Sell Outcomes, Explain Methodology

Posted on August 4, 2015

One area I believe B2B marketers must improve to accelerate revenue growth is becoming customer-centric in their communications. In a prior post, I described the need for brands to develop a quantifiable value proposition that clearly illustrates how they help customers make money, save money, mitigate risk, or improve customer experience (and then demonstrate financial proof).  I argued that this is critical to initial engagement as we live ...

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Forget Customer Service — Focus on Customer Experience

Posted on April 6, 2015

Customer service. Two words that have been at the center of corporate improvement programs and countless awards ranging from JD Power to NCSA. Each year, thousands of well-meaning companies compete for bragging rights of being #1 in customer support in their industry.  But just what does this mean?  If customer service is what happens when things go badly, are these companies competing for the right metric? I think Maytag got it right ...

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The Missing Link in Sales Enablement

One of the most popular focus areas for companies seeking to accelerate revenue and profit growth is sales enablement. Depending on the definition you embrace, the idea is that smart companies equip their customer-facing staff with the necessary buyer insights, narratives, and sales collateral/tools to engage in meaningful conversations with buyers and customers to progress the dialog toward a sale. For many companies, it's been like a gold ...

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7 Reasons Why Brand Strategy is Essential for Effective Demand Generation

I regret to say that over the years I’ve worked in/with Marketing organizations that have operated in silos such that Brand Strategy/Management and Demand Generation were viewed as operating virtually on separate planets. Brand Management (it was thought) was involved in abstract research and positioning that was somehow removed from the daily “grunt work” of having to generate qualified leads to feed the Sales organization. The Demand ...

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SoCal BMA: Using Discrete Data to Develop a Focused Brand Strategy

Earlier this week I was able to participate in the Southern California Business Marketing Association's conference entitled Harnessing the Big Data Revolution.  My co-presenters were Ryan Rieches and Alan Brew of RiechesBaird, a B2B brand strategy agency and Dr. Bill MacElroy, Chairman of Socratic Technologies, a brand research firm. In attendance were marketers from a variety of industries including technology, energy and industrial products. ...

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New Endangered Species: The Brand Positioning Statement

During 2010 I had the opportunity to work with several regional companies in very diverse industries:  home construction, civil engineering, consumer products, and financial services.  In three of these instances, the companies hired a design firm to create what they thought was a brand identity (logo, color scheme) -- but what was missed was the actual brand positioning. When I asked senior management to give us their unique selling propos...

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A Lost Art: Putting a Face on Your Brand

Over the past several months, I've been working with companies in the healthcare and industrial services sectors where the initial conversations focused on their self-declared need for "a better website", or "a lead generation strategy", etc.  However, as I explored further I found that there was an underlying cause -- the lack of a brand strategy (which includes a unique selling proposition). I explained to these companies that simply touting ...

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“Strategery” is Not Just for Will Farrell

Posted on February 20, 2009

This post addresses the challenge facing ad agencies seeking to position themselves as marketing solutions providers -- go beyond the brochure and actually re-invent your firm.  I can help you do it. I recently met with an agency who was concerned about coming advertising budget cuts from clients and how it would impact them.  As I listened to the agency talk about the need to diversify their services and become more measurable in their ...

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Increasing Sales May Not be Related to Selling

This post is going to raise an interesting point that has been alluded to by recent marketing authors such as Dave Evans in various marketing publications, but is probably not being trumpeted loud enough across all marketing circles: declining sales may not be a sales problem after all -- it might be something else. It's too easy to conclude your distribution channels are the primary source of rising (or falling) sales .   Sure, they play a ...

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Why You Need to Continually Audit Your Brand Position

If you intend to write an annual marketing plan, then you also need to assess your brand position as part of the process. You've probably heard people reference "needing to get from point A to point B" to describe their career, business, or other aspects of their life.   Sounds simple, right? .... or is it? We are continually amazed at the effort expended by companies during the fourth quarter of every year to develop their "next year" ...

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