I’m starting today…



Payleven, which began life as Rocket Internet’s Square clone for Europe, will later this year bring out a mobile point-of-sale (mPOS) card reader that accepts contactless payments using near-field communication (NFC) technology.

The rollout of NFC-based contactless payment facilities among retailers has been patchy, apart from where banks are enthusiastically pushing them, such as in the U.K. and Poland. Certainly for very small businesses – the kind that will use cheap mPOS readers from the likes of Payleven, Square or iZettle to accept card payments for the first time – NFC has not factored thus far.

Payleven was the first company of its kind to release a chip and PIN card reader in Europe, charging around €79 ($110) for it. That device connects to the smartphone via Bluetooth, and the new version, slated for release in the second half of this year at a price of around €100…

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As a data scientist for more than 15 years, I’ve seen firsthand the impact that analytics can have on the bottom line. I am asked all of the time: what is the best analytics strategy? And I always answer: data, process and people.

Here are some ideas to improve your tactics.


There is a lot of information out there about the explosion of data. IBM has frequently mentioned that “90 percent of the data in the world today has been created in the last two years alone.” One of the fastest growing areas in the data explosion is computer-generated data. In the early days, this was mostly log files. But now, sensors are becoming cheaper and easier to use and devices are becoming more intelligent and connected.

Take, for example, the quantified self-movement. Now we see fitness freaks and professional athletes using devices like Fitbit, Jawbone and Nike+ FuelBand…

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Marketing is a numbers game, right?  The wider you cast your net, the more leads you’ll obtain, therefore, the more sales you’ll ultimately close.

Sounds right.

It’s not.

B2B marketers who launch campaigns to broad audiences increase their costs while reducing their chances of success.  Why?  Because no single message resonates with everyone.  Therefore, your efforts are lost on a large portion of your audience.  This creates waste:  wasted time for the audience.  Wasted time for your organization. 

If you want to get more qualified leads that drive real sales opportunity you must focus on a very few highly lucrative segments.  Follow this 5-step process:

Step 1. Do the research and pick a small number of prospect groups that have the problem your product solves.  Talk to your customers. Talk to your competitors’ customers. Go to conferences and events. Talk to analysts.  Read industry magazines, journals and websites.  Learn the market.  (Sorry, but there’s no silver bullet here.  You must do the work).

Step 2. Identify these prospects based on demographics by which you can segment:  industry, title, company size, location, etc., and that represent the most lucrative opportunities. In other words, focus on the segments you can identify and those that will spend the money.

Step 3. Develop buyer personas based on the information you gathered so that everyone in your organization knows what you know and will remain focused.  Creating and distributing buyer personas drives informed focus for the whole company.

Step 4. Create the messaging that addresses the single problem for the single buyer persona and distribute that message to that buyer.

Step 5. Test.  Measure.  Adjust.  Gain the data that will guide your marketing optimization within each segment before moving onto another segment.  Master each segment, message and buyer persona one at a time.  Leverage the learning from each, but be prepared to account for potential differences among each segment.

Less is more.