Strategic Planning

The Way Buyers Buy Has Changed Forever

Last week, the Business Marketing Association of Phoenix was treated to a keynote presentation by Marketo co-founder Jon Miller. At the high level, the key takeaway from his presentation was that the Internet has changed the way we evaluate and purchase products and services – forever. And the way we market and sell must change…Read More

Strategic Planning

Brand Strategy

Your brand is more than your logo, name or slogan — it’s the entire experience your prospects and customers have with your company, product or service. Your brand strategy defines what you stand for, a promise you make, and the personality you convey. And while it includes your logo, color palette and slogan, those are…Read More

Strategic Planning

Distribution Channels

Distribution channels in marketing are one of the classic “4 Ps” (product, promotion, price, placement a.k.a. “distribution”). They’re a key element in your entire marketing strategy — they help you expand your reach and grow revenue. B2B and B2C companies can sell through a single distribution channel or through multiple channels that may include: Wholesaler/Distributor Direct/Internet…Read More

Strategic Planning

Marketing Campaigns

For many companies, marketing campaigns are the main method for both communicating with their market to reinforce their positioning, and for customer acquisition. Good campaigns follow a theme and include a series of touches with the market. It’s noisy in the marketplace, and a message delivered once through a single medium rarely makes a difference….Read More

Strategic Planning

Marketing Plan and Budget

A marketing plan is a detailed roadmap that outlines your marketing strategies, tactics, costs and projected results over a period of time. Your marketing plan and budget keeps your entire team focused on specific goals – it’s a critical resource for your entire company. Some statistics have shown that up to 85% of small- to…Read More

Strategic Planning

CRM for Small Business

Customer relationship management, also known as CRM, is a term that refers to two things: A company’s strategy for managing leads and customer data Software that manages that data In its simplest form, CRM for small business is a database where sales and marketing teams store critical account data: Contact & account information (contact names, emails, phone…Read More

Strategic Planning

Sales Management Strategy

Creating a sales management strategy is one of the easiest ways to increase your revenue and profitability. Sales management is about leading the people and process your company uses to sell to prospects and convert them into customers. Responsibilities include: Building the right sales strategy Hiring the right team Creating the right compensation plans, territories…Read More

Strategic Planning

Repeating the Marketing Process

If you’ve read through all of this material (which you can download in our ebook to read offline), you’ve probably identified some opportunities to improve your marketing strategies and execution. As you’ve seen, your success in any one area can be dramatically impacted by the strategic & tactical subjects that come earlier in the process….Read More

Strategic Planning

B2B Content Strategy

What are B2B inbound marketers struggling with? Creating engaging and provocative content. 80% of B2B marketing and sales professionals feel that their demand generation campaigns are ineffective, according to Corporate Visions, who published this finding in their Q2 2012 Marketing and Sales Messaging report. B2B content strategy is a real pain point for most marketers. Most feel…Read More

Strategic Planning

How to Obtain Executive Support for Strategic Marketing Initiatives

Experienced B2B marketers understand that most of us are fighting a two-front battle: one with the market and one with the executive team. Penetrating the market to generate leads, win customers and earn mindshare is difficult enough. Brian Carroll, of the B2B Lead Roundtable Blog, summed up the B2B marketer’s challenge perfectly in a recent…Read More

Strategic Planning

Will Lowering Your Prices Increase Profits?

Revenue is down and you need to take action. In a slow economy, it’s reasonable to assume that if you were to lower your prices, you’d sell more and increase revenue and profits. But is this always true? Maybe, or maybe not. The untrained business person might feel that this was the best pricing strategy,…Read More

Strategic Planning

How to Create a “Back of the Napkin” Marketing Plan

It’s the New Year–time to review last year’s marketing efforts and determine what worked and what didn’t–and set your goals for the New Year. Most small to midsize companies have a marketing budget but no formal marketing plan. If that’s you, turn over a new leaf and outline your plan. You have a far greater…Read More

Strategic Planning

Distribution Channels for Services: Big Ideas, Big Payoffs

Last week Jim talked about the unglamorous but important topic of distribution channels. It’s one of the “4 Ps” (“placement”), but many marketers and smaller companies don’t think about it as often as they should. It’s potentially the most important strategy in your arsenal. When you sell a physical product, it’s easy to keep distribution strategy…Read More

Strategic Planning

Win Mindshare to Influence Your Market

Years ago Peter Drucker, the father of business consulting, made a very profound observation: “Because the purpose of business is to create a customer, the business enterprise has two—and only two—basic functions: marketing and innovation. Marketing and innovation produce results; all the rest are costs. Marketing is the distinguishing, unique function of the business.” Yet…Read More

Strategic Planning

Positioning Strategy for Startups

Over the weekend I read Steven Gary Blank’s The Four Steps to the Epiphany: Successful Strategies for Products that Win. It’s a fabulous business book packed with a ton of valuable insights from the author’s 30 plus years of experience as an entrepreneur and a venture capitalist. I highly recommend that every entrepreneur running a…Read More

Strategic Planning

The Problem with Marketing Departments

Fifty years ago, Peter Drucker said that “any business enterprise has two – and only these two – basic functions: innovation and marketing.” Yet even today, industry leaders are still lamenting that the marketing function is broken. Issue #1: Companies have vastly different definitions of “marketing.”  To some it’s a creative function that develops slick…Read More

Strategic Planning

How to Develop Your Brand Architecture

Branding is a bit of a mystery for many small to mid-market (SMB) companies. There are many opinions and methods as to how best approach it. Top creative agencies have their own “proprietary” methods for crafting a brand strategy. They have to, in order to position themselves against competing agencies. They use cool-looking graphics: circles, triangles,…Read More

Strategic Planning

The Marketing Function Is Strategic, Not an Afterthought

The marketing function gets no respect. In B2B companies with less than $100 million in revenue, it’s the lowest rung of all the business functions on the ladder. Why? Because everyone thinks they understand marketing, yet few do it well. Actually, not quite everyone, but ask 10 non-marketer business people to define marketing and you’ll…Read More

Strategic Planning

When to Fire Your Customer

Everyone knows it’s important to retain customers.  Good customers are hard to find and worth keeping. It’s almost always more profitable to keep existing customers than to replace them with new ones.   But what about that problem customer? You know, the one that everyone wishes secretly (or not so secretly) would just disappear?  …Read More

Strategic Planning

In a Price War? Raise Your Prices to Increase Revenue.

Few companies emerge from a price war better off. What should you do if your competitors start undercutting your prices? A knee-jerk reaction is to lower your prices as well. But for some companies, that’s the exact opposite of the correct move–which is to raise prices to increase revenue. Terry Irwin of TCii Strategic and…Read More