Marketing Guesswork

Your Business is a System

In this week’s Moment of Clarity I share my thoughts on how seeing your business as a system can help you improve and grow your business.

About ten years ago I completely disassembled an old Corvette I bought in a fit of bad judgment at a swap meet. Every bolt. Every washer. Every piece of wire.

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Why marketing guys suck and how to avoid this trap.

Marketing planning (even a little) can greatly reduce your risk when it comes to the time, treasure and talent you will invest in growing your company. Or at least that supposed to be how it works.

I talked to a friend the other day who said her company was desperately in need of creating a steady stream of opportunities. But they’ve been spending thousands churning through “marketing” guys that somehow didn’t make this happen.

I hear this almost every time I talk to a potential client. I think it sucks for them and I’m ashamed at some of the people in my industry. In this week’s Moment of Clarity I show you the real issue.

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This is everything that’s wrong with marketing today.

I picked up a package of gum the other day and noticed the copy on the box. It read “Trident – Fuse it up! Chew the sweet pieces with the sour pieces and you’ve created a fusion of flavor that’s all your own!” OK. Wait a minute. What the hell does that mean? Do I want to “Fuse it up!”? I don’t think so. I just want some gum. I don’t want my own “fusion of flavor”. That sounds like an atomic bomb going off in my mouth. Who writes this meaningless claptrap? Was there a focus group where some highly paid advertising agency 20-somethings asked “If you wanted something to explode in your mouth, would it be Trident?” Probably. Good marketing and promotion has nothing to do with meaningless slogans or mindless concepts. Did Trident think that I would read that garbage and have an overwhelming urge to “create[…]

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Get Back Inside the Box.

I was sitting in a meeting the other day with a marketing manager. At the beginning of the meeting she stated that the goal of the process we were going to undertake was to “think outside the box”. This well-worn cliché used to refer to looking at a problem from a new perspective without preconceptions – i.e., using lateral thought processes to arrive at a solution to a problem. Upon asking her to further elaborate on what she was hoping to accomplish, she stated that she was looking for a completely original, fun, and exciting approach to her marketing program. Before I go much further, it’s important for you to know that I really try to be cooperative with my clients. Unless they insist on doing something that will doom their business. It was my professional duty to speak up. I gently reminded her that her target audience consisted mainly[…]

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Perceived Value: Secret Weapon of the World’s Most Successful Companies

Download the full Special Report Below In the marketing industry, perhaps more than any other industry, buzz words have taken over real words and concepts and turned them into meaningless jargon. Like the concept of “synergy”,  the concept of  “value” has been over-used to the point where the true meaning has been lost. If you are selling in a competitive market (and who isn’t?) The real trouble is that the customer’s Perception of Value is the only thing that matters when it comes to winning in a competitive sales and marketing situation. Why do customers buy one product over another? The answer is simple. People choose one product or service over another because they perceive a higher level of value. It doesn’t matter whether the purchase is a bottle of cough syrup at the drug store or a multi-million dollar industrial deal, the perception of value is ultimately what drives[…]

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Download Market Life Cycle MAP™

Use this guide to identify where you are now, where you’re going and what to do every step of the way from a marketing perspective. Life travels through cycles. Trends, businesses, products, services, employees, issues and everyday life seem to go through various cycles and phases. Taking the time to recognize where your organization is with respect to the life cycle of your products or services is a healthy way to re-invent yourself, grow or mature gracefully. This MAP’s purpose is to get employees and management teams thinking about and discussing together, where they’re located on the product or service life cycle, and to start planning how to move forward successfully. Ask your employees first, then your customers and finally your management team to plot the organization’s position on the Market Life Cycle map. Then do the same for either your products or services. Experience has taught us that many[…]

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#occuppy Wallstreet. Classic Ready, Fire, Aim Strategy.

Regular readers may or may not have noticed I stay away from politics. I also don’t mention religion. And I sure don’t write about the place of religion in politics. But the #occupy protests over the last few weeks are just too juicy for me to ignore. Yummy, juicy, deliciously stupid. Uh oh. I said it. Stupid. “But, Pete…” you might say. “You live in Austin, TX. You’re gonna get fried for that comment”. Bring it people. I call it as I see it and I see stupidity. Here’s why.

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You’re doing it wrong.

Why would anyone need a plan? That’s no fun. Too much thinking and debating going on. The worst part is actually making decisions. Screw that. Let’s just make web sites and brochures. We all love the pretty pictures. What shall we put in the pretty web site? Oh, let’s worry about that later. We’ll put some five dollar words and stock photos of pretty girls wearing headsets. Yeah, that will work. While we’re at it, we’ll just buy some expensive ad space in the Business Journal. Oh, and we’ll need an ad too. Let’s put our logo in the ad really big and a photo of the city’s skyline. That will rock. And our phone number because once people see our giant logo and the skyline, they’ll be storming our phone lines with their checkbooks at the ready.

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Why Do People Buy – Part Two

So what does all this mean to marketers? (See Part One) 1. Advertising and marketing strategies should attempt to present an appeal strong enough to stimulate action toward satisfying one of Maslow’s basic human needs. 2. Maslow believes lower levels always take priority over higher levels so you shouldn’t attempt to sell products or services that only meet higher levels of need. This means don’t try and sell clothing to someone who hasn’t eaten in a week, and don’t sell expensive software to people who don’t have the basic infrastructure to run it.

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