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

Strategic Planning

Competitive Positioning: Start with a Market Profile

A market profile reveals the unique characteristics of your typical customer and customer groups. It paints a picture of whom you are selling to and what your typical customer looks like. A good one will allow you to separate your prospects from those who aren’t interested in your product. Your brand strategy should be focused…Read More

Strategic Planning

How to Improve Distribution Channel Performance

Distribution channels have become the least glamorous strategy in the B2B marketing portfolio. Who writes about building channels, nurturing partners and how to improve distribution channel performance? I feel grizzled just tackling this subject. Social media, search marketing and new media are the topics with heat even in the B2B crowd (a small group compared to…Read More

Strategic Planning

CEOs Who Sell Gain Clarity on Competitive Strategy

Carol Hymnowitz’s recent Wall Street Journal article “CEOs Are Spending More Quality Time With Their Customers” highlights a trend that can directly impact your company’s competitive strategy. CEOs of Nike, Intel and Sun are becoming more involved in the selling process, focusing on tailoring products and services to meet the demands of their top customers. And it’s…Read More

Strategic Planning

Marketers Need a Whole New Mind

Today we’re finishing up our series on Dan Pink’s A Whole New Mind.  In our first post we introduced Dan’s premise that we’re in a new Conceptual Age where companies will succeed or fail thanks to right-brained, “R-Directed” thinking. Last week Nancy introduced his six critical right-brained skills:  design, storytelling, symphony, empathy, play and meaning. …Read More

Strategic Planning

A Whole New Mind for Marketing

A friend recently introduced me to Daniel Pink’s A Whole New Mind.  It’s a profound and exciting book and I couldn’t recommend it more.  So I’m writing a series of blog posts to share his ideas and apply them to the world we live in – that of the CEO and marketer in a small-to-midsize company….Read More

Strategic Planning

Test a New Pricing Strategy

Our last post about Parker Hannifin’s pricing strategy brought up a lot of great questions from our readers and colleagues. To recap, Parker Hannifin (a $9 billion company) was struggling with their profit margins, so they modified their pricing strategies. They grouped their 800,000 products into categories based on their level of differentiation in the…Read More

Strategic Planning

Pricing Strategy to Capture More Revenue

  How does your company determine the price of your products and services?  Do you try to maximize revenue with prices based on value, or do you use a formula where you add a desired profit margin to your cost? Consumer product marketers generally try to set prices based on what the market will bear. …Read More

Strategic Planning

A Wakeup Call for Marketers and Agencies

Suzanne Vranica’s article “On Madison Avenue, A Digital Wake-Up Call” in today’s Wall Street Journal (page B4) highlights how critical it is for today’s ad agencies to understand and embrace digital media. Nike has worked with the brilliant creative agency Wieden + Kennedy since 1982. Their founders have a longstanding close relationship. Yet Nike needs…Read More

Strategic Planning

Get to Know Your Target Market

Yesterday I spent 75+ min. on the phone with a rep selling a very cool product for our business.  And I absolutely bombarded him with questions about how his product could solve a challenge I face right now. There was a trainee on the call as well.  “Shadowing,” I was told, and true enough, he…Read More

Strategic Planning

Business Goals for the New Year

Happy new year, friends!   We’ve been away from our blog for a while — putting in overtime on our new marketing automation software coming this spring.  We hope you’re as excited about the year ahead as we are, and we’re excited to share all of our latest “marketing tips from the trenches” with you in…Read More

Strategic Planning

How to Document Your Sales Process

Yesterday, Jim wrote about how a documented sales process can help you grow your revenue. Today I’m going to help with the next step – 8 steps to document your sales process. 1. List your channels. For example, if you sell directly to end-users and through a group of resellers, you have two channels, each…Read More

Strategic Planning

How to Identify Potential Strategic Partners

If you’re looking for new ways to grow your revenue, think about finding a way to identify potential strategic partners. The Wall Street Journal’s Christina Cheddar-Berk wrote a great case study of Greg Butterfield, the CEO of Altiris, a software company in Lindon, Utah. Greg took Altiris from $1 million in revenue in 1999 to $187…Read More

Strategic Planning

How to Choose a Value Proposition

What sets your product, service and company apart from your competitors?  What value do you provide and how is it different than the alternatives? Your value proposition is the foundation of your entire business and the offers you take to market.  When your market clearly recognizes (and appreciates!) the value you provide, it’s easier to…Read More

Strategic Planning

How to Check for Name Conflicts

If you’re in the process of naming your company or a new product or service, you’re going to invest a lot in that name.  You’ll spend tangible dollars on brochures, signs, marketing collateral and stationery; there are also intangible costs like name recognition, brand equity & goodwill. Before you finalize your name, make sure you…Read More

Strategic Planning

How to Write an Executive Summary

I’m catching up on my reading and came across this great post by Guy Kawasaki.  He’s a managing director of Garage Technology Ventures, an early-stage venture capital firm and a columnist for Forbes.com.  He’s also written eight books including The Art of the Start, Rules for Revolutionaries, How to Drive Your Competition Crazy, Selling the…Read More

Strategic Planning

How to Do a SWOT Analysis

I’m not a fan of corporate jargon, but SWOT is an important one that’s useful for businesses of all sizes. What is it?  If you know how to do a SWOT analysis, you’re brainstorming about Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities & Threats in a particular business scenario. You can use SWOT to analyze Your competition Your distribution strategy Your marketing strategy An…Read More

Strategic Planning

How to Define Marketing

I was sitting there in the hot, cramped conference room of a small hardware manufacturer when the CEO proclaimed “Marketing doesn’t work.”  He went into elaborate detail about expensive brochures, an unsuccessful email campaign, and how they surveyed their customers and got useless data.  He repeated his mantra several times — “Marketing doesn’t work.” I…Read More

Strategic Planning

How to Eat an Elephant

How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. (Apologies to my vegetarian friends, but a pumpkin just doesn’t illustrate the point.) My team started with the elephant talk the middle of developing a product on an unbelievable timeline.  The elephant was our workload.  How were we going to get it all done?…Read More