A 3-D approach to change "we've always done it this way."

As a result of an interesting discussion in LinkedIn that I caught up with, we’ve all heard the objection, “we’ve done it this way” when introducing a new idea that is intended to solve a challenge or capitalize on an opportunity. I’ve even heard the statement, “we know what we’re doing and you need to jump on our train or you’ll get left behind.”
Yet, because of the enthusiasm and confidence in what you believe may be a better solution, the next challenge is to somehow get them to board a different train.

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What is your Bucket List for Start-Ups?

Mine are product, people and risk.
• Product – This is something that you or the company that you’re a part of can directly control. But, ask yourself, is it a good product, where and how does it fit in its market, how large is the market,what is its potential Year I through Year 5 share, revenue and EBITDA, is it competitively protected and/or clearly differentiated, is there more of this product or service in the pipeline (or is it a one-trick pony)?

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Lessons learned from the 5-minute investor pitch

I’ve been with large and small companies, with each looking in their own way to emerge and grow and I’ve created and presented programs for approval to all levels of a company or a customer. But, even with all that experience, the best learning in captivating decision-makers has been preparing and presenting new ideas and companies to investors, all within 5 to 15 minutes.
Talk about needing to get to the point, creating clarity to people unfamiliar with your business and industry and...

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Is Marketing of value to your organization?

We know that a lot of folks don’t get marketing. In many companies, it’s one of many cultural issues that need to be addressed. I’ve learned the hard way over time that marketing is both internal and external… not a new thought here, but one that often needs to be reinforced, almost daily.
No doubt, with today’s technology, measuring marketing’s ROI is easier than in the past. However...

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Is marketing sitting at the leadership table?

Does marketing have an equal seat at the leadership table at your company? Or, is marketing still at the kid’s table?
Who handles promotion, pricing, product and place? Who handles higher-level tasks like segmentation, targeting and positioning?Is it the Ad Agency, Promotion Agency, consultants, internal departments like Sales or even the C-Suite that works through all these issues? Or...

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Sales and Marketing; is it still a “we vs. they” culture?

There's been the on-going question of marketing’s value and capabilities of partnering with sales and sales with marketing to acquire and retain customers throughout history.
Determining buying and segmentation strategies, how to generate leads, how to strategically add to sales proposals and presentations and produce tangible results is changing, can change and should change...

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 Sales and Marketing
Sales and Marketing; should we talk at, to or with each other?

I keep hearing, we all keep hearing, “Marketing doesn’t give us enough good leads” and “Sales doesn’t follow up enough on the leads we give them.”
We all dissect and come up with 100 excuses as to why this occurs and we each complain to each other and to our bosses.
While not a new subject, it is still an issue today even with all the inbound and outbound marketing and sales tactics available to companies today. The choruses, as noted in a Pardot infographic, still exist: “Marketing keeps sending me leads that aren’t ready to buy.” “Sales… always prefer their own leads.”

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Should Marketing, like Sales, have quotas?

How often do we hear, “what’s the value that you marketing folks provide to the organization?” How often do we deal with the first round of annual budget cuts hitting marketing first?
If we do our job right and we develop marketing that is customer-focused, enlightens customers with the unexpected, resonates directly to them, helps explain the “why” of our products or features and, we measure and adapt learning based on why we win what we win or lose what we lose, marketing should be valued by those who pay our salary.
Yet, not all companies get marketing...

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Is grant writing the same as commercial RFP writing?

The preparation is the same. Determining if to proceed, if you believe you are qualified and can deliver what is being asked for or more by the customer, reading the requirements, understanding the audience that will evaluate your responses, assessing your company’s SWOTs in preparing responses, preparing the response strategy and team and preparing the steps, milestones and due dates are among the common prep work activities for each.
The analytics are the same… keeping track of internal deliverables, correlating time and effort in assessing the win/loss and ROI of the processes and responses and soliciting customer feedback that can improve future responses ...

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“You can't live with them and you can't live without them.”

We’ve all probably said this a number of time in our lifetime particularly when it comes to our non-work life. But have you ever said this about others in the workplace? We work with people from all types of backgrounds, experiences, philosophies, etc., and to succeed both personally and professionally at work, we need to work as a team and find ways to handle the personality nuances that stand in our way.
It’s easier said than done when we’re dealing with awkward situations like...

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Do you have or use
“What’s Your Why?”

There are many approaches deployed to defining your target audience and your brand positioning.
Of late there’s been a bit more noise about a probably well-known phrase, “what is your why?” Do you follow its principles? How do use it?
There are various definitions of “what is your why.” One I like says “your ‘why’ is what motivates you, continues forward movement and drives you to achieve your goals.”

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You get one chance to make a great first impression

Branding. Making a great first impression. The words you use. The talking points you want to communicate. These concepts are so well tied together. And, to do it all in 60 precious seconds, 30 seconds or 90 seconds elsewhere in front of customers, your boss or peers or even in an interview, if done well, leads to great follow ups and discussions whether at that moment or later on.
Branding. Getting that strategy right. Making sure you’re saying what the customer wants to hear...

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