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B2B People, Read This Book

I recently dug this up from an old collection of books I keep for some reason although that reason has long escaped me. (I don’t remember setting out to be a library nor do I consider myself some kind of creepy bookworm. )

There are a number of books that have helped me sort out how B2B companies go-to-market and how marketing should work but Ogilvy On Advertising is easily one of the best.

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Omnipresence: The art of being everywhere

Physics dictates that you can’t be in two places at the same time. With all due respect to Mr. Einstein, I disagree. When it comes to marketing, omnipresence is a worthy and achievable goal. In fact, being everywhere is easier and less expensive than you think. I hope it seems obvious why you would want to be everywhere. Familiarity is a powerful force when it comes to marketing and sales. Sometimes this is referred to as “top of mind” – the first option someone thinks of when they have a need. When a company or brand is familiar, this often equates to credibility and the idea that “they must be good, I hear about them all the time.”

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Tell me brands don’t matter.

While you may not care about Walmart or how it does business, there is something to be gained from watching them learn marketing and merchandising lessons – especially when they learn the hard way. Think about it. Walmart is huge. Regardless of how you feel about the company, they represent a giant consumer laboratory – when Walmart makes a move, the cause and effect can be clearly seen in statistically significant numbers. Case in point: Over the last year or so Walmart has been reducing the number of “branded” projects they carry (little names like Kraft, General Mills and Heinz) and increasing placement of in-house brand “Great Value” products.

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Rule #2 of Marketing: Concentration

Ever hear the term “scatter shot”? Or “shot gun approach”? While few of us would admit to such a lapse of common sense, the reality is that most small businesses engage in Scatter shot Marketing. The symptoms of this disorder include: constantly trying to figure out who to call on the reinvention of the prospecting process every week high numbers of single touches to random people poor closing ratios Scattershot is the opposite of Concentration. Bullets are flying but there’s no telling which will lodge in someone’s cortex. I think the military calls it “Spray and Pray”. Maybe I’m crazy but, if I’m investing in marketing activities, I’d like a little better odds. Concentrating your marketing AND sales on a defined target (a list of people who fit your idea of a “best customer”) greatly increases the odds that your efforts are going to deliver new customers. The rule of[…]

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I hate the color blue.

Eliminating Personal Preferences in the communications development process. By Pete Monfre Evaluating creative work is one of the most difficult processes anyone faces when executing a marketing or communications strategy. The pressure comes from the fact that these decisions can make the difference between the success and failure of an entire effort. It’s not that we don’t all have opinions to contribute, but often those opinions are steeped in the fear of the unknown. Falling into this trap forces us to base decisions on the one thing we do know for sure:  our own personal preferences.

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Seriously, why bother?

What would it have taken to simply paint over the previous sign or get a new piece of plywood? Want to know why 90% (depending on who you talk to) of businesses fail? Because 95% of people who start them are idiots. (all percentages are my personal estimate). I do like the message they are sending, something like:  “We are lazy, small and don’t care. In fact, we might just leave in the dead of night so we don’t want to invest too much in a sign.”

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Don’t Think Too “Small”

By David Sandler Simple as it may sound, many small companies stay small because their owners never dare to think big. It’s true: Negative or defeatist thinking is the greatest obstacle to business success. As long as the entrepreneur thinks of himself as a nickel-and-dime operator, his company will never be more than a financial midget scratching around for subsistence earnings. It is an easy trap to fall into. You may, after all, run a small venture with relatively few employees and limited capital. Accepting the role of a small-time business owner is an inexcusable business mistake. It is like drawing a circle around your company and promising not to grow any bigger than these artificial borders. All you really need to do is to change your way of thinking. Set your sights high. The world can be your oyster if you just stand up and dare to take it.[…]

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How to spot a marketing wanker

If you’ve known me for any length of time, you know I’m somewhat disappointed in the marketing industry with regard to how they obfuscate, mislead clients and generally say and do anything to make a buck. I know this is true because almost every client I talk to has several horror stories of those who came before me. And, rightly so, they are suspicious and guarded when it comes to engaging. Fair enough. Now, I’m not saying that ALL folks involved in the marketing business (and related categories) are all money grubbing slight of hand artists. I know many consultants, designers, web developers and other people who really know their stuff and operate at the highest levels of ethics. I just believe they are in the minority. I’m going to share with you some warning signs to look for when choosing a marketing partner so you can avoid getting ripped[…]

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What my dad taught me about business

For my regular readers, this post may be a bit unusual. But, for me, it is right on topic since much of what I know about business and what I share here originated from my dad. Allow me to indulge you with the tale of the Air Force vet, turned pilot, turned rodeo rider, turned computer whiz, turned electronics manufacturer, turned cabinet maker.

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