Blog:

The Competitive Advantage

tag: strategy

December 4, 2018

Marketing & Sales for ‘Old’ Business Owners, Part 1

The first in a 5-part series on marketing & sales for ‘seasoned’ professionals.

I’m really lucky. I get to work with small business owners and managers all across the country. And many – if not most – are my contemporaries… same age range (50s-60s), same stage of life, same stage of business, etc.

And one of the obstacles I face is that these ‘old’ people (I’m 60 – so I’m allowed to say that!) have a blind spot when it comes to marketing & sales. They often don’t want to do it, don’t like to do it or don’t know how to do it. Yet, oddly, they do know that some kind of marketing & sales effort is important to their business.

It’s for this group that I’ve decided to write this blog series addressing the most common questions I hear from this ‘veteran’ group…

Continue Reading

November 27, 2018

Look left and right for revenue growth!

When you think about the growth of your company, 99% of the time, you think about how to increase revenue for your core business. That is, how do you sell more of the kinds of products & services you’re already selling to more of the kinds of clients you’re already selling to? And you should think like it… that is your business, after all.

But before you set in stone your growth plans for next year, you need to consider two other ways to grow your business.

Continue Reading

July 17, 2018

5 Times When You Should Turn Down a Project.

While we all have some level of responsibility to help grow our businesses – and for business leaders, there’s the added responsibility of keeping our employees employed – sometimes, as painful as it might be, there are projects that you just need to walk away from. Why? Because taking on those projects can do more harm than good.

Based on conversations with clients and my own experience, there are 5 times when you should turn down a project:

Continue Reading

May 27, 2018

Think. Plan. Do. A Smarter Way to Grow Your Firm

Those who are regular readers of my content have heard me say (on more than one occasion), that “Market Research is an industry that does not embrace marketing and sales”… particularly among agencies and consultants. And when these firms do decide to execute some business development efforts, they often just execute. There isn’t a lot of thinking or planning that goes into it… in reality, they’re just “winging it.”

Why does this happen? Why do the smart people at these firms not invest the time upfront to help ensure better results on the back end?

Continue Reading

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!

Continue Reading

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.

Continue Reading

March 20, 2018

Stop Using Content Marketing to Sell

I’ve been a subscriber to INC. magazine for years. I take away a nugget or two from every issue. In this most recent March/April issue, I started to read an article about a concept called the “active office.” It looked interesting.

The article began with what appeared to be an interview with the CEO of VariDesk, a manufacturer of sit/stand workstations. As I read further, I realized it wasn’t an article, but a well-written sales pitch and ‘advertorial.’ At the top of the page was the tiny header, “Branded Content.” And right next to the article was a full-page VariDesk ad.

It really angered me (both VariDesk and INC.)… trying to hide their advertising under the guise of editorial content, even designing the page so that it looked like a standard article. Now, whenever I read any article in any magazine, I look for the “Branded Content” header at the top of the page. Kind of sad, huh?

It was the perfect example of a lesson we share with all of our clients and emphasize during conference presentations…  Stop using content marketing to sell!

Continue Reading

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!).

Continue Reading

Search Site: