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4 min read

EOS (Entrepreneurial Operating System) Traction & Marketing Strategy

By Michele Nichols on Mon, Feb 19, 2024

EOS and the Traction model have been making their way through entrepreneurial circles for years. It has staying power for a reason: it’s an operating system that can help empower teams, create clarity, and drive smart action. While it has the potential to create a cult-like following, there is no need to blindly follow this methodology at the expense of other tried-and-true practices that work in your business and culture. Its data-driven approach dovetails nicely with other methodologies you may follow.

Topics: Business Insights Marketing Strategy Change and Innovation
1 min read

AZO Marketing Podcast: Bridging the Marketing Strategy-Execution Gap

By Jordan Gipson on Thu, Dec 14, 2023

“Customer distrust is at an all-time low across sectors. And this isn’t marketing driven, but it is marketing’s problem – it’s a strategic problem.”

Companies have had to find efficiencies everywhere to maintain margins—at the expense of customer experience. These efficiencies have increasingly commoditized marketing—coupled with high turnover and low unemployment, many companies are seeing a strategic gap in go-to-market and project launch. 

Topics: Business Insights Marketing Strategy
4 min read

State of the Optics & Photonics Industry: SPIE Summit Debrief

By Michele Nichols on Thu, Oct 05, 2023

Optics, Photonics, Quantum and Energy Industry Updates

This past week, 150 leaders of photonics company leaders met with government agency leaders to discuss policy and initiatives critical to:

Topics: Optics Business Insights
6 min read

The Automation Imperative: Debunking Misconceptions in Advanced Manufacturing

By Michele Nichols on Thu, Aug 03, 2023

Automation and digital transformation are the next revolution in productivity. This is driven by a severe shortage of skilled labor and supply chain disruption is capping growth for advanced manufacturing across the sectors we serve. Automation has the potential to improve output, introduce new capabilities, improve margin, and grow revenue—but the skilled labor gap is making this change an imperative.

Topics: Business Insights Manufacturing Change Management Digital Transformation
5 min read

Marketing Budget Planning for 2024

By Michele Nichols on Fri, Jun 16, 2023

For many, it’s budgeting season as companies work through their strategic plans for the coming year. This means something different in every B2B industrial company we surveyed:

Topics: Business Insights Marketing Strategy Strategic Planning Marketing and Sales Alignment
3 min read

Effective AI and Automation Techniques in Marketing

By Mary Crowley on Wed, May 10, 2023

Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Automation have become buzzwords in recent years, and for a valid reason. These advanced technologies are revolutionizing the way businesses approach their marketing strategies by enabling high levels of efficiency, increased personalization, and improved customer experiences. The marketing industry is now leveraging AI and Automation. We’ll explore the top 5 AI and Automation techniques that every marketer should be aware of.

Topics: Business Insights Marketing Automation
3 min read

Measuring Change: KPIs for Change Management

By Michele Nichols on Tue, Apr 25, 2023

Appropriate change management and internal communications are critical to the success of your change plan, whether that’s driven by:

Topics: Business Insights Internal Communication Change Management Digital Transformation
1 min read

Trends for Tech Startups and the Investment Community

By Michele Nichols on Thu, Feb 09, 2023

Last week we attended Photonics West 2023 in San Francisco, for the latest in optics, lasers, imaging, and sensing technology. We had the opportunity to sit on the start-up panel, where entrepreneurs pitched their optics and photonics businesses.
Topics: Business Insights Strategic Planning Tech
7 min read

SPIE Photonics West DEI Roundtable

By Michele Nichols on Mon, Feb 06, 2023

Lessons Learned from Students, Candidates, Employees & Employers 


I was proud to be asked to lead this roundtable discussion on a topic that is critical to the growing field of photonics. That in no way makes me an expert in DEI. As a business owner who works with many of the market leaders in photonics, I am simply committed to doing the work.

I’m pleased to share the highlights from our active discussion on topics including:

  • What’s the state of the industry today?
  • What are some actions you can take to improve diversity in photonics, whether you’re a student, candidate, employee, or employer? 

Topics: Business Insights employee engagement DEI
1 min read

Market Outlook for Advanced Manufacturing

By Mary Crowley on Thu, Nov 17, 2022

Supply chain disruption, workforce shortages, market volatility, margin pressure—what else is ahead for advanced manufacturing in the US for 2023?  In this video, Michele Nichols, President of Launch Team, shares growth rates, opportunities, and trends, including winning strategies on how to create a competitive advantage in light of market forces.  She also covers what advanced manufacturers can expect in the coming months and years.

Topics: Business Insights Market Research Manufacturing
3 min read

HubSpot's INBOUND 2022: 3 Smart Marketing Tips

By Mary Crowley on Wed, Oct 19, 2022

The HubSpot INBOUND conference is always a great opportunity for marketers to learn about the latest trends and strategies from fellow marketing professionals and leaders. This year's conference was no exception and as a HubSpot Platinum partner, we came away with new approaches to try, current best practices, and good reminders for us and our clients.

Topics: Business Insights Inbound Marketing Social Media
2 min read

Annual Planning: Company Retreat Ideas to Build a Cohesive and Actionable Plan

By Michele Nichols on Mon, Sep 19, 2022

Topics: Business Insights Strategic Planning Organizational Culture