To lead a team of forward-thinking experts, you’ve got to stay on top of industry news. That’s one of the primary reasons why I try to provide Sprout’s marketing team with an ongoing cadence of relevant thought leadership content. From why CMOs should care about social customer care to the role of technology in the workplace, there were plenty of provoking articles to learn from last month.

Why Chicago’s B2B Enterprises & Startups Thrive Globally

Chicago is proof that there’s a thriving startup scene outside of Silicon Valley. Sprout’s CEO Justyn Howard joined his peers and offered his perspective on what makes Chicago unique and what work is still left to do.

Loneliness & the Digital Workplace

The Harvard Business Review recently launched a content series about connecting at work. One of the first pieces from the series that caught my attention was trending on LinkedIn. It was a Q&A with Stewart Butterfield, CEO of Slack. The discussion centered around loneliness in the digital workplace and how technology can help make employees feel more connected.

A cornerstone of Sprout’s culture is the belief that open communication creates progress. In less than a year our team has grown from under 200 to nearly 400 employees. It’s only natural that we’ve become a more remote workplace. One quote that particularly resonated was, “Digital communication frees up capacity so that the in-person conversations can be about things that require more nuance. “ Butterfield’s conversation is a good reminder that the proper digital communication channels are needed in order for team members to feel like an integral part of a company’s culture.

Why CMOs Should Care More About Social Customer Service

When Dan Gingiss, the Senior Director of Global Social Media at McDonald’s, reiterated something that Sprout has believed since its inception–we knew we were doing something right. In this article, Gingiss outlined why response time matters and cautioned marketers against moving toward automated phone trees on social.

How to Make the Most of a 30-Minute Phone Interview

I’ve been managing teams for over two decades and–every now and again, I still need a refresher on how to make the most out of leading an efficient phone interview. As Spout continues to grow, so will the opportunities for our employees. I shared this piece with our team because it offered sound phone etiquette that can be applied to any type of remote meeting.

Don’t Get Too Fancy in Your Marketing–Authenticity Always Wins

This was a good reminder that authenticity and value always win against pure product features and frills. The author offered actionable advice for startups looking to establish a brand identity. From being your own customer to forgoing a professional online persona in favor of an honest one, the tips in this piece added additional ideas to our team’s ongoing 2018 planning efforts.