By k | July 31, 2007 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing, Sales

Jeff Cornwall writes
“A local entrepreneur, Charles Hagood,
co-founder of The Access Group and
Healthcare Performance Partners,
always tells my students that
if he had just one dollar left
to spend in his company
he would spend it on marketing.” 

If I had one dollar left to spend,
I’d spend it on an immediate sales driving activity
which marketing often is not.
 
Sales and cash flow today
keeps companies alive for tomorrow.

By k | July 30, 2007 - 6:00 am - Posted in Corporate Games

Zane Safrit writes that “38.8% of companies
with more than 20,000 employees
employ staff to read and analyze
outgoing email content.” 

The subordinate of a friend of mine
went on vacation for a week. 
He forwarded his email and voicemail
to my friend (his manager). 

During that week,
his inbox was filled with personal email
including a conversation by a competitor
about his interview the week before
(If you think competitors don’t talk,
you’d be wrong). 

My friend is glad to see the back of this employee. 

In the era of cellphones
and throwaway email addresses,
using the company’s resources
for personal use is simply stupid.

By k | July 29, 2007 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

An orange juice company I worked for
tried to change the perception of
not-from-concentrate vs from-concentrate juice. 
Despite the from-concentrate juice
scoring higher in blind tastes,
customers insisted that the
not-from-concentrate juice was “better.” 

Decades and millions of dollars
in advertising later and
the perception remained. 
The juice company finally gave up
and launched its own
not-from-concentrate product. 

A couple weekends ago, 
my writing group had a forensic scientist speak.  
He insisted that the crime shows (like CSI)
had it all wrong.  

So which source of information
should we use in our romance novels?  
The crime shows. 
Why? 
Because that is what the customer expects.

By k | July 28, 2007 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

A hotel I recently stayed in
was upgrading their rooms. 
The rooms hosted expensive furniture,
curtains, bathroom fixtures and 
had the hottest decor colors. 

The problem? 

The hotel used bargain workers
to install everything. 
The paint had been dripped on the carpet
and touched the ceiling. 
The light fixture in the bathroom was
too close to the shower curtain. 
The grout covered the tiles. 

It was a mess. 

A company is only as premium
as their weakest link.

By k | July 27, 2007 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

Rejection is usually a bad thing
…unless its your business. 

First came the Rejection Phone Number,
a number you would give people
you didn’t want to call you. 

Then came the Rejection Email Address
The same concept, except for emails.

Proving once again that every negative
is a positive for someone else.

By k | July 26, 2007 - 6:00 am - Posted in Corporate Games

Bill Balderaz has a great post
on fighting bad PR. 
Included in his moves are
being proactive
(reaching out to the possible sources of bad PR,
establishing a relationship
before an incident happens)
and then reacting immediately. 

These tips apply to employees also.  
I always make work buddies aware
that I want to hear any rumors
about me, good or bad
(no shooting the messenger, rather reward her)
and then I go directly to the source,
addressing the situation. 

By k | July 25, 2007 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

I’ve seen this happen again and again. 
A company hangs its hopes and dreams on an ad. 
This ad when launched has poor results. 

So what does the company do? 
They run it more often
or at different times or… 

And what happens? 
It still doesn’t work with repetition
In times of cheap production costs
and more expensive airtime,
this doesn’t make sense. 

Test and tweak

By k | July 24, 2007 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

You’re considering sending a sales email. 
Which should you send… html or plain text? 
According to Michel Fortin,
html emails always outperform plain text

The problem? 

Getting past the gatekeepers
(email delivery companies like AOL and Yahoo).  

One solution is to build permission
before sending
(an example is a newsletter sign up).

So what do you do when the day
before shooting starts on a shark movie,
your mechanical shark sinks to the bottom? 

If you’re Steven Spielberg,
you improvise,
end up shooting an even better movie
and add, he estimates, 175 million to the box office

Every film maker, entrepreneur, employee
is faced with “disasters.” 

You can throw up your hands and walk away
or you can make your Jaws.

German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer
stated that all truth goes
through three steps. 

First, it is ridiculed. 
Second, it is violently opposed. 
Finally, it is accepted as self-evident. 

Entrepreneurs work within the first two steps
(by the third step,
all opportunity is gone). 

What does this mean? 
Don’t expect raving fans
on day one. 
You’re going to have to sell your ideas.