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Sextants: Rarely seen nor part of everyday life. But there is no instrument more pure or more technically perfect. Not requiring a physical connection to anything, the sextant is complete and never imprecise. Its ability to see and reveal raw truth, data if you will, is its power. Over hundreds of years, its navigational abilities have created freedom, provided safety, inspired unrelenting discovery as well as crushing failures and led to unimaginable wealth.

Such is the land of marketplaces too. Not created by Amazon, Alibaba or other emerging players, but by the Persian culture. A marketplace or a bazaar's purpose has always been to connect needs and desires with those who can fulfill them. To thrive as a merchant requires a vigilant balance and knowledge of one's customers and the products sold. This has not changed, tax nexus, GDPR and privacy be damned.

Like the purity of information from a sextant, customer insights and needsfrom both the customers you already have as well as the ones you wantshould be the primary constant driving a brand's decision about its marketplace investments. Customers are the ones we serve and need to understand. Harsh as it might be to revenues and profits in the short term, this is what will sustain growth. With research, media analysis and tracking technologies, we can know a good deal.

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