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Archive for the ‘Business Development’ Category

Yes! You DO Have Competitors!

Tuesday, May 6th, 2014

Every once in a while, we work with a client who believes that they do not have any competition–they are unique or their product is so exceptional that there is just nothing that competes. Those client conversations are always just a little bit awkward because, in reality, every organization of any size has competition of one form or another. Even an organization that is introducing a truly unique and innovative new product will deal with “indirect competition” (literally, “any other alternative” to what they have to offer). Acknowledging competition can be tough, but it’s a critical step in determining how to best “position” and sell what it is that you have to offer.

One way to think about this is to ask yourself the question: (more…)

Best Practices for LinkedIn Groups

Thursday, May 1st, 2014
I’m a long-time fan of LinkedIn, and LinkedIn Groups, particularly for B2B marketing. I’ve used LinkedIn and groups for myself and for my clients whose goals generally include building credibility and establishing thought leadership status. A business contact recently asked me what my “top tips” would be for participating in LinkedIn and, particularly, for participation in LinkedIn Groups–one of the big benefits of this social media platform in my opinion.

(more…)

Communicating Efficiently Online

Thursday, April 10th, 2014

Expanding communication opportunities bring both benefits and challenges to marketers today. While the availability of a wide range of communication options can be empowering, it can also be overwhelming. Which to use? When? How? How can you ensure that you’re not just wasting your time?

Marketing staff at both large and small organizations are finding themselves faced with significant opportunities today, but these opportunities can translate into a significant amount of work. What can they do to ensure that their time is being spent most effectively? (more…)

What You Need to Teach Your Employees About Customer Service

Tuesday, April 8th, 2014

The best product or service in the world won’t be well received by customers if it is delivered poorly. Businesses of any kind and any size — whether virtual or bricks and mortar — must deliver exceptional customer service to compete effectively in what has become an increasingly competitive business environment. With businesses able to sell their goods literally around the world, your field of competitors has increased exponentially.

That means that you need to ensure that your employees are prepared to

(more…)

Making Strategic Planning Work

Friday, April 4th, 2014

Why do strategic planning efforts so often fail? It’s a question I ponder a lot and one that I’m asked frequently by clients and business colleagues. I work with companies of all sizes and in a variety of industries on strategic planning efforts. Previously as a marketing manager/director of corporate communications in the education, energy and healthcare industries I was involved in a range of strategic planning activities from business planning to the development of marketing plans and project-specific plans.

Most of these plans are developed, reviewed, revised–and, sadly, forgotten. Here are some of the key factors that I believe contribute to the successful execution of a strategic plan — whether it’s a business plan, a marketing plan, or a project plan. The process is the same, and so are the potential pitfalls.

We recommend these best practice steps: (more…)

Landing Clients Can Take Time! The Value of Ongoing Communication

Thursday, March 27th, 2014

I was recently contacted by a potential client who told me he had been receiving and reading my monthly eletter for a few years. I didn’t know him and neither of us could think of how he might have come to be on the list, but when I took a look at my email list I found that he had joined the  list on July 29, 2009–more than four years ago!

This experience highlights the long-tail sales cycle that consultants–and others–often experience. Landing clients can take time. Consequently, it pays to be patient. It also (more…)

Contributing Content: Big Opportunities in Content Marketing!

Friday, March 14th, 2014

There are big opportunities these days in content marketing. All kinds of organizations, from traditional publishers and media outlets to businesses hoping to gain online traction through organic search are looking for quality content. That means big opportunities for content creators of all kinds. It also means big opportunities for businesses and individuals hoping to get media coverage for themselves and their products and services.

Why?  (more…)

Who Needs a Physical Location? You May Be Surprised!

Tuesday, February 25th, 2014

Some of my favorite authors/social economists do a great job of cautioning us to beware of “conventionally held wisdom”–Dan Ariely and Steven Levitt are two that immediately come to mind. It’s so easy to get swept up by conventional wisdom and then, unfortunately, to act based on that wisdom–whether it reflects reality or not. (more…)

Brilliance is not enough – you need to build relationships!

Thursday, February 20th, 2014

Maybe it’s because I grew up in a family-owned business. Maybe it’s because I grew up a bit “socially awkward.” Maybe it’s because I spent 20 years in corporate communications. Whatever it is, I grew up with a very strong sense of inclusiveness when it comes to interacting with people. The concept that you “can’t judge a book by its cover” has always been meaningful to me; I’ve always enjoyed interacting with and learning from a broad range of people–trying hard not to pre-judge those I come into contact with. That has served me well. (more…)

Is Entrepreneurship For You?

Thursday, January 23rd, 2014

I’ve wanted to be an entrepreneur ever since I was in grade school. I grew up in a family-owned business so the notion of “working for myself” was both familiar and appealing. For years I dabbled in various entrepreneurial ventures, primarily freelance writing which provided a very nice “second income” while I worked in traditional corporate environments. And, for the past 5.5 years I’ve been “on my own” and I can’t imagine ever going back to a “real job.”

Entrepreneurship is freeing primarily due to (more…)