Writing is a powerful and well-tested marketing tool. The use of extended written materials is a key part of much technical marketing: white papers, brochures, documentation, and more. Creating a whole book to tell the story of a product or capability is less common, but no less valuable.
Over the past several months I’ve been co-authoring a book with ...More >
I’ve spent years in the marketing business, working with companies large and small. I’ve been on the inside as a Vice President, and on the outside as an Executive Consultant.
There’s a key problem with a lot of marketing.
It’s too easy to get hung up on making your product look better than it is ...More >
Great products always have a market. The question is this: What’s the value proposition that makes sense in difficult times? If your product is all about quality, you have two advantages over lesser products:
1. Your product can enhance your customer’s brand
2. You can offer risk-reduction purchasing strategies to your customers.
Both of these differentiators depend on ...More >
The more companies I talk to, the more convinced I become that thinking clearly about the segments you serve is the key to effective marketing.
The value of segmentation is really that it causes you to be objective about the kinds of people who will find your products and services interesting. Objectivity includes understanding the positive and negative aspects of ...More >
There are many ways to innovate, but one of the most reliable is in the customer relationship. It’s reliable because you can quickly measure the impact of changes in the way you manage the relationship with your customers. You don’t even have to have a brilliant idea—your customers will often provide it for you (if you ask ...More >
A strategic hypothesis lays out your view of the market, the opportunity, the risks, and a prioritized set of options. Once subjected to internal review and discussion, there are bound to be a number of additional questions raised, and perhaps some preferences expressed.
The purpose of validation is to test the preferred options with friendly customers and internal stake-holders, and ...More >
In Seven Steps to a Sound Strategy we outlined the phases of strategy development. This is the point at which the rubber meets the road. You’ve developed a problem statement, collected information, developed a research plan, carried out the research, and now you have to decide what it all means.
The goal of this phase is simply to build ...More >
Market research is the foundation of great strategy. Knowing more about your market and your customers than your competitors gives you an advantage when it comes to identifying new opportunities and capitalizing upon them.
There are many kinds of market research, and a wide range of expert services to help you apply them. In this article I will therefore focus ...More >
Strategy is about making good decisions. The best decisions are made on the basis of a combination of experience, intuition, and fact-based analysis.
The first step is to get oriented.
The environmental scan is a process I’ve found of great value in a complex strategy project. It follows the problem definition phase. The purpose is to gather and organize ...More >
In Seven Steps to a sound strategy, I outlined the elements of an effective strategy process. The first step is defining the problem.
It’s not as easy as it may seem, because early in strategy development there’s a lot that isn’t known. Here are some tests for a good problem definition:
- If you solve it, will it ...
Strategy is about making informed choices with limited resources, in ways that strengthen your business. There’s no easy way to be sure that you have the right strategy, but there is a process that yields consistent results. In this post I’ll summarize a proven process for strategy development. Then I’ll describe each step in turn.
The seven ...More >
however millions of farm animals over the centuries would attest to its effectiveness. The original of the word “brand” is in old Norse—the language of ancient Scandinavia. It means “to burn.” It was a good idea in Scandinavia to burn an identifying mark into the rump of your livestock, because ...More >
It’s easy to imagine that the primary task of marketing is the creation and deployment of communications tools. Certainly this is an important activity, but it comes almost at the end of the workflow for marketing.
- Begin with a clear strategy;
- Identify key segments and their needs;
- Develop positioning and messages;
- Understand your delivery channels,
…and then design the ...More >
Launching a new product is a complex task, and one that is well-staffed and competently handled in many organizations. However, there are two primary reasons why you may want a consultant to help:
- The product involves a new paradigm or entry into a newmarket where you have less experience
- You would like to acquire a set of product launch best ...
Strategy is really just another word for intelligent planning of your business in order to maximize value creation and delivery. It can involve re-vitalization of brand; new product plans; expansion into new geographies; and much more.
There are some basic issues that turn up time and again.
- Core competencies – What is my company really good at?
- Sustained advantage – What must ...
It is so easy to think that you are like me.
Yet every client is different, with unique interests, challenges, and organizations. Research is how we keep ourselves honest in business. It can be informal or formal; it can be statistically based or qualitative in nature.
We specialize in qualitative research, focused on understanding what’s really going on in ...More >
A brand is first and foremost a promise to the customer. It is intended to cause the appropriate customer to prefer the products and services associated with that brand.
Over the years, marketers have become more and more creative about how they build those perceptions. It’s no longer just about product value – it includes lifestyle issues, fashion, links to ...More >
- http://www.marketingpower.com - The official site of the American Marketing Association. A wide range of resources for members and non-members alike.
- http://www.monash.edu.au/lls/llonline/writing/business-economics/marketing/2.xml - ...from Monash University.
- http://www.indeed.com/ - A really easy-to-use site with a wide range of jobs and great search and filtering tools.
- http://www.jetblue.com/about/ourcompany/promise/index.html - A great example of a Customer Bill of Rights. It captures both objective and subjective aspects of the customer experience that JetBlue aims to deliver.
- http://hbswk.hbs.edu/ - The Harvard Business Review publishes a lot of very well-thought out materials. Some of it is available in blog-like forms from the Working Knowledge site. There are articles on marketing, strategy, and a wide range of business topics.
- http://www.squidoo.com/marketingwithintegrity - Squidoo provides a platform for the discussion of a wide range of issues. This topic focuses on the relationship between business and ethics from a pragmatic perspective
- http://www.interlink-partners.com/ - Interlink Partners is a boutique consultancy with a track record of results in semiconductors and software. Their focus is on a high-intensity examination of business issues and opportunities resulting in rapid results. The partners bring deep experience in marketing, operations, venture funding, and international business.