Today’s companies win based on who can learn key market or customer insights faster and reinvesting this intelligence quickly to capture outsized market share. Some of these insights can be discovered through expertly querying the databases of technology platforms and infrastructure systems and piecing the analyses together. But perhaps the most interesting and unique insights are contained as human intelligence. That is, the feelings, emotions, memories, motivations, and internal processing that govern behavior, perception, and decision-making. Our ability to access this intelligence depends on how readily we can identify these knowledge holders, our relationships and reputation, and how skillfully we ask questions to discover truth.
We’re all individual snowflakes with unique fingerprints, personalities, and life experiences, yet we all still operate under the same general rules of what motivates our behavior as humans. While inertia is often the strongest force driving our decision-making, behavioral neuroscience research shows we can be influenced to make changes given sufficient anticipated rewards or pain reduction. Rewards can range from feeling accepted or needed as part of a group, goal achievement, self improvement, doing good for others, or the avoidance of confusion and emotional or physical pain. Understanding these rules and how they may apply in certain scenarios is critical to strategic go-to-market advising, roadblocks forecasting, and developing a successful growth hacking plan.
Diversity means everything from gender, ethnicity, sexual identity, age, nation of origin, previous work and life experiences, problem solving styles, enneagram personalities, hidden talents, socioeconomic status, and even social circles outside of work. Employees, advisors, contractors, and investors from dissimilar walks of life approach the world from a wide range of perspectives and offer unique intellectual capital. Listening intentionally to these viewpoints engenders richer brainstorming sessions, faster success in capturing new markets, more empathetic customer service, and ultimately higher financial returns. Ava Ventures is committed to investing in and partnering exclusively with companies who share these values.
Thirty years ago, the world wide web didn’t exist. We did all of our banking at branches and book-buying at Borders. We socialized IRL and got our news from network TV. The tectonic shifts we've seen over the past few decades have been mirrored by equally historic shifts in the way successful brands reach their target audiences: from algorithmic buying and selling of ads, to automated email triggers governed by logic and predictive models, to the critical subtleties of tone and voice particularly when taking a stand on cultural issues and resolving public complaints via Twitter, Yelp, LinkedIn, TikTok, etc. Yet companies are still operating from outdated marketing principles, believing the same approaches that worked years ago can still solve the problems of today. They’re falling prey to installing patchwork tech stacks that promise to magically automate marketing and produce executive ROI dashboards without hiring the talent or wherewithal to properly execute it. Keeping up with this accelerating change requires constant learning and questioning of best practices, both technically on what's coming, but also on the human side.
Achieving competitive advantage through innovation requires thinking outside the box and bringing a flavor of rule-breaking to solving problems with a growth mindset or when presented with new information. The highest performing companies constantly evaluate future scenarios and carve out resources for pie-in-the-sky thinking. But innovative thinking should never become a shortcut for doing the hard work, or cross the line into unethical or unprincipled business practices, or be justification for not being up-to-date with international, federal, and state regulations (GDPR, CCPA, HIPAA, etc). Executive leaders must understand how to think creatively to achieve rapid results and impact to the bottom line, while maintaining a high-integrity long-game.
A+ marketing talent is notoriously hard to find, and the number of specializations can be dizzying. What are the most frequent hiring mistakes to avoid? How should you plan to uplevel and retain your existing talent?
Journalists are more underwater, more unappreciated, and more skeptical than ever before. Securing the steady coverage and earned WOM you deserve is a strategic art, and should be fueled by highly nuanced comms plans.
It's like they say: If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together. Sometimes what you really need is a little help from friends in big places. Which celebrities or brand partners are right for you?
The fastest path to success is never a straight line. What is your broader competitive landscape? What value propositions and media channels resonate with your audience? Gather the right data to prime your approach.
With a sleek, captivating website and elevated branding, you can quickly introduce your product, emphasize differentiation, and monetize your traffic. Depending on scope, your new site could be live in under 3 weeks.
Marketing priorities and tactics should be planned and continuously optimized with a GM and PNL lens. Time and money are precious resources, so spend them wisely to get the acquisition and LTV / CAC goals you crave.
Video is the #1 most requested asset by consumer and B2B brands. It's favored heavily by social media algorithms and will help you achieve breakthrough into the hearts & minds of your target audience.
We advise brands we believe in with a full 360 approach. That includes matchmaking you with investors who share your vision, managing IR, and writing checks to help you cross goalposts faster and achieve your impact.
What's the secret to securing comped speaking engagements at every industry conference? Or better yet, being the most memorable talk and generating new business as a result? Your winning pitch starts here.
Jackie Lamping is a seasoned tech CMO turned advisor and investor, founding Ava Ventures after nearly 20 years of boots-on-the-ground experience in branding, growth hacking, and revenue acceleration. She has built digital and social media Centers of Excellence in the Fortune 500, led teams at high-growth tech startups from seed-stage through IPO and beyond, managed 9-figure ad budgets achieving 9X ROI lift in under six months, developed B2B growth engine playbooks from zero to 8-figure sales pipelines, and successfully led over 50 GTM product launches across the US, EMEA, APAC, and LATAM.
She has advised hundreds of consumer and B2B brands from the agency side and in-house, including Adidas, Best Buy, Blackberry, Clorox, Disney, Fairmont, Intel, Kindbody, L'Oreal, Lululemon, McDonald's, Microsoft, Novartis, Red Bull, Singapore Airlines, Unilever, Visa, Wendy's, among others. Her expertise and writing have been featured in CNBC, Fast Company, The New York Times, AdWeek, iMedia, Bloomberg, TechCrunch, VentureBeat, MSNBC, Entrepreneur, and The Wall Street Journal.
Most recently, Jackie was Chief Marketing Officer at Modern Health, the mental health marketplace platform and fastest female-led startup to achieve unicorn valuation in history. There, she recruited and built the marketing function from the ground up, wrote press releases and strategic CEO communications, led VIP client events, and produced a full suite of corporate thought leadership videos that helped the company exceed it targets in every quarter, all while entirely remote.
Jackie is an expert recruiter of top talent, with a 99% hire acceptance rate on 100+ offers extended over the course of her career, including multiple repeat hires and consistent top team NPS scores for organizational leadership, trust, empathy, results, and retention. She is a strong believer in the combined power of market analysis, lifelong learning, and experienced instinct to question old tenets and uncover hard truths when faced with uncharted paths and imperfect data.
Jackie holds a BA in Human Biology from Stanford University, where she successfully petitioned to formalize a new Area of Concentration in Behavioral Neuroscience, and an MBA from the U.C. Berkeley Haas School of Business. She sits on the Board of the March of Dimes Foundation, writes in Forbes as a Communication Council Member, and has been named as a Top 50 Women in Brand Marketing. Originally born and raised in the Detroit area, Jackie recently relocated from the Bay Area to NYC where she enjoys consuming art exhibits, pondering the permanency of consumer behavior changes in a post-pandemic world, and mentoring the next generation of women leaders.
Jeffrey Minich, Global Lead, Marketing & Advertising, Amazon
Cady Wolf, VP Americas, Sojern & Founder, A23 Advisors
Dhani Jones, ex-NFL Linebacker, TV Host, Philanthropist
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