Better, Faster, Cheaper? Which do your clients really want?

October 17th, 2017

better faster cheaper“Which do you prefer – better, faster or cheaper?” I’m sure if you asked your clients directly which they would choose, their immediate response would, of course, be “All three!”

But if they had to pick one, which one do you think it would be?  It’s a topic I discuss frequently with firms across the MR industry.

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My son quit his job to pursue his dream!, Part 2

October 10th, 2017

dreams4Three months ago, I wrote a post about my son, Alex… quitting his job in Dallas to pursue his dream in New York City. Not only did he want to relocate to a city where he had no real network of contacts, he also wanted to change industries – from healthcare to music – again, with no real connections. But he had a dream!

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What Makes a Specialist Special?

September 19th, 2017

specialistMost research firms are ‘generalists’… offering a variety of research methodologies to all kinds of firms in all kinds of industries. If it’s a profitable opportunity and if it fits their team’s skill set – they’ll take it.

And that’s fine. But with that broad approach to business comes a muddled and murky approach to marketing… decisions are difficult to make. Trying to serve so many kinds of companies in so many industries means far too many marketing options. So, how do you choose?

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Differentiation: Just Being Different Isn’t Enough

July 31st, 2017

goldfishOver the past five years, without a doubt, the most popular topic in my conversations with clients and prospective clients has been around ‘differentiation’… what they can do to stand out from their competitors. Everyone agrees there is far too much “sameness” in our industry – too many firms that look alike and sound alike all offering a range of services that are essentially the same. If you’re a prospective buyer, how do you choose?

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Content marketing stalled by writer’s block? Here’s what I did.

May 16th, 2017

writers-blockFor the past five years, I have posted a blog once a week, virtually without fail. As a provider of content marketing services, we not only have to talk the talk… we also have to walk the walk. But after nearly 250 posts… I hit a wall. For the first time since we started Harpeth Marketing, I had writers’ block.

It’s not that I couldn’t come up with any good ideas for posts, I couldn’t come up with any ideas… period! It was truly frustrating.

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The 3 Cardinal Rules of Building Awareness

April 4th, 2017

A simple fact: Potential buyers can’t buy from you if they don’t know you exist… or if you never come to mind for them.

So, whatever your marketing & sales plans, strategies or tactics… it all starts with being known. That is, it all starts with building awareness. Period.

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Question: What percentage of your clients don’t return?

January 25th, 2017

love1Answer: It’s a lot higher than you think!

Creating a “client for life.”

True story. I’ve been working with a large firm in our industry for the past several weeks… and one of the data-gathering projects we did early on was to look at Revenue by Client, for each of the past several years.

Of all of the insights that this exercise can provide, the most interesting – in this case – was that 40% of their clients only did one project with them… and then never returned!

We’ve done this “one-timer” analysis for many firms and the resulting information is ALWAYS a surprise… because the percentage of one-and-dones is ALWAYS higher than the client expected!

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Strategy & Planning are Easy… Marketing Execution is Hard!

January 17th, 2017

Hard & EasyOK, strategy and planning are not easy… not even a little. They require focused time and critical thinking – two assets often in short supply around the office. But once they’re done… they’re done. Then the real work begins.

I was out of town last Thursday and Friday working with a new client. It was for two days of coaching on marketing strategy and planning… helping them to focus their business development efforts then putting in place some targeted tactics to execute over the coming months. And it went really well.

Now the question is… will any of those agreed-to tactics actually get executed?

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