Dr. Kantor over at HarvardPublishing.org calls for everyone to be in marketing during a recession. I agree completely, but for those who know how I rant my next question is obvious: Why only ‘in a recession’? Driving the marketing discipline through your organization creates entanglements with customers deep down in the soul. It affects creativity in ways that are profound. Just think what would happen if your customer and prospects became an intimate part of your org chart. Creative chaos or intimate understanding? Ah well, since we are in a recession I guess it is a worthy call to arms. Let’s just try avoid departmentalizing marketing once the economy is on a roll again.
Many organizations trap marketing viewpoints in departments responsible for communication or customer service. This often leaves groups that should know better working without a close customer connection or even solid customer feedback during critical allocation and innovation stages of development. We live in a rather unique time where it often easier to add unnecessary features than to make the hard decisions about focus and value which drive truly effective communication and relationship building.
Methods of saying ‘no’ to your boss or co-worker — Business Fables “Learn the Art of Saying No.” provides ten. ‘No’ seems to be the most difficult word to use in a business relationship, maybe any relationship. ‘No’ carries with it disappointment from every angle. The receiver didn’t get what they wanted, the giver couldn’t make the receiver happy….probably the only thing worse than saying no is saying yes when you shouldn’t. For example: “Yes, we’ll do that.” — but you don’t. “Sure, I’ll rush that.” — but now ten other folks get their stuff late. “I would love to speak at your meeting.” — but you wouldn’t and your attitude shows. “Lets move forward on all these projects.” — and each one gets too little funding to be done well. “We’ll add that feature right now.” — even though it adds more complexity than benefit and destroys lead times. ‘No’ is … Continue reading
Floor space, budget, image, key messages, partners, neighbors, product display, education… The list can go on for quite a while. All matter. All must be optimized. But the key factor to a great trade show booth is the people who are there to talk to prospects. In small booths it’s easy to make the mistake of putting a table between you and the aisle, adding a few folding chairs and creating a situation where prospects must actively try and grab your attention. Be standing, make it easy to shake hands. In larger booths its easy for personnel to gather deep inside the space, forcing prospects to walk-in and around before being greeted. Yes, the prospects that make it that far are more likely to be interested. And unfortunately yes, the marginal prospect has walked past. Booth design strategy must take into account ways to encourage your peoples’ natural ‘outgoingness.’ The … Continue reading
Effective marketing influences every aspect of your business, not just communication or awareness. However, this is not a command relationship — as in, “We the marketing gods declare the focus group shows we must deliver X.” Marketing tyranny ends with the communication of compelling, yet undeliverable promises that damage brand equity. To avoid tyranny (and its opposite – weeniedom), marketing must act as the gas to energize your company’s efforts to build competitive advantage. From the marketers viewpoint, this energizing creative environment is driven by three initiatives: Drive Interconnected Measurement: As corporate objectives are broken down into department and individual objectives they are reinterpreted within the confines of a given process. Usually this means that across interdependent departments it is difficult to match goal to goal, creating difficulties in communication and support. Facilitate Meaningful Dialog: Communication is no longer a push vehicle driven by traditional collateral, advertising and PR. Marketing must facilitate … Continue reading