The ROI of Marketing?

It's common to try to measure marketing ROI. And this works pretty well when tied to lead generating activities. But what about traditional marketing that doesn't seem to generate any leads?

How to Compete with an Established Vendor with Good Service.

As we discussed last time, a new vendor is judged on quality and a current vendor is judged on service. Hence, the new vendor must stack his/her quality against the current vendor's quality. So, the new vendor must create a value proposition that not only shows the quality of the service. It must also undermine the service of the incumbent.

Service v. Quality. Which is Better?

It's a common bragging point for service businesses that their service is better than their competitors. And it's just as common for marketers to complain about such 'value' propositions. They say that service is not a differentiator and that no one buys on service. Instead, there must be some differentiation or value in the product or result. In this sense, marketers says that the quality must be paramount. So, which really is better?

Is Google a Self-Fulfilling Prophesy?

It seems clear that Google rankings depend on inbound links to your site. But it also seems clear that the rankings depend on actual clicks. And one of the biggest click sources is Google itself. It's certainly true that being higher in the search rankings means more clicks.

The Agency is Dead. Long Live the Agency!

An agency, in the oldest commercial form of the word, is a company that takes action on behalf of another company. In the marketing world, it's a company that provides marketing, branding, and/or design products. It's to be distinguished from consulting companies that provide services. An agency, then, is supposed to be an extension of a company. It starts with a company's goals and then acts as an extension of that company to provide products that support those goals. The agency in this form has been around some 50 years or so. And the current question is "Does this approach make sense anymore?"

Always Outsource Marketing. Never Sales. (Part 2)

Last time, we talked about whether you should outsouce marketing. We concluded that it's better to have a truly outside perspective on your company. But what about sales? I think of marketing as fundamentally "understanding your company" and then, of course, communicating about it. I think of sales as fundamentally "being your company". Just as it's not possible to know yourself fully, it's not possible for someone else to be you fully. And this is why outsourced sales efforts always feel, well, outsourced.

Always Outsource Marketing. Never Sales.

It's one of those difficult questions, isn't it? What should we outsouce? To start, I'm 1990's old-school: outsource what's not your core competency. So, to be more specific, the questions is, is marketing a core competency? is sales?
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