Gaining Strategic Focus

It's that time of year again.  Not the holiday season -- but annual planning for the upcoming business year.   In this "new normal" that we find ourselves navigating, executives across industries are grappling where/how they will find growth in 2011 and beyond.   In a recent issue of Strategy Magazine, a survey of top executives suggested that businesses need only think about a couple of important choices that drive the products and services ...

Read More

When Healthcare Professionals Receive the Wrong Diagnosis

I just received a forwarded email that was sent by local ad agency to their opt-in list, and was moved to write about it. The ad agency distributed the email to their opt-in to self-promote the creation of a series of TV commercial spots for a healthcare insurer.  Rather than focus on how the agency helped the client generate sales leads, it used four paragraphs of self-promoting copy to showcase the agency's "vision" -- naming the Creative ...

Read More

How to Select an Ad Agency

Posted on September 29, 2009

There have been a lot of books, conferences, blogs, and other commentaries all touting the value of transitioning your marketing strategy from "interruption" to "interaction" with customers and prospects.  Count this blog site as one more that heartily promotes this approach and I strive to help companies (and ad agencies) make the transition.  However, despite consuming millions of Seth Godin books and attending all the right conferences, ...

Read More

Bank Marketing Opportunity

It's a great time to be a bank in the US right now.  Sure, the increasing Federal regulation and decreased lending activity has changed the profitability profile for most banks, but it has also created an opportunity for smart banks to create an enduring brand.  Let me explain. With the exception of their "party like its 1999" lending practices of a couple years ago, banks have generally been conservative in their marketing approach, often ...

Read More

The Best Offense is a Good Defense: Why Retention Matters

Posted on July 13, 2009

I posted a blog comment earlier this year raising the point that new customers always get the best deals and loyal customers (those who've actually been paying the bills for a company) have to fight to be noticed.  I believe this theme bears repeating with a global economy showing no signs of recovery and head count reductions resulting from a systemic problem inside most companies today: they "talk the talk" about valuing their customers ...

Read More

Marketers: We’ve Seen the Enemy — and It’s Us

Posted on May 9, 2009

I've had several very interesting conversations with business leaders this week.   The subject?   The irony that while companies are laying off millions of people and the shareholders are demanding better ROI from marketing activity -- CMO's are doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. My first conversation was with a CEO of a Houston-based digital agency who is a Harvard MBA with more than a decade of experience ...

Read More

Are Traditional Ad Agencies Relevant Anymore?

In an odd sort of way, I admire traditional ad agencies for their ability to sell a single tactic (advertising) within one part of the purchase funnel (Awareness) and collect some pretty handsome fees -- regardless of whether the ads generate measurable sales.  I just wish they'd do one thing: ditch their primary association with advertising.  Let me explain. In its purist sense, an advertisement is a one-way message (monolog) designed to ...

Read More

Small Business: Now is Your Time to Roar!

Polarity is a member of The Permission Network -- a cooperative of companies who believe in building customer relationships instead of interrupting/irritating people to the point of buying whatever you're selling. One of the dilemma's we've been discussing is where small businesses can turn for thought leadership and experienced marketing execution -- in effect, delivering Fortune 500 marketing capability to the Fortune 1,000,000.   However, ...

Read More

Removing the Blindfold When Making Budget Cuts

I really tried to avoid diving into the discussion of budget cuts as I'm a demand-side thinker -- always looking for ways to grow sales/profits rather than becoming mired in trying to save $3.00 per year on domain name registrations.  However, with such a steady diet of "doom & gloom" from the media and companies consuming this poison -- it seemed appropriate to offer some insight for executives stuck with the task of budget reductions. ...

Read More

“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 ...

Read More