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The Competitive Advantage

tag: strategy

March 5, 2013

How Advertising can Support your Marketing & Sales for a Competitive Advantage, Part 2

This is thChick-fil-A-Cowe second in a 3-part series on a few current consumer advertising campaigns that really got it right with their advertising – all of which were an excellent execution of a strong marketing strategy. [Yes, they’re B2C, but they illustrate very important marketing lessons.]

Last week, we talked about Hardee’s & Carl Jr’s.  This week, I’d like to focus on Chik-Fil-A (http://www.chick-fil-a.com/), the fast-food restaurant chain serving [great!] chicken sandwiches, etc.

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February 26, 2013

How Advertising can Support your Marketing & Sales for a Competitive Advantage, Part 1

This is the first in a 3-part series on a few current consumer advertising campaigns that really got it right… they didn’t advertise simply to build awareness (which isn’t necessarily a bad thing) or to make people laugh (which two of the three do)… but their ads are an execution of a specific marketing strategy.

Yes, I am a B2B consultant and most of you reading this work in a B2B environment… but there are three really good lessons to be learned here about executing marketing in support of a broader strategy.

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January 23, 2013

Lead Generation drives business; 8 effective ways to generate leads for a competitive advantage.

Regardless of your sales philosophy or sales processes… virtually no sale has ever taken place that didn’t start out as a ‘sales lead.’  Those leads are developed and nurtured… and with some perseverance and a little luck, they eventually become clients.  That truism means that Lead Generation should be one of the primary strategies for every firm’s business development program.

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January 8, 2013

Under-promise and over-deliver for a competitive advantage

guardsMy son, Alex, a college sophomore, leaves this week for a semester abroad in London – 8 weeks of classes followed by 8 weeks of an internship (which will then be followed by a couple weeks with a backpack!).  What a great opportunity!

Over coffee last weekend, I tried to give him a little “fatherly” advice – particularly about his internship.  I counseled him to:

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December 26, 2012

Solve a problem to grow your business.

A “strategy” is a broad statement that helps to define the direction of your firm’s marketing & sales efforts.  Setting strategy is the most difficult of the phases in developing a marketing & sales plan (because it requires real thinking) and also the most important (because if you go off in the wrong direction, you cannot be successful).

One of the best ways to develop a strategy for your firm is to be the first to solve a problem… whether it’s within your firm, one that is plaguing your clients or within the industries you serve.  Here’s a brief case study from my past that might help explain how this works…

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November 27, 2012

Get prepared… part 4 of a 5-part series on how to create your marketing & sales plan for 2013

So, how’s your 2013 marketing & sales plan coming along?  Have you been following the steps in our process?

Have you done your homework and analysis (Phase 1)?  Did you establish the strategies to help drive your business (Phase 2)?  Have you crafted your plan with all the details (Phase 3)?  Great!

OK, now it’s time to execute and manage that plan (Phase 4).  And here are some guidelines for doing it…

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October 31, 2012

Your best prospects are right in front of you… just open your eyes!

Let me ask you a question… “How long have you been in business?”  Two years?  Five years?  Ten or more?

Now, my follow-up question… “In all those years in business, how many clients and prospective clients have you come in contact with… responded to their inquiries, met at conferences, submitted bids or done projects for?”  Hundreds?  Maybe thousands?

What that says to me is that somewhere in your organization – captured in a CRM, listed on a spreadsheet or collected on business cards wrapped in a rubber band – you’ve got the names, phone numbers and email address of hundreds (or thousands?) of potential clients.

So, what are you doing with those names?  How are you engaging them?  What’s your plan for staying on their radar so that when they need to send out an RFP – they think of you?

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October 23, 2012

Get out from behind your computer!

Are you familiar with match.com, the dating website?  I’ve never really spent any time on the site, but it is evidently one of the most popular sites of its kind in the world.

You know how it works… men and women log in and pore over profiles to try and find someone whose background looks appealing… then they email or IM back-n-forth to learn about each other and maybe schedule a date.  And from all accounts, it’s been a pretty successful site.

But have you seen the latest offering from them (on TV ads)?  They now sponsor events around the country called, “The Stir.”  They’re live, in-person social gatherings – wine tastings, group bowling, and so on.  Not online… not virtual… but real people meeting and talking in an effort to get to know one another.  What a concept!

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