The Competitive Advantage

October 8, 2013

Measure your marketing for a competitive advantage… a neat little trick (and it’s free)

Bit.ly_LogoMeasuring your marketing effort is critical to your success.  When you measure, you learn what works and what doesn’t… and from that, can create a process for continual improvement.

Sometimes, the measurement requires some good ol’ nose-to-the-grindstone effort.  And other times, some really smart people create easy-to-use tools that make the job a whole lot easier.  Here’s one of them.

We’ve all used a service like bitly to create shortened versions of very long URLs.  It can be a very useful tool.

But did you know that bitly also provides a very easy way to help you track your marketing tactics?  Here’s an example of how it works…

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October 1, 2013

Hey sales rep… do your homework!

Do you know who your customers are?  Sure you do.  You can probably describe them with some level of granularity.  And you know, in a broad way, what they do and how they use your services.  Good.

Well, I received a phone call (actually, they left a voice mail) yesterday that showed that not everyone is as smart as you.

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September 27, 2013

It’s not that complicated! A common sense approach to the marketing & sales process.

PyramidMany (many) years ago, when I was an upstart corporate executive, one of my colleagues recommended a book to me on finance and accounting for non-financial managers. I liked it because it took fairly complicated concepts and processes and explained them in plain, simple English – perfect for a marketing and sales guy like me!

Coincidentally, since opening Harpeth Marketing, most of my client contacts have been non-marketing and sales professionals and I’ve looked for plain-English resources to help them better understand concepts and processes surrounding business development. And while there a lot of good resources available, I needed one that was specific to the B2B services industry.

So I looked at the MR marketing and sales activities and created a model that lays out a step-by-step process for growing revenue. We call it the Marketing & Sales Pyramid™…

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September 24, 2013

Details matter… are you paying attention?

pick 2BI’ve blogged before about the local coffeeshop that I frequent – The Good Cup in Franklin, Tennessee.  I’ve described it as a real social networking site because I always run into old friends there and it gives me the chance to catch up.

A month ago, my son and I ran by for some coffee and a chance to spend a last few minutes together before he headed back to college.  I ordered a cup of coffee and he ordered a drink that needed to be made by the barista.

His order got dropped and when they finally brought it around, they apologized for the delay and gave my son a coupon, good for a free drink on his next visit.  Take a look at the coupon in the photo… it’s a guitar pick.  And I thought it was fantastic…

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September 17, 2013

Get ready to exhibit this fall… part 3 of a 3-part series

writing_a_letterTwenty years ago, before I started in into the MR industry, I worked in the conference and trade show industry.  Back then, one of the industry’s key associations – the Center for Exhibition Industry Research ( – reported that only 20% of all leads generated at an exhibition were ever followed-up on.  Today, with all of the new tools and technology available to exhibitors, that number is still 20%!

Stated another way, 80% of everyone who gives up their time to come into your booth this Fall (at TMRE, CASRO, ESOMAR, QRCA, etc.) will not hear from you afterward!  That’s not just bad business… it’s downright stupid!

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September 10, 2013

Get ready to exhibit this fall… part 2 of a 3-part series

It’s SHOWTIME!  Are you ready to exhibit?booth 1

This 3-part blog series will provide some insider tips on managing your exhibiting efforts BEFORE, DURING and AFTER the event.  This week…

Part 2: DURING the event

The fact is, most firms have no idea how to effectively ‘work a show.’  The pop up their booth, set down a table and a couple of chairs, print some literature and think they’re ready.  Virtually no thought goes into how to create an experience inside the booth that generates a very positive perception in the eyes of everyone who comes in the booth.  Here are 11 tips to help you do that…

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