KPIs, whether or not they feel respected in the corporate hierarchy, and more!

How to Future-Proof Your Marketing

I went to quite a few conferences this year and listened to a lot of speakers talk about the future. But one of the most interesting sessions I caught was how HubSpot was actually working to “future-proof” its marketing.

I went to quite a few conferences this year and listened to a lot of speakers talk about the future. But one of the most interesting sessions I caught was how HubSpot is actually working to “future-proof” its marketing.

So what does “future-proofing” your marketing even mean?

In the session “Adventures in Emerging Channels: What we learned from a year with Medium, Podcasting, and Live Streaming” at Inbound 2017, Meghan Keaney Anderson, HubSpot’s VP of marketing, explained that HubSpot dedicated resources to looking a what changes in the environment could derail its very successful marketing engine. (These notes and slides come from that presentation.)

HubSpot started with a hypothetical article headline “What happened to HubSpot: The decline of a marketing giant.” They looked at what would likely be the key reasons for that fall, and when they came up with those “highlights,” they began working on plans to proof against them.

What if Search and Email Went Away?

Turns out there are some pretty obvious vulnerabilities in HubSpot’s marketing stemming from the company’s highly optimized, and non-diverse, lead nurturing cycle.

According to Anderson, HubSpot gets 90 percent of its web traffic from search. They convince a large portion of those visitors to sign up for some kind of email communication, and then they “send them things” via email.

That search-to-email relationship is primarily how Hubspot nurtures leads into customers, and that whole cycle has become key to HubSpot’s success. So what happens if search were to change dramatically? Or people were to move away from email as a communications channel?

The thing is, neither of those futures was very far-fetched. Google and other companies are sending all kinds of signals that they see search moving away from text and toward voice and image interfaces. In that future, search will still be important, but who knows how much traffic you could count on from it?

Similarly, email has been showing signs of weakness for some time. Anderson said HubSpot has been seeing email rates decline, and usage messaging apps rising. In that future, people would still probably receive email, but they wouldn’t pay as much attention to the channel. So how would HubSpot communicate with them and nurture those relationships without that channel?

These scenarios are not remote possibilities. It’s actually fairly likely one or both of those scenarios will be the reality within a few years.

The Horizons of Innovation

HubSpot has a philosophy — and the resources — to dedicate personnel to these problems. And they do that by focusing on the “Three Horizons of Innovation.”

HubSpot's 3 Horizons of Innovation

The idea is to pinpoint and prepare for the inflection points where the current state of your industry is going to be replaced by the next state, and when that will be replaced by yet another state:

  • 1st horizon: What’s happening now/next. Gets the biggest team.
  • 2nd horizon: What’s coming after that: Gets a smaller team.
  • 3rd horizon: What’s coming after the second horizon sunsets: Gets to smallest team.
  • The second horizon should be rising as the first is falling. Be ready for those inversion points.

The FinTech Revolution That Wasn’t: How Financial Institutions Co-Opted Their Disruptors

It’s the disruption that wasn’t. According to a World Economic Forum report released this month, FinTech firms have not found the traction to overthrow incumbent large financial services institutions. In fact, these technologies have actually strengthened them. Here’s how.

How Financial Institutions Co-Opted FinTech

It’s the disruption that wasn’t. According to a World Economic Forum report released this month, FinTech firms have not found the traction to overthrow incumbent large financial services institutions. In fact, these technologies have actually strengthened them. Here’s how.

Too Big to Disrupt?

We often think of start-up companies as the most dangerous things to existing institutions. You only have to look as far as Amazon and Uber to see the impact lean, tech-centirc entrepreneurs can have on legacy industries. But the new report “Beyond Fintech: A Pragmatic Assessment of Disruptive Potential in Financial Services,” finds this has not been the case in financial services.

The research team, — lead by World Economic Forum’s project lead on disruptive innovation in financial services, R. Jesse McWaters — examined the technologies that could potentially impact the financial services industry as we know it.

Their findings point to a financial services environment in which the large institutional players have so much customer inertia that the smaller FinTechs have had a hard time capturing market share. Meanwhile, the report says, “The rapid growth of the fintech ecosystem allows firms to externalize parts of their innovation function,” and, “The proliferation of fintechs provides financial institutions with a ‘supermarket’ for capabilities, allowing them to use acquisitions and partnerships to rapidly deploy new offerings.”

Where FinTech Succeeds and Fails

In summary, the report finds that FinTechs have succeeded and failed in different ways.

FinTechs have succeeded in:

  • Setting the pace, shape and direction of innovation.
  • Reshaping consumer expectations for service and the customer experience.

FinTechs have failed to:

  • Convince customers to switch away from their incumbent financial services providers.
  • Establish a new financial services ecosystem or lay the infrastructure that could support them in the future.

The net effect of FinTech thus far has not been to show consumers new ways they’d rather do things, but to show the existing institutions how they can provide new services for their clients. That’s a huge difference from how similar movements have impacted other industries. Looking market to market, you have to give financial services firms credit for getting on the bus before it runs them over.

Big Tech May Succeed Where FinTech Falls Short

While adding FinTech capabilities makes existing firms stronger, the report does not let them off the hook yet. In fact, it identifies ight major factors that could lead to disruption in the future.

Chief among those threats is the commoditizing impact of large tech companies taking over the plumbing work of financial institutions. While this will drive down overhead and improve the customer experience, thus enhancing customer loyalty, the report sees the shift as something that could eliminate market advantage and differentiation created by companies that do those things well already.

As data and processes become commoditized by “Big Tech,” and customers become more accustomed to the Amazon-like customer experience that could offer, financial services institutions could become more vulnerable to smaller companies and alternative platforms that allow for customized services and higher customer satisfaction.

In other words, the easier it becomes for customers to access equivalent or better services across a variety of platforms, the closer large financial institutions come to the book stores and taxi companies of yesterday.

Balancing Act: 10 Steps for Optimal Creativity and Strategy

It’s really hard in a business environment to be strategic and not be creative at the same time — and the reverse is also true. Strategy and creativity are interrelated and interdependent forces that feed and support each other. Recognizing that duality is crucial to your success.

Yin and YangIt’s really hard in a business environment to be strategic and not be creative at the same time — and the reverse is also true. Strategy and creativity are interrelated and interdependent forces that feed and support each other. Recognizing that duality is crucial to your success.

Strategic endeavors plot a course from your current state to your desired state. This requires you to change the way you are doing things to chart a novel and thoughtful path to your future. Unless your desired state is just a near version of your current state you must think creatively to evoke change.

Creativity exists when you fashion something new and valuable. In a business setting, value is generated when you create something that supports your business goals, i.e., it is strategic. But, if you are being creative without a strategic approach and plan you can easily spin off in unrelated directions. Those unproductive efforts may be dangerous to your brand, long term organizational health and ultimately your ability to stay on your charted course. It’s those ideas that aren’t connected to strategy that make us scratch our heads and label them #FAIL.

Why then, do some marketers persist in putting their creative and strategic efforts in separate categories, approaching them sequentially or assigning them to different teams? Making them separate or serial efforts defeats the complementary and interconnected flow of ideas that can flourish in a collaborative exertion. This may be a legacy of old thinking and outdated organizational structures.

Creativity and strategy reside in all aspects of our work and are not the exclusive province of those with it in their job title or department. We’ve seen phenomenal ideas emerge from creative teams, but have also witnessed amazing creative and strategic thinking from media planners or technology teams, among others, in solving problems or recommending solutions that create client value. Given the chance, most people have ideas and want to contribute. If you suppress that opportunity, morale can be impacted. Plus, you lose out on all those good ideas.

If we tether strategy and creativity together (as they should be) we achieve the best results. The most amazing creative campaigns are unfailingly strategic. The notable turnarounds or disruptive launches that drive true organizational change result from creative thinking. Yin and Yang.

It’s Our Mail Moment

“What are we going to do with this moment?” That’s the challenge from a presentation by Harris Diamond, the chairman and CEO of McCann Worldgroup, at this week’s National Postal Forum. Technological and cultural changes are affecting how consumers experience brands, and this has implications for direct mail.

“What are we going to do with this moment?” That’s the big challenge from a presentation I attended by Harris Diamond, the chairman and CEO of McCann Worldgroup, at this week’s National Postal Forum in Nashville, Tenn.

He was part of a discussion, “Welcome to the Experience Economy,” led by U.S. Postal Service Chief Marketing and Sales Officer Jim Cochrane. The all-star industry panelists shared their perspectives on how technological and cultural changes are affecting how consumers experience brands, and the implications this has for direct mail.

In one sense, Diamond was talking about the “mail moment,” the reaction of consumers to the direct mail that they receive. The lives of most people are increasingly cluttered with digital messaging, so this is the time when the tactile, physical nature of mail arriving at a consumer’s home can make a different impression. It’s a concept that the USPS has been talking about for a few years.

But he was also talking about the new possibilities facing marketers.

Thanks to advancements in technology, as well as an ability to align with developing social trends, “mail is on the edge of a new frontier,” he said, far beyond catchy art and copy. It has “the potential to be more powerful than ever before.”

A lot of this we already know. Maybe it’s using special textures, scents, or sizes in a mailing. Or maybe it’s digital technologies, like augmented reality, QR Codes, or NFC.

USPS_01It’s why the USPS has the “Irresistible Mail” campaign: to incentivize marketers to use new techniques that make mail more personal and relevant to the consumer. To make the “mail moment” more powerful.

To provide food for thought, Diamond offered five interesting creative rules. As you would expect, they focus on using electronic media in direct mail to engage with audiences in the most effective way possible.

For example: “Go where your customers are.” He cited the highly visible outreach of Pope Francis to previously under-served groups. And he showed a bit of President Obama’s “Between Two Ferns” video interview. His point? Don’t stand on tradition when there’s an opportunity to communicate with an audience in a different way.

But it was Diamond’s last rule that most resonated with me: focus on the relationship with the consumer and understand what they are comfortable with.

Mail will have an impact “if it adds value to their lives,” he said.

This is the guideline that is as necessary as it’s ever been: to think always of benefits, not features. To think ahead about what you want your target audience to do, and how the mailing, with its technological enhancements, will accomplish that. For marketers, as Diamond said, “the mail moment is right now.”

David Bowie: The King of Reinvention

Like many, I woke up Monday morning to discover David Bowie had died following an 18-month private battle with cancer, or as some folks in my Twitter feed hoped, he had simply gone back to his home planet.

Many faces of David Bowie
Art by Helen Green

Like many, I woke up Monday morning to discover David Bowie had died following an 18-month private battle with cancer, or as some folks in my Twitter feed hoped, he had simply gone back to his home planet.

The Man Who Fell to EarthThe loss of this charismatic rock legend shook the world, inspiring many to share our favorite moments of his illustrious career.

My earliest memories of Bowie are my mom playing his 1983 hit “Let’s Dance” and dancing around our living room together, watching Labyrinth countless times, and having either one of my parents turn the volume up whenever “Golden Years” or “Changes” came on the car radio. My mom would tell me about his Ziggy Stardust character from the 70s and I would think, “Whoa … this guy is so weird … and so cool.”

Yep, just what me and countless others of all ages thought.

Bowie was a chameleon. He pulled on new identities — new skins — and wore them about, making something amazing while in them, then shedding them for the next. He was more than Ziggy Stardust or Aladdin Sane or Jareth the Goblin King, he was the King of Reinvention and Innovation, and he did it with class and style.

Like a Boss Jareth the Goblin KingBorn David Jones, he changed his name in 1966 at age 19 after Davy Jones achieved fame, concerned at possibly being confused with the wholesome, young-faced Monkee. At 19 I was preoccupied with who knows what, but I doubt it was taking the first steps of building a personal brand.

Not David Bowie. He knew he needed — and wanted — to  set himself a part. David Bowie was always unapologetically Bowie.

Over the next 40-plus years, that’s exactly what he did, spanning the divides of sexuality, gender, musical styles, film, characters … he did it all, and he did it because that’s who he was. No one questioned what he did … we all knew it was Bowie creating new art.

We could all stand to learn a thing or two from The Thin White Duke, as marketers, as dreamers, as humans.

On his 50th birthday at Madison Square Garden, David Bowie said:

I don’t know where I’m going from here but I promise it won’t be boring.

And in an interview with “60 Minutes” in 2002, he shared:

I’m just an individual who doesn’t feel I need to have somebody qualify my work in any particular way. I’m working for me.

Take his words to heart, marketers. Be bold. Reinvent. Don’t be afraid to take risks, create something strange and beautiful.

Ziggy Stardust
Beloved extraterrestrial glam-rocker Ziggy Stardust

Know who you are, and if you don’t, stop and figure it out. It might take a while, and that’s okay. Bowie spent time in his early career grinding through things, figuring out the industry, music and himself.

Many consider his persona Ziggy Stardust as the start of his success, and if that’s the case, he had been performing almost 10 years prior with extremely limited success.

But that never stopped him.

He went on to reinvent himself, time and time again. He didn’t get comfortable in any one aspect of his fame, and he didn’t make the same kind of music over the course of his career; instead he pioneered glam rock, introduced fans to Philadelphia soul, German electronica and more. Reinvention and innovation.

David Bowie took risks and believed in what he did, and in doing so, he leaves a world full of art, as well as a dedicated fan base of strange and beautiful people.

Marketers: Find yourselves, then find yourselves again. Shake things up. Be weird. Be genuine. Believe in what you’re doing, put yourself into it, and delight people who go from being strangers to being  your customers, then finally declaring themselves your most loyal fans.

Find your inner Ziggy Stardust and shine on.

Note: My local independent radio station, WXPN, dedicated their airwaves to Bowie on Monday. My earbuds were in the entire time I wrote this post, bopping along to “Jean Genie” and “Rebel Rebel,” and trying to keep from actually singing aloud and disturbing the rest of the people in the editorial bullpen. Then again, who knows … maybe they would have joined along.

A Welcome to the 74th Postmaster General and CEO Megan Brennan

Happy President’s Day, and a warm welcome to the new USPS Postmaster General and Chief Executive Officer Megan Brennan. In a recent letter to USPS employees, upon her term of service beginning February 1, Brennan shared these statements, which I thought would be noteworthy enough to share here.

Happy President’s Day, and a warm welcome to the new USPS Postmaster General and Chief Executive Officer Megan Brennan.

In a recent letter to USPS employees, upon her term of service beginning February 1, Brennan shared these statements, which I thought noteworthy to share here:

  • We will invest in the future of the Postal Service. Investing in our future means creating the best opportunities for long-term growth and profitability.
  • We will speed the pace of innovation. The coming years will see greater focus on innovation, with pilot projects designed to test new delivery offerings, new tools to better meet the digital and mobile expectations of our customers, and new offerings designed for America’s small businesses.
  • We will develop strategies to better engage and empower employees.
  • We will also build the most efficient and productive network to support our growth products.
  • We have made tremendous progress streamlining our operation footprint in recent years—allowing us to keep our products and services affordable.

Updates to the USPS five-year business plan and strategic initiatives are certain to follow.

From a USPS customer perspective, it’s hard to argue about any one of these objectives, and it’s tempting to say she has put emphases exactly where they need to be: innovation, investment, productivity, affordability, engagement and infrastructure.

While Postal Service customers are not called out directly here in this excerpt—all of these goals speak to keeping the Postal Service attractive, accessible and responsive to marketplace needs and realities. The PMG also stated in her letter, “Your commitment to our public service mission and to delivering for our customers defines who we are as an organization and is the bedrock of all of our successes.”

There are certainly challenges ahead: Marketing organizations are well aware of the difficulty of working with a quasi-independent governmental entity that does not have total control over its finances, and taps the business sector unpredictably as a result. The whole rationale of past postal reforms was to instill predictability, manageability, cost controls and some semblance of logic. We can say with certainty that that most recent postal reform law fell short, and created huge liabilities in funding that clearly were not sustainable, nor grounded in logic, which brought on USPS default and financial uncertainty. And I’m not talking about the crown jewel in that law, from mailers’ perspective: the CPI-indexed annual rate cap. But rather Congressional mandates for pre-funding certain civil service and retiree benefits, and we’re still awaiting the collective political will to fix these mandates.

Thankfully, the PMG is inheriting a growing US economy which helps USPS financials, but the fix-its still need to happen on The Hill. Let’s make sure some of this needed emphasis and impetus can find its way into the Postal Service’s working more closely with the business community, engaging USPS employees too, for these legislative changes to happen very soon.

I’d love to hear some positive developments here by the time the PMG addresses the National Postal Forum in May.

Extended Coverage: USPS – Will It Disappear?

When your editor makes a decision to defend you in the comments section below a feature article, then the article must have hit a nerve! I talked to several mailers, and association leaders who represent them, in a feature this month in the magazine … as I should: mailers have a lot to say about goings-on at the Postal Service

When your editor makes a decision to defend you in the comments section below a feature article, then the article must have hit a nerve!

I talked to several mailers, and association leaders who represent them, in a feature this month in the magazine … as I should: mailers have a lot to say about goings-on at the Postal Service (and not-goings-on in Congress) leading some mail marketers to re-evaluate the medium. I’d say it is a timely premise—particularly with the recent exigent postage hike on top of the inflation-indexed hike.

Far more was offered than I could include in the feature. However, “Marketing Sustainably” has a bit of room and—with my editor’s permission—allow me to share a few more observations.

Let me be clear, every mailer I talked to wants the Postal Service to succeed. The prescriptions may vary. What may be unclear is how it will succeed…

Always the Postologist, Charley Howard of Harte-Hanks had these points to share on a future path:

“If the Postal Service is allowed to manage its own healthcare, get the pre-retirement funding relief from Congress that it is due, and get Congress to back off on leaning in on operations, I believe that we would have a USPS that is both viable and competitive. We should close post offices that only see 1.5 people a day, limit some mail delivery to five days (keep the parcels moving) and have the USPS become more sensitive to pricing. These outcomes require enabling legislation—and that’s a big ‘if’ and certainly not likely in an election year, never mind by 2020 or 2025.”

“I believe the leadership of the USPS, Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe in particular, has made the right decisions to try and save the post office,” says Paul Ercolino of U.S. Monitor. “Cost cutting, Network Rationalization and five-day delivery are all controversial decisions, but they are essential if the Post Office is to survive in the coming years.”

Hamilton Davison of the American Catalog Mailers Association spoke about innovation—but still sees challenges because of the process of oversight:

“Innovation on the revenue side, or improvements to [the Postal Service’s] cost structure, will only occur if it is given the freedom to experiment free from regulatory or political concerns. While it is right and proper that the enormous market power of the Postal Service not be unchecked, it should be given greater freedom in advancing markets or improving its cost structure without undue concern about these regulatory and political pressures. Management today is handcuffed in too many areas. Barriers to experimentation on a modest scale must be removed so the USPS can demonstrate pathways for greater innovation that can then be rolled out system-wide under the review of a regulator. Getting the regulator involved in early stage exploration of potential innovation is much more cumbersome.”

And Joel Quadrucci of Quad-Graphics spoke to mail’s role in a multichannel, digital-savvy world:

“We live in a multichannel media world, and print is—and will continue to be—a critical marketing and communications channel,” he said. “Print is especially powerful when connected with other channels. Direct mail is a critical channel because of its ability to drive action to numerous other media channels. Direct mail and digital marketing channels will move forward hand in hand, with direct mail creating a compelling call to action and digital marketing channels giving consumers a way to act.”

“The entire world of logistics is evolving along with retail,” Quadrucci continued. “More and more consumers are opting for the convenience of shopping online. We already see it with Amazon building distribution centers all over the country with the goal of facilitating same-day delivery of its products. The USPS could play a pivotal role in this evolving world of logistics; it is has many strengths. But in order to be competitive with alternative delivery systems, it must address its current challenges head-on.”

Clearly marketers must stay engaged with the Postal Service—and with Congress—as we tackle these challenges together. The Postal Service clearly has my support, too. Now if I could only sate Denny Hatch.

The 5 Assassins of Innovation

Every company talks about innovation and recognizes the need to be innovative. But then why do so many promising ideas die an untimely death? Let me introduce you to the assassins of innovation who have your next big idea in their crosshairs:

Every company talks about innovation and recognizes the need to be innovative. But then why do so many promising ideas die an untimely death? Let me introduce you to the assassins of innovation who have your next big idea in their crosshairs:

1. Low self-esteem Larry: “We’ll never get away with it. We’re not (insert name of impossibly cool brand).” Don’t be fooled by his self-effacing facade. Larry is one of the most prolific eradicators out there. He strikes early and takes down ideas in their infancy. How to defend yourself against Larry?

Try this: A recent study from Millward Brown found that there was no significant correlation between brand or category involvement and likelihood of viewing and sharing viral video. Think about the most popular viral videos in recent years and the categories they represented: bottled water, a mobile provider and deodorant — not typically the types of things most people get worked up about. Well-executed ideas are what make a brand cool, not the other way around.

2. Benny the Brain: “We don’t have the data.” Benny’s right. Odds are, you won’t have the data to justify a truly innovative effort because data is inherently backward looking. Data can tell you the “what” but not the “why.” Nor is it about asking customers what they want. (Think back to the Henry Ford quote, “If I asked my customers what they want, they simply would have said a faster horse.”) The type of data you really need comes from talking, following and watching your customers to understand their needs, then creating a solution based on that understanding.

3. Practical Paulie: “[Insert name of brilliant idea] is just a fad.” Unlike Benny, Paulie usually has all the numbers at his disposal. For every idea, he’ll have a few stats to prove why it won’t work. The biggest issue with the industry reports and studies he cites is that they’re rarely specific to your audience, category or situation. Try turning the tables on Paulie. If 25 percent of mobile phone owners only use an app once, that’s 75 percent who are using it more than once. Innovation is rarely mass adoption; it’s about seeding a new idea, reaching early adopters and gaining traction.

4. Helga the Historian: “It’s already been done/We’ve already tried that.” Helga lurks in unexpected places, including companies that are considered innovators by most standards. She’s the one who reminds the team, “We tried mobile back in 2002, and it was a disaster.” Let Helga know that it’s 2011 and times have changed.

Facebook didn’t invent social networking. Remember MySpace? And before that Friendster? And if you go way back, GeoCities? Sometimes it’s just the right idea at the wrong time. Other times it’s the right idea but it’s executed poorly. There are countless reasons why innovations fail. The key is to learn from your mistakes and the successes of others to maximize your odds of producing a winner. Think about your most admired companies. Chances are few, if any, were the first to market. Let Helga know it’s not about being first, but about being better.

5. Big Al the Accountant: “We can’t afford it.” The economic downturn has lavished Al with a lot of extra ammunition. Companies believe they’re doing the right thing by staying with the tried and true, avoiding the risks of bringing a new idea to market. However, it’s companies that are continuing to invest in innovation during tough times that are emerging from the recession with higher growth rates. In this case, think small. Distill down a grand vision to its essential components and propose ways to execute it quickly and inexpensively.

Arming yourself against the assassins
The assassins aren’t invincible (otherwise, I’d have made them superheroes). Know how they’ll attack and be prepared. To summarize, here are quotes from a couple of the smartest people I know: Sun Tzu: “Know your enemies and know yourself and you will win countless battles.” My mom: “Don’t forget to do your homework.”