Over the past year, persistent inflation has posed major challenges for small business owners across all industries. With economic uncertainty expected to continue into 2024, we’ll bring together top experts and fellow entrepreneurs to devise strategies to strengthen your business and successfully scale obstacles, while identifying hidden opportunities to help you succeed in the new year and beyond.
For CNBC Small Business Playbook editorial coverage, stories and video, visit www.cnbc.com/small-business-playbook/.
Dr. Marcus Collins is an award-winning marketer and cultural translator with one foot in the world of practice—formerly serving as the Head of Strategy at Wieden+Kennedy, New York—and one foot in the world of academia—as a marketing professor at the Ross School of Business, University of Michigan.
His deep understanding of brand strategy and consumer behavior has helped him bridge the academic-practitioner gap for blue-chip brands and startups alike. He is a recipient of Advertising Age's 40 Under 40 award and Crain's Business' 40 Under 40 award, and an inductee into the American Advertising Federation’s Advertising Hall of Achievement. Most recently, he was recognized by Thinkers50 with the Radar Distinguished Achievement Award for the idea most likely to shape the future of business management. He has also served as a jury for the Cannes Lion International Festival of Creativity.
Before joining Wieden+Kennedy, he served as the Chief Consumer Connections Officer at Doner Advertising and led Social Engagement at Steve Stoute’s advertising agency, Translation. Over the course of his career, Marcus has developed a practice for creating culturally contagious ideas that inspire people to take action. His strategies and creative contributions have led to the launch and success of Google’s “Real Tone” technology, the “Made In America” music festival, the Brooklyn Nets, and State Farm’s “Cliff Paul” campaign – among others.
Prior to his advertising tenure, Marcus began his career in music and tech with a startup he co-founded before working on iTunes + Nike sport music initiatives at Apple and running digital strategy for Beyoncé.
Marcus’ work centers squarely on the impact of culture and the power that comes from having great cultural proximity. His best-selling book, For The Culture: The Power Behind What We Buy, What We Do, and Who We Want to Be, examines the influence of culture on consumption and unpacks how everyone from marketers to activists can leverage culture to get people to take action. Throughout the book, he relies on literature, case studies, his work with brands, and academic data to illustrate the “whys” and the “hows” so that readers will be empowered to successfully apply these learnings in their own pursuits.
Marcus holds a doctorate in marketing from Temple University where he studied cultural contagion and meaning-making. He received an MBA with an emphasis on strategic brand marketing from the University of Michigan, where he also earned his undergraduate degree in Material Science Engineering. He is a Forbes columnist and a trusted voice among CMOs and business leaders. But most importantly, he is a proud Detroit native, a devoted husband, and a loving father to Georgia and Ivy.
Barbara Corcoran’s credits include straight D’s in high school and college and 20 jobs by the time she turned 23. It was her next job that would make her one of the most successful entrepreneurs in the country: She borrowed $1,000 and quit her job as a waitress to start a tiny real estate company in New York City. Over the next 25 years Barbara would parlay that $1,000 loan into a $5 billion real estate business, building the largest and best-known brand in the business.
Corcoran is the author of the best seller “Shark Tales: How I Turned $1,000 into a Billion Dollar Business!” and host of top podcasts “Business Unusual with Barbara Corcoran”.
Corcoran is a motivational and inspirational speaker. She is a frequent small business and real estate contributor on every major network. Corcoran has been an investor/Shark for the past twelve seasons on ABC’s four-time Emmy award winning show, Shark Tank, investing in over 80 businesses to date. Follow Barbara on Twitter and Instagram @BarbaraCorcoran.
Dr. Kory Kantenga is a Senior Economist for LinkedIn and a member of its Economic Graph Research and Insights Team. His work focuses on surfacing insights on labor markets and the macroeconomy at large. Kantenga’s areas of expertise include employment and wages, skills and technology, job search and matching, and competition and innovation. His insights and commentary have been featured in Bloomberg, The Financial Times, Fortune, and The Washington Post. Prior to joining LinkedIn, Kory worked in economic consulting, focusing on antitrust and intellectual property matters, and served as a postdoctoral fellow at the European University Institute. He holds a Masters of Sciences in economics from the London School of Economics and Political Science and a Doctorate in economics from the University of Pennsylvania.
Justin Su’a is an organizational performance specialist working with elite athletes and executives from organizations across professional sports and corporate America, including MLB’s Tampa Bay Rays and Boston Red Sox, NFL’s Cleveland Browns, Google, US Army, IMG Academy, US Olympics, PGA/LPGA, ATP, WWE, and CrossFit. He specializes in human and organizational performance, team effectiveness, leadership, performance enhancement, and player/coach development. Justin is the author of two books, “Parent Pep Talks” and “Mentally Tough Teens,” and is the host of a daily podcast, “Increase Your Impact.” He is currently pursuing a PhD in organizational behavior, and holds a Master of Science degree from University of Utah, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in communication from Brigham Young University..
Holly Wade is the executive director of the NFIB Research Center, where she conducts original research and studies public policy effects on small businesses. She produces NFIB’s monthly Small Business Economic Trends survey and surveys on topics related to small business operations. Holly is also a member of the Board of Directors of the National Association for Business Economics (NABE). She has undergraduate degrees in Political Science and Sociology from the University of Washington and a Masters of Public Policy from the University of Denver.
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Comcast Business offers Ethernet, Internet, Wi-Fi, Voice, TV and Managed Enterprise Solutions to help organizations of all sizes transform their business. Powered by an advanced network, and backed by 24/7 customer support, Comcast Business is one of the largest contributors to the growth of Comcast Cable. Comcast Business is the nation’s largest cable provider to small and mid-size businesses and has emerged as a force in the Enterprise market, having been recognized over the last two years by leading industry associations as one of the fastest growing providers of Ethernet services. Visit business.comcast.com/.
For more than 25 years, Oracle NetSuite has helped organizations grow, scale, and adapt to change. NetSuite provides an integrated system that includes financials / Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), inventory management, HR, professional services automation and omnichannel commerce, used by more than 37,000 customers in 219 countries and dependent territories.
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