21 Signs That Your Company Is Not Customer-Driven

Products cut the compony off from customersCompanies talk a lot about being more customer-driven, but it mostly remains just talk. It makes for good PR internally and externally. The question is whether a transition has really been made away from being mostly product-driven. Here is a selection of practical signs that indicate that a focus on products is preventing your company from unlocking real value for customers.

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Has Your Company Fallen Into One of These Four Strategic Traps?

Four Common Strategic TrapsFor a management team, it is hard to accept that a strategy that was birthed after so much work, discussion, and compromise is leading to limited growth, or worse. That is the predicament that many SMBs find themselves in, and it can be painfully apparent especially in these times. Here is a framework that describes four common strategic traps, some of them uglier than others, identified by examining the combination of two strategic biases (see diagram). Continue reading

In This Economy, Does Your Value Proposition Still Hold?

value-propositionThe news is full of stories of companies “battening down the hatches”, going into “cash conservation mode”, and making deep cost reductions in an effort to survive the real or expected drop in demand.  This retreat reflex drives business decisions that feel like the right thing to do at the moment. But, statistically,  for many companies these measures will prove insufficient Continue reading

10 Reasons Why Email is the Best Marketing Tool Now

When the good times roll, it is easy to yield to the temptation of experimenting with cutting edge tools.

But when times are tough and budgets and teams get slashed, marketing re-evaluates budget allocation to concentrate on programs that yield the best results. In this recession, email marketing is one of a handful of tools selected to bear a substantial portion of the revenue generation burden.

Why? Here are ten reasons: Continue reading

Customers Have No Vision for You

This may come as somewhat of a surprise to those who have stayed with the conventional wisdom that “the customer is always right“. But satisfying the request of every customer with the hope that the firm’s reputation for excellence will spread and be the key to riches is a noble but ultimately losing proposition.

Although customers as a group have requests, ideas, suggestions, and legitimate problems that need solutions, only  the company’s management and the CEO can have a Vision. Only the company’s leadership Continue reading

iPad Strategy Misunderstood

Segmentation is the heart of marketing because it is the best way to guarantee the relevancy of the offering, of the value proposition, and of the messaging to the target market. So, by definition, what is aimed at one segment does not necessarily please another segment, nor should it. This “Marketing 101” lesson seems lost on the mass of skeptical technology enthusiasts who do not see in the iPad what they were hoping for. But make no mistake: the iPad is a transformational product. Apple intends to capitalize on the momentum of the iPod and iPhone to rope in enough partners and spark another revolution.

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The New Normal and the Consequences for Marketing Strategy

Many savvy observers are convinced that this recession will not just be a temporary pause in a generally upward economic trend but will represent a “reset“, a point from which the US economy is going to operate differently moving forward. The probable long term contraction of consumer spending will have some important consequences for marketers, mainly:  international marketing and exporting are going to become key components of the recovery with business investment as a corollary.

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Strategic Marketing Case Study: Thin-Film Solar Technology

sunSolar power has been a topic of discussion and high hopes for decades now. Actually, that is not a very good sign. Solar power technology still needs to “cross the chasm”, to become a widespread technology that can effectively compete with electricity generated from fossil fuels. Success is not so much a matter of popular acceptance of the technology which is high overall, but mostly a matter of cost. Here’s a suitably hot, summer mini-case study on the future of the solar power business.

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