Archive for the 'Consulting' Category

Strategic marketing breakthrough – Point of Decision

Earlier I commented on VC Fred Wilson’s smart quote “Marketing is for companies who have sucky products” and the failure of companies that focus on tactical programs when they should be thinking strategic.  I wrote:

Marketing is THE customer expert and advocate. … Marketing ensures that the product has the right features, optimal positioning, pricing, packaging, and promotion, and a market and customer-oriented product roadmap.

That’s only part of the solution.

For far too long marketing has been a custom, personnel-intensive, and thus costly part of company operations.  The lack of coupling between marketing and sales is the single largest failure, if not albatross, of Marketing today.

This is especially so at high performance companies that develop tech products that generate exponential returns or tighten the supply chain to wring out a magnitude of inefficiency and costs.  How can the Marketing department be just as responsive and productive?

The answer is not the “sucky” marketing that Fred Wilson so accurately wrote about.  Yes, you’ve got to have tactical marketing programs like a web site, newsletter, blog, social media, PR, etc.  But they’re akin to the modules of a software program – necessary but not the strategic organizational driver that’s going to make your business a huge success.

Let’s step back and look at this from an evolutionary perspective.

  • Fair marketing is product-driven.
  • Decent marketing is sales-driven.
  • Good marketing is customer-driven.

There is a clear trend that’s moving from me the provider to you the customer.  The next step is to dive even further into the customer to understand not just what he wants and needs, but how he makes decisions.

A typical product close is not one decision but a series of customer buying decisions that have their own individual marketing and sales processes.

The implementation of this Point of Decision  (really, Decisions) approach  is through a marketing system with  campaigns that  automatically and seamlessly work the lead through the sales ladder, deliver the offer, and promote the customer to the campaign on the next level and ultimately your target market.

One example that scratches the surface of Point of Decision is the free version of many software and web services today.

Point of Decision avoids the brute (and blunt) force trauma associated with much of today’s marketing with sales conversion rates that are a fraction of a percent. It’s a natural customer-centric process that puts the customer in control, while subtly selling at the same time.  As your prospect and then customer naturally arrives to and makes each individual buying decision, he gains trust in your company and product and becomes increasingly engaged.  The result is hugely more leads, more closes, and more revenues.

This is what we do at Power CMO Consulting and the Revenue Typhoon Marketing System.

Know your customers I: Segmentation

This article kicks off a new series of marketing and sales tips. Subscribe to our blog or Twitter feed to receive future installments.

I earlier wrote about the Revenue Typhoon where the secret to generating revenues is creating an end-to-end integrated marketing and sales process. This Know Your Customers series will show how that happens.

The more you know about your contacts, prospects, and customers, the better you can tailor your messaging, communications, and products to increase sales. One technique is segmentation. There are many ways types of segments. The key is finding the ones that naturally divide your prospects by person and company and enable more targeted one-to-one marketing.

Typical B2B segments include:

  • Location
  • Industry
  • Market
  • Professional
  • Organizational title

Segmentation is developed at the beginning of marketing and sales planning where your Market definition describes a target customer. If you don’t have a formal marketing plan, take your best shot and define one. Then look to your actual customers. You may find reality different from your original customer notions. If they diverge, update your target customer profile to match who actually is buying your product.

Tool tip – use WeMeUs Contact Management and Lead Generation.  Learn more about WeMeUs tag and group management so you can store segmentation data on your leads and customers.

You’re not AT&T & I’m not Obama

News the past few weeks from the private and public sectors share a common theme. On the industry side, in my blog I wrote “The only technology sector where prices go up …” about AT&T and the other telcos still playing the old monopoly shell game. Whether it’s a fake price war or shoddy service, that kind of manipulation of brand, press, and market is fading into the past as communications is increasingly immediate and universal.

In the public sphere the Democrats shockingly lost Ted Kennedy’s seat. In the short space of a year, a President and a party that soared through the polls have been slapped back down to Earth. The swing electorate swung back. The people were speaking and those that did not hear suffered the consequences.

Business today is transparent and real-time. The information revolution has brought down entire industries from recorded music to print advertising. Even Google is throwing in the towel and adding Twitter and other live feeds into its search results. Markets, customers, and voters are fully empowered.

When billion dollar companies and popular Presidents are dissected and gutted, what chance do YOU have?

What does this mean for your business? What products or services are threatened? What new opportunities does it create? How do you develop a meaningful and genuine dialog with your market? Should you even be in that conversation?

These issues, both strategic and tactical, are ones that we can help you with, whether it’s one-on-one consulting or Tribe Blue for your small business or large company.


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