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Strategic Marketing 3.0: How to do more with the same or less

Whenever you focus on your product or service rather than the impact on your customer’s operation, your thinking limits your results. Challenging yourself to think about what your customers really appreciate about your firm pays dividends. It’s worth asking these questions because a few exceptional firms earn higher profits, win nearly all the deals they

How a Marketing Plan Can Transform Your Company

Marketing is a tool, right? And, tools don’t transform companies. The conventional wisdom holds that Marketing has its niche, and this niche is support rather than leadership. For reasons that mostly have to do with preconceptions, most marketing looks outward. This isn’t the way great companies think.

Got Mission? Non-Profit Lessons for For-Profit Firms

Jack, the CEO of a technical services firm, and I both volunteer at the same non-profit. Several months ago, with optimism about the economy and a cup of coffee in his hand,  Jack described big plans and goals for the next few years. I knew Jack didn’t currently have the organization to reach his goals,

3 Things Excellent Firms Do, but Can’t Explain

Business leaders envy those exceptional firms that consistently thrive year in and year out through good times and bad. Do these firms have extraordinary management, or is it something “mortal” firms can learn? In my experience, the most consistent performers are culturally committed to the constant pursuit of three common goals: Looking for better ways

How to Raise Pricing in Good Times or Bad

I’ve yet to find a firm (exclusive of the sales force) that believes it’s overcharging for the value provided. In most cases, it’s just the opposite; firms charge too little relative to the value they create. Leadership generally senses this, but doesn’t know what to do. After all, they can’t just raise their pricing in

Are You Hiring the Right Marketer?

How much should you value industry experience when hiring a marketer? Of course, it depends on the role and the situation, but you’d be surprised how little deep industry experience matters in many cases. No, really. Technical knowledge or existing contacts can help your new hire hit the ground running, but it’s also unlikely to

What Was Ford’s Alan Mulally Thinking?

Unless you are selling talking beer openers or donuts, comparing your product to Homer Simpson defies conventional wisdom. When your product is a slow-selling car, your actions are certain to leave people saying, “D’oh!” Yet, this is exactly what Ford Motor CEO Alan Mulally did recently. He wasn’t subtle; in a public speech he projected

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