The Competitive Advantage

tag: strategy

June 4, 2012

Share your Knowledge to Build a Competitive Advantage

During my vacation on the East Coast last month, I made a call on the President of a research firm who had contacted me and wanted to meet.  I was happy to do it… you can only take so many days of sun, fun, beach and cool, refreshing drinks!

As we chatted, I realized that this gentleman was an absolute expert in the area of advanced analytics for research.  It came as a complete surprise to me because, until we chatted, I had no way of knowing that he had that level of knowledge.  There was no mention of it on his firm’s website, he didn’t have a blog, no Twitter account… no outlet of any kind to showcase that expertise.

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June 1, 2012

Should you Specialize to Gain a Competitive Advantage?

I’ve been out of town the past few days meeting with a couple of “good size” market research firms.

While the websites of both firms would suggest that they can (and do) conduct research in virtually all of the common vertical industries, the fact is that each of them DO have a specialty – on or two verticals that account for at least 50% of their business.  Yet, they are reticent to promote themselves as specialists.  Why?

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May 21, 2012

Social Media Marketing Lessons Learned from an Engagement

My daughter, Laura, got engaged a few weeks ago… it was great news!  Her fiancé, Wade, is a terrific young man and my wife and I couldn’t be happier for them.   And what was really interesting about the announcement was how Laura did it (like a real marketing pro!)…

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May 17, 2012

Under-promise and Over-deliver… a True Story

As most of you know, CRM (Customer Relationship Management) software is a must-have in your marketing & sales arsenal.  Your CRM software is used to track and record client & prospect interactions, manage marketing campaigns, create sales reports and so much more.

I happen to use ZoHo (  This isn’t a story to promote a specific platform, but rather a story about the “customer experience” and how it can impact your business.  And I happen to be the customer.

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May 7, 2012

The Research Industry is NOT Dying, but many firms WILL Disappear

The idea that the market research industry is dying has been filling up LinkedIn groups, conference sessions and online discussion boards for a while now, due largely to the emergence of new technology and the concept of DIY research.  Then a few weeks ago, Google announced its low-cost surveying tool… and the conversations accelerated once again.

The fact is, as technology advances, industries change… would you want to be in the newspaper business today?  Own a bookstore?  Produce vinyl records?

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May 3, 2012

Use LinkedIn for engaging, not hard selling…

LinkedIn is a terrific business tool for a lot of reasons…

  • To connect with someone at a specific company
  • To participate in a discussion about an important industry topic
  • To post a job opening at your firm
  • To connect with a group of liked-minded individuals (in the LinkedIn groups)
  • To provide something of value like an eBook or white paper

Want to put on a hard sell?  While LinkedIn (and all social media, for that matter) is not the venue for a sales pitch, far too many people use it for that… each time lessening the overall value of the platform and alienating its members (like me).

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April 24, 2012

Don’t bury old-school advertising just yet…

I know, the marketing & sales world appears to be driven these days by social media, blogs and websites.  But I find it very interesting that many of these ‘social’ sites or users of social media are turning to old-fashioned advertising to make a name for themselves.  Two quick examples…

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March 27, 2012

The Value of Patience

I found the following online a while back about the value of patience when it comes to marketing.  Very interesting…

1. The first time a man looks at an advertisement, he does not see it.

2. The second time, he does not notice it.

3. The third time, he is conscious of its existence.

4. The fourth time, he faintly remembers having seen it before.

5. The fifth time, he reads it.

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