July 16, 2018

Planning Strategic Marketing As You Go

Last week we hung a new poster on our office wall. No matter how much I like it, this is relevant now only because of what it says: “We have a strategic plan. It’s called doing things.”

If marketing is nothing more than a gigantic chicken and egg problem, this quote from Herb Kelleher (former CEO of Southwest Airlines) solves the chicken side. Don’t stop. Just live. Go forward and adjust on the way.

May 14, 2018

Commit to Customers, Not Just Booth Space

With a world that changes as quickly as ours does, it’s appropriate to reevaluate your marketing plan each year. And while many activities slowly decrease over time, or drop off completely, there is one that we have seen stick around since 1851.

Okay, we haven’t personally seen it stick around since 1851 – we’re not that old after all. But we’ve seen it in marketing plans since we started in 1980 and companies continue to use it to grow their customers. And that’s tradeshows.

March 14, 2018

Bootstrapping customer research

I don't like to turn lights on. Nothing against the power company, I like them just fine. But on the scale of needs and wants, light often falls closer to a want than a need. It's also, as I've been told, an unnatural habit.

When operating without light, you develop a sixth sense of where things are. Two steps, and a half step to the left prevents you from stubbing your toe on the end table. When you reach out and feel the tree on the way to the barn, be sure to stay close as there is a hole to your left. Walk through the doorway and four steps in is the light pull above your head.

Seems a little like being in business, doesn't it?

February 14, 2018

5 Ways to Measure Marketing ROI That Aren’t Money

There’s a wonderful ambiguity to marketing. It’s creative, ever changing, and no matter how many books are written on the subject, there really is no formula. Best practices exist, but there’s always something that comes and changes the game.

Figuring ROI; now that isn’t exactly creative. It’s a simple formula: ROI = (R – C)/C : where R is your income return from the marketing effort and C is your marketing cost. Hasn’t changed since the first person tried to figure out which 50% of their marketing wasn’t working. But while the cost is easily figured, trying to accurately track the income is a little difficult sometimes.

January 12, 2018

The promised potential of marketing

It’s doubtful that William Rankine spent much time thinking about marketing. Thermodynamics tends to take a lot of your time.

And while we may not in turn spend much of our day with calculus and control groups, that doesn’t mean that his scientific principles don’t apply to us. The laws of nature apply to all things after all, including marketing.

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