Marketing Leverage Times – Winter 2005


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Welcome to the latest edition of the Marketing Leverage Times. Our goal is to provide you with useful information and thoughtful commentary on marketing and business issues to help you improve your organization’s leverage to market. We hope you will enjoy this regular collection of tips, tidbits and tools and we welcome your input and feedback. Tell us what you like and don’t like and what you’d like to see in future editions.


START WITH A SOLID FOUNDATION

Over the last several years, our family has been involved in a long, difficult home remodeling process. When our original contractor walked off the job, it appeared that a good part of the work was just about completed: the walls were painted, cabinets and lights installed, carpet about to be laid. At first glance, it looked pretty good – just a little finishing work.

But there were enough questions about the way the contractor had managed the project that we decided to do some investigation. Our new construction team poked and prodded, measured and marked, removed and reassessed. Lo and behold: things were not what they seemed. Walls weren’t straight, floors weren’t level, wiring wasn’t to code, etc., etc. Most importantly, the concrete foundation was poured in the wrong place – leaving key bearing walls totally unsupported, right in the heart of earthquake country. It appears the first crew just kept on going, covering up their mistakes as they went, but making things look fairly good on a superficial, cosmetic level.

Unfortunately, too many marketing teams make the same mistake. In the rush to make things look good and meet the deadline, they launch a website, develop a campaign, create a new marketing initiative – without considering whether the marketing foundation underneath is strong and secure.

A beautiful website without the right messaging and positioning behind it is nothing more than an attractive time and resource sink that can hurt an organization rather than helping it. An ambitious marketing campaign without sufficient resources to be properly deployed is like a shear wall with no foundation underneath – eventually it will collapse under its own weight. And an initiative undertaken without a properly trained and skilled staff is like asking a well-meaning apprentice electrician to fix complicated high voltage wiring. A few simple mistakes can cause irreparable damage to both the individuals and the structure involved.

Key Leverage Point: Make sure your marketing strategy is structurally sound before turning your attention to the finishing touches and details. Successful marketing efforts require a strong foundation. If you don’t take the effort to build this upfront, you’ll likely spend an inordinate amount of time, money and energy to do remedial work to recover afterwards.

As for our remodeling project, after almost two expensive years of demolishing, removing and rebuilding, we’re almost done. It looks great and just as importantly, it’s structurally sound. If we’d only known how to start with a solid foundation the first time!

CHECKLIST: How Strong is Your Marketing Foundation

  • Do you have a clear value proposition?
  • Do you understand your audience and their needs?
  • How well do you understand the environment in which you compete?
  • Is the infrastructure in place to properly launch this initiative?
  • Does your marketing team have the right skills sad capabilities to be successful?
  • If not, how will you help your team develop and grow?
  • Do you have realistic timelines, budgets, and resources to be successful?
  • When something goes wrong, what’s your recovery plan? How will you adapt and survive?

What Do People Say About Us? Please see our testimonials.


MARKETING MYTHS: ARE THEY HURTING YOUR BUSINESS?

Myth #7: Marketing is easier with a clean slate.

It would be simple to market our new products if we didn’t have to worry about our existing customer base. What if they like our new offerings better? What will we do if they want all the features of our new offering added to what they currently have? Wouldn’t it be easier to start from scratch?

Ever feel like some companies would prefer to get rid of all those darn customers? How often do you walk out of a store or office feeling like you’ve been bothering the people who work there, just by trying to do business with them? When was the last time you hung up the telephone and wondered why you’d even taken the time to explain your situation to the “customer service” person on the other end – since all they seem able to do is parrot back the company line rather than offer any real help? Read more.

Are Marketing Myths Hurting Your Business?

For more popular Marketing Myths, see our website.


COMPUTER CONSULTANTS HEAR HOW TO OVERCOME MARKETING MYTHS

Linda J. Popky, President of Leverage2Market Associates, Inc, was the featured speaker at a recent meeting of the San Francisco Bay Area Chapter of the Independent Computer Consultants Association (ICCA). Linda’s presentation “Marketing Myths and How To Overcome Them” addressed some of the common pitfalls consultants fall into as they develop programs to market their services, including how too much marketing can hurt you and why it’s not good to be too unique.

Linda is available to speak to groups or organizations on how marketing strategies can improve your bottom line. The Leverage to Market approach focuses on messaging, marketing infrastructure and team readiness. Whether your audience is a corporate group, small business owners or a non-profit organization, we can create a customized presentation that meets your specific needs.


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