Mar 152012
 

Recently, I took the responsibility for developing a sales-operations department. Naturally, I started with the question, “what, exactly, is ‘sales operations’”?

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Oct 302011
 

Recently, I was speaking with a manager in my organization. He said something which I hand’t heard in a while, but was once a common refrain in my own early managerial career. “Sometimes it gets to the point where it’s just easier to do it myself.”

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May 092011
 

As we head into summer here, I thought it might be useful to put together a quick summer reading list. If you haven’t already read these three books, go get them now:

If you have read them, go read them again.

True, they’re not as popular for business reading as they once were. Also true, if you were to actually follow them literally, you’d be violating dozens of moral and legal covenants. But the fact remains, collectively they provide an insight to power dynamics that is critical for any leader.

Apr 102011
 

Everything from web-site design, to search-engine marketing (SEM/SEO), to trade shows, to television commercials, classic outbound marketing, also known as marketing communications (MarCom) is the nuts and bolts of any marketing campaign. It can also include branding, publicity, and public relations, which I already discussed under brand.

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Mar 092011
 

There are only two reasons to start a business: either you’ve spotted a technical discontinuity, or you’ve spotted a market discontinuity, and you’re looking to leverage that observation. But the reality is, this line of thinking and and should be extended to cover your entire organisation and operations — and failing to do so is one of the most common causes of lost profit, time, and opportunity that I’ve seen.

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Jan 262011
 

The epitome of marketing, according to Peter Drucker, inbound marketing is perhaps the least understood subdivision of marketing. In fact, it’s so poorly understood that many modern marketers have started to misuse the term — using it specifically as a synonym for Internet marketing or generally as an antonym for outbound marketing. This couldn’t be farther from the truth; in fact, Internet marketing is just a particular instance of outbound marketing.

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Brand

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Nov 262010
 

Building the value of your brand, and building raport with your customers, employees, investors, and the public at large is a critical part of your marketing campaign.

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Aug 302010
 

One of my credos is that marketing must first and foremost be a science. That’s not to say we marketers are discovering big, universal truths over here, the way mathematicians or physicists might be. But it is to say that we’re using the scientific method to find little, local truths about how you can best succeed in your business.
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Jul 212010
 

With over half the people on the Internet using Facebook at least once per month, Facebook has become an extremely important part of Internet life. And they’re using that power to change the web as we know it: they’re driving the “social web”. Being on the cutting edge of that transition can put you in prime position to improve your business through referrals — the best source of customers.

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Apr 122010
 

For the last several years, off-shoring has become all the rage. In fact, it’s gotten to the point where if you’re pitching a VC you had better include off-shoring in your pitch if you want to have any chance of success. But success in your pitch doesn’t necessarily mean success in your business. I want to take this opportunity to share one particularly successful off-shoring endeavour, and to focus on the importance of good management.

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Mar 032010
 

Just What Is Marketing?

If you look marketing up in a dictionary, you’ll get something along the lines of, “the action or business of promoting and selling products or services, including market research and advertising.” That does give someone who’s never encountered the word before a decent understanding of the notion. But how, exactly, does one go about doing that?
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Feb 262010
 

As we sit here, pondering whether or not we’re in the middle of a recession or entering a recovery, I’m reminded of an old business adage: “When times are good, advertise. When times are tough, advertise more.” Now, that adage certainly isn’t a truism. There are plenty of businesses out there for whom spending extra money on advertising would be a complete waste. Which kind of company is yours?

I don’t believe in advertising blindly, and I certainly don’t believe in wasting your money. What I do believe is that for a certain kind of company, run by a certain kind of leader, tough times are the time to make the bold moves — the time to strike at your competitors when they’re weak; the time to grab advantage from the incumbents, because they’re scared.

Which kind of company is yours? What kind of leader are you?

End of motivational preaching,
Chris

Jan 152010
 

Before you set off trying to do this thing called “marketing”, there is probably no single thing more important than that you understand your goals. Specifically, you should have goals at varying degrees of granularity (e.g., strategic goals vs. tactical goals), and regardless of their granularity your marketing goals should be desireable, measurable outcomes.

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Dec 182009
 

As we come to the close of the last quarter of the year, I look back to the close of the previous quarter, where I briefly digressed from this introductory series on on-line marketing to take a closer look at Twitter. The fact that that article was one of my most popular ever makes me optimistic that this more generic primer on the topic of social networking in your marketing campaigns may be just what the doctor ordered.

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Nov 232009
 

If you are in a product management role for a company selling technology equipment into the enterprise, then in today’s economy you are likely facing serious questions over top-line growth. One way to improve top-line growth is to expand into an adjacent market. An adjacent market might be an adjacent product category, an adjacent geography, or, if you think you sell to The Enterprise, a different size of business — in this case, the SMB (Small and Medium-sized Business).

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Oct 302009
 

Here we are with installment #4 of our five part introduction to on-line marketing. In case you missed the earlier installments, you can find them here:

Before I dive into the meat of things, I want to talk a little bit about the title of this post. When I initially envisioned it, this article was going to be about banner ads. Now, when I think of “banner ads”, the natural analog equivalent is billboard advertising. Thinking that way is why I said that, of all the on-line marketing techniques, e-mail marketing is probably the closest analog to a traditional marketing technique which you have probably used. But the more I thought about things, the more I came to realize that “banner ads” are only called that because of their shape. From a marketing perspective, what I’m really talking about is display advertising, regardless of the shape of the ad — and display advertising is something that as a business owner you are probably just as, if not more, likely to have used than direct mail. Display advertising covers billboards, but it also covers ads in periodicals, and, most significantly, ads in your local Yellow Pages.

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Aug 312009
 

Welcome back to my introduction to on-line marketing. In case you missed them, you may want to check out the earlier articles:

In part three, I’ll be looking at email marketing campaigns. Of all the on-line marketing techniques, e-mail marketing is probably the closest analog to a traditional marketing technique which you have probably used. Essentially, it’s the on-line version of direct mail marketing. As with other on-line marketing techniques, its two biggest advantages over its non-digital equivalent are the ease with which results can be measured and the speed with which a campaign can be changed to improve your metrics. Oh, and did I mention the cost? The lowest USPS rate for bulk, commercial mail is currently 19¢. Contrast that with bulk e-mail, which typically starts at about 1.5¢ per e-mail and goes down from there depending on volume and contract commitment.

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Jul 312009
 

As part two of my five-part series on on-line marketing, I want to get into the next level of detail on the heart and soul the matter: search engines. For most businesses, the goal of on-line marketing is to get customers to come to your web-site. There are other ways to do this (email blasts, banner ads, etc…), but in reality, most new customer traffic to your website is likely to be driven by search engines.

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Jul 312009
 

As part two of my five-part series on on-line marketing, I want to get into the next level of detail on the heart and soul the matter: search engines. For most businesses, the goal of on-line marketing is to get customers to come to your web-site. There are other ways to do this (email blasts, banner ads, etc…), but in reality, most new customer traffic to your website is likely to be driven by search engines.

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Jun 302009
 

These days, everyone is interested in on-line marketing. Unfortunately, few business owners know how to go about it. This is the first in a five-part series on the topic, and will focus on key aspects of any on-line marketing campaign. Future posts will go into more detail on SEO vs. SEM, email advertising, banner ads, and social media/social networking. While everything in this post in slightly more conceptual in nature than one is used to seeing in blogs, I think the basics are important. The is less about “how to” than it is about “what to do”. While many blogs talk about, for example, changing round your default title setting when using WordPress, I find that few if any explain the why, and I think that it’s important to understand why you’re doing what you’re doing before you embark on any marketing undertaking. This series is designed to provide the first-order answers to “why” when it comes to many on-line marketing efforts. In this post in particular, the topics I’m going to cover are

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