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The Competitive Advantage

tag: marketing & sales

August 21, 2018

Marketing is Not a Substitute for Sales

For years, I’ve said that ours is an industry that does not embrace sales & marketing. And even for those firms that employ marketing, rarely do they have anyone dedicated to selling.

Forgetting for a minute the incorrect assumption that, “Selling doesn’t work for a firm like ours,” when asked about it, the response is often, “We don’t need sales… we do marketing.”

Seriously?! Let’s think about that for a minute…

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May 16, 2018

Your feedback please: Are ‘thank you notes’ a good idea or a bad idea?

I got into a “passionate” discussion last week with a client about sending handwritten thank you notes, especially at the close of large projects.

I argued for them. I like the personal touch… and think that a handwritten note of sincere gratitude, thanking a client for their business is a good and appropriate thing to do. To my way of thinking, if a client spends $50,000 with you – or even $5,000 – I don’t think it’s asking too much to take five minutes out of your day to write and send a note.

For all the tools, techniques and technologies we employ, I believe we are still in the “people business.” And that well-written thank you notes (something, by the way, that your competitors are unlikely to do) are a real H2H (human-to-human) touch point.

One of my client contacts took the other side of the ‘discussion’… with equal fervor.

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May 7, 2018

Has marketing changed over the years? ‘Yes’… and an even bigger ‘No!’

We hear it all the time… “Marketing is so different compared to the way it used to be.” Or, “Marketing is changing so fast that I can’t keep up.” And you know what? Both statements are true.

Think of all the technology-driven tools, developed in just the past few years, that have impacted the way we work: marketing & email automation, social media, CRM and SFA, data & analytics, SEO and – more recently – chatbots, AI and blockchain. In fact, there are more than 5,000 (!) software platforms and apps purpose-built to support marketing and sales. (Want to see them? Click here: https://cdn.chiefmartec.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/marketing_technology_landscape_2018_slide.jpg)

It’s mind-numbing!

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April 10, 2018

8 ‘Excuses’ for Not Embracing Sales and Marketing… and What to Do About It

During the time I’ve been in this industry, I have often said that, “Market Research is an industry that does not embrace sales and marketing.” And in 12+ years, no one has ever disagreed with me about that.

To be fair, certain segments – tech providers and panel companies, for example – have done a better job of making sales and marketing an integral part of their organizations. But one of the core segments of the industry – market research agencies and consultants – uhhh… not so much!

And when I chat with the leaders of these agencies about their lack of sales and marketing activity, they always respond with some sort of reason. Make that, some sort of “excuse.” So, for each of these excuses, I want share a new way to think about it.

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March 13, 2018

8 Ways to Get Marketing and Sales to Work Together

The Marketing and Sales functions are two parts of the same engine – the business development engine – and yet, in too many organizations, they operate in very distinct silos, each pointing fingers at one another for not working as a team and, ultimately, blaming each other when revenue goals are not hit.

But when Marketing and Sales work in unison, each supporting one another and taking advantage of what the other has to offer, both functions can achieve new levels of success. Here are 8 proven ways to get these two critical functions to work together…

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February 20, 2018

It’s Time for Revised Thinking: The New Marketing Funnel

Guest post by: Whitney Duprey, Marketing Account Manager, Harpeth Marketing

I’ve never really liked the “Marketing Funnel”. There, I said it. My name is Whitney, I’m a marketer, and I don’t like the marketing funnel.

Wow, it feels good to get that off my chest!

Now, let me clarify. I think that the marketing funnel, in its current iteration, does a good job of depicting and helping marketers visualize the sales process and how a lead becomes a customer. You have leads coming in at the top of the funnel, and as they progress through the buyer’s journey, some “fall out” and decide not to purchase with you, while others make it to the end of the funnel and then become customers (yay!).

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January 9, 2018

Want Effective New Year’s Resolutions? Start by Fixing Your Problems.

Well, here we are… at the start of another calendar year. [By the way, Happy New Year to you and yours!] And like most years, with our annual New Year’s Resolutions, we think about what we can do to improve our lives – both personally and professionally – in the coming months. I’ll leave the ‘lose weight’ and ‘quit smoking’ type of resolutions to you and focus this post on a few things related to your business.

Since 99.99% of us want to grow our business in 2018, I want to suggest a different way to go about creating your resolutions… one that can truly have an impact on the growth of your firm: start by fixing your problems!

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December 26, 2017

The Top 10 Marketing & Sales Posts of 2017

One of the ways that we support our mission of helping the Market Research industry to more fully embrace marketing & sales is to provide educational and useful content to the marketplace… in the form of eBooks, in-person presentations, webinars, tip sheets and – in 2017 – more than 50 articles and blog posts. To the thousands of visitors who came to our website this year to read that content… “thank you!” And for those of you who are not regular or frequent visitors, here is a list of the Top 10 Posts of 2017…

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