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Archive for the ‘Business Development’ Category

The 3 Most Powerful Words to Boost Your Career

Friday, October 17th, 2014

Humility is a powerful thing, but it’s rarely seen in action. This may be because, in order to rise to the top, leaders need to have a strong ego and self-confidence. They must be willing to take risks and move forward, even in the face of significant adversity. Too often, though, leaders may be unwilling to admit when they’re wrong. After all, admitting that they’re fallible may seem, on the surface, as an admission of weakness.

However, the opposite is true. (more…)

The Innovator’s Edge: Addressing Needs That Don’t Exist!

Thursday, October 16th, 2014

Despite the fact that business and advertising classes and textbooks tell us that the first stage in the consumer decision-making process is identifying a need, there are certainly instances when consumers don’t know they have a need. That’s where innovators can have an edge.

Lee E. Miller and Kathleen Hayes Onieal recently wrote a blog post for Harvard Business Review called “Getting People to Believe in Something They Can’t Yet Imagine.” In the blog post, Miller and Onieal discuss the fate that often befalls new, groundbreaking innovations: Nobody believes they will catch on! The very fact that something is so revolutionary and unheard of often makes getting buy-in from key decision-makers next to impossible. The authors point out some of the reasons for this, including organizational inertia, fear of change, financial disincentives and fear of failure, among others.

So what can be done to overcome these obvious challenges? Certainly, companies introduce innovative products and services all the time. What makes the champions of change within those organizations succeed? Miller and Onieal point to several paths to success: (more…)

Connecting, Via Email, With Powerful People

Tuesday, September 9th, 2014

In a recent blog post by Peter Sims in the Harvard Business Review titled “Tips for Cold Emailing Intimidatingly Powerful People,” Sims discusses tips and strategies for “cold-emailing” the big shots and captains of industry we all want to know. When it comes to marketing efforts, defining a list of individuals you want to get your message to and shooting them a personal email is about as targeted as it gets, so knowing how to effectively reach out to leaders, influencers and big spenders in your industry is a great arrow to have in your quiver.  (more…)

What’s The Best Way to Advertise to (Insert Group Name of Your Choice)?

Thursday, September 4th, 2014

It seems like just about every week I see a question on social media, or coming through various media feeds that I monitor, asking something like: “What’s the best way to market to millennials?” or “What’s the best way to market to Baby Boomers?” or “What’s the best way to market to mothers?” or…insert any group you can think of.

While I do believe that any question is a valid question, and this one obviously must resonate with many, the question itself points to what would be my key recommendation: (more…)

Sometimes “no” means “yes.” Don’t give up too soon!

Tuesday, August 26th, 2014

There’s often a big difference between siblings, even those close in age growing up in exactly the same environment. That was certainly the case between my brother and I. He was the kind of kid that would ask for something and not take “no” for an answer–even when threatened with punishment. I, on the other hand, would take rejection or refusal at face value and move on. I have that same tendency today and I know it’s not the right way to approach life–or building business.

The point was driven home to me recently when catching up on some reading. (more…)

The Power – and Importance of – Verisimilitude

Tuesday, August 19th, 2014

When I first learned the skill of copywriting several years ago I was fortunate enough to learn from one of the masters – Herschell Gordon Lewis. He had a concept that has stuck with me since then, partly because I like the word and partly because I like what the word means from a marketing standpoint. Verisimilitude. (more…)

Do You Know Who Your Customers Are? You May Be Surprised!

Monday, August 11th, 2014

I worked in a healthcare organization for about 10 years from 1996-2007. Back at that time the transition between referring to patients as “customers” was just emerging and it was fairly controversial. Marketing and administration favored the approach and logically it seemed to make some sense. But I can recall the debates, conflicts and consternation from clinical staff — physicians and nurses — about the use of this terminology.

At the time, I was firmly on the side of using the term “customer.” After all, I had come from the marketing world with a background in the investor-owned utility industry and a private educational firm, in addition to experience growing up in a family-owned business, so the concept of “customer” was one I firmly identified with.

In hindsight, though, (more…)

B2B Marketers: Are You Focused on Firmographics?

Wednesday, July 30th, 2014

If you’re reading this post, chances are you’re familiar with the use of demographics in helping to define and understand your target audience.  Demographics are objective criteria such as age, sex, income or geography/location. You also may be familiar with psychographics. Psychographics are qualitative characteristics of your audience–whether they are family-oriented, enjoy the outdoors, etc.

But, if you’re in the B2B (business to business) space, there’s another marketing term that you should be focused on: firmographics. Firmographics are (more…)

Are You Using BANT to Qualify Prospects?

Tuesday, July 29th, 2014

Every lead is not a prospect and every prospect is not equally qualified. In your early days of running your business you, like many entrepreneurs, may consider every lead a “hot” lead. After all, business is business, right? Well, not exactly. The longer you’re in business, and the more successful your business becomes, the more selective you will need to be about which customers you decide to take on. What a great problem to have, right?

There are a variety of different ways that you might decide to evaluate or “score” your prospects. One commonly used approach, though, can be very helpful–BANT. (more…)

People Just Aren’t Influenced by Social Media – Ask Anyone

Tuesday, July 22nd, 2014

A recent Gallup poll indicates that just 5 percent of U.S. residents say that social media had “a great deal of influence” on their purchasing decisions; 62 percent said that it had no influence at all.

Yet, companies in the U.S. spent $5.1 billion on social media in 2013. Are they nuts?

Likely not. The thing of it is, (more…)