I don’t know who is more exasperated, entrepreneurs flummoxed by marketers or me, upset that another entrepreneur has been flummoxed by marketers!
People, language is for communication and marketing terms, abused as they are, fall somewhere within the scope of language. To communicate you need to learn the terms. To practice marketing or to hire a marketer you need to grasp some basics. Please.
Marketing Help Rule 1.
(<> means “not equal to”)
Blogging <> PR <> Brand <> SEO <> Logo <> Advertising <> Tagline <> Messaging <> FaceBook <> Positioning <> Twitter <>Lead Gen <> [Enter mktg term here]
Marketing Help Rule 2.
Trust me, you don’t need all the marketing tactics listed in Rule 1.
Marketing Help Rule 3.
The right marketing tactics for you, right now depend on WHO your prospective customers are and WHAT stage your company is in.
Marketing Help Rule 4.
All Marketers have a core competency (or two). Regardless, (almost) all Marketers will sell (almost) all marketing services.
Marketing Help Rule 5.
You need marketing to grow your business. And more likely than not, you need or will soon need help marketing. Admit it.
For a moment, forget everything you know or think you know or have heard about marketing. Start with a clean slate.
Now imagine you are a new customer of a particular product or service. You just finished buying. You are a bit giddy: Continue reading “Entrepreneurs: Know Thy Marketing!” »
A technical CEO learning marketing is the equivalent of a sales/marketing CEO learning development engineering.
I am not a developer. If push comes to shove, I can code in PHP, or develop shell scripts, and truth be told, I did take a couple of ECE courses in college; courses which inexorably told me I was not going to be a developer.
My path to becoming a marketer was unusual, I think, which has had both its advantages and disadvantages. I like to think I’m a “technical marketer,” rather than what I call a “Madison Ave” marketer; not to dis the later, since they have their role to play in the grand scheme of marketing. By technical marketer, I don’t mean one who only markets technical products, or who does only “product marketing” in the industry vernacular, but rather a marketer who uses processes and actionable metrics to achieve near term business objectives that lead to realizing company vision.
IMO, development is harder than marketing. Continue reading “The Truth About Evil Marketers” »
As with most marketing terms, the phrase “market segment” is often tossed about carelessly by entrepreneurs, technologists, and yes, even by some marketers. To my mind, however, segments are a cornerstone of market-driven business plans. Market segments are fundamental to a process-oriented view of taking technology to market and building business plans from the “bottom up.”
In 1991, Geoffrey Moore in Crossing the Chasm defined a market segment as:
- a set of actual or potential customers
- for a given set of products or services
- who have a common set of needs or wants, and
- who reference each other when making a buying decision.
Most of this is pretty intuitive. In a nutshell, a market segment is comprised of like buyers who share the same pain. But there’s more to it. The reference part trips some people up. The key point to understand is that the customers and potential buyers must be willing AND able to reference each other.
So, for example,
Continue reading “Market Segments” »
I just got off a webinar about lead gen in today’s economic environment. I was pleased to see several process-oriented and metrics driven marketing recommendations, including:
- need to be revenue focused, rather than # of leads focused;
- marketing taking greater responsibility for pipeline management;
- measuring, testing, refining every step of way through pipeline;
- identified information and activity overload problem;
A few key points still missing, IMHO.
First, in today’s environment, business needs to be profits-focused, not just revenue-focused. This is a critical distinction. An expensive advertising campaign may add more leads to your pipeline, some of whom eventually buy. You’ve increased revenue, but hurt the short-term bottom line. (Arguably there may be longer-term benefits from raising “awareness” through advertising.)
Second, this may just be a language thing, but I’m guessing not. Marketing and sales professionals continue to talk about the “sales process,” e.g., the necessity to create activities and produce collateral that “nurture” customers through the sales cycle. Despite the fact that this webinar correctly identified information overload as a problem, the end recommendations still pushed for “getting all the information the sales team needs into their hands.” Step back! This is classic reactive marketing and emblematic of VP of Sales (& Marketing) driven marketing.
Key question to ask: what is the buyer’s process.
Third, “who is the prospect” was asked at the end of the webinar, when it should have been slide 1. Even if your company was able to handle multiple segments before the economy tanked, you need to reassess to determine what are your profitable segments now. See point 1.