Archive for November, 2011

Don’t Be Afraid of Strategic Planning — Debunking the Myths

Sunday, November 27th, 2011

Someone told me once that the definition of creativity is the ability to pull a range of random pieces of information together to develop an idea. It might be an idea for a new product, an idea for a new process or an idea for a new approach to a vexing problem. The point, though, is that the  more you know about a lot of things the more likely you are to be able to use the things you know to create new ideas. (more…)

Starting a Business on a Shoestring Budget

Tuesday, November 22nd, 2011

Not every business is capital intensive which is good news for the many people out there right now interested in starting a business, but feeling hampered by lack of capital. There are a number of things that many would-be small business owners — particularly service-related business owners (e.g. consultants, accountants, attorneys, etc.) can do these days to start their businesses on a small budget. (more…)

What Results Are You Looking For? Do You Know Your Maximum Capacity?

Sunday, November 20th, 2011

I’ve recently encountered situations with clients in two very diverse industries, with two very different marketing challenges, that were both embarking on major marketing initiatives in the absence of some very important information. They hadn’t clearly identified the specific results they were looking for.

They thought they knew. In fact, when I asked them they both provided me with a lengthy explanation of what they were hoping to achieve. The trouble is that (more…)

Greatest Marketing Challenges Facing Businesses Today

Friday, November 18th, 2011

A student asked me the other day what the greatest marketing challenges facing business today were and whether I think these challenges are different than they have been historically. That’s a great question and I’ve pondered it for a while.

Ultimately, what I decided is that (more…)

Marketing Budget Best Practices

Sunday, November 13th, 2011

I’ve spent most of my career working for large organizations so developing and managing budgets is second nature to me. In fact, I *like* budgets — they provide both a planning guideline and a framework against which decisions can be made. In my case, those decisions have generally been related to marketing expenditures. Given a certain organization goal, and considering past activities and their costs, how much do I think I will need during the subsequent year to meet or exceed those goals. I like looking at and considering data this way and I like having a benchmark against which I can measure effectiveness of my marketing expenditures.

But, to my surprise (more…)

Lofty Language Fails to Connect

Tuesday, November 8th, 2011

For those communicators who work with — or who are! — professionals who required multiple, high-level degrees to practice in their careers, there can be a tendency to “speak in lofty language.” They forget that those who are *not* members of their profession *don’t* speak in their language. They fail to realize that, rather than being impressed by their advanced knowledge, their intended audience is simply confused and disinterested. Worse, when their intended audience doesn’t “get” the message they don’t *get* the message. (more…)

What’s the Difference Between Marketing, Branding, Advertising and PR and Does it Matter?

Saturday, November 5th, 2011

It’s a question that comes up in many venues. On Twitter and in LinkedIn groups. In business meetings. In university classes. It recently came up through a journalist who was asking for input from marketing professionals – like me: “I’m looking for experts to explain, compare and distinguish advertising vs. marketing vs. branding vs. PR.”

For those of us “in marketing” the answer is deceptively simple. (more…)

What Measures Can Marketing Communications Impact?

Tuesday, November 1st, 2011

As I work with companies on their marketing communication efforts most are understandably concerned about measuring the effectiveness of their marketing efforts whether those efforts involve multi-media campaigns or social media. And, personally, I’m a strong proponent of measurement in any business endeavor – you must be able to show a return on your efforts to prove your worth whether you’re an employee or a consultant/contractor.

But, if you’re responsible for marketing communications, you also need to make sure that you’re measuring those things that your efforts can realistically impact.  (more…)