Marketing Budgeting

How much does it cost to make a video?

One of the most frequent questions I get is “How much does it cost to make a video”.  The answer is “That depends”. Some may think I’m being evasive with this answer. I’m not. I really does depend on what you want. Trust me when I say that estimating the cost of video production is a mystery enshrouded by an enigma hidden in a spreadsheet. Accurate estimates of video production costs depend upon a myriad of variables. Seemingly little things can add significantly to the budget. Therefore you must be very specific about what you want to produce. For example, a short video interview of an executive can vary depending the location, the delivery media (television or on-line or both), if a script is used (highly recommended), how well the subject is prepared (being unprepared increases editing time) – any of these variables can have significant impact on costs. To[…]

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Don’t Neglect the Sales People!

I had an experience recently that shouldn’t have surprised me but it did. It happened as I started working with a $40 million software company. My job is to help the company improve it’s value proposition and follow through with detailed marketing and tactical plans. To gather the necessary information, I was participating in a conference call with the company’s sales people. I had a few minutes to ask some questions and proceeded to drill them about the details of how they sell, what ‘s most important to prospects and other key details.

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Marketing Schmarketing. It’s not what you think.

What is marketing? Don’t ask me. And don’t bother Googling it either. And, please don’t ask your boss, your wife, your web designer or marketing consultant. It seems that the real purpose of marketing has been lost somehow over the last few years. I’m not even going to tell you that MY definition is correct because ultimately it doesn’t matter what I think. What matters is what problem you are trying to solve. Marketing can help create and drive demand, differentiate from competing products/services, communicate value, drive the sales process and more. But at the end of the day, marketing’s real value is in mitigating risk.

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A life without risk is a life without growth.

Looking back over the years I can see that my path has been what one might call “the road less traveled”. For me, risk and reward are inexorably linked and I have never worried about the possible consequences of zigging where most people zag. Of course this is the mindset of an invincible young man. As I grow, uh…, more mature, I can see that the risk I took so effortlessly was far more than I needed to shoulder. This was because I never thought about having a plan – I just jumped from the cliff and figured I’d know how to build my wings at some point before I hit the ground. Luckily for me, those wings somehow were constructed and the sudden stop at the bottom of my flight was avoided. Managing risk takes a four letter word.

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High Growth Firms Spend Limited Budgets Differently From Lower Growth Peers

Just read a study that shows that high growth firms in professional services categories invested in marketing activities very differently from their lagging peers. Here’s how it breaks down: High Growth Firms put more emphasis on: Building awareness through advertising and PR Lead generation through channels such as direct mail, cold calls, trade shows and newsletters Web site upgrades Outside marketing experts and consultants Training and using non-marketing staff to generate business. Low Growth Firms were more likely to: Have no formal marketing plan Revise their strategy, structure or budget Focus on thought leadership activities such as publishing and workshops The 2008 study by Hinge  broke down companies by size and industry. The above trends were across the board.

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